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In This Issue:

1. Broken News: 1. Meteorite Shower; 2. Costa Rica's First Lady Honored; 3. Latin Updates (Venezuela, Nicaragua, Panama); 4. President Pained by Penectomies; 5. The New Trains Are Coming; 6. Futbol News - Keylor Navas Out; 7. American Girl Wins Rip Curl GromSearch Meet.

2. Rumble and Weather Talk: 1. Parrita and Canoas Shakers; 2. Moderate Rainy Season So Far, Begins Early.

3. Feature 1: Profiles in Quepos Series: Evelina Bolognini (Helping Others Help Themselves)

4. ¿Que Es Eso? Department: When Did the Sun Turn Green?

5.Feature 2: The Darien Gap (As Dangerous As Immigration Can Get)

6. Health Stuff: Inquiring Minds Want to Know; Under the Bug Net

7. GGC Bookshelf and More: Books from GGC Publications, Golden Gringo T-Shirts and Coffee Mugs as Well as Suggested Books from the Quepos-Manuel Antonio Writers Group.

8. What's-in-a-Word: Answer to ¿Que es Eso?;Etymology of Emigre.

9. ROMEO Corner: Cafe Cuba Libre, Manuel Antonio



Wisdom of the Ages


There is no holiday in June in Costa Rica so we'll just have to celebrate our biodiversity once more; take some of our fine feathered friends for example:


Scarlet Macaws Blue-Crowned Mot-mot Resplendent Quetzal


¡Felicidades Amigos!

Broken News
(All the News That's Fit to Reprint)

Meteorite Shower in San Carlos

1 - Flash in the Night 2 - Hole in the Roof 3 - Meteorite


On Tuesday night, April 23 several reports were registered of a blue/green flash in the night over Alejuela province just west of the capital San Jose (photo #1). The light was so bright that it illuminated the Poas and Turrialba volcanoes. Shortly thereafter a woman in the small town of Aguas Zarcas de San Carlos, about 60 km northwest of the capital San Jose, was terrified when a large rock plummeted through her roof (photo #2) with a sound like a deafening explosion and causing minor damage to a few of her household items. A UCR (University of Costa Rica) Planetarium astronomer confirmed that the rock was indeed a meteorite (photo #3).


One of the more famous meteorites in Costa Rica recorded history happened in 1857 in Heredia just outside of San José. That one, as well as the latest one, are described as the "chrondrite" type, that is, they are a stony, non-metallic material that is believed to have been formed from the accretion of dust in the early stages of the universe.


Good news: There were no reports of alien sightings in the country during the meteor shower except for a few suspicious creatures lurking about in the bars in Manuel Antonio.


Costa Rica's First Lady Honored


Sra. Dobles & Hubby - Presidente Alvarado

Costa Rica's first lady, Claudia Dobles was recently listed in Fortune Magazine's top 50 World's Greatest Leaders. She was number 15 behind personalities like Bill and Melinda Gates and special counsel Robert Mueller (probably selected before the report was published).


Sra. Dobles was not only helpful in getting her husband, Carlos Alvarado, elected president in 2018 but is heading an effort to replace the antiquated bus and train system in the GMA (Grand Metropolitan Area, otherwise known as the Central Valley) with modern electric trains (article below). She had been a qualified architect and urban planner before becoming First Lady.


Don't forget the monorail system option Señora; that would go a long way to relieving the street congestion in the GAM, more so than a surface-based system, and it's electric. Just a suggestion muchacha.


Congratulations Señora on your recognition.


Latin Updates (Venezuela, Nicaragua, Panama)


Venezuela. The chaos continues with Maduro seemingly in control only because of the backing of the army, an army recently characterized by U.S. authorities as "terroristic".


By mid-May Maduro had closed the border crossings into Colombia once more making it extremely difficult for Venezuelans to cross daily into Colombia to seek food and work. Some chose to wade across the swollen river or through the bogs and swamps to get across. (the photo left is of one of the major border points with Colombia at a town called Cúcuta).


