Sunny in Granada

Published: January 31st 2008
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On Sunday I got off at Harlem and 125th again, this time walking East, eventually I hopped on the Subway

for two stops to Rockerfeller Center where I looked for tickets to SNL. Good thing I didn´t head there for

the 6am free ticket call, as the writers are on strike and no tickets to be had. Took me another 30 minutes

just to locate a bathroom before heading off to Jackson Hole for some of the best burgers in New York err

not, tasted like a lot of chemicalized beef. My meal the night before at Bobby Flay´s Mesa Grill on the other

hand tasted great, even if the small fries ($7) were a tad overpriced, the free basket of bread and

blueberry corn muffins helped fill me up.

After lunch I headed over to the MET, which is a must see if your in New York. I´m not a big fan of art per

se, but there is just so much there that your bound to like something. This time around there was a free

tour of the Modern Art Gallery, last time it was the Ancient Egypt Gallery, both were interesting, and worth

it. They run free tours till about 3 in the afternoon, so if you get there early you can hit a few. If your cheap

like me, you can just skip the ticket booth and walk in, it´s one of New York´s pay as you wish Museum.

After checking my watch, it was 5:30pm, and seeing as I had to meet Heath at 7 at Grand Central, I figured

I´d take the scenic route. Through Grand Park, past the Hilton that I stayed at last time I was there, over a

few Avs to Times Square and then left a number of Aves to Grand Central which is on 42nd Street...the MET

is on 82nd Street. Pounding the pavement is inevitable if your in New York unless you take cabs, as the

subway is always a number of blocks from where your going.

After picking up Heath, we went back to Times Square so Heath could try to find a Tshirt of the Marvel

Comics Supèrheroes, before racing back to Madison Square Gardens for some Royal Rumble Experience.

One of the funniest parts was that Madison Square Gardens security was confiscating ALL posters, two

garbage bins FULL (at our entrance) untill some WWE big wigs came down cursing about the lack of posters

in the audience. Security was finally convinced to let people in with posters, as well as allowing the few

remaining people that were coming through to pick through the garbage bins that had since been moved

close to the doors to encourage people to take them and Heath grabbed 4 for the fun of it. I´m

glad that most of the posters were taken, as you couldn´t see anything if people in front of you had

posters..."JOE" who came from England to see the event took some serious abuse due to his obstructive

poster, as well as some guys from Leferts Queens...yah you know who you are!! Tickets were pretty good,

close to the floor, loud and in your face. Actually crowd participation was also amusing, as the crowd

seemed to cheer and jeer in waves, the same people jeering and then exploding when their man was


Sunday was a bit of a crazy day, pushing the time constraints to the last possible moment. Throwing my

just dried cloths (2 min left on the drier) into my backpack 12 minutes before my last possible train left to

New York before hopping into Heath´s car and speeding to the train station. When I got to Grand Central I

changed to local train which ended up with about 12 kids in a food fight, before eventually switching to the

AirTrain to JFK. No time for sleep that night, as I had to be at JFK by 3:00 am. PS Had tickets to Letterman,

that I got the day before while walking through Times Square, had to guess announcers hair it

wrong, and the guys like, why don´t you ask that guy walking around in a bright red jumpsuit LOL. But I

didn´t feel like hiking it back uptown to the Rockerfeller for the 3pm check in and the 4:30 taping since I

down at 12th. Maybe if there was someone to "cheer" for, but the guest was from the 9th season of Big

Brother...I thought that was cancelled after Season 1.

Arriving at San Jose international airport, I quickly changed clothes and tried to find a bus going to Liberia.

Some guy kept trying to sell me a hotel for La Riveria, even though I clearly told him I was going to Liberia.

What was funny is that when I was talking to the taxi about a ride to Toyoda (the bus station on the

autopiste that has buses coming by every hour and a half to Liberia from San Jose), the taxi driver was

telling me it was $3, I was trying to get him down to $2, and the other guy was telling me $5 for the taxi,

which also made the taxi guy laugh in amusement as he repeated the cost was only $3. Eventually a bus

conductor a few meters away got ahold of me and got me a couple english tour guides who were going

that way anyway, so it only costs 75 cents on the bus, and fortunately the bus came no more than a minute

after we arrived at Toyoda (and 8 minutes late, thankfully).

Arriving 4 hours later in Liberia, after passing in and out of consciousness, I found the Guanacaste Hostel,

just down the street from the back of the bus station. $10 for a room with a private bath, and restaurant if

you wanted. They spoke english, which was nice. Hit bed early at 10, and was up at 6 to check on Tica

Buses. Was told the bus would be at 9 at Hotel Bramadero (across from the Burger King, Papa Johns food

court), so it´s a good thing I got there early, cause the bus passed by at 20 to 9. No problem paying the

driver, cost was $15 dollars to Granada. Border crossing was a bit of an issue, first the bus backed up for

about 25 minutes to let a few vehicles past, then I didn´t get my papers for leaving Costa Rica, so had to

deal with that hassle. Picked up a fellow traveler from San Fran there, and she only had to pay $7 for the

TicaBus to Granada, a much better deal, no way the trip from Liberia to Penas Blancas was worth $8. After

crossing Costa Rica, it was off to the Nicaraguan border, where we had to give our passport and $8 to the

driver, and then bring our bags and get in line for inspection. Again, when we got to the front we didn´t

have papers, so I had to go hassle the driver, who was having a private meeting with some border guards

at the back of the empty bus, and was not too pleased to be disturbed LOL. By the time I got my papers

done, the line for bag checking was gone, so I just went inside with my bags, were the gaurd took my

paper and told me to go to the bus.

Bag checking at the border is like a lottery. When I was in line without my papers, the guy in front of me,

gave his papers to the gaurd and then the gaurd made him press this big button, which was attached to a

red and green traffic light sitting on the table. When he pressed it, the light turned green so he was free to

go, no bag checking...if it turns red, you have to go inside, supposedly. Another Brit on the bus had the light

turn red for him, and he was told to go to the bus without getting his bags checked, so who knows. That

button is intimidating though.

After the border, it was another 2 hours or so to Granada, where I am now, sitting at the Bearded Monkey.

$7 for dorm, restaurant, free internet, private lockers for valuables, close to central park. Not necessarily

the easiest place to find at first, unless you ask a number of people for directions, as we got different

directions from all of them. It´s 3 houses from the fire hall, so hopefully there ain´t no fire tonight. Clean

and nice bunks, well, their at least twice as padded as the Guanacaste in Liberia.

Still trying to track down Chris.

Did have a nice meal at the Telepizza place. I initially saw some slices in the window out front, so I asked

for one of them. The guy started taking a plate out, and insisted I go sit inside, where I saw one of the

english speakers (from Alberta) sitting, so I sat down with him and another guy from Alaska. My slice never

did arrive, even though about 10 minutes after sitting down, the waiter came and told me it would be

another 10 minutes...what?? all he had to do was take the plate apart and put a slice on it. No matter, as

my friend from Alaska had ordered the grande pizza thinking Alberta would eat some, but he ordered I ended up eating some of his large pizza (au gratis), which had a price tag of $6, nice and

cheap, just how I like it.

Also bought a big bag of cut up green papayas with salt?? for 25 cents, they were good, but eventually I

passed them on to a vendor selling bread, who was thankful for the treat.

I´m out

PS Gecko´s everywhere


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