Saturday, January 31, 2009

Deep Six January with Costa Rica

We offer in the next several days a marvelous plan to deep six January. Spend it in Costa Rica!

This may not be practical for the working stiffs of the world, but for the retired it is an ideal way to avoid the practical northern terror of slipping on the ice and snow in your own front yard. Taking a tumble on a patch of ice that was only foggily apparent because of your tri-focals is embarrassing; better to strain something leaping off a zodiac to the beach or tripping on the walking root of a jungle tree. That is a badge of honor for the intrepid senior citizen.

So we offer you a summary of our mostly glorious Elderhostel to Costa Rica and Panama aboard Cruise West's intrepid little ship--the Pacific Explorer. Our journey started with a pleasant flight from Moline to San Jose via Atlanta. There was a bit of a snafu at the San Jose airport when our hotel transport was among the missing, but some frenzied negotiation with a taxi tout did manage to get us to the Casa Conde.

We were three days early for the start of our Elderhostel and intended to use the time to do some sightseeing in San Jose using the Casa Conde as our base. Other than the quixotic hot water supply and the occasional lapses of communication with the staff caused by our insufficient command of Spanish, our stay was delightful. Note we could complain that the staff didn't always seem to understand our English. But let's face it folks, that is one of the most often voiced and perhaps least justified tourist complaints in the world. Whose country is it and whose language difficulty is at the root of the problem? You do have to remember that even four year olds in foreign countries speak the native language quite well.

And let it be said that you could easily fall in love with the Casa Conde in spite of the tepid showers. As the following pictures show, it was a visual delight. The stairs were striking; the rooms were well appointed; the beds comfy, the pool gorgeous, and the food both delicious and reasonably priced. We took our every meal under the awning by the pool.

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