San Jose - Chilling Out

Trip Start Aug 16, 2003
Trip End Apr 21, 2004

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Where I stayed
Alameda Hotel

Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Saturday, March 20, 2004

Yet another early start as we rose before 6am to ensure that we caught the 6.30am bus out of Monteverde en route to San Jose. The journey was a pleasant one as we wound down and around the mountain roads (although it would have been slightly more comfortable if we'd had the luxury of an air conditioned bus). The scenery was superb with plenty of lush, green, rolling hills and an abundance of bright pink and purple bouganvillia growing by the road side.

We pulled in to the capital city around five hours later and immediately walked a couple of blocks to the Tracopa Bus Station to book our tickets to David, Panama in a couple of days time. We then checked in to the Alameda Hotel, not exactly the Ritz, but it was very handy for the bus station and we've certainly stayed in worse rooms!

It made a nice change to actually arrive somewhere so early (it seems that it's usually turning dark when we finally arrive at our destination). After a bite to eat at one of the many fast food outlets in the city, we had a quick browse around the shops. I was really pleased to pick up a new pair of half-decent trainers (to replace the ones I ruined on the volcano) for just over a tenner!

We spent the remainder of the afternoon and most of the evening relaxing in our room and making the most of the English films on cable tv.

The following morning we enjoyed a good lie in before strolling around the city and having a leisurely breakfast (or more correctly brunch) at the Cafe Parisien in the Gran Hotel Costa Rica. We then paid a quick visit to the opulent National Theatre where we hoped, as it turned out in vain, that we might pick up tickets for a performance that evening. A long internet session was next on the agenda before returning to our room to enjoy reading, watching tv and generally not having to travel anywhere!

San Jose is a cosmopolitan city, if fairly unremarkable, and in fact we felt that we could have been just about anywhere in the world. As with most cities, there were quite a few attractive areas with nicely landscaped greenery and smart buildings and then some pretty grotty parts (mostly near where we were staying around the many bus stations).

Whilst there wasn't a huge amount to do in the city, we simply enjoyed having a few hours of chilling out in preparation for another early start the following morning for our journey across the border into Panama.

Andrea and Dan
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