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Travels to Monteverde, Costa Rica

June 2nd, 2008

Karen HangingAs my regular readers know, Luisa and I enjoy mini-vacations around Costa Rica. We do these regularly, and I often like to blog about what we did, the hotels where we stayed, and general info that may be useful if you are traveling or living here and are looking for an escape.

Recently, my daughter Karen, 40 something mom of three, well actually two but we often count her husband as one of the kids, came a visitin’ from Chicago, and we all made the four hour trek to Monteverde, Costa Rica. With us was son Bill, his wifey and my granddaughter, Lucy all of whom live here.

I had the cool idea of renting a van and driver for the trip. Normally I drive, but there is a 10-15 miles stretch of nasty road and I figured I’d save wear and tear on the car and use taxis when we got there. Turned out to be a great idea. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every so often!

If this interests you, read on!

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The Change to 8 Digit Dialing draws near

February 29th, 2008

On March 20, 2008, how you dial a number in Costa Rica is going to change. This not only affects those of us IN Costa Rica, it also will affect those in foreign lands who make call TO Costa Rica.

If you fall into either of the above categories, by all means read on!

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Crime in San Jose? Take Care!

December 18th, 2007

I just HATE to write these kinds of posts. I know how blogs like mine can and do affect tourism. On the other hand, if the country continues to not support those branches of government charged with protecting the people… well then so be it. They cannot expect good press about bad situations. Perhaps the loss of tourist dollars will get them off their collective traseros!

I live here and I love this country so to write something bad just makes me very sad. Here again though, I must write about the crime that is causing serious issues in San Jose, the capital. Please note I am not writing about the whole country, just San Jose…  but for now, I must caution my readers to be very cautious if they must drive in San Jose, especially the downtown area.

The bad guys are winning.

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Follow-up on the Exchange Rates and Banking

November 28th, 2007

I expect my readers are might be a bit tired of all these posts about banking and the revaluation of the colon last week, but things are happening here that affect (especially) those expats living here.

But, I have also received a lot of email about this topic, so here are some things I am noticing in my travels around San Jose in the past few days. I think they may be important.

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Tattoos on Women in Costa Rica

November 19th, 2007

The first time I received an email from a woman who expressed concern about her tattoos while visiting Costa Rica, I was about 40% sure I was being shined on a bit. I replied of course as that is not covered in either the REAL Costa Rica web site nor this blog. Later, she sent me photos, and she was for real.

Since then, I have received two more emails asking the same question, the most recent today. As I am one of those people who think for every person who will ask such a question, there are probably ten others who have not the courage to write.

So here is her letter and my reply for all those tattooed ladies coming to visit Costa Rica!

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A Blatant Plug!

September 2nd, 2007

As I got a lot of positive feedback from people interested in our weekend excursions, here is a bit of publicity for a new post: “Another Getaway Weekend with my (almost) ex-wife” to be found on my personal Blog, HisFault.

Just no other convenient way to tell RCR Blog readers about a new post.   Sorry to those subscribed to both Blogs.

The Price of Gasoline in Costa Rica

August 6th, 2007

Occasionally I get word from my kids in the states about how high the price of gasoline has become. While I sympathize of course, I can’t really get too empathetic as I watch almost weekly as gas prices here just get higher and higher, now reaching over $4.50 per gallon for super.

Yup… super is now selling at 620 colones per liter and that translates to $4.51 per gallon at service stations throughout Costa Rica. All service stations here must sell at the same price. Regular gasoline is now at 584 colons per liter or about $4.25 a U.S. gallon. Not much difference. Sadly, I use super. Ugh.

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The Pilgrimage to Cartago

July 31st, 2007

La BasilicaI admire people with faith such as these Romeros… the word used to describe those pilgrims who come from as far away as Mexico, on foot, to petition “La Negrita”, or the Virgen de Los Angeles, for a favor or to give thanks for favors received. Some travel barefoot, others on horseback (see video). Many will be on their knees for the final trip down the aisle as they approach the alter. Regardless, many travel for days and days and eschew autombiles, motorcycles or any other convenience. They take this very seriously, and some leg or foot pain is a small price to pay for honoring their Virgin.

Most major highways here, especially the Pan American Highway and local roads in and around Tres Rios are filled now with the pilgrims, many wanting to arrive early. The traditional date is August 2nd.

Tomorrow, the main highway to Cartago (which is also the Pan American Highway and major route to points South), will be closed entirely.

Highways here have few rules and pedestrians, bicycles, and other slow traffic is common. Now, they are joined by romeros on horseback. Here is a video a some who were passing nearby my home just this morning.

Getaway Weekend and Bird Watching Pt 2

July 22nd, 2007

q2.jpgI was so tempted to go back and change my last post promising Part 2 for the next day… but I figured someone would bust me in about two minutes… so here is PART TWO. Sorry for the delay… my BLOG was not displaying properly and I chose to update it before posting again. Not sure if this was necessary as most of my readers get updates by email or by RSS… but it makes for a good excuse.

On we go…. Part 2

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Getaway Weekend with Maria Part 1

June 8th, 2007

As a lot of you know, Maria Luisa and I are fond of taking weekend trips to places in Costa Rica that neither of us have been to before. For me, that is easy, but for my Tica wife, you would think she would have been everywhere after living for about a half a century. Not the case. One of the truly amazing things about Costa Rica is that for such a tiny country, it abounds in places that even Ticos do not know exist. Some are getaways just for weekends, while others are places you might really like to live! This is one of the reasons why I advise those moving here to not buy right away. Explore! You will find treasures and likely pay half of what you will pay of you don’t do this. The place we visited falls into the getaway category.

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