We woke up at 4 am this morning. It was still pitch dark and Frankie was none too pleased that we ousted her out of bed and let her out. She did her business, rushed back in and crawled back to bed. In the meantime, we were getting dressed and ready to drive my mum to the airport. We were on our way by 5 am sharp. It appears we're three very prompt people. We encountered very little traffic and the roads were clear for the first hour. We hit a foggy patch, but most of the trip was easy. We got to the airport with time to spare so none of us was stressed. We walked mum into the airport and guided her through the process of paying the exit tariff, filling out the customs' form, getting her boarding pass and her luggage checked. All these things she would have been able to figure out on her own, no doubt, but I just wanted to make sure we saw her get through security before we left the building. We hugged and said our goodbyes. I'm really glad we had this time together. I can't remember the last time we spent so much time in each other's company. Good memories were made and I think mum had a nice time visiting not only us at Hush Valley Lodge, but Atenas and Puerto Viejo, too. Next year, when she comes with my dad, perhaps they will take a guided tour and see even more.
Frankie, our miniature Dachshund, has been very curious about our hens (which we call all of them Betty). Well, Kevin opened the door to their coop and Frankie decided she'd have some fun; however, our Bettys ain't scared of no short-legged dog... no sir! One of the Bettys stood her ground, took a step forward (not back) and pecked Frankie right between the eyes with her beak. Frankie was not expecting that, so backed away and left the coop, feeling quite deflated. That'll teach her :)
Ready for the 4 kms up our mountain, mum put on my helmet and rode on the back of the ATV with Kevin. We wanted her to see the spectacular views from high above before she heads back home on Thursday morning. Time is running out, so today was the day. She was not disappointed. She agreed it was spectacular... told ya!
Although Frankie was keen to ride along, too, she stayed behind with me.
Kevin woke up early this morning and met Martín and Nacho at 7 am. They went to the Fish Institute to pick up some more trout. Tiny, little baby trout. Martin cleaned out one of the long rectangular concrete tanks in the old hatchery, filled it with clean water and installed pipes where the water flows freely into the tank to keep it oxygenated.
Kevin then made a wooden frame with mesh that covers the top of the tank so rats and other animals don't help themselves to our baby trout. They're tiny right now. They'll be kept in this tank for about 2 months or so then transferred to a pond for a couple more months until they are big enough to swim with the big trout in the big pond. In about 8 months from now, they'll be big enough to catch and eat.
When we first got here in August, we were told that when you buy trout from a hatchery, they only sell females. So, we used to call them 'the girls'. Then someone told us or maybe I read it somewhere, I can't remember... that the trout are actually all males. Since we had baptized the hens 'Bettys', we decided to call them 'Trevors'. Well, just recently, it was confirmed by a friend (so we still don't really know how accurate this information is, but he seemed convincing) that they are indeed females... so guess what, that's right, we've change their name to 'Trevorettes'.
Well, my mum and I made it to Puerto Viejo! Our neighbours, Roberto and Adriana, drove us to San Jose on Friday and we caught the bus to the coast. The ride was comfortable and quite enjoyable. It took four and a half hours. The weather was rainy in the mountains, then it cleared up... right up until we arrived to Puerto Viejo. When we stepped off the bus, it was pouring! We had to wait under cover for about 20 minutes before heading out to find our hotel. It was getting dark and we had no real idea where we were going. We knew we had to ask for the soccer field, but that was about it. After walking about 15 minutes, we turned the corner, saw the soccer field and within a few feet, we reached our destination: Hotel Pura Vida. We took our showers and changed into dry clothes. Then, as planned, we met up with Rocio (a friend Kevin and I met at Catalina's birthday party a couple of months ago). She met us at our hotel and told us she had some news... more friends that we met at Catalina's were also in Puerto Viejo and we were all going to meet for dinner. We all ended up at this small Caribbean-style diner where we all had spicy rice and beans with chicken with special sauce... muy delicioso!!! Wow, was it ever good! It was great to see Viv and Steve again and to meet their friends, as well.
Saturday morning, we headed out for some breakfast. We found a nice little open-air restaurant and ordered a fruit salad and coffee each. And after breakfast, we decided to go for a walk on the beach. There was a surfing contest going on, so there was a lot of people! There was a buzz in the air. Puerto Viejo is a young, hip kind of place. The beaches are really nice. I was expecting it to feel really hot and humid, but it wasn't. It was hot, but there was always a breeze. The walk was so nice that we just kept on going... we ended up walking 16 kms on the beach, and then some more in town. It was a beautiful day... it was nice to share it with my mum.
Only in the Caribbean can you advertise 'slow food'... and get away with it!
Monlí, the upstairs bar, was where we stopped and had our Mojitos. Yum!
The colours of the Caribbean.
My mum, sitting in the open-air 'living room' at the hotel. It was a lovely place to relax away from the hot sun, while still enjoying that outdoor feeling.
Mum and I are leaving early tomorrow morning for a little trip to the Caribbean side. We're getting a ride with Roberto and Adriana to San Jose. We'll be joining them on their cheese delivery run. That should be interesting. Then Roberto will drive us to the bus station where we will ride a bus to Puerto Viejo for about 6 hours. We're only staying two nights, then coming back by bus on Sunday. I think it will be nice to see the east coast, which I've heard so much about. I know it will be much hotter and much more humid, so I will be packing light clothes. Clothes I never wear here. I'm a little afraid to see what my hair is going to look like with all that sticky humidity.... that'll be interesting. At least Kevin won't be there to tease me! :) All this to say that I won't be writing until I get back, either Sunday night or Monday. So hang tight and check back in a few days.
Our guest went fishing today and caught two beautiful trout for their dinner. After gutting and cleaning the fish, I marinated them in white wine and lemon sauce, with a bit of olive oil and fresh rosemary from the garden. Kevin barbequed the fish and we served it with potatoes and carrots. I also made an organic salad with tomato, peppers and avocados. For dessert, I decided to offer a lemon cranberry cake. When we went back to pick up the tray and dirty dishes, there were no left-overs. I guess that's a good sign.
Mum and I went for our walk this morning, but this time I suggested we go up our new trails... the one Martín cleared last week. We got our walking sticks and headed up the driveway, up the road to the pasture gate and then onto the trail. We took our time, as the trail is mostly uphill, until we reached the road at the end of our property. Then we walked down the dirt road all the way back to the front gate and down the driveway. It was a really nice hike. It took us about an hour. It's nice to know there's so much space right here on our property to explore. Mum is doing so great, too. I'm so impressed with her stamina and strength.
Tonight's dinner for our guests who are staying at our lodge: organic salad with vegetables from our garden garnished with edible California Poppies served with mustard vinaigrette, penne in tomato basil sauce with grated Parmesan on the side, homemade bread with freshly churned butter... and lovely moist banana bread for dessert.
At 3:30 pm this afternoon, the earth moved beneath our feet! You know all those earthquakes I keep missing... well, boy, I felt this one. It was like a big bang, as though a huge tree hit the side of the house. It rattled a little, but it wasn't so much the movement as the loudness! It definitely made me sit up and take notice. There was zero damage and within a few seconds, everything was back to normal. The winds have really picked up this afternoon, but nothing to worry about. These things happen here, we just have to be good with it.
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
Click here to pick up your copy of Anne's book! It's all about their adventure and the establishment of Hush Valley Lodge: from leaving their middle-class suburban lifestyle in Canada to reinventing themselvess in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. Check it out and if you enjoy it, please spread the word! Thanks!