San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

For some weeks now, west-side residents have been driving past Monica’s Roadhouse in San Luis hoping to find it open again, particularly missing Wednesday Gringo Nights. Owner John Van DeCamp and his fat little dog, Pookie, nominal proprietor of Pookie’s Bar, are sometimes seen watching the traffic go by. It turns out John has been busy preparing for a reopening some weeks down the line, when Monica’s, already famous for huge hardwood furniture and a great lake view, will provide a dance floor, a special boon for hikers thwarted by Costa Rica’s barbed wire and needing some unbarbed space in which to raise the heart rate. Meanwhile, Pookie, self-assigned garbage disposal, can look forward to feasting again on remnants of Monica’s popular chicken wings tossed down from the towering swivel-seated bar stools.

Amid recurrent talk of what conveniences are missing in Costa Rica (Laundromats frequently mentioned), someone has suggested that we need some entrepreneur to provide an animal-boarding service. At present, those making trips abroad must impose on a friend to attend to their pets while they enjoy their vacation from retirement. This sometimes does not work out well for the owner, the friend or the animal.

There may not now be boarding, but there is a storage facility, though it is not advertised. Located a few hundred yards off the lake highway at Cinco Esquinas is a North American-style mini-storage building with 10 or 12 units surrounded by a high cyclone fence. The owner will be returning from California within some months to start construction of a home on an adjacent lot. At that time we may be able to show you where you can stash your excess personal property or your semi-valuables while on a trip.

–Alex Murray

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