Do You Know the Way [from] San Jose?




One good thing about traveling alone, with no particular schedule and flexible destinations, is that the whole concept of being “lost” or “late” is mostly a non sequitur.  What might look to others like a wrong turn can be quickly rationalized as a spontaneous, exciting alternative route.

Costa Rican roads rarely have Highway numbers (at least none visible on any signs or maps).  At best, there’ll be a small sign with an arrow that points to the next town down the way, which probably is NOT a town shown on your crappy rental-car company map.  I can now speak just enough Spanish to clumsily ASK for directions — but not enough to understand the answers.

Procrastinated planning on my part caused me to fly into San Jose, Costa Rica, rather than Liberia (which is much closer to my destination).  I decided to embrace the experience and spent a full day in San Jose, then a full 12-hour day sightseeing my way up to Playa Flamingo.   The city shots are San Jose.  The church behind the toddler is their National Cathedral in nearby Cartago.  The volcano-looking mountain IS a huge volcano – “Arenal” – in central Costa Rica, but those are just clouds you see (not a current eruption).  Sunday afternoons are apparently the time to stop your car pretty much in the middle of the main highway over the dam of Lago (Lake) Arenal and have a little fiesta, which is what this nice couple (and a few hundred others) were up to when I interrupted.  There’s a lesson in the cow picture:  Sometimes the grass actually is greener.

About the title:  “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” was a big hit for Dionne Warwick in 1968; music/words by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  I’m pretty sure it was not about Costa Rica’s capital city.  But no, I am not really old enough to remember anything about 1968.