The time had finally come to say goodbye to San Jose, so we went thro’ the old, well-practised motions of stuffing all our belongings into our bags – not quite as smooth a job as usual, because we’re overloaded with food, in preparation for Panama, which by all accounts is a very expensive place to live. We then deposited our bags in the hotel office, + trotted out for first breakfast – we patronised our faithful old café once again – + then a last spot of sight-seeing. We visited the Jade Museum, which with remarkable foresight has been given to occupy the 11th floor of one of the city’s modern office blocks. It’s a remarkable museum, totally free, and laid out attractively, far superior to the National Museum, especially, naturally enough, in the jade section, tho’ they also had some great pre-Columbian pottery. We also ran into Steve again, probably for the last time, since he is about to turn around + head north once again, being down to his last $300. We paid a quick visit to Bolivar Park, home of the city’s zoo, but that was rather distressing, since the cages + enclosures were all too small. All zoos are prisons really – it’s just that some are able to disguise that fact more effectively. It was a shame, since the surroundings for people in the park were pleasant. It just wasn’t much fun if you were an animal.
Collected our bags, + then the purchase of a spot of provisions for the journey – some bread, some chicken, + (fanfare, fanfare) even some pasties – or pasties as near as dammit, from a small bakery. Walked to the bus station, + I read, while Val shot back to buy some things from the supermarket – more soya meat (rum-ti-tum) + marmalade. The bus, unfortunately, wasn’t as good as some we have travelled on – bench seats, 3 to each – but on the other hand our companion was only a small boy, so it could have been worse. Ate our packed dinner at a rest stop – a splendid meal – + then on again to the border town, arriving at about 10.30. Made the acquaintance of a young Colombian backpacker, who helped us find a room, which we shared with him – a pretty seedy place, but there was no other. Grabbed a coke as a nightcap, then bed.
And definitely time to leave Costa Rica, which we had already explored in far more detail that we had anticipated. Good to be on the move again, even though the travel itself was tedious and uncomfortable.