gallo pinto in Santa Teresa
Sunday, February 3 2019
location: room at the Raratonga Hotel, Santa Teresa Beach, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
I've been getting up early every morning here in Costa Rica, and this morning was no different. I went out to the balcony with my work laptop and a cup of coffee and it was magical (more so in my memory than it felt at the time). Later, after Gretchen got up, we drove to Green World Store, a nearby healthfood store, in hopes of finding things we'd been unable to find at the supermarkets. The pickings there were a little thin. They had some good cashew cheese and produce that didn't look so sad (we got lettuce, jalapeño peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and two different species of mushrooms). But they didn't any any tofu other than the kind that comes in cans. And it was looking like we were going to have to give up on seeing tempeh until we returned to Hurley.
Returning to Raratonga, we ducked into Soda Tiquicia, a nearby "soda" (traditional Costa Rican restaurant) a couple doors down. The only other people there were ticos, and there was a big screen showing a soccer match (between two local teams in Spain). People were mostly eating gallo pinto (a rice & beans combo) with scrambled eggs. We, of course, ordered our gallo pinto with other things (a side of beans for both of us and avocado, patacones pancakes, and mixed vegetables for me). It took a rather long time to prepare, but when it came out it was beautiful (and, importantly, correct). As you might imagine, that was a lot of food for me, though I somehow managed to eat all of except for the side of beans, which I added to Gretchen's when she made much of hers boxed up after the meal.
After checking out, it was time to drive back to Montezuma. This time we took roads that went through the interior of the Nicoya Peninsula, and they were terrible. It was the usual mix of problems: dirt roads with washboard patterns, short stretched of paved road riddled with deep axle-breaking potholes, and surfaces with edges chomped away on the edge of precipices or when crossing bridges. We encountered one glorious stretch of brand new asphalt as we approached Cobano, but it didn't last long.
This evening Gretchen complained that the infection in one of her ears had spread to her face and there was now a nodule (or lump) just in front of her ear (I felt it). This worried me; any infection spreading beyond its source is trouble, particularly in a place where it's not easy to scare up a course of antibiotics. So I suggested Gretchen use hot packs (rags soaked in hot water) on her ear. That was another home medical procedure from my youth that I remember being effective, particularly against ear aches.
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