Thursday, 5 January 2012

Cost Rica - San Jose to La Fortuna

We made it!!! No issues with our flights aside from not being able to check in to our connecting flight before arriving in Phoenix.... beware booking itineraries through Expedia if they involve more than one carrier. Despite Westjet's propagandamercials advertising how their staff will go the extra mile for clients, we were not met with such gratuitous assistance during our check-in on Wednesday. Instead, we were chided for not booking our entire flight with Westjet's US partner, American Airlines. Thanks condescending Westjet agent who looked suspiciously like Blanch from the Golden Girls... What??! Maybe if we'd simply needed our spare tire installed....

Anyway... arrived in San Jose last night and traveled luxury style (i.e. by taxi) to our pre-booked hotel. The one and only Hotel Europa. Errr, okay, the one of TWO Hotel Europas... Yes, San Jose has two hotels with the same name. Luckily, our taxi driver managed to clarify with us which one we had booked before we drove across the entirety of San Jose's urban sprawl to discover this fact. The hotel was in the heart of downtown. Or the anus, to be more accurate. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a smidgen. It was more like the armpit of downtown. Actually, I'm not sure San Jose has much other than armpits and anuses. Wow, what's going on here??? Am I really complaining already??? Haha. No no. It's a well-established fact that San Jose is not a destination of choice for travelers to Costa Rica but rather a necessary stop in order to enter the south-central part of the country. Knowing this, we'd savvily (word?) planned to spend just the one night there. So, after checking in to the hotel, we bravely ventured out into the armpit in search of sustenance. A few blocks away and without any terrifying encounters, we found the gringo restaurant recommended by our trusty Lonely Planet guide. After dinner we pretty much crashed. The time change isn't significant between here and home, but the long day of travel had wiped us out.

We got up this morning and made our way to the San Carlos bus terminal. First "trek" with a full backpack and daypack. Wasn't too bad.... but I'm not excited about the prospect of having to go much further/longer loaded up like that. Less than a dozen city blocks mostly just served to give me major back sweat and remind me how out of shape I am. One of those two things will likely improve over time...

While waiting for the bus we chatted with two girls who were travelling from Berlin. They'd spent a week on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Their review was less than stellar so I guess we're not disappointed that we've left that region off our planned itinerary.

The bus trip was long and stuffy. Not a ridiculously hot day in Costa Rica, but humid and warm enough to make it somewhat uncomfortable. And the terrain we had to cover to get to our destination of La Fortuna was crazy!! The roads wind up, down and around hairpin turns for the better part of 3 hours. It was a bit too much for Chris, who reunited with his old friend Motion Sickness after a particularly harrowing stretch. So I guess those who had bets on who would get sick first can cash in or cash out depending on how you cast your vote! Maybe that sort of "sick" doesn't count though....

Anyway, we made it to La Fortuna and are presently at our hotel, the 0.38star Dorothy.  :P  She's a basic set-up, not pretty by any stretch of the imagination. But she'll do for our few nights here. The town is touristy but nice. The sun set around 4:30, which surprised me. Doesn't it set at that time in Edmonton? Aren't we much much closer to the equator here? Shows what I know about those things. Chris is reading his Kindle by head lamp, swatting phantom mosquitoes intermittently. Okay, there probably are mosquitoes but they can bite me if they want to. I'm taking Mefloquin. I'm basically invincible.

Apparently Thursdays are big for Discos in La Fortuna. I'd best go spit-shine my platforms and dig out that sparkly gown I brought (thanks for reminding me about that one Tim).

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