Otto" and More!!!

ISSUE #636: Nov. 20-26, 2016


Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly newsletter -determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of Lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have re-sales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

Brian Timmons
Developer / Property manager
Residencias Los Jardines


rentals & sales

Paradisus Condos / Rohrmoser
Visit our website

Paradisus Condos - click to visit

Each of the units consists of two bedrooms / two bathrooms, and a large living/dining/kitchen area. The floor plan of each of these units has eliminated the optional "den / office" divider. The result is a larger area offering more flexible furniture arrangements while still maintaining the option of including an office area. At 105m2 plus two parking spots each and storage locker, they offer a great opportunity for someone seeking views, security, central location, and first class, all round living...

Semi furnished unit: For sale: $235,000
Fully furnished unit: For sale: $245,000
Floor 12 -west view

More Opportunities
rentals & sales

Condominio Santa Lucia, Tres Rios

The first of a series of payments has been received. This sale seems to be happening.

Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Unit #107 For Sale... Condition has been met. Closing date has been established. Units #106A and #114 are listed for sale.

Rentals: Paradisus: Nothing available
Los Jardines: Unit #123 is available for rent.

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #106A: $ 165,000 / See Unit
Unit #107: $ 205,000 / Conditional offer has been accepted / See Unit
Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit

Unit #123: $ 1,450 mo. / December 1 / See Unit

For sale

UNIT #106A

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Apartment
Furnished: Yes

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two units on the ground floor and two units on the 2nd. floor. Each unit is the same size (1,250sf) divided into 800 sf of interior space and 450 sf of covered front and back terraces. Units 106A and B are on the ground floor; Units 106 C and D are on the 2nd. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5" concrete slab prevent sound transference.

UNIT #107
$205,000 / Conditional offer accepted

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1716
Total area (Sq M): 158
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,716 sf. (plus parking for one car) two story, detached house, with three terraces, two bedrooms (one on each floor) and upstairs master suite is a beautiful home. This home consists of two VERY large bedrooms (one on each floor) with en-suite bathrooms and a powder room, each with large closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and ground floor bedroom ceilings as well as the master bedroom on the 2nd floor, provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system. There are three TVs (one in each bedroom and one in the living room.) This is a beautiful home. There is a rough-in for a dishwasher in the kitchen area.

UNIT #114

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): Single floor
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf. (plus covered parking for one car and two lockers 67 sf.) single story, semi detached house, with garden terrace, two bedrooms is a beautiful executive style home. This home consists of two large bedrooms one with six piece en-suite bathroom with additional access to separate full shower. Each bedroom has large closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and bathroom ceilings provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system. There are four TVs (one in each bedroom, one in the living room and one in breakfast / dinning room.) This is a beautiful well appointed home.

For rent

UNIT #123
$1,450 mo. / December 1

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1516
Total area (Sq M): 140
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Floor(s): 2 story
Type: Detached
Furnished: Yes

This two story, detached 1,423 sf home + parking for one car has two bedrooms, 2 ½ bathrooms and a 2nd floor covered terrace.

The open railed wrought iron cement stair case leads to the 2nd level where the master bedroom with en-suite master bathroom as well as 2nd bedroom and en-suite bathroom are located. Also accessed from the 2nd floor hallway is the covered terrace.

This is a very nicely furnished home with a good floor plan for those wanting two floors.

Our Lives

Weather: "OTTO" was the big news story, and only story, for the week... I have included two news reports and will provide my own experience: the whole scare was much ado about nothing (I am a bit cynical, I know)... really, in the Central Valley where 80% of the people live, there was absolutely wind, let alone not even a breeze -smoke went straight up... and only overcast skies with some slight drizzle part of the days. It was cooler than usual... probably dropping down to the 17C / 65F range... at night. CR has not had a hurricane since either 1841 or 1941 depending on a typo... who knows... no one can remember it... In this case, the emergency preparedness people were really busy issuing warning, vehicles with flashing lights all over the place, the president dressed up in a ridiculous "flight suit" for what I don't know... but he thought it was a good foto op... yes, the very, very north east corner of CR (Los Chiles & Tortugero) got hit... very low land with lots of swamps and surrounded by water... the storm, like any storm in that area, causes problems... the winds did continue across the north part of the country into Guanacaste and out into the Pacific... but most of the storm was over Nicaragua. In this case, the storm took an unusual path because of a cold front on the north which forced it to travel west... outing into the Pacific where it died... In the Central Valley, the streets were empty of cars... wow!!!!!!!! because government offices and schools were closed... any excuse for this... and since 8 people died... actually a bit lighter than usual for storms... Monday will be a day of mourning so schools and offices may well be cancelled again... or some protest.

