Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Settling into La Pura Vida

Written Sunday and finally posted today.

Costa Rican lifestyle is laid-back, quite unlike the frenetic, go-go pace of life back home. It is refreshing not rushing to appointments or freaking out because the individual in front of you - whether at the grocery store, bank, Starbucks - is taking a very long time to move on.

it is easy to slow down in this warm climate. There is no rush to take an order, prepare and serve a drink or a meal. No one berates you because the table is not vacated promptly; on the contrary, customers are welcome to take their time and enjoy the moment. When ready to leave, it may take a while to locate your waiter or waitress and get a bill. Relax, you're on tico time. (tico - locals)

Some things do make Americans crazy. There are few street signs. Sometimes a small sign indicates the town you are looking for is down a dirt road. Directions go something like, "the cafe is next to the motorcycle repair shop on the road to the left immediately after the paved road turns into a dirt road."

We never found the place. But we had a scenic tour of the village.

I did not leave civilization totally behind, and finding workable Wi-Fi has been a challenge. My Wi-Fi is finally connected at the cabin following two frustrating days of trials and errors. There are still problems. The wi-fi continues to drop out too often and posting pictures presents problems. Pictures may have to wait until I am home.

We spent the morning strolling around the town of Domenical, a surfer's haven. Small cafes, bars and hostels line uneven, meandering, potholed, unpaved streets. Vendors selling jewelry, clothing and souvenirs line both sides of the street closest to the beach. The blue Pacific beckoned, but we did not wander in. Initially no one was in the pristine waters, but later in the day the surf kicked up and surfers suddenly appeared in the water as bystanders made themselves comfortable along the beach.

Some of the food and drink establishments went dark as the surf kicked up. Employees return to work when the best surf passes.

Using local currency makes one feel downright rich. There are (approximately) 500 colones to the dollar. Most places take dollars or colones.

Cafe cuisine tastes wonderful and is fresh, healthy, locally grown and very reasonable. We lingered most of the afternoon at an open air cafe enjoying a leisurely lunch and watching the Broncos/Patriots game, surrounded by American ex-pats and vacationers.

I am becoming adept at driving on narrow, windy, unpaved, potholed, rocky roads.

I paid for one meal - total 8,180 colones - with 80,000 colones. The English-speaking waitress kindly informed me of my error. I gave her a big tip. Will not make that mistake again.

I should have studied Spanish before boarding the plane. My high school Spanish is long-forgotten. Luckily most people speak some English.

I am settling into la pura vida in Costa Rica.


  1. it sounds delightful. Relax, relax, relax.

  2. Reminds me of some old trips I took to the Yucatan in Mexico. Laid back, beautiful beaches, and no hurry to do anything at all. Ah.... :-)