Puntarenas, Costa Rica
After docking in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, we boarded our tour bus for the trip to view the Andalusian horse show at Rancho San Miguel. Our tour guide, Percy, was an interesting and lively Costa Rican. He indicated that the colored flags we were seeing along the way were their equivalent of our yard sign since each flag represented which Presidential candidate they supported. He showed us the ballot for the upcoming election with 13 candidates vying for the Presidency. He explained the election process in detail indicating that the forth coming election would be what we in America call a Primary election since it would identify the top two candidates for the General election to be held in a few months. He also circulated a handout and discussed native reptiles and snakes. Stopping at a local roadside market, Percy exited the bus and purchased a cashew pod to show us what one looks like before it produces the nuts we enjoy so much. He also purchased and circulated a passion fruit he cut open for us to view up close.
When we arrived at Rancho San Miguel, we were greeted by its owner, Jose Fererro and his family. We were taken on a tour of the stalls where head trainer, Adriana, introduced us to the horses and gave us a brief history of each horse. We were then taken to the arena where we viewed the trainers and family members as they performed with the horses. During a short intermission, we were served tapas and refreshments before returning to the arena for the second part of the performance. Jose Fererro narrated the performance giving us a history of each act and the background of the various trainers. The young trainers were especially skilled for their age in managing the horses. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire performance and the gracious hospitality of the Fererro family.
We made a brief rest stop at a local souvenir shop before heading back to the ship. As we approached the ship, we had a good view of the crowded beach in Puntarenas.