Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Officer and a Gentleman - Costa Rica

Although my time in Costa Rica was heartbreakingly short, I was quite sure of one thing - I would go up in those mountains. Regardless of where you stand in San Jose off in the distance you can see the big, seductive, green mountains that surround the city. I wasn’t interested in sharing 1 of my 2 precious days with a bunch of pasty strangers being dragged around the same old sites on a tour bus. I wanted to explore. I wanted my own little adventure with the mountains. And so I grabbed one of the guide books at the hostel, picked a town that promised the largest ox-cart in the world, and up into the mountains I went.

Hopping on a bus in San Jose isn’t quite as easy as it is here. Sure the city has a big Coca-Cola bus terminal, but my bus didn’t leave from there - it was one of the local runs that went from one of the many tiny terminals hidden down little alley ways within a twenty minute walk from the central station. A bus driver and a nice old lady tried to give me directions, but as I don’t speak Spanish and they didn’t speak English we played charades. I lost. I was lost.
Eventually I found the friendly policeman. There is no military in Costa Rica, which has helped them avoid the nasty political coups that have crippled too many Central & South American countries. What Costa Rica does have is la policia at every turn, some of them carry much larger guns than others. The officer I met was quite nice, and very chatty. He walked me around a corner and pointed out where I needed to go.
I smiled.
I thanked him.
I was off.
No? You want a hug?
Alright. Oh!
Because the hug came as an afterthought and a strange angle, I was pressed up against his gun.
Yes, a very real gun.
But I found the bus station.

And when it was time to transfer in Grecia, I found that bus station too.

Welcome to Sarchí.

The town is famous for their carpentry ....

..... but I was blown away by their dulce de leche.

And yes, mountains were seen and very much enjoyed.


Tara said...

Hi, my name is Tamires (Tara) , i'm from São Paulo, Brasil, and i liked your blog.
I'm going to Toronto in january for studing.
I have a blog too:
It´s in portuguese :( I want to do a post about your blog and othes canadians bloggers.
If you agree, i will send you some question for little interview in the post,
Thanks very much ...
Kisses from Brasil :)

ruby said...

Hi Tara,
This is a million years later, but I'd love to answer some questions if you still want to ask them.