Day 1 - Arriving
We flew TACA, red-eye, from LAX direct to San Jose last night. I like to make the most out of my trips usually and so like to fly in the evening to save a day.
The drive from San Jose was going to be about 2 ½ hours to Arenal and poor Dallas got a little carsick so he had to lie down. We decided not to rent a car because I was afraid of, getting lost and the insurance, I hear that the companies aren’t very nice to you when you are trying to return the car and there are lots of unpaved roads. Many cars have GPS now though so it’s easier to find your way. We booked much of our trip through Anywhere Costa Rica, including our major transportation. So we drove in our big red “Tourismo” van – most are marked and journeyed to our hotel. We passed a lot of farms, sugar cane, coffee.
In Arenal, we stayed at a really cute hotel – Hotel Silencio Del Campo. It was an ongoing joke that our hotel was not Silent at all. They are building a 4 story resort next door so there was a lot of construction and our bungalow was really close to the main street so you could hear some road traffic…Silencio…hilarious. The hotel had their own hot spring in the back that was so recently built that Dallas pointed out some nails that were sticking out. They also had a baby pet crocodile in a fence in the back. It was really cloudy, we didn’t even know which direction Arenal Volcano was. It had to be pointed out to us.
I got to practice a little bit of my Spanish, and very important – learn the word for mussels here. Dallas is highly allergic and the first dinner dish that he had at the hotel’s restaurant, the Chef’s Tilapia had mussels.
Oh, and I made the mistake of doing a currency exchange at the airport, total rip off. The rate of exchange is $1 to 512 colons, they exchanged it at 419! It turned out though that they take dollars everywhere here!! But, I still like to pay by credit card, you get a better rate through the card company.