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In This Edition:

1. Broken News (All the News That's Fit to Reprint): a. U.S. Covid Alert Lowered, Then Raised Again; b. 25 Candidates for President; c. Getting the Bachillerato; d. Cruickshank and the Plot.

2. Economic Drumbeat (CR Business Happenings): a. Much is Happening at Liberia Airport: Name Change, Private Jet Influx Record, Nine Millionth Passenger; b. COPA Airlines On Time Record; c. Avianca Rebuilding and Expanding; Gas Prices Going Up Once More.

3. Latin America Update (Major Events in Neighboring Countries): Nicaragua - Ortega Inaugurated for the Fourth Time.

4. Feature 1: Border Run to Nicaragua (Not Like It Used To Be) by Michael Miller.

5. Rumble and Weather Talk: a. Rumble: Devastating Eruption and Tsunami in Tonga; b. Weather: Schweeet...

6. ¿Que es Eso?: Is This the Covid-19 Club? Or Maybe People Frozen In Line At The Bank

7. Feature 2: Morphology of the GGC (How the Chronicles Started, Developed and Grew)

8. Health Stuff: a. Vaccination Status; b. Centenarians With Covid Recovering; c. Viagra Still Touted As An Aid to Respiration.

9. GGC Bookshelf and More: Books from GGC Publications, Golden Gringo T-Shirts and Coffee Mugs as Well as Suggested Books from Local Writers.

10. What's-in-a-Word: a. Answer to Que Es Eso.

11. ROMEO Corner: Vista Verde, Manuel Antonio



Wisdom of the Ages

An elderly couple had dinner at another couple's house. After eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen.

The two gentlemen were talking, and one said: "Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great, I would recommend it very highly. "The other man said, 'What is the name of the restaurant?'

The first man thought and thought and finally said, 'What’s the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know, the one that's red and has thorns.'

'Do you mean a rose?'

'Yes, that's the one,' replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, 'Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to last night?'

Holidays In Cost Rica in February

Nothing in the way of formal holidays but, as usual in Costa Rica, there will be many fiestas and celebrations; they are summarized here: Holidays & Festivals (costarica.com).

¡¡Happy Valentine`s Day to All!!

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

U.S. Covid Alert Lowered, Then Raised Again

In light of improving Covid statistics in Costa Rica since early December, the U.S. State Department, in conjunction with the CDC, reduced their travel advisory for the country to Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution. This was the second reduction in one month and reflects the improvement in fewer cases encountered here as well as a lessening of the severity with the Omicron .


That may be short-lived, however, as Omicron has also generated a new surge in cases to record daily cases. Both the drop that occurred in December and the growing new surge are shown in the Health section BELOW.


UPDATE: Two weeks after dropping the rating to Level 2, the State Department raised it again to Level 4. Did the Omicron spike cause this? In Europe they`re forecasting a post-Omicron break in the pandemic. Is it any wonder why people are confused? Is anybody watching the watchers?

25 Candidates for President


Costa Rica Presidential Candidates 2022

As I`ve mentioned before, this Presidential election in Costa Rica starts with a first round of voting on February 6. Making another, new historical record this year, some 25 people (21 men and 4 women) are on the ballot and are shown in the photo to the left (blow it up if you dare). In essence, every candidate runs under a different banner or party, so the process essentially uses the general electorate as a primary tool to ferret out two candidates as the top vote getters.


If no one wins 40% of the vote, and with that many candidates the likelihood of that occurring is extremely high, the two survivors (highest vote getters) of round one will face each other in a national runoff on April 3.


GG, planning to make his first vote as a naturalized citizen, still has an awful lot to learn about what these people and their parties stand for. Due to the nature of the electoral beast, I suspect it`s more important to know the individual`s inclination and tactics for governing than what the party means because parties here are so easily formed. More to be reported on this later.

Getting the Bachillerato

If you read last month`s Chronicle you read an article about a friend of mine, a fellow named Jessie Ponce. GG wrote an article about him (HERE) under the banner of Quepos Profiles to showcase how one Tico was pursuing more education to qualifying himself for more and better professional responsibilities in the future.


