The first problem was that our plane's departure was delayed a bit. There were three issues: the original plane came in late, they were waiting on 60 passengers connecting from Washington D.C., and there was a flash rain storm, that shut down operations at the airport for about 15 minutes. This all combined to mean we landed about 90 minutes later than originally expected, which meant we missed the last shuttle to Monteverde.
Luckily, we're seasoned travellers and we had a fallback plan -- head into San Jose, find a place to stay, and catch the public bus early in the morning. How early? 6:30AM to be exact, which means we need to get to the terminal around 5:45 to ensure getting tickets.
The bus ride into town was interesting. There was lots of billboard advertising, mostly for cars and appliances, but we passed by a number of bus stops, where the ads concerned things like SIDA prevention and the illegality of child sex. We got to the city core, Annelies flagged down a taxi, and we made it to a nice hostel called Tranquillo Backpackers where we got a couple of dorm beds.
The next adventure was finding a phone so we could get in touch with our host in Monteverde. A fellow hostel vistor lent us a phone card, and we trekked out in search of phones, finding one in front of the Jade Museum of Art. We also found a pleasant garden, lots of loud birds, another park, lots of tourists, and we eventually found our way back to the hostel.
We went out to dinner where problem #2 happened. Taking the hostel girl with us, we headed to a restaurant called Avenue 2 that was recommended. We were having a nice conversation when I found myself much closer to the ground and in pain! I took a misstep on an uneven sidewalk stone, fell on the ground, and slightly twisted my ankle. Not fun! I hobbled the rest of the way, had a nice heart of palm salad and part of a bowl of vegetarian soup that just happened to have chicken in it :(, and then we made our way back, stopping so I could rest my foot and so we could watch some fireworks.
Comments from Annelies:
Just to clarify, it was more of a giant gaping hole in the sidewalk than an uneven paving stone. Also, to give the "vegetarian soup" its proper due, the waiter did comp it from our bill... and My traditional Costa Rican "Casado" was WONDERFUL.
Off to Monteverde manana...