(San José, Costa Rica)
After leaving Manuel Antonio National Park and checking out of our hotel, we walked to a nearby café for lunch. Once again, I was surprised to see a couple of large iguanas en route (one is shown in the photo at the top of this post), but I’m starting to think that Costa Rica’s iguanas are just as ubiquitous as squirrels in Canada. Actually, I also saw one squirrel in Costa Rica…
The drive back to San José was uneventful: we had seen much of this road before and I think we were all realizing just how tired we were. It had been a jam-packed itinerary and we all saw far more than we had anticipated.
Our last meal together was at an Argentinian restaurant near our San José hotel. As I had been planning an October trip to Argentina before I decided to visit Costa Rica instead, this was a nice way to end the trip. And what a meal! I started with a delicious empanada con carne dulce (empanada stuffed with ground beef, olives and raisins). It was so good that, after finishing my main course, I ordered another one. It was easily the best empanada I’ve ever had.
The main course was a very large ravioli-type pasta stuffed with ham, cheese and mushroom, all smothered with a tangy rosé sauce. If you are ever in the western downtown area of San José, I can definitely recommend Aqui Es for a high-quality but reasonably-priced meal. I only wish that I had remembered to put my memory card back in my camera before going out to dinner…sadly, I can’t share any images from this wonderful meal. By virtue of this meal alone, I will definitely be keeping Argentina on my travel radar in the future!
Before heading out to the airport the next morning, I had arranged to meet one of my “pen friends” for an impromptu tour of the highlights of downtown San José. Having an area resident show me around was a great way to see the sights in a very short time.
We even managed to grab a refreshing beverage at the elegant café in the Teatro Nacional. My friend’s local expertise also enabled me to find a fun gift for my wife, even though it was a Sunday morning.
The trip back to Toronto went by fairly quickly but it was still 12:52 a.m. when the plane arrived. Pearson Airport is remarkably quiet at that time of night. I would have preferred to go straight home but there was no way (short of hiring a taxi for the 3-hour drive) of getting to Kingston for several hours. After an anticlimactic stay at an anonymous airport hotel, I finally caught a bus back home.
This was a great trip – I can’t believe how much I saw and experienced in such a short period of time. I plan to post at least one further blog entry on Costa Rican food, after which I have some exciting personal news to share!