Tamarindo, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica

Greetings from Tamarindo! I’m looking through the dark at the light rope around palms in the courtyard of the Portofino, where I’m staying. It’s 6.38 p.m. The day started gruesomely more than fourteen hours, ago in Ann Arbor, where a foot of snow had fallen Sunday night and yesterday morning. Susan took me to the airport. Most of my in-flight reading was provided by Don DeLillo. Note today’s shorter sentences as the result. I flew through Miami to Liberia, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica. There I caught the Tamarindo shuttle ($18) for the fifty-five-kilometer ride to Tamarindo. The other passenger, Mario, a tennis pro from Cincinnati, had come in on the Continental flight just before mine.

I arrived at Portofino around 4.00 p.m. After unpacking, I went to Super 2001. It’s only a few steps away. I spent the equivalent of $31 on groceries. Here I reproduce the list (prices in colones):

Imperio (rice) 680

Homogeneiza (?) 830

Frijol 5000 (black beans) 1,050

Huevos (15-pack of eggs) 90

Gouda 2.740

Aguacate (huge avocado) 640

Banano (3) 90

Tomate (from Michoacan, Mexico) 587.50

Papas (white taters) 372

Zanahorias (carrots) 139.08  

Ritz 210

Mantequilla (butter, 115 g) 720

Volio Café (ground) 1,170

Galletas Choclolates 590

Banq. (?) 450

Pringles 930

Sardimar (tuna) 1,050

Pilsen (single can) 690

Pilsen (liter bottle) 1,670

Agua Alpina 830

It came to $31. Three American girls were crowding me at the register. One was nearly popping out of her bikini. They were from Indiana and Illinois. I mean the other two girls. The leading, popping one spoke a bit of Spanish. I told her the reason I was paying with dollars was due to my recent arrival. That’s when she asked where I was from, and I said Ann Arbor and she lit up.

So far I’ve eaten one of the three bananas. Then I unpacked the camera and went to the beach for sunset. As I readied, howler monkeys were inveighing implacably against nuclear Iran. I waded cautiously into the water. Last year at this time, the water was cold, unlike 2008. The 2010 water is warm again. I asked a fisherman, who said it has to do with offshore winds. This season hasn’t been so windy. His name?


“Are you Costa Rican?” (Of course this was in Spanish: I’m in a Spanish-speaking country; therefore, I’m speaking Spanish: “Eres tico?”)


“Really! What part of Italy?”


I tried to remember the capital city as a way of impressing him, but couldn’t. I know Kathy Diehl will be disappointed, for she was there just a few months ago: Cagliari.

At a beachside gift shop.

4 thoughts on “Tamarindo, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica

  1. Oh, I’m jealous too! Its snowing again in IN.
    Its an El Nino year…that explains the warmer water and lack of wind. We had several years in Mexico like that. It was also more cloudy and humid, made up for by colorful birds coming closer to the beach.
    Please fry up a huevo for that skinny dog! Breaks my heart, but they always seem to make do.
    Can’t wait to read about your encounters this year!

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