Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Where we are.

Costa Rica, the Central American country (not to be confused with the island of Puerto Rico), is divided into 7 provinces (provincias), each of which is divided into a number of counties (cantones), and each of these into a number of districts (distritos).

Our home in Costa Rica is officially located in the district of Santa Lucia, in the county of Barva, in the province of Heredia (Santa Lucia de Barva de Heredia). However, for most practical reasons relating to our everyday life it is located in San Josecito de San Rafael de Heredia. The house was designed and built by our friends, Victoria & Peter. They have since moved to a new property close by, so this house is on the market – in the meantime, we took the option to rent it for 3 months as we were already familiar with both the house and the area having previously stayed with our friends here.

The house has a virtually unobstructed view across the central valley (meseta central or valle central) to the west, which affords us wonderful views of the sunset from both the roof terrace and big picture windows in the master bedroom. If this sounds grand … then, for us at least, it is. The house is bigger than the one we have in Aberdeen and certainly has better views!

Our home is a 25 minute walk from the centre of the city of Heredia (the capital of the province of Heredia). Or, more accurately stated, it is a 25 minute downhill walk to the centre of Heredia from the house. It takes longer to get back because it is all uphill – we usually wimp out and take the bus!

It is a 20 minute walk to the centre of the city of San Rafael (city by name, small town by UK standards). This is where we usually go to buy our groceries, either at the weekly farmers market (feria) or the Palí supermercado. We choose to shop here instead of Heredia because we can walk back without having to negotiate the killer hill*, but if we need to pick up a few bits while we are out and about in Heredia we’ll either go to the Mercado Central, Palí or Mas x Menos (another supermercado).

For items that are more difficult to come by, or “pequeños lujos” (little luxuries), we plan to go to the Automercado (which sells a lot of imported foods that you can’t buy elsewhere, at a price, of course) which is a 20 minute walk from the house. But so far, we haven’t had any little luxuries as with the current weak £ our budget is a little stretched.

And, naturally, the house is also within easy walking distance of the Taoist Tai Chi Society clubhouse … which is conveniently situated right next to yet another Palí! So, walk to Tai Chi, pick up a few necessities from Palí, get the bus back up the hill…

* The hill is actually the slope of Barva volcano. Fortunately this volcano has been dormant since 1492.

Zoë's Spanish Phrase of the Day

Mi papá montó en avestruz.

This was a phrase that came out of my mouth in my Spanish lesson today.... erm...

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