Archive for November, 2010

QOTD November 30 2010

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Mother Teresa: “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”

It’s soooo good to be back in Norway

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Driving in Norwegian winter conditions is VERY different from the sunny Costa Rica experience in the Toyata RAV4 4WD…I don’t really miss the holes in the road, but other than that I’d rather drive in 30C and blue skies conditions than standing in a long queue, in -15C on slippery snowy/icy roads! πŸ˜‰

Not to mention the Oslo ring speedlimit that kicked in on November 1, every year the same shit; a 60kph speedlimit due to a β€˜miljΓΈfartsgrense’…you really think we are saving the environment with this shit?!? Jeez, I wanna drive faasssttttt, drifting the bimmer on those icy roads, yeah baby yeahhhh! πŸ˜‰

Oh well, until March 30 2011 I will have to behave, I guess…uhhh! πŸ˜‰

Vacation, thanks to…

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Hehe, my jetlag should be gone after I slept for more than 14hours in a row, wow! Vacation is really over now, work is waiting for me early tomorrow morning, and all that remains (besides a suntanned body πŸ˜‰ ) are three FANTASTIC weeks captured in over 750 beautiful photos!!

So, thank you Samsung WB650, the new digital camera that we bought some days before we left for vacation..the pictures are great! And thank you Lonely Planet, with all its information and great tips, thanks to KLM and Continental, for flying us convenient and safe. Thank you Kissy and Quetzal Travel for finding the perfect locations and accommodation! And…obviously thanks to all Ticos for the love of your country and keeping nature as it is supposed to be; natural…Pura Vida!

Home sweet ‘Winter Wonderland’ home

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Oof, it took a full 27,5h to come home; from yesterdays 5am wake-up call in San Jose until carrying the suitcases into the house at 15:30h today…ha, no wonder that I am KNACKERED! That’s also because I, despite the spacious Business-Class seats πŸ˜‰ , hardly slept on the Houston-Amsterdam flight. (it was way too early to sleep according to my Costa Rica biorhythm! πŸ˜‰ )

Anyway, I am very happy to come back home, it’s a true Norwegian Winter Wonderland; a fine 20cm layer of snow and -10Celsius, that’s a whopping 40 degrees temperature difference within a day! The fireplace is warming up the house and I’m trying to hang in there until 21:30h; one long night sleep and my jetlag will be passΓ©! πŸ˜‰

Friday = Flyday

Friday, November 26th, 2010

I always have a laugh when I am flying on Friday. In 2004 I spent 4 weeks in Japan and I would Fly back on a Friday, well,Β  you probably know about the Japanese and the letter ‘r’ morphing into an ‘l’… πŸ˜‰

Anyway, vacation is over and once again, today is Flyday/Friday. The first stop will be Houston, cross our fingers that we make that flight since it is kinda full…the Houston-Amsterdam flight has more than enough open seats, so that one should be no problem!

Home here we come!

Oh, I am SOOO looking forward to the snow…uhhhh πŸ˜‰

Juggling in Costa Rica

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

I *of course* took my balls with me this vacation…uhh, my JUGGLE balls I meant! πŸ˜‰

They have been with me on virtually *all* vacations, ever since I bought them in 1994 in Melbourne, Australia (went there for the weekend with my best Ozzie friend Mike, during my 3 months practical training stay in Adelaide…goooood times!!)

Last year I juggled on Klein Bonaire, this year Costa Rica…not the worst places to practice my juggling skills, eh? πŸ˜‰

A small Zoo by the pool

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Today was the last full day in Manuel Antonio (time flies *way* too fast when you’re having fun!!) and we decided to spend it by the Costa Verde hotel pool. Not boring at all as the hotel advertises with ‘still more monkeys than people’…yes, the monkeys came out today, and some some other friendly animals kept us company too! πŸ˜‰

First the ‘hotel-Iguana‘ that we named ‘Bram’ came to say hello, soon followed by his lady. πŸ˜‰ A third Iguana (who secretly tries to impress da girl) sneaked up to us and posed for a close-up shot in the process.

And then, the monkeys came…and they came extremely close for wild ‘non-spoiled’ monkeys (just some meters); these animals keep amazing me.

The last animal that made it on camera today was an ant carrying one of ‘our’ potato chips, funky!

Many other animals such as eagles, colorful birds and butterflies didn’t want to pose for camera today, oh well… πŸ˜‰

Below today’s photos, starting with the view from the hotel pool, not bad, eh?

Pura Vida!

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

The one phrase that you hear everyone say here in Costa Rica is: ‘Pura Vida’. The literal translation would be ‘Pure Life’, but there is a much deeper meaning to it.

According to Wikipedia the real meaning is closer to; ‘plenty of life’, ‘full of life’, ‘this is living!’, ‘going great’, ‘real living’, or ‘cool!’. This simple phrase is used by the Costa Ricans to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, resilience in overcoming difficulties with good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune of magnitudes small and large alike.

