The Journal  

30 December 2005

San José

Author: Jeremiah

Photographer: Holly


San José , Costa Rica

December 15-17

We crossed the border into Costa Rica , refusing the help of border pigs and getting through in an hour. The first hundred miles of road that led away from the Costa Rican border was comprised of two types of road, those that were being repaired and those that needed repair. In one place we ran into the ditch trying to avoid cars abruptly stopped for construction, as the Pan-American passed through a green and nearly uninhabited farming country, lined with thick vegetation nearly growing into the road.

  Jeremiah waits in line for the customs office at the Costa Rican border.

As you near San José , the road improves, eventually becoming a four lane highway, as it rises from sea level to pass through the mountains that open into the valley that holds the Costa Rican capital. San José feels like an American city, from the suburbs where we got lost trying to find our way downtown to the billboards in English. American chains were everywhere, from Harley dealerships to Subways, tucked between buildings whose architecture is modern. There is little colonial or indigenous feel to the city and the Ticos, as Costa Ricans call themselves, on the streets wear jeans and talk on cell phones.

  City life goes by in a blur from our taxi as a man talks on his cell phone beside his Yamaha moto.

Downtown we found the national post office, which shipped our coffee without question. We continued to wander downtown after dark, the streets lighted with Christmas lights and lined with shopping malls and sports bars, where pre-adolescent holiday revelers showered us with confetti as we walked the streets. We spent the next two days running errands and catching up on our journals in a city that seemed to offer us little besides a place to relax.

  Downtown the city streets were crowded Friday night.

  Street musicians wander inside the Nashville bar to play for us and friends we met for dinner that night. The four-string banjo player and one-string bass musician jammed to Cuban and reggae tunes.

  Breads shaped like turtles peek from a window front.

  Living it up with free coffee, pan dulces (sweet breads) and the Lonely Planet guide beside the pool at our hostel in San José.



All photographs © Holly Marcus / Page design by Robin Marcus