Sunday, December 16, 2007

November 27, 2007 - Expedition

CRASH! What a way to wake up! Yesterday we got a mirror, and used it for all of half a day - this morning, a high wind sprang up and blew it right off the wall. Since *we* didn't break it, I am maintaining that we *don't* get 7 years of bad luck...

We had planned to meet friends for coffee, go on to Volcán Poás, then have lunch at Chubasco's - a highly-recommended restaurant. Even with the high winds, we decided that you can never tell whether you can see anything until you get there.

Well, we walk to the restaurant, and hear the now-familiar refrain "no hay luz" - central Alajuela has no electricity :(. So we go to another soda, have breakfast, and call our friends - no problem, they meet us at the new place for coffee!

And we're off! We hit the mountain road - BAM! The water hose jumps off the radiator and steam pours out of the hood! We all get out, check the damage, and a taxi driver offers help. We re-connect the hose, fill the radiator, limp to his house, and he adds more water. It becomes obvious that the water pump is not working, so he fiddles some more, pours more water... Ultimately, he fixes the water problem AND a problem with the horn - then smiles and waves as we thank him and drive off :). (no more problems - with the car...)

At the final turn-off for Poás, it becomes obvious that we will see nothing but clouds at the top. So, we blow off the mountain, and turn towards La Paz gardens to see butterflies. We are thinking that we would spend perhaps half an hour or a bit more there, but when we get there, we find that the main trail takes 2 1/2 hours (too long) and they don't have a partial-tour price. So we would be spending a *lot* for our little stroll ($29 for non-residents and $15 for residents). Guess what we did - yep, went to the gift shop instead :).

On the way back, we stopped at Chubasco's - they are *closed*!!! (not shut down, but *closed*!) We head back to another restaurant we passed, and had a *great* buffet lunch instead.

Then we decide to see if the Christmas tree farm will sell us a living tree (dug up, not cut down). No luck.

So by now, we're asking ourselves "was this a completely failed trip?" Believe it or not, the answer is NO. We had a very nice visit through it all, we drove through gorgeous countryside, had an unexpectedly nice lunch, and met even more wonderful Ticos!

(Again, *we* *didn't* break the mirror!)

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