More Costa Rica Crazy

Published: March 8th 2007
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I wasn’t sure what to call my latest blog entry largely because I wasn’t sure I’d have one or two discreet topics to fill this entire blog entry. However, I have a few crazy things to report on this week.

Losing my brakes…going downhill!

I have to admit I do love my 1991 Iszusu Trooper. I don’t quite know why though. It’s old, it’s body is scraped and scarred. The back and front bumpers are pushed in a bit and the interior looks like—well—it is 16 years old. Even in the relatively short time period that I have owned it, just under two years, it has taken a bit of a beating here in Costa Rica. It’s been on horrible roads (if you want to call them that!), managed its way through driving rain storms, took a beating fording several rivers, and much more. It’s also spent its share of time in the “auto hospital,” most recently for a week’s stay. And, just when I thought it was fully recovered, it has a relapse….

Last week my friend and business partner, Mike, had two friends visiting and because one of his friends, Jason, recently became a shareholder in our company, CR Communities (, we wanted to show him a good time—and figured going to the beach made sense. So, there I am at the helm of my somewhat trustworthy Trooper headng through the mountains outside of Atenas, figuring the car would perform beautifully given that I had a complete overhaul about one month ago!

About 15 minutes outside of Atenas going downhill in heavy traffic, I go to brake and my brake pedal goes all the way to the floor….and my car is not stopping! As many of you know, there aren’t much in the way of “breakdown lanes” on the roads in Costa Rica, and I needed to stop! I tried pulling the parking brake and that didn’t work either. So, instead I stopped by hitting the %$@%$&*#$%)* car in front of me! Luckily, I was going fairly slow at the time and the two young kids in the car I hit were happy to take a few colones from me instead of waiting for a tow truck and insurance agent. Of course, it did no damage to my car with its massive metal bumpers.

We did have some luck though. We stopped right in front of a ramschackle Tico home and the owners were happy to have me park in their driveway while we called for help. Then, about five minutes later with traffic still bumper-to-bumper (but not as “bumper-to-bumper as my experience!), my friends Isabelle and Howard happened to be driving by on their to the beach! Jason, who is fluent in Spanish, hopped in the car with them and sought out help.

Jason returns in about one hour with a guy from Orotina who knew what to do to get us back on the road again. Honestly, I’m not sure what the mechanic did as he didn’t bring brake pads—only a bunch of tools—and some brake fluid, but it was enough apparently. We made it to the beach, though three hours late, but within enough time to catch some sun and waves, and a great sunset.

The garden…well……

I had been working on my garden but my time has been limited lately. I just cannot seem to find the time it requires to do a good job! Anyone local want to “rent” my garden!? All you have to do is provide me with a little of the bounty!

Small world…..

I was in Café Delicas (one the best breakfast places in San Ramon—excellent hash browns and gallo pinto!) the other morning having breakfast with my friend and colleague, Preston, and a gringo woman approaches us as she apparently overheard us speaking English. She told us all about her trip to Costa Rica, getting ripped off on a tour, etc., etc. (and generally getting on my nerves so early in the morning!). However, when I mentioned I owned a B&B, she showed me the listing for the B&B in her copy of of the 2007 edition of “Lets Go Costa Rica,” a hip travel guide for the younger generation! I had no idea we were in “Lets Go,” and I don’t recall anyone calling me or coming to stay at the B&B from this publication. I’m happy to report that the review was excellent, and clearly, whomever wrote the review, actually stayed with us. I guess the writer did it anonoymously. Luckily, we’re always on our toes here at Angel Valley Farm B&B!

Book launch party in San Ramon, March 28, mark the date!

Part time residents Nancy and Becky, who have a house up the hill from me, are having a pre-publication “event” for their new book. Here’s the information provided by my friend and neighbor Joanna:

Nancy Manahan, Ph.D. and Becky Bohan, M.A., part time residents of Angeles Sur de San Ramon, will be launching the publication of their new book with a reading and book signing at Solo Bueno in San Ramon.

Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully shares the wisdom of a woman diagnosed with cancer and chronicles her journey through treatment, death and beyond while promoting quality of life and affirming the continuation of spirit.

Endorsed by many in the fields of complementary, alternative and holistic medicine, this book is a guide for anyone dealing with terminal illness themselves or the illness of a loved one.

Date: Wednesday, March 28
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Coffee, tea and refreshments will be available
For more information / directions, call 447-7467

I hope some of you will considering heading over to Solo Bueno for this!

The end of an era….

Our longest-staying guests, Tom and Katie (just about 2.5 months “in residence”) will be leaving on Monday. We hate to see them go as they are just such good people and were very fun to have around! We cooked, partied, played many, many games of Scrabble, road motorcycles, traveled together, and so much more.

I keep trying to entice them to stay a week or so longer but they’ve said they need to get home to arrange things so they can get back here quickly to live here full time! I guess I need to let them go…to come back! I hope thye come back soon. Thanks Tom and Katie, you guys are great!!!

No pictures?

I know I have been remiss in posting pictures but I just don’t have anything new. I am heading to a part of the country I have not been to yet, so in my next blog entry I promise to post pictures!

Thanks for reading and for your comments. More soon!

Pura Vida!

Andrew (real estate and more!) (4-day/3 night relocation/retirement/real estate tour!) (Boomers’ Real Estate & More Blog!) (the B&B!)


9th March 2007

Lets Go and TomKat
So you've been secretly hosting TomKat the last two months? And here we all thought they were in LA. As for the Let's Go publication, I used it extensively in college. They operate on a shoestring budget and don't have a staff but take input from readers, so you managed to impress a guest enough to write in, even better! Congratulations, I'll look for it at the book store.
6th May 2007

Hotel Manuel Antonio
Ron: Thanks for your comment! I am glad you like my blog. The Hotel Manuel Antonio is Tico-run and it is across the street from the entrance to the National Park and right across the street from the beach. The rooms are simple but very clean and they have good air conditioning. It's about all you need. I highly recommended it! Andrew

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