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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Our stay at Villas Macondo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

With our two weeks drawing to a close, I thought I would take the time to write about our amazing experience at Villas Macondo.

Our home for the past two weeks.

Our home for the past two weeks.

As many of you may know (or may have figured out by now), I love to plan, so being able to hand pick the first few places we stay in is a dream come true. I spent countless hours on trip advisor, reading reviews, looking at pictures, and scrutinizing locations. With all of the positive information out there about Villas Macondo, it just seemed like a no brainer.

The view as soon as you enter.

The view as soon as you enter.

Villas Macdondo truly is a little hidden oasis, right in the middle of the bustling town of Tamarindo. It is about a 2 min walk to the beach, and has a supermarket right next store.

our little home

our little home

When it comes to accommodation, Villas Macondo offers several different options. They have everything from fully equipped two story apartments, to rooms with a ceiling fan, safe, bed and private bathroom. We opted for a fancier poolside room with a/c,a double and single bed, tv and a fridge. Each unit comes with a private porch, hammock and outdoor dining area.

To the right is the kitchen, to the left is the internet room

To the right is the kitchen, to the left is the internet room

Included in your stay is Wi-Fi, use of an internet room with two computers, a book exchange, and access to a basic kitchen with a fridge, stovetop, toaster, blender and microwave.

The thing that sets Villas Macondo apart is their service. Tom, and his team have not only created a hotel, but an experience.Everyone from the

photo 5grounds keeper to the security guard greets you with a smile. The care and attention they put into the facility is amazing. I watched Miguel, their handyman, spend three full days lovingly putting up Christmas lights, and decorations around the hotel.

These special touches do not go unnoticed.

The set up of Villas Macondo is perfect for both couples or a family who want a private experience on a hostel budget. If you are a solo traveller, or are looking for a place where you can mix and mingle with people, then this might not be for you. The lack of communal eating space, and the privacy of each room, does not encourage the forced interactions often found in traditional hostel set ups. That being said, we’ve met some great people while we are here (I’m talking about you, Karen and Terry!), and we could not be happier with our experience.

If you are visiting Tamarindo, I would highly recommend checking this place out!

What do you prefer when you travel? Privacy or communal living?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Healthy Hostel Meals Part 2

Today in the Healthy Hostel Meal series, I’m going to run down our very first hostel meal of the trip! It’s evident we have a little bit of learning to do, but regardless, it turned out pretty darn good!

Master Chef Shaun!

Master Chef Shaun!

If you’ve read the first post in the Healthy Hostel Meals series, you are already familiar with what we picked up at the store.

Our very simple ingredient list!

Our very simple ingredient list!

Tonight’s menu was stir fried vegetables with rice and beans. We started the meal early, since we figured the brown rice would take forever. Shaun was on rice duty, because I am forever lacking in that area. I was on veggie duty!

Angry little gaffer isn't he.

Angry little gaffer isn’t he.

There were so many cool looking veggies in the little pack we got. First off, let’s take a moment to appreciate how angry this little sourpuss of a squash looks. I’ve seen these in the store before, but have never cooked with one before. There were also teeny tiny patty-pan squash as well. I chopped a bunch of them up, as well as some mini carrots, cabbage and mini zucchini. (side note, it’s telling me that zucchini is spelled incorrectly, I beg to differ)

Curious??

Curious??

Next up were these little corn husks. This picture doesn’t do it justice because that is actually a really small cutting board. These things were probably the size of an iphone, and super duper light. I could’t imagine there being anything inside.

Ta da!

Ta da!

Well who’da thunk it. Inside teeny tiny corn is teeny tiny corn cobs! These are like those corn bits you get in deli salads, but so much tastier because they are fresh, and aren’t covered in oil. Shaun agreed that they were tasty, but didn’t share the same level of excitement regarding the discovery lol

Once the rice was boiled, beans added, and veggies stir-fried. We were done, and voila!

Our first hostel cooked meal!

Our first hostel cooked meal!T

Again, my food photography skills are lacking, and it didn’t help that it was night time in our outdoor kitchen! This meal was great. We made a full cup of rice, which not only lasted us for another full dinner, but we also were able to add it a couple lunches as well. Tonight we’re tackling chicken tacos!

What else should we make for hostel meals? Send us your ideas/recipes!

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