Day 4. (Also my 40th birthday) So this morning I woke up and decided to do some hiking. I decided to go up Monte De La Cruz. On top of this path, there is a large cross that overlooks the city of San Jose. I took pictures of the most amazing views of the valley where San Jose sits. I spent a good couple hours hiking here. After exploring the park I ran into my first issue here.
There was no cell service at the park so calling for an Uber was rather difficult. I had to walk down the hill a bit, in the middle of nowhere, in order to get some cell service to order an Uber. I use a T-mobile sim for my service in the USA and also as my main mobile number and SMS number. I also use Google’s Project Fi as my secondary Sim as internationally it has (almost) unlimited LTE (or fastest available) in like 150 countries. You might note that T-mobile USA has unlimited international data but outside of the USA/Canada/Mexico, the speeds are 2g or 3g. Eventually, I plan to move everything to Project FI, which I highly recommend as a cell phone provider. In the USA it works off of T-mobile and Sprint towers. Everything is unlimited for $80. So T-mobile one unlimited is only $70 but the ability to use Sprint towers and then international LTE sealed the deal for me. You can use this code to save $20 and I also get a $20 referral fee. (https://g.co/fi/r/6EY7MV)
After the Hike I was rather tired so decided to siesta and then Netflix and chill. This is a great opportunity to speak about Netflix internationally. For those that travel outside the US often you are probably aggravated by the lack of content on the US version as opposed to other countries. It is amazing to me that licensing can be such a media block. Leaving the USA gets you access to Archer (which was removed from the US site), Rick and Morty, The new Star Trek (which is a CBS show in the US but the rest of the world it is distributed by Netflix). I know these are just a few examples of something that is a huge aggravation to me. “First world problems” I know, but it doesn’t take much to irk me.
I finished the first season of “Jessica Jones” on my birthday eve. While this is no “Soprano’s” it is still worth checking out in my opinion. I am not sure why but I have always liked being by myself on my birthday. It really isn’t that I get depressed or anything, it is just a chance to reflect in private over the year that I have had. I am not one to live in the past, I normally swallow things and move forward. Even I need a quiet day to reflect.
I finished the day walking to a mall called Paseo de la Flores. It is a 2 story mall with probably 300 shops. Extremely modern and upscale. A strange dichotomy that is inherently Costa Rican. There is such a divide between the many poor and the more middle class here. I think of it as if for some reason in the US everyone in San Francisco has to move to Alabama suddenly. Just a large culture and material divide but they all have to live in the same neighborhood. So it is common to see a shanty next to the most modern house you can imagine by American standards.
Day 5 I decided to explore more by foot. So I took off in the direction of downtown Heredia. I snapped a few shots. A pretty one of El Fortin, a tower built in the 18th Century as part of a fort but never used militarily. I explored markets and just walked around. I then headed back to my Airbnb with thoughts of the garlic octopus dish I had a few days prior. This dish is incredible. This dish is every bit as good as my favorite dish in Florida which is a grilled octopus dish they serve at Acropolis in Ybor City. I wrapped up the evening by walking back to El Fortin when Lindsay advised me that they light it up at night. I am a sucker for lights.
Day 6 here we are. My travel day back to Orlando. I am sitting at the airport writing this blog watching some people go crazy over some celebrity I don’t know. Everyone is taking their picture with him and he just wants to be left alone. It’s super sad and cringe to watch. My highlight of this trip is clearly the Toucan Rescue Ranch. I really loved the pictures I was able to take and learn about the rescue efforts they provide for the wildlife of this beautiful country. I also really enjoyed speaking with the Uber drivers. They provided such candid accounts on the state of their country. The influx of Venezuelan refugees, Nicaraguan refugees, the issues they see with their country, and how proud they are to be Costa Rican. Hasta luego Costa Rica.