Thursday, December 13, 2007

May 03, 2007 - First Cartago visit

We made our first trip to Cartago yesterday - before now, we had only passed through. Our main objective was to shop for all those things a little town doesn´t have: shower caddy, bath mat, books, a small fan, and certain spices (found curry, chili, and coriander!). We had a quick breakfast, gave our laundry to Loli, and caught the 9:45 bus - got to Cartago in about an hour, and immediately turned the wrong way. But we quickly found the right direction, and headed towards ¨Las Ruinas¨ and the central park (uphill from the Orosí bus stop). We got some of our shopping over with, then sat in the park again (I sure do miss that in Orosí). We met a woman there (she heard us speaking English, and said she hadn´t heard it in a long time) - she had lived in New York for 40 (!) years, and had moved back to Costa Rica 3 years ago. We asked her where the central market was (just a bit further uphill), then asked for a good place to eat lunch. The young woman with her pointed out the McDonald´s and the Burger King (hmm) - we said we´d like something Costa Rican, so then she pointed towards another restaurant (uphill from the right-hand corner of the ruins, and pretty good).

After lunch, we went on the hunt for books - we found a small used-book store uphill from the central market, and a fair-sized new-book store just up from the park. I got another used Agatha Christie in English, and a new Peter Pan in Spanish. We knew immediately that the Don Quixote in Spanish was waaay beyond us.

We found appliance row - an avenue about 1 block uphill from the park - and got a small fan. Interesting procedure... We found one we wanted, the salesman wrote up a form, we went upstairs to pay, and came back down to pick up the fan. While this was going on, I checked out some prices for larger appliances (yikes!). A *very* small stove w/oven was $250, a good-sized fridge w/freezer was $1500, a combo washer/dryer was $1000, and a stand-alone washer was almost as much. A large-screen, flat panel TV was $2000 (I probably missed something subtle here, because it seemed pretty cheap for how it looked, and compared to everything else). The chairs I sat in were not comfortable - didn´t see a price. I sure do miss my double-recliner :(.

After several more stops in the park, we head home. We took the long way (again) to the bus stop, but at least we found it with no real problem. Caught the 2:15, and were back in Orosí in time to use our new umbrellas.

Weather report: rained from 3-9 pm, with sun and a nice fresh breeze the rest of the day.

Electricity: was out from 1-4, but most of Cartago was business as usual, and part of that time we were on the bus coming home. The water stayed on the entire time.

No comments: