My friend Barbara is from Seattle and I met her on a trip I took to Chuck & Barbara in Istanbul Turkey!Turkey.    

Here we are having tea in a bazaar in Istanbul in 2004!S

She wrote and asked if I would like to go to Costa Rica with her?  

I of course, immediately said yes and then we began our trip planning.

Note:  In 2015 I have had people express surprise that they might need a Visa.

I tell them certain countries like Vietnam, Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt and other countries forbid you to come into the country without a visa!

Some countries do allow you in like Cambodia but you have to pay to get into the country and obtain a visa at the airport!

   Planning our trip to Costa Rica

Trip Planning

Barbara will fly to San Francisco from Seattle) on United and meet me at SFO. We will fly to Guatemala City and then to San Jose, Costa Rica and pick up a rental car.

We will drive from San Jose to Arenal (the active volcano), to Monteverde 'cloud forest' where you can go up to platforms in the trees and ride zip-lines from platform to platform), to Manuel Antonio National Park (a Pacific Coast resort area with white sand beaches in the south part of the country) and back to San Jose.

Barbara called me this morning on my cell phone, July 25th, 2005, as I was having coffee at the Y before working out and she and I agreed the first itinerary sounded the best for the money.  I have enough mileage to fly free to Costa Rica but I don't want to lose the mileage as I am a Costa Rica Visa Premier flyer with United.  Plus $450.00 to go from San Francisco to Guatemala City and on to San Jose Costa Rico is a great deal!  So I told Barbara to go ahead and see what she could arrange, I told her, "My bags are packed and I am ready to go!"  

So we have our initial down payment made and we are ready to begin to review the best way to get around and what to see in Costa Rica.  As soon as Gate 1 applied my payment to my United ticketing, I called and because I am a Premier Frequent Flyer, I was able to get premier seating exactly where I wanted!   

I had to visit my doctor at the Veterans Hospital today and when he found out I was going to Costa Rica he exclaimed, "My wife and I went there over two years ago on our honeymoon!"   So he sat me down and had a long talk about traveling there and also what I might need in the way of inoculations.  He said my Hepatitis A & B was up-to-date as was my tetanus.  He said tetanus is good for ten years but if traveling aboard, they like you to get the shot every five years, my last one was in 2003.  He checked the area where we will be driving in and said malaria isn't a concern but typhoid is and I should get the shot.  The VA was out of the drug but the head nurse said not too worry, they will call me as soon as it is in.  So a nice visit to see Dr. Greenhouse and his take on traveling in Costa Rica!  A small world as you can see! 

My doctor told me at the Veterans Hospital people traveling to Costa Rica and other areas in the world should have a tetanus shot every five years instead of ten years.  My last one was two years ago so I am fine!  I also have had the Hepatitis A & B but didn't have the typhoid vaccination.  The VA was out of the vaccination so they ordered it especially for me to take before my vacation.  It will be available on September 12th, so I will be able to have the vaccination two weeks before I leave for Costa Rica.  So today, the 13th, I went in for my typhoid vaccine injection.

Check out the map to see where we drove around the western regions of Costa Rica!

   Statistics and Map

Overview of Costa Rica

The pre-Columbian history of Costa Rica extends from the establishment of the first settlers until the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.

Archaeological evidence allows us to date the arrival of the first humans to Costa Rica to between 7000 and 10,000 BC. By the second millennium BC sedentary farming communities already existed. Between 300 BC and AD 300 many communities moved from a tribal, clan-centric organization – kinship-based, rarely hierarchical and dependent on self-sustenance – to a hierarchical one, with caciques (chiefs), religious leaders or shamans, artisan specialists and so on. This social organization arose from the need to organize manufacture and trade, manage relations with other communities and plan offensive and defensive activities. These groups established broader territorial divisions to produce more food and control wider sources of raw materials.

From the 9th century certain villages grew in size, and the latter-period chiefdoms of the 16th century came to develop greater social hierarchies and major improvements in infrastructure. In 2011, there were over 104,000 Native American or indigenous inhabitants, representing 2.4% of the population. Most of them live in secluded reservations, distributed among eight ethnic groups: Quitirrisi (in the Central Valley), Matambu or Chorotega (Guanacaste), Maleku (northern Alajuela), Bribri (southern Atlantic), Cabecar (Cordillera de Talamanca), Guaymi (southern Costa Rica, along the Panama border), Boruca (southern Costa Rica) and Terraba (southern Costa Rica).

