Puntarenas Makeover & Train Return

Puntarenas is Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast Port and the closest port city & beaches to Atenas where I live. Christopher Howard has a nice little article on his blog/website that tells all about the coming changes:

PUNTARENAS GETTING A MAKEOVER FOR COSTA RICANS, TOURISTS AND EXPATS TO ENJOY THEMSELVES. I’m especially excited about the return of the train from San Jose to Puntarenas which will probably again make a stop in Atenas. Another way to travel to the coast! But there is no way the train tracks will be ready by 2022, especially if they have to rebuild that Rio Grande Bridge in Atenas!

My first experience with Puntarenas was from a 2011 Tampa to San Diego Panama Canal Cruise when the cruise ship stopped for a day in the port of Puntarenas. The Feature Photo at Top and the one below are from that trip as well as the following slide show:

Continue reading “Puntarenas Makeover & Train Return”

Remodeling Post Office

20150225_112625In Atenas the Post Office (la oficina de correos) is being remodeled or sort of freshened up with new mail boxes (apartados) that are not in numerical order (?go figure?!), new tile floor, new counter and paint on walls, etc.

The good rapid clerk (nice young man) no longer works there – with a new one being trained very slowly and she was the only one there yesterday when I go in line behind about 10 persons and waited more than an hour to mail one of my photo books to a hotel I visited recently. Though it is not always this slow, it kind of reminded me of waiting in line at the post offices in Nashville where I also remember some very long waits and similarly inefficient processes, especially around Christmas! Oh well, that’s life!  Así es la vida!

A few days ago workers installing new lights – one ceiling fan still not installed! And the short line of just two people ahead of me is more typical than yesterday (below)!


Waiting in line yesterday for more than an hour while new solo clerk slowly learns her job. The clerk’s ceiling fan is installed but not the one over customers yet and it was hot!

Correos de Costa Rica    (The official postal service website.)

My P.O. Box here is:

Apdo. 441-4013, Atenas, Alajuela, 20501 Costa Rica

Letters take about a week, 10 days, from the states & almost as long in-country!   🙂

Packages take longer depending on Customs.

NEVER send anything to my street address! Carrier will stick it in the fence or gate if I’m not home and it could blow away or otherwise be lost! No home mail boxes here! What’s that?  ¿Qué es eso?   And most locals don’t have mailboxes like me but use “general delivery.” Part of that line is persons waiting to pick up general delivery mail, or get passport, cédula, visa, pay property tax, etc. I’ve seen a clerk dig through 3 big mail cartons of letters looking for someone’s general delivery letter and sometimes never find it. 

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”  ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


¡Pura Vida!

cm by cm Progress

And you people in the states think I meant “Inch by Inch” as you forget that the rest of the whole world uses the metric system!   🙂   The renovation of Atenas Central Park slowly takes shape with the outer ring of two-level bench seats completed and the city workers focus on storm drains now with evidently a long way to go before new sidewalks, benches, picnic tables, playground, landscaping and artwork on the ceiling of the kiosko! But it will happen, poco a poco!    🙂   See my gallery Remodeling Central Park

¡Pura Vida!

And oh yes!   Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020  includes Costa Rica — of course!    🙂   In fact, the waterfall they feature is on my to-do list for 2020!   🙂

Garden Remodel Yesterday

Yeah, I recently added the white caladium border and another little improvement, but this was a BIG change! With 2 hours of rain delaying some of the work, my gardeners spent most of the day on my flower garden yesterday including buying all the plants, soil & rocks. It was for a requested restructuring and elimination of some invasive plants.

The results will look better in a week or two, but we needed to get it done now because the rainy season will end in mid to late November and new plants need rain. I am so fortunate to have such a good crew to do work that is much more difficult for me now.

I’ll update the blog from time to time on the garden, but tell you now that they added a new “feature plant” at the corner by my door called in English an “Elephant Foot” plant which you can see in one photo with the “Elephant Ears” behind it!   🙂    It will grow and bigger ones are beautiful! Much of the other is for color without competing plants and providing a little more cohesive, flowing look to the garden with mounds of new dirt adding to the flow. In a few weeks it will be great! And the Elephant in a year or two!   🙂

Garden Crew Working


The New Garden

Please click an image & do manual slide show.

