80. Want To Go On A Trip With Us?

Candle Would You Like To Go On An Adventure GIF from Candle GIFs Saturday 5/21- You may remember about 9 months ago the fun we had with our very first border run when we went to El Salvador. Long story short- we flew there, stayed the night, tried to leave the next morning, got trapped in an airport, spent an extra day in El Salvador due to a canceled flight, and finally got home a day later than expected (read all about it in Blog Posts 38 & 39). Well, we decided to try it again! People are having trouble with the Panama border again so we decided not to risk the land crossing and to fly somewhere instead. Once again, El Salvador was the least expensive country to fly to that you don’t need a COVID test for, so we are going back, hopefully this time really for only one night. We got up this morning at the same time we always do (I’m usually awake before 4:30 and out of bed by 5, Ramie usually sleeps till around 6). We left the house at 7 to bring Breeze to the dog sitter. We de

37. Water, Electric, Beer, Produce & Fish

Friday 8/20- One step at a time, little by little we are moving forward with getting things ready for our house build. Geiner has been coaching us, telling us what steps we need to take, helping us along in making decisions and making sure we know what is next. Well, the next thing on our list of things to do is to get the water and the power for the property in our names. Well, there isn’t any water or power actually hooked up at the property yet, it is just available and ready for the meter to be hooked up, I guess that’s how it works down here. Once the meters are hooked up, THEN we will have power and water at the property. Currently the water and power accounts (even though there really aren’t accounts because there is no power or water there yet) are still in the prior owner’s name. Now we have to go get these transferred into OUR name. Geiner gave us a rundown of what documents we need and where we need to go to do this, so that’s what was on the agenda for today. Plus, a new farmers market up in Dominical, since that’s where the office for the power company is.

Asada is what they call the municipal/national water system down here. Our first stop this morning was the Asada here in Uvita. We had actually stopped there yesterday too, but we didn’t have everything that we needed. Today we came prepared, we gave them the documents that we needed, filled out a form, and easy peasy they told us that they would get their system updated and email us in a week or so to let us know that the documents were ready.

ICE (pronounced ee-say) is what they call the electric company here. Their office is up in Dominical, the town where we went a couple of weeks ago for my birthday. As it turns out, they also recently re-started the weekly market in Dominical and it happens to be on Fridays. Perfect! We would stop there and check that out too since we were in the area. After we were finished at Asada, we drove the 20 minutes or so to Dominical and went to the ICE office first. Fortunately the guy here spoke very good English because it wasn’t quite as straight forward as the Asada. We learned that there needs to be a few steps taken by our contractor and an electrical engineer before they can do what we are asking for, and that there isn’t anything that they can actually do for us today. He gave us the information that we needed to give back to Geiner, and went on our way. It’s a good thing there are other things up here in Dominical today and that we didn’t just make this drive for nothing!

On to the market. This market was much smaller than the one that we go to in San Isidro, and only had a few stands with fresh veggies. They were mostly selling other craft type items, homemade sauces, breads and pastries, essential oils, and homemade health and beauty items. That’s fine, I didn’t plan to stock up on veggies anyway, I really only needed some lettuce and would have picked up other things if they had anything interesting.

via GIPHY

It turns out, they did have some interesting things!

A few years ago on vacation we bought some hot sauce at a feria up in Monteverde (about 5.5 hour drive from here). There was a stand here selling that same homemade hot sauce, we recognized the label on the bottle! That hot sauce was delicious, so we had to buy a bottle of it again. There was also a stand selling gluten free breads. The lady selling it didn’t speak English, but using our limited Spanish (which is growing little by little, but still very limited) I determined that she did have some that didn’t have any sugar in them. This got me interested since 2 of my main dietary restrictions (gluten free & low/no sugar) were met. Now, I just wanted to know what was the main flour that the bread is made out of. This, we couldn’t figure out how to communicate, so with the help of a different vendor, we got it communicated. Turns out it was made of banana flour. Since it was made from ingredients that I could have, Ramie convinced me to buy a loaf (even though it was kind of expensive). Our finds made the trip to Dominical worth it.

Since we were here, of course we had to stop at Fuego. They have the delicious craft beer that we had last time we were up there, but they also have a coffee roastery and sold some delicious looking coffee drinks. It was a hard decision whether we wanted some fancy coffee or a craft alcoholic beverage, but since it was noon somewhere (it was actually noon in MN specifically even though it wasn’t noon here yet) so we decided to get a beer and a hard coconut seltzer. 


After our drinks, we decided to head back home, but remembered that there were a couple of other things along the highway in this direction that we wanted to check out. One was a pescadaria or fresh fish shop where the local fishermen sell their catch of the day. Just like the one we visited a few weeks ago, this one was just a shack on the side of the road with a couple of freezers full of fresh fish. Today they were selling mahi-mahi, tuna, and marlin. Ohhhh, marlin!! We have never had that before!! We picked up a kilo of mahi & a kilo of marlin and really look forward to trying the new fish. A few more miles down the road is a big fruit stand attached to a guys house. There is always so much fruit there, so we just wanted to stop and see what he has and how his prices are. Sure enough, he had several things we have never tried before, but since we are all about trying new food here, we had to get some. Along with bananas, we picked up mangosteen and marayuca (which we later learned is passion fruit). 



Ramie says this is one of the most awesome tasting fruits ever!

Now that we had picked up veggies, fruit, fish, hot sauce, and gluten free bread it was time to really head back to the house.

