Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Brief Encounter with Civilization

In our travels up north after leaving Cuerici, we stopped in San Jose for a day.  Our first initiative was to find food.  One of the guys in our group knew of a good place that also served vegetarian dishes (a non-issue for me, but it affected a majority of the group).  It was a nice eatery called Shakti, and I recommend it to anyone who visits San Jose.  Sorry, but I can’t begin to tell you where to find it since I have no sense of direction.  After eating our fill and ending the meal with milkshakes, we headed to the Avenue Central and walked around for a few hours.  We passed through the artesian mercado and the Mercado Central, both very interesting places.  After walking around the Mercado Central for 20 minutes, I realized that I had been there before! Once again, it was something I had previously seen during the Costa Rica Tree Climbing course in 2007.  Except this time I had a slightly better idea of what was going on.  We slowly made our way back to the hotel after spending five hours in downtown San Jose.  Needless to say I was exhausted. 

After napping, the next hour of the evening was spent looking up and down many streets for open restaurants, learning that many are not open on Mondays (it was Monday), and finally walking back to a small place about a block from our hotel, where we got grilled cheese sandwiches and heaps of French fries.  We walked back towards the hotel, stopping by a convenience store to legally buy some alcohol (it’s still a novel feeling), then we returned to the hotel and drank our beers around the pool, talking and enjoying the last of our free time in San Jose; the next morning would be spent driving up to our latest field station: Palo Verde.  However, while I am thrilled to be going back into the depths of the jungle, I am beginning to look forward to my upcoming homestay, where I will live with a family in San Jose for two weeks, taking Spanish classes and trying to imitate the Ticos.

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