The population includes European Costa Ricans (of European ancestry), primarily of Spanish descent, with significant numbers of Italian, German, English, Dutch, French, Irish, Portuguese, and Polish families, as well a sizable Jewish community. The majority of the Afro-Costa Ricans are Creole English-speaking descendants of 19th century black Jamaican immigrant workers. The so - called revolution - in reality a civil war - of 1948 marked the entry of Costa Rica into the modern era. It caused a temporary hiccup in the tranquil march of democratic elections and was only the second such break in a 20th century that saw turbulence worldwide.

Although not particularly savage as civil wars go, it so shocked Costa Ricans that Ticos would kill their countrymen for any cause that it propelled the country into vigorous advocacy of peace and democracy that continues today. From this trauma was born a unique nation.

Following the Mexican War of Independence (1810-1821), Costa Rica became part of the independent Mexican Empire in 1821. Costa Rica was part of the Federal Republic of Central America in 1813, before gaining full independence in 1821. Its economy struggled due to lack of connections with European suppliers. In 1856, Costa Rica resisted United States settlers from mounting a take-over of the government.

After 1869, Costa Rica established a democratic government.

Most historians agree that the party in power, under President Teodoro Picado, rigged the election of 1948. When the ballots were counted, it appeared that, despite ballot-stuffing by both major parties, candidate Otilio Ulate of the opposition had won. But the ruling party, following a tradition of weak and corrupt democracies of Latin America, nullified this election. Although not a candidate, Jose (don Pepe) Figueres long critical of the ruling party, had gaining political strength rapidly.

After the Costa Rican Civil War in 1948, the government drafted a new constitution, guaranteeing universal suffrage and the dismantling of the military. Today, Costa Rica is a democracy that relies on technology and eco-tourism for its economy. Although poverty has declined since the turn of the 21st century, economic problems still exist. Costa Rica is facing problems of underemployment, foreign and internal debt, and a trade deficiency.

   Day 1 - Unbelievable flight to Costa Rica

San Francisco & Seattle to Los Angeles, Monday, October 3rd, 2005.

Los Angeles to Guatemala City, an unexpected flight to El Salvador and finally on to San Jose, Costa Rica, Tuesday, October 4th, 2005.

We will depart from San Francisco & Seattle to Los Angeles and a change of planes on Monday and on to Guatemala City for a stop, then on to San Jose, Costa Rica on Tuesday morning around 7:30 AM. .  We will be picked up at the San Jose airport and driven to the hotel Barcelo Rincon del Valle on Tuesday, October 4th. If we aren't too tired, we may try to walk around just to get a feel for San Jose!  We will spend tonight in San Jose after the long flight from California in order to rest up for our first day of driving to Arenal.

Well this is what really happened on our trip to Costa Rica, the flight was unbelievable!  Read on!

We left Los Angeles and flew to Guatemala City and were caught in a tropical depression and had to fly to San Salvador in El Salvador.  I looked out the window of the 757 jet and told Barbara it was raining so hard I couldn't believe it!  The captain then announced we were flying into San Salvador as the visibility was zero in Guatemala!  We sat on the runway for an hour and then tried to fly back to Guatemala City after getting clearance from Guatemala but then the captain announced a volcano in northern El Salvador had erupted and we had to be rerouted to go around the volcano.   You can see how hard it was raining in San Salvador in this photo Barbara took from the window as the sun was rising!

By that time the rain was so bad again in Guatemala City we had to stop again.  Then the third hour we taxied on the run way to go back to Guatemala City.  We inched down the side run way and then onto the main run way and inched along and I yelled out, we aren't going to Guatemala!  So the plane had to stop again, too much rain and mud slides in Guatemala.  So torrential Rains, Mud Slides and Volcanic Eruptions. 