A few months ago Maduro closed land and sea routes to Brazil and Colombia as well as sea routes to the nearby Dutch islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao mainly because all these routes were used to try and force entry of international shipments of disaster relief and medical aid.


Also during the month Vice-President of the National Assembly Edgar Zambrano, a deputy of Interim President Juan Guido, was arrested and sent to a military prison. Both Russia and Cuba have reinforced their military garrisons there. The saga continues.


Last of the Paper?

Nicaragua. The Chronicles first reported in February that a tactic was being used by President Ortega's government to control the press, particularly La Prensa, the largest newspaper publisher in Nicaragua.


You simply impound newsprint and ink and that will control the press. Recent reports on this subject state that the paper is running out of raw material stock at La Prensa even including expensive paper that is not usually used daily. There may be only about two months supply of newsprint left. That will stop the bad press; in fact it will stop all the presses.


As if the newspaper embargo wasn't enough, La Prensa also suffered a cyber attack on May 3 which happened to be World Press Day, probably not a coincidental occurrence. The paper's computer system was flooded with 11,000 requests per second but they managed to ward off the attack. The newspaper laughed it off in their editorial noting that the acronym for such an attack is DDOS (distributed denial of service) but suggested that in Nicaragua it really means “De [from] Daniel Ortega Saavedra.” Ortega, of course, is the recalcitrant president of Nicaragua who is clinging on to power with the support of the army, much like his counterpart Maduro in Venezuela.

President-Elect Cortizo and First Lady Yazmin

Panama. Meanwhile down in Panama a peaceful election produced a new president, one Señor Laurentino Cortizo of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) who is described by observers as left leaning. Like in many Latin and other countries a large number of candidates may run from a variety of political parties and in this case there were ten qualifying candidates competing for president.


There is no provision for a runoff in the Panama presidential election so whoever gets the most votes wins. In this case Señor Cortizo garnered 33% of the vote and his nearest rival, one Romulo Roux received 31%, the other eight candidates splitting the balance. The Panama Electoral Tribunal declared Cortizo the winner with no recount necessary even though Sr. Roux stated that the results were too close and that there were "irregularities" in the election.


President Pained by Penectomies


(I can't resist creating headlines like this; mea maxima culpa amigos)


Not the president of Costa Rica, nor the one in the U.S., but in Brazil. A Reuters press release stated that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaros, who is only a few months on the job, was distressed to find out the following and announced it: "In Brazil, we have 1,000 penis amputations a year due to a lack of water and soap. We have to find a way to get out of the bottom of this hole.” (You can't make this stuff up amigos!)


The Brazilian Urology Society confirmed the number of penectomies but pointed out that many amputations were necessitated by un-treatable infections along with cancers and complications from HIV.


Actually GG is not sure how abnormal this rate is as it translates to just about .5 instances per hundred thousand of population or 1 per 100,000 men (population of Brazil is 209 million). GG couldn't find data on the U.S. rate but I did see numbers like .7 to .9 for Europe. On the other hand the murder (homicide) rate in Brazil is 30-35 per 100,000 population putting Brazil in the top 20 of countries in murder rate (Brazil #12, Costa Rica #35, U.S.A. #90 of 230 total).


Although I personally would consider a penectomy the unkindest cut of all, and while it's always a good idea to promote good hygiene using soap and water, I think Señor Presidente Bolsonaros has bigger problems to deal with than prevention of penectomies.


The New Trains


The Old Trains and...
The New Trains

The Costa Rican government owned passenger train company (INCOFER - Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles), recently published a preview of what the new electric trains will look like. The monopoly gave a $33 million purchase order last December to CRRC Quingdao Sigang Co., Ltd. of China for the eight trains, each of which has a rated capacity of 372 people. Aw c'mon amigos we can do better than that, just take a look left at how we can improve the load factor even in the old cars - top photo left.