Got a call from him on Tuesday, 18 January. "I passed!" He was holding his bachillerato (high school diploma) for the first time.


Great work amigo!


Cruickshank and The Plot


Back in 2020, when then (and now) President Alvarado was wrestling with obtaining more national debt to overcome the effects of Covid on Costa Rica, a group called the National Rescue Movement or Movimiento Rescate Nacional held many demonstrations and road blockages throughout the country. There were tire spikes, demonstrations in front of Casa Presidential (Costa Rica`s White House) and blockages of major transport routes. Some of these became violent, disrupting transportation and often attacking and injuring police and transport drivers, even in quiet little towns like Quepos.


Eduardo Cruickshank Smith

Eduardo Cruickshank Smith, the first Afro-Costa Rican ever elected to head the National Legislative Assembly as President, recently disclosed in his book: "Historia de Una Presidencia" that the Rescate group, led by a number of legislators, came to him and sounded out the possibility that he might assume the presidency if Alvarado were overthrown.


Cruickshank states he refused quickly and completely - the group later ostensibly disbanded after considerable legal action against them. To put his beliefs into action Cruickshank then met with President Carlos Alvarado shortly after being approached and both made a joint call for a national dialogue.


If all that is true it sure makes one think about the importance of who will be the new president of the Costa Rica Republic. Cruickshank is one of the 25 candidates mentioned in the article above, running under the banner of the Restauración Nacional party. He claims that he is not only committed to democracy but also acknowledges he is an evangelical pastor of a church in Limón, where he hails from originally.


GG thinks he may have found his favorite candidate, at least for the moment.


¡Pura Vida!


Economic Drumbeat
(Costa Rica Business Happenings)

Much is Happening at Liberia Airport


Much is happening at Liberia Airport (LIR). The press was replete with recent reports about the airport, to wit:


Airport Name Change


Originally known as a regional airport under several names, LIR was re-inaugurated as an international airport in 1995 and until now carried the name of the president of Costa Rica who originally suggested it in the mid-1970`s.


The airport previously and commonly known as Liberia Airport but more formerly known as The Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber Quirós) is now to be known simply as Guanacaste Airport. The call letters remain as before, LIR. Daniel Oduber Quirós was President of Costa Rica from 1974-1978 and his administration conceived the idea of a second international airport. Airport traffic at LIR, which has tripled in the last ten years, now is second (of four international airports) in traffic only to our primary international airport, Juan Santamaria (SJO) in San José.


Private Flight Influx Record


Private Aircraft at Daniel Oduber Airport

One sign of economic recovery is when private planes, for those that can afford to buy or rent them, start showing up again. Such has been the case at Costa Rica`s Liberia Airport (now known as Guanacaste Airport) This airport has closer access to some of the new and developing luxury hotel complexes going up in the Papagayo Bay area of Guanacaste.


In the 19 day period running December 15, 2021 to January 3, 2022 some 432 private flights were logged in at the airport, averaging 22 private flights per day, a record. In some of these cases the flights were refueling points but many of them deposited what`s referred to as "high-end" tourists. The General Manager of the Airport, César Jaramillo, noted that the flights include "... many types of aircraft, helicopters, jets and light aircraft. There are a large number of ‘N’ license plates (US registration) but there are also Mexican and others from many parts.”


The New ICD Hotel/Residency Complex

Guanacaste Province is becoming a jet set area. One project already under development is the "Ultra Luxury" hotel being built by the The Dubai Investment Corporation (ICD), an investment arm of the Emirates Government. This facility is located in the Gulf of Papagayo and will have 167 rooms and 43 residences. The entrance to the new hotel, nearing completion, is shown to the left.


Airport Manager Jaramillo pointed out that there are at least three other luxury facilities planned for the area which are expected to be announced in the near future.

9,000,000th Passenger Recorded at Guanacaste Airport

On January 7, the airport authority announced that the 9,000,000th passenger had arrived in Guanacaste airport since its opening.


