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

20 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 27


Playa Junquillal is one of Costa Rica’s protected turtle nesting beaches.  I’ve had the opportunity to hold a newly hatched baby turtle in my hand and then release it to the sea.  What a thrill!!

But maybe an even bigger thrill is watching a turtle laying her eggs and the incredible process that involves.  I have been here two years now and for the first time witnessed this event just recently.

Mario and Nidia have two dogs.  It seems like everyone here has at least two dogs.  I’ve heard gringos that have PETA leanings complain that ticos don’t take care for their dogs and I must admit that I do see a lot of malnourished and uncared for looking dogs.  And very few cats.  It seems that ticos don’t care much for cats.  But at least Lobo and Chiber (pronounced “Chee-bear”) are well fed by Mario and Nidia.  I came home the other day and met a third dog/puppy that when I asked who the puppy belonged to they said it was a gift from Mario’s brother to their little girl Kendi.

I had to be the big bad boss and tell them I thought two dogs were enough.  He was gone two days later.  Fortunately since families are large, and all the relatives pretty much live in the same area, they gave the puppy to their older daughter who lives in Paraiso with her boy friend.

Another interesting trait is that male dogs are by far the preferred sex.  I’ve heard that’s because puppies are hard to get rid of.  Ticos are practical that way.  I’m actually glad they have Lobo and Chiber, both males of course and also father and son, because they do a good job of putting up a ruckus when strangers are near the property.  Mario pays attention to that and goes out with a flashlight at night if the ruckus is big enough.

As a matter of fact that’s how the turtle got discovered.  It’s not uncommon for the two dogs to bark at other animals but if it lasts for more than five minutes it means something else is going on.  Like the time Lobo, before Chiber arrived on the planet, was attempting to bite a snake.  That was an interesting experience.  It turned out it was a poisonous snake and each time Lobo made an attempt to bite it the snake would strike.  Mario happened to be at work at the time so it was just Nidia and I trying to subdue Lobo and get him away from the snake.  As quick as that snake was, Lobo was quicker and actually got a couple bites in while avoiding being bitten.  He was paying no attention to us so I ran and got my machete and chopped the snakes head off.



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