Heredia Travel Blog

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In the Heredia market, buying my mosquito net.

Knowing that we had an orientation meeting at 12.30, we (by we I mean; me and Geri, and the two guys who's dorm we’d invaded because "ours was too wet") set an alarm for 10.30 because we wanted to try to do some of our required shopping with Lauren's assistance before the meeting. But we awoke to Geri exclaiming that it was ten past twelve. So we quickly got up and rushed to the lobby to find Lauren milling around and about to go for breakfast at the hotel's restaurant.

Slightly confused, we joined her. Looking at the menu we wondered aloud if they would still be serving breakfast, at which point Lauren pointed out that it was only 10 o'clock.

Heredia, going to the Scotiabank.
Oops. Stupid time zones. So we ordered, and after only six or so incorrect meals, I received my toast with tomato and cheese (no idea what it was called), and papaya juice. Of course, we hadn't been to the bank yet, so we all had to borrow money from Lauren to pay. We didn't even know breakfast wasn't included.

So first things first, Lauren took us to get Costa Rican money from the Scotiabank. After thirty attempts of taking 50 colones out of the ATM, she helped me to get the 50,000 colones I wanted. We paid her back, and she took us to buy gumboots from the plastico store (insert humorous recount of shop assistants making fun of Aaron's large feet, and his foot getting stuck in a too-small boot), and mosquito nets from the market.

Upon our return to Hotel America we were greeted by Dani and the others from the group that had been in Costa Rica 5 days earlier for the Spanish Lessons.

Hotel America (very loose use of the word "hotel")
Together we went up to the orientation meeting, where we learnt about the Costa Rican toilet custom of throwing your toilet paper in the basket beside the toilet because the sewage system can't handle it. Oops. And we also learnt of the single best invention ever. One simply made for me - the Costa Rican way of life, or rather, the Costa Rican concept of time, which is to always be 15-20 minutes late for everything. 'Tico Time'. Yes, if I will take anything from this trip, it will be a full embrace of Tico Time in my everyday life (Shhh, whether or not I was late to everything before coming here is completely irrelevant).

After orientation I took Dani and her friend from Spanish lessons, Jay, to buy boots and mosquito nets, and they took me to get lunch. After getting only slightly lost we made it to a lovely little cafe/restaurant, where Dani and Jay managed to use their genius Spanish skills to order us fantastic sandwiches and guava juice.

Dani and Jay, trying to find the cafe.
The sandwiches were salad with some kind of brilliant bean paste (sounds weird, I know, but trust me, extremely delicious), and were randomly followed by a plate of steamed vegetables. After a short trip to the baño (the toilet, you know *insert knowing look*), we headed off to see some more of Heredia.

I followed Dani and Jay around Central Park and its random cow statues and creepy squirrels to the post office, where I watched a woman wrap 300 metres of tape around her package while Dani sent off a letter to her dad. We met Arlie and Jackson, who had been at the Spanish lessons and would be in our project group, outside the post office, and they were eating ice creams, so Jay lead the way to the ice cream store, because I "had" to try a Pops ice cream.

Some more of Heredia.
And I have to say, it was nice. I got an actual banana ice cream. None of this banana-flavouring crap, it had actual real banana bits in it. Mmmm.

At 4 we had our project meeting back at the hotel, where we basically just learnt what time to be ready tomorrow morning. After a short search for Jay, a short attempted journey (what were we thinking, Dani has no directional ability), a return to the hotel and another short search for Jay, we eventually found Jay, and she led the way to her and Dani's host family's house. On the way we were hit by the random "afternoon rain" they had explained at orientation, and saw a crazily large house, a  creepy black church and hundreds of people lining up for buses. Really, they were everywhere.

I don't even know.
Their host family are ridiculously rich and their house has like three separate security fences. After Dani packed her stuff into her comically large bag we sat around conversing with her host brother, who was the only one who spoke English, but their mother was lovely all the same. While we were talking there was suddenly extremely loud trumpets and drums coming from the street, which apparently meant the neighbours were having a party. I guess renting live bands with the occasional accompanying karaoke in your front yard is perfectly normal custom. And there is no such thing as noise limits, because gosh, it was loud.

After finishing off the night with ruining any reputation Dani had managed to build up over the last 5 days by showing her family and friend the Debbie in Dwellingup video on her host brother's computer, her host mum drove us back to the hotel via the ridiculous and terrifying Costa Rican roads.

Jay, Dani, Me.
Dani still wanted dinner, so we set out with Jo (another friend from Spanish lessons, who would also be in our project group) and Jay to find the place everyone else seemed to have gotten nachos from. We didn't find it, but we dropped Jo and Jay off at the Chinese restaurant, and went on around the corner to a dodgier area of Heredia. Dani bought bread, which weirdly turned out to have caramel in it, and I took a small chips from the fast food place ("Pollo Campero"). The till person thought I was crazy for wanting "no mas" than that (the second bit of Spanish I have learnt now). It came with ketchup and some mysterious pink substance, which I think might have been some kind of mayonnaise-bean paste mix, but who knows really?

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In the Heredia market, buying my m…
In the Heredia market, buying my …
Heredia, going to the Scotiabank.
Heredia, going to the Scotiabank.
Hotel America (very loose use of t…
Hotel America (very loose use of …
Dani and Jay, trying to find the c…
Dani and Jay, trying to find the …
Some more of Heredia.
Some more of Heredia.
I dont even know.
I don't even know.
Jay, Dani, Me.
Jay, Dani, Me.
Steamed vegetables. We didnt even…
Steamed vegetables. We didn't eve…
Central park with its random cow …
Central park with it's random cow…
And again.
And again.
REAL banana icecream. Thank you Po…
REAL banana icecream. Thank you P…
Heredia from the top of Hotel Amer…
Heredia from the top of Hotel Ame…
Across the road from the hotel.
Across the road from the hotel.
Danis host familys house.
Dani's host family's house.
16,646 km (10,343 miles) traveled
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photo by: diisha392