I have not been regular in keeping my readers updated and sorry for that! I figured what was going on here does not affect you in other countries, but it may. For example, my sister sent me a birthday card and it bounced back to her. Our Ministry of Health includes the post office as part of the “Border Closing” which has been in effect since March, prohibiting travelers or mail from all other countries to help stop the spread of the virus.
I had to send my application for absent-tee voting by DHL (which along with UPS does work at a higher cost). And I get internet orders through my courier service Miami address, at Aeropost which flies packages directly here to our Customs Office for clearance.
LIMITED HUMAN FLIGHTS BEGIN AUGUST 1 from only Europe and Canada which will greatly help our struggling tourism businesses. Sorry USA! But you are the most dangerous country to let in right now, along with many other Latin American countries. I do not know what the restrictions will be on European and Canadian travelers, but I’m sure there will be requirements of some kind and maybe quarantines. We recently had another spike in cases, thus they are extra cautious while the tourism businesses beg for them to open. 🙂 Tough times!
Cars can travel on limited days only and everyone must wear a mask in public everywhere in the country. This week is our second week of restaurants providing only “to go” and “delivery” meals – no inside sit-down dining which might restart next week, but haven’t heard for sure. No barbershop until July 31 and I need a haircut! 🙂
But Costa Rica has the fewest cases of COVID19 of any other Latin American country which is something to be thankful for and proud of our national government for! So glad I live in Costa Rica now!
Featured Image is “Morning in the Rainforest” from Maquenque of course.
Sidewalk graffiti? Gang tag? Logo? Coat of Arms? — Something else interesting, like the flowers that I see on my walks. You see so much when you walk! Why would I ever want a car again? 🙂
NOTICE: Authorities have stated that borders will remain closed until May 15, 2020. We will wait on the Decree that regulates this to determine what other measures are impacted by this new date.
Sorry tourists!You will have to wait until at least May 15 or longer if the border closing is extended more.
BUT COSTA RICA IS ON THE DOWNHILL SIDE OF ITS COVID19 CASES CURVE! All the efforts of social distancing, hand-washing and business and event closings has paid off in a big way! And no stupid Republicans here to demonstrate against health protections! 🙂 We work together here! Read on . . .
I have been wanting to “open up” or “loosen up” my flower garden and make a couple of plant changes. Finally did that this week with the expert help and physical strength of my gardeners.
The Palmetto had become a giant ugly tree and was interfering with other plants. I had them remove it completely and replace with a Croton, the English name we used in Florida for a colorful-leaved shrub that can become very large if not trimmed. Earlier I had asked for a border of caladiums and they used the only type found in the Central Valley with very long sparse red leaves that went too far over my sidewalk. I explained the kind of small, heart-shaped leaf caladium I wanted and to get 40, as I needed, he had to order them from the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. But now I have what I wanted! 🙂
And we trimmed or cut back everything, especially the Plumbago which just takes over! So more open and clean now (fewer snakes!) but also with fewer flowers for the time being. In the tropics you have to be severe with pruning as everything grows rapidly here.
Here are a few photos I took in the rain yesterday that sort of shows what I have done different. Not many blooms now but there will be and I have two Poinsettias that will be blooming nicely around Christmas! It all will fill in soon.
The only color caladiums they had
Walking in on driveway. I plan to replace those flat stones with river rocks.
The border also has rocks at driveway end
Back side of house
New Yellow Croton Shrub and opened up the Maraca Plant
My Elephant Ear surrounded by ferns
My Maraca Plant is opened up to see flowers.
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
Where some of the Cubans slept at the Costa Rica Immigration, Penas Blanca. Most are away from the border in tent camps or old school buildings. The cans are for donations to their cause.
Well, sort of. I traveled (Wed 30 Dec) with Walter Ramirez and others to Penas Blanca where thousands of Cuban refugees are in refugee camps near this border with Nicaragua. While the Costa Rica government has spent about $2 million housing and feeding the refugees trying to get to the United States by land, Nicaragua refuses to allow them passage in transit by bus through their country. Costa Rica plans to fly them to El Salvador to continue their bus journey through Mexico but wants them to pay for their own flight cost. And today I learned that the U.S. Congress is finally doing something by offering to help with the cost of the flights (pretty low cost for 15 minute flight).
Okay, the reason we were there is the 90-day Visa Renewal Trip to the border which happens to be a famous or notorious border crossing now. Otherwise, our visa renewal went quickly and smoothly and we actually got back before dark, the first time in my four trips. Hoping this is my last of such trips. If I need to renew it again in March I will plan a trip to see Granada and some of the good bird-watching national parks in Nicaragua. Or I just may do that anyway! 🙂
Melvin, 2nd from left, our Nica Helper in the process & Walter in white hat. Plus my traveling companions, 1 Canadian & 6 U.S. Expats. At Penas Blanca, Costa Rica border crossing to Nicaragua.
Rio Corobici where we stop for breakfast and lunch enroute.
The afternoon rain yesterday turned the beautiful little mountain stream into a roaring river breeching its banks where we stopped for both meals on our Visa Run to Nicaragua border. Before & After Photos:
A little mountain stream at breakfast!
And overflowing at lunch time in a heavy rain!
I’m hoping this will be my last “Visa Run,” the 14 hour trip to Nicaragua border to get visas renewed. That means I’m hoping my residency paperwork is completed before January when my 90 days will be up on yesterday’s visa. Yesterday’s trip was uneventful except for the heavy rain and bumper to bumper traffic on the way back.
And oh yeah! Ol’ stupid here left his umbrella somewhere on the border! But I’ve been here nine months and it is the first time to totally loose one (just left locally where I could go back and retrieve). And not as bad as having my cameras stolen Wednesday! By the way, I checked the duty free shop on border for cameras and all they had were a few little pocket cameras, so next will be a dreaded trip to San Jose to a camera store before comparing with online prices (+ shipping & import taxes). It will be expensive, whatever I do! Above photos by my cell phone which is my only camera right now!