Two Moto-Car accidents: on Wednesday and again on Thursday, I saw the same accident... a car turned into the path of an on-coming motorcycle passing on the inside of cars... the car could not see the on-coming moto until it had advanced further... in one case, the moto driver was o.k...shaken but not broken, in the other case, the bike and rider were a bit broken and definitely shaken... a day ruined for at least 4 people...

American Thanksgiving: yes, the Am. included the Canadians in their traditional celebration... we went... traditional turkey and trimmings... as well as traditional deserts...

A Cruise... The pics below were not included in the last newsletter. I am very, very happy not to have been on the boat this past week as it was in the way of OTTO... I sure they did not have a lot of fun.

News Items of the Weeknews


​Two articles... I have comment above...


1. Officials are counting the dead and assessing damage
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government and local officials are assessing the damage today in the wake of Hurricane Otto that killed at least eight persons in northern Costa Rica.

The storm entered Costa Rica at Los Chiles about 3 p.m. Thursday and exited Guanacaste into the Pacific about 10 p.m. that night. The Instituto Meteorológical Nacional said at noon today that the system, reduced to a tropical storm, no longer was influencing the country.

owever, the weather agency warned of an approaching cold front that would cause instability when mixed with a seasonal flow of air from the tropics. The cold front from the north was what caused the hurricane to move west from the Caribbean instead of following the traditional route north.

The weather agency said that rains would continue into tonight in the central and south Pacific coasts and in the mountains. Light rains were expected in the disaster zone and up to an inch in Guanacaste and the Nicoya peninsula.

The disaster zone is the cantons of Guatuso, Los Chiles and Upala with lesser damage in San Carlos and Liberia. The storm swept the country parallel to the international border with Nicaragua. More than 600 police officers were on duty in the three cantons, said the security ministry. Still there was looting reported in Caribbean coast communities and in Barra del Colorado.

Many thousands still were in shelters, and those evacuated from northeastern Costa Rica have been prohibited in returning home, although many did.

Four persons died in La Fortuna de Bagaces, Guanacaste, when their location was hit with a wall of water. They ranged in age from 24 to 45.

Three members of the same family died in Bijagua de Upala. They ranged in age from 11 to 38. The Judicial Investigating Organization put the toll at eight and said there was the death of an 8-month-old boy in Residencial Real, Upala.

There may be more dead that have not been located or officially identified.

Walter Espinoza, the director of the judicial police, said there were a number of reports of missing persons, but he said many were probably in various shelters and would turn up later.

Many residents of northern Costa Rica declined to be evacuated, mainly because they, like officials, expected the storm to weaken dramatically after entering over land.

That did not happen, and the storm retained category 2 force when it arrived in Costa Rica about 3 p.m. Thursday. That was winds up to 110 mph or about 175 kph.

The state electrical provider said today that service to 20,000 customers had been reestablished in Liberia, La Cruz and Peñas Blancas. Teams were working in Guatuso, Los Chiles and Upala despite problems with the roads that made travel there difficult. Work was under way to reestablish electrical service in Bagaces Centro and surrounding areas, the company, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, said.

Crews also were working on the Caribbean coast in Parismina, Tortuguero, Barra del Colorado and Delta Costa Rica.

Once electricity was restored more than half of the complaints about fixed telephone and internet outages were resolved, the firm said.

There were about 134 telecommunications outages in the country, said the electrical institute. Of course, this number does not include outages of private service providers.

Some 27 outages still were being handed at mid-afternoon, and service continued without problems in most of Los Chiles. A fiber optic cable at Santa Rosa de Pocosol was repaired.

Some electrical and internet outages were reported in Playas del Coco.

Casa Presidencial said that 26 persons from the Servicio Nacional de Aeronaval and the Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil in Panamá arrived to help. They came in four aircraft, and each craft contained experts in search and rescue, said Casa Presidencial.

A U.S. Embassy spokesperson said helicopter crews from that nation would arrive tomorrow.

The security ministry’s Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea was making overflights to locate trouble spots, and the central government ordered a halt to private flights, including local air carriers, to reserve the air for government craft.

Some temporary bailey bridges were heavily damaged or swept away, including one at La Fortuna de Bagaces. The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said as the storm was hitting that road damage already was about 4.7 billion colons or some $8.5 million, but that was mostly damage from the last week. The final toll is expected to be many times that number.

