san josé

1.29.2010




We didn’t find the capital of Costa Rica terribly interesting. Despite the fact that the city center is very pedestrian friendly, it was overcrowded and had little to offer in terms of interesting sights. We did come across a square filled with hundreds of pigeons. It reminded Mina of a scene from Mary Poppins - there was even a weird lady selling bread.



The only highlight of our stop in San José was a little restaurant called Limoncello, where they served excellent Italian dishes and had the best service we’ve experienced since we’ve started traveling. If you’re ever stuck in San José it’s a great option for a consistently good meal at a reasonable price.

Luckily, we loved the rest of our time in Costa Rica.

- Alex

rivas

1.28.2010

rivas

To get to Costa Rica from San Juan Del Sur we took a cab ride to Rivas to catch another Tica Bus (this cab ride was much more pleasant than the last one). We’ve used Tica Bus before and normally we embarked and disembarked at proper bus terminals. This time there was no terminal, just an unmarked curb, in the sun, to wait for the bus. Under a tree and near a construction site, we found a pile of bricks to sit on just a few feet from where the other passengers were waiting.

"bus stop"
Keeping us amused were these unsupervised Nicaraguan children and their dangerous shenanigans (if you can’t tell they’re trying to reach through barbed wire):

shenanigans
Next stop: Costa Rica!

tell the teacher we're surfin'

1.26.2010

San Juan Del Sur is a surfer's paradise. Too bad we're not surfers. We were told the waves are excellent and that it's a great place to learn. Apparently, this is not true in January.

On the day we went out for our lesson, it was so windy that we were getting knocked around while walking down the street. On the beach, surf boards were flying everywhere. I was getting pushed over by the smallest of waves and Alex got stung by jellyfish several times. We didn't take our camera to the lesson (kinda glad - would have been embarrassing to document how pathetic we were), but here's a shot of me posing with the surf board:


posada azul


Sometimes it's difficult finding accommodations when we're on the road. When planning a vacation you typically only have to focus on one place and have a lot of time. Constantly scouring tripadvisor for reviews and researching places can become very tedious - especially when there's a deadline. Before heading to Nicaragua, we found a spot that seemed to be perfect, but unfortunately there was a misunderstanding with the owner. He referred us to Posada Azul - which was the spot we had those great breakfasts every morning.


Several of the places we've researched in Central America are overpriced and pretty sketch. It's hard to know if you're going to be happy with a place until you see it. Posada Azul was no frills - but it was spacious, clean, and they had a book exchange and a sweet pool.

b & b

1.25.2010


A breakfast that starts off with a huge plate of fresh fruit is so invigorating. While in San Juan Del Sur, we woke up to one every morning. The pineapples are white (we're used to them being yellow):



...and the oranges are green. We've seen all of these fruits growing during our long bus rides.



Neither of us enjoy papaya. We'd like to. It looks fresh and juicy, but the flavour is just not our thing - maybe because it's not very popular back home.

All these fruits are known to us and we're looking forward to trying some foreign and weird looking fruits during our travels.

flying frogs

1.22.2010

In a rural area, just outside of San Juan Del Sur, we zipped down cables at up to 70km an hour speeds. After a lot of lazy-ing around in the hot sun, we felt like doing something a little more exciting. Zip-lining seemed to be the obvious remedy to our ennui.

Following a bumpy ride through a farming community, we arrived at a small cabin where we 'geared up' and headed to the top of a hill where there is a stunning view of the beach town and the tree-filled area that encompasses it.




It took less than an hour to complete the 17 platforms which were mostly located in trees.


 If you squint, you can see me on the middle of this wire:


Our guide, from "Da Flying Frog" Canopy Tours, was a pro:


...and a shot of Mina:




The cables vary in length and speed, the longest (and most fun) being 328 metres that passes over a 70 metre deep canyon. Mina would get a little nervous on each platform before getting attached to the wire - but once she was zipping along, she was fine. It was definitely a unique way to view the landscape.

- Alex



liquid diet

1.21.2010

bambu beach club

The sticky, hot air in San Juan Del Sur had us drinking like fish. Thankfully, the bottled water was cheap and we consumed several litres a day. Although, agua pura does the job of quenching our thirst, it does get boring and we started searching for other liquid refreshments. The Bambu Beach Club serves a variety of different flavored lemonades that had us coming back almost daily. Strawberry, Mango, Peach... we wished we were there longer just to sample all the flavors. The best one? Mint. When I'm done traveling, I've decided that I'm going to have fresh mint on hand, in the kitchen, at all times. Try it in your next lemonade, it's amazing.



thank you


... for all of the birthday greetings! You guys are sweet.
xo, Mina


Photo taken during a walk in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

film

1.20.2010

Mexico City

We've been carrying around a disposable camera and our fisheye film, and only recently got them developed. Some of the pictures are pretty messed up, possibly from the airport x-ray.... but we think they look kinda rad.



OAXACA:




LAKE ATITLAN:

happy birthday mina!



I can't imagine doing this trip with anyone else.
Love you.
-Alex

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