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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Monday, December 08, 2008

South of the border...

...is where I went for a while recently.

In fact, I was South of a number of borders...in Costa Rica.

The first place I stayed was the Hotel Santo Tomas in San José, which is the capital city:

This had been a huge mansion at one time, but has since been converted into a hotel. It was undergoing a lot of renovation when I stayed there, but my room was fine. There was a nice little restaurant in the hotel, too.

Within easy walking distance of the hotel were numerous points of interest, as one might expect in the capital of a country.

The first spot I checked out was a national park:

It wasn't a National Park along the lines of a Yellowstone or Yosemite, for example, but they do have (and I did visit) a number of those as well. More on that later.

After visiting the park, I meandered around an old part of the city:

It's actually a nice and quaint kind of place.

Eventually, I went to the national zoo:

That was also within easy walking distance of the hotel.

The Rio Torres passes through town, and runs along the zoo:

It's really a pretty little municipality.

Other than in the zoo, there's some cool wildlife:

Those guys are pretty mellow, unless you get too close.
(In which case they tend to scramble away)

OK, as previously mentioned, Arenal National Park:

I found it rather amusing that they had several signs stating that it was a "high volcanic risk" area, considering the fact that the most recent lava flow there was in 1992. I realize that's a very brief span in geological terms, but generally speaking I'd have to consider it quite safe. There is some genuine volcanic activity going on at the Poas Volcano, but I only saw that venting steam from my flight back out of the country.

Another Parque Nacional is Marino Las Baulas.

There's a Playa Grande (big beach) there:

This is a popular nesting area for sea turtles, in fact.

After the hotel stay came the resort.

Here's a view from there, looking out over the Pacific:

They had beach access a short walk from my condo.

The last Parque Nacional I went to was Monteverde:

It's called El Bosque Nuboso, which means "cloudy forest" in Inglés.

It truly is a cloudy forest, most of the time:

I think that's a pretty decent photograph, myself.

Last, but not least, I visited my "hometown":

Well, not really, but the name is very close...

Update! More pictures posted HERE.

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