Friday, January 29, 2010

7 Hours of ITCHY HELL

Living in Costa Rica has a couple drawbacks.....ugh!

Two nights ago I was sitting outside chatting with a friend, it was about 6:00pm. I look at my arm and noticed I'd been bitten by something. This is NOT shocking, as I get BIT pretty much everyday by something or other. No BIGGIE.... or so I thought. About 20 minutes passed when I felt my neck getting 'HOT' and itchy. Again, for me, nothing new. An hour goes by and I'm up in our apartment, the initial bump on my arm is now a neighborhood of about 20 single family units. Did I say arm, NOW it's 'arms'. F***! *Check out my right arm, you can't see it well, but it's BAD.

For the NEXT 6 hours, it wasn't looking GOOD for me, in fact it was getting so BAD, even D'Angelo said it might be time to call the doctor.... and he's seen some pretty FUNKY skin irritations on me over the last few years of living in Costa Rica. I could feel my entire body getting HOT and feverish. Luckily, it wasn't 'chicken pox' itchy.... so I could get away with 'light' rubbing/tickling..... it felt sooooo GOOD. But obviously this rubbing was causing the spreading.... and spreading quicker than an La Country brush fire- ALL over my body. Small neighborhoods continued to pop-UP, but I couldn't help myself.

*For those NEW to this blog, I've written before about how, 'Costa Rican Mosquitoes LOVE me and BUGS want to GET with me.' in this post: Costa Rica- Irritations NEVER Cease which also has a GREAT 'before' and 'after' pic of my Leishmaniasis. Actually, that dark spot on my upper leg in the pic above. is a little GIFT left from a particularly nice, sand-fly friend of mine.

I wasn't ready to call the doctor quite yet. I slathered copious amounts of hydrocortisone cream (I keep about 74 tubes in stock....just in case) and some itchy type cream all over my body until I went to bed. I laid down and was actually able to sleep. When I awoke- GONE, nothing, no bumps, no redness... no small communities spread over my body...... SWEET!

What did I learn from my 6-7 hours of discomfort- well, if the rash was any indication- apparently I scratch my ass a LOT more than I thought.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moving to Costa Rica- My STORY pt 2

Gene Conti, owner of Palo Verde Resort didn't have to work very hard on selling us on La Fortuna Costa Rica- we were ALREADY impressed.

Hey GUYS! This is the second part of 'Moving to Costa Rica- My STORY'. In this video I'll tell you the MANY mistakes we made when D'Angelo and myself decided to make the move to Costa Rica and give it a GO. And if you're even THINKING about moving or doing business in Costa Rica, well, then you don't want to miss this VIDEO, because it just might save you from some BIG TIME, potential headaches. Just because we learned EVERYTHING the hard way, doesn't mean we want you to do the same.

I have to admit, it's HARD to tell our story without coming across as the victims (we're definitely NOT), or perhaps complaining, or having 'sour grapes', and I can assure you, that is NOT our intent. We're merely trying to INFORM. BUT, this is our story based on OUR experiences with certain people, such as Gene Conti, but I encourage you to do your own homework, draw your own conclusions and form your own opinions, I don't ask that you believe or dis-believe anything I say.

*If you're INTERESTED in following our on-going fight with the owners of Arenal Bungalows and Palo Verde Resort, then visit my other blog: Arenal Bungalows

K, here's part 2 of 'Moving to Costa Rica- My STORY':

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jaco Beach CLEANS UP its ACT

"Jaco Costa Rica is no longer knee deep in shit.... yeah, I said it."

Do'in Costa Rica has many chances to write about the 'bad' and the 'ugly' side of Costa Rica but doesn't always get the opportunity to report on the 'GOOD'.

If you don't know, Jaco was one of the beach towns battling 'water pollution' problems the last 3 years... and the results, UNTIL NOW, were NOT good. Fecal matter and Jaco were becoming a little too synonymous. *You know, I hate that word, 'fecal matter', to me, fecal matter sounds shittier than saying , 'shit'....... just sayin.

This just OUT about Jaco Beach:

"Jaco Beach passed the lab test after three years of very publicized water pollution problems. There was a huge effort by the Jaco community and the Canton of Garabito to clean up the water problems in Jaco. The result is Jaco is no longer on any of the polluted beach lists and continues to pass water tests."

WHOO HOO! This is VERY nice to hear and doubly nice because the community got together to 'fix' the problem. I give total 'PROPS' to the community of Jaco. It just goes to show what can be accomplished when PEOPLE come together.

So let's CELEBRATE and listen to a BLAST from the PAST, but so very APPROPRIATE for this occasion:

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Eco Termales Hot Springs La Fortuna

Eco Termales is ONE of La Fortuna's BETTER Hot Springs. Located a couple miles or so outside La Fortuna heading towards the Arenal Volcano, its entrance is located directly across the street from it's much more rowdier, touristy, BIGGER but CHEAPER brother- Baldi Hot Springs. The entrance is NOT marked.

