Duran Sanitarium

Trip Start Apr 18, 2013
Trip End May 04, 2013

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Cartago,
Thursday, May 2, 2013

After leaving POAS volcano, we had time.

I really wanted to do something a bit Unorthodox from the nature adventures. I had seen an episode about a haunted Sanitarium in Costa Rica on one of the Ghost Hunter shows on TV. I remembered this episode so I really have never been to a Sanitarium before, much less to a abandoned one and even worse, reputed to be haunted.

So, I had my little heart set on this bit of adventure. I had to ask my friend if they would be interested in doing this as you know, some people may think it a waste. Thankfully, they were up to it....so we decided to make the Trek after Poas.

Dear people, I must say.....I began to become very very concerned about if this was such a good idea. We had to go through San Jose, and traffic was atrocious. I mean...not only were we going around in circles for awhile...looking for a sign pointing the way to Cartago...but...traffic was ridiculous. Cartago was just supposed to be half hour away from San Jose but this turned out to be several hours before we go there.

I want to add, I think Costa Rica is a beautiful country...but their driving is the worst I have ever experienced. I thought we were bad here in Trinidad... but.... now I appreciate the courtesy of someone allowing you to come out from a side street into a lane, or stopping for me to get a parking, or a honk to say Thank You! This was non exsistant from the drivers. Atleast in the city. I thought it was madness! Traffic, inconsiderate drivers etc. The one thing I did not like at all.

Anyway, we eventually found our way to Cartago, and followed the hill up to what is known as the Duran Sanitarium. A little history is the Sanitarium was founded by Carlos Duran, a doctor. Its location was chosen because of the atmosphere, being thickness in the air, its coolness whichi he belived was good for the patients. It also was used to House tuberculosis patients, I believe his daughter had contracted the disease. After, it was used as a mental institute and eventually a prioson camp until eventually the place was destroyed by the eruption of volcano Irazu which was 15 or so miles away.

This place is open to visitors but apparently closes at 4pm. We got there at 3pm but there wasn't anyone to take our money of what I read was 2usd to explore. So we reigned free, exploring on our own. I will say, I had been just a bit awed by it. Its not a very big place, but I guess after the long drive, knowing a little of the history, seeing it on TV and actually bieng there...being I never did anything like it...I was looking foward to it. We explored for alomost close to 40-50mins, and wanting to respect the times...even though no one was there to check. I suspect, being hungry was also responsible for our departure.

On leaving, we ran into a funeral procession....and this to me was just a bit morbid...seeing the place we just visited. Anyway, we decided to take a different route back to Alajuela remembering the traffic we encounted on our way. Thank You GPS as we were able to follow another road, longer, secluded, back road but....low and behold...when we did enter civilization.....the traffic was even worse! I think I was losing my wits now because i was becoming very irritated with the Drivers, the Traffic, feeling Hungry and then I was informed by the radio, Obama would be visiting the next day.

How did this upset me, well...to begin with...it meant they shut the city of San Jose down, and we had plan to go there on our last day to explore and shop. So we were screwed. Secondly and even more aggrevating, he was leaving the day I was leaving! How could this be. After all the hell I went to to get to Costa Rica, I was going to have the same horror leaving! NOOOOO....this is so wrong! I was very upset!

Well....just to foward ahead, I did get out and on arrival to MIA had to wait overy 3hrs to clear their immigration! I thought it would never end! I also had problems getting on the ac to return to Trinidad! I received a few claps for making it on board the flight! I have never experienced such intense moments in travel yet.

Well, on final review! If you ever feel the need to visit a eco friendly, sought of compact place with lots of adventure...do try Costa Rica, its affordable...and very nice.

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