July 8, 2023 – Puntarenas
Today we took a ferry from the Nicoyan Peninsula to Puntarenas. It was an incredibly slow ferry, but we are retired, so we didn’t care. Before we left Santa Teresa Beach we had tea and coffee down on the beach watching the waves, surfers, and horseback riders. I think Sue was enjoying the male surfers warming up a little more than I was 😜. The road to the ferry was paved and the rivers had bridges over them. How civilized, but a little boring.
July 12, 2023 – San Jose
We put Lucy into bonded airport customs storage today because Sue and I have made the decision to pause our Pan-American highway trip and return to Canada. Sue’s hips have become unbearably painful. Since the pandemic, health care has been broken in Quebec, with unreasonable wait times. Even though she was in some pain, Sue was unable to get any kind of diagnosis for her hips before we left Canada. That prevented us from researching a solution because we didn’t know what the problem was. When we left, Sue felt that the pain was still manageable. By the time we reached El Salvador, Sue’s hips had deteriorated significantly compared to their condition when we left. We knew that Costa Rica had a health care system that equals the US and Canada, so when we were in Olomega, El Salvador, we booked an appointment with an orthopedic specialist in San Jose. He told Sue that she needed both hips replaced and that they could do it next week. However, after research, we also discovered that Sue can get both hips replaced in Quebec at a private clinic for a similar price. Since it is better to be in Canada should there be any post-op complications, we are returning to Canada on Friday to get the process started. Sue probably won’t have the operation until late August, but the sooner we get started the quicker she gets into the private clinic queue, which is about 2 years shorter than the public queue. We will remain in Canada for nine to ten months for Sue to recover, and then we will come back to Costa Rica to resume this trip. It will be much more fun for both of us if Sue is able to fully participate.
Even though we have a Temporary Import Permit for Lucy that expires 90 days after we entered Costa Rica, it is possible to suspend the TIP, leave the country, and then reactivate the TIP when we come back. You just have to put your vehicle into an Almacen Fiscal, which is a special government-bonded customs storage facility. The instructions we found here (https://freedomwithbruno.com/storing-your-vehicle-in-costa-rica-at-an-almacen-fiscal/) worked for us. A big thank you to Amanda and Travis from Freedom With Bruno for making it easy for us to return to Canada for a little bit.
Bye Lucy, stay safe. We will be back for you in nine to ten months.