Costa Rica and Niece Megans Visit…..

Dear F&F,
April 11-18

COSTA RICA – Niece Megan Visits from New York

We got a good referral for a bilingual driver to pick up Megan from the airport Saturday & bring her here to the marina. It can be 2 hours each way with traffic, so I was not keen to make that trip.

She arrived on time and in good spirits. Carlos, her driver & former tour guide, began her vacation with fresh coconuts – one to drink the milk and the other to eat. At another place he let her out to walk across a bridge, viewing crocodiles in the river below.

The first 2 days she & I caught up with each other\’s lives. We signed up for privileges at the Marriot pool, which is about a 15 minute walk but really huge. Despite a lot of kids & adults enjoying the water we each got in a satisfying workout.

The highlight of Megan\’s visit was 2 days of sightseeing:
Our first outing was to a park with a gondola ride up through the rain forest tree tops. First we had a private tour of the trails. Our guide showed us many indigenous trees & plants. He mentioned the medicinal purposes & had us smell many leaves. There were many native snakes displayed in glass cages along the way, which we were pleased to see up close. On the gondola there were 3 other guests plus our guide who continued explaining things. We saw many birds, a sloth & an anteater. It was lovely to be in the treetops. They offered the popular zip-line canopy tour, but that is not our thing.

Another day, we went for a 1 � hour ride to an estuary for a panga tour to see white-faced monkeys. We saw 2 different pairs of monkeys. It was fun to see them up close. The panga driver explained much about the mangroves. He had to time our tour with the high tide. It was already receding when we returned to the dock so he had to get out & pull us in the last bit of distance. The 1 � hour tour passed too quickly, we would have loved to explore the wonders of the river longer.

It was Rolando, our driver who really made our day. We had already gotten acquainted on the ride out & he was very willing to answer our many questions. On the return trip, I asked Rolando for a lunch recommendation & we very much enjoyed some typical food at Soda de Tucan. Little roadside open air kitchens with a couple of tables are called Sodas. I had frijoles with plaintains, cheese & sour cream & have since made it in my galley.

I asked if he knew a place to buy fresh camarones (shrimp). We stopped & bought a kilo of jumbos from a fishing co-op.

Next, Rolando indulged my request for fresh tortillas. He stopped at a different Soda where the ladies were amused by my order of 2 dozen tortillas. It is not a tortilleria, so that request was unusual. They had lots of delicious looking food cooking so I also grabbed some mouth-watering ribs

The day after I peeled the 1 kilo of shrimp I noticed red itchy bumps on 2 fingers of my right hand. I thought maybe I got some small cuts from the shrimp shells, or got a splinter somehow. Didn\’t think too much of it. The next morning I tried to fish out a potential splinter with a needle, washed the area & put on antibiotic cream. The sores got worse through the day & that night I was in real pain. Scott lanced the pus with a sterile needle, used peroxide & more bactroban. It was very inconvenient without good use of my right hand. I appreciated Megan doing the dishes & helping with food prep in the galley. I finally got wise & began oral antibiotics which got it under control in a few days.
Poor Scott has worked non-stop alongside the parade of mechanics. Hot & tired with a few flesh wounds of his own. It has been great to spend time with Megan. I am very glad she came since Lord knows when or where I will next be able to see her. It will be a weekend or two until we get around to the east coast of the U.S.

Scott & Cindy