Archive for the ‘San Jose’ Category

Days 9 & 10 – 3 May – A new week

May 4, 2010 12am in 2010 trip,Costa Rica,Samara Beach,San Jose,Travel | Comments (0)

I took the bus back to Samara yesterday, I had been dropped off at the wrong bus stop, I was actually supposed to be at the bus stop up the road, but people seem to be quite easygoing here and the bus driver put on the brakes in the middle of the road and I ran up and got on, and the bus driver tried to tell me something which I’m pretty sure was along the lines of “err, this isn’t the right bus stop”. Never mind! Someone was in my seat, but he knew it and was starting to move before I even said anything. Quite a few people were standing for the first few hours of the trip but after a while people got off and the standing people could sit down.

Today has been another day of the internet being up and down, kind of irritating when I’m trying to get blog updates done but hey, nothing that can be done!

Seems that everyone heard about the creature I encountered in the bathroom and everyone wants to see pictures of it. Perhaps the story has been blown out of proportion :)

Not a lot happened today, we started classes with a new teacher who is a lot more relaxed than our teacher from last week. There are much fewer students this week than last, I think it’s getting into low season. There was only me and one other person in the class. There was supposed to be a third person but she got an eye infection. I also bought another t-shirt and some bright red togs. Soon we’re going to Arriba (a bar) for drinks with the new students.

I took some photos on my phone because my camera run out of batteries but then like an idiot I forgot to bring the phone cable, so that will be a job for tomorrow.

Days 7 & 8 – 1 May – Made a new friend in the shower

May 4, 2010 12am in 2010 trip,Costa Rica,Samara Beach,San Jose,Travel | Comments (1)

Ok, so this morning I got up at 1am to use the baño, and saw a massive tail sticking out the door of the bathroom. Once I got the courage to look again, I saw something massive sitting right in the doorway:

All I can say is thank god there are two bathrooms in the house. And also thank god that I got up at 1am, because when I got up again at 7am, it had hidden itself right in the corner of the shower under the shower curtain – if I had’ve not got up at 1am I would have used the shower at 7 and stood right on it.

The first graduation at the school was this week, it was for those students who had just completed their last week. They all had to give a speech in Spanish in front of everyone, I’m not looking forward to that. At least it could be written down on paper. There was a large group of high school students graduating and their speeches were given in horrificly American accents, it was hilarious. I mean, I’m no expert, but I’ve been told my accent isn’t as strong as others, so I can say it!

Yesterday I’d talked to Leah, an old friend who I used to work with in New Zealand when I was doing KFC delivery – ooh that was some time ago now! She said she’d like me to come and see her which I liked the idea of a lot. It meant though that I had to navigate the buses for a five hour ride from Sámara to San José. No problem I thought. Oh wait – the only direct bus leaves at 4.30 on Saturday morning, not my idea of fun. So I asked the receptionist at the school, Paola, if I could catch a bus to Nicoya and then a bus from there to San José. “It’s risky”, she said, “because there´s only one afternoon bus from Nicoya to San José and you may be standing for 4 hours”. No problem I thought, I live in London and have to stand on trains all the time, how bad could it be.

So first I had to get from Samara to Nicoya. My information booklet said the bus left at 3:00. The woman at the bus terminal told me 2:00 and the sign at the bus stop said 2:30. It turned up at 2:50. It was actually less of a rickity old bus than I expected, and it only cost 800 colones (£1.20). An american tourist and I were the only two white people on the bus, everyone else was a local. Every time the bus stopped, the locals that got on shook hands with all the other locals, everybody clearly knew each other! It played some cheesy latino music for the whole trip which made the whole experience very authentic.

At Nicoya we pulled up to a very chaotic scene with people everywhere waiting for all kinds of buses, luckily I had an hour to spare which gave me plenty of time to find where to buy a ticket from to San José. It cost 3315 colones (£5). Sure enough, the cashier told me “no hay asientos” (standing room only) and everyone piled on the bus at 5:00. There were five of us standing, and I overheard one of the women say something like “este es el campo del pie!” (this is the camp of the standing) as we were all huddled by the emergency exit. But once the bus started we noticed there were exactly five empty seats, so we all sat down. The bus stopped somewhere and picked up another person, so somebody had to move, but it wasn’t me! (There was assigned seating.)

Halfway to San José the bus driver stopped the bus without announcing anything and turned off the engine, and everyone piled off the bus except me and a woman who had a sleeping kid. I tried to ask the bus driver if we were staying here but didn’t understand the response. I worked out though that everyone’s bags were still on the bus so they can’t be going far. Still it was a bit nerve racking though!

San José was interesting, I haven’t seen Leah in such a long time and I met her husband Carlos and her baby Adam and her dog. They have a nice house in an area surrounded by a massive fence with barbed wire above it and security guards at the entrances. I can kind of see why they need it because we drove around San José a bit and quite frankly a lot of it looks a bit scary. The bus station in particular looked particularly bad. I’m real glad to have some local knowledge. Carlos bought my return ticket for me and made it so that I can be picked up from somewhere other than the bus station!

We saw the Irazu Volcano which was really nice despite being clouded over near the crater. As a foreigner I had to pay a $10US entry fee as opposed to the locals who can pay $2US. There were lots of people selling fruits, vegetables and cheeses on the side of the road and there were some horses which we think had gotten loose and were running down the road, they seemed a bit frightened because they seemed to be charging the car.

We had lunch at a place called Cartago which is where Carlos is from. I picked something called Rice with Chicken and Curry, not very Spanish I know but I knew it would have a Spanish taste to it. It turned out to be rice with chicken that had been marinated in curry powder but was still really great and was really large for about £5. Then we went to a mall, there were exactly the same shops as any mall in London, with Nike, Billabong, Quiksilver etc. on the menu. Instead I went to a general department store and bought two t-shirts for about £7.50.

We got home about 5.30pm, we’re about to have dinner!