Finally the pilot gave up and said we were skipping Guatemala for the time being and would fly directly to San Jose!  We were about five hours late into San Jose Costa Rica!  Half of the passengers were directed to a Taca Airlines to try and fly back to Guatemala while the rest of us tried to get to our hotels before too much of the afternoon was gone.  What a way to start the vacation!

We did manage to get downtown by cab and it was dreary, very damp and humid and there isn't much to see in San Jose.  I was told the Gold Museum was interesting but we just didn't have time to do that.  We did visit the main covered market and that was interesting but that was about all we did except go to a bank and exchange dollars for colonies.  

   Interesting Sights as we drove to Arenal

A seven day car rental of Category D ~ SUV (Toyota - Mundo Rent a Car) was delivered to the hotel in San Jose after we checked into the hotel.

A good thing as one could never drive on many of the roads without a four wheel drive and high clearance.   Some pot holes were four feet by three feet by a foot deep! 

Today we will first stop at the Britt Coffee Plantation, then drive through Grecia and Sarchi as we travel to Arenal. Tomorrow we have a whole day to visit the interesting areas around Arenal Reservoir! 

Britt Coffee Plantation!


The Britt Coffee Plantation is located just outside of San Jose in Herredia - roasting and packaging!

Grecia and the painted wagons!

Barbara said the town of Sarchi was famous for the painted wagons.  Here are some of the painters of the wagons and other articles.

Sarchi and the stylized bushes!

The entire block in front of the church was covered with these fanciful trimmed shrubs in the town of Zacero.  Another interesting factoid: with the severe earthquakes they've suffered in Costa Rica (and Central America) the churches, including the one in Grecia (spanish for Greece), have been built out of steel. The church in Grecia was built in Belgium and shipped in pieces to be erected in Costa Rica

Driving into Arenal

Driving into Arenal, a very nice town! The volcano erupted both days we were there!

Is it Clouds or an Eruption?

As we approached Arenal, I told Barbara either the volcano was erupting or there were a lot of clouds around the top of it.  She laughed and said we could tell everyone we saw an eruption and no one would know the difference, they wouldn't know a cloud from volcanic fumes.  As we drove into the hotel area, the guard at the gate said, "The volcano just started to erupt!"  So we had a good laugh as it actually was erupting.

Well talk about luck, while there, we saw two eruptions and both evenings we went on the back side of the volcano to view the lava rocks cascading down the slopes.  Very exciting!

Info: The conical Volcano Arenal is the youngest volcano in Costa Rica and the most active. It is a stratovolcano (also known as composite volcano) like Mt. Fuji in Japan, Mt. Mayon in the Philippines, and Mt. Aqua in Guatemala. The 1657 meters (5,437 Feet, 1 meter = 3.28 feet) high andesitic volcano towers above the eastern shores of Lake Arenal, which has been enlarged by a hydroelectric project. Arenal was constructed by successive eruptions to the NW  (10.463°N (10°27'48"N), 84.703°W (84°42'12"W)) of the older Chato volcano, which contains a 500 meters wide summit crater. The earliest known eruptions of Arenal took place about 7,000 years ago, and the two volcanoes were active concurrently until the activity of Chato ended about 3,500 years ago.

Growth of Arenal has been characterized by periodic major explosive eruptions at several-hundred-year intervals and periods of lava effusion that armor the cone. Volcan Arenal  actual eruptive period began with a major explosive Arenal eruption in 1968. Continuous daily explosive eruption activity accompanied by slow lava effusion and the occasional emission of pyro-clastic flows (avalanche of hot gases, rocks and ashes that can travel @ 80 km per hour) has occurred since then from vents at the summit and on the upper western flank. Arenal eruptions are of the strombolian type (name after the volcano Stromboli in Italy: A type of volcanic activity which produces frequent, moderate eruptions.

I took this photo of the Arenal Volcano erupting the first evening as we drove into the hotel.  We thought at first it was just clouds but the gate man said as we entered, "The volcano is erupting again!"  So we of course, agreed!

Foliage around the Arenal Country Inn


This magnificent water fall was only a few kilometers away from the hotel!


Boys swimming in the rapids!


A very busy day!