The ministry and its Consejo Nacional de Vialidad had many teams out clearing landslides and cutting trees that were blocking the highways. Some roads suffered major damage with driving lanes washed away or undermined.

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social said it sent 25 teams and vehicles to Upala to inspect the hospital there for any damage and assist with transporting those in need of care. Already treated Friday morning were 12 patients suffering from hypothermia and one pregnant woman. Teams also are bringing medical supplies to the hospital in Los Chiles, said the Caja. The health agency also said that a team of psychologists would be working from Upala.

The Upala hospital was running on a generator until 3 p.m. today when power was restored, said the health agency.

The Sistema de Banca para el Desarrollo said it was making an initial allocation of 20 billions colons, some $37 million, for small- and medium-size businesses for storm recovery.

The foreign ministry said that aid from abroad would be sought.

One place that is not getting Costa Rican aid is San Juan del Norte, across the Río San Juan in Nicaragua. The community is just south of where Hurricane Otto came ashore Wednesday morning with category 2-force winds. A report from the town said that more than 300 homes had been damaged or destroyed. There were no deaths reported. Power was out, and even in normal times the town has limited access. So supplies and help are awaited. Officials there did not arrange an evacuation. The storm battered the community for two hours, the report from a merchant said.


2. Hurricane left many Costa Ricans feeling lucky
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The president said there were deaths and disappearances Thursday night after the passage of Hurricane Otto, but he spoke without further explanation.

But for many, the country has prevailed over a threatening force of nature. An assessment of damages will begin today, but trees seem to be the most numerous victims.

Even communities like Barra del Colorado in extreme northeastern Costa Rica suffered some structural damage but was not leveled as would be expected being in the path of a category 2 hurricane with 110 mph (175 kph) with higher gusts.

The storm made landfall just north of San Juan del Norte in Nicaragua on the north shore of the Rio San Juan, the international border, about 10:30 a.m.

The storm’s eye continued west in Nicaragua until mid-afternoon when it entered Costa Rica. Strong winds radiated up to 70 miles from the eye.

When it entered in Los Chiles at 3 p.m. the storm became the first hurricane on record for Costa Rica. Then it continued moving west through Upala and northern Guanacaste.

The eye moved into the Pacific Ocean shortly before 10 p.m. But its influences were expected to be felt into this morning in Pacific coast communities.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said that road damage was about 4.7 billion colons or about $8.5 million, but that was before all the damage could be listed. And some of the damage comes from last week.

Thursday night, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said 32,000 customers were without power. They were mostly in Los Chiles, Guatuso and Upala.

President Luis Guillermo Solís said the areas that felt the principal impact of the storm were Bijagua, Canalete, Upala, Guayabo de Bagaces and Cuipilapa. Forecasters expected the storm to degrade as soon as it reached land, but it did not. It remained a category 2 storm through much of its trip through the mainland and did not become a tropical storm until it entered Costa Rica.

Solís said the 911 emergency system received more than 1,500 calls. Police spent a lot of time cutting trees in order to reach communities in the north. They also located and took many families to shelters.

At least 3,655 persons took advantage of 32 public shelters in 23 communities.

Otto maintained 70 mph winds during the final part of its passage over northern Costa Rica.

Swells generated by Otto are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions over the next several days along the coasts of Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, according to the U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami.

The hurricane behaved abnormally because a strong cold front acted like a wall to the north. Caribbean hurricanes nearly always turn to the north and sometimes to the northeast. Otto moved mostly west. It is moving past the cold front in the Pacific and will begin tracking northwest, forecasters said.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that Otto dropped 80 to 120 millimeters (3.1 to nearly five inches) of rain in Guanacaste between 8 and 11 p.m. And in some parts of the northern zone 160 millimeters (nearly 6.5 inches) in six hours.

The weather institute is also predicting rain through this morning with strong winds in Guanacaste, thanks to the storm.

A lot of the troubles in the northern zone and also in the Pacific coast came from flooding from rivers. There were a few people in a shelter in Quepos for that reason.

In Upala there were some homes with their first floors nearly filled with water.

There also was rain predicted on the Caribbean coast.

The government evacuated thousands from their homes Tuesday, and there are some hard feelings, particularly after the hurricane did not prove to be a disaster. There was some looting.


Brian C. Timmons
Property Manager RLJ and Newsletter Author

Costa Rica:
Cell: (+ 506) 8305-3965
Land line: (+506) 2282-4142 Ext. 101

VOIP: (+416) 461-2203


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