Returning to Tamarindo, Costa Rica

After our couple days in Samara, we headed back to Tamarindo for a week. If you’ve been following the blog, you may think to yourself…Tamarindo? Haven’t these guys been there a zillion times?

Well technically three times now, but yes, we do keep coming back.

During the crazyness of travel, life can seem pretty chaotic. We often find ourselves longing for a place that feels like home. We’ve come to realize, that for us, Tamarindo is that place.

For those of you who know us, know Tamarindo or know both, this may come as a surprise. Tamarindo is a very busy little town, full of people, and full of party. Not necessarily a place that fits our relaxed “in bed by 8pm” approach to travel. In fact, if someone were to ask me where I would recommend they go during their trip to Costa Rica, Tamarindo would be much further down the list then some of the other places we’ve visited.

But we have a soft spot for Tamarindo, and the longer we are in the country, the larger it grows.In previous trips to Costa Rica, we’ve always stayed in Tamarindo, and have been able to see the town develop over the past 6 years (since our first visit). Tamarindo is the first place we stayed when we landed back back in November, and it is going to be the last place we stay before getting on the plane in April.

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We are comfortable with the town, we know where the deals are, we know which restaurants we like, heck we even have a cat that we pretend is our own! We have come to know several people in the town, and any time we visit we take a moment to pop in to say hello.

Familiarity, comfort, friends, these are all things that you miss when travelling. When you find a place that gives you a little taste of those feelings, it is always going to keep you coming back.

So, at this point in our adventure, we found ourselves back at Villas Macondo for a week. Laying by the pool, visiting with Bearly Bear, and enjoying our time to regroup before our big trek up to Nicaragua.

How do you find ways to feel “at home” while travelling?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

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Travelling to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Before I start off today, I want to welcome the influx of new followers I’ve had over the past few days! Hi there!! I’m so excited to share my adventures with you all! I also post lots more content on my Facebook page. If you are looking for more Hostels and Hot Rollers excitement, come check it out!

Although our stay at Villas Macondo was lovely, Shaun and I were ready to leave the hustle and bustle of Tamarindo, and head to the more relaxed beach side community of Santa Teresa.

Our bags are packed, and we're ready to go!

Our bags are packed, and we’re ready to go!

So, we said out goodbyes to Bearly Bear,packed the last of our belonging and headed off to meet our shuttle for the 5 hours trek down the coast.

Now, for those of you who haven’t had the joy of experiencing the roads in Costa Rica, let me try, and paint a picture for you. Have you ever been to Disneyland? Obviously I have a zillion times, and I love it all, everything except the Matterhorn. The Matterhorn is a rickety old roller coaster, disguised as a majestic mountain. As you ride it, your knees bang together, and against the side, you’re violently thrown left, right, up, and down. You never know what’s coming, and so bracing yourself is nearly impossible. Riding in a big van along the coast of Costa Rica, is essentially Disneyland’s Matterhorn.

It was immediately apparent that neither Shaun or I would be enjoying the good ole vehicle power nap we were hoping for.

After making a couple stops along the way (including one to help pull a gigantic semi full of water pipes off the side of a cliff), we made it to Santa Teresa. Battered, Bruised, but in one piece

When it came to unpacking, I had my priorities.

When it came to unpacking, I had my priorities.

We checked into our hostel, and let me tell you, we’re real “hostellers” now! The days of a/c, and laying poolside with Bearly Bear are over! That being said, we aren’t in the traditional dorm set up We are in a one room cabina in the middle of the jungle. As we swung the huge iron barred door shut the first night, and looked out the bars on our window Shaun said “this must be what prison feels like”. I tended to agree.

Down the path to the beach

Down the path to the beach

After throwing our stuff into our room, we went off to explore the area. First things first, the beach!

It of course, did not disappoint. I cruised around while Shaun checked out the surf. It was just gorgeous!  After lounging beach side for a while we decided it was time for a happy hour. Unlike Tamarindo, most businesses in Santa Teresa are not beach front. We did manage to stumble across one of the few little beach front bars and enjoyed a cervasa while waiting for the sunset.

Our first sunset in Santa Teresa

Our first sunset in Santa Teresa

If there is one thing that Costa Rica knows how to do, it’s make a gorgeous sunset!

We could have stayed there all night but ultimately decided it was best to head back. Limited beach front views mean big beach front prices in those establishments lucky enough to have them

We continued to learn this lesson later in the evening when we popped into the other prominent beach front restaurant near our hostel for dinner. We ended up sharing a main because the prices were to rich for our blood! It was well worth it though. Nothing beats being able to watch the waves and have the hermit crabs tickle your toes as you eat. Plus the food was delish! A quick stop at another little bar down the road, and we were back to the “prison” for the night.