Today if we have time, we will check out the lava rock formations, plants, wildlife and Arenal Lake, as well as the Arenal Volcano and perhaps enjoy the hot springs, hiking or horse-back riding before driving to the 'cloud-forest' the next day in Monteverde.  Well it was way too hot to go horse back riding!

So we drove to the La Fortuna water fall (Reserva Ecological Catarata Rio Fortuna) and found it was only a few kilometers from our hotel.  

We went early and that was fortunate as it became extremely hot and humid and by noon we felt like sitting down with a cool drink and having a rest.

We then went around the back side of the volcano to check out what was going on and visited the Arenal Observatory Lodge which is a high end hotel with a restaurant and fantastic grounds that are right next to the volcano!

We decided to go to dinner before going to the hot springs and had a delightful time eating at a road side restaurant with wine.

After that we went to the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort and Spa to bask in the hot springs that cascade over falls and into a huge swimming pool where we had BB & Cs -  Baileys, Banana and Coconut milk, at the pool side bar!  Talk about tasting good.   We met two women at the bar and they had many stories to tell after being there for over two weeks.  Read about these stories as we found them very entertaining in the following section.

Pool Bar/Restaurant  Individual Pools Sit or stand under the hot falls! What a way to spend an evening!
After that, we went back to the volcano after ten PM and it erupted a second time and we had an even better evening of watching the hot lava rocks cascade down to almost the base of the volcano!  All in all, a great day!

Things that can happen on a Vacation!

I saw two women across from a pool I was getting into and later I saw them at the pool-side bar as Barbara and I were going to have a BB&C.  That is Baileys, Banana and Coconut Syrup made in a blender.  

As we were enjoying our drinks, one gal, Lisa, asked where I was from.  I said, "San Francisco!"  She said, "That figures!"  I asked where she was from, Berkley of course.  I said, "That figures!"  We laughed.  She does body work (therapy), and her girl friend, Jen, is from the north bay and is going to medical school to become a doctor.  

They said they were friends with Alex, a judge on the Ninth District Court of Appeals and I told them Jeff Fisher is a lawyer for the judges and a friend of mine I met in Turkey and I live only two blocks from the court house.  A small world.  They had two great stories about their trip so far.  Read on.  

First story:  They asked if we knew about the bridge on the back side of the volcano?  We said yes, we were there the night before around 11 PM watching the eruption!  I said the bridge was dangerous as it is five miles from anything and it is so dark at night. The bridge runs over a river with lots of sharp rocks in it and the steel railing on the bridge is missing in the middle.  Easy to fall off into the river.  So Jen said they took their rented car out there and decided to sit on the bridge and hang their feet over the edge and swing them around while watching the lava flows or lack of!  Jen decides to edge over closer to her friend and as she got nearer, Lisa said, "I didn't hear that sound, did I?"  Yes she did.  Jen had placed the keys on the concrete between them and as she edged closer, the keys went in the drink!  Mon dieu!   What to do!   A car came by, two newly weds from Texas and they drove the girls home.  The next day they called the auto rental and they said they would be out later in the morning.  Nothing.  They called again and were told the auto rental would be out later.  No dice.  Then they told the girls to go and stand by the car all day and maybe they would come. Yes, of course, stand in 100 degrees with 100 percent humidity all day, just in case they come!  I don't think so.  The third day the girls decided to take a bus to town and have breakfast.  What else to do?  They came back on the bus a few hours later and thought that was their car in the hotel lot!  Maybe!  Well the owner of the hotel, got her husband to go with her to the bridge and they stood in the middle where the keys might have fallen off the bridge.  He got into the river and searched around for the keys and found them!  Then they drove both cars back to the hotel.  Talk about nice people.  I told the girls they owed the hotel owners big time and they agreed!

