San Jose, Costa Rica
Talking with a fellow traveler this evening I realized that for the past few weeks I’ve basically skipped over the general tourist spots in Nicaragua and plan on doing the same in Costa Rica. There was no volcano surfing near Leon, nor did I set my sights on Granada or hike any volcanoes on Ometepe.
I also don’t plan on spending much time in Costa Rica. Until a normal two hour bus ride turned into five hours I was planning on spending less than 36 hours in the country. Costa Rica just seems to cater to American tourism and I’m finding it quite annoying. Partly because of the way Americans act while traveling and partly because of the amount of tourism infrastructure in the country. So, there will be no zip lining, jungle treks, or laying in thermal pools in Costa Rica for me. Which is fine because I’ve done just about all of that in other places throughout Central America. The fact that most Americans believe the rest of Central America is ‘dangerous’ means that it costs a quarter of the price to do these same activities elsewhere.
The only exception to the last sentence written are the capital cities of any country in the CA-4. They are, justifiably, not places people want to be. For the past five months I’ve avoided capitals and when I’ve needed to spend any amount of time in them tension levels rise and my personal security level reaches code red. The same cannot be said when entering San Jose. Other than Panama City, San Jose is the best capital city to travel through in Central America. After the Nicaraguan jungles I am once again in a place where I don’t have to ask myself if there will be an ATM machine or if it’s possible to buy a beer or have internet access in a particular town. San Jose is a breath of fresh air after spending a couple weeks boating down rivers and staring at jungle. Seeing the golden arches and crowds of transvestites on street corners is a welcome site.
|From Solentiname Islands 2011-01
My only photo taken in Costa Rica. I had to get my photo in the Samuelito bake shop.
After the longer than expected five hour bus ride mentioned above I’m staying a total of 48 hours instead of the expected 36 hours in Costa Rica. Rather than spend Saturday on buses I’m spending it walking around down town, making some phone calls and doing laundry (much needed since the last time my clothes were washed in a washing machine were the Bay Islands of Honduras).