Tuesday, June 7, 2016

We took the bus to town - Our 1st bus trip and shopping in Costa Rica

You might wonder what we have been doing with all of our spare time since arriving in Costa Rica.Well, the short and the long answer to that question would be, mostly "shopping".

I am a gal who loves to shop, however shopping is much different here in Grecia. That goes for food as well as household items. There is no Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or Home Depot here. Also accommodating food for a vegan diet adds an extra layer. It reminds me of the options available in San Francisco back in the 80's. You can find organic foods but you really have to look for them. I know that it is not quite as difficult on the Caribbean side or even on the Pacific side but here in our little corner of the world it takes a little more time.

We have gone to several stores so far. The closest one was a pulperia.
Our neighbor Vinny drove us to the local pulperia. Vinny is one of our landlord Marcelo's cousins and speaks pretty good English. I think just about everyone on our street is related to Marcelo. (I remember a time in the states when things were the same way)

In Costa Rica small grocery stores like our corner stores are called pulperias.

Our little neighborhood pulperia is called Super Linda Vista

The store is operated by Christian (a very tall Tico)
It's neat and clean and has a variety of products.

Not too many brands that we recognized

Vinny was very helpful recommending what to buy

The store that offered us the most familiar shopping experience was the Auto Mercado Supermarket in Alajuela (the next town over from us - and Costa Rica's 2nd largest city).  Auto Mercado is the most expensive grocery chain in the country! The store was beautiful and full of all the brands I recognized. They had a small selection of organic fruit and produce and even carried Kendall Jackson wine. However since part of our goal was to live more economically, no money would be saved by shopping there so....it was fun while it lasted but we will need to pass on making it our go-to grocery store in the future. 

The Auto Mercado
We also shopped at Rosvil Market in Grecia. They have a very good selection of food. The store is pretty big. Something that stood out to us was that -- the store will deliver your food to your home for you. You shop and then tell them when you will be home and they deliver - no charge! I don't have any photos but I am pretty sure we will shop there often.

There is a pretty big feria (Farmer's Market) in Grecia on Friday and Saturday. We missed last week but plan to go this week.

Other options for fruits and vegetables include the Mercado Central (Central Market) which is right at the Grecia bus station, where we went today. We took the bus for the 1st time. The bus stop is about 500 meters from our house and is uphill (or I think about 5 city blocks). 

The Central Market has many small shops and offers a variety of products. There was also an organic store, Macrobiotica. 

These are pics of our trek to the bus stop - it is uphill all the way

Yes, please wait for me

                    Please check out that blue sky - it is absolutely gorgeous

from the top of the hill

Finally we made it to the bus stop - after stopping about 3 times to catch our breath

This is the bus stop - you can tell by the yellow line - that is the ONLY marker

The adventure continues

a little taste of downtown Grecia (sorry for the shaky video)

Link to video for email subscribers
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