Second story:  They flew down from LAX also and sat in the row and center seat.  A man sat in the window seat. They talked with him, he seemed nice and after they landed in San Jose Costa Rica, Lisa went to get some money from her billfold.  No money!  She said she had it in her backpack and it was under the seat in front of her.  She and Jen got up and used the bathroom and stood for a while.  Can you believe it, while they were up, the man got into the backpack and opened the wallet and stole the money.  Talk about gall!  Lisa said if she got a hold of him she would twist his balls off!  She said she did have several $100 bills hidden in a zippered pocket in the wallet.  She asked Jen to cash one in a casino.  So off Jen went and she got mad.  The man said she had to gamble some money or no exchange.  So she said she put in the smallest coin she was given and suddenly, won $300.   She went back to her friend smiling and Lisa wondered what was up!   Jen said hold out your hand and counted out the money, the same amount that Lisa had stolen from her on the airplane!

So you have to admit, they had two good stories to tell so far in their Costa Rica trip!   It sounds like they love to travel as much as Barbara and I do!

Interesting road side views on the way to Monteverde!


   Monteverde - Cloud Forest

Depart for Monteverde, the "Green Mountain

It is high in the Tilaran Mountain Range. Visit the town of St. Elena founded by American Quaker settlers.  We will visit the area with 'cloud forest' where you can go up to platforms in the trees and ride zip-lines from platform to platform!  Barbara said I might have to give her a 'push' as she has a slight vertigo!

We departed for Monteverde, the "Green Mountain," high in the Tilaran Mountain Range, early in the morning from Arenal.  It was a good thing we did as we got lost on the horrible roads.  The signs were of no help.  The roads were covered with sharp rocks, huge holes full of water and red lava mud all over.  We bounced, slid, and kept looking for signs to help us.  Even people along the road gave us bad information as to how to get to a specific place!  A sign would point straight ahead and after either a block or ten miles, it didn't matter, suddenly the road ended in a fork and no sign as to which one to take.  Of course we took the wrong one!  Even Monteverde is covered with mud.  The main street is about two blocks long and is paved.  Every where else it is mud.  Mud, mud, and more mud.  


After shopping on the main street we decided to go back to the hotel.   Barbara suddenly said something like a large black cat ran by the car into the jungle!   The animal we found out was a Coati (coatimundi). It was the larger Costa Rican coati (like Barbara said - as big as a dog but appeared all black in the dark and headlights. It had a really long tail, as long or longer than it's body, that was kinked up at the end in the last 5-6 inches). They avoid the daylight. Coatimundis range in body length from 13-27 inches, including the head; the tail, which is generally held upright, is as long as the body. Being arboreal (tree dwelling), they live in the canopies of the rainforest jungle. Adult coati weigh between 15 and 25 lbs.  So Barbara got to see something rare to see while I was watching the pot holes in the road!  So goes life!


We did have coffee and a desert at the world famous Stella's Bakery & Coffee Shop.  Talk about good deserts!   Apple pies and everything else one could want.   They are at: or at P.O. Box 245655, Monteverde, Costa Rica. Phone is 506.645.5560.


We did go to the jungle but were surprised as it was mostly ferns and trees, duh, but nothing that we hadn't seen anyplace else.  There also was a lack of many animals, some howler monkeys and a crab!  There were very few birds but  at the ranger station was a humming bird sanctuary and there were dozens of hummingbirds, all flying around the feeders and talk about colorful.   Some were very large and a perfect purple color.  We sat for a long time enjoying the view!


We did some shopping and then to bed as we had a long drive ahead of us to Manuel Antonio.  A ranger told us the road might be bad from Hurricane Stan as the radio indicated there were big pot holes in the Pan American Highway.  Well yes, there were huge pot holes.  Four feet by two feet by one foot deep!

Info:  Straddling the Continental Divide at 1440 meters - (4662 ft), the Santa Elena and Monteverde Cloud Forest area offers one of the most interesting place to visit in Costa Rica.  


In Monteverde Costa Rica rain forest are found more than 100 species of mammals including 5 species of cats, over 400 species of birds including 30 kinds of hummingbirds, tens of thousands of insect species (over 5000 species of moths) and 2,500 species of plants  (420 kinds of orchids). The area is acclaimed as one of the most outstanding wildlife refuges in the New World Tropics.

Cloud Forest and Barbara on the suspension bridge over a deep gorge!

Monteverde Cloud Forest Beetle!


Monteverde Cloud Forest ranger and his golden beetle.  He keeps it in a drawer under the desk and had to wipe off the lint before showing it to us!