The new trains are definitely an improvement but the GG dude doesn't see how it will help with street level congestion as the new trains all run at street level and, oh yeah, the contact between trains and other transportation devices has not been exemplary (see train rules).


Monorails amigos; it's the way to go. They avoid congestive interaction with street vehicles and thereby can transport at rates at an order of magnitude higher than ground trains. They take up less footprint as the space between support towers can be used for other purposes.


Sao Paulo, Brazil

The future for urban people transport is monorails. As examples, check out some of the earliest experiences like Disneyland and Disney World which were originally planned as park attractions (and they became very popular) but which now have been proven out as economical people carriers.


Or Check out some of the projects around the world. Sao Paulo Brazil (population 12 million) is a particularly good model. When they finish their current project of adding over 100 km of monorail

to their system in three spur lines, one of those lines will be "the largest and highest capacity monorail system in the world, designed to transport 48,000 pphpd (I presume that stands for people per hour per day but I'm not sure)... and will reduce end-to-end travel time from the current two hours to just 50 minutes with up to 500,000 riders daily".


Dude, that's Pura Vida!


Futbol News - Keylor Navas Out


Press reports first came out in early May that Keylor Navas, a star of the very successful Reál Madrid team and Costa Rican native was up for sale. Then, towards the end of the month, that he was being released and is up for sale.


What? The best known international futboller name in the sport from Costa Rica , a dude who has been in the goal through many Reál Madrid victories and titles, is being let go from Real Madrid? Wow. This after signing a new contract in February raising his annual salary (not counting endorsements) to $5.7 million per year. One press report I saw noted that Navas "won three Champions League titles with the team, a Spanish League title, a Spanish Supercup, three UEFA Super Cups and was named the best goalkeeper of the 2017-2018 season of Champions". Not bad for a flunky.


And what about all those babies born in Costa Rica in the last two years that were named Keylor. I guess it will make a good bedtime story when they get older.


Don't feel sorry for Keylor; rumors and reports have it that Manchester United (Britain) and PSG (Paris-Saint Germain) are interested in him. Go Keylor.


American Girl Wins Rip Curl GromSearch Meet 


Playa Hermosa - now that's a curl.

When I read the name of that surfing tournament I couldn't help but wonder: "What the hell is a GromSearch?" I found the answer buried in the Internet:


"The worldwide series is held for male and female surfers aged 16 years and under, commonly referred to as “groms”, with the aim of the GromSearch is to nurture and recruit the next generation of surfers at a grassroots level." Gotcha.


The tournament this year was on Playa Hermosa which, as the name implies is a long, beautiful stretch of Pacific beach just south of Jacó or about 50 km north of Quepos. If you drive south from Jacó along the beach road after a few miles you'll come around a bend and suddenly see the entire beach running about two miles in front of you. THat scene always gave me a thrill and a feeling that I was coming home.


Caitlin "Shredding" a Wave

The girl who took first place in the tournament is Caitlin Simmers, a 13-year old (thirteen!) from Oceanside, California who is a seventh grader and the daughter of an electrician and a hospice nurse. She tries to surf daily and has an assortment of wetsuits she wears when home because the water is chilly in Oceanside. She didn't have that problem in Costa Rica.


Caitlin Simmers

Notoriety is not new to Caitlin as she was recently named a finalist in Sports Illustrated Kids’ “Sports Kid of the Year.” At the age of 13 she can compete for three years more in the Rip Curl but will then no longer be a "grom" and will have to move on. Somehow I think she'll be seen in the next age category in surfing competition.


Congratulations Caitlin, buen trabajo senorita!


¡Solo Bueno!



Rumble and Weather Talk


Parrita and Canoas Shakers


GG was in his office (bedroom) at 7:00 PM on Sunday, May 12 when the whole damn room began to shake. Having been in a number of terremotos or earthquakes here over the last ten years I realized on the uptake that it was an earthquake. After the shaking stopped I fired up the puter and went to the USGS website (link for that is below) and saw a 6.1 magnitude tremor had been registered with an epicenter near Paso Canoas on the Panamanian border.


