Fun at the Costa Esmeralda!

Monte Gordo Travel Blog

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Campground office where dinner held

11.15.2008    Costa Esmeralda


What a terrific day!  It was so nice to have downtime to sleep, visit with fellow RV’ers, and get some work done.


The weather was interesting- a cold front blew through!  After a sunny morning, the wind gusted to about 40 mph and the waves crashed to shore- finally we had some bitterly cold rain this afternoon and it was freezing by tonight.  In fact, we have the heat on now in the RV.  So that was a little odd weather-wise, but we still had a great time because of the people here.

Antonio's Son prepares the dinner dishes- note Louis, the parrot, behind him


First, we talked with Dalaina, our RV friend from the Creel Azul hotel campground.  She (& her husband Roy) was the one who told us of this Costa Emeralda campground and arrived here first.  She also said that she saw the police on the side of the road south of Poza Rica (where they’d stopped us) and wanted to *practice her Spanish* so she insisted that Roy stop so she could talk to them!  Naively, she gave them 50 pesos “for sodas” because she thought they must be thirsty- they did mention the soda money to her- and she wanted to help them out.  I laughed and asked her to never do that again- those of us following her didn’t want that example to follow.  J  I had read ahead of time that “money for sodas” is a phrase often used when attempting to extract a bribe, but she learned the hard way.

Mike at dinner eating delicious spicy crabs
  We had a good laugh over that- she was a good sport.  They are staying here for at least a week until they head south.  Unfortunately, I hear she’s not feeling well tonight.


Then new German friends, Jutta and Huberto, shared all about the roads and camping sites through Costa Rica, since they had just arrived from the south.  I gave them details on the roads to Ciudad Victoria, the bypasses, and Rosie’s printed directions to follow to her campground. 


Then we made color copies of their licenses on my copier and laminated them- very convenient!  Jazy made copies of the “police report” that Rosie gave us- you can use it to record details of a traffic stop, including the officer’s badge number and a picture of them if needed, and distributed those.

Campground dinner
  Huberto was pulled over in Nicaragua when he had to swerve over a double line to avoid an accident with another driver.  The officer held his license for 45 minutes, refusing to settle the matter there with payment (very honest), and finally declared that he was Huberto’s “friend” and let them go.  I also helped Mike out with his license copy since he has had to pay $200 U.S. to retrieve his license before.  Police will give you the ticket and tell you to come back the next day to the police station to get your license and pay your fine.  However, if it is the weekend, you are out of luck until Monday.  A license copy is simple protection.


We were sad to see them head north so soon after meeting, but they gave us their address for Germany, if we’re nearby in the spring.

Campground dinner with cold hostess and others, incl. Charles
  They are possibly going to South America next.  They tried to get there this trip, but the one woman who arranges shipping south from Panama was not answering her phone- now that is a business that is sorely lacking, let me tell you- shipping between Panama and S.America.  I hear the banana boats only ship in the northly direction.  Several people I’ve met have not been able to continue south because they cannot get shipping for their rigs.  There is no longer a ferry shipping rigs and the road (CA-1) does not continue between Panama and Columbia.  Or Jutta and Huberto may be in Australia.  But they did say their daughter would be there and would love to meet us- we can park on their property by their two horses- I know Lia, the horse-lover, would love that!


Then Mike kindly drove us a few kilometers down the road to Casasitas, the little village nearby.  We passed some cafes and restaurants, then visited his friends’ laundry service (the only one in town) where we paid about $17 U.S. to get 9 kg of laundry done for us.  Mike said we can retrieve it with him around noon tomorrow, since he’s going back anyway.  We think that is terrific!  Consider how much you’d pay for washing machines and it is not a bad deal given all the towels and clothes that we need cleaned. 


We also stopped by the cash machine at the Pemex.  We’re stocked now for everyday needs and for emergency needs with pesos. You just never know when the old bank card stops working, or the Pemex requires cash for gas, or you cannot find a bank machine that works, or some emergency requires cash only- traveling without cash is risky business and I’d rather risk losing it than not having cash when needed.


Then we returned in time for dinner at the campground. That’s right!  Our campground owner threw a dinner for all of us at the campground- a gift!  Isn’t that wonderful?  There are about 7 rigs here now and we all gathered at 5 pm at the concrete office. There were plastic tables in the room with a breeze blowing through the concrete windows- they are used to terrific weather here and tonight’s cold was unusual. 


But the weather did not spoil the occasion!  It was a delightful, delicious and authentic Mexican meal with fried fish, rice, black beans, fresh salsa, fresh warm tortillas, spicy crabs, potatoes, salad with tomatoes, avocado, radishes, and lettuce.  We are stuffed!  They had melon, mango, and lemon flavored water and it was a veritable feast.  Each person’s plate was served up, all were set on the table, and we were bid to eat as our hostess, her son and mother joined us.  It was delightful!  We helped a little in the beginning and cleaned up at the end.  I took some vegetable seeds initially for our hostess, but feel like that was not nearly enough of a gift.  I’ll have to think of something else to express our gratitude.


While it became bitterly cold during dinner, there was a warm spirit in the air.  We have guests from Michigan, about 5 couples from Canada, a world-traveler from France who was in Hyder when we were (he works for the World Wildlife Federation and shipped his rig from Korea), and then our nice next door neighbors from Florida, and Mike from NH who works here at the campground.  It is a really nice group of travelers and we are blessed to experience it here in tropical and chilly Mexico!



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Campground office where dinner held
Campground office where dinner held
Antonios Son prepares the dinner …
Antonio's Son prepares the dinner…
Mike at dinner eating delicious sp…
Mike at dinner eating delicious s…
Campground dinner
Campground dinner
Campground dinner with cold hostes…
Campground dinner with cold hoste…
Monte Gordo
photo by: TessaHill