My rent house is on the side of a hill above a residential street inside the Roca Verde development. I can look down through the trees and other plants to the street if I wish – not my favorite view! 🙂
A week or so ago I heard a crash below me and a car driven by one of my Tico neighbors had gone into the concrete ditch made for rainwater going down the hill. No curb or barrier or guardrail along the rainwater ditch. Here’s 3 shots on my cellphone of the guy in the ditch, the flatbed truck preparing to pull him out and the guys helping the truck by pushing on the car (which they always do here!). The car was all scratched up and probably had some wheel, axle or alignment problems, but he drove away it away without needing the big truck to take him into a shop. Pura vida! 🙂
Daily I thank God for not owning a car! 🙂
“Walking is the only form of transportation in which a man proceeds erect – like a man – on his own legs, under his own power. There is immense satisfaction in that.”
― Edward Abbey
I have always been a map person and my first two years here I rented cars for most of my trips, but found that my old habit of using maps did not work well here because the actual highways, roads, streets and houses/businesses are mostly not numbered or labeled, therefore not relatable to a paper map. Thus I always got a rent car with a GPS included that works great here and many locals prefer the free WAZE on their cell phone. But it removes your brain from the challenge of getting somewhere as the article above suggests.
Now that I walk everywhere in town, I use my brain instead of GPS to get around using landmarks like a true local. (Yeah, with cell phones you can walk with GPS too! I don’t!), Here are some typical Atenas directions using landmarks:
MY HOUSE: Take the street that dead ends into La Coope Gasolinera south until it ends at Avenida 8 (locals still call it Calle Boqueron), then left about 300 meters to the Roca Verde main gate on the right. Inside the gate go straight about 150 meters to the 3rd gate on the left, 105 Roca Verde (which is labeled).
SPANISH LESSONS ATENAS: From Central Park Atenas take the street behind the main church west about 250 meters or 150 meters beyond Pali Supermercado to a house on the left before the Lions Club and Police Station, in front of Veterinario Occidental. There is a “Spanish Lessons” sign on the gate.
OR MY LOCAL LAWYER: 100 meters south and 75 meters east of Justice Court. (Most know the courthouse, but I can add that it is at corner of Central Park near church.)
And of course all of these directions exercise my brain even more when I try to give them in Spanish! 🙂 Yep, I’m very slow at learning Spanish but learning another language is another good deterrent to Alzheimer’s! And as a walker in town it is amazing how many cars stop and ask me directions to something, usually in español. Mental exercise! 🙂
Another simple health advantage to retiring in Costa Rica! 🙂
“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
– JRR Tolkien
Electric Cars in Costa Rica?
Those considering retirement here who are also ecology-conscious will be interested to know that Electric Cars are in Costa Rica and available for those who can afford the sometimes higher cost (though one Chinese Electric Car sells for just $15,000!). For details on prices and availability see this Live in Costa Rica Blog article: EXPAT RETIREES AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES.
AND THESE RECENT TICO TIMES ARTICLES ON ELECTRIC CARS IN COSTA RICA:
If you are going to stay in Atenas awhile or live here and want to see the sights of Costa Rica from this central location, I personally recommend Walter’s Day Tours and hope you will give him a consideration if living or visiting here. And if you want to stay several nights in a particular location, he can get you there and back again and you avoid the scary option of driving in Costa Rica! 🙂 He is not the cheapest transportation, but you really don’t want that! He is the best! And he is even a licensed pilot if you want to fly somewhere, though local commercial flights are good here. Click his name above for his website and contact him if interested. And pardon a little advertising for a friend.
And Coming in 2020: Discovery Costa Rica, a billion dollar “discovery park” that a chain of international parks is bringing to the Guanecaste or northwest area of Costa Rica near the airport town of Liberia. Their last one just opened in China. I am not excited, since it sounds like a big amusement park trying to take advantage of the nature and adventure of Costa Rica. What next? A Disneyland Costa Rica? This kind of commercialization is what I don’t like about some of Guanecaste I’ve seen, like Tamarindo and unfortuately it is also taking over the wonderful national park Manuel Antonio on the central Pacific, like Gatlinburg and Cherokee ruined the Great Smoky Mountains Park in the states. Oh well . . . progress! It was bound to happen! And I should reserve my judgement, they might really make it ecological, though I doubt it. 🙂