Costa Rica upon some consideration
13.02.2007 - 30.03.2007 26 °C
I know its been a bit since the last update, but to be honest, it was because there was little to write. Currently, Michelle and I are camped out at our base of operations, Vista del Valle, in Rosario, near Grecia. (For those that want to look us up on a map, find San Jose, head north to Alljuella, and then a little further to Grecia. Thats close enough to where we are.
Now, for our limited exploits: We arrived in San Jose before the winter blew into NY, so we managed to avoid the delays. We were met promptly at the airport by our taxi who drove us up the Pan American highway to the resort. For those of you who dont know, the reason we decided to stay where we did was for the best of reasons: it was free. Through the kindness of a friend of my aunt, we were allowed to stay for free in a condo attached to the resort. So, Vista Del Valle it is.
First the good: The place is lovely, set into the top of what passes for smaller mountains around here, swimming pool, jacuzzi, etc. Our condo is at the top of the hill with views of san jose and the volcanoes in the distance. The sun rises right through our bedroom windows (in a place that has 180 degree floor to ceiling windows, it isnt surprising), and we can watch the sun set from our porch. The condo has a seperate private social/kitchen/laundry area, where Michelle has already ensconsed herself as the local Iron chef. The grounds are well kept, adorned with tons of local flowers and plants which draw the local bird life here as well. I cannot say I know all of the birds I have seen, but they are colorful and sing prettily.
Now the bad: We are quite a bit from anywhere. There are buses that run in the country (no trains due to frequent earthquakes and the prohibitive cost of repair work thereafter) and run often, and should we wish to take one we simply must walk (or be driven) the 10 mins to the highway, and flag the bus as it goes past our stop. In fact, we did just that on our first adventure to aljuella, Costa Ricas second city. The problem lies in getting back here again, as the stop has no name, and since there are numerous routes for the buses, we can never be sure that we are on the correct one (hence how we ended up in Grecia in the dark). While cab travel is not horribly expensive, it is somewhat steep for day to day uses on long hauls (it is $30 to San Jose one way), and so we were forced to rent a car.
Thus far we have not yet done much in the way of exploring, having spent two nights in San Jose, and a day in Alljuella, with brief visits to Heredia (home of Intel CR), Grecia (costa rica cleanest town) and Sarchi (home of their woodworking artist), but we are off on and adventure today to Volcan Poas and Montaverde cloud forest tomorrow. From there we likely will be headed up to the northern penninsula for the beaches, before returning here mid week next week.
As of now, it seems mutual that Costa Rica isnt the place for us- not that it is bad, but it isnt nearly as appealing as Thailand was for me, and Mexico was for Michelle. Thus, it seems likely that this will turn into a lovely vacation to beat the snow and mess of NYC, and we shall return sometime in March. Part of this is the fact that we have yet to see as much of the country as we had hoped, part of it is the fact that English is not quite as common as we were led to believe, and part of it is that, well, Costa Rica is a lot like Florida: One cannot beat the weather, but that notwithstanding, the food is bland (as compared to Mexican), the historical aspect of the country is lacking (due partly to eathquakes knocking things down and also because seemingly nothing happened here), and the landscape thus far, while lovely, has nothing eye popping about it.
Still, we have yet to see most of the major draws in the country, so it is possible our minds will change.
Either way, the weather is nice, the pool is cool, the drinks have mango or coconut in them along with umbrellas and the people are friendly- in other words it could be a lot worse.
Hope all is good in the States, and that everyone is well.