Where the Streets Have No Name...
Trip Start Oct 2007
6Trip End Nov 2007
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Where I stayed
Today's adventure was brought to you by the letter C. For Chaos, Confusion, and Cervezas. We woke up at the Costa Rica Guesthouse, a serene oasis amongst the bustle of the city. (Told you guys we would find a room-no problemo!) Setting off at 7 AM, we first tested our lack of Spanish skills at breakfast. Jay's attempt resulted in two delicious grilled jamon y queso sandwiches (yes, ham and cheese for breakfast!) and cafe con leches. Our luck pretty much ended there at that lunch counter. The next twelve hours we spent roaming the labyrinth that is San Jose.
After about 10 AM, Jay and I had seen about all there is to see in the city. It is a confusing mass of streets with no recognizable street signs. Not to be deterred, we thought we'd journey outside of San Jose to nearby San Pedro, home of the University of Costa Rica. Our bus (which only cost 30 cents!) dropped us off in the student district. We noticed the drastic change from the frantic hustle of San "Blo"se. As calming as San Pedro is, there wasn't much to do here either, so after a while we headed back to San Jose.
Our next excursion took us to Alajuela (yes, still the same day). I should mention the wild goose chase we went on to find a bus to take us there. Jay and I walked back and forth up the same four streets (with no names) looking for an invisible bus. I could sense the drunkard at the bus stop growing weary of our presence as we returned back to the same place every ten minutes. This bus did not exist, I was sure of it after two hours. We were finally spotted by two Tourist Police officers who no doubt got tired of watching us pace up and down the same street with no success. We were pointed in the right direction (nowhere near our stomping ground) and collapsed into our bus seats for the 75 cent ride.
Alajuela is an indescribable city-as in our guide book did a pretty lousy job of describing its "charm". Much like San Jose, the street sign makers are on strike, and once again we had our own personal parade route. Although not as congested as San Jose, we still found ourselves wandering in places we shouldn't have been. Relief came in the form of the Parque Central, where a food stand had been set up. Like a beacon of hope, it lured us in with its enticing aromas. Testing our Spanish skills once again, I was able to wrangle us piping hot pupusas and churros. Pupusas are handmade cornmeal pancakes filled with pork, cheese, and a Spanish slaw ( no mayo in sight!), appropriately called ensalada. Churros are a little piece of heaven covered in cinnamon sugar, and filled with caramel. Who knew fried dough could be so good? I'll never look at funnel cake or elephant ears with lust in my eyes again! After filling our bellies, we took our new found ambition and decided to tackle San Jose once again.
Unfortunately, San Jose is not a force to be reckoned with. Our return bus dropped us off in an unfamiliar part of the city-the complete opposite side of where we were staying. Once again we were lost, you know the drill by now, but we finally made it back to our guesthouse (just in time for the daily downpour) where plenty of cold cervezas were waiting for us. All in a day's work. So we set off again at 6 AM, heading to Monteverde. We are ready for whatever our next quest may bring our way...
Until next time,
Jay & JoAnn
P.S. - we will have pictures for you to view as soon as we can!