Day One : San Jose

1 May
my delicious first meal in San Jose, Costa Rica

So, after 12 hours of transit, Stefanie and I are finally in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The morning started off okay. We were at the Detroit airport quite early, so we took a short nap before boarding, then it was off to Houston, Texas. I was a little nervous about Houston because of the whole Swine Flu debacle, but the airport seemed completely normal, aside from the fact the some people were wearing face masks. It´s strange because everyone at the San Jose airport was wearing masks and gloves. A bit freaky….

When we finally arrived in San Jose, we decided to take the local bus downtown. It was a little confusing at first, but then we saw a guy we met on the plane who mentioned he was also taking the bus and just followed him. We paid 400 colones for the ride, which is basically $1 USD. Once we were downtown, we hailed a cab and zoomed through the streets towards San Pedro, where our hostel is located. For a 10 min ride, it cost approx. $4.

The drivers here are fearless. The cut each other off, honk their horns, and squeeze in between other vehicles like it´s nobody´s business. I was a little scared, but we made it to our hostel in one piece.

We´re staying at Hostel Bekuo. It´s in a nice, quite area. After we checked in, Stef and I hit the streets in search for some dinner. We wandered into the university area. We found a small diner, which Costa Ricans call a soda. We had some language difficulties, but we managed to order some rice, chicken, beans, salad, juice, and plantains all for just 4$. It was a ton of food. The waitress called the dish a casado and I guess it´s pretty typical around here. I´m sure we´ll be ordering the dish every day. So cheap, so good. Very backpacker friendly!

I forget to mention, my ear has been bothering me since last Thursday. The right ear feels plugged, but my sinus pills are worthless. So Stef and I decided to check out the local pharmacy. Basically, you walk in and there is a large counter. You tell the person what´s wrong, they go in the back, and bring you some medicine. No prescription, no I.d., nothing! I got ear drops for around $7.50. In Canada, I would have needed a prescription or they would cost at least $30. Funny enough, the guy behind us got Moxicilline (an antibiotic). Definitely, not what we´re used to.

We walked back to the hostel and put the mystery drops into my one ear. I freaked out a little, but so far, so good! I hope it works. It´s driving me nuts!

Tomorrow, Stef and I are taking a 4 hr bus ride to La Fortuna to see the Arenal Volcano, one of the world´s most active volcanoes. I can´t wait!

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2 Responses to “Day One : San Jose”

  1. Sarah Cipkar May 4, 2009 at 9:47 PM #

    Yay for blogs! Everything you describe sounds a lot like Honduras … everything is cheap, good, and convenient. No crappy rules about I.D. or rules of the road … just kidding lol.I hope the Spanish is going well! Do a lot of people speak Englsih? It’s very rare to find one here so I’m wondering if its the same. Anyhoo, I wish you the best for your travels … maybe I’ll be taking the same path that you are some time in the future!

  2. Melissa Eizabeth May 5, 2009 at 12:47 AM #

    The spanish is going ok. we’re more confident now and we can get by if someone doesn’t know english. It varies around here. It seems like the younger ticos and ticas can speak some english, which makes sense. you must visit costa rica sarah! You will love it!!

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