Difficulties on the Trail

Buenas Noches Señoritas,  Señores,  y chicos

I am in Tempe Arizona while my master Steve is in Costa Rica.  How this happened is not a pretty story.  I got all the way down to Tempe taking a couple of days to get there.  We even left early as the paperwork for going to Costa Rica was tricky especially with the holidays shortening hours for the government workers (USDA).  Steve even asked to see if they were going to be open the day before New Years.  They called the day before and said they were closing early so we left at 0 dark thirty.  I was excited and we made good time through California to Arizona.  I got to relieve myself in the desert again That was fun.

Anyway, we get to the airport the morning of the flight and my paperwork all panned out. Everything was going smoothly until the guy next to the lady helping Steve said my Kennel was not the right one and couldn’t be modified. I was getting nervous in the kennel with all the people around, etc…  In fact, the kennel was vibrating to my breathing.

So, I couldn’t fly, reservations would have to be remade but there was other coordinating reservations in Costa Rica that if changed would have cost much more.  Luckily, uncle Ash was still around and agreed to take me until we could figure something out.  Steve went on without me and I went home with Ash to Tempe.  I’ll let Steve pick up the story from here.

Well, I didn’t have a lot of time to make decisions and made what I thought was the best choice at the time.  I then rushed around to find alternative transportation for Rocky.  I had to send his paperwork to Ash as I forgot to give it to him (as well as Rocky’s eye drops – I’ll have to mail them from here in Costa Rica.

I found out that transporting him unaccompanied as cargo would cost $1000 as opposed to the $200 via baggage.  I also found out that Kennel manufactures will say anything like “airline approved” and airlines don’t always approve – read the small print.  I guess that’s a lesson in life eh? “read the small print”.

While on the flight down here I had some time to think and thought of what Rocky would have felt like in the dark baggage hold and felt that he would have been frightened and lonely.  So, I think it’s better that he is with Ash though I feel bad about putting Ash out like this.

When I got to the hotel in San Jose it also turned out not to be “pet friendly” and would have cost me $100 more for Rocky.  The car I rented while it appeared to be big enough is way too small for his kennel, two suitcases, a carry on and my guitar.  So, that would have necessitated a change in car costing more (especially at the last minute as this one was cheaper in September then now).

Then when I got to Jaco it was “hot and humid” in the high 80’s and I know that in the summer heat even at home Rocky tends to slow down and doesn’t have the pep he has in the fall, winter and spring.  The house would have been alright, but perhaps it’s best that he didn’t come.

Anyway, I will keep up the blog with pictures starting tomorrow as Master Steve’s account of Costa Rica for Rockydog.  I will try to bring the experience to him and ustedes vicariously.  I know he will like hearing about it.  Perhaps Ash or Daniela will read it to him if not I will when I return.  I miss him greatly as I am totally alone here knowing no one.

I also don’t want to disappoint some rocky dogs blog readers that were looking forward to vicariously enjoying the Costa Rican adventures. So, I will continue on and post daily while here.  I hope you enjoy the adventure.

The first part starts at the car rental agency (Adobe) the sticker price was hard to swallow but the added insurance with a $1500 deductible at almost the cost of the rental was painful.  I would recommend that if you plan to come for more then 30 days only rent a car for 30 days and then re-rent it as many credit cards will cover the insurance “up to 30 days” .  Another lesson I’ve learned – again!

I bought a GPS SD card for my Garmin GPS from GPSeTravelguides that is linked to the Garmin site before I left. They tried to tell me it would work in Costa Rica even though I could not find the maps on them in the US.  Of course it didn’t work once I was here in CR and I was stuck in Costa Rica without a GPS.

However, an american at the hotel suggested I download the app WAZE which I did and it worked well on my iPhone except that the voice was in Spanish and I confused derecha with derecho  taking a right instead of continuing straight.  Resulting in me going around in circles on horrible roads that looked more like driveways and doing a toll both twice. Eventually though WAZE came through and my Spanish improved.

I got to the house just as the lady who is renting it to me was leaving. She gave me the keys and a little tour. She lives in San Jose  but bis from Belgium and had to get back to pick up her kids from school. San Jose is about 1.5- 2 hours away.

The first thing I noticed when I got out of the air-conditioned car was how hot and humid it was but after awhile I just stripped down and started to acclimate.  You just have to get used to having sweat on your face most of the time. I forgot how humid it was from when I was here before, but I do remember that I got used to it and expect to do it again.

After settling in and learning the specs of the house, putting things away, making a shopping list, etc. I went into the town of Jaco for dinner and observation. Jaco is full of contrasts as far as nice vs run down areas.  There are Casinos, Gentlemen’s clubs, parques, Sodas (small family run food places), souvenir shops and beautiful people – especially the Ticas (Costa Rican Chicas). I have to admit I saw some well fit Tico’s too!  One at least I’m sure you ladies would admire.

I had a great meal of Shrimp Tacos and a large Iced Mocha. I forgot to specified “iced not blended” so I suffered through a couple of brain freezes. It’s strange despite the pain of the brain freeze I still go back for more of the great tasting drink. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.

One good thing is the internet at the house is faster then the one at the hotel last night so I can actually surf the net and communicate with the outside world.  This place is isolated but “muy hermoso”.  I have my music – the wonders of the digital age – my whole library, my guitar a flute, harmonica’s and my mandolin.  I think I can find a way to entertain myself and if I can’t ? There’s always the “Gentlmen’s Club” in Jaco.

The night is moving on and I want to get up early to run on the beach so I will say Adios tonight and promise to post some pictures tomorrow. May Peace and Love be in your hearts and minds.


Steve and Rocky dog.DSCF0981






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