Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 18, 2007 - Day Trip to San Pedro

Yesterday, Rick had a dentist appointment in San Pedro, so we thought we´d make an afternoon of it. Good thing we planned to be gone so long, I guess...

We started out trying to take the express bus to UCR (the University of Costa Rica is located in San Pedro, and San Pedro is on the far side of San José). They had just changed the schedule because finals were last week, so we found out that the first bus wasn´t even scheduled until noon! We got there by 11:40, and figured that wouldn´t be too long a wait. Well, by ten after, others were giving up, and so did we. We went to the bus station to San José, caught the direct bus and were in San José soon after. We decided to get lunch at a soda we know, and were done eating (I think we wolfed it down) by a bit after 1:00. Then (yikes!) we had to get across town – we went back to Paseo Colón and waited for the periferica (the intrabus system we knew would get us to UCR). Well, we just missed one, and the next one just whizzed by (arg!). We finally decided to ask a fellow traveler which bus he would recommend to get to San Pedro. He said to catch one to the center of San José, then catch one from there to San Pedro. We were just about to take his advice, when the next periferica bus came by (and stopped for us!). Whew! We got to San Pedro, then it looked like the bus would go right by Mall San Pedro (our ultimate destination), so we stayed on past UCR. Well, there is a huge, nasty traffic circle right where Mall San Pedro is – it has about 6 entrance/exits, all multi-lane. AND our bus went right on past the mall, and onto the freeway. We frantically buzzed to stop the bus, and he finally did stop – at a bus stop ON the freeway! We got off, and walked back towards the mall. This was not too bad until we got to the afore-mentioned traffic circle (traffic circle of death, I should say). We got past two of the entrance/exits, but at the final one, Rick said ¨this is suicide!¨ And I agreed! Well, we got across. Without dying. We *did* notice that on THE OTHER SIDE, there was a sign that said walking across there was prohibited – hmmm.

It is now 3:00 – 3 ½ hours after starting our trip. And Rick still has a dentist drill to look forward to :(. Well, we´re at a mall, so we look around a bit, get some coffee (yum!), and look for a phone to get our final instructions. This is starting to feel like the amazing race… We find a phone, but it doesn´t take coins (cards only). We ask a fellow standing in line, and he said there was a coin phone outside. So we go outside, find the phone,… And it doesn´t take our coins! It is supposed to, but it doesn´t! So, we go back inside the mall and buy a phone card (not bad, you can get them for as little as c500 - $1). Then back outside, wait in line for the phone, and call. Our dentist says to go through the mall, out the back, and he will meet us. That was amazingly kind; I don´t think we would have found his office on our own (next time, yes).

Our dental visit was amazing! Rick filled out a form while we talked, and we got to know each other for quite a while. Then they decided to take an x-ray to make sure he really needed work done. So no drilling today :).

Our trip back to Alajuela was much nicer. We caught a taxi at about 6:00, got the direct bus to Alajuela by 6:35, and were at Jalapeño´s in Alajuela for dinner by 7:30. Whew!

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