Out of Sorts in Alajuela Costa Rica

After arriving back in Alajuela Costa Rica from my 2 week vacation in Vancouver to see my kids, I was feeling a bit out of sorts. My head felt like my brain had turned into cement. I’m not sure why. But these are some of the reasons I came up with:

  • I was suffering from another sinus infection.
  • After 2 weeks of being around my kids and grandkids almost 24/7 it was lonely back at my airbnb and not having people to talk to and play with.
  • I miss my kids and grandkids.
  • Vancouver Canada is beautiful and things are clean and orderly, whereas Alajuela lacks the charm and character of other places I have visited like Oaxaca Mexico, Antigua Guatemala, or Leon Nicaragua.
  • In Vancouver it was daylight until 9 pm. In Alajuela it gets dark at 6 pm.
  • I am getting tired of the rainy season.
  • 14 months of being a transient takes its toll.
  • Just a normal cycle.

I’m not really sure. Perhaps all of the above.


My Airbnb in Alajuela was pretty nice. It was also under my budget as I had booked it for a month.

outside 2 airbnb alajuela

outside airbnb alajuela

airbnb alajuela

I definitely got some exercise though. It was a 2 km walk up and down hills to get to Starbucks where I spent most of my days working on blogs. For the first few days I felt it in my calfs.


Yes I know …Starbucks Starbucks Starbucks ha ha. I fell in love with the chain back in 1993 when I was working in Vancouver. There was a Starbucks right below my office. A group of us would go there each morning for coffee. Back then it was a novelty and not the ubiquitous entity it is now. It was cool then. Now people like to put it down because it is a chain. But I don’t care. It is my home away from home. And free Wifi to do my blogs 🙂

The one in Alajuela is particularly nice, both the building and the staff.



Ever since the first day I arrived in Alajuela they remembered my name and greeted me with it as I walked in each day. It is the small things like that that make a solo traveler feel good.


I spent 2 weeks in Alajuela and developed a bit of a routine. First thing in the morning it was off to Starbucks for my morning coffee. I couldn’t leave too early though. Unlike Canada where Starbucks opens at 5 or 6 am to catch all those commuters needing their morning coffee on their way to work, here Starbucks didn’t open until 8:30 am on weekdays and 9:30 am on weekends.

I would work on my blogs until lunch time. Then I would head to a fast food place. Everything is soooooo expensive here and so to stay within budget, fast food is all I could afford. For example, a Starbucks Grande coffee and a blueberry muffin cost me $7:30 Canadian. A Big Mac Combo was $8.50.

After lunch I headed back to Starbucks to work some more. Then came the tricky part. Everyday, starting in the afternoon, there is a thunderstorm and torrential rains.

rain alajuela

The trick was to figure out if I should wait it out or head home before it started. I had to judge just how quickly the storm was developing.

Before walking back home I would stop at Subway to pick up a meal for dinner.


Another cheap eat for here anyways.

Yes, the mall where the Subway and Starbucks is is modern. A lot of cities in Mexico and Central America have a North American style mall somewhere to cater to the more well to do people. It certainly doesn’t represent the rest of Alajuela. Although, Costa Rica in general is a wealthy country compared to the other Central American countries I have visited so far.


There were a few things to take care of while I was here. I wanted to get my teeth cleaned. I made an appointment online. However, when I arrived I was met with a closed door.


Turned out they had moved from that location. They hadn’t updated their website or confirmation response.

My motorcycle needed cleaning too. Some people take pride in a bike covered in mud. I like to ride a clean motorcycle 🙂

car wash

car wash 2

It just seems to perform better when clean ha ha.

With that I was ready to leave Alajuela. Too long here.

My Location from August 14 to 16 and September 1 to 9, 2017

alajuela 2

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