Costa Rica Tainted Alcohol–Setting the Record Straight

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Living, Guanacaste Tourism, Newsletters, Vacation in Costa Rica

The recent reports about Costa Rica tainted alcohol make me think of the Guns N’ Roses song “Night Train”.  Every time I hear Guns N’ Roses, I get fired up. They wrote some incredible songs that will last forever. One of the most popular drinking songs was called Night Train, named after the cheap wine Night Train Express. “Loaded like a Freight Train; Flyin’ like an Aeroplane”; Classic Rock N Roll about rotgut booze. Unfortunately, Costa Rica had its own version of this recently, and it did not end well.

Two weeks ago, 19 people died drinking Costa Rica tainted alcohol that was contaminated with the chemical methanol.  With the recent deaths of USA citizens in the Dominican Republic, as well as Mexico, the media was quick to jump all over this story, and capitalize on the fear. As happens a lot in the media, they got it wrong. They said that tourists had died, and one news outlet even went on record and called Costa Rica “A Caribbean Island.” Anyone who has access to Google Maps, knows that we are not an island and we are not in the Caribbean. We are a Central American country, and not one tourist died. I am here to set the record straight.

Costa Rica tainted alcohol

Wild Horses – Playas del Coco Tope 2019

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Living, EX PATS in Costa Rica, Guanacaste Tourism, Newsletters, Playas del Coco, Vacation in Costa Rica

Tank Tops Flip Flops Newsletter edition no. 125

Wild Horses – Playas del Coco Tope (Horse Parade)

In this day and age, there is lot of anger going on, many different opinions on the state of the world, and it is hard for many people to see eye to eye. But there are two facts that are impossible to dispute and almost everyone agrees; The Rolling Stones are one of the greatest bands of all time and Costa Rica is the happiest place on the planet. One of my personal favorite songs is Wild Horses and we have our own version of that here as well too. It is called a TOPE.

Two or three times a year, our little community of Playas del Coco, celebrates life with one of the biggest parties known to mankind, the horse parade, and it is quite possibly the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Hundreds of people, come to our little pueblo, dressed in their best Cowboy outfits, and ride their prized possessions down the main road of town. You have to come early, to get yourself a spot on the side of the street, as the entire boulevard is blocked off to traffic. This bash lasts all day and into the night. Wild Horses couldn’t drag me away.

It starts about a mile from the beach, by the Luperon Grocery store; goes down through the center of town; turns around at the boardwalk; and heads over to the bull ring on the road to Ocotal. I have never missed one in 16 years. Every bar in town is packed to the gills, as thousands of spectators start drinking early, waiting for the excitement to pass. Believe it or not, this year it almost didn’t happen. Just like everywhere in the world, there are politics and petty arguments here in Costa Rica too.

November 2019
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