I departed Granada, Nicaragua at 8:00 am, Monday February 8th and drove to Samara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. I have rented a house about 5km outside of town. It is a small house on a farm property owned and run by Audrey Dubail, and her husband Michael. They are French citizens who moved here about 10 years ago. In addition to the farm they run a restaurant in Samara, french cuisine mostly. Audrey also has 23 horses she keeps on a rented property down the road about 1 km, and offers horse back rides thru the hills and down to the beach and back. There are several small houses on the property in addition to the one they live in. A goat herd is in attendance, about 12 or so. Audrey makes cheese from the herd and uses it in the restaurant. I had some the other night on her thin crust wood fired french pizza. It was by far the best goat cheese I have ever tasted! They mostly converse in French, Audrey speaks a bit of English, Michael none. They both speak good Spanish, so I get to practice my slowly increasing spanish vocabulary with them.
Above you will find a few pictures I took of the grounds. There are two parrots who live here as well, Maurice in blue and Rebecca in red. And 4 dogs, 3 young people from France who work with the horses, and a live in Costa Rican who serves as general help. My casa is small but very livable with an adequate kitchen. It is very quiet and dark here at night, no stray lights or noise at all. The howler monkeys tend to stay at a distance mostly, so when they do start talking it is not too loud.
The small tourist/beach/surfer town of Samara is about 6km on a dirt road from here. I have ridden my bicycle there twice in the past week on reconnoiter and grocery shopping trips. It is a hot ride in the middle of the day, with little shade along the way, but easily doable. It has two ATM’s, a supermarket, a bakery or two, sidewalk produce vendors, a few bars, 3 dozen or so restaurants, and at least several hundred rooms/hostel beds/houses/apartments/villas etc. to stay in. And of course shops full of shoes, clothes and the usual tourist oriented merchandise. A soccer field, and a police outpost. A several kilometer long beach that is maybe 200 meters wide at low tide.
When I drove down in my Jeep 2 weeks ago I had some overheating problems, which had actually begun in Granada a couple of months ago. Audrey hooked me up with a shade tree Czech mechanic in Nicoya, a city about a 45 minute drive east of here. The radiator had developed a crack in it’s plastic shell housing and needed to be replaced. He removed it then traveled to San Jose on the bus, an all day trip, with the old one. As he explained it, he wished to insure he would acquire the exact match when he went to get it at the dealer. When it was time to pick up the car he said that the ₡14000 colones ($25) leftover from the ₡170000 colones I had given him to pay for the radiator and the bus fare was enough pay for his work doing the swap out. I disagreed, and tipped him another ₡20000. He and I were both pretty happy.