The lady designate, one Carla Willitz, a native of Utah, is a repeat visitor to the area and was traveling with her husband and four children. Said Carla, on being met by live music and airport authorities: “I am very happy and surprised to have been passenger number 9 million. It is not my first time in Guanacaste, we come frequently because we love the destination and surf on the Guanacaste beaches. It was a lot of fun getting off the plane and getting this huge surprise.” Costa Rica welcomes the Willitz` back to Guanacaste!


COPA Airlines On Time Record


COPA, the national airline of Panama (Compañía Panameña de Aviación), reached another record in 2021. According to an aviation industry report from Cirium, COPA achieved a 90.25% on-time rating based on a total 44,126 flights in 2021, the best record in Latin America. The President of COPA, Pedro Heilbron, was happy to point out that “it is a great honor to be recognized for the eighth consecutive year as the most punctual airline in Latin America, also standing out with the highest rating in the Americas.”


GG has flown COPA three times, the most notable being a 7-1/2 hour jaunt from Panama City to Buenos Aires during which time the staff were courteous and helpful and managed to give us two meals. Congrats to COPA on your record!

Avianca Rebuilding and Expanding

Another bright star in Latin American aviation is Avianca. As you might expect, the largest airlines in Latin America are located in the highest population countries. This includes LATAM, a Brazilian/Chile joint venture that posted 74.2 million passengers carried in 2019. A second Brazilian airline, Gol Transportes Aéreos, posted an additional 36.4 million passengers carried in the same period. Right behind these two was the Columbian (partially owned by El Salvador) Airline known as Avianca with 30.5 million.


Avianca was hit hard by the pandemic but recently announced it`s taking major rebuilding efforts. It added 17 new routes in 2021 and has added seven new routes so far this year with an additional two planned for March. By March these will include new flights from Medellin to two other cities in Colombia and new flights from popular Medellin to San José as well as Orlando. Other flights will also be commencing from Cartagena to San José and New York (GG could have used the SJ-Cartagena a few years ago when I had to go through Panama City to get to Cartagena). Avianaca also have converted their recent offering of a seasonal flight from Cali to Orlando into a permanent schedule.


Said an Avianca executive: “In 2021, we set out to inaugurate 50 new routes in the next 3 years and we are getting closer to achieve it.”


Welcome back to business amigos!


Gas Prices Going Up Once More


The Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (ARESEP), the government org responsible for setting gasoline prices in Costa Rica, approved an increase in pricing on January 28, as follows: Super - up 47 colones per liter to 761 c/l (about $4.50/gal), Regular up 46 c/l to 743 c/l (about $4.37) and Diesel - up 56 c/l to 667 c/l (about $3.92).


This compares to a quick Google check of average current regular cost per gallon in Florida of $3.35 per gallon.


¡Pura Vida!



Latin America Updates
(Major Events In Neighboring Countries)





Ortega and Friends at His First Inaugural

Ortega Inaugurated For The Fourth Time


Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, assumed his 5th term as president on January 10, 2022 after a managed re-election campaign, that is to say, more than two dozen opponents were jailed or placed under house arrest during the "campaign", assuring Ortega`s renewal. Among those restricted was the daughter of Pedro Joaquin Chamorro Cardenal, the former editor of La Prensa, the largest opposition paper in the country. Cardenal Sr. was assassinated in 1978 shortly after the Somoza dictatorship was overthrown and a few years before Ortega began his first term as president.


A Costa Rica online newspaper here recently presented a quick summary of the Ortega years. Not to throw stones, but that writing was a bit jumbled and disorganized.


The table to the right is GG`s summary of that article for what it`s worth, but it does show the control which the current government has had in recent political history in Nicaragua.


The Foreign Ministry of Costa Rica reported that they were never contacted or presented with an invitation for its political leaders to attend the Ortega event so Costa Rica was represented by a few business leaders and minor politicians.


¡Solo Bueno!



Border Run to Nicaragua
(It`s Not Like It Used To Be)

As a visitor to Costa Rica one is extended a courtesy visa of 90 days when you enter the country, assuming all other conditions are met (Covid pass, lack of interest in you by Interpol etc.). If you are a temporary resident of Costa Rica and wish to stay beyond 90 days you can renew for another 90 days by crossing a neighboring border (Nicaragua or Panama) and re-entering Costa Rica, obtaining a new 90-day visa by way of a stamp in your passport.


