Decided priority no. 1, among many high priorities, was to have breakfast, then find another hotel. Breakfast was easily dealt with, in a cheap café we’d passed last night, where they served splendid fried eggs, + the most magnificent banana milk-shake. Then, after much asking, were able to find the Tourist Info. Centre, to help us find a hotel, as well as supply us with other useful addresses for the day’s business – our lack of success in Managua left it all to be done now. It seemed, however, that the lady in Tourism over-valued our wallets, because she directed us to some very expensive hotels. However, we found one on our own, near the market, cheap + cheerful.
Next, American Express. We’d decided to “lose” Val’s travellers’ cheques, so as to obtain some more – not for fraudulent purposes, you understand, but useful perhaps for entering countries who are over-fastidious about letting in paupers. Some form-filling, of course, + then they told us to return in the afternoon. Visited the market, where I bought a very cheap leather belt. The exchange rate is such that Costa Rica is incredibly cheap for us, tho’ very expensive for the locals. Wandered around a little, + down to the Red Cross, hoping to be able to get a jab for Yellow fever, but they weren’t able to help. Back at AmEx, they told us we had to wait 8 days for the cheques – a blow, but we weren’t really in a position to argue… or change our mind.
Bought 2 MCOs for Central Am airlines – I only hope they’re as good as they promise, + the things can be used anywhere. Put some films in to be developed, + changed some money – it’s crazy! The official rate here is about 8 or 9 colones to the dollar, but you can get 42 anywhere! We bought some cheap wine, which we drank in our room – it was revolting, but had the desired effect, since Val at least was very drunk, giggling + telling me stories all the way thro’ our dinner, a very cheap meal in a café (I couldn’t eat half of mine – I think it was the wine’s fault.) Then we went to see “Tess”, which we enjoyed, tho’ with some reservations.
Hmm – not sure what I feel about our travellers’ cheque scam now. Not with any fraudulent intent, I claim, but of course it was fraud, all the same, even though we regarded it as a sensible bureaucratic procedure at the time. And it did come back to bite us, changing what we had imagined to be a very short visit to Costa Rica into an eight-day stay. And I am a little puzzled why we were investing in MCOs, when they seemed to offer little more than the money they cost. But I cannot account for our actions so long agol.