destination, Playa de Coco, Guanacaste, north-west of Costa Rica.
(Note to self, I really must start taking some photographs and upload them!)
First task is to find somewhere to rent long-term; we can't live in our holiday rental apartment for ever, however warm and inviting the pool is! I think we looked at roughly ten different properties in about three days, some of which where great whereas others were .... Interesting! In one house I think they were starting up their own national collection of dead wasps and flies. In another, all sorts of cultures were being grown both inside and outside the fridge - Kim and Aggie would have a field day! I hope not to compare too much with the British way, as it is so different, but the Costa Rican people could learn a thing or two about presenting a house; even opening a window might help shift those properties, let alone a good clean.
The realtor, Mari, whom we went on some of the viewings with, is in her mid-twenties I guess, and she owns the agency. A bi-lingual Costa Rican who speaks so, so, so fast in both Spanish and American, (I'm sorry, but with her accent, I really can't say she speaks the Queens English), that we both struggle with what she is saying in either language. Every time her mobile phone rings, of which she juggles about three, she immediately stops whatever she is doing to answer it, and then paces up and down like a madman jabbering instructions to the person on the end of the line. If the floor was made of stone, rather than ceramic tiles, I think Mari would wear them down very quickly.
DH likes her because her skirts are rather short; naturally he denies this saying it is her knowledge of real estate and the surrounding area that he appreciates. Hmmm, silly bugger! However its obviously an office where uniform is not obligatory, unlike other places of work in CR, as her brother, Mauricio, rocks up wearing surf shorts and flip-flops! A very cool laid back surfer dude, who also paces a great deal when on the phone, but it is he who shows the best properties ultimately.
Armed with a long list of pros and cons, we all discussed our favourite properties: there was Tim's house, high on the hill, wonderful view, cool breeze drifting throughout, garage, open living space, permission to have an animal, but only a plunge pool. (Tim was from Florida and knew about house presentation as he had some ribs smoking on the barbie). Youngest son (YS from now on) campaigned strongly for the Golf House - large garden and room for a game of football and his goalie net to be erected; Eldest Son (ES) reasonably keen as hoping for a quad bike, which he thought would be useful to get around the golf course!
A winner was eventually decided and a deal was struck. A four bedroom house in a small condominium of just twelve other properties will be our place of residence for the next year. We have a pool right next to our house, albeit a shared one, and a small gym. most importantly though, we have a view of the PACIFIC OCEAN!! I have never totally understood the desire for a sea view, probably because I have never lived by the sea before. But wow, totally amazing. We took a trip up there in the evening too and it is even more spectacular in the dark; all the little lights on the boats bobbing up and down on the water. Very impressive!
Back to the condo, it seems that only three of the other properties are regularly occupied, with the others still for sale or rent, so with any luck we will have the pool to ourselves mostly. It will be an experience living in a condo as we are used to our own space, but hopefully we won't aggravate and annoy the other residents too much with our noise!!
All I need to do now is take some photos and upload them. Oh yes, and move in!