Its more than luck. Its called being blessed. I would say that I am blessed. We had Labor Day long weekend during 1st week of September. Generally, people from the Bay area go to San Diego, Los Angeles or Las Vegas. Few stretch and manage to visit Niagara or Washington or Seattle or Chicago.
But I ended up going to an exotic place very few would even dream to go and still fewer mortals who would actually go. Got once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the Central American country of Costa Rica. It was decided that Gautam and I would go ahead with the trip after all the initial indecisiveness and miserably failing in ticket cancellation. We had no other choice but go on the trip.
No plans, no bookings, dont know where to go and what to do. We just set off with a vague idea that we wanted to trek through the rain forests of Corcovado and watch an active volcano.
The moment we landed, we realized language would be a huge problem. Not many speak English, even in the capital of San Jose. But people are very friendly and helpful. We could do our way through gestures and during our course of stay, learnt decent Spanish to survive. To ask for drinks, food and route.
Landed in San Jose from San Francisco. We knew we wanted to go to Puerto Jiménez. It is the largest town on the Osa Peninsula where the Corcovado National Park is situated. There were no direct flights to Puerto Jiménez from San Jose that day. We were suggested to take a flight to Golfito (meaning little bay) and take a ferry ride for 2 hours. We did not want to waste any time further. So bought tickets; we had 2 hours to wait.
Decided to go to San Jose downtown, have breakfast and exchange for dollars for Costa Rica's currency Colones. San Jose is a nice city, people ride 2 wheelers which look like the ones we had during early 90s. Had a scrumptious Costa Rican breakfast and got our dollars exchanged. Roamed around a bit; the taxi driver was trying to explain me through his gestures not to be careless with my belongings. His efforts I must praise, he had feraful expression on his face to show this place had thieves and that I be careful.
Spanish everywhere. People, learn Spanish. It would help. Its going to one of the major languages of the world!
This roughly translates to "to make peace is to reduce the speed"
Costa Ricans are very obsessed with their 'bandera nacional' :-) National flag that is. Its draped everywhere and anywhere, its showcased wherever possible.
A traffic signal in downtown San Jose
Typical Costa Rican breakfast - Arroyo Pinto which is Rice with Black beans, fried sweet plantain, omelet.
A government building.
Matchbox size buildings
As seen from the flight. The fluffy clouds playing hide and seek. Those rivers criss-crossing the green landscape to join the sea. The foamy wave bordering the ocean like a delicate lace.
The flight radar screen
Now why would I miss the chance of getting clicked with the flight in the background and 2 handsome and smart pilots for company!!
Waiting for the ferry to Puerto Jiménez
A slab which reads Republic of Costa Rica, Central America
The ferry ride just proved how the unplanned and hasty decision can also be worthwhile and thrilling. The most beautiful journey and I kept pinching myself to make sure all this was true.
The town of Puerto Jiménez. Largest in Osa peninsula with a population of 1780. The country is close to the equator and has tropical climate throughout. The season now is rainy in this southern part and hence the rains.
That evening, we had to book return flight back to San Jose. At a travel agency, this man was amused trying to pronounce our names. Captured his amusement.