Costa Rica Day 2 and 3 (part 2)

DSC05098 Day 2 included walking around flooded streets while attempting to find some breakfast.  Strolling into a hotel opposite of ours, we enjoyed a typical American breakfast only because the waitress told us that the Tico breakfast wasn't that great.  Even though I asked for fried eggs, I guess Costa Ricans interpret them as sunny side up.  I'll take that for the road next time I order to ask for fried all the way.  

DSC05099The entire day continued to drench us and there would be no end in site.  We decided after hearing that there was a chance of bridge closures to forgo staying the night in Coco Bay and head back to Liberia via autobus.  We ended up hitching a ride back to the city with Jose and bought him and his son some lunch as thanks.  He then took us to a couple of different hotels but without getting any deals, we paid $52 USD for a crappy room with no A/C.  Not that we needed the A/C, the only upside was that it was near the locale. 

More pictures after the jump!

DSC05108DSC05111While we scoured for cover underneath various awnings, Matt and I toured a church, walked around various shops and ran into a crazy looking mannequin.  So, of course Matt had to take a picture of it. Strolling around the grocery store, we took another picture of a fridge full of Imperial Beer and then walked around a little more where we entered a local high end bar (we had no idea) and retired there the rest of the night. 

DSC05112We met a guy named Otto who originated from Costa Rica but lived in the US for the past 10 years and he was nice enough to hang.  He told us a couple of stories, drove us to the other club which was a bust, drove us back to where we met, which ended up closing and then took us back to our hotel. 

That was it really, we woke up two hours early due to our phones not being calibrated to the local time zone, had some breakfast (still then eggs were over easy) and got conned into taking a cab to the airport.  You see, the cab driver initially charged us $20 USD for a 10km ride, but when we started walking away, he started up his taxi and came riding over to us.  He lowered his price to $15 and when we told him that we were going to talk to the bus station, he told us a lie that the bus doesn't take us directly to the airport.  That was a bust!  We found out later that there are buses to the airport from a security guard who chatted us up a bit.  I bought some coffee and a couple of souvenirs from the duty free shop (expensive as heck) and then we boarded up and took off.  The plane ended up full so we got coach seating but it wasn't too bad. 

After all the rain that came down during the trip, at least we learned quite a bit so that our next trip to Costa Rica will be that much better!

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Tropical Depression #13 vs. Costa Rica (part 1)

Looks like Matty P and I got the best of the rain during our 3 day excursion to Liberia, Costa Rica.  Arriving Tuesday early afternoon, sitting in Delta's First Class, we met up with what would have been our tour guide had the weather worked out the next day, Jose Avispas.  Avispas Adventures was highly recommended by my captain and after doing a little bit of random internet research, we knew that they would be a perfect choice for our quick trip.  It was easy working with the company and they came and picked us up as promised even on short notice.  They dropped us off at a hotel in Hermosa Beach, taking care of all the reservations, called Villa Huetares that they recommended costing us $45.00 USD /night w/o extras.  They did have WIFI using a long WEP key, two computers that were open for use, clean rooms but because of the timing, the villa looked like a ghost town.  The website shows a couple of pictures of the place it definitely shows off the best of what they have.  It wasn't a 2 or 3 star place, but it was a cheap place and "better" than a Hostel. 

DSC05066 It wasn't looking good for us at the time due to the torrential down pour, but it cleared up after a bit so Matt and I decided to head to the beach.  We met a local fisherman selling us a boat trip and with little haggling, we got a 3 hour trip for $120 ($100 + $20 tip).  Included was the boat, fishing poles, a crew of three (don't know why) and the guarantee that we would have a great time "fishing."  We caught two bait fish and hung out for a bit, but ended up with nothing.  The view was great, the boat ride gave us great views of the coastline including the all inclusive Four Seasons Resort, and I would have to to admit that it ended up being worth it.  Albeit disappointing with no catch and a couple of nibbles, but hey, it's fishing and we were in Costa Rica!.  Little did Matt and I know that it be the last tourist thing we would do. 

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That night, our tour local guy recommended that we eat at a local bar where we ordered Garlic Buttered Grilled Fish.  It was definitely a great eat.  I should have taken a picture of the plate but by that time, 1900 local, we hadn't eaten since the plane ride.  Hoping tomorrow would bring up better prospects, we decided to take advantage of the night as it cleared up and head out to Coco Beach. 

After arriving and searching around Coco Beach, we came to the conclusion that it was definitely a better place to stay so we asked around a bit on the going rate.  Coco Bay hotel was going to charge us $80 USD /night where as the hostel was around $15 USD.  We found a bar with some expats who offered us tourist advice and sat down.  We had quite a few beers, met some random locals, became friends with the bar tender (relocated from Gulfport, MI) and the cashier who chatted us us. 


Being a Tuesday night during the off-season along with the rain, no one was touring the area except for the few hookers and guys hanging about.  Definitely not the right time to come, but who would have known?  

Getting a ride back was easy after the local guy we were hanging out with called us a cab and back we went with no plans for the next day except to have some breakfast back at the restaurant where we had the awesome fish!

On the Way to Kos-tah Ree-ka

I'm on DL353 from ATL-LIR (Liberia, Costa Rica) travelling with Matty P in row 4! What an awesome way to start out the trip on first class with a short rib meal and New York cheesecake. We planned out a 3 day / 2 night trip on the whim and are basically just winging it. Should be a blast though as some of the plans are coming together slowly but surely. A captain recommended me to use a company called Aviapas which is owned by an American women and her Costa Rican husband so we thought we would give it a try. So far so good in that she found us a $45/ night hotel at Playa de Hermosa and their trips seem definitely doable budget wise. AT&T charges $2.29 per minute without the international rate plan ($5.99 month) which would lower the cost to $1.99 / min. Basically, you would have to break 20 minutes of talk time just to make it worth while. Text msging is defintely the way to go at 0.50 each way or better yet, I could find a wi-fi signal and try out fring! Data roaming is $0.0195 per KB which the operator told me would be quote a bit if I pulled up a YouTube video. She advised that one should turn off data roaming, push services, fetch services, 3G and any other extra curricular dealios on the iPhone in order to avoid any crazy charges. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that you could "purchase" 20MB for $24.99 which I think is a ridiculous ripoff. I wish that they just had a plan skmiliar to the Blackberry International pacakge. Oh well, I guess try still have a lot to learn...hopefully they will listen.