Monday, April 11, 2016

Tambor, Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica

14 – Marzo - 2016

Back to our new favorite anchorage

Time for a map update, Green line is us! As the line shows we are actually in Quepos
It was only about 10 miles south from the Curu Wildlife Refuge anchorage to Bahia Ballena and it definitely felt good to be returning to such a pretty, well protected bay. We dropped the hook in the south anchorage off the old dock, which in Spanish is muelle, and is the name the locals us for the village at the dock. It took very little time to be on the beach heading the one kilometer over to the village of Tambor and the Tambor Tropical Hotel and Bar. Fatima was working at the octagonal pilapa style bar and greeted us warmly with her shy smile, recognizing us from our previous stop going north. We were soon introduced to Sandy from Toronto and Leon from Amsterdam, both expats who are in business now in Costa Rica, Sandy as an Electrical Engineer/Contractor and Leon with 150 hectare dairy farm. Over the next several days we got to know Sandy and his Tica wife and another Canadian (unfortunately no photo), Nick a biologist/photographer from New Brunswick who splits his working year between Canada and Costa Rica. Really friendly, interesting people.
With Sam and Alicia at Cristina's Restaurant

We also spent time with a great young couple from Salem, Oregon, Sam and Alecia. And people wonder why we travel….
Mags keeping up with the internet

We also had a great surprise at the Tambor Tropical that needs a little historical set-up. While in Puerto Chiapas, Mexico, we met Karin and Joe and their dog Jack, on the sailboat Flyin’ Sideways. They are a unique couple who had been cruising in Costa Rica and were heading north to the North Sea of Cortez, to get their boat ready for more extensive cruising south. In the off season Joe is a skydiving instructor and Karin pilots the jump planes. Neat, neat couple! While in Chiapas, they gave us a Costa Rica cruising guide and went through it with us highlighting several “must sees”. One of these was Bahia Ballena and the Tambor Tropical Bar, which ironically Paul from sailboat Grace had also told me about, but Karin wrote in the names Aldo and Billie, great expats who she hoped we would meet. Well, sure enough, on our second day back to Bahia Ballena, Sandy introduced us to some expats from Boston, Aldo and Billie. It was a fun “oh you are Aldo and Billie” moment with lots of stories about Joe and Karin.
Nick came visiting, I will add Nick's web site later,
some great wildlife photos

One day, while in Bahia Ballena, we caught a local bus into Cóbano about 12 kms away and then another on to Montezuma about 10 kms further. Cóbano is an interior small town with excellent stores for provisioning. Several grocery stores with an amazing selection of foods and a couple of fruit and vegies stores to get fresh produce to put away on the boat. Sometime soon I will get Mags to do a food preparation blog because, done right, things last very well.
Beach at Montezuma

Montezuma is a beach community that although the surfing is marginal there are waterfalls in the hills and it attracts a diverse back packing group. Lots of hostels and many good restaurants. The area around has a lot of expats, some in gated communities but lots just living with the local communities. Montezuma was good for a visit but the real score was finding Cóbano. Buses were convenient, once we cracked the schedule, clean and cheap but not as entertaining as those in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

As with all good stops, they eventually come to an end. Farewells to all at the Tambor Tropical and we left for Bahia Herradurra across the Golfo Nicoya which marks the southern end of the gulf. Off to new territory.

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