Welcome back to the tales of my trip. We continue where we left off.
I had been put up in a lovely room in the Hilton with great food and a comfy bed. So the next morning I go to check out in order to catch my new flight to San Jose.
“That’ll be $145.00.” said the man behind the counter. I was dazzled and not just by his brilliantly white teeth. I explained that BA had paid for the room, but apparently BA hadn’t actually sent the money to the Hilton so I was liable and will have to get reimbursement from BA. Well that makes me short for my trip but they have my card details so it’s a done deal. I was treated to another blindingly white smile before I left to catch the bus.
Fast forward to the plane. I had a window seat as requested but was sitting next to a 4 year old child and his mother. I realise that they have a right to fly too but surely not next to me. To make things worse, the plane sat in the airport for 2 hours while they put some oil in the engine. Meanwhile I was getting ritually kicked and shoved by the kid and my teeth were hurting from all the gritting they were doing. Finally we took off and the mother had the brilliant idea of sitting across the aisle with her husband and putting their 3 year old daughter over with me and her brother. So, with chairs bashed, shins kicked, ribs elbowed, ear drums popped I arrived in Costa Rica. Wahooooo. Holiday begins.
The last case is collected from the carousel and yes, you guessed it, it wasn’t mine. There I stood, a lonely figure staring longingly at the metal case dispenser willing my case to pop over the top like an afterthought but no such luck. Resignedly I trudged over to the lost luggage desk and was told that my pink flowered case was still in Miami. I had spoken too soon with my effusive praise for BA. The man behind the counter, whose teeth were not at all white, told me that if I am lucky I may get it “today or tomorrow or sometime”. I was given a piece of paper with a phone number and a website to check intermittently and sent on my way to my poor friend who was patiently waiting outside.
Tired and despondent now I got into my friend Annie’s car and we drive to her house. My spirits lift on the journey as the country is beautiful. It is the greenest, hilliest place I have ever seen and as we wind our way up the mountain the land disappears into the clouds. I have never been inside a cloud before and it wasn’t quite as I expected. They have a distinctive smell, kind of metallic but also a little menthol, a heady mixture and my lungs felt truly opened. I was quite glad to see that there were no angels with their harps welcoming me to the gates of heaven just yet. If this was heaven then the roads were in dire need of attention. I added whiplash to my list of injuries sustained on the plane.
After settling in to Annie’s wooden house, meeting her roommates, Monroe and Lily and having my first cup of real Costa Rican coffee we went off again down the mountain to meet another friend, Barbara, a Scottish lady who had lived for 30 years in the USA and who now lived here. She was a fusion of accents and the most eccentric person I have ever met. She showed me round her mountainside house with its exotic daybed and brightly coloured cushions into a barely functioning kitchen and bathroom. I was beginning to see that the motto here is “If it works it’s good”. No creature comforts to speak off but they do all seem to have internet connections and I definitely saw an iPad or two in the shacks that we had passed. (Steve Jobs is alive and well in Costa Rica). I have also seen some very precarious electrical connections which I am trying to turn a blind eye to lest I fear I may be frazzled in my sleep.
My meal that night was chicken and rice in a bar that looked more like a lean-to with a bathroom that was a cockroaches heaven. However the food was delicious and I cleaned my plate. The waiter was obviously pleased that I liked the food so much that he gave me a huge grin and showed me three very brown teeth. I considered recommending he contact the guy in Miami but decided he would silly with teeth whiter than the crockery. Barbara entertained me with tales of her daughter and life in the US and her general eccentricities and at 6pm we left for home.
Checking on line we found out that my case was…… still in Miami, so dress and underwear in the sink again and I sank into my bed.
Day two coming tomorrow. See you then.