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salish sea

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  1. Hi Colin, You can take this or leave it, but we did something completely different with friends who were here, and I cannot recommend it enough: go to the Osa Peninsula! We went to Drake Bsy and stayed at what would probably be considered to be almost an all-inclusive (you had to tell them if you wanted dinner or for them to pack a lunch for you, and both were extra). We stayed in absolutely gorgeous cabins, and there were lots of activities that people could opt to do, like a tour of the mangroves, birdwatching, hiking. A lot of the guests and the resort owner would get together at night and drink, maybe play music, and tell stories. Not quite what your friends were talking about, but we all had an amazing time. (You get there by taking a lancha from Sierpe.) And the scarlet macaws squawking and flying over were pretty unforgettable, too. Buena suerte! with kind regards, Gayle
  2. Only sort off topic: I remember the night of the election in 2004, looking at emigrating to Canada ... to Australia ... to New Zealand ... Couldn't afford any of them, as we didn't have a spare 2 mil (and, no that's not mil, but million), but just looking gave me a degree of comfort. Eventually the pendulum will swing back and good sense will reappear. regards, Gayle
  3. Hi Dennis, When you're in CR, here's another really easy way to pay your Caja each month: go to any of the offices advertising servicios. The first time we went to our local, wonderful cheese store, El Tramo, it took Anita a few minutes to set it up, then I paid, and each month thereafter, all I needed to do was show her the old receipt, give her the cash, and wait for the new receipt.No dealing with the local BCR, and, extra added bonus, I got to have a cup of good CR coffee and buy some of their wonderful palmito. Also, I'd respectfully disagree with Terry and Mark. Having a Tico friend with you when the Caja staffer makes his/her calculation was invaluable for us. I think we paid far less than we would have otherwise. Buena suerte, and once you complete the process, you'll appreciate how easy it really was. (Worrying doesn't solve any problems.....) with kind regards, Gayle
  4. Hi everyone, Home in Vallarta, and neither I nor spouse had any problems coming or going. I forget to mention in my last post that I got the usual RCR on my entry stamp. regards, and thank you all for your help! Gayle ps: I love CR, and I miss the costarricenses so much!
  5. Hi everyone, Quick comment: long line for visitantes, so I went to the nacionales line, which was unstaffed, and, along with other residents/nationals, I got waved over to the diplomats' line. I said that I wasn't a diplomat, but he didn't care. He stopped in the middle of my entry to chat with someone who dropped by, but, no problem. I'll post here when we leave on the 1st. regards, Gayle
  6. Okay, so I'll see what happens tomorrow and will post on this thread tomorrow if I wind up having to pay Caja retroactively, or in April, when we leave. And, Paul, to be clear, spouse got permission to suspend Caja payments, and as I said in my initial post, the official said that spouse would need to reapply if he was out of the country for more than 5 months, which was the case. (He, however, will only be in CR for 3 days.) regards to all, Gayle
  7. Hi everyone, We left CR about 7 or 8 months ago, and spouse got our Caja suspended at that time. The clerk told him that it would be cancelled after 5 months and he would have to reapply. I need to return to CR and will be there for about 3 weeks. Spouse will be there for 3 days. So here is the question: Will we be okay when we leave the country, that is, will we be able to leave without a problem, or is the Migración official likely to tell us we can't leave until we reapply and pay for Caja? We do still have cedulas, which I assume are linked to our passports. Our cedulas don't expire until September. regards, Gayle
  8. salish sea

    ZIKA VIRUS

    I have no idea if this would work, but you could try chopped up garlic in warmed olive oil, spread on a piece of bread (=bruschetta). I got to eating some every morning, and maybe after a couple of weeks, my spouse turned to me and said, "You really smell like garlic." So I reluctantly gave it up, and missed having it for breakfast for many months. Wonderful: The breakfast of champions! Maybe a more palatable way to consume your garlic, but you'll have to make sure that everyone in your household does it, too. (No, I am not signing this)
  9. salish sea

    What to bring

    Okay, and here's another way, demonstrated by the tour guide at Espiritu Santo, the coop where (imo) the incomparable Cafe Naranjo is made: Measure out the quantity of coffee you want for the number of cups, and put it in the bottom of a container. Heat the amount of water you want. Just before it reaches a boil, take it off the heat, pour into the container with coffee, and allow to sit for 3 minutes (he was very particular about that:3 min, and as I recall, he used one of those hourglass-with-sand egg timers), then when the time is up, carefully pour off the brewed coffee or run it through a chorreador -- and for Jason and oso, I have seen unbleached cotton filters for the chorreadors -- and enjoy some delicious coffee! regards, Gayle
  10. ...and then you, too, can buy US elections. (No, I am not signing my name. Pretend I'm anonymous)
  11. salish sea

    What are they actually saying?

