Dining in Nicaragua...Returning to Costa Rica this morning...Final expenses for the weekend in Managua...

Tom slathered this entire warm Italian loaf with garlic butter, savoring every last bite. 
When we decided to fly to Managua as opposed to the long drive through the rain soaked countryside, we planned to stay only two nights.  Having our passports stamped in another country, allowing us to re-enter Costa Rica for our additional 23 nights, with the low cost of airfare and unused credit toward "free hotel nights," it made sense to fly in and out.

The round trip airfare with Avianca for both of us was US $308.12 and we paid only a little over US $199  (CRC 113,285) for both nights using our accumulated credits with Hotels.com on our site.  The usual rate for this hotel is US $200 (CRC 113,854) a night.  Thus, we saved about US $200 (CRC 113,854).

We were served two of these meat filled pockets as a complimentary item for our dinner.  In a puff pastry, Tom ate both of them.

It was still a somewhat pricey weekend but a lot less than we'd have spent staying in Fort Lauderdale Florida for the remaining 23 nights or in paying for an actual visa extension which is costly and time-consuming.

Here are the total expenses for the two nights including all costs:
 Expense   US Dollar   Costa Rica Colones 
 Hotel - 2 nights    $                     199.84
 Flight - Round trip   $                     308.12
 Taxi  $                        50.00
 Dining in Restaurants   $                     105.00
 Miscellaneous   $                        22.00
 Tips   $                        25.00
 Total   $                     709.96
 Avg Daily Cost    $                     354.88

As much as we'd prefer cost not to be a factor in our travels, it's a reality we must diligently monitor.  Without transportation over the weekend and the high costs of tours, we were left to our own devices for photo ops and entertainment. For us, this is easy to do.

The meat filling inside the beef pocket.
As mentioned in many prior posts, the recent outlay of cash for several upcoming events sent us into a state of diligent and frugal spending.  We're watching every last penny. 

Once we arrive and get settled in South Africa, we'll be able to begin to replenish the coffers.  While there, we'll be able to save for the big adventures we're planning while living on the African continent. 

Tom's rib eye steak was done to perfection, tender and delicious.
No tours in Costa Rica or Nicaragua could quite match our objectives at this time.  No offense to either country both of which are rife with gorgeous scenery and wildlife.  Its no wonder we're wrapped up in the birds visiting the villa.  There's no extra cost to take photos of the fascinating creatures.

In 55 days,  we'll be spending a month in Buenos Aires Argentina living in a hotel and dining out for dinner each night (breakfast is included at the hotel we've already booked).  There again, budgetary concerns prevail. 

I should have taken the photo after I cut into this ultra rare tenderloin.  It was the most rare steak I'd ever eaten.
Fortunately, we'll be in a good neighborhood in Buenos Aires with access to public transportation which should allow us to get out on our own without paying for pricey tours.  We've spotted many venues appealing to our tastes.

Speaking of tastes...Saturday night's dinner at the hotel's highly rated restaurant Factory Steak and Lobster was good but not great.  The language barrier made ordering my special items cumbersome.  Luckily, I've learned enough Spanish to be able to get the basics handled.

My grilled vegetables included aubergine (eggplant) zucchini and tomato.
My best option was to order the tenderloin with a salad (sour cream on the side) and a small side dish of grilled vegetables.  I always order steak rare but in this case, it was too rare.  Gordon Ramsey would have yelled, "My God, it's still moving!"  Trying to explain how much more to cook it, was seeming to be impossible.

As a result, I probably ate 60% of it.  It was tender and tasty but not quite right. There was no point in taking a "doggy bag."  Not only was there no doggy but with the complimentary buffet breakfast the next morning, it made no sense.  I don't snack during the day.  Still full in the morning, I had a smallish breakfast of veggies, cheese and smoked salmon.

Saturday night, Tom ordered a rib-eye which was cooked properly and was tender and juicy with a good flavor.  He ate an entire loaf of bread as shown in the photo.  He hadn't had a bite of bread in many months. I kept my mouth shut as he enjoyed the bread along with his mashed potatoes and gravy.

On Saturday night, after dinner we wandered through the pool area.
We'd hoped to get out to another restaurant last night after walking around the neighborhood and checking menus there we no options for me.   With rave reviews on the food at The Market Restaurant in the hotel and the need to get up at 5:00 am today, we decided to stay in for what proved to be a pleasant meal suitable for my way of eating. 

After dinner we lounged in our room watching a TV show we haven't had available since 2015 when we lived on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji...Nat Geo Wild.  Watching those series leaves us reeling with excitement over "where we've been and what we've seen" and, "what is yet to come."  Astounding!
Dessert options after dinner.  We didn't partake.  But "food voyeur" that I am, it was fun just looking at them.
Today, as you read this post, most likely we'll already be back in Costa Rica.  Our plane lands at 10:00 am and with the taxi ride, we should be back at the villa between 11:00 and 11:30 providing there are no flight delays as we experienced when we arrived in Nicaragua.

Tomorrow we'll be back with more photos from our short weekend away, excited to share our enthusiasm on the actual date of our five-year anniversary of traveling the world.  We'll be posting past celebratory events as we observed each passing year. Please stop by and celebrate with us!

 Photo from one year ago today, October 30, 2016:
Seeing that the ship had arrived at the port in Sydney was always exciting for us.  One year ago today it was October 30th in the USA and our 4th travel anniversary.  However it was October 31st in Australia due to the International Dateline. This was our 15th and 16th cruises, back-to-back, considered to be two separate cruises.  For more photos please click here.


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