SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise by Gary Davis

21 Aug

This is the continuation of a series of blogs to promote the e-book SO YOU WANT to LIVE in COSTA RICA – which is a guide to… the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise… This is a guide book that will give you the kind of insider’s knowledge that you might wish you had before you made your decision to move or not move to Costa Rica.

Every blog entry will start with the appendix because that way when you read whatever else I have posted it will 1. make sense (I hope) and 2. give you a point of reference in case you realize you need to read something that is “archived”.  Because if you read every blog I enter you will have eventually read the whole e-book and won’t need to order it for $2.99 from Amazon or B&N.  All you’ll be missing are the photos that show what you might expect if you choose to undertake the Adventures, Trials and Tribulations of Settling in Paradise.

As I said, I will start each blog with the appendix so that the reader can reference important elements of the book to archived blogs.  The page numbers shown are the actual page they appear on in the book. Here is the Appendix – and these are all the nuggets and their corresponding page numbers: Definition of “nugget” – 3, Doors & Windows – 7, Manufacturing – 11, Real Estate – 11, Shipping – 12,Maps, – 15, Corporations – 20, Traffic Cops – 23, Know basic Spanish – 30, Panama – 33, Roof Line – 42, Plumita Pacifica Web Address – 65, Getting the Best a Tico has to Offer – 84, Power Surges – 86, Liberia Airport – 88, Attitude – 104, Cellular Phones – 117, Newspapers – 18, Your Embassy – 137, Buying & Selling Cars – 154, Drive Slowly – 161, Arriving at the Airport – 168, Wages & Prices – 170, Undertows – 226, Life Ring – 230, Avoiding Customs Confiscations – 234, Driving Rules – 236, Walking in the City – 249, Purchasing Anything – 258, Buying Fresh Produce – 263, Bus Tickets – 272, to “Bribe” or not to “Bribe” – 313, Traffic ticket Prices – 315, Exiting the Country – 337

chapter 2 continued

So I tell them where I want to go.  I’ll be damned if one of them didn’t speak a little English!  What luck!  Because he was able to say “go to this (landmark) turn right, go to the next (landmark) turn left, and so forth.

Had he not known a little English I wouldn’t have had a clue because these landmarks were words in Spanish I didn’t know.

I take off, find the landmarks, make the turns and whoopee, I’m at the beach in another half hour.  There’s absolutely nothing there except a tico house with an extended covered patio that they sort of called a bar/restaurant.  And they had one customer, a cop.  In the boonies like that the cops ride dirt bikes (must be fun).  So once again I’m in luck because by now it’s getting late enough in the day that I’m a little uncomfortable thinking about trying to back track and since I know there’s got to be another way out, I show the cop my map.  Sure enough, not only does he know exactly how I should go but he also knows exactly where I shouldn’t go.  He knows where the road is washed out and impassable but how to get around it.

Even though you’ll read in the chapters on “traffic tickets” my general disdain for the circumstances involved in interactions with traffic cops you’ll find that for the most part they are friendly and, like most ticos, try to be helpful.


So I buy us a beer, he’s happy, I have a little lunch and just then these two young guys (gringo’s) in another 4×4 pull up.  They’re lost too.  So we go over my map.  Make sure we’ve got the cops directions down right.  Have a couple more beers and they’re ready to go.  I tell them not to take off until they see my car move and they say “oh, no, we need you to follow us anyway because our car totally craps out now and then”.  Is this the blind leading the blind?   My car starts, we’re off and I swear we’re back to where I started from in less than an hour using the cop’s directions.  But by this time it’s around 4pm, we’re almost at the end of Peninsula Nicoya, there’s a ferry that goes from the end across the gulf to the mainland town of Puntarenas, and we decide to take it.  We get to the ferry, stop our cars, buy our tickets, it’s time to get on the ferry, my car starts, theirs is dead.

11/5/12 ch 2 cont.

We push their car onto the ferry,  about an hour later we’re in Puntarenas, push it off on the other side with a little speed, it starts and then the search is on for a place to get it fixed.  That’s almost a whole other story in itself.  But I was headed to Jaco for the night, which is about an hour from Puntarenas and a whole lot more fun, so I offer them a ride.  Yes, they say, and they’ll hitch hike back for their car the next day.  I left them at the eye candy store (a bar with a multitude of pretty ticas) late that night after many more beers.  I guess they made it back to their car the next day.

But before I leave this adventure, let me tell you about the ferry ride.  This is an old ferry but it has both an enclosed deck and an open deck.  When there’s nice weather, which is about 95% of the time, people gather on the open deck.  There’s food, beer, a well stocked bar and it’s totally party time for the hour or so that it takes to get across the gulf.

I got the most beautiful shots of a sunset I’ve ever been able to get.



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