April 5, 2013: Business, Food & Fun

The morning started out more humid than we are accustomed to, and walking out of the cabina fogged my glasses immediately. It takes me a couple of days to get acclimated to the temperatures here so the sweat was flowing quite nicely at 5:30 in the morning. I had intended to dial into a conference call in the U.S. for a 6:00 (local time) meeting through Skype, but I had difficulties with the connection, so it was just time to sit in the lobby reading and waiting for the day to begin. It was not long after that the I heard the monkeys being agitated by something. Two papa monkeys were roaring furiously, so I decided to explore the see the cause. Walking down the path next to our cabina, I saw the tree branches swaying and knew that this was the spot of the activity. Looking up I saw about 8 monkeys roaming the mango trees with one papa stopping every few meters to stand up and roar. Now I am not a monkey expert but I think it had something to do with territorial rights since the male monkey was standing upright and showing the world what gender he is (and if you need a picture to explain, I am afraid you will not find it on this blog). A mama monkey was carrying two babies on her back until they found a safe spot to rest, which was close to where I was standing and papa came down to check me out. I guess I was not a threat since he went up by mama and sat with her without acknowledging that I was there. Finally the mama let one of the babies explore on his own for some food. The little guy came down closer to me and started picking mango berries to eat and he must have been hungry because his face was full of berry pulp. Then the youngster suddenly stopped eating and looked down. Avril, our community dog was walking by and the young monkey started taking the berries and throwing them at the dog to shoo her away…and he had pretty good aim since many of them were landing on the dog. At this point the young one went back to mama and got his face licked clean. It was a great morning show and the kids visiting the village in the next cabina were out with their parents laughing hysterically and trying to imitate the monkey sounds. But it was time to get back to my coffee.

I had made plans to go with Kurt to Flamingo to meet with another banker since the Scotia Bank, after 10 months, still had not opened our account and needed more documentation…ridiculous. So I had some fresh fruit for breakfast and Jackie and I followed Kurt and Karen to the Banco National to meet a Daniel. Now the banks down here are very big on security. You have to pass through two doors which are locked, you press a button to unlock the first door, wait for it to completely close and relock, and then press a button for the second door to unlock it and enter the lobby. Not so much a big deal, but you have to go through this process for each person, which takes a bit of time. Daniel, who speaks English, was busy with another client but he referred us to Alejandra, a young manager who was in the next cubicle. Alejandra spoke some English and when we told her of our predicament with Scotia, she said it was not that difficult. All we needed was two letters (in Spanish) from local businesses that bank there¬†stating that we have done business with them and we are reputable plus two personal letters of reference. Neither of these would be a problem and since we were planning on going to our attorney’s office today, we could get note from him and Kurt could provide us with the other. Hopefully by Monday we will have our banking affairs in Costa Rica in finalized.

After a brief visit with Willy at the beach resort, Jackie and I left for a drive back to Tamarindo. We stopped at a condominium complex in Huacas which we had seen being built during our time here and they were having an open house. We met a Rodrigo who was very gracious and showed us the units which were well laid out and appointed, three pools were in the complex and each had a barbecue area. The developer did a great job in planning the village and I was glad we stopped to see an alternative to rustic living.

Kurt had called the attorney’s office for us prior to leaving the resort and found out that Juan Carlos was not in the office and in Santa Cruz on business. We had accounting matters to investigate with the office that did not require Juan Carlos, so we decided to stop in and see if the office manager could help us. As luck would have it, Juan Carlos came into the office as we were with the office manager and decided to take over. I have to say, for a young man, Juan Carlos is very professional and thorough in his business. In short order, we were able to partially investigate the accounting matters and got a nice letter of reference from him. It is nice dealing with an attorney who truly goes out of his way to help his clients.

They are doing street work throughout Tamarindo and driving, parking, and even walking are difficult during the day, so we decided to head back to Cana Fistula for the afternoon. We had a quick lunch at the lodge and changed into our bathing suits and spent the afternoon by the pool…very refreshing. At one point in the afternoon, the monkeys started acting up and Jackie went to explore this time. She was smart enough to take a camera and got some great video, which I will be posting after I upload it from the camera.

New guests of every flavor were arriving, French, Spanish and English speaking. We were talking to two ladies who we found out were from New York, and here for the surfing. After introductions, one of the women, Lonna, asked me if I was the Ed that blogged…guilty as charged. Apparently, they have followed this blog and were going to use it as a guide for travelling and eating. It is nice to know that this is not just an attempt to chronicle my trips to jog my memory as senility sets in.

Jackie and I were in the mood for Witch’s Rock food and one of her online acquaintances lived along the way to town, so we decided to stop by for a visit and to drop off the red licorice we had brought from the States for her (Red licorice is a rare delicacy in Costa Rica). After a nice visit and tour of some house damage caused by last year’s earthquake, we headed into town for dinner. Witch’s Rock (Eat at Joe’s) was bustling and one of the radio stations was doing a live broadcast from the bar and grill. The station plays American rock, so the musical atmosphere was right up our alley. Jackie had her Caribbean Sushi (her favorite) with a wonderful Mojito while I had Da Flop which is a huge quesadilla filled with chicken and cheese with rice and black beans on the side and the Witch’s Rock Pale Ale to wash it down. Needless to say, to-go boxes were in order and after paying our meager tab, it was up the hills for an evening in the lodge.

On our trip up, we encountered a very large fire at the edge of a jungle front that was just burning and crackling away with no fire fighters in sight. (Again, a Jackie video of it will be posted later.) It was about 20 meters off the road, but the heat from it was coming right at us so we decided to close the windows, crank up the A/C and head further up the hill to Cana Fistula and cocktails in the lodge. Kurt and Karen had started without us, so we had to create our confections and sit down for an evening of conversation through the evening breezes. Racing was the topic of discussion this time, discussing the nuances of Formula One, Nascar and Ducati motorcycle racing (which Kurt used to sponsor in Europe). Explaining Nascar to someone who has not seen one of the races and the post race antics (ala Tony Stewart punching out Joey Logano) mad me feel pretty much redneck, but Kurt was getting a kick out of the racing stories.

But it was getting late and we all retired to our cabinas for some sleep. Jackie and I finished our cocktails in the rocking chairs on our porch until finally sleep was calling us. Day two was in the books and as always, it was Pura Vida.

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