Buenos dias!

It's been too long but I'm not going to fill you in—at least not now, because now we're in Costa Rica for the next nine weeks, and that's much more interesting than the past.

We came here because we needed a place to stay while our next house is being built, and a place to recoup energy lost in a busy and somewhat stressful summer and fall. We came, not with the idea of it being a vacation, or of doing a lot of sightseeing, but simply to park ourselves in a place and soak up the culture as best we can, along with the sunshine, the warmth, and the daily rains. We thought Costa Rica would be an easy, interesting place to spend some time and maybe save a little money. That last item, we now realize, is a laugher.

Our first two nights were spent in the little town of Alajuela, outside of San Jose and near the airport. It was a lively, untouristed place with a central plaza surrounded by a grid of small streets and shops. Surprisingly, it reminded us more of Turkey than Mexico; we had to constantly remind ourselves not to make comparisons, which are specious and get in the way.

From Alajuela we took a minibus to Manuel Antonio, where we had rented a studio apartment until January 30. This was taking a lot on faith, but the place and the apartment are much as promised, and we're satisfied. We have a lovely view of the jungle behind us (and saw capuchin monkeys our first day here) but no good place to sit outside. We are now at the tail end of the monsoon season and heavy rains visit every afternoon, which, because they are so warm and dramatic, are rather fun. It's pouring as I write this.

It wasn't raining this morning though, so Ray walked into Quepos with his camera. Here are my favorites. Enjoy!

Spider monkeys on their way to the beach.

Quepos harbor

Typical local house

Spanish-style saddles for sale. 

Color is everywhere.

On the bus home.