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Trip Start Jun 29, 2010
Trip End Apr 07, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hostel Pangea

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of San Jose,
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We got up and took taxi to the Tica Bus terminal for 10.15 to check in. We were way to early and then had to wait on the street until 11.15 when the bus finally arrived.  One thing we have learned about Tica Bus is that they are always late, we have taken 4 of them and they have never been on time yet...  It was good to be leaving Granada as we now looked forward to a busy schedule over the next couple of months, we were extremely well rested and ready to go. 

Unfortunately when you do not travel for a while you forget how tiring and annoying it can be sometimes.  Though it only took 1  hours to get to the border, we were soon hit by many problems and the predicted 20 minute wait turned into an hour.  Luckily there were a couple of duty free shops to hide in from the heat but we didn't buy anything as the only cheap thing they sold was rum on a special 5 bottles for $25.  Everything else was very expensive with a medium Toblerone costing US$18 – shocking!  They also sold Cadburys chocolate,  but luckily we were still munching through our Christmas stash.

Eventually we headed over to Costa Rican border and had our passports stamped.  Luckily the border guards were rushed off their feet as we did not have printed proof of an onward journey that you need to have to get through.   Once we were stamped in we were then made to take all our bags off the bus and line up, again.  Eventually a guy appeared stuck his hand into our bags for half a second and declared us safe to continue, leaving us only to wonder what the point had been??

Chris asked what time we would be in San Jose as we re-boarded the bus, we expected 6.30pm, the driver told us 8.30pm, we were gutted.  As we started to move through Costa Rica and toward San Jose we were amazed to see a very modern looking country with branded signs on the side of the road and many international brands of hotels and businesses in general, we even saw a Hooters!

We arrived in San Jose at around 9pm, much later than expected but fortunately we had a hostel booked so set about finding a taxi.  Whilst collecting our bags in the bus terminal Chris was approached by a German girl called Claire who looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights  - it was her fist day travelling by herself and she looked as though she was suffering.  Being the good Samaritans we are we took her under our wing, got in a taxi and headed towards our hostel in the city centre.   

When we arrived at hostel and were amazed by what we found.  Having spent so much time in small backward looking hostels and guesthouses, this place had it all.  They had a swimming pool, a cool rooftop bar and internet access everywhere you looked.  It was a very modern hostel and what we hope we may find in South America.  We ordered a plate of Nachos  and chatted with Claire whilst checking our e-mails.  We had a 6 bed dorm but it was in the basement so it was clean and cool, a great place to stay for a night as tomorrow we were off to the beach.

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