We are back in San Jose. It is Friday morning and our trip is almost finished. We have to be checked out of the hotel by noon and we load the bus to the airport at 2:30 for the long flight home. Once again we have a layover in Los Angeles before catching our flight back to Calgary. At least we don't have to go through Vancouver on the way home.
Yesterday was a transfer day from the Central Pacific Coast to San Jose. It is not that far back to San Jose so we didn't have to get up for breakfast until 9:00 am which was a nice change.
Everyone was pretty tired after being in the sun the day before. In spite of our repeated warnings and reminders about wearing hats, putting on lots of sunscreen, and wearing shirts, some students did not heed our warnings and got sunburned. Sandra, our nurse/chaparone, just happens to work in the burn unit at the hospital, so they are getting good treatment. Lots of aloe vera gel and lotion are being passed around.
On our way back to San Jose we stopped at Sarchi, a town famous in San Jose for its furniture manufacturing and wood-working shops. Our first stop was at a large co-op market where the students could shop for souvenirs, coffee, chocolate, carved items, T-shirts and other trinkets. After about an hour of shopping we went to a local restaurant where we had a buffet lunch of rice and beans, chicken, salad, fried plantain, and other typical Costa Rican dishes. At the restaurant was another store which had fairly good prices for souvenirs.
After our shopping spree we got back on the bus for the remainder of our trip back to San Jose. The city was much different than when we left. When we left it was during their Easter holiday when everyone was at the beach or at home with family. Now everyone is back at work so the city is very busy. We arrived in San Jose at around 4:30 pm, right in the middle of rush hour traffic. It is quite scary to see three lanes of traffic and then motorcycles zipping along the middle between the lanes.
At the hotel, we checked in, got showered and dressed and then headed to our final activity, which was a Costa Rican feast with traditional dancing and a time for the students to join into the festivities.
The restaurant is located at the top of a mountain which is overlooking San Jose and the entire valley. Pancho did an amazing job of navigating up the narrow roads and 25% grades up to the restaurant. It was also nice that both Pancho's wife and daughter and Pablo's girlfriend could come with us. The view from the restaurant is incredible and the buffet supper of traditional foods was absolutely amazing. After supper a group of six traditional dancers performed a series of dances for us. After they had finished dancing, the music continued and all of our students started dancing and having a great time. What a perfect way to finish our trip, good food, good music, and a beautiful view of San Jose.