After Claire & co left, we had a week before our next visitors arrived. We were out most evenings. There were two events at the clubhouse: a New Year barbecue and the AGM of the Condo Association. We went to our first meeting of the Dutch Society. We went to an NT-Live screening of the Beaux’ Stratagem at the beautiful Historic Asolo Theatre; the next night (for something completely different!) we saw the film The Martian at the Parkway Cinema.
Apart from some shopping trips, and a visit to the pool when the weather improved, we didn’t go out much during the day, as we had a lot of things to catch up on at home. As well as reorganising the condo, we spent a lot of time planning and making arrangements for future travel. First off in 2016 was the trip to Central America which we originally planned to do last year, before Ian’s work necessitated an unexpected return to England. We’d arranged that a Canadian couple, friends of friends, would stay in our condo while we were gone.
Ralph and Kitty from Toronto were due to arrive on January 12, and spend two days with us before our departure on the 14th. Their plane was due to land about 7pm, but there was a lengthy delay, and they did not land until midnight. It was nearly 1am when they reached the condo, and 2am when we went to bed!
The next day Ian took Kitty and Ralph to collect a rental car. They had to unpack and settle in; we had to do our packing, return books to the library and prepare for our departure. But it gave us a valuable opportunity to get to know our new friends.
On Thursday 14th we drove across to Fort Lauderdale, and stayed overnight in a motel near the airport. We headed downtown to find somewhere to eat, and by chance happened on a busy and very pleasant street with lots of restaurants, including a creperie where we had a very enjoyable dinner. Next morning we handed back our rental car and flew to San José, the capital of Costa Rica.
In San José
In San José it was delightfully warm and sunny – a contrast after the relatively cool recent weather in Florida, and the rain in Fort Lauderdale the morning we left. We stayed two nights in a cheap hotel near the city centre. It appeared from guidebooks we’d consulted that the main points of interest in San José were museums, and the Schagen Laws of Travel state that we visit museums only when it is raining – otherwise we prefer to be outdoors. Still, we thought it would be worth a couple of days to get our bearings, collect maps, get information about buses etc.
The guidebooks proved to be pretty accurate, but we broke Schagens’ Law by visiting the Museum of Pre-Colombian Gold, which was quite interesting. We also took a tour of the National Theatre – ditto. We paid brief visits to the cathedral and the Central Market, and filled in the rest of the time by strolling around the parks and shopping streets, and by sampling various restaurants, cafés and bars. (Well, it was hot, so we needed drinks, didn’t we?)
On the road again
After San José our next destination was Montezuma, on the Nicoya Peninsula. This involved our first long-distance bus journey in Central America – six hours in total, but including a ferry crossing of 70 minutes. This provided a useful opportunity to use the toilets (there were none on the bus!), get drinks and stretch our legs. The timing was perfect too: we were on the 5pm ferry, and that meant we were able to watch a glorious sunset over the Gulf of Nicoya.