Tag Archives: san jose

Day 1 – Arriving in San Jose, Costa Rica and driving to Puerto Viejo

YouTube Landing in CR!!!

So we got to Costa Rica on June, 17th 2009.  We flew into San Jose, scooped our packs and rolled out through customs with ease.  We found the shuttle to Alamo and picked up our car.  I rented a local cell phone from Alamo for about the same price as the place that screwed me and I don’t have to worry about their sketchy delivery process.  We decided we’d head straight for Puerto Viejo.  It was about 3 hours or so from San Jose.  Puerto Viejo was pretty much the only place we knew much about.  The guy I bought my boat from told us about a place called the lotus garden.  They had food and a room, so we called to reserve a spot.  We have since learned not to reserve rooms if you want the best rate.I got sleepy along the way so we got some energy drinks called max malta from a gas station.

all you can eat sushiWe arrived in Puerto Viejo around 9:30 local time and chilled and got some dinner. I had some pretty bangin all you can eat sushi and Lauren had tilapia with lemon and honey.  After dinner we got a room called Hiro and dropped off our stuff so we could check out a couple local bars and sample the local beers, imperial and pilsen.  I prefer Pilsen and Lauren prefers Imperial.  Then we each got a Long Island Iced Tea and stumbled back to the hotel.

Two days before the big trip!

Only two days left until I’m off to Costa Rica with Lauren to backpack for 2 weeks. Things are starting to shape up a bit better.

ol laurenThere has however been a slight change. Lauren will be going to Costa Rica on the 16th and I won’t be arriving until the 17th. She’s staying about 5 minutes from the airport in San Jose. I’m guessing she’s just going to hang out and stay relatively close to the airport. I really wish I was going but travelocity is AWFUL. This is definitely the first and last time I will use them for ANYTHING. Good luck getting someone who isn’t an Indian named Tom. I spent 4 hours navigating their maze of automated phone lines and worthless customer support. I may have found a way to get a credit back but a lot of good that does us NOW.

Anyhow, some of you might be wondering how illstreet is going to run while I’m trekking around the hillsides and remote beaches of Costa Rica. Well fortunately, most of Costa Rica has relatively decent TDMA cell service. You can’t do a pay as you go plan or get a temporary phone number in Costa Rica because their systems are overloaded. GSM lines won’t have any space for new numbers for three years!

So as a result I’ve had to rent a TDMA phone from cellphonescr.com. So far they’ve been relatively slow with communication and they haven’t been particularly accommodating but you can get unlimited minutes for about $13 a day. Additionally, they deliver the phone to the airport. I’m a little concerned about the delivery process but hopefully it will be smooth. Additionally, I purchased a phone matrix system and 1-800 number for illstreet that will forward to my cell phone for $.23 a minute in CR. This purchase was probably WELL overdue and I’m pretty psyched to see how it works.

So now you’re probably like well yeah, you can talk to people but how are you going to find your away smart guy? Ha! I’ve got that covered too. We have a 4 wheel drive SUV reserved (with rental insurance of course) so we will be driving the long distances between regions and then we will explore on foot for a couple days. Costa Rica is only a few hundred miles long and a couple hundred wide. For offroad, I downloaded an awesome and FREE TOPO map for my Garmin from http://rwsmaps.griffel.se. Thanks to that dude!

For routing and getting out of San Jose, I bought a map from NAVSAT off ebay. They’re the only company authorized by Garmin for mapping CR. I did however find this and there is a torrent seeded on piratebay as well.

Hopefully tomorrow I can post a little something about all the gear I bought. I have tons to write about still so keep up with the blog! We’re going to see volcanoes, sea turtles, monkeys, rain forests, cloud forests, beaches, awesome surf breaks, awesome wind surfing/kiteboarding areas, etc. Also, I haven’t even written about everything that has changed in the states for me! I just moved into an absolutely massive house on the marsh with a three car garage and awesome dock (plenty of room for a nice home office and my cars). I’m right on the 14th hole of the club’s golf course so I’ll be taking up golf I spose. I also bought a ski boat 🙂 Anyhow, stay tuned for details!