Thursday, January 06, 2005

costa rica travelogue

This is the first in a series of nine sequential journal entries written while I was in Costa Rica. I'll post one per day interleaved within my other posts (if I have any).


Today we began our travels to Costa Rica. Arriving at the airport in San Jose was unique -- this was the point at which the Spanish letters became the ones on top, instead of the English ones.

The travel company who picked us up from the airport did an unfathomably good job of finding us: we didn't even have to think. Our driver (who took us on our first modest adventure) was eager to meet us.

"Welcome to my country!"

Our first destination was a cabin in the Monteverde cloud forest, and our driver said that it would take us maybe four and a half hours -- depending on traffic.

We pulled off the road about thirty minutes into the trip, and he said, "My friends, this is the best place to eat. You love it." And we did. They had awesome local 'tica' (Costa Rican) food at a great price (US$1.50 per meal).

We reached our lodge after just three hours of travel (traffic was good) although two of those hours were spent on rocky, potholed dirt roads. Our driver navigated these roads like a pro, even though most of the time there was barely room for one car, though it was not a one-way road. Along the way we saw some beautiful sunset views of a bay and mountains, making it hard to misunderstand the majesty of the Costa Rica countryside.

The lodge we stayed at has a restaurant and bar (limited in spirits, though with some local rums) and we ate a mediocre dinner of tough steak. I guess I should expect no less -- the steer they raise here have to graze on steep inclines -- the ones too steep for farmland.

Stay tuned for more!

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