Page 5 of BarbinCostaRica Travel Blog Posts

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Atenas January 25th 2011

I left my apartment at 7:45 this morning to walk to "Su Espacio/Your Place" for my first Pilates Class. My new friend Barb has been attending for a few weeks now and she told me about it. I must say that this was a very good one-hour workout..more so than the 30-minute Denise Austin Pilates video I have at home. I really worked up a sweat. I plan to return on Thursday. After Pilates I stopped briefly at the ReMax office where Shelly works to ask her for the contact information for couple she knows that offers local birding tours. I spoke briefly with Darrell about Barb and I wanting to go on a short half-day birding tour so I'm just waiting to hear back from him about the possibility of doing the tour on Friday ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Atenas January 24th 2011

My morning walk today took me first to the super mercado that I prefer but since I found out thet their discounted days are Wed. & Sat. I decided to put off my shopping until Wed. So I headed in the direction that I walked on Saturday when I didn't have my camera with me. I had it in my mind that I would focus on taking photos of dogs, plants & flowers. While walking through town I ran into another couple staying here at Ana's Place. I mentioned that I met Roger in the cabana yesterday. Today I met his wife....I feel bad because now I can't remember her name:( They were waiting outside a pet store to speak to the owner since their new little puppy was sick. I'm not sure if the owner ... read more
Different view of church steeple looking up at it and palm trees
Bicycler & Skateboarder
Women foten use parasols (umbrellas to keep out the sun) here

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Atenas January 23rd 2011

After a slow and lazy morning I headed out for my daily (sometimes twice daily) walk to town. On the way out of the compound here at Ana's Place I met a guy (another baby boomer) from Michigan who spends about a month here each winter with his wife. We both agreed that we are extremely happy and lucky to be away from the cold temps. In addition to walking to town for the exercise I had two goals in mind. One was to find the place where the pilates class takes place that I want to go to on Tuesday and the other was to locate Kay's Gringo Postres/Desserts (I've been erroneously calling it Kay's Gringo Cafe). I'm very pleased to report that I found both!!! Yay! And I also met a Tico family in ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Atenas January 22nd 2011

Well someone replaced the toilet upstairs that was causing leaks in my bathroom this morning. It really hasn't been a big problem but I noticed last night that there's some mold developing where it's wet. Darren said he's ordering three new ceiling tiles. As with everything in Latin America one has to be patient. As I am trying to keep my expenses down while here (okay other than dark chocolate) I cooked up a large batch of brown rice this morning. It'll come in handy to eat in the coming days. Doing laundry here still feels like a novel experience due to the semi-automatic washing machine. Once you set the dial to wash/rinse, and turn the lever to wash, you then add the clothes a soap and turn on the spigot (Keith it's exactly like the ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Atenas January 21st 2011

After the feria this morning and time at "home" to eat lunch and post an entry in my blog I took a walk to a part of Atenas I hadn't yet explored to meet a new acquaintance, Shelly who's works in a real estate office and a new friend of hers, another Barb. Evidently Shelly enjoys connecting expats when they first arrive here in Atenas as well as offering useful information for living or staying here. I thoroughly enjoyed our 1 1/2 hour visit at the Rainforest Cafe very close to Ana's Place. Through our conversation I found out that Barb & I have some other things in common besides out first name. She is also gluten-free and in Costa Rica for the first time. I'm discovering for myself just what I've been told and that ... read more
Other grocery store I shopped at this afternoon
ReMax real estate office at end of building where Shelly works

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Atenas January 21st 2011

The weekly farmer's market here is very impressive. I left my apartment at 7:30am, it took me less than 10 minutes to walk there, it was already bustling with Tico vendors of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, breads & sweets (none gluten-free), plants & flowers and shoppers. Many shoppers were Ticos, I'd say 2/3. The rest appeared to be caucasion. It's difficult to be sure since many Ticos are light-skinned. I'm told that's from the European influence. But there are also people who have more of an indigenous look. I took a number of photos, that I'll upload soon, after taking my time looking at everything then buying as much as I could carry in my backpack & in a large bag by hand. For the next week I'll be vegetarian! The whole feria experience was ... read more
Vendor selling plants
more plants at other end of feria

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Atenas January 20th 2011

It was wonderful to wake up around 5:30 this morning to the sounds of so many different birds. In the background I heard an occasional truck braking and a neighbor dog barking but the birds were chattering up a storm....or was it just babble? FYI...I posted some new photos last night in case you're interested. Overnight I had all my windows were open and the ceiling fan on high and both made for comfortable sleeping. There are enough trees here to provide adequate shade that my apartment was comfortable all day and night. The daily afternoon breezes are very nice as well. Right outside my window by the pool they had a yoga class between 8-9am. I tried to follow along from inside my apartment (I guess that makes me a cheapskate) but that didn't work ... read more
pool under repair...should be filled with water & ready to use in a day or two
Looking at the cabana where there's a bar and WiFi connection
some of the beautiful foliage in this tropical paradise

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Atenas January 19th 2011

Today has been a very busy & special day since I have finally moved to Atenas! I left Nitzi's house at 9am in a taxi that she called, one that she uses all the time. Jose was the driver. By 9:30 we I was dropped off, along with my very heavy 2 suitcases and backpack with all of my belongings. I was lucky enough to find a place on the many benches for people waiting for the many buses at Coca Cola. During my half-hour wait I had a man, gringo, offer to help me with my suitcases when I needed to get in line then eventually have them out in the storage area underneath the bus seating area. His name was Lou and he's from Chicago getting away from the cold winters there too. He ... read more
rest of kitchen
fridge & dividing storage unit between sleeping area from kitchen/eating area
eating area in kitchen & by front door

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Atenas January 18th 2011

As it turns out I'll be staying in a place in downtown Atenas called Ana's Place Apartments that I looked at online a few months ago but it was way too expensive. Well just on a whim I emailed them just before coming here and then contacted them again as someone I met here knows them well. It just so happens that they had a studio become available yesterday that isn't yet reserved so they are willing to rent it to me for half price since I'll be paying for the remaining almost 2 months up front. You can look at photos of the place through this link. If you go to "apartments" you can look at three photos of a studio called "butterfly" the one I'll be renting is next to it and called "frog". ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Atenas January 16th 2011

My friend Kat met us at the Atenas Bus Stop where we got off the bus about noon. The first thing we noticed was how much warmer it was there! Ahhhhh....well into the 80's I think! I started peeling off a couple of layers. We had our nice greetings & hugs and I introduced Margie. Then we took a taxi to take us up to a house where I had scheduled to check out a possible room to rent. It was in a gated community called La Roca Verde, The Green Rock. I will try to upload photos the owner sent me after I finish this blog. It's a very nice, new & modern American-type house. I was getting a bit desperate to move into Atenas for the warmer weather and smaller community so the possibility ... read more
House w/room to rent
view from house w/room to rent
Inside house with room to rent

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