    Have to comment here: not like eleanor nor lucybelle, but by the end of the 3 years we lived in CR, my Spanish was more or less adequate. Then we moved to Puerto Vallarta. After almost 4 months, I am finally starting to understand when people talk to me. Part of it is the accent, and part of it is that so many words are different: different verbs used, and, especially, different nouns. The other day, I was talking to my Spanish teacher and mentioned queque. She had no idea what I was talking about, and eventually said, oh, you mean postre ..... And I don't remember if I told this story about speaking English, but when we were in Nova Scotia, we were in a small town -- don't remember the name -- and I stopped someone to ask where the library was so we could get internet access. He told me, and, unlike eleanor, I did not understand one single word he said, and had to walk down the street until we couldn't see him anymore, then duck into a local diner and ask there.
  12. Have to weigh in here. We went to the feria nearly every week, and I only recall one time when I felt as if I got ripped off by a vendor. My solutions: I never went back to him. Most people are very nice, and I would occasionally buy things that were unfamiliar. I'd ask the vendor, and he could nearly always tell me how to prepare it, and if not, would find someone else who could. We had a regular papaya vendor we always went to (I know this is blasphemy, but I don't like papayas, but spouse used to have his papaya for breakfast every morning**), Don Juanitu. He always picked one perfectly ripe papaya and one that would be ripe a few days later. I don't know how he did it. And to Sam, there's a wonderful place in Los Angeles Norte called El Tramo, which has very fresh raw milk and cheese including the best palmito. They make a variety of cheeses every day, always including palmito. Spouse and I sometimes would go there for coffee or hot chocolate, and while waiting, often a number of people would stop in and buy several bags of palmito, sometimes telling me how good it is. Alejandra speaks some English, though the others who work there do not. They do get tourists from time to time, and pointing works well. That will be one of my stops when we return to CR in a few weeks! I agree with Rosa's comment. Although it hasn't been an issue for me, I have heard many stories from others who chose to deal with expats rather than Ticos and really got taken advantage of. We dealt with local business people and were always treated fairly. regards, Gayle **of course, here in Vallarta, only occasional papayas, and no feria like the one in San Ramón.....
  13. salish sea

    My Dental Care HAS Gone-Up!

    Rick, also a comment to your friend. Whether it's through chemical means (Valium or similar) or just making up his mind that what the dentist will have to do won't be as bad as the alternative, he really needs to be seen. Untreated dental problems can lead to much more serious health issues. And good luck to your friend. regards, Gayle
  14. In CR, we lived out in the campo, with beautiful views of the surrounding green, green hills. Lots of birds, butterflies, howler monkeys and coyotes we could hear, but not see. Before then, we always lived in suburbia in the US. I never thought I would like living in a real urban area, but spouse really wanted to move to Vallarta. Some things continue to be a real adjustment (can almost never hear the birds because of noise from traffic and neighbors' music), but the convenience of it all is making me a real convert: just 2 or 3 blocks to a number of very good restaurants, walking distance to a large grocery store, ditto to a small Asian grocery store with all sorts of jarred goodies and other items, ferreterias, dentist, etc, not to mention the beach and malecon. So it's a different life, but has its beauty, too. I never would have thought so! regards, Gayle 5 de diciembre Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
  15. Hey, Sam, If you go fairly early in the morning, when it's less hectic, I highly recommend Supermercado Molina: usually very good prices and great selection. That being said, though, until you get used to things, it can be pretty chaotic. There's also an organic grocery store (a small selection of usually gorgeous vegetables on Wed afternoons) called La Pacareña. Their produce comes from the organic finca Guadalupe In Zarcero. Probably TMI ... regards, Gayle
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