I used Vistaprint’s link to share it on Facebook, but the above detailed description is only on this blog! This is where I share everything about living in Costa Rica. Occasionally I click a link to share something on Facebook but mostly do not use it or even regular G+.
I just got two letters from a friend in Nashville addressed to the apartments, the PO Box I gave earlier. One letter was postmarked January 14 and the other January 29, fifteen days apart! I don’t know if the delay was the post office or the apartment office. That is more than a month for delivery
, 6 weeks on the first one. Some earlier mail and Christmas cards were nearly that long in delivery. I think the Miami address is quicker
, but it can take two weeks, occasionally quicker. Both channels have to work with Customs Office
which is another delay. Customs can open all mail, but doesn’t always. They open most boxes. I’ll be watching my new PO Box and write down the delivery times and do the same with the Miami address for a better comparison and report back in a month or so. I haven’t gotten a package via Post Office yet, so don’t know, but suspect it will take longer than Aerocasillas, the Miami address. All of these mail times are good compared to my years in The Gambia when delivery time was measured in months.
PREPARING FOR A “VISA RUN”
Next Wednesday I am joining a few other expats with Walter, a local tour guide and driver. He is driving us to the Nicaragua border where we cross over and then return into Costa Rica to get another 90 day Visa stamped in our passports. Because I am an official applicant for residency with a document to prove it, I don’t have to do this to stay in the country. BUT, to use my TN Drivers License to drive a car, including getting a rental car, I must have a current Visa. (My current one expires March 24.) Like in the states, one government office does not coordinate with another one. What does Immigration know about Motor Vehicles and visa versa? So they each have different requirements.
Fortunately Immigration now allows you to do it in one day where formerly you had to stay out of the country for 72 hours or 3 days. I would have done it as a vacation, but this one day trip is quicker, easier, and less expensive with all I have happening right now. We leave from the Central Park Church at 5:30 AM and will be back in Atenas by 5:30 PM. That includes stops for breakfast, lunch and Liberia to purchase an exit tax and a bus ticket from Costa Rica to Nicaragua. (Oh! A beautiful Oropendola just flew by! Camera never ready!) Well, the bus ticket is required when they let us back into Costa Rica for 90 days to prove we will be leaving within 90 days. Working the system! Probably about a $30 cost, better than an airline ticket.
Plus I have to get U.S. dollars to pay Walter and the Nicaragua entrance fees. Crazy! It is how they stay ahead of the fluctuating currency rate. But the whole day and three months of Visa will cost only about $200 USD unless I want to buy something in the duty-free shop (not). Worth it for me and I look forward to getting my first rent car here which will make the sight-seeing trips with Kevin a whole lot easier and we will get to see and do more than my usual walking, bus and taxi.
Here’s a photo of me the only other time I was in Nicaragua. We stepped off the boat from our Rio Frio Jungle Cruise to snap photos by this pitiful welcome sign with an armed guard standing nearby. I doubt the visa run Wednesday will be as exciting, but you never know!
|On the Nicaragua side of the Rio Frio Jungle Cruise, 2010.