Wowww! πŸ˜‰

Since ‘Pura Vida’ is both used as a greeting and as a goodbye, I’d say it is meant to tell us to enjoy the life we share together (it is short enough already)…from the moment we meet and say ‘hi’ until we leave and say ‘bye’.

After all, we are all one, the moments we share are moments of pure life…let life flow…let love be…Pura Vida!

iOS 4.2 is IN!

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I really *love* those days when the weather forecast is SO off; prediction for today was 0% sun and 90% rain…we had 100% sun and 0% rain (well, up till 16:30h when 30 minutes of tropical rain made everything smell nice and fresh again! πŸ˜‰ ).

Ha, and what better way to end yet another day in paradise then to update my iPhone & iPad to iOS4.2! πŸ˜‰ Technically it is iOS 4.2.1 but nevertheless this is *the* long awaited iOS update delivering *all* those new goodies to your iDevice! (well, mostly to the iPad, which can now ‘finally’ do multitasking, THE feature that I really wanted!)

Both iPhone and iPad and updated and both iDevices are happy now…and I, well…iHappy! πŸ˜‰ Hehe, this happy geek can go to bed with a smile on his face!

(yes Andrea, nerdness and life art are in perfect balance again! πŸ˜‰ )

Paradise called Manuel Antonio

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

It’s our second day in Manuel Antonio and it *is* confirmed; this is paradise! πŸ˜‰

Since I know y’all *love* pictures, this blogpost will be heavy on photos and not so much writing…here we go:

Hotel Costa Verde is absolutely FANTASTIC, it totally adds up to the paradise experience! (AndrΓ©, thx a million for the tip!! We wouldn’t have found this one without it, as it is not mentioned in the Lonely Planet!?!)

Below the room and the view from the balcony, stunning eh? πŸ˜‰

Today we went to Manuel Antonio National Park (it is very close-by, you can actually see the Punta Catedral peninsula within the park from the hotelroom: it’s in the center of the picture above).

Even though Manuel Antonio NP is the smallest National ParkΒ  in Costa Rica, it still has a wide variety of wildlife; we saw three-toed sloths, sleeping bats, racoons, lizards, a paca, mantled howler monkeys, white-headed capuchin monkeys, and some great viewpoints to its white-sand beaches…well, enough talking, let the pictures speak for themselves!! πŸ˜‰

(as always, click on the pictures for enlarged versions)

(you were right AndrΓ©, they serve world’s BEST PiΓ±a Colada in the Anaconda restaurant!! πŸ˜‰ )

What a way to end this day…

House for Sale!!

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

I intended to blog today about ‘waking up in paradise’, since that is what the Costa Verde hotel in Manuel Antonio really feels like; paradise! But…

There is more important business to take care of (even though I am on vacation πŸ˜‰ ): as of today, our house in NL is officially FOR SALE!!

For more details, please check:

direct link to our real estate agent (Borgdorff in Wateringen)

http://funda.nl/47975786 on Funda, ‘the’ house-seekers siteΒ  in NL

If you are interested, or know someone who is, get in touch with us!

Hehe, my brother also put his house up for sale today, check it out!

(…coincidence? I think not! πŸ˜‰ )

Moving Day: Montezuma-Manuel Antonio

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Early wake up call this morning (6am, ooff!) in order to catch the Jeep that took us (over the beach) from the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort to Montezuma…yeah, it’s time to hit da road again; today we are driving from idyllic Montezuma to Manuel Antonio. This National Park is supposed to have even better beaches (= white sandy, without any rocks) and next to that, there is supposed to be enough wildlife to fill up the 8GB memorycard of our camera! πŸ˜‰

Bodysurfing in the Pacific

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

If there is one thing next to reading that I really enjoy doing on the beach it is bodysurfing, and the Pacific waves for sure are terrific to do just that! πŸ˜‰

I have spend hours in the water today, waiting to catch that one perfect wave and ride it all the way to the shore. Honestly I don’t believe there is just *one* perfect wave, it’s just a matter of being at the right place at the right time (hmm, there seems to be an analogy between a perfect wave and a perfect woman, or man…uhh, let’s not get too philosophical now! πŸ˜‰ )

Lying in the water one starts to come up with all sorts of theories such as ‘where to wait for that ‘one’ perfect wave’, how to approach it when it is finally there, what body position to take, what swimming technique to use, what speed one should have, and deciding which of the bigger waves is the best to take (some say they bigger waves come seven in a row) if you bet too early, you might miss out on the perfect one just behind it! πŸ˜‰ ). Life of a bodysurfer in the Pacific ain’t all that easy! πŸ˜‰

It seems I am not alone with these thoughts and sort of mathematical approach to the art of bodysurfing as I found a clip discussing the ‘Math of Body Surfing’:

From the Catalyst show (broadcasted on ABC Television Australia):

‘Neville De Mestre, a bridge playing, Ironman world champion, who also happens to be a professor of mathematics, set out to break down the art of bodysurfing into pure mathematics and has published the first scientific paper on the physics of bodysurfing.’

