Un viaje al mercado central

Trip Start Sep 02, 2010
Trip End Aug 17, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of San Jose,
Sunday, September 5, 2010

"A trip to the central market"

Today was a lot less involved than yesterday. We decided we would check out San Jose's central market. We had our pineapple and pancake breakfast, then hit the road around 9:00a. We walked two blocks to avenida 2, which is part of the main road that goes through Costa Rica. From Avenue 2, we took a bus heading west toward the center of town. 

The bus stopped in an area right before the pedestrian-only area, and we got off the bus and started walking. The mercado central was beautiful, and I definitely got a sense of the "Costa Rica" atmosphere. We walked about 12 blocks and the pedestrian area ended, and we didn't know where we should go next. Navigating San Jose is completely confusing! There are very few street signs, so most of the navigating is done by feel. If you can figure out which direction you are facing, you're in business; but that is really hard to figure out too!

Adrienne was really tired today, and a cranky-from-not-sleeping travel companion. We were trying to find the Plaza de las Artes, but it was nowhere to be found! Eventually, we stopped for cranky-tired Adrienne to satisfy her craving for McDonald's fries, and we successfully ordered; I had "poco fritas y poco Coca-Cola", and Adrienne had "grande fritas." It was completely ridiculous to order McDonald's in a foreign country, but I was desperate to get Adrienne in a better mood, so I humored her.

We walked up and down the market area for three hours trying to find the place, and when we did find it, it was CLOSED! :( There was a building that had all of the vendor's equipment, but the doors were locked and gated. It was very saddening to realize that we walked all over, back and forth, in good and not so good areas trying to find this place, only to have it be closed when we get there. It was rather disheartening. 

After we found the closed Plaza, we ventured to the Museos Central Banco de Costa Rica to do something while we were in San Jose. The Museum of the Central Bank of Costa Rica is a museum underneath the central branch of the bank. There are three levels to the museum. The top level is a history of Costa Rican currency, which was kind of cool; we learned about why certain animals like the hammerhead shark and toucan are on the currency. And, I  would love to tell you, but I am having a hell of a time remembering at the moment. :( The second level was a temporary exhibit with Costa Rican bird artwork, and the third level was dedicated to a Pre-Columbian gold exhibit. 

The gold exhibit was really awesome. The indigenous Costa Rican's used molds to cast these amazing and intricate gold objects. There were animals, like armadillos, toucans, and pumas all created with the most intricate designs. It sort of resembles the Mayan art, to give you something to compare it to. The exhibit was fun, and we learned a lot. 

We did have a small adventure finding a bus back to the main road toward the hostel. The bus stop was located in the main downtown area, and we hopped on a bus thinking it would be going back down the main road we originally came through. But, this bus made a turn and all of a sudden, we didn't know where we were going! We decided to get off the bus across from a park where a bunch of homeless-looking people were sleeping, and hailed a taxi back to the hostel. Phew. 

Back at the hostel, tempers were flying and Adrienne said she needed some alone time. I don't think it was anything I did, but I still felt crappy about it. So, to give her her space, I walked to the Auto Mercado, the local grocery store. 

It was raining pretty heavily by this point, but I had my trusty umbrella which kept me mostly dry. I picked up some food for breakfast tomorrow since we aren't going to be here for pancakes and pineapple, as well as some snack food. When I got back to the hostel, about 30 minutes and $20 later, Adrienne was laying down, and she looked miserable. To cheer her up, we ate almost an entire bag of tortilla chips, and an entire jar of Hawaiian salsa, which was chased with vanilla and chocolate wafers. 

She was feeling better, and we went into the main area of the hostel to relax/read/etc. Wade, one of the guys who works at the hostel, asked us if we wanted to go with him, Carlos, and Travis, to the store to shop for dinner. We weren't doing anything super important, so we said sure! When we were at the store we helped Wade not buy bok choy for the salad we were going to make, and were very entertained watching him trying to decide which meat to buy. 

Back at the hostel, Wade put the chicken in a jerk-curry marinade, Carlos made the rice, and Adrienne chopped vegetables for the salad. I didn't get to work until I made a dressing for the salad. I was rather horrified with what I had to work with. They didn't have olive oil or balsamic vinegar, so I was forced to use regular corn oil and regular vinegar. For a salad dressing?! eek! It ended up tasting fine, so whatever. It was just silly and ridiculous. 

After delicious dinner, we just relaxed. We have an early morning tomorrow, we're going to see a volcano! So, that is it for me tonight.

It could have been a worse day, I guess everyone has bad days, right?

Buenos noches!
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Betty on

Glad to hear you ended the day on a relaxed note!

Don't fall in the volcano tomorrow!

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