Eco Termales plays the 'we don't advertise, but if you're LUCKY enough to find us and make a reservation, we might just let you in, CARD. They play like they're the more exclusive, intimate and tranquil hot springs in the area.... and guess what- it's TRUE, they are.

Baldi Hot Springs is BIG, LOUD, touristy and CHEAP- and all the local tourist shops PUSH Baldi because Baldi pays commission... DUH! But just so we're clear, I like Baldi, it's a great hot springs if you're in the mood to be social, do a little partying, or perhaps you have the kids in tow, or you just want the BIGGEST BANG for your BUCK. And then there's the world renouned, Tabacon Hot Springs, and it's the SHIT no doubt- BEAUTIFUL, the 'Garden of Eden' has got nothing on Tabacon (except maybe for the pesky snake). Tabacon did everything right- lush, mature vegetation, natural- they're the BEST and they know it, but they're EXPENSIVE. A more in-depth comparison of Baldi vs Tabacon. And let's not forget Los Laureles Hot Springs, way CHEAP, more of a TICO hot springs but they're great if you want to have a picnic or bar-b-que, Los Laureles is a family-reunion type of gathering place.

Technically, Eco Termales is a 'baby Tabacon'. They probably don't want to hear that, but it's TRUE, Eco Termales has the same lushness and natural feel to it, but just not as BIG. I didn't say, 'wannabe Tabacon', but definitely a Tabacon JR. Here's how it goes:

If you don't want your hotel or tour company making the reservation for you, Eco Termales INFO: e-mail or (506) 2479-8787 cell - (506) 8382-2727. Eco Termales Hot Springs has 3 sessions per day: 9:00am-1:00pm, 1:00pm-5:00pm and 5:00pm-9:00pm. Each session costs $29.00 per person. They say they never let more than 100 people in per session. You must have reservations. *Kinda funny: My friend went there without a reservation. They did let him through the gate and when he went to the front desk they asked if he had a reservation. He told them 'no' but they let him in anyway. There was only a few people in the place....ummmm

The bar is run on the 'honor system' so you pay at the end, which I think is pretty convenient. You can eat at Eco Termales, nice restaurant setting. You can order either a steak, chicken or fish and they supply the veggies, juice/coffee, beans and rice etc. Personally, I thought $17. was way over-priced. It WAS good and I have to admit it was nice to relax and eat after soaking up the hot water, but next time I'd opt for a couple cocktails and probably eat somewhere else.... just sayin.

Here's our REVIEW of Eco Termales Hot Springs in La Fortuna Costa Rica:

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My FIGHT with the BIG BOYS

My FIGHT with Arenal Bungalows, Robert 'Bobby' Blair, Eugene 'Gene' Conti, Larry Bernstein and Nico Pisani is a personal everyday STRUGGLE and this blog is not the appropriate place to either write about, nor air those ISSUES.

BUT, if you're interested or EVER considered re-locating, buying land or doing business in Costa Rica, then you probably should be interested, I've created a NEW blog solely to document my personal struggles with the above folks so you can follow ALONG and maybe LEARN how NOT to do things if you've ever considered the MOVE.

Here's a snippet from my NEW blog, Arenal Bungalows.

"Robert Bobby Blair owner of Arenal Bungalows has a few problems and ONE is ME. I'll get to that in a minute. Robert Bobby Blair is a real estate 'flipper' and he also will TEACH you his SECRETS in his Seminars. Nothing wrong with 'flipping'- made some money doing it myself, NOT sure you need Bobby Blair's SECRETS in order to do it, but whatever. So, I'm assuming, with strong evidence of course, Bobby Blair is attempting to 'flip' his newly acquired purchase of the Palo Verde Resort, which he smartly and quickly re-named, Arenal Bungalows. *I know he's at least attempting to 'flip' Arenal Bungalows because he has already advertised the property on Craigslist." the REST of the STORY.

THERE you have it. Follow along if you want, but 'Do'in Costa Rica' will be what it's ALWAYS been: my perspective and experience on traveling and LIFE in Costa Rica.
Thanx for understanding.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!

Friday, January 8, 2010

the MOVE to Costa Rica- My Story

Somethings FISHY, Arenal Bungalows in La Fortuna Costa Rica WAS the Palo Verde Resort just a short time ago. WTF? Why can I smell ROTTEN from here? Because I'm a 10% owner of Palo Verde Resort and I don't know ANYTHING about Arenal Bungalows. Can you say, "Out of the LOOP?"

*Changed the name to Arenal Bungalows, but judging by the pics (above) on BOTH websites, STILL looks like Palo Verde to me.

*If you happened to find this post by GOOGLEing any of the following names or places, this post (video) may be of some interest to you: Robert 'Bobby' Blair, Eugene 'Gene' Conti, Arenal Bungalows, Palo Verde Resort, Craig 'Nico' Pisani and Larry Bernstein.

