Costa Rica House Sitting Technology travel

Living Without Power

Day 1

As I am typing this it is very dark and very hot. Due to a situation beyond our control we are sitting in the dark (except for a dozen valiant candles holding back the darkness) due to our electricity being cut off today. After returning home from yoga this morning we found the power off. For the first hour we had just assumed it was a normal fluctuation in our power supply. But then I went and checked out our neighbours power meters and found we were the only ones sans electricity. Apparently due to an oversight, our bill was not recorded as being paid. You get 10 days then it goes dark; in case you are wondering what the lee way is on that sort of thing. I have to tell you, one does not truly appreciate the wonderful affect of an oscillating fan until it is no longer available.

On a positive side, this is when you truly appreciate having a gas stove, and having recently just purchased a full tank of gas. The chicken and broccoli casserole will come off without a hitch.

Cooking by candle and flashlight. The adventure never ends.
Cooking by candle and flashlight. The adventure never ends.

One of the things that is vital to understand when you choose to take up house sitting is that things will occasionally go awry. How you deal with them will dictate whether you think this is a great lifestyle or not. Despite the fact that I can feel the sweat running down my back as I type this, I know that in 15 minutes I will be enjoying a delicious dinner by candle light and no matter how long this lasts, I will survive it.

The dinner was awesome. Even with chasing candles to ensure we could eat with light and making sure the flashlights were not blinding you, it was a delicious meal.

A quiet evening of writing and reading.
A quiet evening of writing and reading.

After utilizing neighbours to help facilitate communication, we were assured that the power company should be reconnecting our power in the morning. I really hope that happens. We are preparing for bed by candle and flashlight and quite enjoying the fact we have no hot water. Here is to hoping the power company comes by tomorrow morning to restore our electricity.

Day 2

Well….here we are on our second day of no electricity. The adventure continues. The first challenge was facing the day without a coffee maker. That was solved with a combination of “Cowboy coffee” and the filter on the nonfunctioning machine. Disaster averted. The bags of ice we purchased yesterday afternoon are doing a pretty good job considering it is 32C (90F) in the house. The freezer is starting to thaw though. Unfortunately, what we thought was great planning, buying 3 weeks supply of meat ahead of time is now coming back to haunt us. We have packed a second large bag of ice into the freezer compartment, but things are thawing at an exponential rate. The next few days we could possibly have a very high protein diet.

Where there is a will there is a way. Cowboy coffee coming up.
Where there is a will there is a way. Cowboy coffee coming up.

Room on the laundry line is becoming scarce. After waking this morning with soaking wet sheets and pillows from a fitful night of sweaty sleep, we had to hang them all to dry. As well, we had started a load of laundry yesterday anticipating power and ended up leaving the load soaking in water overnight. Ever the optimists that the power would come back on any time. So this morning it was arm strong agitation to wash the clothes, rinse them and wring them by hand before hanging them to dry. Did I mention the adventure continues?

We received word this afternoon that the power could be restored as early as today or tomorrow morning. We will simply have to wait and see what happens.

Some equipment issues were highlighted for us over the last couple of days. Lighting is a big deal. In Central America power outages are not uncommon and ambient neighbourhood light is hit and miss at best. So don’t be afraid to bring extra flashlights. Cheap lightweight ones are fine (less likely to be stolen as well) but high output quality lights are also a huge asset. At least one head lamp is a must I believe. I have used mine dozens of times and find it the most useful flashlight I own. Having said all that, batteries. Yes you can buy them in Central America, but I would pack plenty of extras. They weigh quite a bit, but the plus side is they take up very little room and can be total salvation when your power supply starts to die. On the low tech side, we also advocate bringing a little bag of tea lights. They don’t give off a lot of light but can radically change the atmosphere when you feel the darkness pressing in from all sides. As well, if you look around most times you find a stash of candles in most houses down here.

It never hurts to have extra flashlights and batteries. Lots of batteries.
It never hurts to have extra flashlights and batteries. Lots of batteries.
Nice to have plenty of candles as well. Keeps you from tripping over things in the dark.
Nice to have plenty of candles as well. Keeps you from tripping over things in the dark.

It is 8pm now so we will have to assume that the power company, ICE, will not be coming today. “sigh” So, one more night of sweat!

Day 3

I have to admit, the fun and adventure of this no power thing is wearing a bit thin now. However we are getting in a routine for it. I’m not sure that is really a good thing. First hang all the sweat soaked sheets to dry, start boiling up the cowboy coffee, and have a cold shower to try and bring the body temperature down a bit.

Hurrah!!!! 09:45 and the power is back on. Other than a very high protein diet for the next few days things are back to normal. Thank goodness.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

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