I’ve led you on long enough! This is our new home sweet home in the area known as Escazú, Costa Rica. We were given the opportunity to rent our contact’s former home in the Central Valley, rather than a high-rise condominium in Jaco. One bedroom, one bath, office, three balconies, washer (we air-dry), fully furnished, and within walking distance to food, bars, and grocery. While we might still prefer a beach town we’re glad were here.
Escazú is a neighborhood of San José, the capital city, largely populated by wealthy tico families and expats. Like much of San José, English is widely known and we are able to communicate using basic English and Spanish. The people, we’ve found, are friendly but keep to themselves and are tolerable of the obvious (often paralyzing) language barrier.
The Central Valley, as the name suggests, is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. From Casa de las Tias, we were able to see Volcán Poás to the North. These mountains are beautiful. Some are populated, evidenced by speckles of light once the sun sets around 6:30pm, and some are not, which remain dark. Escazú climbs the Southern mountain range, making for a very steep climb on the return trip from AutoMercado, the local supermarket.
The climate is much cooler here; there is always a breeze, sunny, and between 70°-80°F. If you head south, the temperature change is immediately apparent, often with a heavy smog.
It is very Americanized, which we’ve found to be both good and bad. The AutoMercado feel exactly like an upscale Tom’s or Olsen’s, but double the cost for imported items. Driving the streets you’ll see McDonald’s, KFC, Coke adds everywhere. The local mall is fancier than any mall I’ve seen before – Tiffany’s, MAC cosmetics, iCon (iMac store). Very surreal.
Below are some detailed shots of the fortress, click for better resolution. Not shown: alarm system, heavy steel doors, and the two guard cats Matrix and Mouse. Matrix is currently sound asleep on our back patio. – Jes