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

13 Feb

This is the continuation of a series of posts on my blog 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

And just in case you’re interested… here’s the table of contents:

Introduction and Preliminary Comments – 3, My First Trip -15, Lost in Guanacaste – Playa Coyote – 20, Trust with a Child – 26, Lost in Panama – 29, Attorneys – 35, My Contractor – 38, My Security Guard – 61, My Toldo – 67, Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet – 76, A Cellular Phone – 115, A Country Doctor – 124, A Lesson Well Learned – 130, A Little Green Frog – 138, A Little Brown Frog and a Bat – 146, A “Murphy’s Law” Day – 153, Driving in the Rainy Season – 161, Drunk Drivers – 174, Fiesta del Toros – 185, Getting a Drivers License – 195, INS and a Minor Accident – 203, Lifeguards – 224, Passing through Customs – 232, Rules of the Road for Tico Driving – 236, San Jose – 241, Shopping and Making Tamales – 250, Taking the Bus – 272, Turtles in My Front Yard – 281, Untitled – 287, When it Rains it Pours (sometimes) – 294, She Found My Lot – 307, My First Traffic Ticket – 312, Ticket # 2 – 316, My Radar Detector – 318, Ticket # 3 (after a slow speed chase) – 324, A Christmas Parade – 338, Sex (the truth about ticos) – 343, Photo Album – 347, Appendix – 374

chapter 26


I’ve taken the bus all the way from my place to San Jose just for the adventure of it and discovered it’s actually a good way to get to San Jose.  It costs less than $6 one way where as gas would be about $40.  Takes a little longer of course but on the other hand you’re not tired and stressed out from forever trying to get around a black smoke belching truck that can’t go more than ten miles an hour on the mountain roads.   Plus like I said before, it’s a gorgeous drive and from the bus you can actually enjoy the scenery.  And let the driver be stressed trying to get around the smoke belchers.

As of the date of this writing a bus ticket now costs about $10 and of course gas prices have risen too.

With the exception of the day I decided to go to San Jose and a big tree fell across the road between P. Junquillal and Santa Cruz, causing me to miss the connection I wanted for San Jose, that I needed to catch in Santa Cruz, because we had to wait while a bunch of guys chopped that big tree up with their machete’s.  It’s my preferred way to go.  It’s amazing what these ticos can do with a machete.  That has to be one of the most versatile tools in the world.  This tree had a trunk diameter of about 6 to 8 inches.  Those guys whacked the branches off and had the trunk cut up enough to be able to drag it off the road in less than a half hour.

But more on the bus system here.  I’ve been here about 7 months now and have been to San Jose several times on the bus.  I’ve found a place that, at least for now, I can leave my car in Santa Cruz and pick it back up when I’m back from S.J.  The bus from P. Junquillal is a rickety old thing with blown out shock absorbers and on that rough dirt road you must take to get to Santa Cruz it’s just nicer to take my car.  The bus I take from S.C. to S.J. however is much nicer.  Some of them even have a TV and since it’s a four and a half hour ride it’s nice to watch a movie.  (As the years have passed however, the busses to San Jose have deteriorated terribly and there are no more movies.)

It has been interesting though to learn the idiosyncrasy’s of taking the bus.   For example on more than one occasion I have arrived at the terminal too late to get a ticket for the bus I wanted.  Not a big problem because in another hour or two there will be another bus to the same destination.  The reason there are so many buses with such a varied schedule is because something like over 50% of the people in C.R. don’t have cars.  Thank goodness the bus company’s aren’t government controlled!  After my experiences with ICE (see Getting a Land Line Phone and Internet) I can only imagine the nightmare it would be.


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