Friday, December 24, 2010

Why Can't our Dog be a COW

So sad today. Our little chihuahua, Pincho, has parvo. Initially, his symptoms seemed to point to an intestinal blockage or bowel obstruction of some kind, BUT yesterday he had the unmistakable signs of parvo and if you know anything about it, parvo is not pretty... and that SMELL! And yes, he had had his shots if you're wondering, so we're not sure how he got it. Hopefully, the shots at least gave his tiny immune system a few antibodies to help in the FIGHT!

The vet in our tiny, tourist town is more at ease treating cows and horses and his bed side manner, or lack thereof, was not helpful. Pincho was so frightened and again, watching a tiny little dog scared shitless is just, well, sad. OH, and of course it being the holidays and all, we're on our own in trying to nurse him back...

Don't want to drone on and dampen anyone's festive mood, but we sure would appreciate some positive ENERGY sent our way. thanx.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why wouldn't they STEAL your STUFF in Costa Rica?

They steal YOUR stuff in Costa Rica but they don't steal MINE.

It's really quite simple, they steal your stuff in Costa Rica because they CAN- that's it.

The 'flat tire' scam perpetuated against unaware tourists visiting Costa Rica is the BEST example of my viewpoint regarding this overblown, media hyped issue.

Ironically, just knowing about the 'flat tire' scam makes it virtually impossible for the thugs to pull it off. HELLO! Don't pull over. (Watch the VIDEO below if you don't know what I'm talking about).

Well guess what? Almost nothing to do with theft of personal belongings has to happen during your visit to Costa Rica.

It's not my intention to tell you how to avoid theft while in Costa Rica, that INFO is EVERYWHERE on our sites and in our videos, so feel free to graze. But it is my intention to call 'Party Foul' on the whiners and complainers out there who have had their stuff taken and BITCH and MOAN about how crime is out of control in Costa Rica because they had a "bad experience." Some crime is unavoidable, wrong place, wrong time, I get it, but 97% of the time it is avoidable, if you did your homework prior to visiting here that is. If not, yeah, stuff can get stolen, but really, who's fault is that? How stupid are you to come to a foreign country and not do a little homework first. In this case, STUPID is because STUPID doesn't.

Now don't take this out of context. I'm not talking about the folks who get their stuff stolen and accept a percentage of responsibility for their irresponsibility. I'm talking about the 'fucks' who get their stuff stolen and place the blame solely on Costa Rica and then tell their sad story to everyone and anyone who will listen, which just might make them appear MORE stupid.

My hope is that more Costa Rica bloggers, expats and others who care about tourism here will get the WORD out that Costa Rica is still a SAFE place to travel as long as you pack a little common sense along with your hiking shoes. Also, confront the 'repeaters' who are bad-mouthing Costa Rica perpetuating and over-blowing the issue of crime on the forums, message boards and in blogs etc.

Oh,for the record and as they relate to crime- owning a home and LIVING in Costa Rica are different than visiting Costa Rica because the truth is, many people who own homes here have been broken into, especially around beach towns.

Here's my video about the 'flat tire' scam and a message to the people that fall for it:

Make your own video or EMBED this one somewhere, we need to FIGHT back.

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 ENjoY!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Prefer My Police CORRUPT

"The police in Costa Rica are corrupt." "All the policemen in Costa Rica accept bribes and are on the 'take'." What?

They say if you repeat things often enough over time they become true whether they are or NOT. Unfortunately, the ones doing the 'repeating' are usually doing just that, repeating, and don't normally have the first clue as to the validity of what they're repeating.

Corruption has many levels, and the reasons of 'why' can be somewhat complex to say the least. The sole purpose of this post is to offer some perspective to the 'would be' traveler about the so-called 'corruption' they'd be most likely to encounter during their visit to Costa Rica, that is, if you call giving a cop $100 bucks vs. paying a $400 ticket- corruption. I'd call that a discount, but that's me.

I truly believe their is a difference between a police officer accepting $50 bucks or so for letting a 'speeder' go and looking the other way as a truckload of cocaine rolls into the neighborhood.

Police in Costa Rica don't get paid SHIT, which is the MAJOR reason they let the speeder go, after the discount that is. It's easy money, and really, a win-win situation for all involved. If you were putting your life on the line for minimum wage or close to it, I think this would be much easier to understand. These people have families and mouths to feed, which isn't an excuse since obviously they chose the profession, but come on, pickin' up a few extra bucks from gringo tourists who ARE speeding- call me 'crooked' but I get it. Sometimes being the kid in the candy store is just a little too hard to resist. *If you don't understand this, you're either a Republican or your dad owned a candy store, or even more likely, BOTH.

