Friday, August 21, 2009

San Jose to Arenal / La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo

I met my Aussie friend in Costa Rica for a 6 day road trip while she waited for her new Visa to process. Girl has been traveling in the US for 3 months and wanted to come back for more.

So I get to the airport and we had decided at the last minute to rent a car. Thought we'd be really super extra brave. Well... there are no street signs in Costa Rica. No one mentioned this to me- ever. And I didn't notice the last time I was there because I wasn't the one driving.

We were supposed to meet between 2:30/3pm in front of the US consulate in downtown San Jose. I got directions from the car rental place and ended up... somewhere else. Somewhere very rainy. Okay, so it was raining everywhere in San Jose just then, but I thought ESPECIALLY where I was driving. After stopping at a few places where I tried out my special brand of remedial Spanish mixed with charades, I found it. American flags flying. Ahhh, what a great feeling.

But no Aussie waiting for me. Apparently, she had wandered off 10 minutes before i finally got there- in search of internets to get in touch with me. I stood under the shelter of my umbrella and waited. My phone rang- it was my roommate. My Aussie friend was chatting online with her from somewhere near by. Yay! A few minutes later, we hugged it out and scuttled back to the rental car around the corner.

She wanted to take me to a delicious local restaurant near where she had stayed the previous night. When we got there, I was surprised to see it was the same exact place where I had my first dinner in San Jose during my trip in 2003. It's a very unique, welcoming restaurant with staff who kissed and hugged us on the way out.

Off to La Fortuna, we went.

It's supposed to be a 3 hour drive, I think. We left at around 7pm and made it by midnight. Not bad, considering a total lack of street signs and a fragile grasp of the local language.

We stayed at Kokoro Resort just up the road from La Fortuna. It was a gorgeous, private getaway in between the Baldi hot springs resort and the bigger, fancier hot springs resort just up the road.

After checking in and looking around a bit, my friend asked about the resort's pool. He told us it was closed for the night, but that we could use it tomorrow.

Oooookay. We prepared a couple of strong cocktails in the room and snuck past our host a little while later to take a quiet dip in the gorgeous pool. The scenery even at night time is breathtaking and the water was perfect. We were careful not to splash and giggle, but I think he knew what we were up to. I gave him silent kudos for thinking of issuing great customer service first, rule enforcement second.

Thus ended my first day and night in what I refer to as "my country". I love it only second to my own. Possibly more, but shhhhh don't tell the patriots.


NWO said...

Oh, I'm actually jealous! CR is on my top 3 list of places I want to go in the next few years, I just haven't made it happen yet. You must send me a list of Best Spots.

Rassles said...

I would love to head over to Costa Rica. Look at you, just jetting over to all the continents. Just 'cause you can. You blow my mind.