6 Days and 900 Miles – Day 1

My intention was to post as I went along. Its not that I couldn’t. Lord knows there is wifii almost everywhere down in Costa Rica. I was simply immersed in each and every moment! Oh my, the moments! I have loads of photos so I’ll post some of them for you.

From the moment we left the Ft Lauderdale airport it was a perfect day. There was a bit of turbulence as we rose above some puffy clouds but the flight went off without a hitch.

imagePhoto by Lisa Nelson – somewhere over the Everglades, ©2016

We had a rental car waiting on us when we flew into San Jose and the Avis courier picked us right up from the airport. It was so easy. Although we bought a paper map, I suggested we rent one of the Ezfind GPS Navigation tablets advertised in the airport when we landed. Since we planned on exploring the country on our own it turned out to be a God send. As anyone knows who has visited before, there are no street signs or names of streets in most rural locations. People don’t have house numbers or actual street addresses like we do in the US. They don’t need one. It all works perfectly well as it is. More about that later.
The Ezfind can get you anywhere throughout Costa Rica. It will even tell you detours to take if there is congestion or issues ahead. It will also notify you if “You’re over the speed limit” and although we found it very irritating to continually hear this message every time we bumped up over the limit by a smidgen, we were grateful since speeding tickets are $600, so the Avis agent told us.  If you have a Garmin, I’d suggest get a copy for yourself from Navsat before you go if you intend on doing any driving  http://www.navsat.com/en/maps/ .

IMG_20160306_173901_472.jpgPhoto by Lisa Nelson – La Paz Rio, Costa Rica ©2016

The first thing we did was travel up 126 to see La Paz waterfall. Since we flew in on a Sunday the place was swarming with people. Tourist buses, cars, motorcycles and pedestrians. Wow!

IMG_20160306_173809_492Photo by Lisa Nelson – La Paz Waterfall, Costa Rica ©2016

Winding through mountain roads on our way to Arenal we realized we were really hungry so we stopped at a wonderful restaurant called La-Choza de Laurel in La Fortuna. There I had my first cup of coffee made the traditional way using a chorreador. The waiter rolled a cart to our table and proceeded to grind fresh roasted coffee beans into a bowl. This was then loaded into the cloth funnel of the chorreador and boiling water was added. The freshest cup of coffee I’ve ever had dripped right into the cup the barista placed under the chorreador ‘sock’. Amazing!

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Photos by Lisa Nelson – La-Choza de Laurel, La Fortuna, Costa Rica ©2016

One thing I loved about traveling through the countryside, all the restaurants we stopped at were open-air establishments. There was always either ceiling fans going or wonderful breezes. And oddly I never saw a fly until we ate our first meal beachside at Playa Conchal. And come to think of it, with all the concern about the Zika virus in the US media lately, I never saw one mosquito until our last night in San Jose before we left to go home. Every place we went had open windows and fresh air. I can’t tell you how refreshing that was.

Here’s a photo of our marvelous dinner of typical Costa Rican fare consisted of grilled chicken, onion and peppers with corn tortillas, plantains, rice and beans and pico de gallo. IMG_20160306_202727_418Photo by Lisa Nelson – La-Choza de Laurel, La Fortuna, Costa Rica ©2016

After dinner we finally checked in at our hotel, Los Lagos in Arenal. The top of the volcano was shrouded in clouds that night so we weren’t able to see any activity but as we were concerned, sleep was the only thing we wanted at that moment.

Day two is next, stay tuned for more photos…

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