After breakfast in our usual haunt, a shopping spree, tho’ not for anything wonderfully exciting. A couple of pairs of knickers for me, one of same for Val, a bottle of shampoo, + a bikini for Val – I suppose the last qualifies as fairly exciting. Things are just so cheap here, that if you’re in need of basic things (and you can’t get anything more basic than knickers) it’s too good a place to miss out on. Especially in a town as western as San Jose. Our shopping took up most of the day, + with a couple of non-events – I tried to go on a tour of the National Theatre, but they didn’t seem to want to take me, +there was the inauguration of a new Arts Centre, but nothing seemed to be going on – that brought us to evening. A splendid meal, in a fast-food baked potato shop. During our meal, we were able to look over some photos we’d just received back. We had one colour + one black + white, + to my surprise it was the latter that was really excellent: a really marvellous set of photos we’d taken in San Pedro. And then an early night, or relatively so, since Val was suffering pretty bad from the shits.
The next morning, we dared to risk our stove once again, this time with considerable more success – we were able to prepare about a gallon of porridge. (It’s known here, justifiably I’ll admit, as mosh.) We then walked to the station to catch the 11 o’clock train to Limon, supposed to be an attractive trip, only to discover it left at 12, so we whiled away some time in a local café. Then, thanks to good fortune + the vagaries of the system at the station, despite the crush I was able to get onto the platform in perfect time to get us a double seat on the right side of the train, facing the right way. The journey was nice in places but much too long, so that the attraction had long since worn off by the time we arrived. Teamed up with 3 other backpackers, got a ride from the station into town with them, found a hotel (of the usual standard) with them, and then we all went out for a meal together. Chinese food, a good meal, pleasant conversation.
It is interesting how much of our enjoyment of a place is tied to how affordable we find it. Mexico was difficult, and Costa Rica, despite being not wonderfully interesting, allowed us to live reasonably well, and all because of the vagaries of the international monetary exchange. It was as well that we could afford it, since we were now committed to spending quite a time there, the trip to Limon being just a way of eating up a couple of days.