One night in the late 70’s we survived an invasion of bats and total family chaos that occurred when the garage door that was the entire seaside wall of our rented house in the hills, blew open in the Christmas winds. The next evening was quiet and I went for a walk with my eldest son, Tom. We were surprised to hear a motor running – remember, this was a time of very meager access to electricity – and were met outside his house by a genial man from Oregon named Gene Talboy. The motor was connected to what I suppose one would call a still and it was part of Gene’s effort to make wine in Nosara, an effort that eventually produced what was universally considered the worst wine ever made, anywhere.
Still in the 70’s, in love with an idea but divorced from reality, we engaged Julia Van Wilpe, wife of Dirk, the road builder for the Beaches of Nosara, to build a house for our Pelada property. Given what we knew about the problems between Hutchinson and the community, it was a dumb thing to do but we loved Julias’s plan and gave her a $2000 deposit and returned to New York eagerly awaiting the progress reports as our two story $17000 dream house was being built.
It was not to be. It appears that Julia had stockpiled materials for several houses, that there had been a fire, that workers had died and that her company was essentially wiped out. Remarkably, our deposit was returned and we decided that home ownership for this largely absentee family, was not the way to go.
Julia and Dirk still live in Costa Rica, remain very interested in Nosara and are currently working with the Nosara Civic Association on issues involving government agencies