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

30 Apr

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 1


It is my first trip and I’ve decided to attempt to visit some friends of friends, Steve & Kathy, whom I had never met but from the emails we’ve exchanged I can tell they’re good people.  They have a house way in the south of C.R. almost to the Panama border in a place called Zancudo (that translates to mosquito, hmmmm).  I’m in Jaco, which is on the Pacific coast in about the middle of the country if you look at a map. 

Now, C.R. is not a very big country.  It’s about the size of West Virginia and Zancudo looks to me like it would be about a four hour drive, even calculating for the dirt roads.  Kathy had sent me a detailed, hand drawn, map of how to get to their place, which included a river crossing on a ferry.  Didn’t look too hard to me.  Well, after I had traveled more than four hours down the road, and was no where near Zancudo, I realized I need to look more closely at the map.  So I reached in my back pocket only to discover that I had left it my hotel room! 

The good news is I had rented a cell phone with the car (which I’ve done every trip since then because I’ve found they come in real handy).  I called the number I had for them and they weren’t home but whoever answered the phone found someone who speaks English to talk to me.  Small world, turns out it’s the son of my neighbor across the street from my friend John.  John’s house is where I sleep when I visit Ca. (but I didn’t live there then so I didn’t know).  Anyway, the guy says turn here turn there you’ll go up a hill down the hill go slow down the hill otherwise you’ll miss the left you have to take near the bottom of the hill.  The left takes you to the ferry.  Well… there’s a bunch of up the hills down the hills and a couple of them have a left near the bottom. 

But I come to a left that has a structure (I found out later it was the bar/restaurant Kathy had mentioned in her map but I had forgotten that little detail, furthermore, what the Costa Ricans call “home” can look like an abandoned building like this one) but this left looked more well traveled than the others so I figured I’d give it a shot.  Whoopee!! About ten minutes later I came to the ferry!  Now then, remember, this is C.R., the country that is just pulling itself out of the 3rd world, so I watch it make the crossing with some other cars on it to make sure it won’t sink.  Then I realize that the guy who gave me the directions didn’t say where to go from the other side of the river.  It’s good he didn’t because if he had I probably would have said nuts on it because it was such a series of turns that even after I arrived at their place I wasn’t sure I could get back to the river. 



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