NOTE: I still plan on my first report from Chachagua Rainforest tonight, but for morning readers, this lifestyle report 🙂 . . .
Now you could call my bus-riding “cultural” or “simple living” or “green living” etc. But Saturday I road the bus to Alajuela again after almost cutting it out for 2 years because of Covid and the dangers of infection in such close quarters. For example, one of my old bus drivers died of Covid he caught as a driver to and from San Jose from Atenas.
But during this past Saturday’s bus trip I felt all the tension and stress caused by the fraudulent use of my debit card just disappeared and I vowed then that I would do this regularly again now. Covid is waning here and I’m feeling safer with all travel now, though I still consider my hidden jungle lodges safer than the cities! 🙂
First you must know that I have not owned a car since 2014 when I moved to Costa Rica and even though I rented cars a few times during my first 2 years here just for trips outside of Atenas, I soon discovered the joy of walking and taking buses and taxis and for awhile was taking bus trips all over the country. I now use a private driver for more of my trips (especially with Covid), but the more regular bus trips to Alajuela (and fewer to San Jose) will now continue while still wearing a mask. And as a senior adult, the Alajuela trip is free and to San Jose half price, like the equivalent of 75 to 80¢! 🙂
My Saturday Experience
At 7:20 I took a taxi to the Atenas Bus Station so I wouldn’t be sweaty from the one steep hill I would have to walk up and waited with others for buses to San Jose, Alajuela and many smaller towns around Atenas. I finished reading The Washington Post on my Kindle and played a game or two of Solitaire on my phone while first waiting and then riding on the full 8am bus to Alajuela while also watching the pleasant mountain scenery and interesting people out my open bus window. The 45 minute bus ride is relaxing, interesting, and fun to me! I still feel like a tourist here sometimes. 🙂
The city of Alajuela is remodeling the bus station where our Atenas bus usually goes, thus the driver lets us out downtown about 4 blocks from Central Park (near the Central Market) and then we catch him for the return trip at another nearby park downtown. I walked the 4 blocks to Central Park and photographed the fountain that was actually working that day! (Above photo) 🙂 Then I walked across the street to my one unhealthy links to America, a McDonalds Restaurant that I enjoy eating breakfast in occasionally. Note that we have no chain restaurants or fast-food chains like this in Atenas, so it’s a big deal for a boy from the country town! 🙂
They are so modern that they now want you to order at the front door and pay, getting your receipt with a big number on it for your pick-up in the back of the restaurant and they even prefer that you use a credit card now. I got my pancakes, sausage and black coffee and took it upstairs past the play area with moms and little kids and sat on the balcony on the front of the store overlooking Central Park and the Cathedral.
On the balcony there was just me, a teenager absorbed in his cell phone, a serious-looking businesswoman, and a little boy playing with his happy meal toy while his mother and grandmother talked. 🙂 I ate and watched the people and scenery out the above window. It is open air like most restaurants here and that wire across the front is to keep the pigeons out! 🙂
After a slow and leisurely breakfast, I walked the 5 blocks or so down the same street to Aeropost where I often pick up my internet orders. I had a package of 4 copies of my photo book Roca Verde Birds (photos of 40 birds from my housing development) since a friend had asked for one and I figured I should have 3 extras “just in case.” 🙂
Then I walked one block to Iglesia Agonia, a beautiful old Spanish-style church where there is a taxi stand (one by all major churches here). I took a taxi to City Mall where there is an Office Depot because I needed some Avery Labels for the photo greeting cards I’m creating for a future arts and crafts show here. 🙂 That was my only stop in the mall this time, but I have a few stores I like to visit some (especially the bookstore) and several good restaurants, but I was ready to return home that morning, so another taxi to our temporary Atenas bus station where I got the 11am return bus and back to Atenas before 12 noon where I went by the bank ATM and then walked home. My kind of Day! And it was only half over! 🙂
Before leaving that morning, I had photographed 4 birds in my garden, so that afternoon I reported them on eBird (with photos) for the “Global Big Day” Bird Count Saturday. 🙂 Just another day of living “Retired in Costa Rica!”
Hopefully I will send out my first post from Chachagua Rainforest tonight! Hasta luego!