But on second look I saw the time of the shaker was 1:24 PM. How could that be? I didn't remember feeling anything at that time ... maybe the distance (160km/100mi surface distance) and the fact that I may have been on a bus at that time. Then I realized that there may have been two earthquakes and, sure enough, within a half hour the USGS was posting a second shaker, the one I felt. Local press described it this way:


"...6.1 magnitude earthquake shook Costa Rica the afternoon of this Sunday, May 12 at 1:24 p.m., its epicenter was in the South Zone of the country in Corredores, Puntarenas near the Panama boarder; this first movement was followed by several replicas with magnitudes of between 3.0 and 3.9; another important earthquake was registered at 7:01 p.m with a magnitude of 4.8 on Tichter scale, this one with epicenter to the North of Parrita, Puntarenas."


So what I felt was simply an aftershock but It sure as hell felt like the main event. The whole building shook enough to tell me this was a fairly serious rumble. The good news is it didn't last long; my estimate was four to five seconds from beginning to build to the apex and then through the denouement. Contrasting that with the 30-40 second, 7.6 biggie that I was in the middle of in 2012, this one was a gentle rumble. A 4.8 close to home (8 km north of Parrita or about 30km above Quepos) can feel stronger than a 6.1, 100 km away.


The U.S. Geodetic Survey reported that the Parrita quake was at a depth of 19 km which is relatively shallow. The 7.6 biggie was at a depth 41 km; the closeness to the surface (19 km) and the horizontal distance one is from it defines the triangle the hypotenuse of which is the true distance from someone feeling it. (Sr. Mary Augustas would be happy that I still remember some algebra)


Weather Wise


A few months ago the weather wizards were forecasting that the rainy season would start late. I took that to mean mid-June as mid-May is the typical start? Instead, it started early (mid-April) and by mid-May we were receiving fairly frequent but gentle showers. By the end of May we were getting some truly rainy season rains and forecasts for heavy rains soon to come.


So much for weather forecasting. Let's just hope we don't get a return of the 2010 situation.


¡Pura Vida!

Check Out Recent Earthquakes Around the World Posted by the U.S. Geodetic Survey: Recent Quakes


Search the Golden Gringo Chronicles Archives for Topics That Interest You


You can use our Archives to search for anything that has been written in more than 260 feature articles of the Golden Gringo Chronicles plus find Broken News items and ROMEO restaurant reviews. Enter your topic or item to search in the Google Search Routine below and follow the links offered from the search results. Suggestion: Enter only a simple, precise and unique as possible keyword or

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Profiles in Quepos Series

Evelina Bolognini
(Helping Others Help Themselves)

If you've read the Chronicles over the last three months you know that GG has been suffering some ailments, namely a bout with pneumonia followed by a renewed bout with sciatica. The pneumonia is essentially gone (many thanks to my medical doctor, (Señor Doctor Fallas) but the sciatica continues to hold on. This problem is a resumption an old ailment that resulted from a couple of bad falls on ice in Pennsylvania I had back in the 1970's.


In early March my doctor gave me a reference to the physical therapy department at the hospital here to help with the sciatica (I had used that department successfully a couple of years ago) but the earliest appointment I could get was for May 28 (sciatic pain is not a high priority to the health service, just to me). My doc suggested I could try a private therapist in the meantime and, as one thing lead to another, I ended up making a series of appointments with Evelina.


Evelina Bolognini

I learned that Evelina comes from Trento, Italy, a town in northern Italy about 150 km as the crow flies from the Swiss and Austrian borders. Evelina moved to Costa Rica in 1993 and has been here ever since. She has some family here, a sister with two children. She also has a life partner, Emilio - yes, you guessed it, the proprietor of the famous restaurant by the same name, Emilio's Cafe. Rumors have it that there is a merger forthcoming with a wedding planned for this September.