It was after one by the time we got home so I made some lunch and just as we were getting ready to sit down and get to work on our computers, the water completely stopped in the house. Another water problem?? Ramie could hear the water pump running but there was no water coming out of any of the taps, so he went to check what the problem was. Somehow, the pipe attaching the pump to the house unscrewed itself and water was being pumped directly out onto the ground. That’s weird!! Ramie, being the handy guy that he is, just attached it again, tightened it down, and the problem was solved! Or was it….. ?

Around midnight Ramie woke up and heard the water pump running again. Well, that’s weird! There is no reason the water pump should be running since there was no water running in the house. Even though it was pitch black outside and raining, Ramie grabbed a flashlight and went back out under the deck to see what was going on. Somehow the pipe had worked itself loose again! There’s nothing he could do about it in the middle of the night, so he turned the breaker off to the power on the pump and went back to bed. We would deal with it in the morning.




Saturday 8/21- Since we once again woke up with water problems (if you remember back in June it was the water heater repair) we started the day by having to do a little bit of work. The water was working well enough that when we turned the breaker to the pump on we could use water in the house. We were able to get coffee going, brush our teeth, and all of the normal morning water stuff before Ramie went to check out what was going on with the pump. What he learned when he looked at it is that the same pipe that he had reattached last night had started working itself loose again. Luckily Ramie is really handy with this kind of stuff!! He took it back apart and realized that the threads on the pipe going into the pump were very worn out, and was previously repaired. This would need to be replaced! Luckily again, he knows just how to do this and the parts are available at the hardware store. He figured out what we needed and we headed in to town to get them. It was just a few pieces and only came to a couple of dollars. He already had the glue to put it together from when we did the conduit for the internet, so we went back up to the house to get to work. It didn’t take very long for Ramie to swap out these few parts and get everything put back together, so when he was done with that chore we turned the water back on and just hung around the house. 

After a little while, guess what? The darn pump started running again for no reason. What is going on?! Back down under the deck to where the pump is, and Ramie found water leaking again, only this time from the OTHER side of the pump. This repair wouldn’t be quite as easy and actually involved taking everything back apart, removing the pump because he figured it was water logged, and figuring out what was causing it to leak this time. Out came the tool bag once again and he started taking things apart while I worked on blog and computer things. I was there to help when he needed an extra hand, but for the most part he took care of this chore on his own. He disconnected everything, let the pump drain, and then opened up the pump to see if the seals and things on the inside looked good. Once he got it open, the look on his face had me worried. He was concerned that the whole pump would have to be replaced. He confirmed that it had been water-logged, and it probably had been for quite some time and reached it’s breaking point after all of the extra running due to the leak. He continued checking things out, put it back together, and kept his hopes up. 

At this point, since he had everything taken apart, and realized it was completely water logged, that also meant that the pre-charge inside the pump was no longer there and it had no pressure (which explains why the pump ran so often). We needed to find a way to get this pumped back up again.  Eventually we will have an air compressor, but we don’t have one here yet. We also don’t have a bike tire pump which would have worked too. Well, there is a tire shop in town, maybe they will be able to help us out. We loaded the pump into the truck and headed back in to town for the 2nd trip of the day. The guys at the tire shop happily helped us out and pumped up the pressure for the water pump for us. The guy who I think was the owner spoke very good English, and when we asked him how much we owed him for his help he told us nothing today, but maybe a beer in the future. Does that mean he wants to be friends with us? Hahahah!

So- back up to the house again to put this all back together, hope the pump works and things don’t leak.

By this point Ramie was getting pretty good at putting this thing back together after taking it apart so it didn’t take him long and he asked me to turn the breaker back on. AND----- LEAKS!!

After having taken everything apart and putting it all back together, the only thing that was left was to replace the pipes and attachments on the other side of the pump. The leak wasn’t terrible and while this WOULD continue to work if we didn’t fix it tonight, (we would just have to leave the breaker off over night and turn it on when we need water) today was Saturday and many places are closed on Sunday. So, even though it was getting late in the day, Ramie headed back down into town once again to get the parts so we could be sure we had water tomorrow. This time I stayed home and started working on getting dinner prepared. After he came back he worked some more until he had everything put back together (I kept dinner warm so he could keep working) and finally he had it all fixed. We had a late dinner, but went to bed feeling confident that we wouldn’t hear the pump running over night, wouldn’t have to turn off the breaker to the water pump, and would have water flowing in the morning when we woke up. This pretty much sums up how this went....

The rest of the week was pretty low key and laid back. We had our regular routine of coffee on the patio, going for our walk/run in the morning, working on the blog or other computer work, playing our video game, and whatever other little things needed to be done around the house. Also, all week we were in communication with Geiner making little changes on house plans, asking questions about potential changes to the layout, and trying to nail down a design to send forward for a final drawing by the architect. One step at a time… and hopefully things are getting closer & closer to a house being built!!

Comments

  1. I am happy to see that life is happy, rewarding and frustrating all at the same time. All of this knowledge you are accumulating is going to be invaluable in the future and repair jobs will be simple and easy. Hills and valleys will be the order of the day until you have your home up and know where every conceivable problem could be and how to fix it. Congratulations to you both for having the stones to tackle this.

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    1. Lots of ups and downs so far, definitely more ups though, which makes it all worth it in the end! All of the downs are just part of the learning process and the adventure! We sure are learning a lot down here!

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  2. Did they lift the specifoc days you can drive?

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    1. Those restrictions finally ended at the end of October. :)

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