I haven’t even unpacked and I’m ready to go back for more

Just back from a week at Casa Escondida doing some much needed updating and maintenance. It’s amazing how much care a home in the tropics really takes.  Between fighting the ever encroaching jungle, trying to deal with unpredictable municipal water supply and looking for light bulbs I had a busy week.  I swear I spent an entire day trying to find a light bulb that would fit our kitchen island lights.   Never thought I would miss Home Depot.  When we embarked on this adventure of building a home in one of the most beautiful places in the world I don’t think Travis or I  really contemplated the mundane issues of care and maintenance.    Well now we know that no matter where your house is, or whether or not you live there year round, it still needs constant care.  Lesson learned.  I can’t wait more than a year between my visits.  Oh well, I guess I will just have to go to Costa Rica more often.  There could certainly be worse things 🙂

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. My friends Zach, Natazha, Brian and Groover all happened to be in town at the same time and we had a chance to catch up over a couple of wonderful meals and have two great sunset surf sessions together.  Between Brian and Zach  I had several long conversations about the intricacies of life in the tropics and they gave me tons of valuable information about taking care of things in Costa Rica.  Information and lessons that they have learned from 14 years of running and maintaining the amazing School of the World in Jaco.  Thanks guys!  You both are invaluable and SOTW is more than partially responsible for inspiring Casa Escondida.  I also met two more new friends, Andy and Patton.  It was nice to put faces to the stories that Zach and Brian have been telling me for years.   I am jealous that they have several more weeks in Costa, but I am sure that we will all get a chance to surf together very soon.  And I have to say to all of my friends that I didn’t get a chance to see while I was down there.  See you soon!

I think I know what man must have felt like when he made fire for the first time. Now we don't have to depend on the municipal water supply anymore.

I mentioned earlier the unpredictable municipal water supply.  A quick story about the “municipal” water supply in Calle Hermosa.  That’s what they call it anyways, but I am convinced that if I followed our supply line to its source I would find a 6″ pvc pipe stuck into a river somewhere.  I only say this because when it rains here,  which happens pretty frequently in the rainy season, our water turns to mud.  Orange runny mud.  It makes for an interesting shower experience for sure.  One of the biggest accomplishments of my trip though was to install a 400 gallon rainwater cistern at the house.  Now when the municipal water gets funky we can plug in our pump, turn off the water supply from the street and we have clean rainwater everywhere in the house.  We don’t drink water from the municipality anyways, so there is no change in our drinking habits.  Now we can take a shower and actually come out clean.  Building the cistern is the first step to eventually making Casa Escondida completely off grid.  I hope some day to get a solar-powered pump for the cistern and add some solar panels to the roof  too.  “Poco a poco” as our caretaker Ricardo is so fond of saying.

Well the adventure continues and I hope that many more of you get to experience Casa Escondida first hand.  It is such a wonderful, exciting and sometimes even perplexing experience to explore new places and cultures.  Pura vida.

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