Onward to Costa Rica – I caught a flight from Guatemala City to San Jose. Word of advice – if you are booking a flight which means you need to get to GUA in the morning.. make sure you give yourself enough time to get there early! I spent 3 hours in traffic – worst I’ve ever seen!! Thankfully I got to the airport with 1.5 hours to spare. Things started to look up – everything went smoothly, I spent the last of my quetzals, and I came across a lounge I could use. Whoo!!
I got some fruit, drank lots of green tea and got some free water. The flight was a doddle (apart from the guy sitting next to me – super weird! I had to tell him I’m not interested in talking to him and put my headphones in for the rest of the flight), it took 15 minutes to clear immigration and pick my bags, and I was on my way to the city centre.
Where am I staying?
Hotel Don Carlos is a beautiful touritsy hotel, complete with souvenir shop. Clear from the word go, this hotel is more Americanised – more with it, but less rustic that the other hotels.
The room was nice and (very) flowery, bright, spacious.
- Grubiness factor = nil. All pristine and clean.
- Bed = 7/10. Lumpy thin pillows, but manageable for 2 nights.
- Shower = 8/10. Nice and hot, power could be improved, but toiletries were included… Good thing since I’m running out of my essentials.
What did I eat?
I dropped my bags at the hotel, starving and decided to explore San Jose (on your own! Are you mad! – I’m alive.. Don’t worry peeps). I walked up and down Avenida Central – the Oxford Circus of San Jose, expecting to find loads of places to eat. But alas. Desperation lead me to Subway.
Not bad – full of salad – and it filled me up until breakfast the next day.
Breakfast was in the hotel – basic continental, fresh fruit, toast and just OK coffee (!!!). Had to switch to the green tea. For lunch I found a place called Vishnu that did, no, not Indian food, but veggie and vegan fast food. I ordered a fresh pineapple juice – delish!
I went for a veggie burger with fries. It came with a piece of mock meat (no thanks, didn’t even try it) and a mountain of raw cabbage.
I had to take 2/3 out to taste anything other than cabbage. After which it tasted just ok – I wasn’t impressed – though the fries were hot and crispy!
Dinner was at a soda – which is a very local restaurant. I went for Casado, the local dish, which is essentially rice, beans, plantain, salad – then some veggies or meat. I asked for extra avocado – yay! What arrived was a big and tasty plate of food.
They even had this homemade pickle (like I had in Guatemala) made with carrot, onion, cauliflower, chilli and vinegar. Very nice. If all the food in Costa Rica is like this – I will be ok.
What did I do?
Walked up and down Avenida Central. Enough said. Won’t be doing that again, there was nothing about it that I liked.
I was told by my cabbie that the Gold Museum is worth doing. And it was. I really enjoyed walking around the museum – very slick and modern, reading about how gold was produced – impressive, seeing that some of it goes back to 800AD.
There was also a section devoted to the history of coins and notes in Costa Rica, and a part for temporary exhibitions. But walking around the other parts of the museums, the ceramics and stone ware just looked too ‘new’. No chips, no faded paint – nada. I’m suspicious – need to consult google.
After seeing rustic real ruins, part of me didn’t take in all the artefacts just because of their condition – does that make sense? In any case, go check the museum out (it was about £7). What else are you going to do in San Jose?
One of the ladies I met had her purse stolen. She doesn’t know how it where it happened, but it was in broad daylight. And before she cancelled her credit card, she was told that €2600 had already been spent on it! Glad I’ll be outta here tomorrow – in the lap of nature, where I am most happiest.