Thursday, February 8, 2018

Oh my gosh, it has been a long time since I have blogged anything so my fingers are a little rusty.
Less than two weeks ago we were in Florida visiting Disney World. I was unlucky enough to get a intestinal bug which kept me away from the parks for a couple of days. When I was feeling better we were able to visit all four parks and see the sights. We saw several of the Disney characters including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Pinocchio etc etc..

If you have followed my blog previously you know that I like to take photos of reflections so here I go.

The gardens at the Disney Parks are very well maintained. Even the ducks approved of them. They were feeding on the violas and were quite content.

Unfortunately, I have lost all the photos from Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios so I cannot bore you with more Disney pictures. I did want to share the Kilimanjaro Safari photos at the Animal Kingdom as we got to see quite a few wild animals in a very natural environment. I wonder where they went, the photos not the animals.
With just a two day hiatus at home with just enough time to do my laundry, we were on the road again, this time to Costa Rica. We have rented a two bedroom bungalow overlooking the hills outside of San Jose. After 3 flights and two delays we arrived in San Jose at 12 midnight after two very bumpy flights. We decided to stay the night in a hotel rather than try to negotiate the poor roads. It took us approx 45 mins to find the hotel which was only 4 kilometers from the airport. The streets are not well marked and we did not have a GPS/SatNav to help us find our way.
The hotel, unfortunately was at the end of the runway so we went to sleep with the sounds of jets flying over the hotel. Next morning, we had a buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room and had our first sampling of Costa Rican cuisine. Breakfast comprised of scrambled eggs, rice and beans, fresh fruit, toast and yogurt served by a very pleasant hotel employee who kindly taught me how to ask for coffee with cream in Spanish. I know very little Spanish so have bought a phrase book to help me speak their language. When in Rome.... The hotel was surrounded by a very nice garden which, if we had stayed longer would have been quite relaxing.

The  photo below shows orchids growing wild on one of the trees surrounding the hotel. I have tried to grow orchids several times and have failed miserably so to see them in the "wild" was a delight.

After exiting the hotel we found our way to a Walmart to pick up some groceries for our stay in San Ramon, a town about 45 minutes north of San Jose. Boy, oh boy, what an experience in Walmart. The store was huge and all the aisles were in Spanish. I could guess the names of some of the produce but most of the names were quite foreign to me. So, what should have taken 15 mins to get my groceries took me nearly an hour.
After completing our trip to get groceries we were off to San Ramon where we had rented a "cabin".
This time we used the GPS to get us there. San Ramon is approx 50 kilometers from San Jose and it took us over an hour to get there. The roads were full of potholes with deeps ruts to the side of the road. If you fell in one of the ruts, goodness knows how you would get yourself out. We followed the instructions from the GPS, made several wrong turns and faced fast moving traffic, motorbikes and roads that merged with very little warning. On top of that, Gary was driving a stick-shift car so had to remember to change his gears. After bypassing San Ramon to get to our bungalow, the paved road ended and we were on a dirt road full of holes, stones and bumps. We decided there and then that we should have rented a four wheel drive as it would make these back roads a lot more passable and pleasant.
We finally arrived at the bungalow and were very pleasantly surprised with its location overlooking some hills and a valley.

The bungalow itself is really nice inside. It has two bedrooms, a kitchen plus family area, and a very functional bathroom with walk in shower. The view from the windows facing the hills is very nice.

After unpacking we decided to go into San Ramon for supper. Again, we had to use an unpaved road to get into the city. We found a restaurant where no English was spoken and the menu was in Spanish so it was pot luck for us. I ordered a hamburger (I thought that was safe enough) and Gary ordered chicken fajitas. Well, my burger arrived on a normal looking bun and looked like a regular hamburger but what it was I do not know. It did not look like ground beef but was stringy with orange and green bits in it along with onions (I could recognise those). Now, unfortunately for me or fortunately, I have lost my sense of smell and taste so I could not taste or smell the burger. Gary said it was ok but did not recognise the main ingredient. So ends our first day in Costa Rica.

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