At this time there is no limit as to the number of times you can repeat this process and GG has known people who have literally lived here for years who tolerate the inconvenience of travelling to the border every 90 days to update their visa. The process is called making a "border run" and the person involved who does this incessantly is often called a "perpetual tourist". GG made a number of consecutive 90-day border runs beginning after I arrived here in 2008, actually doing them and other excursions about Latin America to satisfy the Inmigración requirement by touring. I didn`t get my first cédula card (residency document) until early in 2012.


The following article is Part 1 of a two part series by Michael Miller, an old friend and fellow author (see his two books on the GGC Bookshelf below). In this article Michael notes how things have changed and become more complicated in recent years.

A Border Run to Nicaragua - Part 1
by Michael Miller


I used to visit Granada, Nicaragua, every year and always enjoyed this fascinating city. Granada is the oldest city in Central America, sits on the huge Lake Nicaragua, and is famous for its beautiful yellow cathedral (below) in the central square. I always took delight in my time in that appealing colonial city; it was inexpensive, it was safe, and it had great restaurants. And, as the oldest city in Central America, it has five centuries of history to explore


In November 2021, I made my first visit in five years. In the past it was an easy bus trip, but not so much today. The political unrest and travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 virus have made it more difficult to go there.


If you are unfamiliar with the term “border run,” here is a quick explanation. Many expats come to Costa Rica and spend all, or most, of the year here. If they are not official residents, or not in the process of becoming official, they are allowed to stay in the country for only 90 days as tourists and, before the end of the 90 days, must leave Costa Rica. They can then return and receive a new 90-day visa. One popular border-run destination is the city of Granada, which lies two hours north of the Costa Rican border.

Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
(Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral)


In October, I decided to make a visit to Granada. I would be traveling with the famous tour guide Nury Mora, who is a native of San Jose. Since our return, I have since been peppered with questions about the trip. This article will try to answer some of those questions. Here are two quick impressions:

First, Granada is still a charming, beautiful, and fascinating place to visit. It has much to offer. I highly recommend it. Second, the journey (both going there and coming back) was a nightmare.

The hassles started before our journey began. We chose to travel via Tica Bus, so we visited the bus station two days before our trip to reserve our seats. It was a good thing we did, as there were very few seats left. The round-trip fare was about $60 USD per person, plus $8 USD per person to the government of Costa Rica for an exit tax. Next we had to get a COVID-19 test (the nose swab) and, of course, the test results had to be negative. The tests cost another $60 USD per person.


The clerk at the bus station gave us a form that we were required to fill out, photograph and email to the government of Nicaragua. This had to be done before the travel day. Fortunately, Nury is bilingual, has tremendous patience, and is very savvy in dealing with the bureaucratic details of the many layers of government.


On the morning we were to leave, we arrived at the Tica Bus station at about 5:20 a.m. The bus was scheduled to leave at 6:00 a.m. but left at 6:18 a.m. It carried 60 passengers and was comfortable, with air conditioning, seats that reclined (slightly), a bathroom, and movies (in Spanish) that ran for the entire trip. The only difficulty was that we would be sitting in that bus for hours and hours, wearing a face mask the whole time.


The bus followed Highway 1, which is part of the old Pan-American Highway. During the long ride, the quality of the road varied dramatically. For a few miles near the city of Liberia, we sailed along on a modern, four-lane divided highway, but most of the trip was on a two-lane country road, and sometimes not even that. There were several times when the bus came to a complete stop because only a single lane was passable.


We finally arrived at the border crossing at Peñas Blancas just after noon. Little did we know we would be at the border for the next three hours.


Leaving Costa Rica at Peñas Blancas

The first stop was on the Costa Rican side to get our passports “stamped out” of Costa Rica.  Everyone got out of the bus and lined up outside a government building where they let us enter one person at a time. As we waited our turn, Nury told me that there is a popular joke among Ticos. When you go into a government building, there are often eight or ten windows set up to handle people as they arrive, but there is always only one clerk at one window. No matter how many windows there are, there is always only one clerk.