Evelina and Emilio

Having been here 26 years and practicing her trade most of that time, Evelina has garnered a number of certificates which include Massage Therapist, Pilates Instructor, Cranial-Sacral Therapy and Diagnostico Energetico Integral (D.E.I.). She also is a fan of the Somato Awareness System that espouses certain types of exercises and body massage. In essence Evelina has become a teacher in body-health maintenance.


When I asked Evelina what her philosophy concerning her work is, she quickly answered: "To get the client to become aware of their own body and to engage it in healing itself." In short: "To have the client reconnect with their body". Sometimes this is not easy as misuse of one's body can lead to depression, dependency and even addiction. So, very often, the job becomes overcoming attitudes by gaining the client's cooperation. Part of Evelina's philosophy also is: "If you help me do my job well, you won't need me later."


Evelina Working

In addition to her professional performance GG experienced two things in working with Evelina that impressed me. Sometime during the first or second meeting I whined that "It wasn't enough to get pneumonia but I also had to get sciatica back." (Poor Bobby) "I'm not surprised says she." "What?" says I. She then pulled out a diagram of the human diaphragm (say that fives times fast if you can) and showed me how the nerves at the bottom of the diaphragm lead into the bundle along with the sciatic nerve. The sciatica is caused by an extension of the disc ("slipped disc") pushing against the sciatic nerve; the disc extension in turn was caused by the hacking and coughing from the pneumonia. Howboutdat?


The second time that I was impressed by Evelina it had to do with food. Evelina early on suggested that I see a nutritionist. She said it again later and I said nothing. Then I blew her off saying if I needed to lose weight I knew how to do that (I'm an old Atkins graduate). Eventually she became adamant about the nutritionist so I relented and am now finishing a two-week diet designed to lose the rubber tire around my mid-section and rebalance nutrients I receive to aid as an anti-flammatory. The leg is improved athough not yet back to normal.


The nutritionist measured every part of my body except the personal areas, calculated my body-mass index and % body fat, then pumped out of his computer a diet plan (read starvation plan using plain, boring food). The menu calls for a fixed breakfast, lunch and dinner, the same every day for two weeks. Of course the food involved is also designed to rebalance the nutrients that nourish the spine and reduce inflammation of the nerve. We'll see. I'm nearing the completion of the two-week trial and I can't wait to see the results (BMI and % body fat), as well as the possibility of eating something else.


On her time off, Evelina has an interest in hiking. Her second interest is traveling and she has been to a number of places including Italy, Greece, France, Austria and Spain. At this writing she was planning a trip to Antigua, Guatemala. She also loves, as many people do here, a simple, long walk on Manuel Antonio Beach with her dog Lola. Evelina claims Lola is Argentine but I didn't get to check Lola's passport so I can't confirm that.


Evelina is a credit to the community and I enjoy working with her.


¡Solo Bueno!


¿Que es Eso? Department (¿What is That?)



Is this the meteorite flash recently seen in Alejuela and reported above?


Is that really a sunset?


When did the sun turn green?


Answer in

section below.


¡Pura Vida!


The Darien Gap
(As Dangerous As Immigration Can Get)


The daily news of the immigration crisis in the Americas tends to focus on Mexico and the so-called "triangle countries" of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The trip is dangerous and fraught with opportunities for robbery and rape.


The Darien Gap

But there is another route used by some emigres that starts in southern Panama and is just as dangerous as any part of the pilgrimage trail in the upper countries and maybe more so. This route passes though some of the swampiest Central American jungle in the Americas. And there is no road that will safely accommodate vehicles.


The name of this natural treasure (disaster?) is the Darien Gap and it's located in the southern part of Panama bordering Colombia (map left). The area enjoys the distinction of being the only place in the Americas where the Pan American Highway, which runs some 30,000 km from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of Argentina, stops.. The terminus of the PAH at the Darien Gap is at a town called Yaviza and begins again at a town in Colombia called Turbo. That's only about 100km/60miles as the crow flies but being a bird is about the best way to get there.


