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bulletTravelogue Costa Rica - Day 2, Friday, 19th November 2010

From New York via Houston to San Juan and continuing to Poas Volcano area: 30 km (19 mi) driven by car

At 2:00 am New York time our night is finished. Due to the time difference we were awake even without an alarm clock after a refreshing sleep. At 3:30 am we take the shuttle bus to the airport terminal and proceed to the Continental check inn counter. First we’ll fly to Houston and from there to San Jose, Costa Rica. Our reserved aisle seats for the flight Newark – Houston were cancelled by the system. When checking in our baggage however we can settle this matter, and we are even getting an entire row for us with a blocked middle seat. Perfect! We have time only for a quick breakfast at Dunkin Donuts before our on time departure to Houston.

In Houston we have a smooth change to our connecting flight to San Jose. Upon our arrival at the gate the boarding is already in progress. 3 ½ hours later we have finally reached our holiday destination Costa Rica. There are long lines at the immigration counters, but the waiting time is shorter than expected. It only takes us 20 minutes to complete the immigration formalities. An ATM provides us with local currency. With 150,000 Colones our pockets are full of money. We still have to get used to this new currency. For 1 Euro we get abt. 700 Colones. It’s easier for us to convert Colones into US$ (1,000 Colones = 2 US$). The US currency is accepted almost everywhere on Costa Rica and is often also available in ATMs. So for US citizens there is no real need to change currency.

Licence PlateWhile waiting for the shuttle bus to Adobe Car Rental we have some fun with a Tico (the locals in Costa Rica are called „Tico“) who is trying to organise things here. He lists all German towns he knows, and all of them are „soccer towns“. The fact that my home town Düsseldorf is mentioned by him in the first place clearly shows his great expertise. ;)

It takes a very long time to complete the formalities at Adobe, but the people are very nice and offer a very individual service. It is the first time in our “car renter’s life” that somebody from the rental company explains every detail of the car to us. But we really appreciate that. Now we know how to activate the 4WD and we learn about some special features of the Hyundai Tucson.

Already at home we had installed a Costa Rica Map on our GPS, and now we are pleased to see that it works fine. A GPS is very recommendable here because road signage is often very poor. Since we are hungry our first stop is at a Taco bell. Then we Poas Lodgeproceed towards Poas Volacano interrupted by a short shopping stop at a very modern supermarket.

We drive uphill through a very nice green landscape and 5 km before the entrance to Poas Volcano we reach our accomodation for his night: Poas Volcano Lodge and Restaurant. They have a lot of excellent rating on tripadvisor which was the reason for us to make a booking here. The secluded location is great. On clear days you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city of San Jose and the surrounding area. Our deluxe-room owes his name first of all to the 42” plasma TV as well as to a sitting area offering a view into the valley. The bathroom is very spartan, but at least there is hot water available.

After having spent al lot of time in planes today and yesterday we know feel like stretching our legs. So we decide to walk along the road toward Poas Volcano. We are accompanied by the excited lodge owner’s dog. Unfortunately after a short while it starts to Poas Lodge - or roomdrizzle and we turn back.

In pouring rain we get back to the lodge. Now we have deserved a beer. We pay a visit to the rustic bar of the lodge and try the local beer “Imperial”. Not bad at all! A fire crackles in the fire place and the WIFI works fine. So I use the time to write my travelogue and check the Internet. The only drawback is the poor lighting which makes it impossible to read a book here.

We also have dinner at this place. The menue offers just a few items, but that’s o.k. since we haven’t expected a large selection. Food is tasty and inexpensive. But it has become fresh and uncomfartable. Even the open fire cannot warm the large bar/restaurant area.

At 8:00 p.m. we return to our room and shortly after that we pay tribute to tiredness. Our internal clock is still set to German time where it is already 3.00 a.m.

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