29. A Short Drive, a Long Ride

Sunday 7/11 Since we found out that our offer on the land we wanted wasn’t going to be accepted, we’ve been pretty bummed out. We asked Diego if there was anything else in our price range and area that we could look at, and we even expanded the distance from Uvita we were willing to go, but he hadn’t found any other options so far. We tried doing some of our own research online too, but down here it is difficult. We have learned that realty websites will list properties for sale (both land and houses) when they go up for sale, but rarely mark them as pending or even sold when the properties are no longer available. There are properties that have been listed for sale on these sites for over a year, have probably been sold for 9 months, and are still showing as available, so you just never know! Over the last couple of days we found a few on the realty sites and from Facebook marketplace and sent them to Diego to look into, maybe some were still available.

Since we are anxious to find property and get the planning and building going, we drove back out to the medium sized property with the big drop off issue to see if we could devise a plan to make it work. We have seen very inventive ideas on other pieces of property, along roads, and just as we are out driving where people try to stop erosion on tall steep cliffs. There tend to be a lot of those here and the Ticos have figured out ways to stop it from all washing away in a landslide. Maybe we could take some of these ideas, along with the ditch that Geiner recommended, and stop the yard from disappearing on this side of the property. Or maybe we could cut off part of the top of the hill and redirect the drainage to the other side of the property so not so much rain water washes down this side? Could we make this work? Yeah, I suppose it’s possible. Would it be expensive? Probably, so we would try to put in a lower offer since we’d have to put so much money into it first. We really wish we had more options to choose from!

Since it was Sunday, and a driving day, and we didn’t have anything else planned, we decided to go for a little drive. Loren had told us about a property with a house on it that someone he knew (another American) had been looking at, and then decided not to buy. Loren didn’t know anything about this property except for the location, and it wasn’t really that far away. He had told us about it when we first got here and told us to check it out if we wanted to but up until this point we weren’t looking to buy anything with a house already built on it. Now, with our limited options, we might as well check it out. He was also going to try to make it out there one day to see what it was all about but just hadn’t made it yet.

This place was only about 15 miles away, down a road we hadn’t explored yet, but Google Maps said it took 45 minutes to get there. Well, that doesn’t seem quite right. Oh well, whatever, we don’t have any plans. Let’s do it. We went a few minutes North on the main highway through town when Google told us to take a turn up to a little town of San Josecito. We had heard of this town, and it wasn’t far away, but we had never gone up this road before. The road went up the mountain and had some spectacular views of the ocean.

It was paved for a few more miles until we got to the town, but after we went through town (which was really more of a village) the pavement ended and we were on mountain roads. No problem, we’re good at these now! We saw a sign for the Santa Lucia Waterfalls, which we had heard were very beautiful, so we knew we were still on a fairly well traveled road, but it did continue to get rougher as we went. Ok, so maybe this was a slow drive, but Google still couldn’t be serious that it would take 45 minutes to go 15 miles. Although the road progressively got narrower and not as well traveled. We eventually came to a one lane bridge that was just wide enough for our truck.

We kept on driving and the views of the mountains and valleys we were driving through were absolutely stunning. At one point we could see 2 huge waterfalls up the mountain on the other side of the valley from where we were and it was spectacular.

Look closely at the right of center of the mountain top. See that white line? That's the waterfall below.

But also, the farther and farther we went, the sketchier and scarier the roads became. While Ramie loves driving in places like this, I tend to get nervous when the roads are only passable by 1 car at a time and the cliff is straight down so that if 1 tire went off the side, your whole car would tumble down and you would never be seen again. But, we had made it this far (half way?) so we might as well keep going.

Prior landslide. They moved just enough dirt to allow a vehicle to pass between the mountain and edge

We continued cautiously up these mountain roads and finally made it to the location we were looking for. Sure enough, it took almost exactly 45 minutes! We had no idea what to expect when we got there, but I assure you, what we found was never what we would have guessed.

The yard was fairly good sized and right on the side of the mountain sitting at about 3,500 ft. above sea level. It had a nice cool breeze and a beautiful view of the valley where San Isidro was located. San Isidro, is where we do our “big city shopping” and the big feria. While you can see it, that doesn’t mean it’s close. I brought that up in Google Maps and that was 35 minutes away, and only about 10 miles, which means the same type of roads all the way that way into town. The house, however, I don’t even know if you could call it a house. This was a shell that nature was working on taking over. There were walls and a roof, but that was about it other than the random pieces of appliances and metal garbage that was strewn about. We looked around for a little bit, more curious than anything, and found there was even a for sale sign on one of the doors but it was so old and faded that you couldn’t even read the phone number on it any more. Well, while the view was beautiful and the land didn’t seem too bad, this definitely had a few things working against it. 

#1- The drive: I guarantee I would NEVER drive if this was the route I had to go.

#2- The length of time it takes to get anywhere. 

#3- The house would have to be demolished, which adds expense. 

#4- Good luck finding a builder that would come all the way out here to build! 

So—while it was really cool to drive out here, see a new area, and check out this piece of property for Loren, it was not even an option. 

Not much to work with. We would be better off starting from scratch!

Now, we get to go back down all of those same sketchy roads, see the beautiful scenery, and go back home. But, we had another adventure, and that’s what we’re here for!