Isla Tortuga

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

As if the beach in front of the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort isn’t nice enough, we went for a trip to a *true* bounty island, Tortuga Island, today. πŸ˜‰

The island is only 45 minutes by boat along the coast just northeast of Montezuma. On our way there we ‘ran’ into a humpback whale with calve…a true ‘wow’ moment!!!

After this highlight we came to the island and spend most of the day with uhhh, relaxing πŸ˜‰ , snorkeling (I didn’t see Nemo πŸ™ , but spotted loads of other nice fish!) and drinking Coco Loco, a coconut drink with alcohol that makes you ‘loco’, hips! πŸ˜‰

Below some pictures coz I know you love ‘m! πŸ˜‰

Vacation Reading List

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Vacation is the typical time of the year that I can enjoy hours and hours of uninterrupted reading, I love it!!
Since we ended most of the active part of the vacation, and are now spending the days relaxing on the beach IN the sun, the books that I took with me finally get their share of attention. πŸ˜‰
My reading list for the coming two weeks consist of:
Paulo Coelho – Eleven Minutes
Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now
– Macworld November edition
– any of the 416 eBooks on the iPad/iPhone! πŸ˜‰

Hehe, as you can see, there is more than enough to read, more than enough to enjoy! πŸ˜‰

Waking up in…Montezuma!

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Once again, waking up after arriving in total darkness is great!
The surprise when waking up is truly superb, especially with the stunning views from our bungalow (with outdoor shower πŸ˜‰ ) in the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort (recommended)!!

I already tweeted some pictures this morning, below an impression of what life will look like the coming five days…not bad, eh? πŸ˜‰

The Quetzal bird

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

One of the most dazzling birds in Costa Rica is the quetzal. It is culturally important in Central America, and the Mayas considered it the bird of the ‘God of good’.
We already knew that this period would not be the best time to spot these rare birds, so we didn’t expect to see one during the early bird hike we took this morning (jeez, I got up at 6:30h, and I thought I was on holiday!?! πŸ˜‰ ). Nevertheless, we got extremely lucky and spotted even TWO quetzals!! Below a picture of one of them, pretty spectacular eh? It was taken with my iPhone through our guide’s telescope since the one week old camera got swimming lessons during the rainy canopy tour yesterday, it wasn’t shooting any pictures other than ‘foggy’ ones due to the humidity inside the cam. πŸ™
Well, it should be able to dry out in Montezuma, our destination for the coming 5 days. It’s a small village at the Pacific coast, apparently still very relaxed because of its hippie roots; not much more to do and see there than sunbathing on its picture-perfect white-sand beaches, yayyy!! πŸ˜‰

The Monteverde Cloud Forest

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

We’ve been quite active since we arrived in Monteverde yesterday; last night started with a night hike through the Reserva BiolΓ³gica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde (Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve), a piece of preserved, untouched cloud forest where we saw bats, tarantula spiders, frogs (even a ‘glass frog’, which is very special according to our guide) and special glow-in-the-dark-mushrooms (no, no, NOT the dutch specialty called ‘paddo’ that make *you* glow when you eat them πŸ˜‰ ).

Today we’ve been hiking in the Selvatura Park throughout the morning, crossing 8 hanging bridges, followed by a canopy tour…mannnnn, ‘floating’ over the cloud forest on a zip-line is funFunFUN!!!

Below an impression of the last 24 hours! πŸ˜‰

On da road; Arenal-Monteverde

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Since the Arenal volcano ain’t gonna show us bursts of lava or any other activity, we’ll be ‘on da road’ again. This time we’ll be enjoying a 4 hour scenic drive along the stunning Arenal lake into the cloud forests of Monteverde.
The Lonely Planet says: ‘Monteverde is a place where you can be inspired about the possibility of a world where organic farming and alternative energy sources help to salvage the fine mess we’ve made of the planet’. Well, I am looking forward to experience this…!

The silent volcano in the jungle

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Booking a room in the Arenal Observatory Lodge was a great idea; the hotel is situated in a spectacular environment, in the middle of the rain forest, close to the ‘active’ Arenal volcano.

The hike through the jungle this morning was superb, but unfortunately the volcano itself is covered in the clouds and instead of loud explosions and lava coming down the volcano cone, there is the sound of silence. The only thing I hear humming in the background is a variation of the Lion song, covered in the 80’s by Tight Fit:

‘In the Jungle, the mighty Jungle, the Volcano Sleeps Tonight’… πŸ˜‰

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