When it was my turn to go into the building, I saw that it was no joke. There were indeed eight windows and only one clerk. What should have taken ten minutes took nearly an hour. And that would prove to be a model of efficiency compared to the Nicaraguan side of the border.


Once all the passengers had cycled through Costa Rica immigration, we re-boarded the bus and headed for the Nicaraguan side of the border. The bus traveled only a few hundred yards to the Nicaraguan border facilities, but we were not allowed to disembark. Instead, we waited until some Nicaraguan officials came aboard to check our passports and our COVID-19 test results. Only when that was complete were we let off the bus. Carrying our bags, we stood in line at a window where a team of officials could again check our passports and our test results.


Next we were told to go inside the immigration building. There was a very unpleasant woman in a uniform standing at the door who demanded $2 USD per person before we were allowed to enter the building. After paying and entering, we stood in line and again a Nicaraguan official checked our passports and our COVID test results. He then charged each of us another $14 USD as an entry tax.


Following that, we were directed to get in yet another line, this time to put our bags through a scanner. Here a Nicaraguan official once more checked our passports and our COVID test results.


After hours of dealing with testy border officials, we were still not allowed to leave the building until another official examined our passports and our test results. When that was completed and they let us out of the building, we thought we were home free. No such luck! We were required to stand outside the bus for nearly 30 minutes and wait for another Nicaraguan official to check our passports and our COVID test results before letting us get back on the bus.


I'm not joking. That was the streamlined version of the entry experience.


Michael Miller is the author of the guidebook for downtown San José, Costa Rica, titled The Real San José (#9 on the GGC Bookshelf Below). He is also the author of the new novel Tribune Man (#15 on the Bookshelf), a portrait of Oakland, California, a beautiful, fascinating, and often underrated American city during a trying time. Both are available on Amazon and can be reached via the links on the Bookshelf.


                                             * * * * *End Part I* * * * *


Since I moved to Costa Rica 13 years ago, GG has gone at least six times to San Juan del Sur, a town and beach south of Granada to attend a men`s roundup meeting (a cigar event - but not for me anymore). But because of the Covid problem and simmering relations between the two countries I elected not to go in 2020 and 2021 (I also, reluctantly, gave up smoking cigars). The more I read Michael Miller`s report the more I feel I made the right decision. Maybe next year? For the perpetual tourists of course we still have the Panama border.


Don`t miss the conclusion of Michael`s report in Part II next month. And for some other impressions of Nicaragua in past years, go HERE.


Rumble and Weather Talk
(Shaky Happenings & Weather Observations About the Pacific Rim)



A couple of 4.5-5R Shakers hit the Nicoya Peninsula area over the month but nothing was significantly damaging or threatening. Late in the month a 4.7R also hit the Central Valley. Recall that a tremor in the mid 4R range is relatively mild and reflects about 1/1,000th the energy release of a mid-7 quake (like Guanacaste in 2012).


The biggest rumble news worldwide this month involved a major underwater volcanic eruption on one of the small islands in the Tonga chain in the South Pacific between Australia and New Zealand some 10,500 km or 6,500 miles from the Costa Rican Pacific Coast. Despite that distance the Costa Rican authorities decided to issue a "large wave warning" suggesting not to use Costa Rican Pacific Beaches during a specific hour the day after after the eruption.


ertThe photo above, left shows the island when the volcano on Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai island was in its pre-eruption, smoking stage. After the eruption, the island was virtually split into two much smaller islands as the post-eruption photo right shows.


Although a precautionary advisory (stay off the local beaches for a certain hour on January 16) was issued for a Tsunami wave all along the Pacific Coast from the U.S. to South America, nothing significant materialized here in Costa Rica. In Tonga, a three meter wave inundated much of the country and capital city as well as heavy ash built up over the entire country.


Check Out Recent Earthquakes All Around the World Posted by the U.S.G.S.  Recent Quakes



Oh, how schweeeet it is. GG loves the sun and the beach and now is the height of that season.

¡Pura Vida!