Shouldda Taken the Ferry

There is no road through the gap. People driving the Pan American will typically take a ferry from Panama around the gap and take up the PAH again at Turbo. There have been some notable and successful excursions through the gap, chiefly military explorations or hearty individuals with strong off-road vehicles but it is a hostile environment for the average hiker.


The first crossing of the GAP was in 1928 by two military Brazilians and a mechanic who were trying to promote the PAH by driving two Model T Fords up the highway. They arrived in the U.S. in 1938 and were met by Henry Ford and President Roosevelt. In the sixties a group of three Chevrolet Corvairs sponsored by Chevrolet tried crossing it - two made it but one had to be abandoned in the jungle.


Not A Sunday Walk

So this is not a route easily taken, either by foot or motorized vehicle. Yet, in the last few years it has become a major route for emigres. Most of these are coming from places like Haiti and African countries.


The emigres get transported into Colombia or, in some cases, they make intermediate stops for a year or two in other Latin American countries like Ecuador (which has lax immigration Laws) to earn enough money to pay for their ongoing transportation and to pay guides (coyotes) to show them the way north where they join the stream of Central American emigres headed for the U.S.


Emigres at Panamanian Vaccination Station

The fording of the Gap by way of connecting the two ends of the Pan American Highway by a new road has been a subject of discussion for many years. Because of the nature of the place, construction of a road is hazardous and very expensive. Nevertheless, planning for a new highway began in 1971 only to be stopped in 1974 because of concerns raised by environmentalists.


Another plan was developed in 1992 but ran counter to a United Nations agency that projected it would cause extensive environmental damage. "Reasons for opposition include protecting the rain forest, containing the spread of tropical diseases, protecting the livelihood of indigenous peoples in the area, preventing drug trafficking and its associated violence, and preventing foot-and-mouth disease from entering North America."


Emigres Emerging from the Darien Gap

In the meantime, a substantial number of emigres continue to regularly cross the Gap at high risk. Said one 26-year old emigre: "The way was very dangerous ... I thought my son was going to be lost. I saw scenes of death."


Panamanian border authorities have counted over 7,300 emigres through the GAP in the first three and a half months of 2019. They are on track to much exceed the total for 2018 (7,678) and may approach or exceed the record set in 2015-2016 of some 60,000 crossings. At that time the crisis was an exodus that "... prompted governments to temporarily close borders in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua". 


New options are being proposed: "... a short ferry link from Colombia to a new ferry port in Panama, with an extension of the existing Panama highway that would complete the highway without violating these environmental concerns. Another idea is to use a combination of bridges and tunnels to avoid the environmentally sensitive regions."


After nearly a hundred years of trying to find a way to build across this part of the world, and after the new threat of mass migration proves how deadly it is, we should be able to find an accommodation that works for mankind. Right? We'll see.



For a video look at the perils of crossing the Darien Gap go here (skip ad):



¡Pura Vida!




Health Stuff

Note: The information given in this section is offered as news information only and does not indicate GGC confirmation or denial of the accuracy of the treatment or a recommendation to pursue it, nor can we or do we guarantee the efficacy of the results nor validity of the conclusions proffered. (How's that for a disclaimer amigos?)



Inquiring Minds Want to Know


Because of a sad recent experience in losing two of his siblings to Alzheimer's, GG has been reading a book called Grain Brain that claims a startling relationship between carbohydrates and brain dysfunction, particularly dementia and Alzheimer's. I promised to review the book here in the Chronicles chapter by chapter. Last month we covered the Introduction section. This month we summarize the next chapter which covers Self-Assessment (What Are Your Risk Factors?).


These are the points the book makes in that chapter:

Next month: Chapter One - The Whole Grain Truth


Obesity Problem Grows


Buenas Dias Gordo. Buenas Dias Gorda

One of the problems that a country faces when it becomes more affluent is that the obesity rate (percentage of population) tends to increase dramatically. So do the health problems related to it.


