Living Free and Easy in Costa Rica Near Mt. Chirripó

Not too long after we landed here in Costa Rica and the little village of Matasanos, we met some new neighbors, Magaly and Salvador and their two kids. I introduced them in the middle of this old post about our neighbors. Salvador is an Argentinian-born Greek, and his wife is Venezuelan. A year or so ago they visited family in Greece for an extended stay and when they returned they settled up towards Mt. Chirripó near San Gerardo de Rivas. Since then we don't see them as often, but we recently visited them a couple of times in their new riverside house, which is still under construction.

new house looking up from the road
Open-air living in Costa Rica, you have to love it. Whenever we visit I tell Tamara that the next house (if there is one) we'll build like this, open, organic, with tree trunk posts and beams. It's so refreshing, especially with the sound of the river nearby and a small waterfall on the other side. The house has been built right into the rock, which is incorporated into the rooms downstairs.
house looking up from the river
 Of course, the house isn't finished by a long shot, so over time it won't be nearly so open, but I can't imagine it will be completely closed and screened either. I just hope they're able to stay long enough to complete it. 

kitchen at Magaly's houseAs always, we have a great time there catching up on things, drinking coffee, and if we're lucky getting to taste some of Magaly's great cooking. On our second visit to this house she whipped up a big pan of moussaka, a Greek eggplant dish that sticks to your ribs.

Greek moussaka on the table
Yumm! Moussaka!
We did miss Salvador this last trip as he was off on a hike up the valley. He returned when it was almost time for us to leave. Salvador is always working on some projects, not just the house, which is why it's not done perhaps. He is a very high-energy guy, though. 

Coral in a knit cap 
Their two (tri-lingual) kids, Zeo, the older, and Coral, are a treat, too, when Zeo isn't picking on his little sister as big brothers are wont to do. Coral loves arts and crafts so Tamara always brings along some small project for them to work on together. This time it was making a bead necklace. 
Zeo and his dog
Zeo is always happy when Sean visits with us so they can do their boy things, such as surfing the 'net and playing games.

When the weather is warmer we can take a short walk down to the river where they have a calm, clear swimming hole. The water, coming from way up the mountain, is brisk, but not freeze-your-toes-off cold. I'd like to try a little fishing there, but I haven't remembered to bring my pole yet!
Standing by the river
We're, naturally, very thankful to have such great friends as these, and at how relatively easy it has been to find so many enjoyable people here. Without all of them Costa Rica would be a far less richer experience than it is. 

What stories do you have about special families and friends where you live? 

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