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 320 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 key word or two in order to narrow the number of references retrieved:


Golden Gringo Chronicles - Enter Search Here

Readers: Our publication is open to suggestions regarding future articles and will accept pieces written by others but we reserve the right to decline anything that the editorial staff (that's GG) thinks is inappropriate for this format. Send proposals, comments, suggestions, ideas, meaningless statements and jocular observations concerning the Chronicles to GG here: gg@goldengringo.com.

Morphology of the GGC
(How the Chronicles Started, Developed and Grew)



GG was rambling through the Topical Index Archive recently when I realized that this was the 162nd consecutive monthly edition of the Golden Gringo Chronicles.


The first edition came out in 2008 when I first arrived here after moving to Quepos from Sarasota, Florida where I had lived for 10 years after moving there in 1998 from Allentown, Pennsylvania, after moving there in 1981 from Marietta, Ohio, after moving there in 1977 from Brussels, Belgium, after moving there in 1974 from Marietta, Ohio, after moving there in 1967 from Villanova, PA. Today there`s a certain sweetness in my no-need-to move-existence.


I`ve mentioned before that the Chronicles were started simply as a series of emails that I sent to my kids and friends back to the States. At the time I sent one per month just sharing my experience, but after six months or so I confided to my kids that it might be time to stop the monthlies. One of my kids said: "No Dad, don`t do that, they`re fun to read". So that set in motion the output of Chronicles that would reach a total of 162 over the next 13 years.


As it turned out my kid was right, the writing is not only fun to read (at least sometimes), it was fun to write. And I derived another benefit from this exercise: writing about Costa Rica forced me to learn more about my new country of residence faster then I ever would have otherwise. I needed to get the facts to support the descriptions and claims in the writing. As a unexpected result the Golden Gringo Chronicles had been born.


Just for fun, and to support this article, I re-read the very first Chronicle, Episode 0 - September 2008. It was all about my (failed) attempt at trying to drive to Costa Rica from Florida and how I ended up not getting through the Mexican border in Brownsville, Texas because of insufficient documentation on the car. Thank God for small favors; I ended up driving back to Sarasota, selling the car and taking a plane.


Original GGC Logo

The next few Chronicles Episodes were reports on the trivia of learning my way around Quepos and acclimating to ways of dealing with my own language gap. I also covered the finding of my second apartment (Episode 3), from which I have never left. Following that I covered my first attempts at Spanish (Episode 4) and contracting my first serious health concern, congestive heart failure (Episode 5), from which I was saved by good friends and their medical contacts here.


The departmentalization of the Chronicles first began with the December, 2009 issue (Episode 16) with the formation of the ROMEO corner to record some of our gastronomic experiences in the area. Three old, retired beach buddies including GG often ate out together and one of them suggested the name ROMEO for the group, which is an acronym for Retired Old Men Eating Out. The name and section continues to this day and we maintain a list of about 36 of the latest ROMEO reviews in our Restaurant Archives.


New GGC Logo - Episode #38

During the next 50 editions, the departmentalized format seen today in the archives emerged. The earlier format was basically a quickly created word document with a wine-colored background enhanced with the GGC Rose (above). With Edition 38 the new format (right) with the GGC logo, created with the use of more sophisticated software programs (Dreamweaver, Photoshop) emerged, making it easier to redesign the entire Chronicles offering. The new logo became a shot of Arenal Volcano with the tag line: "Doing Latin America, Mostly by Luck!", which I thought better described what I was intending to do with the Chronicles.


In the editions numbering between 50 and 125, many of the articles were reports about Visiting Other Places in Costa Rica (15 articles), Costa Rican Wildlife (25), Culture (49) and Agriculture (20) as well as articles related specifically to living in Quepos/Manuel Antonio (28). As time went on, the number of sections and topics grew. For example, a more serious section called Golden Gringo University (12) was added to cover basic topics such as the structure of the Costa Rican Republic, the Electoral System, and getting residency and citizenship.


