Our casa in Ojochal (Oho-chal), Costa Rica

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I’ve got a huge collection of pictures that we have taken in and around our home here in Ojochal.  The first thing I’ll say though, is that none of these pictures do justice to the incredible scenery around us.  If there was a way to capture it – we would – as it’s magical and amazing and so alive, 24 hours a day.  There’s not a moment during the day or night that the jungle isn’t alive with sounds from very near to far away.

We arrived at the end of April, later in the day.  We had no food, so headed out to find somewhere nearby to eat.  We had no idea that darkness came so quickly and that Rory and Rohan would be eaten alive at the open air restaurant.  We ordered food thinking we would stay and enjoy, but the bugs were so bad, we asked for dinner to go and got the heck home.  Good thing, because shortly thereafter, the rain started.  Followed by one of the biggest thunder and lightening storms we’ve had since we’ve been here.    Picture this.  Brand new country – in a home we are unfamiliar with – that has no doors or windows – just screens – and a huge ass thunder and lightening storm.  We felt like we were naked in the storm.   Winds blowing the curtains, rain coming in through the screens and the sky would light up with the lightening and the thunder felt like it was shaking the house.   We all slept together in one bed that night, if you can call it sleep …

The next morning was gorgeous and sunny and we immediately fell in love with our new location.  Maybe not the screen doors and windows but one would have to be blind not to see and fall in love with the beauty around us.

View from the covered terrace at the front of the house – overlooking the jungle.

We have had quite a few crazy things happen in this house – not just the thunder and lightening storms and torrential downpours of rain .. trying to identify sounds – like the first time we heard howler monkeys in the middle of the night – not knowing that’s what it was … every day there’s something new that we see, something new that we notice as we learn to live and thrive in our temporary home.

Now that we’re in “rainy season” we do get rain most days and we get thunder and lightening storms often.  It’s weird to hear thunder in the morning and it does happen regularly.  I sleep with my curtains open so I can watch the sky light up; it’s one of my favorite things.  Added note: the thunder and lightening storms now regularly bring power outages as well – within the last week we’ve had outages for 3+ hours and have had to stock up on candles and thank goodness we have a couple of small flashlights.

It gets dark by 6pm.  Dark dark.  There are few street lights and across the valley we can see the lights from other homes, but it’s dark.   Many locals we’ve spoken to say that they’re in bed by 7 or 8pm because they are up between 4:30-5am.  Even my night-owl husband is in bed by 10pm most nights and we’re all up early; I’m often out with my coffee watching the jungle at 6:30.  It’s another one of my favorite things about living here.

For those that would like to see bugs and creepy crawlies – I’ve taken pictures of as many as I can – most of these sightings have been here at the house.

About a week ago (June) I was heading up to the bedroom and flicked on the light. We are always looking, checking – and something made me look up.  Near the ceiling on my side of the bed was a scorpion. Way up high.  Frick.  There was a very loud “Rory Edgar you need to get up here now” holler from me … and the whole gang came up to see what was amiss (Kat, her two kids, Rory and Rohan).  We had no idea if it was dangerous or not … and assumed it was.  We got the machete and the pool net.   We put the sticky side of duct tape on the end of the pool net handle, hoping to get the scorpion to stick to it, then catch it inside a jar and kill it.  Well, that plan went out the window when the scorpion fell behind our headboard. Many screams later – we confirmed the location – still behind the headboard and went to plan B on how the heck to get this thing.  We knew there would be no sleeping till this thing was a goner.   Everyone but Rory and I moved out of the room.  We pulled the headboard away from the wall and Rory machete chopped that sucker until it was dead-dead.   OMG.  It was so crazy!

Last night, the power went out just after 5pm – we had a torrential rain storm.  We were starting to make dinner.  Rohan was holding a flashlight over the sink while Rory and I peeled and deveined shrimp.  Kat was at the stove making curry sauce and rice.  We ate dinner by candlelight and played bananagrams waiting for the power to return.  No go…. we waited and waited.   It’s getting “late” – 9pm, and I run up to the washroom with the flashlight. On my way downstairs, I notice something on the floor beside Rory’s flip-flopped feet.   A few steps further and it would have been where my bare feet would be stepping.  It was another scorpion!  Grrrr.  A flyswatter-power-hit and this scorpion is dead too.  Freaked Rory out as it was right beside his feet….

On a side note, little did we know till this morning, that a tree on our driveway fell over in the torrential rain – falling across the road, making it impassable, AND, knocking out the power lines.  We heard someone with a chainsaw out in the rain and the dark cutting the tree up and moving it off the road.  It was a huge hazard – as it is super dark here, and in the rain, coming up the road and coming upon a fallen tree after you’ve already hit it with your car or motorbike would be really bad.  Emergency crews came in the wee hours of the night to fix the power lines, in the dark, and in the rain – and they’re yelling at each other right outside our bedroom window.   We woke up this morning to power – thank you CR emergency crews.   There are pictures in the album of the tree and the road.

A few nights earlier, we killed a tarantula like spider that came out from under the stove and scared off a very large orange spider from off the terrace column.   Seriously, every day is like an adventure.  We never know if it will be a cool – check this out kind of experience or a machete-bug-killing-get-your-feet-off-the-floor trauma!

The really cool things have been seeing monkeys in the trees right behind our house, many many tucans, the amazing humming birds, numerous other birds that we can’t even identify, the amazing gecko’s that we love because they eat mosquito’s, to the iguana’s who we hear and see in our trees munching on leaves.  The jungle and valley in front of us is better than TV – constantly changing with the weather and the clouds.  The more it rains, the more we see massive waterfalls on the other side of the valley.

Oh, and the other awesome thing? we throw all our composting over the hedge into the jungle.  All the bugs and critters eat them all up within a few hours – there’s something so gratifying about chucking banana peels, egg shells, tops of pineapples, mango bits and so much more, over the hedge and into the jungle below.  🙂

I’m sure there’s lots I’m forgetting, and remember that the pictures do not capture anywhere near the incredible beautiful area that we live in.   Pura Vida.

Enjoy!

The link to the full photo album from all my pictures of our casa in Ojochal – click here.  I have another album with pictures of Ojochal and some of our favorite local shops and restaurants.  Enjoy!

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