One of the benefits of Big D is direct flights to many major cities and San Jose, CR was no exception. We left on July 4th, foregoing fireworks and the most frustrating part of our journey occurred at the get-go when our incompetent cab driver could not find our house or the departures area at DFW.
We got into San Jose in the evening and did not see much any of the city but temperature wise it felt good to be out of the Dallas furnace and into the 80's, albeit a bit humid. We grabbed a quick dinner at a soda and devoured the inevitable cosada of rice, beans, plantain and choice of meat. It was bueno. We stayed in Hotel Aranjuez, a quirky hotel in a relatively quiet residential part of San Jose. The hotel is comprised of five adjoining houses (former residences) that have been combined over the years. This leaves a veritable maze of interconnected hallways, alleys, dead-ends, courtyards, reading rooms, nooks etc. The rooms were clean and comfy, the breakfast was awesome. Tons of fruits, cereals and an accommodating omelet man. The breakfast setting is a leafy courtyard brimming with all kinds of crazy colorful flowers, plants, and trees (including hummingbirds flitting about). We were quickly being introduced to the fact that everything in CR is lush and green.
|Senor Colibri @ Hotel Aranjuez|
|Behind the hotel. Many of the houses in CR are small tin roofed affairs.|
|These beasts were about 12 foot long|
|We could never remember the name of this fruit (not Fiona). When we opened it up it was like a plum without the skin - so we called them "eye-balls". They were delicioso.|
Manuel Antonio is a small but renowned national park halfway down the country on the Pacific side. We stayed literally 100 yards from the park and about 400 yards form the public beach. Since we arrived in the afternoon, we hit the town beach first, saving the park for the next morning. The beach was nice but busy, with lots of natives hawking chairs, umbrellas, drinks, horseback rides, etc. The sand was great and the water near perfect. Dinner that night was at El Avion, a restaurant built around a Fairchild C-123 plane. Its claim to fame? It was one of two planes involved in the whole Iran-Contra scandal from the 1980's (remember Oliver North?) and this one ended up being abandoned in San Jose and in 2000 moved to MA. Food was meh, view was awesome, historical setting kind of cool.
|I'll have the Sandinista Special|
|Various images from inside Manuel Antonio National Park|