Jump to Content Area

Archive for the year 1999

1999

A Costa Rican Tale

November 19, 1999 by  

Share:
We arrived in San Jose at the start of a ‘typia’ rainy season afternoon storm. The airport itself was fairly basic, with no restaurants, one coffee bar, one cambio change counter that was surprisingly open and a small shop with a limited choice of duty-free perfumes, creams, cigars and coffee. We made our way through an orderly emigration queue that flowed smoothly and quickly. Aside for the numerous Spanish signs, I would never have guessed that we had just arrived in a Central American city. We came ill prepared in many ways. While we packed well for most occasions; all the ‘necessaries’ for third world travel, including numerous plastic bags, a tarp, mosquito coils and a first-aid kit, we read very little about the culture, economy and history of the place ahead of time. Through discussions with a few former American inhabitants, we learned early on that Costa Rica was a democracy and had been since 1949. We also learned that we couldn’t count on a black market for currency exchange, that U.S. dollars were excepted in most places, that ATM machines were plentiful, and that it was one of the safest countries in the region. One European described Costa…

Read more…


Costa Rica Early Thoughts

November 1, 1999 by  

Share:
The idea of exploring Costa Rica originally entered my head through a few people who had spent some time in the area, particularly Guatemala, Mexico, Haiti and Panama. While the latter few never had much appeal, the stories of Costa Rica and Guatemala drew me in, enough to start reading and exploring the region. I had read of the volcanoes and rainforests in Guatemala, and the hikes to the top of the mountains before sunrise, were you could sit peacefully amidst the dense clouds, mist and morning fog. As the sun would rise and the morning rolled in, a rich and vibrant jungle would be exposed before your eyes. Those who spoke passionately of their experiences in Guatemala and Costa Rica were the same people who marveled over the experiences in Thailand, Indonesia and India over a decade ago. Sharing these experiences and this passion and not yet having the opportunity to explore the Central and Latin American region, I had always wondered what a tropical rainforest would ‘feel like,’ how it would engulf you, sweep you away and bring you closer to nature. The stories that we had heard about Costa Rica prior to our arrival, never truly revealed…

Read more…