Waking up early that morning, I prepared myself for the long day to come. After eight hours on a bus and a complicated border crossing, I found myself back in San Jose, Costa Rica. Memories came flooding in of the time I spent here in 2006, which overall, was a wonderful experience. I was so happy to be back.
I heard that crossing into Costa Rica can be somewhat difficult, so I was kind of expecting to encounter confusion. Leaving Nicaragua, tourists are required to tip the government one last time. For how much money I have already funneled towards the government, I really didn’t mind. What’s another few dollars anyways? For the life of me, I could not find where to get my exit stamp. I asked some officials, and they informed me just to head on over. Alright…little different then I’m used to…but it’s all good.
I had a one kilometer walk, which isn’t bad at all, but in the heat, humidity, and the excessive amount of exhaust being spit out from trucks, it can seem to drag on. Finally arriving at Costa Rican customs, I proceeded to stand in the excessively long line to have my documents checked out. In Latin America, the concept of the line has yet to be discovered…that is, unless a security guard with a gun is enforcing it. There were numerous guys with guns, so for the first time since coming to Latin America, I actually stood in a line that held it’s form. Once my documents were checked, I headed out to catch a bus.
Everyone rags on San Jose, but to me, it’s close to being my favorite city in the entire world. I don’t know if it’s the weather, the surrounding mountains, or the fact that this town has everything you can possibly need, but it just draws me in. I compare it to the New York of Central America…yet better.
On arrival, I checked in to one of my favorite hostels in the world, Tranquilo Backpackers. The atmosphere is exactly what the name conveys…tranquilo. Some of my most memorable conversations in all my travels have taken place in this building, making it a great place to relax and enjoy a beer while engaging in conversation.
My sister was going to be landing in San Jose the next day, so I had some time to kill. During the day, I took to the streets and explored a nearby market. Although small, it offered numerous goods from all around Central America. Aftewards, I had a calling towards food.
To me, the food in San Jose is phenomenal. Costa Rican food isn’t well known, but since San Jose is becoming an international hot bed, food is readily available from all around the world. No matter what you are looking for, you can find it here. I found a little Chinese place that blends in the local cruisine…absouletly amazing. Ended up eating there a couple of times…you know, in an attempt to take on the little Chinese guy in an eating contest.