Blogs from San José, San José, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean - page 6


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 ... read more

Getting an afternoon flight is sometimes a good thing. Packed the night before just had to get up and sort out the last few things before the Taxi came to pick us up at 10.30 am. Charlie's the Taxi company were bang on time as they always are and we had moved the bags down to the bottom of the garden so we cold be away quickly. Left Fred and Barney working on the new "shed". Be interesting to see how they've got on when we get back. Leaving from Terminal 4 was an absolute pleasure - checked in on line so just baggage drop. Wanted to be reasonably early as the plane was over booked and I didn't want them bumping us onto another flight. No queue to drop bags - yes that's right no ... read more
I'm not asleep

For those faithful blog followers who might be concerned (ie family), just want to let you know we made it in to San Jose safely last night, and by 8:30 were checked into our "family suite" at the beautiful Grana de Oro Hotel--a converted Victorian mansion with lots of charm. After a brief consultation we decided we were too grungy to dine at the 5 star restaurant in the hotel and had no energy to clean up, so enjoyed a room service "picnic" on one of the beds. Today we spent the morning with friends John and Lisa Aspinall (also our travel agent), who took us on a bit of a walking tour through the historic core of San Jose, including the National Museum and the Central Market. Our family lunched at the historic Costa Rica ... read more
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It's only been just over a week, but I figured I post my first blog as it might be a while til I have internet access again. The second I step off the airplane in San Jose, Costa Rica, I already broke one of the major travel rules. Me and two other backpackers joined together to find a taxi, to save some money instead of going individual. Out of the 80 people trying to convince us to step into their taxi, we picked a guy. We followed him to his taxi which happened to be a private car his friend was driving, parked away and behind the airport exit. Being late at night and just wanting to find a hostel, we decided to take it anyways, hoping that I could outrun the two girls that where ... read more
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Last week as part of the Costa Rican adventure, we all took part in a volunteer project. The project was with an incredible group, the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation (CRHF), founded by Gail Nystrom. Her work and passion for the people of La Carpio is incredible. Her life is devoted to improving the lives of women who had been living in unbearable conditions in Nicaragua and wanted better lives for their children and themselves. So to walk down the roads, made of mud and rock, and to pass by their homes, made of scrap tin or other materials, was overwhelming. These people believed that these homes of tin were incredible and almost heaven to them. In all honesty, I myself would believe that the conditions were unlivable. It was such a shock to walk by and ... read more
Typical Homes in La Carpio
Gail Nystrom Speaking to the Group
Ready to Work

¡Saludos! Streaming to you (not quite live) from Costa Rica! After spending a couple of weeks here, I’ve slowly begun to appreciate rice and beans. No, really, I’ve had 1,000 opportunities to practice Spanish and I’ve taken advantage of 998. We’ve met some great people, the host families are wonderful and we have visited several interesting places. Of particular interest to me was the National Museum in San José. As a student of both Spanish and History, I felt right at home during the visit. The pottery, stonework, carved figurines, and grave sites provide insight into the lives of the indigenous people. Evidence of pre-historic peoples is scattered all throughout the world, and the development of the indigenes in Costa Rica fits perfectly into the expected mold of human development. The pre-Colombian findings suggest these collections ... read more
Stone Spheres
No Armed Forces
Pre-Colombian Art

We woke up way too early, I had a shower and we packed up. The car was back at Avis by 5:15, and we were on the shuttle to the airport by 5:30. After we paid our taxes, we stood in line until Sophie got called to the front; evidently they were confused with the Aussie flying to Houston onto Australia. It worked out really well because it gave us some time to do some souvenir shopping before heading to our gate. We were cutting it pretty close. I bought Sophie a little pin of a blue jean frog to take home with here and remind her of the trip. I thought it would pair well with the Captain America magnet I got her in LA; I have the nickname with her roommates so I thought ... read more

Am 28.4. sind wir dann zurück nach San Jose gefahren, um dort die letzten Nacht in einem der schicksten Hostels, die ich je gesehen habe zu verbringen. Das Casa Colon war ein Art Burg, mit Turm und hölzernem Geländer in der oberen Etage. Müsst ihr euch mal im Internet anschauen. Billig, aber absolut sauber und schön und schon fast nobel aus meiner Sicht. Wir haben die Zimmer bezogen und sind dann gleich los uns die Stadt anzuschauen. In einem Food court haben wir dann lecker gegessen und gegen späten Nachmittag kamen wir wieder im Hostel an, um uns etwas zu erholen und frisch zu machen. Denn ich hatte spontan mit Irene ausgemacht, dass wir uns abends zum Feiern in der Stadt treffen. Um noch vorher eine Kleinigkeit zu essen gingen wir rechtzeitig wieder in die Stadt. ... read more

9. PUERTO VIEJO y TURRIALBA Sunday, 29 April FRIDAY (20th)… In my last blog, I haven’t told you everything about that Friday yet. About the volunteer project: because of Montserrat, I get to work my last two weeks at the orphanage that Kevin also worked at! Of this place, she was also sure that they would definitely have work for me. :) About La Virgen: I didn’t go. Because I was feeling cranky and stressed and I had had to much disappointments for now in Costa Rica, and considering that I had no security about whether I would be able to actually go kayaking, I decided to play it save. I couldn’t hack being out there by myself when I would’ve been disappointed again. So, I joined Poppy and Emma on their trip to Puerto Viejo, ... read more
Rocking J's
Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo

This whole experience has been a real test of perserverence, trust, cross-cultural communications and empathy. It's also been a challenging test of our developing Spanish language skills. As a result of everything that's happened, I have a few suggestions for developers of Spanish language courses and phrase books. In addition to "I'd like a coffee with milk, please." and "How much does that cost?" I think others may find it handy to learn the following phrases, should they find themselves in a similar predicament to our own: "You are a police officer...why aren't you calling an ambulance for us?" and "Yes, of course the ambulance is an accident 100 feet from where we need it to be and now the driver must await the arrival of the police to file a full report. We'll just take ... read more

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