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October 2nd, 2013
NBC, for some unknown reason has now removed all programming to Costa Rica. As of yesterday, all cable operators displayed a sign on the NBC channel stating that NBC will no longer be available here. Further, the cable companies are denying requests for a price adjustment. I have been unable to find any reason for this blockage by NBC, but the station is popular not only with the Costa Ricans, with Ex-Pats living in Costa Rica but also by the many thousands of visitors here from the USA and other countries. I do not care much about the rebate for less cable service, but I am one of the PO’d people that NBC would be so high handed as to do this to so many viewers.
Interested in this topic? Read on… Continue reading »Filed under Cable TV, CableTica, Costa Rica, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Rants, Tourism, Travel to Costa Rica, TV | Comments (3)
September 29th, 2013
Some records are good to break… others… not so much. As of September 21, 2013 the Ministry of Health announced that they have recorded 38,497 cases, 699 more than 2005, the year with the heretofore highest incidence of dengue. Some areas such as Atenas seem to have been affected worse than others, but one should use caution wherever mosquitoes are biting in the daytime. Why daytime? Because the mosquito (Aedes aegypti) that transmits dengue fever only bites during the daytime hours.
Tourists or anyone visiting areas frequented by mosquitoes should use and good bug spray. Bring some from your home country as you’ll pay ripoff prices in CR. Remember the pump spray or cremes will not get confiscated in airports as might the spray cans..
Click to continue reading Continue reading »Filed under Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Dengue Fever, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Tourism, Travel, Travel Advisory, Travel to Costa Rica | Comment (0)
January 17th, 2013
This year’s Chili Cook Off will be on February 10, 2013 and seems to have become an annual event. I seldom promote this kind of stuff, but in this case, the organizers are honest and the money goes to the Hogar de Vida, a home for abused, abandoned and orphaned kids that houses up to 35 children ages birth to 10 years old. Good cause.
I could not go last year… some conflict as I recall, but it is on my calendar for this year.
Give it a shot! I am sure that Diet Chili is available for those of us calorically challenged.
Or… maybe not.Filed under Chili, Costa Rica, Costa Rica Cooking, Costa Rica Tourism, Things to Do, Tourism, Travel | Comment (1)
June 14th, 2011
Those of you who subscribe to my Twitter account (right side >>>) received the word about ten days ago that tha Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico, the volcano watching people, have set up a web cam so they can see what’s a happenin‘. You can too. Just click here!
Arenal is a favorite tourist spot. It is always erupting and has been for years… though some eruptions are more interesting than others.
During the rainy season (now) Arenal volcano watching can be pretty boring… but if that thing goes off, it’s a good show. Also, it is often clear late at night. Worth an occasional visit. It refreshes every ten seconds.
Hint! If you want to get my other updates that do not sometimes make the blog immediately or ever, Follow Me on Twitter.Filed under Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Ecology and Nature, Life in Costa Rica, Tourism, Travel, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (3)
May 10th, 2011
Before I start… Quite nice feedback to last week’s Costa Rica Tourist and Visitor Advisory. Had no idea it would get the response it did.
Anyway… here is a quickie! Route 32 San Jose to Limón is closed due to landslides. See below why this is important.
Now while these notices apparently are welcome, it now occurs to be I may not be able to update these things on a timely, so my best guess is that it will take a week or so to get it fixed, so best check when you arrive here if arriving soon.
One of the toughest things to get your mind around when living or traveling here is how often you are faced with the odd fact that there are many times few or NO alternative routes to wherever you are going. In the US and many countries, a road closure is no big deal. A minor inconvenience. Not here. An example is, in fact, San Jose to Limón. When route 32 is blocked, you are pretty much screwed, especially if you need to get there quickly. There is only one other (practical) route and taking that doubles the drive time to 5+ hours and maybe more as it is now carrying more traffic.
May 6th, 2011
I know a lot of the visitors to the REAL Costa Rica are folks either planning a trip to Costa Rica or are considering a move here either for retirement or work related. It occurred to me that many of these people are not Spanish speakers and have no idea of some of the issues that may affect them when they arrive here.
With this in mind, I am starting a new Category names TRAVEL ADVISORY. This way, travelers can perhaps learn about some things that may affect them negatively while in country and perhaps better prepares themselves for their visit.