Costa Rica is no exception to this rule and now sports an obesity rate quickly approaching the U.S. rate, the U.S. holding the unenviable position of being the 12th highest obesity rate in the world. Costa Rica scores somewhere in the fifties in ranking of a total of over 200 countries.


The widest acceptable measure of obesity and overweights is the Body Mass Index.


Numbers over 25.0 indicate overweights while those over 30.0 fall into the obesity range. The article referenced above shows you how to calculate BMI but, if you still have an aversion to basic algebra, it also offers you a table where you can backtrack your BMI from your known height in feet and inches and your weight. The bad news: GG (currently weighing 106 kg/233 lbs) has to lose 6 kg or 13 lbs to break the obesity line and 16 kg or 36 lbs to break the overweight line. At this point in my life I'd be happy to meander around the mid-overweight line (199 lbs).


I'm afraid it's not looking good for the trips to POPS for Galactic Treats.


Under the Bug Net


The Ministry of Health and the Directorate of Migration recently announced that they were working on a program to require foreigners to meet the Costa Rican requirement for vaccinations. This was largely prompted by an outbreak of measles recently which hasn't been seen here since 2006. An American missionary family currently residing in the southern Nicoya peninsula area had six of their nine children test positive for measles.


The Costa Rican vaccination program (Esquema Nacional de Vacunas) consists of 17 shots and includes: measles, rubella, mumps, BCG, Hepatitis B, pneumococcus, influenza, tetanus and diphtheria, Hepatitis B, influenza, and even HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) plus five more. It's unlikely that an applying expat will be required to get all the shots but the new law, when it's published, might require proof of having taken certain shots before coming here.


GG is glad he got his cédula under the bug net back in 2012.


¡Pura Vida!




Travel Quote of the Month

¡Solo Bueno!



GGC Bookshelf
(skip section)

drfGGC Publications Group is the parent organization that publishes the Golden Gringo Chronicles as well as a number of books and paraphernalia related to the Chronicles and Costa Rica. The GGC Bookshelf also includes works from a number of other authors that belong to the Quepos-Manuel Antonio Writers Group in which GGC has been a founding member.


Here are the books currently on our bookshelf:


jio uio
The Chronicles as a Narrative

Mariposa - English

Mariposa - Español Small Business Guide
Read More Read More Leer más aquí Read More
Overcoming Drinking Making Time Count Spiritual Love Connection Murder or Suicide?
Read More Read More Read More Read More
There's Room for
More on the QMA Writers Group Bookshelf

Keep Writing Amigos!
Getting Around the Capital Retiring in Costa Rica World War II True Story  
Read More Read More Read More  


All of the above books are available on Amazon.com and the "Read More" links above will lead you to them. You can find more detail on all of them on our GGC Publications Page.

GGC Products Store

GGC Publications also offers some accessories and paraphernalia related to the Chronicles and with Costa Rican themes, to wit:






a. Golden Gringo Chronicles with Logo,

b. Official Golden Gringo with Monkey on Banana Hammock,

c. ¡Quepo en Quepos! ("I Fit In Quepos!") with Photo of Quepos,

d. Wanna Monkey Around? - Come on Down! (shown) with Photo of White Faced Monkey,

e. It's OK to be Slothful with photo of Three-Toed Sloth.


The t-shirts are available in several themes, colors, styles and sizes. See them all HERE.


Coffee Mugs:


a. Golden Gringo, b. Wanna Monkey Around?, c. It's OK to be Slothfulgty

See them all HERE:

What's life without a great cup of Costa Rican coffee? And it tastes even better in a Golden Gringo Chronicles mug!


To see ALL the products available in the Golden Gringo Store go here: GGC Store.


¡Solo Bueno!



"Tell me and I forget; teach me and I remember; involve me and I learn"
Benjamin Franklin


Answer to Que Es Eso?


A green flash is a phenomenon in which part of the sun appears to suddenly change color for about 1 or 2 seconds. The brief flash of green light is seen more often at sunset than at sunrise.


