Eco-Expedition Costa Rica 2000
Jun 8-19, 2000
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San José

June 8, 2000

Day 1: After a world of difficulties and a streak of bad luck, I'm finally in Costa Rica. My mind is still going about all the ideas I got at the last HT2000 and DL2000 conferences, and still thinking about all the issues at the office. With a little effort I managed to switch my mind to attend to the immediate situation. I must set base, somewhere centric and easy to find, somewhere safe where I can start getting acquainted with the city. So I choose the Gran Hotel de Costa Rica. It's a bit expensive ($60 for a double), but it's very centric, (in downtown, next to the Teatro Nacional, so we can walk everywhere and save a few dollars on taxis), easy to find since it's a landmark, and it's a safe place. Later with more time, we can find cheaper options. Once set there, I have a few hours for myself. So I start wandering around downtown. I visit the Teatro Nacional and explore the surroundings. First I find a cybercafé which I'll need frequently. I also contact Nana and we make plans for some "bear-itas". Finally, I confirm our reservations for the Pacuare. Now I really have some free time, so I go to the Café Britt inside the Teatro Nacional and then I devote the rest of the afternoon to people-watch:

People in San José looks very similar to the people in any other Latin American city, although the dress code might be a bit more casual. It's about five and people are going home back from the office. The attire is the traditional shirt and tire, but here nobody wears the suit's jacket. You can often see tourists groups on the streets, much of them from the US and on their late teens (there are a lot of summer programs to learn Spanish). Even though San José has a varied population, tourists are easily identifiable since they are the only ones wearing shorts and hats, and they are always seen carrying a backpack.

Nacho and I exchanged just a few messages about where and how we'll meet here. Plan A was that I'd meet him at the airport when he arrived. This failed as he lost his flight in Los Angeles. S ince it's raining and I don't want to spend 4 hours waiting. So I ask the airline to give him a message telling him the hotel name. Then I go back to the hotel hoping on the airline personnel. We have plan B, which is to meet tomorrow at 12:00 in front of the Museo de Oro. And a last resort Plan C, to use e-mail to see what happend. However, on the way back talking to the taxi driver, I gave him the Nacho's name. This was a lucky thing, since the airline did not deliver the message, but when Nacho walks out of the airport, there was the taxi driver with a sign with his name. So he drove him straight to the hotel. So much for Plan A, B, and C.

June 9, 2000

June 18, 2000