Hey EVERYONE! I get a lot of emails asking how me and D'Angelo ever found our WAY to La Fortuna Costa Rica. So I'm going to tell you.

Ours is a STORY of deception, shady land dealings, sketchy business practices and a CAST of characters who should have their own REALITY SHOW. But the 'sketchiness' of it ALL is not really the point, the point is we want to share our experiences so YOU can learn from our MISTAKES, so many mistakes in fact, a 'Comedy of Errors' would be a vast understatement if our MOVE to Costa Rica were made into a broadway show... funny-stupid, BUT unfortunately for us, TRUE. *We've learned a LOT in the last 6 years, which is partly the reason we started our websites and blogs, to pass along our experiences, living, traveling and doing business in Costa Rica, to YOU.

So, here's Part 1 of how D'Angelo and myself came in contact with Gene Conti, 'the peddler of Paradise', and decided to pack it ALL up and make the move to La Fortuna Costa Rica.

Part 2 is coming SOON! Don't miss it, it gets BETTER.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!

Friday, January 1, 2010

La Fortuna and Drinking in the Park

NEWS FLASH! There is NO drinking of alcoholic beverages in the La Fortuna Park..... oh Yeah?

*All pics, with the exception of the above, were taken within 15 minutes of each other on the same day.

Ummm, I've lived in the center of La Fortuna Costa Rica overlooking the park for nearly 3 1/2 years. I've had every Costa Rican beer from Imperial, Bavaria Dark (my FavE), wine, as well as MANY bottles of Cacique in the park, not only by myself, but with friends, family, fellow couchsurfers, random Ticos and any other folks who had nothing better to do than HANG-OUT with me and catch a BUZZ while viewing the happenings of the park and/or the Arenal Volcano. I've enjoyed beer(s) while sitting not 5ft. from where police were standing. I've never seen anyone bothered for drinking in the park except our friend ABOVE- 'drunk locals' pissing themselves and 'tourism' DO NOT mix well.

The park is exceptionally well taken care of and is the proud centerpiece of La Fortuna. During the daytime and early evening hours pretty much EVERYONE enjoys the park and at just about any given time you can see locals and tourists alike enjoying a cerveza or two with no thought of being questioned by the police... and at night, well at night, it's not really sketchy, but there's a LOT more ACTIVITY if you know what I mean. The 'Tourist Police' do frequent the park and the actual 'police police' will shake-down the guys selling pot from time to time, but mostly they're more of a decoration than an actual presence to be feared (which is a GOOD thing). But sometimes, I won't see them for daayyyys and other times, they're EVERYWHERE. That said, the La Fortuna Park is exceptionally SAFE both day and night and very few BAD things EVER happen there.

So, this new gringo moves into town and has been hanging out with us, says he's thinking about living in Costa Rica. Seems pretty cool, nice enough.

He told us he was in the park yesterday afternoon drinking a beer and the police approached him and said their was no drinking in the park. He said the police were NICE, didn't ask to see his passport, didn't harass him in anyway- he explained like it was his parents telling him he couldn't drink in the house. Our new friend tossed his beer and didn't think anything of it.

Me...I'm thinking WTF
? I have NEVER, EVER seen someone told by the police they couldn't drink in the park. Hell, even underage drinking goes on.... NOT all the time, mostly during local festivals and parades (and there's LOTS of festivals and parades in La Fortuna), but it does go on, I'm just saying the park and BEER go together rather nicely......peas and carrots.

Truthfully, these guys WERE on the look-out for police before taking their swigs.

This post isn't about the 'rights and wrongs' of public drinking, it's merely to point out yet another example of the 'randomness' of LAW enforcement in Costa Rica.

In my mind, there's one HUGE problem with random, willy-nilly, 'we might do something and we might NOT', style of LAW enforcement, which DICTATES- statistically speaking, it would PAY to be a CROOK... or at the least a law breaker of sorts.... and unfortunately many know this, from really bad folks to people who do their dirty work with the stroke of a pen since the odds are pretty good they'll probably get away with whatever unsavory activity they're attempting at the time.

So, that's the problem... crime, petty and/or otherwise is pretty much WORTH the RISK and double especially when many workers here make about a buck fifty an hour and while others make millions, they're fairly confident the powers that be in Costa Rica will NOT have the resources to mount any kind of REAL offensive against them- Here's a story that's a good EXAMPLE of this.

Me, I don't want much, I just want to drink in the park when I'm so inclined... and I want shark-finning and long-line fishing to STOP and turtle egg poaching, OH, and building code violations to be enforced and it would be nice if they could actually prosecute and put AWAY the really BAADDDD people who do violent crimes but manage to be out in short order for no apparent reason.... did I mention I want to DRINK in the park?

Haha...not really a Pilsen drinker, but sometimes, ANY beer will do. Pura Vida!

*Just noticed, my face looks like Arnold in his 'Terminator' days......I said just the face...hehe.

HOPE 2010 brings YOU all you WANT and MORE....HAPPY NEW YEAR!

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!