People Watching in Quiet Town

I occasionally have a morning coffee and pastry in a little café upstairs above Canario Supermercado which is in the row of businesses across the street from the Atenas Central Mercado or the “every day farmers’ market” and bus station. Saturday sees this street packed with people but on a weekday morning it was quite tranquil!

I drank my coffee by a glass window overlooking the street and Central Mercado and the main taxi stand in town. It reminded me of a similar place in Serrekunda, The Gambia where I did the same thing but with larger throngs of people to watch. 🙂 Here’s 4 photos at different times during my coffee break . . .

A lady crosses the street after visiting the many shops on this side of the street.
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My Park Disappointment This Morning

I went early at 8:30 for what I understood would be an “unveiling” of the new ATENAS park sign and what they were calling a “dedication ceremony.” Nada! After nearly 2 hours downtown I picked up my photos I had left earlier to be printed across from the park and Sr. Chacón there told me that they would not unveil the ATENAS letters until 7 pm tonight (probably in the rain) and I will not go back! I was there mainly to get a photo of the Atenas sign, so I was disappointed! I walked home with my new photos and will maybe go tomorrow to photograph the sign.

!Then the only programming on the stage for the first two hours was the main Evangelical church here in town performing charismatic music like in a charismatic worship service and a hand full of vendors (more like a flea market) – both also disappointing to me. The stage will have more and different kinds of music throughout the day, which is what the city does with all of these all-day fiestas they sponsor, but after I learned the sign would not be un-covered, I got my photos and walked home. 🙂 I will photograph it tomorrow and post just that photo. 🙂

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Iguanas Gaining Popularity

That’s the restaurant now, not the large reptilian lizard! 🙂 But to me the food is still just “so-so” or mediocre. My second try was with nachos that I thought a young-adult oriented restaurant would do really good, but they had no chicken nachos that day and the beef was tough or hard to chew and stringy, catching in my teeth. They again asked me how was the food and I told them, so maybe they will improve? Plus, this time I walked all the way to the back of the long restaurant and out into their patio which is obviously the most popular section. It is beautiful with a cool outdoor Costa Rica mural and a statue of an iguana! Pleasing environment! 🙂 Fun, youthful restaurant! And tourists will like too!

Outdoor Patio area of Iguanas Restaurant, Atenas, Costa Rica.
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Nance for the Birds!

Between my casita and the driveway going to the top of our hill and the big house there is mainly a row of privacy palms, though right at the gate is a little spreading Nance Tree which is now flowering and those flowers will turn to Nance Berries. Different kinds of birds eat them in the different stages, some even now as flowers which are already turning into baby berries. The birds are coming! 🙂

Humans do eat the berries with a taste that’s only “so-so” for me and some people tell me that they make good marmalade or jelly, but doesn’t anything with enough sugar added? 🙂 Yet harvesting enough would be tricky with the competition of birds and some small animals like squirrels and iguanas! 🙂 The joy of living in a garden!

Nance Tree Flowers, Atenas, Costa Rica

And below are three more shots including one of the small tree . . .

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Dinner in a Shipping Container

You have probably heard of people turning a shipping container into a house, but this new restaurant in Atenas, Monsoon, is the first I have visited in a shipping container! 🙂 Actually I didn’t eat in it but on top of it! Their tables and chairs are on a covered patio (common here) and on top of the container as the “upstairs” dining room, which I chose for the view.

Monsoon Restaurant, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Two New Restaurants in Atenas

For the last year or two I’ve worked hard a preparing good, healthy meals at home from making 8-servings of spaghetti with meat (eating 1 & freezing 7 for future meals) to multiple recipes of homemade vegetable soup to help me eat more veggies, last week a yummy Chick Peas Salad from a Washington Post Recipe and also last week a 7-layer dip (mostly veggies). And I do breakfast at home all but one morning a week with 3 or 4 fruits, nuts, whole grains in either bread, hot or cold cereal or French Toast, saving my omelets for some dinners! 🙂

But living solo, I still like to eat out and I’m now trying to find more restaurants that I like while some I liked closed during Covid. So I was a little surprised to see two new ones open in the last few weeks, one serving everything from pizza & burgers to steaks & seafood and the other one our first “genuine” Mexican Restaurant:

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Getting Social at Dinner

Some of you know that I prefer traveling solo; maybe it’s selfish or maybe it’s the results of 20 years of marriage. 🙂 I also enjoy eating solo, reading my Kindle or just observing what surrounds me. Occasionally in the informal lodges people invite me to join them at their table and never wanting to offend, I often accept. This group from Florida asked me to join them on the second night and I think I told them I would, but for dinner only, since I liked to read at breakfast and lunch. They have also invited others to their table like this couple from St. Thomas with a teen son. It’s been interesting as long as I ignore political statements! 🙂 Our waitress made this image on a couple of our cellphones for us last night.

Like pretty much everywhere in Costa Rica (except San Jose) all our meals here are open air, just under a roof because of mucho rain! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Butterfly & Holiday/Health Report

Like me recovering from cancer and the just-as-bad cancer treatment, this pitiful-looking damaged butterfly is still flying and eating! 🙂 He is a Ilus swallowtail or Dual-spotted swallowtail, Mimoides ilus (Wikipedia link) and note that it is very similar to another butterfly that I originally labeled this as, the Emerald-patched Cattleheart. The main difference is the Cattleheart has emerald or light-green spots on the upper wings instead of white as this Swallowtail has. (And by the way, Cattlehearts are in the Swallowtail family!) See my Dual-spotted Swallowtail Gallery or all of my CR Butterflies. Note that in the additional photos below this feature image there is one of a non-damaged Dual-spotted that got in my house on the window screen before I opened it and let him fly out.

Damaged Dual-spotted Swallowtail, Atenas, Costa Rica

And some more shots including of one not damaged (+ health update) . . .

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Post-Radiation Funk

Some have written to see how I am since I’ve only posted twice since completing my radiation treatments (radiotherapy). Simply put . . .

I haven’t felt like writing!

Tomorrow will be two weeks since they rang a bell and showered me with gifts and a certificate and even my mask to take home after the last session of radiotherapy. Now here’s my update on the last two weeks . . .

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Balcony Concert Tonight

I am missing the final concert for the Summer (May begins Winter here). It is the last in a series of hotel concerts called “Summer in the city – From your balcony” or really “Verano en la ciudad – Desde tu balcón” with a Covid-safe Rock Concert at my Best Western San Jose Hotel and they’ve been doing it once a month since January or December. See the hotel’s website photos & videos of the concerts.

The only way you can see/hear the concert is to rent one of the 150 upstairs rooms with balconies overlooking the pool and watch the concert live from your balcony! Pretty cool ideal that helps both young adults have fun during the pandemic and a struggling hotel with no tourists and almost no customers fill several rooms at an advertised “special price” of $61 USD (more than I’m paying) with a limit to 4 per room/balcony. Tonight, Saturday, May 8 is this month’s concert and the final one in this summer series.

Friday before I left I snapped these cellphone shots of them setting up the stage over one end of the pool. This month American Express is the sponsor.

The stage under construction Friday.

And more photos . . .

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