San José, Costa Rica
After a mad check in at Los Angeles with the Latin American crowds, we took our flight which stopped off in Guatemala on route. We and 3 other people had to sit in the plane while the others disembarked to spend 45 minutes of our life experiencing the wondering we’ve all thought, what happens when you get off the plane? Well, you spend time with cleaners, it’s not that exciting. On our arrival into the capital we had a slight ‘India moment’ when dozens of Tico taxi drivers stormed into our path all offering a ride in their ‘dodgy’ cars. Luckily we had knowledge to pick those with an official yellow triangle and apart from having to walk to a different area of the airport to get it, we arrived safely. After a walk into San Jose you get a real sense of Latin America, lots of people sitting outside and dodgy dealings taking place around every corner; however, Costa Rica had a more ‘safer’ side with many patrolling police officers. It’s definitely a city that lacks character and history, even those you speak to never have great things to say about the city, it’s all about the wildlife and nature here. That aside, there are a few hidden attractions that wouldn’t be on the tourist map, firstly the emotional mannequins. What do I mean? Well, in every clothes shop there are mannequins and those mannequins all seem to have a style, emotional face and posture that I couldn’t help sat there imagining their life stories – I told you there’s not a lot to do in San Jose. Another random attraction was stood in the middle of the street, to be more precise it was on a podium and to be even more accurate it was a chicken. Yes. For some reason there was a chicken on a podium stood completely still in the middle of the shopping high street. It’s one of those ‘double take’ moments, but after finally shaking your head several times, you realise it’s not a dream – even weirder when there’s nearby police officers taking photos. In between our visit to San Jose we took a drive with friends to a lovely restaurant on the area of Volcano Poas. We sampled a traditional dish called ‘Gallo Pinto’ which was incredibly filling, basically it’s rice, beans, cheese, tortillas, chicken, fried bananas, coleslaw, potatoes and a boiled egg…so not much. Other Mentions: – Traffic etiquette seems to communicate in ‘beeps’, one is “thank you”, two is “MOOOVE!” – When at market stands, owners will tend to encourage you to buy by saying “everything half price”, however there’s nothing priced so how would you even know?