Lo siento, no hablo español

Trip Start Mar 29, 2013
Trip End Jun 20, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of San Jose,
Thursday, April 4, 2013

Costa Rica, here we are (home of possibly the best bank notes in the world),

We left New York at 2:30am for a 6:15 flight with LASCA airlines which turned out to be TACA - that's really not the kind of thing someone with a pathological fear of flying likes! Poxy little Airbus A319 however I am mad and there was absolutely nothing to complain (except the turbulence......). I had a lovely chat to my neighbour who was a mechanical engineer originally from St Lucia who was on his way to San Jose for a funeral for a couple of days. Apparently Brooklyn is the place to live if you want to keep your power on in bad weather (we were talking Hurricane Sandy) - its all under ground.  Melbourne take note! He proudly showed me his new US passport which was infinitely more interesting picture-wise than the 3 flavours we travel on.

Arriving at the airport the immigration lady was struggling to get past the fact that Jack was born in Amsterdam but didn't have a Dutch passport - she'd missed the fact that both Willem and I were born in countries other than the ones for which we had documentation. She gave up her line of questioning when it became obvious that we really didn't have the language skills to explain it - my Spanish is pretty much limited to "sorry I don't speak Spanish, do you speak English?, please, and thank you" - Jan's is better so he can talk and I'll just watch the body language!

So what's to say about San Jose? It had been described by friends as a hole and somewhere to be avoided.  I'm not sure it's that bad but I'd have no issue not coming back anytime soon.  It's not pretty by any stretch of the imagination - concrete seems to be the construction material of choice and the drivers are seriously homicidal! Still, there are a few nice places to look at and our hotel is relatively quiet with a lush garden and it full of hummingbirds so the 'twitchers' amongst us are happy (that's not me btw ). We've already been introduced to the national dish of rice and beans - Gallo Pinto for breakfast, Casado for lunch and pretty much the same for dinner (it tastes better than it looks). As its really only day 1 we aren't bored of it yet - that time may come considering rice and beans is the staple of everywhere we're going to!

Taking a trip to the Poas Volcano tomorrow - if we're lucky we'll see it, if not you'll get pictures of clouds.

And a bit of an update from me (Jan) on the size of the people in this country. People in Manhattan were extremely skinny compared to the Ticos. Rice and beans does seem to be very nutritious, as there are many "big boned" people around. Just thought I mention this.
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