Now that I live in Costa Rica, bugs are not just annoying, but downright disruptive. There are a few mosquitoes, but it’s the no-see-ums that are really bad. Since I don’t like chemicals, I’ve been trying out some natural remedies, and there are a few that work: Natural remedies for bug bites
After a week and a half, things are settling into a routine. The dial up is painfully slow, but I’m learning to do all of my writing offline and just connect to copy/paste and send. It’s great to work for a couple of hours, go for a swim, work some more, walk on the beach, work a bit, etc.
Our neighbor is a lodge with a great restaurant and one of the best views in the area – 180 degrees of surf, sand, river, and forest reserve. The beaches are gorgeous and the water is almost warm. Continue reading
…and were happily surprised at the size. It’s a studio with a full kitchen and bath, and the half-covered terrace is just gorgeous. With the French doors open, it’s a big indoor/outdoor apartment. There’s a lovely pool that we didn’t expect to use, but have been going in on average twice a day, next to a barbecue area. The grounds are extremely lush, with different kinds of flowers as well as plantain, banana, papaya, mango, and avocado trees, and there’s a spot where we’ll be able to plant some tomatoes and lettuce.
It’s hot (80ish), breezy, and very humid, and it rains off and on throughout the day, sometimes quite unexpectedly. The beaches are gorgeous and pretty much deserted at the moment. The ocean water is fairly cool at the beach closest to us and warmer at the better surfing beach to the south, which is the one we can see from our terrace.
Wednesday was a very long day. I woke up at 5:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I spent most of the day making sure both laptops were up to date and packing up my desk while my husband did the geometry required to stuff nearly everything we own into the slightly too small 10×10 foot storage space. We also had to deal with transferring the car title, make two post office runs, visit the accountant, go to one bank to withdraw money and another to fill up our safe deposit box (we didn’t get there until after it closed, so then had to ask a friend to do it for us the next day – let’s hope he’s honest! ;-)) All in all, we didn’t finish packing until 10pm and didn’t get dropped off at our hotel by the airport until 11. By the time we checked in and ate it was after midnight, and our wake-up call was for 3:45. Ugh. Continue reading
I became fascinated by Costa Rica many years ago – I don’t know exactly when, but long before my first visit. There were essentially two things that made me want to see it for myself. The first is that Costa Rica has no army, and the second is that it has a lot of rainforests. I don’t know which I learned first, but the two together equalled a strong desire to see it for myself.
Then when I finally did go, for two weeks at the end of December 1998/beginning of January 1999, I fell in love. We visited both coasts, went white water rafting through the rainforest (one of most amazing things I’ve ever done), hiked in the cloud forest, took an aerial tram over the rainforest, and just generally had a blast. The people we met were nice and the beaches are gorgeous.
There were a few hiccups. The Spanish is different than anything I’d ever heard before – a lot of the vowels get swallowed, making it harder to understand (though I’m sure I’ll get used to it before long). The capital, San José, isn’t really anything to write home about. And we learned that the best way to travel in the country is with the domestic airlines, rather than the buses, at least in the western half of the country. We once got on a bus that for some reason we thought would take a couple of hours, but turned out to take nearly 12, due to horribly potholed roads and numerous stops.
When we went again in 2005, we concentrated on what we’d liked the most: rafting and the beach. It was, again, phenomenal.
Since the French visa just isn’t happening, we started considering other options, and the one we decided on is Costa Rica. We’ve been there twice, love the country and the people, it’s not super expensive, there are no insanely complicated visa requirements, we can work on our Spanish… it’s win-win-win-win-win! We’re planning on at least a year, maybe two. If the French visa does somehow show up during that time, we’ll discuss it then, but for now we’re tired of waiting around. Costa Rica, here we come (in mid-May)!