We have arrived

Trip Start Dec 03, 2012
Trip End Aug 25, 2013

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Where I stayed
Hotel La Rosa de America Alajuela
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Alajuela,
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Currently in La Rosa, a nice hotel in San Josť, Costa Rica, and it is 2am local time and 8am back home. So i'm starting off with a classic case of jet lag.

Due to the flooding last week we were close to being unable to get to the main road from our house, so we decided to book into the Travelodge at Heathrow T5. It was a usual travelodge, but on this occasion the staff were extremely helpful, and went out and got Thomas some chips. This came about as Thomas is particularly wheat intolerant, the restaurant was closed, and the pub they recommended around the corner was also closed.

A taxi picked us up at 3am and took us to the airport. So we were there just over three hours ahead of departure time, as recommended. Once we had used the automatic check-in machine we then saw there was a one and a half hour wait until the counter staff would arrive so that we could hand over our luggage. So if you have a flight any flight, there is no point being at the airport before 5 as it is not open yet.

The rest of the airport was easy, including the "family" x-ray lane. This is where all people with children are grouped together, just to make it hard for you to complain that other people's kids are being slow. You also have the joy of going through an x-ray arch which a cartoon aeroplane crookedly stuck on top.

The flight to Spain was uneventful with the seat allocation being Fran, Thomas and Izzy in one row and me on an isle seat in the row in front. This seating arrangement sparked the comment from Izzy "why are you in a separate row and not sat with us", and I think the guy in a seat nearby would have laughed out loud if I had said "I had to pay extra for that". I was a good dad and swapped half way through with Fran so that she could sleep.

The transfer at Madrid could not have been easier, we had already been issued our boarding cards and our gate was at the other end of the same terminal and we had plenty of time. Not like other occasions.

The flight to San Josť was long and we were only a few rows from the back, so not much space, noisy and a long wait to get off. We spent the time in a mix of the usual activities, sleeping, reading, colouring and drawing, films and chatting. The kids could not eat much of the food as it was mostly wheat based, sandwiches, cakes or pasta. So it was worth us bringing a Tesco bag of wheat free stuff.

At the airport in Costa Rica there were no long queues at immigration, the bags came thorough fine. The ladies toilets were full and the bowls in the gents toilets were very low. Fran said that she thought that she might not feel so short here. (Not that she went into the men's loos!)

The roads to the hotel were a little busy, but the taxi driver said they were unbelievably busy. It was noticeable that there were no road marking and only speed signs near schools. I could not tell how you are meant to know when to give way. It is very clean, with no rubbish in sight.

The hotel, La Rosa Americana, is friendly, the grounds are full of clearly identified trees, and there are hummingbirds darting around. We all slept well, with Fran and I being woken by dog barking in the middle of the night. We all woke early. All the power sockets are the American version, which means that we can only charge the laptop and from that charge other things.

Through La Rosa, we hired a car and all-important sat-nav for our time in Costa Rica. The driving was ok, though on the wrong side for us. There were few signs, but at least there were some road markings and the odd traffic light. 

We drove for about 5 hours from Aleuja to Monterrey and then on to our next hotel, Leaves and Lizards. The road corkscrewed through thick fog (well, it isn't called cloud forest for nothing!), torrential rain and hot sunshine. Eventually we reached a very rocky dirt road and a sign for Leaves and Lizards - we'd arrived

written by Paul
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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