Life begins the day you start a garden.     – Chinese proverb

¡Pura Vida!



One Step at a Time Park Remodeling

This morning I noticed that the builder’s screen was removed and the new concrete floor was being washed down with a water hose (even though it is raining today). It is taking shape and according to the architect drawings that outer ring of pipes/steel will have some kind of roof on it to protect at least part of the audience for concerts. And the bandshell roof will be painted with some kind of art, I hope the oxcart wheel version!   🙂

One step at a time is all it takes to get you there.

~Emily Dickinson

14 August 2019 Update

And to see all of my Central Park Remodeling Photos, there’s a gallery!   🙂   With dates on each stage of course!

¡Pura Vida!

Flying Saucer Has Landed!

Sorry guys! But it sort of looks like what we used to call a “Flying Saucer” in the States when UFOs were a big thing there!   🙂

Trim 1st then remove.

This is just my occasional UPDATE on the progress on the REMODELING OF CENTRAL PARK ATENAS – excruciatingly slow to me! This big round metal thing will be the “Kiosk” or Band Shell or Stage in the center of the park. (See link to pictures of it at bottom of post.) It will be great for “Theater in the Round.”

They still have to redo the landscaping and add new benches, picnic tables and some recreation items. Maybe the landscaping has started with the cutting down of several big trees. Hard to tell. And the underside of that kiosk roof is going to have artwork added, so still a ways to go there too. Here’s shots of 3 stages of the kiosk in the last 4 days – faster than usual progress:

25 June 2019

25 June 2019

28 June 2019

All images are cell phone photos by Charlie Doggett.


The city has  a Facebook Page presenting the remodeling with architect drawings of how they expect it to look. Nice! The vision of an architect! AND BEST VIEWED AS A MANUAL SLIDESHOW! Click on a picture, then the right or left arrows.

¡Pura Vida!

Second Guessing the Builders

Armchair Building Contractors:   Everyone who walks through Central Park Atenas regularly simply must try to figure out what the builders are doing now and what will come next. In the first photo I thought they were ready to start the construction of the “Kiosk” or Band Shelter – the center area was level and looked good to me, Then the next day heavy equipment is in there removing more dirt! So the contractor or architect had other ideas and they are now going deeper it seems. Us “sidewalk contractors” will probably stay entertained for most of a year as we continue to “Second Guess” what is really happening. Fun!  🙂

Now, really, doesn’t that look level and ready for a bandshell?


But the next day they were in there digging out more dirt with more dump trucks to haul it off!


Constructiveness is the human way.  

Dalai Lama

¡Pura Vida!

Remodeling Central Park

It is difficult to figure out everything they are doing or why they went 2 weeks doing nothing, but now they seem to be lowering the central portion where the band shell or gazebo will go -quite a bit lower – possibly for a good foundation. And now I can see that the square-block park was not as level all the way across as I thought. Possibly they will level it. Now they are removing dump trucks full of dirt from the center.

Taking many dump truck loads of dirt from the center of park.


On the right side it appears to be 3 to 4 feet lower than surrounding land.


See my original post on Remodeling Central Park    (architect drawings)

Or go to Government Park Remodel Page   (architect drawings)

¡Pura Vida Atenas!


Yep! I missed a couple of days posting anything. Always busy with daily chores and necessary trips to town and I have also been busy adding content to this website. I’ll tell you about that in the next couple of days’ posts. Exciting Stories!

Park Remodeling Progresses Slowly

Earlier I posted on “Construction Begins on New Park” with photos of the construction screening and architect’s drawings – now it seems that they are going very slowly (Pura Vida!), but there is progress! In this photo they have cleared the central circle of the park of everything (trees, shrubs, benches, sidewalks) for construction of the Kiosk, Band Shelter or Gazebo which locals are calling “quiosco” o “kiosco.” It is the biggest item, so hopefully remodeling will go faster after that is completed but most expect it to be way into next year before finished. Everything is slow here.

¡Pura Vida!