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San Jose: 2011

Bars On All the Windows

Hardware failure in the middle of an amazing event is every photographer’s worst nightmare.

Jugglers, San Jose, Street Performers
San Jose Street Performers

Unfortunately, last night a dead battery in my camera prevented me from taking some awesome photos of the inside of a thunderstorm. Marissa and I are on our way to Panama, and last night on our flight from Seattle to Charlotte our plane was caught in a violent electrical storm. Air traffic control put our plane in a holding pattern and we went round and round while the clouds lit up. With a fourteen-hour layover to look foreword to, the forty-five minute high-altitude lightening show was a treat, I only wish I had double-checked the batteries in my camera.

Gallo Pinto, Typica, Costa Rica, San Jose
Marissa and Gallo Pinto (Painted Rooster)

In an attempt to redeem myself for failing to document the meteorological spectacle, I have taken a few photos of San Jose, Costa Rica. We arrived at San Jose International Airport this afternoon at around four o’clock local time, and took a cab to Galileo Hostel where a double bed would be home for the night. After Mitch, in the Bob Marley tee-shirt, gave us the tour, which included the important “nothing in the toilet that you haven’t already eaten first” rundown (toilet paper is a no-no in central American plumbing) we got the keys to our room.

Dinner Guest

Hungry, and with a few hours to burn we walked a few blocks from the Galileo to a Costa Rican “typica” restaurant for some gallo pinto (painted rooster), and fried plantain. If you have never eaten gallo pinto, it is a typical breakfast or lunch meal, consisting of rice, black beans, onions, and fried eggs or meat all jumbled together and then topped with pepper sauce or salsa Lizano. It is delicious. Salsa Lizano is a tangy sauce, which comes to you in a little bottle like Sarracha sauce, but it is not spicy, this is the secret to gallo pinto’s success. Plantains are like huge starchy bananas and when peeled and fried they caramelize into golden awesomeness. The cook sprinkled a little queso fresco on top, which added a savory flavor to the sweet fried plantain, much to my disdain. Oh well.

After dinner we walked a few blocks to San Jose’s largest park, Parque Metropolitano La Sabana. We walked through the park, which was full of trees with wood that looks like a tie-dye, and began to make our way around a lake which was home to ducks, egrets, geese, and tangerine and emerald green kingfishers; before it started to rain. Sitting on the second floorbalcony we watched the last burst of the sun as it fell below the horizon of buildings and then amused ourselves watching the traffic below. Ticos drive in a way that might be described as insane by American standards, and the street is always a good source of action.

Statue in the Park

We have to catch a taxi early in order to catch the only bus that runs from San Jose to Changuinola, so it is time to clear our cluttered bed and sleep in it. Goodnight.

San Jose Sunset