Back to San Jose... again!

San Jose Travel Blog

 › entry 45 of 166 › view all entries
After spending four days going into Panama with the tour group I was now at the end of my Central America tour. I had to return to San Jose to take my flight to Caracas in three days time.

I went to the bus station with the group, who were getting their own bus to Panama City. I say goodbye to the group and went off to the ticket office to get a private bus to San Jose. Using my somewhat broken Spanish I found out that there was apparantly no bus that day and there would only be one with that company tomorrow. The woman at the office advised me to take a collectivo to the 'frontier' (border) and then get a bus on the other side to San Jose. I wasn't in any hurry so I went along with it.

I jumped in a collectivo to the border and we drove around for about two hours picking people up and dropping people off. The van was very heavily packed but it didn't stop the guy who tries to sell tickets from constantly yelling out the window at people on the street who might want a ride. When we got to the border I paid my enormous fare of $1.50 and checked myself out of Panama. I walked across the border and waited in line for about an hour to get myself stamped back into Costa Rica.

My mission now was to find a way to get to San Jose. I walked only about 10 metres up the road and saw a bus from the company that I was told was not running a bus that day! I saw a guy checking bags underneath so I asked him if he was going to San Jose and he said that they were and if I got on right now that I could just buy a ticket on the bus. I gave him my pack and jumped on.

I was seated next to an old guy who lived in San Jose but was originally from the United States. He was very keen to talk to me and I was happy to talk back. After a while it became obvious that he really didn't like the United States and where he decided it was doomed to be heading. He started diverging into a ridiculous conspiracy theory about the US government secretly acquiring land to give to China to pay for their debts and I started to tune out. The bus back took a long time and we got into San Jose in the evening. I took a taxi back to the same hotel where I stayed with the tour group the previous times and got a room for the next three nights.

I had two full days in San Jose before leaving for Venezuela so on my first I decided to get some shopping out of the way that I needed to do. I read about a shopping mall called Multiplaza so I took a taxi out there. It was a lot flasher than what I was expecting so finding a sleeping bag and mat for my next tour wasn't as easy as I had hoped. I eventually found a K-mart/Walmart style store that had sleeping bags but no mats. I hadn't been able to find any camping stores in my research of San Jose so I decided to get a sleeping mat when I got to Venezuela. I went and bought some clothes at another store but they wouldn't accept my credit card without a passport as identification, so I had to go all the way across the mall to the ATMs and back to pay for it.

On my last day in San Jose I spent as much of it as I could trying to update my blog. I walked into the city and did some last minute preparation for my next tour, like printing out documents and getting some more money.

I had a great time in Central America. There are so many contrasts of places to see in relatively small distance. It is just a shame I didn't have time to go for longer.
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San Jose
photo by: Isoinspira