Are we there yet? We can now say “We are here” and not keep saying “We are almost there”. All the preparations were worth it and the emotions have now shifted from an underlying anxiety to relaxation and an overall sense of calmness. It is an incredibly rewarding feeling to know that we worked very hard to achieve this next phase in our life. We’ve now been here just under a week we have already met great people and are just letting life happen here.
We left Canning, Nova Scotia on a cool April Sunday with a fresh cover of snow from the day before. A good friend drove us into nearby Acadia University where we caught the bus to an airport hotel for an overnight stay in preparation for a very early departure the next morning. We thought it appropriate to use the bus to get us used to not having a car! As we sat on the bus the reality began to sink in and we knew that we had truly begun.
After a 2 hour flight to Toronto we had a couple of hours before our onward flight to Liberia. Time for some breakfast and people watching as we often do – wondering where everyone’s lives are taking them and where they are headed. Some of our own thoughts centered on the fact that this lifestyle would become our norm for the foreseeable future. And it was good!
A 5 hour flight brought us to Liberia, the capital of Guanacaste Province in northwest Costa Rica. As we began the slow approach to the airport we passed Lake Nicaragua with its impressive volcanoes. It is an inspiring sight as you descend out of the clouds and the next thing you know the hills of Guanacaste appear with the Pacific rolling onto golden dark sand beaches between headlands.
Coming from the chill of a Nova Scotian early spring, stepping off the plane into a tropical environment where the temperature is 35 degrees (95 Fahrenheit!) is an assault on the senses. The smells, the heat and the feel of the air was wonderful. We always love this first contact.
We took a shuttle van from the airport for $50 USD. The fare from the stock of shuttles at the airport is usually $60 USD but we had pre-arranged another for a slightly better price. After a short 30 minute ride we could smell the Pacific Ocean and had arrived in Playas del Coco (or El Coco) – our home for the next three months. It felt wonderful to be back in Costa Rica!
We have a two bedroom condo, within our budget, just one block from Coco beach in an area known as Las Palmas. It is just north of the main town and is a mixture of small condominium developments and private homes covering the full range of prices. Ours has twelve units which are two bedroom, two story units arranged around a central pool and rancho. There are communal washing machines and driers. The prices vary from unit to unit and are heavily dependent on the season. Most are privately owned and rented through an agency or online through sites such as VRBO, Airbnb and Flipkey. Remember that the prices you see online can be negotiated so don’t be afraid to ask.
Through the winter months until Easter the area is quite busy but by the time we arrived it was very quiet with half of the units occupied by a mixture of expats, residents and tourists. Here is a local resident checking us out!
The location is perfect for us. It is a quiet area, a two minute walk to the quieter and cleaner end of the beach and about a 15 minute walk into the main part of town. There is a small Luperon grocery store close by as well as a good beach bar and restaurant. It all looks perfect for us. We are going to take our cocktails to the beach now to watch the sunset. We will post more of our experiences in the coming weeks. Pura Vida! (Pure Life) and thanks for reading.