Easter Arrival

Trip Start Apr 08, 2012
Trip End Apr 13, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of San Jose,
Sunday, April 8, 2012

     A day of travel and settling in! We started in mall land outside the Pittsburgh airport, and ended up at a mall in Costa Rica, go figure. Travel was as tiring as usual, the only surprising item being that United Airlines now charges you $8 to watch TV or movies on each leg of your journey. We chose to sleep and read instead. {On the other hand, they told us there wouldn't be any food, but served salad and sandwiches for lunch} On our flight from Houston, TX to San Jose, CR, Bob and I sat next to a very friendly  Cuban/American woman from Miami who married a Costa Rican man and has lived here for 20 years. She told us how the country had been practically deforested in the 70s when they made a decision to save large parcels of land. Now the government even pays people for not cutting down  trees on land they own, which gives them income and incentive to find other ways to earn more money. Much of the economy here is from ecotourism now, which is just why we are here.
     A highlight of the flight was when our new friend, who was at the window seat, pointed out the amazing sight of Arenal Volcano below us. She had never seen it from a plane before, and was excited to see it, too. We could see steam at the top of a perfectly conical deep grey mountain, with visible channels down the sides. It looked so perfectly volcanoesque that it seemed unreal.
     San Jose sits in the Central Valley of CR, which means that when you land there, you are completely surrounded by mountains. Beautiful!
     At the airport, we were picked up by a van which took us to the hotel. It was quite warm when we arrived at The Adventure Inn, and we changed into shorts first thing. Our initial exploring was to walk about 15 minutes down the road, a road parallel to a main route, then climb over an overpass *Ahh, feel the breeze* to a suburban mall. It was crowded, and full of familiar places in the food court and beyond, such as McDonalds and Subway, as well as more local chain foods. Our real goal was the supermarket, to shop for food for tomorrow's adventure to the Poas Volcano. I love supermarkets in other countries. There are always interesting new foods, as well as familiar foods in different packaging and, in this case, in Spanish. We picked up fruit and cheese and basics for lunch, and took a chance on some pineapple/filled empanadas for a treat.
     There is a little park near the hotel which has a pond with some interesting coot/like large ducks. We also discovered a 2 inch wide path of ants taking flowers to their home across the park. I've uploaded a picture of Bob taking a picture, and of the path, but you can only really seeing the ants taking red blossoms much larger than themselves in the short video I shot, which I can't figure out how to upload onto this blog at this time.
     >Other photos are from the hotel, which is kind of a funny place. Best for us, it has a small pool which we relaxed in before dinner as twilight fell. We ate in the hotel restaurant, and tried to choose Costa Rican dishes. An appetizer we ordered had fried plantain pancakes with a ground black bean sauce, guacamole and pico de gallo. That was Michael's favorite. The main dish we ordered had rice, black beans, veggies in a bland tomato sauce, fried plantains, triangles of white, mild cheese and a salad. <it reminded me of the food we ate in San Jose last time we were here, which I am remembering was not very highly spiced.
     The biggest part of our adventure for tomorrow will be figuring out the bus to Poas. I'm drooping to sleep here, and we'll need to get up early to get cracking. It feels good to be on the first part of our trip, with our travel grime washed away and our beds calling...
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wendy on

been looking in books and online all morning for that bird. can't find the dang thing!!! : )

auntie on

Sounds like you are landed and ready for adventure manana.
Opportunities to practice Spanish? I think I remember lots of English spoken.
My favorite food were the papas fritas, and I think it's because of the sweet catsup that it comes with.
Living History is on Wed. all seems like it is going well, I psychically prepare myself for the 10 things that go wrong, and then am pleasantly surprised when there are only nine.
Hope the journey is great.
Enjoy the gallo pinto.
lots of love,

ithacabelle on

Good luck on the living history museum! So far we have enjoyed gallo pinto, of course, and fried plantains with some kind of bean paste. We've arrived at the rainforest and are listening to howler monkeys right now.

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