This fleeting spectacle is caused by the refraction of sunlight, which is particularly significant at sunset and sunrise, when the light travels through more of the Earth's atmosphere. The atmosphere bends the sunlight passing through it, separating the light into its different colors, much like a prism bends and splits sunlight into rainbows. That according to Cornell University.


The various colors of light bend different amounts based on their wavelengths; shorter wavelengths (blue, violet and green) refract more strongly than longer wavelengths (yellow, orange and red). As such, blue and violet light are scattered by the atmosphere while red, orange and yellow are absorbed, leaving the green light the most visible during the few seconds when the sun sets below or rises above the horizon.


The picture in the first section above was taken from a bay near Sarasota, Florida and was sent to me by a friend there. I remember seeing the green flash three or four times during the decade I lived in Sarasota (1998-2008). Incredible, and beautiful.


Etymology of Emigre

(é·mi·gré) "Late 18th century (originally denoting a person escaping the French Revolution): French, past participle of émigrer ‘emigrate’. Originally used of royalist refugees from the French Revolution; extended 1920s to refugees from the Russian Revolution, then generally to political exiles." Sacre bleu! (also of French derivation)


¡Pura Vida!




ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

Cafe Cuba Libre, Manuel Antonio


Location: Top of Manuel Antonio at Plaza Vista, Second Floor

Hours: Sun - Sat 11:AM to 10 PM

Parking: Some, in front of the Plaza.

Contacts: Phone:  4700 9778, Email: N/A, Facebook: Go Here


Reviewing ROMEOS: Anita M., Bob N., Dennis R., Glen N., Ildi B., Victor B.


To Review Our Rating System Go Here: R.O.M.E.O. Rating System


ROMEOs at Cuba Libre
From the Left: Anita, Glen, Dennis, Ildi, Victor

This restaurant has been around for a while but this was our first visit as ROMEOs.


The dining room opens to the atmosphere and offers a panoramic view of the Pacific and the nearby rock islands off the coast, certainly one of the best views in Manuel Antonio. The dining room is simple, unadorned; the glass top tables are used with place mats, simple cutlery and very little else except, as one ROMEO noted, there was a paper napkin dispenser in the center of the table instead of individual linen napkins.


The group gave the Cuba Libre a composite score of 4.8/5.0 sloths for ambiance.


The menu is not extensive for main courses but does have a wide range offering and list of sandwiches and salads.


GG, somewhat hampered by the limitations from a diet I'm on to lose wait and relieve sciatica, chose a grilled mahi-mahi with steamed vegetables and jazmine rice. The fish was fresh, cooked just tender and overall, it was excellent. I left the rice as it's not on the diet.


Other ROMEOS ordered tuna salad, chicken fahitas, prawns with rice and all pronounced their dishes good. One ROMEO had a yummy looking dessert that he sighed and moaned over. (I just kept stabbing my leg with a fork as it was verboten on my diet)


The composite score for food quality came in at 4.8/5.0 sloths.

Value Index= 137


Service was provided by a young gentleman named Jorge. He was friendly and attentive. GG was impressed by one service item in that a ROMEO asked to see a picture of the dish he was ordering (no photos of the food in the menu) and Jorge, after a while, came out with a photo on his phone (I presume he took it just as it was being prepared in the kitchen). I think that's going to greater lengths for service. The composite score for service came in at 4.8/5.0 which gave an average for ambiance, food quality and service of 4.8/5.0.


As it turned out GG had ordered the most expensive dish on the menu; the bill for the mahi-mahi, a watermelon smoothie and a cup of coffee came in at ₡13,999.99 or about $23 (I get a kick out of how they carry out the number after the decimal point).


The Value Index is 4.8/3.5x100=137 which puts Cuba Libre in the top tier for value in the restaurants we've reviewed.


Cuba Libre presents another good local option for dining in a very pleasant atmosphere.


¡Solo Bueno!




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