HOUSE SITTING A COSTA RICAN FINCA
Our first time house sitting in Costa Rica
Sometimes, in quiet moments, BoB and we are asking ourself “Why we are doing all this!?” Far away from home, family, and friends we are travelling in the heat every day, not knowing what awaits us next. Bumpy bus rides and strange creatures cross the way and you want to sleep in a real comfortable bed again.
But then you meet so lovely people and you know it’s worth all the efforts. This happened to us during our first month in Costa Rica. Searching for another volunteer work, we found an American family, who needed help on their finca. Although Sharon, Dick and Maia were on a journey in Europe, they allowed us to stay on their beautiful finca ‘Saramandaia’. . . for free! The only thing they asked for was to clean a bit and to let fresh air into the rooms. Can you imagine to let a stranger into your house while you are far away??? We three were deeply impressed by their faith in us. BoB felt great on this big finca. He could play with giant ants, was awakened by monkeys in the morning and enjoyed to do nothing. Our house sitting in Costa Rica was just great!
After two weeks Sharon, Dick and Maia came back home and gave us a warm “belated” welcome. It was soo interesting to get to know them personally. Together with four other volunteers, John and Ben from the US, and Adam and Bart from the UK, we spent hours listening to Sharons impressing stories from all over the world. Sometimes we were sitting at the table with our mouths wide opened. Also the conversations with the other volunteers, when sitting together in front of our house, we enjoyed a lot. It was a great time and suddenly we did not feel that far away from home anymore.
On one of our days off we asked BoB what he wants to do, although he was the only one who hardly worked on the finca, 😉 The finca is located in Cuidad Colon, only 20 minutes away from Costa Rica’s capital San José. Bob wanted to go there and explore the city.
Well, to be honest, there is not much to see, except for McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Pollo Campero, Pizza Hut, Subway and many many other fast food chains. 🙂 Okay, just kidding. . . you can visit some museums, churches and the big park ‘La Sabana Park’ (here you see giant trees with colourful bark). And of course it’s fun to sit somewhere with an ice cream and to watch the passing locals. San José is worth a day trip.
In Germany you see squirrels in the treetops. . . in COSTA RICA you can watch the white-faced capuchin monkeys sitting on branches. It’s so cool to feed them with delicious bananas 🙂
BoB’s travel tip for border crossing from Nicaragua to Costa Rica by bus:
Crossing this border is definitely not as dificult as many people say. From Rivas in Nicaragua you can take a collective or bus (2 Dollars per person) to Penas Blancas at the border. Here you have to fill out some paper stuff as usual (don’t buy the papers from the locals, you get them at the border office for free, of course). Go to the immigration office in Nicaragua, where you have to pay a 2 dollar exit fee and walk to the immigration office of Costa Rica. It’s just a few hundreds metres and even doable with a heavy backpack. In Costa Rica you don’t pay any entry fees. If you feel lost, just follow everybody else and ask for the way.
If you enter Costa Rica, be aware of the following: If you dont have a ticket out of Costa Rica, you can NOT enter Costa Rica. Forget about all the tips you see on the internet, like waering good clothes or showing a credit card… This is not enough. They want to see a ticket out of their country. What to do? Either you have a faked flight or bus ticket (normally they don’t have a closer look on it but you never know) OR you can buy a bus ticket at the border. The small ticket offices of the different bus companies are just outside the immigration office. What a coincidence 😉 If you don’t want to spent too much money, buy a ticket from Deldu for only 9 dollars from the border (Penas Blancas) back to Rivas, Nicaragua. Another smart thing is to buy a ticket to Panama City from TICA or Transnica (if you want to go there anywhere). It is valid for a year and you can make the reservation when you know the exact travel dates. We, for example, bought a ticket for 42 dollars per person from San Jose to Panama City with TICA bus. After entering Costa Rica, you can take a cheap bus to San Jose. We recommend the Deldu bus for only 10 dollars per person.