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Entering Costa Rica And The Green City Of San Jose

by on November 23, 2011

in Costa Rica, Happy Nomad Tour

The journey from Managua, Nicaragua to San Jose, Costa Rica took 9 hours by bus. It was definitely a pleasant ride.

Wind Farm In Nicaragua

Wind Farm In Nicaragua

Not too far from the border on the Nicaraguan side, I was very surprised to see a wind farm in operation. I didn’t realize there was much activity here in Central America, but maybe there just isn’t much activity from my former company. These turbines are from a competitor. Still, great to see and very unexpected!

 

Welcome To Costa Rica

Welcome To Costa Rica

Immigration

I was a bit concerned at the border. You are supposed to have your onward ticket (plane/bus) upon entry to prove you are planning to leave. I didn’t have one since I don’t know exactly how long I’ll be here.

The immigration official asked the American guy a few people in front of me some questions and he had to prove onward travel. When I got there he just looked through my passport, saw many stamps, and stamped my passport. No questions asked. Nice!

Entering Costa Rica With A Rainbow

Entering Costa Rica With A Rainbow

Not too long after entering Costa Rica, this rainbow was visible from the bus. It was nice to see, and was especially welcoming after quitting Nicaragua.

 

 

 

SAN JOSE

I was in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, for two full days. Unfortunately, it rained both days. On the second day it basically rained the whole day. The rainy season here should be ending pretty soon, but it’s still going strong right now.

Comparing Managua and San Jose is like comparing night and day. San Jose is clean, “modern”, and efficient. It’s just like an American or European City, which is why I put modern in quotes. A city need not be like an American/European city to be modern, but it’s what I’m used to.

Avenida Central

Avenida Central

Infrastructure

The infrastructure is good as well. There are city buses, public garbage cans on the street, walk/don’t walk signals in the city center, etc.

Avenida Central is a pedestrian street running through the center of the city. It’s an enjoyable walk down a street filled with cafes, restaurants, and stores. For some reason San Jose is filled with shoe stores. I’m not sure what that’s all about.

Green City

The city itself is very, very green. There are parks everywhere and I really enjoyed all the greenery.

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Green City

Food

Costa Rican food is similar to the rest of Central America. But they seem to eat more casado – a mix of rice and beans. I like Central American food so I enjoyed all the local dishes I tried.

Rice & Beans, Casado, Fried Plantains, Mystery Meat

Rice & Beans, Casado, Fried Plantains, Mystery Meat

Typical Breakfast - Casado, Eggs, Fried Plaintains, Tortilla, Coffee

Typical Breakfast - Casado, Eggs, Fried Plaintains, Tortilla, Coffee

Christmas

As Christmas is not too far away, there are lots of decorations up. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen Christmas decorations in a hot country. When I lived in the Persian Gulf, they had elaborate Christmas displays and decorations in the malls. But it’s still strange to see decorations including snow in countries that don’t get cold, let alone snow.

Christmas Decorations In A Mall

Christmas Decorations In A Mall

Christmas Decorations In A Mall

Christmas Decorations In A Mall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protests

When I was in San Jose, people were protesting outside the Costa Rican Parliament. I’m not sure what they were protesting about. I couldn’t tell based on the signs they were holding. Of course, it was 100% peaceful and they were pretty relaxed.

Protest In Front Of Parliament

Protest In Front Of Parliament

Protest In Front Of Parliament

Protest In Front Of Parliament

Coffee

Coffee is grown here and definitely consumed here. It’s amazing! Below are a coffee monument showing the baskets coffee was traditionally placed into and a store that sells freshly ground coffee. You can imagine how amazing that store smells when you walk past it..

Coffee Monument

Coffee Monument

Freshly Ground Coffee Store

Freshly Ground Coffee Store

Pigeons

Plaza de las Artes was one of my favorite places in San Jose. There is a big open area with pigeons and there are always kids running around chasing after them. It’s great to see such innocent joy. Some people bring food for the pigeons and they can be quite aggressive, as you can see below!

Feeding Pigeons In Plaza de las Artes

Feeding Pigeons In Plaza de las Artes

Feeding Pigeons In Plaza de las Artes

Feeding Pigeons In Plaza de las Artes

Feeding Pigeons In Plaza de las Artes

Feeding Pigeons In Plaza de las Artes

Feeding Pigeons In Plaza de las Artes

Feeding Pigeons In Plaza de las Artes

 

 

 

Me And Laura

Me And Laura

Thank You

I couchsurfed in San Jose and Laura was my host. She is from Finland and was an awesome host! I thank her deeply for her amazing hospitality!

 

 

 

About Adam Pervez

In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ttlbrg November 23, 2011 at 6:28 am

Wow, great to hear from you. Good to hear you are fine and enjoying every minute of it.   Lol

When are you coming to NZ?  Be safe man and keep in touch.  I ready everything and its amazing what you were doing. regards….Otto

Reply

Adam Pervez November 23, 2011 at 9:14 am

Thanks! Unfortunately, I’m not planning to go to New Zealand. But hopefully our paths will cross somewhere else!

Reply

Adil November 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

It just occured to me today after reading this article. Have you thought of showing your ‘Happinessplunge’ website to the immigration officer in case s/he chose to cause some problems? After seeing the site, I am sure they will believe you that you don’t intend to stay too long and that you have an exit plan :) Safe journey yo!

Reply

Adam Pervez November 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Well, I thought of that for sure. I don’t know if it would help or if they have an internet connection. But ya, it was one of my backup plans. Still, it doesn’t prove I won’t stay there. But it would give reasonable doubt that I don’t intend to.. :)

Reply

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