San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

We have been remiss in thanking Janet Bradshaw for writing the Arenal Reports during our absence from Costa Rica throughout July. Her coverage was excellent, and we are grateful for her willingness to keep readers informed of events in the Arenal area.

The tsunami of signatures and petitions protesting the planned closure of the Nuevo Arenal Post Office may have caused reconsideration of the issue. Our postmistress is requesting that anyone who does not currently have a P.O. box and would like to have one come in as soon as possible and sign up. She needs to submit a list of new potential box renters to the postal commissioner. The box rentals help defray the cost of running the P.O., so don’t delay.

Nuevo Arenal recently hosted a bike race around the lake that featured 200 competitive riders from all over Costa Rica and elsewhere. The road on one side of the lake is unpaved,

while the other side, though paved, meanders up and down steep hills and through dense rainforest. Riders also encounter the occasional cow ambling on the road. Organizer Jeff Spencer and a crew of volunteers manned rest areas that supplied fluids to maintain riders’ hydration. Chase vans were available for riders who wished to drop out of the race.

The August Ladies of the Lake meeting, hosted by Victoria Torley, concentrated on organizing the Christmas Bazaar. August may seem a bit early to be planning an event scheduled for December, but the logistics involve myriad details to ensure the success of LOL’s annual fundraiser. September’s meeting will be held at Jane Avery’s home on Thursday, the 19, at 11:30 a.m.

Congratulations to Mike and Marisol on the first anniversary of Iguana’s Tropical

Bar and Grill. A celebration featuring live music, boca specials and plentiful adult beverages marked a successful year. Iguanas has remained popular from day one, providing a street-side veranda from which to observe the comings and goings of Nuevo Arenal. Mike and Marisol recently invited the Arenal Bridge Club to make Iguanas its weekly gathering place at 1 p.m. every Wednesday – an arrangement much appreciated due to its central location, overstuffed couches and chairs and the convenience of having food and beverages available as desired.

A note about the bridge club: This is a very informal group devoted to having fun and socializing while playing bridge. The focus is on learning how to play the game, with beginners always welcome. Open hands, where all cards are exposed after dealing, are used to teach the basics to newcomers. Forget about Master points, sophisticated conventions or the strictly enforced rules of decorum encountered among bridge players whose obsession with the game has caused them to forget it’s just that – a game. The club suggests that people so passionately devoted to bridge that their lives and personalities are defined by their successes and failures at the bridge table be referred to Escazú. A usually unreliable source there informs us that until recently, the divorce rate among married bridge partners in that city was the highest in all of Costa Rica. It’s better now that married couples no longer may be partners at bridge tables.

-William & Jean Priest

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