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Pirate’s Beach: Thank you Bill for taking me to see this beach!

A few travel hints and my Costa Rican departure story should assist you when you visit Costa Rica. Was it hard to leave? Oh, yes! It was hard to leave the beautiful beaches and the sense of calm and peace, but all good things come to an end. Does anything last forever?  No, not on this earth.Costa Rica 295

1. Bring enough contact solution. Very few people in Costa Rica wear contacts and maybe the ones that do get the solution at the eye doctor’s office. I started looking at every store, and I did not see any solution then I found it at the farmacia in Flamingo. I mentioned it at dinner with Dave and the radio DJ that does the radio show at Flamingo Hotel. He said he purchased saline solution  in a bag and  then withdrew it with a needle for his contacts. I think most people that can afford the laser surgery have that done because it is so cheap in Costa Rica. All dental and medical procedures are very affordable.

2. The climate is different for each section of the country. Getting weather for different sections of this country is a little tricky. I read online that the nights can be really cool. Well, that was in San Jose not Playa Flamingo, so the blue jean jacket, the sweatshirt, the work out jacket, the ankle skinny jeans,  and the scarves were not needed. Packing fail again! I did survive with five pair of shoes for the entire trip, so that was a success.

3. You must arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight.  If you are late then you will be told that you will take the next day’s flight. There is an exit tax to pay to leave the country. It is $29.00. There are places that you can pay it before you get to the airport. There is only one in the area where I was located, and it was at the Playa Flamingo Hotel, but it was inaccessible most days. I did not have any problems when I arrived at the airport paying the tax. When I arrived, I took the Airport shuttle which was very nice and very safe, but it was expensive. With tip it was around $90.00.  For the trip back to the airport, I booked through Eoctrans, and it is only $50.00 if I am the only one on the shuttle. If more people book for that flight from this area, then it will only cost $25.00. I was the only one, but it was a very nice peaceful ride and worth the money.

5. The currency here can be understood by doubling the sum or something like that: Below is the official rate.

1.00 USD = 540.649 CRC

500 colones  =  $1.00
1000 colones=  $2.00

By the end of the trip, I was doing a better job with the conversion. (Do not ask Bill or Dave or the waiter at Marie’s if I was improving.)

6. There are English channels on the TV. I found Warner the second night I was there, but I thought that was all I had. Bill came over and showed me the other three channels that you have access to with basic cable. I was going in to Big Bang withdrawals until I found it on Warner!

7. Books- As most of you know, I am a readaholic. Bring your books with you. Marie has a share area at her restaurant that was a lifesaver and Linda (from Washington) also shared her books with me before she left.

Since I shared my trip with you to get to Costa Rica, I wanted to share the return. After paying the exit tax and checking my bag in at Delta with the help of this nice man who assists people for tips, I went through security with ease and headed to the wait area. Because of the departure of my plane being at 12:55 and getting to the airport at 10:00, I was hungry. For a mere $30.00, I had a fruit smoothie and a small quesadilla. They have you at the airport early, and they take full advantage of it. I shopped a little, but I did not buy anything. The chocolate covered coffee beans, almonds and fruit were very good. They had free samples and free coffee. Brit coffee is very good.  There was a cowhide purse that I really liked, but not to the tune of $200.00.Costa Rica 407Costa Rica 408

Our departure was smooth, and the flight was a good flight.  The plane landed in Atlanta and went through passport check which the form is now electronic if you are a US citizen then we waited in line to get our bags, re-checked our bags and then went through security again. This took around one hour and thirty minutes. It was a long painful process. Then I proceeded to gate B 32 and purchased a salad, brownie and a water. While eating and talking to Lori, we were told that our gate had been changed to  A 9. I gathered up my food and started the hike to the next terminal and then rode the little train to terminal A.
The terminal was packed, and we waited and waited. A storm came through so our flight was delayed. We started boarding around 10:40, and we all got on the plane then we waited because we had NO pilots. They had been detained by the bad weather on another flight. I arrived in Memphis at midnight, and my dear friend, Lori, was waiting on me with a welcome sign.  We made it to my house by 1:45 a.m. She had to be at work at 8:00.Costa Rica 410

As Hemingway stated in The Sun Also Rises, there is a price for everything that is good and my Costa Rican trip was very good.
“Women made such swell friends. Awfully swell. In the first place, you had to be in love with a woman to have a basis of friendship. I had been having Brett for a friend. I had not been thinking about her side of it. I had been getting something for nothing. That only delayed the presentation of the bill. The bill always came. That was one of the swell things you could count on.
I thought I had paid for everything. Not like the woman pays and pays and pays. No idea of retribution or punishment. Just exchange of values. You gave up something and got something else. Or you worked for something. You paid some way for everything that was any good. I paid my way into enough things that I liked, so that I had a good time. Either you paid by learning about them, or by experience, or by taking chances, or by money. Enjoying living was learning to get your money’s worth. The world was a good place to buy in. It seemed like a fine philosophy. In five years, I thought, it will seem just as silly as all the other fine philosophies I’ve had.”
― Ernest HemingwayThe Sun Also Rises

Please click on this link, and after you read the list, wait on the pictures at the bottom to load:They are so funny and so accurate!
13 Things Only Solo Travelers Will Understand


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