We are staying right in the middle of downtown Grecia, in a cute little bed and breakfast called B and B Grecia. It is a nice town known as “the cleanest city in Latin America”. The location of the b and b is perfect, within walking distance to just about anything you might need. Our room has two queen size beds, one has a top bunk (yes…room…singular). It was a bit more spacious than I expected, with a good amount of storage space for our clothes and bags. There are 4 rooms in total; 3 of them (including us) share a bathroom. It hasn’t been a problem since we are the only ones here right now.
Our plan is to stay here for a little over two weeks while hunting for a home.
One of the first things we did was go to the bank to exchange currency. In Costa Rica they use colones, and the conversion rate is about 500 to 1. We are still trying to get use to the currency, but at least the numbers are somewhat even.
We really enjoyed going to the central park. It was a great place to relax and let the kids run around. There were lots of seating areas and people all throughout. Apparently school is out for two weeks, so there is more youth around than usual, which is nice to see. The kids had a great time running around and enjoying the breeze. There were a couple of jugglers putting on a little show.
We walked across the street to a restaurant called Bro, where we had comida typica or typical Tico food. Costa Rican natives call themselves Ticos, and their typical dish is called casada. It’s basically rice and beans, a fried egg, sweet plantains, some other side that I haven’t quite figured out (reminds me of corn beef hash), and your choice of meat. The meal was delicious, although not as cheap as I would have liked, 4,000 colones per meal ($8).
Connecting to the world
We got cell phones! We brought our smart phones from the states and bought a sim card here. For only 5,000 colones ($10) we were able to buy 2 sim cards with about 74 minutes on each card. The easiest way is to buy pre-paid minutes, then just reload them when they run out.
What was even more exciting is that we were able to get a great app called Talkatone that allows us to call the US (and receive calls) for free using our Google Voice phone number, as long as we have wifi. Surprisingly there is wifi almost everywhere you go here, even small restaurants, the bakery, and central park.
The internet connection is great at our little bed and breakfast; Grant says it’s even faster than some places back home! I’ve finally gotten my facebook account going, and have had a chance to connect with some friends and family.