Leaving Monteverde to go to Manuel Antonio!


Check out the Four Wheel Drive!  Good thing we had it over the horrible roads in many places!  And the horse loved to pose for us!  The hills were fabulous with the different greens!

Driving to Quepos


A stop at a Soda or Cafe for lunch! Pacific Ocean just before Manuel Antonio! Our hotel in Manual Antonio!

    Manuel Antonio National Park

Ending up at the Manuel Antonio National Park

Quepos is on the Pacific coastal resort area and spend the remainder of this day at the Manuel Antonio National Park plus two more nights.  This is a Pacific Coast resort area with white sand beaches in the south part of the country. 

The park offers an opportunity to see monkeys and sloth, as well as many different types of birds.

We got there late as we were stopped by the police twice.  Once Barbara was stopped for no reason.  The she was tired and I drove and of course, I got behind a slow driver over a bad bridge and as soon as we were over it, I floored the Honda and flew past him.  Well of course, there was another policeman.   Barbara was worried I would mouth off.  Me!  

He checked my driver's license, my passport and then asked for the automobile papers.  He didn't know what to do.  The paper had Barbara's name on it so I acted very passive!  Moaned and groaned and said I was so sorry, I didn't see the sign.  I didn't know a kilometer from a mile!   He said, "This is a $120 fine1"  I said, "I am soooo sorry!"   

Finally he shook his head, my hands did not come out of my pockets with any money, and said he was going to let me off but I needed to be careful.  I thanked him multiple times and told Barbara, "See, I can be passive and keep my mouth shut when necessary!"   

The hotel was very nice and had beautiful grounds to walk around it.   We used the swimming pool, had breakfast there and dinner one night.  The staff was very nice and helpful so a great place to stay.   It is only 500 meters from the park and 200 meters from the beautiful Pacific beach.  We loved it!

The park offers an opportunity to see monkeys, coatis and sloth, as well as many different types of birds.  We saw a miniature deer and her baby, sloth, bats, crabs, monkeys and many lizards. 

Here is Pedro Godinez, our trusty guide who took us through the jungle and showed us many things we would have never seen with out a guide.  He only charged $25 for the tour and well worth it. 

I would recommend the services of his company as we also used them to do the canopy tour on the cables.  They are at Asoguinama 777.5104 or and they only charged the two of us $40 for a three hour walk through the jungle.  We never would have seen as much as we did if we hadn't hired Pedro.




Beach - Nap - Sun Bathing

That afternoon we decided to go to the beach and have a nap and sun bath.  After a few hours Barbara wanted to go into the water!  I was pleasantly surprised and we had more fun riding the waves. 

Then we napped some more and Barbara kind of wanted to surf some more.  I said, "Why not!"  So off we went, we were the only two in the water.  We laughed, we screamed, Barbara got caught in the under tow and as the waves came over me, I felt someone's hand grab my arm!  Barbara was going to take me with her!  But I hung on and we tumbled around and kept laughing.  

Soon we had many others joining us.  We guessed after they heard us having so much fun, they should also come in.   Everyone was in a good mood and we all kept pointing at the biggest waves so we could jump around and yell a lot. 

Then we walked around and had dinner at a local restaurant and finally to bed so we could get ready for our canopy cable tour tomorrow.


We had a great time at the beach, sun bathing and then many hour of body surfing with other people who joined us when they saw us having so much fun.

Zip Lining with Monkey

We had a great breakfast and then decided to go to the shop where our guide to the forest worked and booked a canopy tour.  We then went back to the hotel and decided to relax and sunbath at the pool before being picked up by the tour company in the early afternoon. There were seven of us on the tour.  Barbara was the only woman!  One man was from Canada, two from Chicago and two from of all places, Costa Rica!

We had a great time and our lead guide was named "Monkey" and had a great sense of humor.  We were buckled in and then put on steel cables, some as long as 300 meters and over 200 foot gorges. 

