Since Katie decided to fly home early from Costa Rica and I accompanied her to the airport, I once again found myself in the capital city of San José. My previous stay there found me unimpressed and eager to move on. This time was a bit different. Maybe it was because I was alone this time, or maybe because I had almost two weeks to recover from the initial culture shock, but my second and last visit to San José finally allowed me to see the city’s hidden beauty.
I woke up the day after dropping Katie off feeling pretty unmotivated to do much of anything and presumed I would just laze around the hostel all day, but by time I got downstairs for breakfast everyone was already gone and my plan to veg out quickly lost its appeal. So, I decided I might as well try and make the most of it. I grabbed a map from the front desk and headed back to the downtown pedestrian streets.
The city had a different feel to it this time. I felt more comfortable, more confident, like this place that I had visited two weeks earlier was now a safe home base, my old stomping grounds. I felt bolder and more willing to explore; so I did. A couple of old churches, the National Theater, and another loop around the clogged pedestrian streets. Here are a few photos from San José the second time around.
Deciding I had seen enough of the city this time around, I headed back to the hostel where I met a young girl, Alice, from Minnesota and her puppy, Chachi, that she rescued from the streets of Dominical.
After a dinner of fresh vegetables, beans, and rice, I met several of the other guests of Gaudy’s Backpacker Hostel in one of the common areas. Ambrose, from New Zealand taught us all a card game that required us all to count up to thirteen in Spanish, and a Colombian man, who’s name I’ve now forgotten, introduced us all to the game of dominos.
This was definitely one of my favorite hostel experiences in Costa Rica. From left to right we’ve got the U.S., Germany, New Zealand, and Colombia. And I guess, technically, Chachi is Costa Rican. Five nationalities in one room! That is one of the reasons I love traveling.
The second half of my trip to Costa Rica, now solo, would prove to be very different from the first. While my time with Katie was spent mostly lounging by beaches, my time alone found me hiking in lush rainforests, swimming in an extinct volcano, relaxing in hot springs with a couple girls from Jersey, cliff jumping into a pristine, jungle river, and bungee jumping from the highest line in Central America. Of course there was plenty of beach lounging as well, but I’ll save that for another post.