I was at the gate bright and early this morning, ready to walk into Atenas. What luck, a neighbour of ours was driving there and gave me a lift. Thanks, neighbour!
That got me into town too early to go Banco de Costa Rica (they open at 0900), so I went to the Ferreteria J.R. Vargas E Hijos (J.R. Vargas and Sons Hardware Store) to buy a hose coupling. Like a lot of shops in Atenas, they open up early. This is a good place to browse in - usually I can find whatever I am looking for.
Next stop - the newly opened (two weeks ago) Del Mar Pescados and Mariscos (fish and seafood). The owner (at least I think he was the owner) speaks English and knows his seafood. I wanted smoked salmon, scallops and tilapia and got it all for 6,000 colones ($12 CAD) and I have enough of everything for six servings. He had salmon filets from Canada and also Chile. Apparently Costa Ricans are not very familiar with scallops here - I don't know why - so I am happy that I can now get them. Next time I am going to get the salmon filets. Not sure if they were Canadian Pacific or Atlantic salmon and whether they are farmed or wild.
Never knew Chile had salmon so Googled it and, yes they do, but it is farmed. I also know that some "scallops" are not really scallops but cut in rounds from white fish or rays. You can identify a real scallop by noting that the muscle strands run vertical, not horizontal.
Here's a good hint: I carry a small icepack in my bag with me if I know I am going to buy meat or seafood and am not going straight home.
Del Mar's website is http//www.delmarcr.com. Hours of operation are Monday to Saturday from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm, and 7:30 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday. Phone numbers are 8413-6333 and 2446-0126. They are located in store number 6 in the Centro Plaza Atenas, 50 meters north from Importadora Monge. This is the small mall across from El Rayo and Del Mar is right at the back. Please support this shop ... I don't want them to disappear!
Then I strolled over to the feria (our weekly Friday outdoor market). Atenas is small enough that one can walk everywhere. Still too early for the bank, so I walked around the market and admired everything, then sat on a bench in the shade to kill a bit of time. Back to the bank, did my business, then returned to the feria.
I bought tomatoes, green beans, a big bag of onions, lettuce, potatoes ..... and I don't think I spent more then $3 CAD. What I need to get is one of those grocery bags on wheels so I can load up at both the mercado and the feria, zip the top closed, toss it into the trunk of a taxi, and head on home. I noticed a lot of people use them, both Ticos and expats. I would buy a lot more if I didn't have to lug the bags around ... including orchids! Yes, there is a booth selling orchids, another selling potted plants and herbs, home made tamales are available, fresh cut flowers, fresh made bread and baked goods ... so many wonderful things.