Saturday, April 9, 2016

San Jose, fruits and the beach

Week 4 was relatively quiet. Started the week with a visit to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. After a few tries we managed to get to the parc next to the stadium, not easy navigating a city the first time in a new country. The kids had fun playing in the playground modules and Willem had the time of his life playing in the dirt... ah the simple pleasures of a baby :-)

Next we headed for the Jade Museum. Somehow we parked right in the middle of a political rally... at first we thought it was an angry mob or something but a security guard at the museum explained that it was just a politician working the crowd.

So we headed into the museum which is nice and educational but a bit repetitive, only so many spears, pots and flutes you can look at before it get's a bit old.

There was a fun activity for the kids, a small sand box with fake bones and artifacts they could unearth using brushes, just like real archaeologists.

Later in the week family members of the owner came around to start harvesting the mangoes. The kids helped out and made a fun morning of it.

Marianne showing the proper technique to pick a mango. The pole has a net at the end and one side is sharp so that when you pull on the mango stem it gets cut, then it falls into the net. For fruit higher up one guy climbs up the tree and throws them to another guy who uses a small sheet spread out to catch them.

This spicky fellow is called a guanabana. It's white inside and has a lot of fibers and a few medium seeds. Marianne and I liked it but not the others.

The next day Norma, the owner of the place, showed us how to cook the raw cashews we had picked. We ended up burning half of them, yes the flames are normal as you have to burn off the oil in the outer layer of the nut. 

After they burn long enough (a couple of minutes) you use a hammer to break the inner shell to get to the tasty insides. Not easy with a BBQ, we're assuming that the big producers have a more controlled environment to cook them :-)

Yesterday we took off for Hermosa Beach. Same dark and fine sand as the previous beach. But this beach was empty except for a few surfers.

Sand? I didn't eat sand... what are you talking about?!

Fearless me taking on the giant waves... i had a blast getting tossed around by them. After a while i tried diving under the wave before it hits, that was even more exciting. When i was under them it would get dark and quiet, then after a few seconds when it lightens up i knew i could go back up. 

This Black Headed Vulture, with a face only a mother bird would love, we spotted on the way out of the beach. There were also several White Egrets lounging about.

We stopped at Jaco beach to see if it was worth going to on our next beach outing. A touristy place but fun none the less. We meet a cool Quebec family touring America in their camper along with a french family they had meet along the way in their own camper. Later we had supper at Pizza Pata. The kids where K.O. when we left and we all managed to sleep in a bit this morning (7am is sleeping in for us here... since the sun rises at 5:30am and sets at 5:40pm every day).

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