Robert Parker in Bali

Robert Parker in Bali
blog contributor Robert Parker Surfing Bali

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Road to Retiring- Day 4

Up at 6:00 AM  and off to the beach by 7:30 with Lincoln in tow.  The swell wasn't as big and John was going to help Lincoln with his turns. I'm kind of creaky today and decide to spend my morning just working on technique of pop ups. John and Lincoln surf about 2 hours. Today 1-3 foot but some chest to head high sets, but still clean, light wind.  As John surfed south down by the reef rock he caught several long lefts- his favorite.

We head back and do eggs and veggies with a side of fish and hunker down for a rest.  Around 1:30 PM I'm ready to get in another session and off we I go.  The beach is almost empty and the swell has greatly dismissed.  But the winds have stayed light and it's a great time for John to give me some lessons.  Literally there are 3 women surfing plus John and maybe 2 other guys down at the north end.   Its 1-2 foot but still super clean and I get in a heady wave count and some great coaching.  John paddles out alone and gets some sneaky south west swell 3-4 footers that go overhead.  We remark that on any given day at Playa Hermosa there are as many women surfing as men.  Some are very, very good too!  

Someone with money has finally placed a small coffee shop on the short beach road to Hermosa, Couleurs Cafe, and it looks as if they are surrounding it with rental villas now being built.  Smart move! We also run into Janoul from CR Properties at the beach with Diego and we chat some more.  She tells us there's a Spanish gentleman who owns a Tico house in Manzanillo with 2 cabinas who is looking to have someone stay free of rent to watch the place. We are somewhat interested but also Tico homes can be pretty spartan.  But we'll check it out.
Back at the house, the WiFi continues to be fussy.  The tower is up and less than 1/4 mile away but it's not turned on yet.  We will send Janoul, Sebastian and some others more info about looking for long term rentals.  Dinner is left over pasta with more avocado, red snapper and papaya served cold and chicken tortilla soup made from stock from Sunday's chicken. Off to sleep and a morning session before packing it in for new digs.

Things we have gleaned so far about life on the Nicoya Peninsula:
1) If not on city water and septic, on the peninsula, the property should have a well and the depth of the well will contribute to whether you have to buy water in the dry season.  To fill a water tank to last 2 for a month is about $80, but that's only 4 months of the year where it's necessary.
2) Goods are tough to get on the peninsula and people pack as much back in from Panama or the USA as they can or even San Jose. 
3) Groceries are expensive so taking advantage of the local fincas, green markets, and fishing is going to be a must.  Eggs are cheap and shopping at the butchers is cheaper than the store. 
4) A pick up truck costs more on the ferry.
5) There's no mail service.  No post office.  No FedEx etc.  NO addresses.  We stayed at Casa Amarillo (it's yellow) on the road up from Playa Hermosa on the way to Manzanillo.  That's their address.  One can have things sent to services in San Jose but it's iffy, and they open 1 in every 100 packages to assess its tariff.  Lincoln had to wait all day to pay $.23 in tax on some electrical wiring he had mailed for pick up at his lawyer's office in San Jose.
6) WiFi can suck.  They are working on putting in the phone cables in Playa Hermosa and more options will then be available. 
7) Electricity and propane not terribly expensive.  We turned off the A/C when not in the room and also at night and it was fine.  But it was also a small room that cooled off quickly and caught a nice breeze from the ocean.  A big tank of propane is $15 and lasts a long time. 
8) There's only a couple of English TV channels and none of them are the Walking Dead or Downton Abbey.  And clearly Netflix ain't delivering.  Here's to more and more wireless advances from that company!
9) The further north you get from Santa Teresa, the more family, quiet, calm it gets.  Of course this is increasing the desirability of the area and will make it harder for us to find a long term rental within our means. It's rather low end Tico to high end luxury, but we feel like we have good feelers out now with real estate agents, Facebook pages and new friends. 
10) Santa Teresa is experiencing a rise in crime between car break ins,  break ins at beachfront places, and tech crime at the ATM's.
11) I will bring a year supply of Oddrie's heart worm/ pest medicine plus ant traps.  Those little blank sugar ants can sneak in anywhere.

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