97. Another Week and a Half in Our Lives

Greys Anatomy Meredith Grey GIF from Greys Anatomy GIFs Sunday 9/18- Whether it is work-work or home-work, the work just never seems to end, and some days that means staring at a computer screen for more hours than I’d really like to think about. I started my Sunday with coffee and working on the blog. I fear that I have been falling behind, so I had to spend some time catching up both writing the posts and getting them online so that they are ready to post when the time comes. Before long it was time for me to sign on to my work-work for the day. Sundays are good days for catching up on things that are too hard to do when you have meetings and get calls interrupting your focus time. I actually feel like they are quite productive work days for me, and that I can get more done in fewer hours when I actually have the opportunity to just focus. Plus, today was a rainy day, so at least I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything fun while I stared at a computer all day! Monday 9/19

90. Is the Impassable Bridge Passable?

Saturday 7/23- I don’t know why we waited so long, and until we felt like creaky “old” people, to go see Benny the Chiropractor, but after about 7 months we went back to see him again. If you have been following along with our blog for a while, you might remember back in January we learned that one of the friends that we met through Loren was a chiropractor in the US before moving to Costa Rica, and now sets up a table in the back of an ATV tour shop and gives adjustments on Saturday mornings. After talking about this for the last few weeks, we finally remembered to go see him! For only $20 each we got full adjustments that were more thorough than any that I have ever received in the US (and I used to go to the chiropractor regularly) and we both left feeling less creaky and overall, just felt better. 

Perfect setting for an adjustment! Well Ramie sure does approve!

Since we were literally right at the Yamaha dealership/ATV tour office already, we decided to go in and see what they have for sale. Well, unfortunately they typically don’t have anything on the lot for sale, although they did have two this time. As is our luck, they were not anything that we were interested in. If you want to purchase an ATV here, you typically have to order one and wait a few months for it to arrive. Side-by-side ATVs are kind of a commodity and for sure a luxury item here in Costa Rica. When you want to buy one you have to put your name on the list and then you get it in the order that the machines actually make their way into the country. We were told that if we were to order one in July/August of 2022, we would be able to order the 2023 model and receive it as early as November 2022. Fortunately, the tours had not left yet for the morning, and all of the machines that the tour company owns were here so we could look at the different models and compare the differences between them. Of course, they didn’t have the 2023 models, but the 2022 models shouldn’t be terribly different from the new ones that would be coming out. Ramie had been doing research on these machines already so he knew some of the differences between them. He spoke to the guy at the shop to find out a little bit more and ask about pricing and how to get our “name on the list”. We had been talking about getting a side-by-side ever since we moved down here, so a little bit more research was always good. Having plenty of information before making any decisions is something that we are pros at so, armed with a little bit more information, we told them that we’d think about it and left to get on with the rest of our day.

Well, as it turns out, we didn’t really have any plans for the rest of our day anyway. We had recently heard from some friends that the large grocery store in Palmar Norte (about 45 minutes south of us) was much nicer than the one here in town and that it was worth the drive to go check it out. Since we do most of our grocery shopping when we go to San Isidro, and only do supplemental shopping here in town we were never too motivated to go check out this other store, but since our favorite butcher shop in Uvita closed a few weeks ago, our frozen meat inventory was running low. We figured now might be the time to go check out this grocery store and see if they had a decent selection of chicken, pork, or beef. It was a nice day for a drive and there typically isn’t a lot of traffic when driving south from Uvita, so we sat back, enjoyed the scenery, and had a nice little drive. Was it a little bit reminiscent of back-road drives in the Scamp (our classic muscle car we had back in MN)? Maybe, but not quite, since there is no loud vroom vroom!

Ramie's baby, We both sure do miss this car.

I will admit, the grocery store here was laid out much better than the one we go to in Uvita, but most of the selection was about the same. Their meat counter did seem nicer than the store we typically go to, so we stocked up on some chicken and pork that would get us through a few weeks, and then were back on the road to go home. Of course, as we were heading back home, we’d be driving right past our favorite pescaderia, so of course we had to stop for some fresh fish! With a few pounds of mahi mahi & tuna to add to the chicken and pork we just bought, our freezer would be full, and we’d have plenty of choices for dinners for the next few weeks. The chores for today were now done and we could relax by the pool for the rest of the afternoon or as soon as Ramie is done playing with his new friends. 

