Wednesday, last day of touristy stuff…

Today was a trip out to the jungle, to catch a boat for an hour ride in the river. Well, we paid for an our, but was out for closer to an hour and twenty minutes. There were only four of us on the boat, including our tour guide José Alvarez Morales, and the boat captain.

We saw lots of birds, but also some bats, monkeys and a red tree frog. We also saw a crocodile on the edge of the river.

Jim and Chuck on Boat in RIver

 

Tomorrow and Friday will be spent in a two day, all day seminar on retiring into Costa Rica, which is what Uncle Jim is doing.

Day 5, Getting lost in San José, Costa Rica

Today, was the most frustrating day regarding driving around the city. It started OK because we went straight to Casa Canada with no problems. From there we had Dustin (Jim’s new neighbor) meet up with us to take us to the apartment. Everything was fine up to the point of taking a left when we should have gone straight. There was some road construction that was causing traffic problems.  We pulled over into a gas station when we couldn’t find Dustin again and they were kind enough to call him. Neither one of us have cell phone service here.

Finding our way back to Casa Canada to meet with the lawyers again was a little better as we tried to make our way to where near the hotel, but for some reason got onto a road that was parallel to the road we needed to be on. At least that wasn’t so bad. From Casa Canada we had no problems getting back to the hotel.

For dinner, we had Outback for the second time this trip. It was good.

Day 4 in Costa Rica – exploring the local shopping mall

On Sunday, September 25, we took a stroll through the shopping mall near the hotel. It was huge and has over 330 stores. This is a modern mall and had many American franchises. Although we walked by almost every stored, we only entered a hand full. I did buy a book on Costa Rica, but nothing else.

After visiting the mall, we made another try to find Uncle Jim’s apartment and failed once again. I think we were pretty close, but with most of the streets being unmarked it is hard to get around. The government should really fix that for all the visitors they have. I guess it is good for the taxi business though.

We made it back to the hotel just as it was starting to rain. Then after a couple of hours and a few phone conversations with the people leasing the place to Jim, we walked next door and found a nice restaurant where we had a wonderful meal. Jim had tuna and I had chicken. It was very filling and I was a bit hungry having not eaten since mid morning.

No photos were taken on this day. I didn’t take my camera, nor did we stop anywhere to actually take pictures.

Day two in Costa Rica, a day in San José

The day started like the other days. I awoke around 5 AM and had an hour or so to kill on my own. I used that time to have coffee and check up on emails.

We took a taxi to the US Embassy and in about 1/2 hour we were done there. Not bad, it only took a few minutes to generate the document we needed.

After that, we go into another taxi and made our way over to the Meseo de Arte, although we wanted to go to the Museo del Oro. It was OK, because we ended up finding the Casa de Canada where Uncle Jim needs to be on Monday anyway. We went inside and he confirmed his appointment and then we met some Canadians inside.  The guard was then kind enough to hail a taxi and we made our way to the Museo del Oro. A young man of 24 provided us transportation.

After walking through the Gold Museum and seeing all the gold there was, we started walking around down town. After a while we found a Chinese restaurant to have some lunch. We were on the way back to an actual Spanish restaurant when we decided to just have some Chinese instead. The food was good and we both had a decent meal for about 10$ US.

One of the things to get used to is the high number with regards to the local currency. One US dollar is around CRC 505, so it is not uncommon to have paper bills as low as 1000 on up. Coins are in 25, 50, 100, and 500 – I’m sure there are others but that’s what we’ve had in hand.

We went into a few shops and one of the last one I went into was a common market with many vendors setup. It was hard to tell where one started and the other ended, but they were all very nice (and pushing there goods). I did end up getting a couple of wooden boxes, small but nice. I spoke a bit of Spanish with Maria, but I didn’t have the ear to understand a good bit of what she was saying.

We spent another 3 hours or so walking around and finally got a cab to take us back to the hotel. Having the hotel’s business card really helped a lot. I handed the cab driver the card and he knew where to go. I think I understood him confirming directions on the phone, but cannot say for sure.

Once we made it back to the hotel, we decided to relax a bit. I suggested that we may just do room service tonight and not worry about going out.

Plenty of Security Guards in San José, Costa Rica – Day one recap

One of the first and consistent things I have noticed is the amount of security guards that are around. And everything is behind a gate of some kind. To enter the parking lot of the hotel, on the other it seems that people just are very protective. But what I have noticed the most is just how nice people are (so far).

We did a lot of driving today. We were going to be heading over to the US Embassy, but we ended up going to the Volcán Barva. We didn’t quite make it up to the top due to the treacherous roads, but we tried. We got to a point where a 4 wheeler was coming down and the driver told us “Muy malo” and waved is hands in a “no” sign. We thanked him and I backed the car up to a point where I could turn around. It was a bit nerve wracking trying to drive that car over the rough roads. You really need a Hummer or something like that to get up to the top.

As we were returning, we visited Heredia, Costa Rica.  We got turned around a few times, but finally stopped at a Wal-mart and picked up a few items. From there, we found our way back to the hotel. After a short stay we got into a taxi to head over to the US Embassy.

The Taxi dropped us off and we discovered the office we needed, but the young lady told us the agency we needed to speak with was only open until 11:30 AM so we have to go back.

Getting another taxi, led us on another adventure and some raised blood pressure. The driver didn’t understand where we needed to go and took us much farther away from the hotel. Then we thought we clarified the destination and he took us closer to the hotel, but to the wrong one. At that time we just decided to depart the cab and got into a new one to take us the mile or so over to our hotel. We learned our lessons 1) keep a hotel card with us so we can at least show the driver where we need to go and 2) ask the driver if they speak English. And not necessarily in that order.

We ended the day by walked around a small shopping center on our way to dinner at The Outback Steakhouse. It was good food and the server was very nice and friendly (he said his name was Jonah – not sure of the spelling). We ended our evening with a couple of hours of TV (starting at 7PM local time).

Costa Rica Day 1

It’s the start of a new day here in Costa Rica. The sun is starting to illuminate the sky and there is a cool breeze wafting over me as I sit on the balcony of this Courtyard Marriott.  The coffee is a bit strong due to the lack of creamer, but sweetened enough for me to enjoy.

 

 

 

Final Day in Maui, Pictures and text to come in a couple of days.

Well, its a sad day here in Maui, at least for the Oakmont C3 team. We’re packing it in and will be heading to the airport in just a couple of hours. Our flight is around 2:25 PM or so. As stated in a previous post, I’ll be updating this site and including a lot more photos (and maybe a few movie files too). Check back in a couple of days.