Perhaps Some Pre-Planning Would Be Helpful
Trip Start Feb 01, 2012
21Trip End Feb 21, 2012
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Today I thought I had it together. I quickly organized the stuff I would need, including my raincoat, in my daypack, and was ready to go a little after breakfast. I asked the desk clerk how to get to the bus station to go to the Botanical Garden. I thought it would be famous. He wasn't aware of it so asked for the address. Oops, I had to go look it up on the lobby computer. Once I got the Frommers website and it gave directions, he tried to call - was it the bus station or the garden. Anyway, there was no answer. He started to tell me that it wasn't a good idea to walk to the bus station; a taxi would be better. Better still would have been an organized tour. If not that, he could get his taxi person - that he knew could be trusted - to take me there and back for $80. since it was 50 km away.
I declined the taxi there and back but relented on the one to the bus station
With the aid of his telephone GPS and a person on the phone, he got us there after only one wrong turn or rather, he went past the turn. It seemed a longer ride than 50 km and took at least an hour. We passed fields of sugar cane, a processing plant for Cacique, a sugar cane alcoholic drink, some fields of coffee bushes and trees flowering with gorgeous orange, yellow and pale orange blossoms. The bright orange flowered trees are called colon after Christopher Columbus
We got to the Jardin Botanico and I paid my admission fee with a credit card. It was not cheap, but reasonable. I got a map and the admissions man pointed out the preferred route - a big loop ending back at the Entrance building. I wasn't exactly sure what Jose intended to do, but I did realize that he wasn't going to be able to take fares while he was up here. It was not exactly mountainous but very, very hilly to get to Sarchi. I joked (or was I really joking) that it would take me twice as long as the average 1 - 1 1/2 hrs to visit the garden.
I set off on the trail and immediately started taking photos. I took a lot of photos but I can't say that it was because there were special plants that I wanted to capture for memory (if that were the case, I should have photographed more labels)- it was more - was there something striking about them, or were the light patterns special, or something of that nature. The labeling was in Latin and Spanish. I guess I would have benefited from English translations, but they may not have meant anything to me anyway. I enjoyed the river walk although it was steamy hot. I stripped off a few layers. There were tons of butterflies and I would have loved a butterfly photo like Astrid's but I got nowhere near them and they were flying very fast. I saw one big blue butterfly as big as my hand but s/he flew away too. I enjoyed just seeing them.
I saw some of the various palms but missed the hibiscus somehow. I did see some lovely bromeliads and heliconias. I wasn't sure I was following the map very well but I was always going right so I was getting the maximum perimeter
So guiltily I asked Jose if I had been away too long. He was very gracious and said no, I should enjoy my visit here. Part of me agreed since I was paying a lot more than I wanted to get here and I should be able to stay as long as I wanted. On the other hand, I realize that it is a hardship for Jose if he didn't bargain on my staying so long. We headed back. Jose is a fast, aggressive driver and he upped the ante on the way back. I could tell the poor man was stressed as we began to encounter more and more traffic. He said Fridays were always bad from 3ish on to 7:30 pm
I walked back from the hotel to central San Jose, saw a dome and walked
there. It turned out to be the Cathedral. It is a large building but
looks larger on the outside than in. I went in and took a few photos
but after the Mezquita in Cordoba, I was disappointed. I looked around
for a bakery and walked quite a few blocks down the main street in the
other direction when I could just have headed back to the hotel because
there was a big bakery just on the way. I did get some kind of cookie
with dulce de leche. It was OK.
I have eaten my crackers and cheese because I didn't know whether the tour leader had late dinner plans. We'll see. I will be getting a roommate tonight. I didn't have to switch rooms,
which was good. She hasn't shown up yet and it is 6:30. Our meeting is
in half an hour. Maybe I will spruce up a bit and go out and see if anyone is around since I have finished with this for now and don't have time to play with pics.