North America · 10 Days · 60 Moments · August 2009

16 August 2009

15 August 2009

14 August 2009

13 August 2009

12 August 2009

11 August 2009

We woke up early, still hungry but well rested and in a much better mood then last night. Now, with the sun shining through the huge windows we started to look around and really appreciate the room we were in. A large room with a queen bed and 2 twin beds, a table with chairs, a balcony with a very nice view of the volcano in the distance, a huge walk in closet and a bathroom with a nice size shower (with hot water).

10 August 2009

9 August 2009

8 August 2009

Taylor's Place $40 a night
The minibus slammed the breaks and stopped in the middle of an empty road so we can see a young Three Claw Sloth... this extremely slow animal has virtually no natural predators and that was attributed to the toxic algae growing on its fur, but is need be it can also make good use of it’s long strong claws normally used for climbing and hanging on trees A very short distance away from the sloth we also had a chance to view howling monkeys playing in the trees at the edge of the road.
Our last part or the transfer/tour was by boat ...faced with a choice between a boat or a small propeller plane the boat won. Once everyone was on-board the brim of the boat was very close to the water which did not help in adding any confidence, however once we got going and after a few relatively fast turns and no water entering the boat we relaxed a bit…at least I did. The view of the jungle overgrowing on the sides of the canal was breathtaking. Tropical flowers, birds and animals welcomed us at every turn of the canal. We could not wait to arrive in Tortuguero and explore more of this wonderful place.
The first wonderful stop was to view a point were two rivers join, one was coming from a volcanic mountain and was very rich in sulfur, from the top of the bridge it looked muddy and yellow, the other was coming from the jungle and had a wonderful blue/green color.
Did you know that the blue bags covering the bananas to ensure all the bananas ripped at the same time avoiding a waist of crop? ...Also that green bananas are toxic and can not be consumed off the tree?….so if you ever wonder why you got tummy aches after eating an unripe banana, now you know…
What impressed me the most is that nothing was going to waist. Even the banana shoots where being sent to be transformed into paper, toilet paper and other things.
Breakfast time... fresh fruit, eggs, the traditional Gallo Pinto (rice and beans), and a coffee to die for...all part of the tour
Tom: "if you look on the right you see a river that tourists go white water rafting on....if you look to the left you see the mangled bodies of the tourists (joking)
Rafael, our Tortuguero guide, arranged our transfer from San Jose to Tortuguero with Jungle Tom Safari, a family owned tour company which offers day trips and transfers to various places. When Tom met us at the hotel and asked us if we speak Spanish we answered honestly "a bit" and I was left to wonder how will this long transfer play out since Tom only spoke to us in Spanish…. The pleasant surprise came when we were all on the minibus and Tom announced us that since most passengers were English speakers the tour will be in English…and his English was perfect, no accent at all.

7 August 2009

Plaza de Cultura turned out to be a wonderful hanging place for locals and tourists, aspiring artists and musicians. Across from a huge 2 floor very modern McDonald’s a small church group was performing some religious songs in an effort to collect money for their church. The wonderful voice of an older gentlemen singing a song based on the “lost son” story caught our attention and like many others we stopped and enjoyed the “concert”.
Because we arrived late my plan to visit a few of the museums did not happen, a bit disappointed we decided to head to Plaza de Cultura and in the process look for a restaurant.
Our room was a beautiful Spa Room located on the 8th floor, a corner penthouse room, right across the hall from the rooftop outdoor Jacuzzi and a view of the Central Avenue Boulevard. A huge king size bed with exquisite, impeccable white sheets and a cloud like mattress was looking extremely inviting after a long flight. The glass enclosed 2 person Jacuzzi was a great feature that any couple would greatly enjoy, not to mention that since our room was a penthouse our Jacuzzi also featured a great skylight….What can be more relaxing and romantic then a Jacuzzi and the night sky?
While there were more affordable hotels available the location and amenities of this hotel made it my choice. Located on Central Avenue Boulevard, a  pedestrian-only street about a bloc away from Plaza de Cultura, offers modern elegant rooms with bilingual staff.
Arriving in San Jose almost 5 hours late I was glad to see that it took us almost no time at all to exit the airport and since we traveled only with our carry-on bags we did not have to wait in the long baggage claim line. I was even happier to see that the private transfer I arranged with the hotel was waiting for us
15 min delay...not to bad