We rented a car for the remaining period in Costa Rica…Until November 22, 2017…

I’ve been anxious to get photos of unusual frogs in Costa Rica, especially the colorful species. But that will have to wait until we get out soon. We’ve yet to see a colorful frog at the villa. But, this plain frog attached to Henry’s left rear bumper satisfied me for now. Check out those toes!

“Sightings from the Veranda In Costa Rica”

The clouds that roll in each day create many gorgeous scenes.

We awoke this morning to one of those special days with the most perfect weather we’ve experienced in a very long time. The sky is clear, scattered with a few white pillowy clouds. Most likely by early afternoon, it will cloud over and rain as always.

There’s a balmy breeze rustling through the rainforest of over 100 species of indigenous trees. The temperature hovers close to 75F, 24C. Although the humidity is a high 86% right now, the comfort factor is not only bearable, it’s enticing and pleasurable. 

“They,” say that Costa Rica has the most perfect weather in the world and today, more than any day since we arrived over two weeks ago, further exemplifies this fact. It couldn’t be more to our liking.

The only aspect of our stay thus far that has been disappointing has been feeling a being a bit stranded with only a taxi driver at our disposal. At anywhere from US $15 (CRC 8665) to US $20 (CRC 11,553) each time we go to the village (a 10-minute drive plus the cost of waiting time for the driver), we found ourselves avoiding any long distances knowing the price would be pretty high. 

It’s always tricky taking photos from a moving car, especially when we’re sensitive about opening the window while we’re in air-conditioned comfort. 

This puts a damper on our desire of getting out to explore and taking photos while being able to stop at our leisure or quickly turn around when an ideal photo op is in sight. Tom’s is the best driver in accommodating my photo taking.

Besides, it doesn’t make sense to pay US $15 (CRC 8655) each time we realize we need a single item we forgot to purchase or a recipe pops into mind that requires a return to the market for ingredients. 

In many parts of the world, such a taxi ride might be only a few dollars making those single item outings worthwhile. In Australia, we had easy public transportation which isn’t as prevalent here.

But, adding a premium of US $15 (CRC 8655) or more to every few items purchased significantly throws off our food budget. So, we knew we needed to make a change and proceed to rent a vehicle for our remaining time in Costa Rica.

Typical shop along the road into the village.

No doubt we’ve become a bit spoiled after the nine weeks in the US with the red SUV in Minnesota and the little white car in Nevada, able to head out at any time we chose. Taxi fares in either state would have been prohibitive as they were in Australia.

At times, while in Minnesota, we wished we’d had a second vehicle but the cost of renting two cars was impractical. So for a short period, we borrowed a truck belonging to son Greg’s that helped in a pinch but we knew he needed to use and we didn’t keep it long. 

While in Nevada, Tom was content to stay at son Richard’s home in air-conditioned comfort while I flitted around to shop, visit sister Susan and even embark on a few sightseeing missions on my own.  It worked well.

We’re committed to a five-day car rental starting on Monday, August 21st, which Aad the property manager arranged for us. At 10:00 am we’ll take the taxi into Atenas to pick up the car at the cafe at SuperMercado Coopeatena and then head out of town to our dentist appointment at 1:00 pm. We’ll have plenty of time for sightseeing and photo taking along the way.

Typical house in the gated neighborhood.

Last night after 10:00 pm, while a bit bleary-eyed and tired, I decided to check prices one more time for rental cars from our favorite site, rentalcars.com which we’ve used since the onset of our travel. 

I was shocked when I saw the low prices which included all of the taxes and fees, to discover we could rent a car beginning on Monday, August 28th for US $783 (CRC 440,762) for the remaining 87 days in Costa Rica (at that point) which totaled US $9.10 (CRC 5257) a day. I had checked pricing a few days earlier and it was twice this amount. I asked Tom to verify the details with me. Was I too tired to access this carefully? He was wide awake and concurred with the pricing, dates, and conditions.

We quickly booked the car and paid the fee. The rental car company, Europcar, is one we’ve used approximately 60% of the times we’ve rented cars and never had any type of issues. This time, as always, we read all the terms and conditions of the rental.

Europcar require a US $1,500 (CRC 866,505) deposit which might be off-putting to some renters and, included in the above price is a surcharge of US $150 (CRC 86,651), for drivers over 64 years of age, at US $5 (CRC 2888) per day for a maximum of the US $150 (CRC 86,651), for the entire period). 

We couldn’t tell if this is a house or a business based on the sign on the front wall. 

We’re OK with these conditions, especially when the contract stipulates that all other fees and taxes are included in the base rate of US $633 (CRC 365,665). The surcharge for the senior factor might also be off-putting to some renters but for us, the grand total most appealing and, the fact that we’ll be getting a car with AC and automatic transmission ideal for driving on all the hills and mountains in Costa Rica.

We’ve been warned about “bait and switch” type car rentals in Costa Rica but with this familiar website and Europcar which we’ve used so often, we feel safe. In the worst case, if we discover we’ve been defrauded or misrepresented in some manner, we won’t take the car and/or take it up with the credit card company. We shall see what transpires and report back here.

We’re both excited at the prospect of being able to get around on our own for the weekdays next week and from there on, from August 28th until November 22nd.

Today, we’re staying in again working on financial stuff.  But now, with a solution on the horizon enabling us to explore our surroundings and take many photos we can share, we’re content to wait it out until Monday morning when we’ll once again have wheels and “be on the road.”

Happy day to all!

Photo from one year ago today, August 16, 2016:

These are 400 million-year-old fossils seen at the Phuket Seashell Museum. For more photos, please click here.