If any of my Costa Rica readers have an idea of other topics (and no, I am not going to revisit crime as it is overworked everywhere), add your thoughts to the comments. I am going to start with two advisories that may or may not be well known outside of the country. The at-times dangerous beaches of Costa Rica and the travel resstrictions around San Jose. If the topic interests you… read on! Continue reading »Filed under Beaches, Costa Rica, Costa Rica Law, Costa Rica Tourism, Tourism, Travel, Travel Advisory, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (14)
April 21st, 2011
So there I was in town yesterday for a 2 minute stop at the drug store. I will admit that I did park next to a yellow curb, so I guess I am guilty, though there were no signs or warnings about how big a sin I was committing nor what was about to happen to me.
So…I grab my pills and start to chat up the regente (pharmacist) as we are old buddies. Almost immediately he asks me where I parked. I pointed and he says “RUN! They wait out there to get you and the ticket is HUGE!!”. How huge I wonder as I am hauling my non-to-light butt outta his store and across the street.
Too Late. There were two of them. One was a municipal cop (generally pretty nice folks where I live) and the other a much dreaded transit cop, also known as “tourism killers”. As I am from the 60’s, you have no idea how hard it was to type transit cop and not transit pig… but those days are gone…. I guess…sigh.
So I try to be friendly which seldom works as nearly every “transito” I have ever met seems to express equal opportunity hatred to every living creature. It seems they all suffer from some form of terminal hemorrhoids that makes them the nastiest sourpusses on earth. I have no idea how many tourists these clowns have offended and caused never to return to Costa Rica, but it is a BIG number if I can judge from the many emails I receive complaining about them… but I digress!
Interested? read on!
Costa Rica, Costa Rica Law, Costa Rica Tourism, Drivers License Costa Rica, Driving in Costa Rica, Ley de Transito, Life in Costa Rica, Tourism, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (12)
March 26th, 2010
As many folks know, I have been a staunch proponent of the old TDMA cell phones for… well forever! They worked and worked well. Real workhorses. I hated the GSM phones and I still do. However, my wifey switched to the new 3G system a few weeks ago, and I was so impressed (we actually had cell phone service in my office between San Jose and the SJO airport!) that I went out and bought one for me.
Now, after testing it and playing with it, I am ready to endorse the new 3G system. I did not order the Internet option as 1. is it too expensive and 2. My Ipod Touch does a far better job and has full wireless. Still… the 3G service is far better than the old GSM system.
If this topic interest you… read on! Continue reading »Filed under Cell Phones, Communications, Costa Rica, ICE, Life in Costa Rica, Opinion, Technical Stuff, Tourism, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (41)
February 28th, 2010
I have been waiting patiently for many months for someone in the government of Costa Rica (ummm – that would be the diputados), to realize just how idiotic is the new ley de tránsito (traffic law) that goes into effect tomorrow, March 1, 2010.
In fact I have re-written this post about 3 times, the last time being Friday when they decided not to enforce some laws requiring everyone carry fire extinguishers, those reflective triangle thingies, and a couple of other items (like child seats) that they probably should have left in! I was running out of time… but my guardian angel told me to wait until Sunday…
So I did wait, only to learn last night that the least likely group of all (that would be the transit police officers union) voted overwhelmingly to not enforce the new laws, but will enforce really tough drunk driving laws and those regarding reckless driving! Sadly, those are the laws the courts are ignoring with only eleven convictions in over a year. I am thinking now that the police officers (that would be the group with the brains) should perhaps trade places with the diputados!
Interested? Read on!Costa Rica, Costa Rica Law, Drivers License Costa Rica, Driving in Costa Rica, Expatriate Life, Tourism, Travel, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (19)
February 7th, 2010
Click photo to enlarge. Dotted line is now completed
The long awaited (30+ years) highway from San Jose to Caldera opened a couple of weeks ago. I had a hunch that anything that long in the making would draw the curious and traffic would be a disaster. Turns out that I called it, and the touted 45-60 minute trip to the Port of Caldera (Puerto Caldera), Costa Rica’s only commercial and cruise terminal on the Pacific coast, took up to three hours for much of last week
Not so yesterday!
Yesterday, I thought it might be worth a chance, so my wife Maria Luisa, my sister Pamela and I jumped on the new highway and found ourselves pretty much alone with pretty minimal traffic. Better yet, we were in Orotina in 45 minutes and in Caldera in 60. Another 15 minutes put us in Puntarenas and walking on the beach. this is a big deal to expats and Ticos and will certainly have a positive commercial effect in all those locations.
Thirty years or not, this was worth the wait. Interested? Read on!Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, Driving in Costa Rica, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Tourism, Travel, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (15)