Costa Rica in general is perceived as a corrupt country because of the entire 'bribe the traffic cop' thing and obviously there is truth to that. But what isn't true is the cops in Costa Rica will shake you down and take your money. Don't get me wrong, that has happened and on occasion probably still does, but with the onset of technology, better training, a little more money and an effort by the police to curb the problem, this type of strong-arm intimidation/extortion, is slowly becoming the exception rather than the rule of old. They try that shit now and there's recourse just like you would have in the States. Here's an example of Costa Rica cops demanding money at a checkpoint outside Jaco. Costa Rica isn't Mexico, or at least the Mexico you often hear about. And really, let's not throw too many stones here, the U.S. definitely has its share of 'bad cop' syndrome.

Me, I've had numerous interactions with police here and have never been asked for money or given it. They've always been professional with me... because believe you me, if they hadn't, you'd have heard about it. BUT, if I was speeding and was stopped, I'd be ecstatic to be offered a a more timely and cost effective alternative, because right now, FINES are high and I WAS speeding for Christ sake. I'd much rather provide for a police officer and his or her family than the bureaucrats and theirs.

Really, this is my point-
When you get pulled over by the highway patrol going 100mph from LA to Vegas, I got a million bucks says you wish you'd been pulled over in Costa Rica...haha
Here's my VIDEO about Police Corruption in Costa Rica:

A couple things to keep in mind-

*If you get stopped, be careful about offering a 'gift'- it is against the law and it's a hefty fine. You may want to wait until the officer offers a solution to your problem FIRST.

*They can chase you in Costa Rica but normally you'll run into a check-point or they already 'caught you' and you'll be motioned to pull over. This is rarely done by one cop, where there's one, there's 5.

*Most of the new driving laws are enforced in and around San Jose, not so much in the little towns. It's normal to see 3 people on a motorcycle w/out helmets or a baby without a car seat in villages and towns scattered around the country.

*It is true they're more apt to target gringos.

*Don't try to skip out on paying a ticket, Costa Rica and rental car companies aren't stupid, you will bet BURNED.

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 ENjoY!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

a WARNING about Baldi Hot Springs

The slides at Baldi Hot Springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica are NOTORIOUS for causing injuries. Seriously, NO JOKE, the slides at Baldi Hot Springs can F**K you UP.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE going to Baldi Hot Springs, but I don't go down the slides- I learned that lesson years ago. Of course even if you would have warned me of the danger back 5 years ago, I would have still gone down them. Yup, I'm the guy who just has to touch the stove... I mean you practically dared me, right?

Like I said, we knew the slides had been dangerous awhile back, but when we revised our Baldi Video we had been led to believe they had fixed the problem. Plus, all the guys and girls in the VIDEO (below) had also told us they were WAY COOL- no problem, so we left the 'WARNING' out of the video. F in' kids, what do they know?

Last night, our friend, well, a new friend, broke his clavicle bone going down one of the slides, cutting his vacation 3 days short. He was slated to whitewater raft today before finishing up his trip in Puerto Viejo, obviously a broken clavicle isn't going to cut a rafting excursion. Talk about a vacation BUZZ KILL.

Today we're revising a few posts and videos on our sites about the potential dangers of the Baldi slides. We pretty much NOW know this is not an isolated occurrence, if he broke a bone, I can only imagine all the cuts, scraps and bruises...

So, consider yourself WARNED. Funny, I have this strong urge to go to Baldi tonight, drink a few beers and go headfirst down the slides... after all, maybe my new friend is just a pussy.

Here's our REVISED Baldi Hot Springs VIDEO:

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 ENjoY!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Friends are the BEST part

Pablo and Ronnie from San Francisco- what a fun night, muchas gracias.
What can I say, doin' what we do is just, well, GREAT! We travel all around Costa Rica and have the unique opportunity to experience a LOT of really C-O-O-L stuff. Places like the Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo or La Paz Waterfall Gardens or walking around San Jose with Barrio Bird Walking Tours. And, we get to stay in some really nice hotels like Gaia Hotel and Reserve in Manuel Antonio or experience the backpacker way of life in hostels like Tranquilo Backpackers in San Jose. We love what we do, and wouldn't trade it for the world.

In deep conversation during HAPPY HOUR at Koki Beach in Puerto Viejo. We had a GREAT week with David and Mindy.

But, just as great, if not greatER, is meeting you GUYS. The one's who watch our videos and read our stuff, the one's who take time to e-mail us with questions and feedback, and especially those of you who come to La Fortuna and want to HANg- we LOVE you guys most of ALL and honestly, it never gets old, on the contrary, we jump at the chance each and every time... so if you're in the La Fortuna, Costa Rica area, don't hesitate... we have forged some great relationships this way... Garick and Stephanie come to mind, among many others.

So, just wanted to say THANX, we SOoooooo appreciate the fact you take a little time out of your vacation to chill awhile with us.... we're truly humbled.

Besos y abrazos from michael alan & D'Angelo.

Everywhere we go, new and interesting people... LIFE is good and we have you guys to THANK.

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 ENjoY!