Blogs from Alajuela, Alajuela, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean


The time has come the Walrus said…. Not only to speak of many things, but to wrap up a spectacular and fascinating vacation. Again, we were too exhausted last night to write up the blog. We had left La Fortuna and our little casita with no bathroom doors but lovely pool and friendly evening toads, when Gerardo picked us up once again. We drove on decent roads up up up – almost to the Poas Crater. There was one small landslide to avoid on the road – it covered our side completely – it’s unusual to have more than one lane in each direction. We stopped at the La Paz waterfall. It is now a fancy hotel and spa and you have to pay money for the extensive tour and viewing platforms, but Emily knew the ... read more

Costa Rica!! Whew, getting up at 2:30 to leave at 3:15 was a challenge, but the flights to Miami and then into San Jose were both uneventful. I read a book; David watched a movie. We arrived early and had no problems going thru immigration, etc. Costa Rica does not even require covid tests. We are traveling with Matt & Emily McClung and their children Lauren, 16, and Daniel, 12. This will be fun! Matt had arranged for us to be picked up at the airport. It was a “people mover” van. The only thing was that the man was confused and thought it was just 4, not 6, but everyone fit in with the bags anyway. It only took about 20 minutes to reach our destination of Villa San Ignacio, which to my eyes is ... read more
Cicada body
Crazy huge tree
Daniel in chilly pool

Time for another trip – this time to Central America, first stop Costa Rica. It’s the first time we’ve travelled with British Airways for many years. And there’s a reason for that. It’s not a great start, with a last minute change from an 11.30 to a 9 am departure. So we decided to travel up to Gatwick the night before and stay at the less than celubrious White House Hotel in an executive room, which frankly no self respecting executive would be seen dead in. We’re up at 6 for our taxi to the airport. Once there, it takes an hour to make it to the front of the check in queue to be told the flight is running 30 minutes late. We head through security. Now the delay has gone up to an hour ... read more
Hotel Your House Alajuela - our room

On our last day in Costa Rica, we headed over to the local supermarket to buy a couple of snacks and souvenirs for the plane ride back to Toronto. We also bought some Salsa Lizano, to try our hands at making Gallo Pinto at home. When we walked out of the supermarket, we were surprised to see a parade of people marching down the street. We asked our hotel concierge, what the parade was all about. Apparently, today was Juan Santamaria Day, a National Holiday in Costa Rica. Juan Santamaria, was a poor drummer boy from Alajuela who helped prevent the U.S citizen William Walker and his mercenary army from turning Central America into a slave-trade empire. After Walker conquered Nicaragua, Costa Rica sent troops to Nicaragua to fight the growing threat. The battle, turned in ... read more

Today, we are traveling from Manuel Antonio to Alajuela to relax before our flight tomorrow afternoon. We learned yesterday, that the bus that goes to San Jose from Quepos stops at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela. This was great news, as we didn’t have to take an expensive shuttle to Alajuela. We reached Alajuela in the afternoon. After storing our luggage at our Hotel, Hostel Cala, we headed off to one of the many cafes for lunch. Alajuela, felt more laid back than the busy capital city of San Jose. In the center of Alajuela is a grand church and a lush green park to relax. There are also a lot of interesting architectural buildings, statues, and smaller parks around. After chilling around downtown, Alajuela we headed back to our hotel for the night. ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Alajuela February 7th 2017

Oli edessä hotellin ja kaupungin vaihto. Vaihdoin aamulla vielä euroja. Lucien tuli mukaan matkalle. Vietiin tavarani hotelliin. Vaihdoin sortsit. Käytiin syömässä kauppahallissa, poikettiin museossa ja syötiin jäätelöt keskuspuistossa. Ostin hotelliin aamuksi ruokaa. Mentiin bussilla lentokentälle. Lucien näki siellä entisiä ja tulevia työkavereita. Halusin nähdä kentän ilman kiirettä ja matkatavaroita. Eihän se ollut mitenkään valtava. Näin pikaisesti myös Ronaldin. Hänellä oli alkanut siellä työt viime viikolla. Työvuoro loppui klo 16. Juteltiin lyhyesti kun mentiin pysäkille. Hän lähti bussilla San Joséhen ja minä Alajuelaan. Vaikka tämä kaupunki on vain 20 kilometrin päässä San Josésta, niin lämpötila on noin kolme astetta korkeampi. Sen huomasi sekä päivällä, jolloin oli aika kuuma, ja illalla, jolloin tarkeni vielä sortseilla ja t-paidalla, mikä ei onnistunut San Joséssa.... read more

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Alajuela January 26th 2017

Vaihdoin euroja pankissa ja ostin paikallisen liittymän. Kummassakin piti näyttää passiani. Kävin Tulion kanssa lounaalla kauppahallissa ja kävelyllä. Otin päiväunet. Lucien meni käymään lentokentällä. Kävimme sen jälkeen kahvilla ostoskeskuksessa. Kävelin sinne reilun kilometrin. Palasin taksilla kun oli jo pimeää. Maksoi 1,5€. Illalla vielä baarikierros Tulion kanssa. Kesäinen sää. Hotelli Santamaria on keskeisellä paikalla ja isäntä antaa ystävällisiä neuvoja.... read more

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Alajuela January 25th 2017

Herätys lentokentän hotellissa klo 6. Kävin jo kyllä aloittamassa aamiaisen klo 4 kun ei tullut uni. Lento Pariisiin lähti klo 9.25. Löysin siellä lähtöportille helposti. Wifi oli mainio. Lento Costa Ricaan lähti tunnin myöhässä ja kesti 11,5 tuntia. Istuin ranskalaisten välissä. Riitti tarjoiluja ja leffoja. Perillä toimi myös wifi. Passin tarkastukseen joutui jonottamaan. Kaaduin kun kävelin taksiin kun en huomannut korkeuseroa. Sormiin tuli naarmuja. Taksilla hotelliin Alajuelassa. Ostin kaupasta vielä vettä ja banaaneja. Nukkumaan 24 tunnin valvomisen jälkeen. Sekä taksikuski että hotellin pitäjä kehuivat espanjan taitoani.... read more

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Alajuela » Alajuela November 25th 2015

The City Mall is the biggest mall I've ever seen. It's slammed with people shopping for American brand clothing. There is an enormous Ferris Wheel on the roof (our friends told us it is referred to as a "Chicago Wheel). Next door to the gigantic mall is a smaller "International Outlet". Here there are more small shops with local items. I was kind of homesick for American food so I ate some very strange Taco Bell. Strange in part because the menu items there are different, and also because I ordered in broken Spanish and got something completely different than I thought. Sean was brave and had some authentic Costa Rican Pizza Hut. At the airport, we had our first experience with being completely blasted for not knowing the local language. It made it even easier ... read more
pizza hut

Another sunny, warm day in Costa Rica. We had peaceful night’s sleep. Not a peep from the adolescents. I guess they are not a sports team of some sort. The birds started chirping before dawn. No monkey sounds though. I thought I heard thunder but I think it was the first plane of the day taking off from the airport some ten kilometres away. Coffee was served around the pool shortly after six and breakfast started around seven. I was one of the first in so there was lots of everything. Once the kids arrived, the waiters were kept busy refilling jugs and platters. I am sure they ran out of milk. We lazed around the pool until checkout time and then hung around the reception waiting for our taxi. He arrived early, having brought a ... read more

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