You can drink the water straight from the tap. Fantastic, reduce my plastic consumption and save a few colones.
The women here, like most of Central America, are magnificent. They have bosoms and bottoms and they love wearing tight t-shirts and short shorts that are all a size too small. But they are wonderfully confident about being all woman.
The people here are incredibly friendly, helpful and offer you drugs a lot.
The weather, we Brits love talking about the weather so no good for us. It's pretty much the same all year. Hot, but not too hot and humid. No harsh winters and a not so rainy rainy season. So fairly perfect all year round with not much to moan about.
Rubbish, or lack of. There's a bit more education about rubbish and so you don't see kids and adults throwing their plastic bags and bottles out of the bus windows. There are bins to use and people use them. Novel.
Bugs, well there's a few but not so many that I have to slather on insect repellent all day and night.
Stuff to do, there's shit loads to do here. Zip lining, cloud forests, rain forests, turtle sanctuaries, sloth sanctuaries, white water rafting, beaches galore, hiking trails, coffee plantations, chocolate factories and the list goes on. One catch to all this amazing activity...you need shit loads of money to do it all. Pretty much everything, even hiking trails, have a charge or you have to have a guide. And, unfortunately, the charges are not a just few quid but ridiculously huge sums of money.
Anyway, on to what we did do.
We spent a week in a cute little apartment in the suburbs of San Jose, a city of a little over 2 million people and chilled a bit. We visited Heredia, a small town about 20kms away which was a non event. Then from there visited another town called Barva. This was a curious little place with strange animal heads on spikes over the bins and signs and 4 parks around the town that we thought would give us a place to walk to. After the second shite park that was locked and overgrown with a concrete slide in it, we gave up and got the three buses home. So we spent about six hours on various buses and had a slightly bizarre day.
|Barva - Town of decapitated heads|
We did find a great local market for our fresh fruit and veggies and tried a local dish, Churreada. It's made of, yes you guessed it, corn. It's the same stuff they make those f**king tortillas from but stuffed full of cheese and fried in a griddle. I hate to say it but it was actually very tasty and filling.
|Post office San Jose|
We wandered around the city for several days taking photos of the theatre and post office and the numerous churches and parks. Oh, talking of parks, there's a huge one called La Sabana park on the outskirts which is also nicknamed the lungs of the city. It's absolutely gigantic and facilities for rollerblading, cycling, football, skateboarding, running, speed skating velodrome and picnic areas with BBQs and a vast lake used for fishing and pedaloes. It was a beautiful day and it was really busy.
The architecture around the city, and most of what we have seen of Costa Rica, is a bit confused. There are a few beautiful historic buildings but then it seems as though you can do whatever you like without consideration of what your neighbours have or what might be tasteful. And, for a safe place,there were bars on windows and razor wire on most places. But they do do outdoor/indoor spaces well. Lots of covered areas for sitting and chatting but almost like they're living in their garage.
|Build what you want|
|One of a band of Coati|
(or whatever the collective term is.. You decide)
So, done a city and a cloud forest now for the beach. We decided to visit the Caribbean coast as the Pacific coast in El Salvador and Nicaragua had been for the surfers and we thought Costa Rica may be the same. So we ended up in a small town called Puerto Viejo. A bit of a drag from Monteverde, two bus journeys, each about four and a half hours long both of them ending up on the sunny side of the bus and one with no air con, the other with no room even for my little legs. The joys of travel...Puerto Viejo and a border crossing to follow.