A necessary evil is actually okay

Trip Start Feb 01, 2006
Trip End May 01, 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Saturday, March 25, 2006

We figured that the stop in San Jose would just be a necessary evil en route to the Caribbean coast, but it has turned out to be better than anticipated. Not only were we able to hit a Scotiabank, we have had a lot of fun exploreing and even more fun eating.

The Costa Rican people seem incredibly friendly and the standard of living here is obviously higher than other countries. People seem to always say Buenos dias first which is great and makes you feel very welcome.

Pollution doesn't seem as bad as we thought here either, which is a nice break on the lungs and nose. Parts of the downtown are a bit of a nightmare of course, as is the case with almost every large city in the world. And apparently it can be very unsafe...there are lots of guns and secuirty guards and a visible police presence, but it doesn{t seem oppressive. And everything is locked up tighter than a drum...you have to buzz to get in anywhere...many times it feels like oyu are entering Alcatraz.

We did get a travel advisory from the Canadian government about an increasing number of thefts of money and Canadian passports and we have already met several people who have been robbed...some people go so far as to say that the national past time here is stealing...so as always it pays to be careful.

Something we can say about San Jose is that it's a good city to explore on foot. At least we haven't had too much trouble finding our way around (unlike in Managua where they have no street signs at all)...Our guidebook has a decent map and it all just sort of makes sense as you get to know a few major landmarks.

We have had a blast at the mercado central where a casado and ceviche both cost about 1000 colones...which is 2 USD. The batidos are awesome, as are the churros and helado de coco. It always comes back to the food.

We leave tomorrow for a trip down the Caribbean coast where we will have some beach time before our work with the turtles begins.
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