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About eleanorcr

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  1. James, this is the main reason I moved closer to town. I lived 3 km up a very steep hill on a very bad road and it just became too much after a while. I now live about 300 meters from the center of town on a very quiet street that features toucans across the street, parrots nesting in my back yard and monkeys moving through from time to time. I have fruit trees and a few plantings for the kitchen. So really, the best of both worlds! Yes, I have to put up with the thump of my neighbor's bass and the occasional very loud truck, but that's not really a big deal. In return, I can easily walk to shopping and banking and the bus but use my car when the huesos viejos are acting up. Edit: About an hour after writing that, I was doing some laundry and the hose to my washing machine flew off and sprayed water all over the porch and everything in it, including ME! hahaha I thought about you James. Yes, I had to sweep and mop and clean off the water and change my clothes and then make a note to buy a hose clamp and fix the hose to the washing machine.
  2. I think you've gone off the rails a little bit, Paul. Plant grass to feed a horse/mule/burro? I guess you would then need to construct a corral, make sure your property is fenced, see that there are no plants that are poisonous to the animals, build a shelter for them to keep out of the rain, bedding for the shelter, vet calls (8 miles out...or more....), medicines, grain, vitamins..... it's complicated looking after a living thing. If having a Plan B for transportation is a real worry and a real need, then so much easier just to buy an inexpensive used motorbike. It doesn't eat when you don't use it and can sit on blocks under a tarp while not in use. I feel your pain, James! I've lived in a remote area like yours and while it's truly a blessing with all the wild around you, it can sometimes be a curse. I'm sure you will figure it out.
  3. I am really late to this party, I know, but I saw this the other day and have given it some thought. I was in a similar situation after an accident where my little truck was in the shop for 6 weeks. (Yes... six weeks.) I lived only 3 km from the bus line, but it was either straight down or straight up steep hills. I would sometimes walk down to the bus stop and taxi back up but sometimes I just didn't feel like walking. So here are some things that might be useful to you if you are ever in that situation, James. 1. Local taxis -- use these to pick you up and take you to the bus stop or take you to some local shopping. 2. Friends and neighbors -- people in Costa Rica are really good about giving rides to other people. But if where you live is truly remote, that could be a problem. Would it be possible to walk to a more-traveled road and pick up a ride there? 3. Talk to local shopping - supermarkets, hardware stores, etc, and see if they will deliver. Almost all of them will, for a fee. And you can call the supermarket or other stores and put in an order and they will send it to you, either by their own transport or by taxi. 4. Car rental -- rent a car for a week and get as much done as possible during that time. Some bus travel might be involved in picking up the car, of course. 5. Be as efficient as possible. Look ahead to see what needs to be done in the next month that can't be done via internet or phone and try to get all that done in one fell swoop, if possible. This would limit your need to use the bus to get to town or need for a rental car. 6. Cheap car rentals. This one is tricky! I own a 7-passenger van and some friends rented my car for a couple of days when family came to visit and they only had a small truck. This is definitely some "under the table" type of thing, so must be very careful. But it might be possible to find a local person who would be interested in letting you rent their car for a while. One also must be very careful when renting from some official rental car companies that offer really cheap rates. They are really cheap for a reason: Things don't work right and there is essentially no customer service. Like... windows don't work, horn doesn't work, tires slick, car breaks down strands you and they do nothing about it. Let's hope that none of us is ever in the "car totaled" situation but if that happens, perhaps some of these suggestions will work if one has to wait a long time to get a replacement
  4. True, newman. But Costa Rica is not "lawsuit happy" like in the US. Although, if it's a "rich gringo" haha. I guess it's just another reason to drive carefully and soberly and a bit slower than you'd like. I do drive a bit slower than people behind me like, but I have avoided at least two potentially deadly accidents by doing so.
  5. I have lived here in Costa Rica in houses that have bars and houses that don't. After a little while, the bars just don't bother me and they become kind of "invisible." It's kind of like having tinnitus: You have noise in your ear(s) all the time, but it is prominent only when you think about it. I do live in a town that is pretty crime-free and safe but some people do have bars, including me. My windows have jalousie openings and the bars let me keep them open most or all of the time without fear that someone will remove the panes and grab something or come into my house. Does that happen here? Not really -- but you just never know. There is a lot of wildlife around my house and those bars never seem to interfere with my view of them. I know people who also have bars around the outside of their porches and this comes in handy if you have small children or like to keep stuff on your porch. It also keeps unwanted vendors at bay and keeps that randomly drunk guy from entry into your house when he thinks it's his. It's also handy when you are working in the back of the house but still want to keep the front door open for the air flow. Mostly this is used with people who live in a town or small city. My only worry (and its a small one...) is if a fire starts that is between me and one of my doors. My Plan B is that I live in a Tico-style house where the walls don't go all the way up and I would just climb over the wall! haha
  6. But this is why you have liability insurance on your car? Yes?
  7. Wouldn't it be less complicated just to get liability insurance? I know people who have a B&B and it is not in a corporation but they do have liability insurance.
  8. Phil, you are looking for the value of a piece of land in Zarcero in 1993? Twenty four years later? In my mind, whatever you paid is what it was. Why would you even undertake a quest to find out how much that land was "really" worth? My advice would be -- if you are determined to pursue this -- to contact a local real estate agent or a real estate agent that handles property in Zarcero. They might -- MIGHT -- be able to help you. But property values can vary widely based on specific location so "farm land 1/2 a mile from the highway" is probably not good enough. The other option would be to go to neighbors of that property and see if you can find out anything from them. Someone might have bought/sold similar property in that neighborhood in that time frame.
