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Published: August 23rd 2007
I've been in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, for a couple of days now, and I think 2 days is more than enough! As my guidebook says, nobody falls in love with San Jose, it´s just a convenient stopping-off point for the rest of the country.
It's a busy little city, with lots of traffic and noise, street traders selling things from umbrellas to spiderman masks, each shouting out their sales patter one after the other, buskers who can barely sing or play an instrument, and lots of people shoving leaflets into your hand as you walk past them. It's also quite an easy city to get lost in, as few of the streets have signs on them so you have to walk a few blocks to actually figure out where you are. I've got my bearings now though.
On the plus side, it's clean, friendly, there are lots of cafes and parks, some nice old colonial buildings, and it looks to be situated in a lovely location, surrounded by mountains and volcanos which can be glimpsed in the distance between buildings. Also, and I hope I'm not speaking too soon here, it seems fairly safe and there are no mozzies around.
Unfortunately, it's the rainy season at the moment which means the day begins brightly enough (today was glorious sunshine) but around midday the sky turns black and the heavens open for a couple of hours, accompanied by thunder and lightning. Then it brightens up again for a couple of hours before repeating the process. There's not much to do in the rain other than sit in a cafe watching the world go by, which happens to be one of my favourite pastimes. It makes a change from Starbucks in Reading. Actually, there are a couple of museums I should probably visit, but to be honest, exhibitions of jade and gold statues don't really appeal to me.
I´m trying to sample as much local food as possible during my trip, which in Costa Rica means beans and rice, and lots of it. Breakfast is beans and rice with scrambled eggs, lunch is beans and rice with meat or fish. I haven´t had any evening meals yet but I suspect it may contain beans and rice. It's actually very tasty, filling and cheap, although it may get a bit boring after a few days.
My first group tour begins tomorrow, although the first day is actually set aside for everyone to get to San Jose, so I may have another day of wandering around. At least I'll get to meet the group and hopefully go out for a drink. I can´t wait to get to the Caribbean coast on Saturday, where rainforests and reefs await me.
One last thing, which will be of no interest to most people reading this apart from the few Marillion fans. I was sat in a bar round the corner to my hotel last night, and they played Kayleigh! It doesn´t take much to get us excited!
Speak soon (hopefully with some photos)
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