Kapoors Year 7: Europe/Ecuador/Peru travel blog

A Bit Of A Rough Ride Coming Into San Jose, But What...

And An Equally Beautiful Living Room At The Abierta Bed And Breakfast

Our AirBnB Host Darrylle Stafford, A Gracious Man In A White Kurta

Our Favourite Part Of Abierta Breakfast, A Dish With Rice, Beans And...

The Next Morning We Rose Early To Visit The 'Feria', But Clearly...

We Had To Run The Gauntlet Of The Fresh Fish Stalls, But...

A Little Further On We Spotted This Goldfish Vendor, Hope These Don't...

The Pinkest Guava We've Ever Seen

One Of My Favourite Fruits, Papaya

We'd Never Seen This Root Vegetable Before - Quequiste

Onions With Twisted Stems

Garlic With Their Long Stems Tied Together

Yummy Plantains

Calla Lillies And Hydrangea Blossoms

Beans Of All Colours

I've Never Met A Bean I Didn't Like Immediately

Fresh Red Chillies To Add A Little (Or A Lot) Of Spice

Apparently, These Flowers Are Cooked Together With Eggs, A Local Speciality

The Most Brilliantly Red Watermelons I've Ever Seen!

These Pumpkins Are Literally Glowing In The Morning Light

An Here's The Decades Old Saw That Was Used To Cut Them...

As If The Market Wasn't Exciting Enough, A Train Came Chugging Down...

Everyone Had To Stand Aside To Let It Pass, 'Right Of Weight'...

The Cars Were Piled High With Gravel, Stones And Other Rocks

I Waited To See The Caboose, We Don't Have Them On Canadian...

Anil Followed Right Behind Carrying Our Carrots And Radishes

And This Fellow Was Heading The Opposite Way With A Much Larger...

Our Host Told Us This Sign Is There To Help People Find...

Anil Spotted The Avocado, One Of His Favourite Vegetables (Fruits?)

This Was Something I'd Never Seen Before Either, Will Have To Find...

Lovely Baby Squashes, All Sorts And Colours, A Carrot Here And There...

Anil Spotted The Sugarcane Juice And Was Transported Back To His Childhood...

The Woman Showed Me How She Crushes The Cane To Extract The...

The Cane Is Completely Flattened, All The Juice Dribbles Out Into The...

Anil Has The Biggest Smile On His Face, It Tasted Just Like...

We Were Tempted To Eat A Piping Hot Corn/Cheese Tortilla But Remembered...

Darryll, Our Host, Stocked Up On Fresh Flowers For The Living And...

He Can Fill The Whole House With Flowers For $10

No Wonder People Love Costa Rica! Fresh Fruit, Vegetables And Flowers, A...


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BACKGROUND

The National Geographic Traveler describes San José in this way:

Perched among a crescent of mountains, San José enjoys an enviable setting in the heart of the Meseta Central at 1,150m (3,773ft). The compact city of 300,000 enjoys what National Geographic dubbed one of the three best climates in the world, with temperatures that hover around 21C (70F) daily year-round.

San José clings to a provincial feel despite sprawling suburbs that now claim 1.3 million residents – one-third of the nation’s total. San José can never be called colonial quaint. The city was founded as late as 1727 and has relatively few colonial architectural glories.

The main commercial boulevards are little strips of America, with neon signs blaring the offerings of fast-food outlets, car dealerships, strip clubs and shopping malls. In many ways it remains a working-class city where social life is based around the local corner store.

KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

After finishing up our travels in Panama, Ecuador and Peru, we found ourselves with an extra week before we wanted to be in Mesa to see Audrey and pick up our car. We wanted to find a place to spend that week, somewhere in Central America seemed the most interesting, though we could have gone to Florida as we’ve never been there before.

After looking at all sorts of flights to and from various destinations, we settled on Costa Rica. We felt we didn’t want to run around too much sightseeing, as we were facing a long driving trip from Mesa, AZ out to Los Angeles and then up the Pacific coast all the way to Canada. However, we didn’t want to spend the whole time in the capital, San José either, so we settled on two nights upon arrival, and two more nights after some time at a beach resort.

Anil managed to find a great guesthouse on AirBnB for our time in San José, and then we located a secluded resort on the Pacific Ocean for our four nights at the beach. The owner of the guesthouse picked us up at the airport; he told us to look for a tall man wearing an Indian kurta/pajama. He drove us through the busy streets to his lovely home in the suburbs.

The next morning after a stunning breakfast of fresh fruits, typical Costa Rican pinto gallo (beans and rice) and great coffee, he invited us to join him on his weekly Saturday morning market trip. He stocks up on fresh fruits and vegetables for the coming week and always returns with armloads of tropical flowers for the house. I was stunned to learn that he can fill the house with flowers for only $10 US.

Darryle, our host, helped us to arrange for transport to the resort after our second night at the guesthouse. We booked the return trip as well, making it easy to get back and forth in a shared air-conditioned van.

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