Despite our new found lack of a/c, we both slept very soundly. A long day of travel and a couple cervasas will do that to ya!

That’s it for now, but I have lots more to write about this new phase of our adventure!

What is your best “roughing” it experience?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter: @caketress

Date Night at Kahiki, Tamarindo Costa Rica

After two nights of rice and beans, Shaun and I were ready for an evening out. So we dubbed it a date night, and hit the town!

Date Night!

Date Night!

Please note that I actually blew dry my hair and bangs! It was a big big step, and likely one of the only times it will be mild enough for me to pull it off without being a grease ball by the end of the night!

We started date night with a cervasa on the beach. The sunsets are just to good to miss. Afterwards, we headed to Kahiki, Sports Bar and Restaurant. Shaun and I had been to Kahiki on our previous trip, and really enjoyed it. Kahiki is on the road to Playa Langosta, so it’s sort of out of the way a bit, but it really is worth the jaunt.

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We arrived shortly after 6, and we had the place to ourselves (aside from the cows that were roaming the streets out front). We scanned the menu looking for delicious items that we wouldn’t be able to make ourselves. It didn’t take us long to decide what we wanted.

He's smiling cause he knows he has a burger coming!

He’s smiling cause he knows he has a burger coming!

Shaun knew before he even left the hostel that there was a burger and fries in his future, and he was pretty darn excited about (well as excited as Shaun gets!). I opted for the seared tuna and avocado salad. I love all the fresh seafood here, and since Shaun’s not a fan, I want to indulge anytime I have the chance!

So excited not to be eating rice and beans tonight!

So excited not to be eating rice and beans tonight!

We soon realized that the benefit of fending for ourselves with hostel food, is that when you do get the opportunity to go out, everything tastes AMAZING! I feel like I’ve never had seared tuna like that before. I don’t think we spoke one word during the meal, except for the occasional moan of deliciousness.

If you are travelling in Tamarindo, I would highly suggest Kahiki. The chef is amazing, and they often have games playing for those who are into the whole sports things. If you can’t make it for dinner, they have amazing breakfasts too!

After dinner we realized that we still had time to hit up another happy hour before 7. We headed back to the place we went to on night one, Wild Panda. I don’t think there is a night that we’ve been out that we haven’t stopped in there. Their focus is on healthy food and drinks, so of course I’m all over it. Their rum and pineapple is literally just that. Rum, Pineapple and ice…maybe with a dash of amazingness!

we opted to try the vodka watermelon

we opted to try the vodka watermelon

As tempting as it was to polish off another one of Junior’s delicious cocktails, the budget beckoned us back to the hostel. Bearly Bear met us a the door. The three of us shared a beverage on the balcony before turning in.

Water for her, Imperial for us

Water for her, Imperial for us

She was pretty thankful not to be drinking pool water!

I cropped out her nether regions for your viewing pleasure!

I cropped out her nether regions for your viewing pleasure!

After a quick snuggle, we called it a night. It was so nice to get out and about! Back to, hostel food, beach walks and netflix for the next few days though. Gotta stick to the budget!

How do you budget when you travelling?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Barely Bear- The Hostel Cat

Most of you know that we have left our fabulous BearCat at home in Victoria. We are what you would refer to as “cat suck bags”. Well apparently we had that written all over our face when we checked into Villas Macondo, as a new friend appeared on our stoop right after we checked in.

Our very first meeting with Barely Bear

Our very first meeting with Barely Bear

Yup, that’s her (or him as Shaun would later discover during a rather exposing grooming session). Bashed up nose, scruffy, and huge! Just a big ole Tom Cat. Her rough looking exterior, and our history with unpredictable cats made us a little wary of her. For the first few days, we gave her some space.

Guard Cat

Guard Cat

That certainly didn’t stop her from making herself right at home.

No matter where we are in the hostel, she wasn’t far behind. Then, one fateful  evening Shaun and I were enjoying some pineapple by the pool when.

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Barely Bear really making herself at home

It was decided that our feline friend needed a name. “Bearly Bear” came to me pretty quickly. We’ve even translated it, although Shaun and I are debating the direct translation.  Barely Bear translates to apenas oso, and although Shaun thinks that hilarious, I find the pronunciation leaves something to be desired. I deviated the wording a bit and dubbed her escasamente oso (slightly bear).

Now that she has a name, she is a permanent fixture for us.

Bearly Bear helps write the blog too!

Bearly Bear helps write the blog too!

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Snuggle Session

She certainly has been a fabulous companion this week, and has helped ease us into our bearcat withdrawals. She certainly doesn’t compare to Bear but..maybe… if you see Bear… don’t mention our new friend, she is sort of the jealous type.

The Bear- Looking very magjestic

See the jealous look in her eye??

Have you ever encountered a “travel pet”?

Pura Vida!

Kate