Early one morning...

Published: July 25th 2012
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Just as the day was dawning... Up bright and early after a great sleep about 6 ish which isn't bad for the second night and a 7 hour time difference. Catherine was already in the exec breakfast area chatting to a couple from Louisiana - who once they had declared themselves as democrats without any friends in Louisiana were interesting to talk too.

It's a State I haven't been too and think it might be worth exploring particularly down on the Gulf Coast. A continental breakfast was available so we eat that had some great coffee and then headed out to do the walking tour of San Jose which is supposed to take about 2 hours but I think we could have done in about an hour.

San Jose is not the most interesting city in the world. In fact most of the guide books call it an ugly city... And to be fair they are probably right. The central avenue is a pedestrian walkway with lots of shops and a tourist information place. Some of the shops were quite interesting but Matthew didn't come on holiday to go shopping.... so we moved on quite rapidly.

Went back to the bank and got some colones - much happier and flusher now! Though I'm not flushing the colones down the toilet... I'm sure there was a joke in there when I first wrote this. The Colones were all in 10000 notes about 13 quid each.

I particularly wanted to see the Central Mercado which is a bustling local market. This was great and unlike some markets we've visited we weren't hassled by the local sellers once. Had a great time on the meat stalls trying to guess which body part came from which animal... and what the hell you would do with it once you had bought it!

Lots of nice leather goods I can feel a leather belt coming on later (though when I read that back it sounds a bit too close to 50 shades of Gray!). Plus some very nice clay piggy banks - without opening on the bottom - hence non-returnable...

Walked back and stopped in a pastry shop - 3 diet coke bottles and 5 massive pastries - 5300 colones or about 7 quid. Nice.

Then walked back across town to the Holiday Inn taking a few pictures as we went. Interestingly the central post office which is architecturally quite a nice building seemed to have an owl tied up on a ledge outside - perhaps to scare away the pigeons?

Back to the hotel through the park outside where our guide book says the transvestites gather at night. Though I must admit I didn't see anything that looked like the Rocky Horror Picture Show last night outside the hotel...

As we are such a fit family... We then popped into the gym for about 50 minutes. The gym is actually very nice - lots of good equipment and some free weights. Much cycling and a little running, free weights and elliptical trainer.. Then back to the room for a quick cool down/wash via the lobby as someone had gone up with the key - which you needed to operate the lift.

It was nearly 1 so were we're going to go out for lunch and then visit the Jade museum which is supposed to be one of the best in Central America. Then the heavens opened our first experience of rain in Costa Rica - yep when it rains it rains.

We waited a moment and then walked around the corner to La Carollita which is a typical Costa Rican restaurant popular with local workers most of which seem to come from the INS across the road and also home of the Jade Museum we are visiting later. The restaurant was reasonably busy but we got a nice table and picked a variety of chicken dishes. Food was great you had a soup and garlic bread as a starter and then the man course which was huge - only 1 of us managed to complete the chicken challenge and I think we can guess who that was can't we Matthew.... They came round with puddings afterwards and genuinely nobody cold face one! The kids also had milkshakes in this plus 4 bottles of water - all came to (including tip) 30000 colon or about 40 pounds... Or 8 quid each.. Not bad at all for very nice food and veg. Expect outside San Jose to be even cheaper. Not expecting anyone to need a massive meal tonight but I couldn't guarantee it.

Then across the road to the Jade museum which was very interesting and gave an insight not only not the Amerindian culture but also into Jade. Eleanor took lots of pictures so I'll have to get some of those for the blog as well. Fascinating including the monkey with the 8 foot appendage...

We've sorted out the car - phoned and checked this am. The GPS app I bought for the iPad was particularly crap i.e. it didn't work very well at all - so I've ordered one with the car as there are no street signs and no direction signs at all... Or very few anyway. Catherine says I just need to be patient... Hmmmm.

The exec reception is on again at 5 I can feel a beer or 2 coming on again.... They are best after you've opened them and let the fizz disappear.

Just noticed Catherine was asleep though she's denying it "lying here looking at the mountains" - which is very clever when your eyes are shut!

Nearly time for that beer...

and those Chicken Fingers and chips...

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25th July 2012

Loving reading the blog. Have a great time.

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