A tree frog
A different type of tree frog.
Sunday 7/24- When you don’t have any plans for the day and the weather is nice, what do you do? Go to the beach again? Sure! Why not!? Since we moved down to our house from the rental we don’t have a good place to just go for a long walk, or even a nice place to go for a short walk back and forth several times like we used to on the hills in the old neighborhood. The best place that we’ve been able to come up with is to drive all the way to the beach and just walk there. There are closer beaches, and we always talk about maybe going to one of those closer ones, but we just like our deserted secret beach so much that we always make the drive there to be secluded and by ourselves. Today was no different.

After that record breaking rain that we had last week the landscape of the river that runs to the ocean at this beach has changed. There was a dam of piled up fallen trees near the river mouth which caused the flow in the area behind it to slow down drastically, backing it up into a much larger pond than it was before, but in addition to that, the area where the river ran to the beach was over 2 feet lower than it had been before. The reason we were able to tell that there was a big difference is due to this neat palm tree with a bent trunk.

This was taken Sept. of 2021

Big difference!

In the past there were times that the trunk of this tree was only a few inches above the sand, as you can see now, it is about chest-high on Ramie! This area of the beach is constantly changing and it’s always so interesting to see what has changed, washed up or been exposed since the last time we were there. 

Ramie checking out to see if there are any good treasures to be had in the debris

Today’s beach adventures included seeing the beach cows again, washed up jellyfish, and a search for the perfect pieces of driftwood to add to our collection of decorative items at home. Driftwood can come in all sorts of cool shapes and designs, and we have taken a liking to some of the more decorative pieces and are using them to decorate our house. Eventually I would like to have a few signs painted, so we’re constantly looking for the perfect pieces. Today we found what almost looked like a weathered old railroad tie that mother nature had been working on for some time. This would make a perfect piece to paint and place in our yard! It was unfortunate that we found this near the far end of the beach and it weighed a TON! Ramie decided that he liked it enough that he would lug this beast all the way back to the car so we could bring it home. We found several other interesting pieces of driftwood along the way as well and I was able to carry them back while Ramie carried the big one. After several stops to rest along the way, we finally made it back to the car where we could load it up to bring it home. 

Getting a workout carrying this beast
These cows sure have a good life!
Jellyfish we found
Ramie made a little friend

About the time we made it back to the car (parked at the impassable bridge like we always do) 3 guys on motorcycles had shown up. They asked us (in Spanish) if we’d be able to move our truck so that they could cross the bridge. What? Cross the bridge? Have you seen this thing!? There isn’t even a deck, all that is left of this bridge are the stringers and a few pieces of broken rusted steel bars! Ramie moved the truck forward and then we stuck around to see what was going to happen. Sure enough, one by one, these guys on motorcycles nervously, and carefully passed over what we once knew as the impassable bridge. I guess it isn’t so impassable after all! 

Tuesday 7/26- In the more rural, mountainous, and small-town areas of Costa Rica, ATVs are a big hit. They are easier to navigate on narrow and steep mountain roads, they are more nimble on rocky terrain, and they can get you into more adventurous places than a regular 4x4 vehicle can. As long as they have a horn and blinkers they can be licensed to travel on highways just like regular cars are, so there is no limit to where you can drive them. They are versatile and fun to have, and lots of people gringos here have them. We have been talking about getting one since we came down, but there have always been higher priorities (like getting our house furnished just the way we want it). Ramie has been doing research on the different brands and styles, he watches for used ones (both in Costa Rica and in the US), has been doing research on buying them in the US and having them shipped down versus buying one here, and overall has way more knowledge on side-by-side UTVs than he ever would have known had we not left MN. After talking to the guys at the ATV shop last weekend we’ve been thinking about it and talking it over, trying to figure out whether we want to do this now, want to wait, or want to skip it completely. 

After getting a couple different quotes to have one shipped into the country, we determined that it was not advantageous to do that.  The amount of VAT (13% sales tax) that Costa Rica added onto the cost of the machine and the cost of shipping made it so that it wasn't worth the hassle. If we were to ship one here we'd have to take the following steps:

-We would have to fly back to the US, find the machine and buy it, of course paying tax on it. 