Other articles added over time covered Costa Rican History (ancient and present - 24), the Legends of Costa Rica (18), Health and Medical (27), Weather and Tremor Tales (17), as well as visits to other Latin American Countries (35). And, of course, there were still some 16 articles that were grouped into Miscellaneous because they didn`t fit into the other categories. So with the two feature articles added with this 162nd edition, the total of articles written in the Chronicles now reaches some 334. Whew, take a break GG! For a complete list of those articles in the current 15 categories, go HERE.


Over the years GG has been asked several times why I never made the Chronicles a moneymaking proposition, why I never "monetized" the Chronicles. The simple answer is I like the fun of writing more than trying to manage a business to make money. Of course if any of you have the unremitting desire to make sure I benefit monetarily, take a look at the GGC mugs and T-shirts in the Publisher`s Section below as well as my three books on the GGC bookshelf. All are available via U.S. shipping.


Pura Vida, Amigos!

¡Solo Bueno!


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





Is this the Covid-19 Club?


Or is this what happens to people who wait too long in lines at the bank, the post office or the airport?


Answer in

section below.


¡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?)



a. Vaccination and Covid Cases Status


All you have to do is glance at the new cases chart below to see how significant Omicron is being, at least in the total number of new cases. It`s the worse spike so far although everybody is reporting (or at least intimating) that the percentages of Omicron that are hospitalization level and fatal is significantly lower.


werThe chart left is done in 5 day cumulatives (GG`s personal design to reduce the number of points).


Where we used to get a few hundred new cases a day it has become more normal to see 5,000 to 6,000 cases a day. Vaccinations here, on the other hand, have run so high as to increase the likelihood of herd immunity.


Would someone in the health expert community please re-standardize what the hell is going on as it`s all getting a bit confusing to we plebeians


Mask use is still required in most public establishments (although they tend to disappear in restaurants among the patrons).


b. Centenarians With Covid Recovering


Costa Rica has a higher percentage of centenarians than most countries, even being home to one of the four "Blue Zones" in the world. (Read about that HERE) Covid being what it is has always been more of a problem with older people and in Costa Rica that is true also, but not to the extent one might expect. Here are some quotes out of CR electronic paper about Covid and centenarians:

It`s in the Gallo Pinto or Salsa Lizano amigos!


¡Pura Vida!


c. Mixed Messages


The news lead-off at the top of this Chronicle mentioned how the U:S. government had reduced the state department travel advisory for Costa Rica to Level 2 (cautionary) and then increased it back to Level 4 (do not travel) two weeks later. We seem to be into a period of pandemic uncertainty and confusion as to what to do next.


I Guess the Mask Was Interfering
With The Cigarette Smoke

On January 13 the Costa Rican government, a bit terrified by the sharp increases in cases due to Omicron, issued an Orange Alert. When asked what the orange alert means or changes, officials basically stammered saying that "the change in alert aims for citizens to tune in to a new risk condition..." (say what?)


At the same time, the legislature just finished passing, for the second time (don`t ask why laws here need to be passed twice to be valid) on allowing restaurants to have outside eating areas again providing that that owners pull their furniture in at night. Basically, sanitary measurements related to the use of sanitizer and masks has not changed but GG has noticed that many are not using the masks once out on the street (photo right).




d. Viagra Still Touted As Aid To Respiration


For some time now, in some health circles, Viagra has been

touted as an aid to respiration.


There is the famous case of an English respiratory nurse named Monica Almeida who contracted Covid and went into a 28-day coma. She likely contracted the disease as she worked helping to treat Covid-positive patients in the British National Health System.


Monica Almeda + Hubby Arthur

The doctors stated they were three days from turning off her oxide gas mechanical ventilator when they called her parents in Portugal and Monica`s two daughters and suggested they come and say goodbye to her.


As a last resort, a high dose of Viagra was given to Monica and she soon began to recover, eventually waking up on December 14. She called the experience her "Christmas Miracle".


Evidently this idea of Viagra as a substitute or supplement for oxide gas has been proposed but most agencies around the world have elected to go with the oxide gas only.


GG is holding the cute comments about women using Viagra until another day (and some even cuter ones about guys using it to breath).



Travel Quote of the Month

In a Rome laundry:


"Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time."


