Saturday, May 27, 2017

When The "rental" Price is Right - Our Life in Costa Rica

The other night we went to dinner at our friend's house over on the ridge next to ours. We were excited to spend the evening with these two because we had been planning a dinner date for months and something always seemed to come up. We all finally agreed on May 25th.

Here's a little of their story
Marilyn & Paul moved here from Arizona about 4 years ago. I met them last year when I did a video for the re - weddings on El Cajon. Marilyn & Paul were part of the fall out from the 2008 real estate crash back in the states. When they 1st arrived in Costa Rica they found a house further up on the ridge. Being new here and needing a place to stay, the house seemed perfect. They rented it and were happy to have 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms.

As often happens here in Costa Rica, things changed. The two found that they needed a new place to live. They hooked up with a local real estate person in hopes of finding something they liked within their price range (oh and the couple have 2 dogs, 2 cats and a horse) When they met up with Brooke, their realtor, she told them she had a house she thought might fit their needs. Brooke said she wanted to show them the house and explained a bit about it and that it had lots of land for their animals. They were a bit nervous about how much the rent would be so they reminded her that their budget was $650/month and then asked how much the house was renting for.

Brooke's response "How about FREE?"

Of course they took the house and 2 years later they are still there. They recently added a goat to the family. A few months ago Brooke told them that the owners wanted to "increase" the rent. The owners live outside of the country. "Uh oh", they thought "here it comes" and prepared themselves for the shock. They were elated and relieved to find out that the house would now rent for $250/mo.
In today's rental market we can still call that (practically) FREE!!

We had a wonderful visit them and a very nice dinner (complete with a vegetarian choice for Lavanson) and a sing-a-long with Paul on the guitar and Lavanson on his Native American flute.

Oh and... 
Have I told you lately, that I 💗Costa Rica?

Below is a video of our evening and the house.
Email subscribers please click the link below to watch the video
Casa de Caballo from Devon on Vimeo.

If you are not as fortunate as our friends, to unexpectedly have a free house dropped into your lap,
 you might want to consider housesitting.
The free models are great. You can get a taste as to what's available, where, and when. 
Here are some sites:
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Consider the possibilities - Our Life n Costa Rica

do your 

Lavanson & I had the pleasure of meeting up with Noah & Adero the other day at a Due Diligence breakfast meeting held at La Terraza B&B in Grecia.

I had communicated with Adero via my Aspiring Expats Facebook page back in March. She followed my advice and stopped in Puerto Viejo for several days and then made her way to Grecia. We had a very interesting and hopefully informative discussion with them about their plans to relocate. Jeanetta Owens (owner of La Terraza) imparted her knowledge of living in Costa Rica for some 15 years and shared her perspective as a business owner.

Adero is a yoga instructor and I think the 2 are planning to make their home in Puerto Viejo sometime next year -- their decision now based on having experienced 2 very different sides of Costa Rica.

We loved meeting them!

Hope to see them again soon!

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Monday, May 22, 2017

The Hanging Bridges of Costa Rica - Our Life in Costa Rica

The Tree Top Hanging Bridges - Monteverde Costa Rica
Cloud Forest elevation - 5,900 ft

As far as I can determine, there are between 6 -10 different hanging bridges in Costa Rica. The most popular of those are located in Arenal & Monteverde. On Friday we took our visitors to explore the bridges in Monteverde. Monteverde is about 2 1/2 hours from Grecia (1 1/2 from SJO airport). You can make the trip by bus, although the 4 of us hired a driver.
The Tree Top walkway is the ideal cloud forest experience if you want to explore the beauty of the canopy at your own pace and appreciate the incredible array of vegetation and exotic bird life that the region has to offer. Selvatura Park offers a host of guided tours as well as zip-lining.

The walkway consists of 8 suspension bridges connected by trails covering 1.9 miles. The bridges vary from 150ft to 515ft in length and are suspended at heights ranging from 36ft to 180ft. At almost 5ft wide, the bridge system is the widest and sturdiest in Costa Rica. It is a well-thought-out combination of suspension bridges and walking trails through the Monteverde rainforest. Monteverde’s rare ecosystem is internationally famous as one of the most extensive cloud forests in Central America.
Until recently, little was known about life in the tops of tropical forests, as it was nearly impossible to get that high up. Early explorers used ropes and pulleys or ladders carved into tree trunks to make their way up. Today, biologists explore the forest canopy using towers, suspension bridges and construction cranes.

Biologists now know that about 90 percent of all organisms in a rainforest are found in the canopy. The sun that barely reaches the forest floor strikes treetops with full force, fueling the photosynthesis that eventually results in leaves, fruit and seeds. Since there's a bounty of good food way up there, animals abound in the canopy as well.
The longest and one of the highest bridges 

Many plants in Monteverde’s cloud forests are specially adapted to absorb moisture directly from the ever-present mist. Epiphytes (plants that live on trees in order to reach the sunlight) are plentiful in these forests, adding to the water-gathering ability of the trees. However, the epiphytes are not parasites—they feed off water, dust and nutrients that accumulate around their own roots.
If you are in Costa Rica, the hanging bridges are a "must see"👍

Below is a video of our beautiful day in the magnificent tree tops!
(email subscribers please click the link below to view the video)

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jacó Bound - Our Life in Costa Rica

Our house, San Luis de Grecia Costa Rica
 Saturday morning at 6:15am

We've got visitors from the San Francisco Bay Area. They are here for a week and it's their 1st visit to Costa Rica. On Friday we took them up to the hanging Bridges in the Monteverde Cloud Forest (pics and video to follow) but on Saturday they headed down to Playa Jacó (beach) by bus.

To ensure that they have a successful trip, we gave them a few lessons. 
1. Use the Itranslate App. You can enter in words and phrases in Spanish (or your preferred language) and the app will convert it to Spanish in text or audio. We use it all the time and find that it comes in very handy. 
We also use 

Since they were taking the bus, we checked Costa Rica By Bus (this is a Facebook site created by Rob Evans where "like minded folks can join me in documenting their travels and provide help and tips to others. I also created photo albums for bus schedules, bus stops, and buses and a file section for PDF's people collect."
I use this page anytime I want to find out how to get around Costa Rica on the bus.

We also created a cheat sheet of Spanish phrases that might come in handy on the trip

Our friend and taxi driver, Randall, picked them up at 6:15am and dropped them at the Grecia Bus station. They took a bus from there to San Jose. In San Jose they took a short taxi ride to another station where they caught the bus to Jacó.

Understandably they were a little worried when they left because they are in a new country and do not know any Spanish -- but as luck would have it, (after I posted on Facebook that they were on their way to Jaco) a couple of friends of ours (from Grecia) saw the post and contacted me. 
Turns out they were staying at the same hotel. 
While the travelers were in route to Jacó  our friends left a message at the hotel desk introducing themselves and leaving their contact info.

And.....what a surprise when they arrived!!
Here is one of our happy travelers when she met up with our friends Shannon & Pat

Thank You Shannon & Pat!

They are having so much fun that they texted us today that they are extending their trip an extra day.

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