  9. Good point, David. At SJO, walk right by those rental car desks, go outside and you will find the shuttle driver holding up a sign, sometimes with your name on it. I don't remember if there are rental car desks at LIR but if there are, the same advice applies. I did find out an interesting thing about car rental agencies and LIR airport: You will see shuttle drivers holding up signs inside the airport building and you will see shuttle drivers outside the building holding up signs. The agents inside the building are there because the agency has paid a fee to the airport. The last time I was there, I saw something like 5 rental car agents inside the building holding signs and a whole bunch of them outside holding signs.
  10. PaulaB - you won't have any problem traveling around as a single female. I've been driving all over Costa Rica on my own for something like 15 years with never an "incident." Of course, this implies that you don't do anything "stupid" like leaving your binoculars on the front seat of your car while you have lunch or carrying big, visible wads of cash in your wallet. Just use your good common sense and you will be fine. Renting a car is really the best way to get around. It gives you so much freedom and flexibility. My favorite agency is Vamos. They have clear and accurate descriptions on their website, good cars and excellent customer service. Others include Budget, Dollar, Adobe, Alamo and Solid. Stay away from anything that says "cheap car rentals." You get what you pay for. Liability insurance is mandatory in Costa Rica so be sure it is included in any quote you get. (Vamos always does this...) You can use your credit card insurance for collision and other things, but this means that if you have an accident, you would have to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed from your insurance company. For peace of mind, I think it's always worth buying a "full package." But that's a personal choice. Check the Vamos website -- they are the "gold standard" of rental cars and their information is accurate and up to date. They are typically booked up way ahead of time but even if you can't rent a car through them, you can get a lot of good information from their website. Note that there are no cars at either LIR or SJO airport - they are all offsite and shuttles will pick you up and take you to their offices. A driver will be waiting for you when you arrive. Pay attention to speed limits no matter what anyone else is doing. Speeding tickets can be brutally expensive. Once you are set up in a hotel, leave your passport at the hotel and keep a copy of the main page and the page with your entry stamp. Have fun! Forgot to add.......... book directly with the Costa Rican agency and not with a US agency or through a third party. Neither the US agencies or third parties such as Priceline or Expedia will give you an accurate quote, chances are. And it there is a problem, they will wash their hands of it. If you book directly, then the Costa Rican agency will handle any problems. (Not thinking too straight -- have the flu which is why I was posting at 4:30 am lol)
  11. If OP has done the drive.... 9 years ago.... or even 8 years ago (5 years ago?) ... it may not be relevant for you. Things have changed a lot in that time. In general: Safety is a BIG issue so not a great trip to take with a family; you will cross 5 borders so patience and paperwork will be important; you will need to register your car, have it inspected and pay the tax within 90 days of your arrival and keep in mind, the tax will be around 50% +- the value of your car, as determined by the Costa Rica government. A "gringo" in a nice car, loaded with stuff (and obviously with some cash and cards) is a very BIG TARGET these days.
  12. That sounds great! You will find that renting a car really is "budget friendly" since you won't have to take taxis or use organized tours or shuttles to get around. This is a very helpful website: www.yourtravelmap.com which shows you distances and travel times between many places and also directions. If you decide to explore the Nicoya Peninsula, this website is great: www.nicoyapeninsula.com You are doing a great job with paying off your debts and with those tickets! (I know how much work it can be to find those tickets.) I know you and your family will love Costa Rica, but try to look at things from the eyes of someone who would live here and not just a tourist.
  13. Wait... Ambassador Haney is Jewish? Who knew? I know he is black so I thought that would be the "racist rant" of choice. Why would anyone care? His religion (or race or sex) should have nothing to do with his Ambassadorship. And yeah, I would NOT want to be associated with ANY website or forum that allows any kind of racist or "religionist" posts.
  14. There's lots of math to do to get a handle on the information in this website. It would have been a lot easier if they had just put price per kilo or price per each, if that is appropriate. Here are some recent prices from my shopping expeditions: eggs - 30 eggs for 2,000 colones. (Haha - this is kind of a trick since I live near a big egg farm.) Eggs - are sold by weight and not by the each or by the dozen. A typical package has 15 eggs (mixed grades and sizes) and costs around 1,000 to 1,500 colones - mas o menos - depending on the weight. I bought some recently at a supermarket for 1,127 for 980 grams. 18 roll toilet paper supermax (Maxi Pali) - 6,500 carrots - 550 kilo 2 liter club soda - 1,160 bunch of spinach - 700 Pkg Jack Mejitos corn chips - 710 pkg of 6 gala apples - 1000 Tuna in chunks, in water - 930 sweet potatoes - 800 / kilo Lizano mayonnaise - 1,575 400 grams cantaloupe - 600/kilo Heinz Barbecue sauce (my luxury!) 1,500 purple cabbage - 1200/kilo Ketchup - 875 (about 350-400 grams) Blackberry jam - 935 Chunky salsa - 1,150 (about 400 grams) Package of pasta - 1,050 Assortment of Twinings black teas - 3,100 Tosh limon/green tea cookies - 1,325 Badi ground cinnamon - 625 Whole wheat flour - 1,000 (Bioland 1 kilo) Brown rice - 940 - (900 grams +-) I don't pay a lot of attention to meat prices. I buy meat from a local butcher who is a young man that was my English pupil many years ago. His meats are very good quality and I just buy what I want and don't really look at the prices. Sometimes he gives me an itemized receipt..... sometimes not. He grinds his own ground beef every morning and it's so lean, I usually have to add some fat of some kind. I NEVER buy meat at the supermarket! All you have to do, mostly, is just smell the meat department and you will then be saying, 'nononono'. The only meat I ever buy at the supermarket is for my dog (sorry sweetie....).