¡A Cachete!


GGC Bookshelf

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:


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Costa Rica`s Mystery Spheres Mariposa - English

Mariposa - Español The Chronicles as a Narrative

#1 Read More #2 Read More #3 Leer más aquí #4 Read More
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Small Business Guide Making Time Count Overcoming Drinking Murder or Suicide?
#5 Read More #6 Read More #7 Read More #8 Read More
ser kio fty
Getting Around the Capital Retiring in Costa Rica Avoiding the Pitfalls What's the Sleuth Up To?
#9 Read More #10 Read More #11 Read More #12 Read More


awe drt There's Room for
More on the QMA Writers Group Bookshelf

Keep Writing Amigos!
Spiritual Love Connection World War II True Story Wildfire and the Tribune  
#13 Read More #14 Read More #15 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!

What`s In A Word

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

Answer to Que Es Eso?


No, they are not alive nor suffering from BWS (Bank Withdrawal Syndrome). This is a set of statuary located outside of the Costa Rican Central Bank (BCCR) in San José at the intersection of Avenida Central and Calle 4. The set, known as "Monumento Los Presentes" has been there on display since 1989.


The monument consists of nine life-sized bronze sculptures and is a tribute to the working peasants of Costa Rica. The Costa Rican sculptor Fernando Calvo received multiple awards for this work in the 1980`s.




ROMEO Corner
(Retired Old Men Eating Out)

Vista Verde, Manuel Antonio

Location: Top of Manuel Antonio hill across the main beach road from the futbol field.

Hours: 10AM to 10PM Daily

Parking: Limited, mostly on the main street or side streets.

Contacts: Tel: (506) 4701-8816; Website: Vista Verde;

Email: vistaverderestaurant@gmail.com.

Reviewing ROMEOS: Alma L., Annie C., Barry S., Bob N., Dan G., Mark P. and Jorge.


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


Veteran Manuel Antonio goers will recognize this location as the former Sancho`s. It`s now a clean, well and simply decorated restaurant that sports both a dining room and a deck patio level with a view ("Green View" or Vista Verde) down to the valley.


The restaurant consists solely of two rooms, one that borders the main road and that probably seats about 20 people. The second room (about a dozen seatind) is a porch that overlooks the hill winding downward below it and and very much off in the distance is the cordillera central (central mountain range). Very pleasant view.


The decor in the place is basic; you realiza quickly that you`re there to eat and not chatter about the art and knickknacks. GG`s main complaint was two-fold: 1) the seats are very hard wood without cushions which contributes to my back problem and 2) the noise level is high - I had to ask the waiter to turn down the speakers which blared music and we were treated to a cacophony of squeaking and rumbling of used beverage bottles as they were being withdrawn from the restaurant through the porch area where we sat.


The composite score from the ROMEOs for ambiance came in at 3.8/5.0 sloths.


The menu has a fairly wide selection of dishes ranging from appetizers and poky bowls to pastas and steaks. GG also noticed a vegan option page for those so inclined.


GG ordered a Pasta (spaghetti) Mediteranea and what arrived a large bowl of pasta adequate for dinner as well as lunch. The treatment was with small pieces of pepper, tomatoes, capers and onion. Very mild on spices and by my judgement, only a hint of Mediterranean flavor.


Other ROMEOS ordered a selection of different goodies including a stuffed pepper, chicken and fish fingers, a mixed seafood rice and a chicken casado.

Value Index= 121


The composite score for food quality came in at 3.8 out of 5.0 possible sloths.


Service was provided by John who was courteous, friendly and helpful. The composite score for service from the seven ROMEOs came in at 4.4/5.0, the highest of the three characteristics rated. The average for ambiance, food quality and service then becomes 3.98/5.0.


For my pasta and two ginger-ale micheladas, the total cost with required gratuity and tax came in at just 10,000 colones (about $16 these days). The composite score for cost came in at 3.3/5.0 which yields a Value Index of 3.98/3.3x100=121, in the top third of our ratings for value in this area.


Vista Verde is another area option for a decent meal at an acceptable price.


¡Solo Bueno!




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