Can you imagine, here I am, coming in for a three point landing!   Going on 66 and still doing what I want to!  Barbara did a great job.  In the morning she suddenly, after writing to me every week for two months, decided maybe to go horse back riding.  I said, "In place of what?"  I said we should go do the cables through the trees as this was the place to do it and we might never have another chance.  She agreed and we both were glad we did it!  I had one of the men from Chicago take my camera and he was able to take two shots of me on the cables, a long shot on the 300 meter one and this close up!

We also were lucky enough to see the poisonous frogs named dendrobates auratus dart frogs!  We saw one at the base of a tree and half way through the canopy tour, we saw three of them hopping around the base of another tree.  We checked them out but didn't get too close!

Here is Barbara, Chuck and Lester getting instructions from "Monkey" as he likes to be called! 



And here is Chuck flying down the 300 meter zip-line steel cable for a three point landing, not bad for someone going on 66!

We were lucky as the afternoon was great and then around six PM as we were taking a slight nap before dinner, the rain pounded on the roof but did we care?  Of course not, three days of sun shine in Manuel Antonio and this was our last night so we enjoyed the rain and had a nice dinner at the hotel with a pre-dinner cocktail and wine with dinner.

A nice way to finish the day after a stressful but fun time doing the zip-line in the canopy of the trees!

Driving Back to San Jose

This shows you the condition of many of the roads and bridges along with very high water levels!

Fresh Water Crocodiles

If you want to see crocodiles in Costa Rica, then you have to stop at the crocodile bridge of the Tarcoles River. This river is one of the most well known in the country largely because of the crocodiles. It's a popular tourist stop for those heading to Jaco, Manuel Antonio and the South Pacific.

We were told there were huge crocodiles under the large bridge after one drives from Manuel Antonio to San Jose or Arenal.  Sure enough, as we past Tarcoles and went over the Rio Tarcoles River, there they were!  These pictures were taken on the bridge and about 80 feet above them so you know they are huge!

Down Pour - Terrible Driving


On the road to San Jose!

Talk about fog and mist! Keep on shopping!

United Airlines Flight Home!

Wednesday, October 12th, we will drop the 4-wheel drive off at the San Jose airport and take our early morning flight home on United!

LAX to San Francisco - Interesting woman sat by me!

I also have a story to tell on the flight back from LAX to San Francisco! The 5:30 PM flight was ready to leave and a woman got on and laughed as she sat between another man and myself.  I was at the window and she said she supposed we both thought we would have an empty seat between us!  Too bad she said and laughed.  Well we got talking about this and that and for some reason I said I was on the Banc of America Securities Y2K fix during 1999 and 2000 in the office tower across from the Transamerica pyramid on Montgomery Street.  She had to laugh, told me her name was Kathy, and she said she had her law office in the same building and did I think the Banc of America Securities IT people were weird!  I had a good laugh and told her some things that happened while I consulted there.  One man about 28 or so was a programmer and nasty.  He smoked two or three packs a day, smelled horribly, and drank all night and came in half crocked.  Half the day he was viewing porno on the web and would send porno to the other people on the floor, especially some of the women.  I told him to stop sending that to me as I was a consultant and I did not get paid to look at trash, I mean nasty porno.  The Vice President of the division knew what was going on and her top lead, another woman who was worthless, also love to view his porno e-mails.  Of course he was the V.P.'s favorite and the woman manager who did the least amount of work soon became another V.P.  Go figure.  The lawyer, Kathy, said all they talked about in the elevator was the fact the bank stopped paying for their free fruit drinks in the exercise room as they were drinking more than $500 or so a month!  We had a good laugh about that.  

Then I told her I had met a lawyer in Turkey last year in November and he lived by the Bart Station in Glennpark.  I said his name was Jeffrey L. Fisher and he lived on Surrey Street at the top of the hill.  She said she also lived on Surrey at the top of the hill only a few houses away from him!  Talk about a small world.  I told Jeff but he didn't know Kathy either.    

It is interesting that last year in Turkey I met a lawyer, Jeff.  Then the two women we met at the Arenal Hot Springs this year are friends with Alex, a judge at the Ninth Circuit District Court of Appeals, two blocks from where I live and where Jeff works.  And then I meet another lawyer, Kathy, on the last leg of my flight home that lives next to Jeff!

So you never know who you will meet on a trip, that is why I love to travel so much!

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