Laying low for Semana Santa

Trip Start Jan 22, 2006
Trip End Jun 23, 2009

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Monday, April 17, 2006

Since I didn't make reservations and plan ahead, I just headed to San Jose with Maddie and Dan to relax during Semana Santa weekend. Right when I pulled up to the hostel they were getting ready for a walk around town. However, they helped me get settled before we headed out. Getting settled turned out to be a much harder than we had expected. The first two beds I was given both had people actually sleeping in them. The next one had stuff on it, so I told them I would just sleep in the open one even though I was "assigned" a different bed. So we all headed out to walk around and see what San Jose has to offer. We walked through a park and were headed down to the pedestrian walk, when Dan began to get a migraine and headed back to the hostel. Maddie and I needed food. However, before we found a place this guy came up to us telling us that he was a US citizen traveling in Costa Rica and he had been mugged earlier in the day and had no money for food. Instead of just handing over our money we asked him if he had gone to the Embassey for help... no. Or if he had any friends he could borrow money from... no. And why he smelled like alcohol... because he had a rough day getting mugged and all. Finally he said "you can say no if you want too", so we did. As I sat waiting for my food (Maddie had a Subway attack), I started thinking about all the things he had told us and all of the holes in his story. Like why didn't he have a back up stash of cash hidden somewhere? Or the obvious one, where did he get the money to drunk? I mean really, if he is going to try and bum money off other travels, he should do his homework and at least have the obvious things covered. Anyway, Maddie and I just sat and talked while we ate. We talked for hours, about everything. We laughed, we cried, it was a real bonding moment and to make it even better... we had banana splits! We then headed back to the hostel where we chatted some more until a lady told us to keep it down. So I went up to go to bed... only to find someone was sleeping in it! I was so irritated when I went down stairs to explain the situation. I then got a room with three other people, who had gone out for the night... so pretty much a room to myself.

The next morning (Easter Sunday) Maddie and I (Dan's head was still hurting) headed out to have breakfast and watch everyone exit the church after Easter Mass. When we stopped at a little bakery this guy from South Carolina started talking to us. He wanted to know what we thought about Costa Rica. We both said we have had a great time and the cloud forests and nature are just amazing. He then just started talking about how much he hates San Jose and how he thinks it is the most disgusting city in the world. He talked about the crime and the garbage and how he dislikes all of Costa Rica based off of his 50 miles radius around San Jose. We tried to explain to him that Costa Rica puts most of it's money toward preserving it's natural beauty and that the mountains, cloud forests and beaches are amazing. He just said that he thinks the most beautiful mountains are the Blue Mountains of South Carolina (or some thing like that). And I said sure, I think the Rocky Mountains are the most beautiful, but Costa Rica is different and you have to like it for being different. He just didn't get it. Maddie and I had to try so hard not to just bust up laughing. Seriously why, is he traveling? We asked if he was headed home soon, since he was so unhappy... and he said he would probably be around for a few more weeks. When we finally were able to get away from him I just wished him luck in finding what he is looking for... especially, since it is back in South Carolina (I didn't say that part). So the rest of the day as Maddie and I walked around, we pointed out all of the beautiful aspects about San Jose. It really does work hard on it's beauty. There are great pedestrian walks, sculptures, parks and squares. Meeting this guy, only made us like San Jose more. Once back at the hostel, we spent the rest of the day sitting by the pool relaxing. And later that night I watched the movie "Brokeback Mountain" and was so excited to see all of the Wyoming scenery. I told the Swiss girl, Victoria, that was where I am from and she thought the views were amazing and wants to visit. So as I headed to bed, my roommate, who I had only met briefly, asked me to do her a favor. She told me that she had been on an off the beaten track beach and some of the people she was with had found ticks on their bodies. She said she found one on her back and was able to pull it out... but she thought she found another one, but wasn't quite sure since she couldn't see it. So she asked me if I could look for her and maybe get it out. I said sure before asking where it was... it was on her butt. So there I am in our hostel dorm room looking at her butt. The light wasn't that great, so I had to get out my head lamp for a better look. After digging around a bit (and getting a bit grossed out) I remembered Maddie had just finished medical school... so I went and got her out of a bed for a look. She was totally up for it and went right to work. Turned out it was only a piece of rock, she had wrecked her surf board pretty hard and was scrapped across the ground. We were laughing so hard, and we were all happy that it wasn't a tick.

Even the next morning I was still laughing about the situation. Too funny! Victoria (Swiss), Alajandra (Argintinian girl from La Fortuna, who met up with me again in San Jose) and I headed off to Puerto Viejo.
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