-Get it to the shipping port, and then line up all of the shipping. 

-Wait for it to arrive in a month or two. 

-Wait for it to clear customs, make its way through the national registry, licensing, inspection and all that fun stuff to make it road legal.

-Line up shipping to Uvita.

So we decided to just purchase it locally.  But, if we want one soon, we’ll have to pull the trigger and put a deposit down now so that we can have one (hopefully) delivered by the end of this year. We made the decision that today Ramie would go talk to the owner of the ATV shop (the owner wasn’t there on Saturday when we stopped, we just talked to one of his employees). The owner of the ATV shop is a gringo who has lived in Costa Rica for many years. Ramie had a good conversation with him, learned as much more as he could about the newest Yamahas that would be coming out (some details of which haven’t even been released yet on the Yamaha website) and we made the decision that we would be putting a deposit down to save our “spot in line” for the next available machine. We are actually in the #1 position so we will receive the next one that comes into the country. If we decide between now and the delivery date that we want to change our mind, we can get the deposit refunded, but if we are fairly sure that we want one (like we are), it’s best to get our position held.

Well, there it is- our next planned big purchase, after the car, then the land, then the building of our house will be a side-by-side Yamaha UTV.

Yes, it will be a 4 seater. Just like everything else, we are planning in advance to make things comfortable for our guests so we would have to buy a machine that would accommodate more than just Ramie & I. Besides, when it is only Ramie & I, we’ll need that extra room for Breeze!  This is the UTV that we are expecting.

[Real time Update:  As of 12/11/22 we still do not have our machine, we've been told we should have it very soon, though.]

photo courtesy of https://www.yamahamotorsports.com

 

Friday 7/29- If you remember a couple of blog posts ago, I told you about our pantry moth infestation. Over the last few weeks, we have been on an extermination journey, had to clear out our kitchen cabinets, disinfect all of our cabinets, containers, and packages with vinegar, throw away any infested food, and watch for and kill any signs of these damn moths and their larva. During this time, we couldn’t put our pantry goods back in the cabinets because the life cycle of these moths can be several weeks. The last thing that we wanted was to put everything back away, have some eggs that we didn’t find hatch, and have a re-infestation, so all of our food has been sitting out on the countertop and table for the last several weeks. Every time we saw a sign of these things, including a moth flying around the kitchen, the silk they leave behind that looks like spider webs, or eggs that look like sawdust, we quickly destroy it. The first week there were far more of these signs, but it has been getting better and better, and we haven’t seen any of this at all for at least 10 days. It was finally time for me to put everything back in the cupboards. This was quite a relief! Let me tell you, I’m sick of having my groceries laying around and not put where they belong. I will definitely be taking new precautions every time we bring new groceries home, I do NOT want to have to go through all of this again!


Pura Vida!







Comments

  1. Greetings Americano's, I enjoyed seeing the progress you have made and even purchasing another vehicle to run around in, I wanted one for the cabin but it was to expensive so I will have to stick with the battery operated golf cart. All of your experiences, even the moths are very interesting and make me feel that staying in Minnesota is the proper thing for us to do, except for the three months we spend in Mexico and take our chances with the Tequila and Pacifico lite. Four weeks from today we leave for Mazatlan and continue in our education in Spanish, so far I am good with "si" and that's about it.I don't know how you get by with the language but for me it ends up being a lot of laughs.
    Keep up the good work, enjoy your new country, food and customs.
    Ken

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  2. Hello Ken and Edie, It was a tough decision to make about this UTV. If you think they are expensive back in MN you would crap yourself on the price here. However the resale on them is fantastic so if we ever decide to sell it in a couple years, we will probably break even, although I dont see us selling and may end up driving this more than our SUV. Im sure your both excited to get back to Mexico, again so sorry that you cant stay as long this year. We are doing pretty well with the Spanish Language, every day we use the Duolingo app and do our lessons. I can certainly understand it better than I can speak it. I can get by with day to day dealing at the bank, grocery store, hardware store, etc.. I dont think I'll ever be fluent in it. Thankfully the Ticos, like to practice their English as much as we like to practice our Spanish so it makes for some fun conversations.

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