Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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To Costa Rica San Jose, Costa Rica, Saturday, 04 January 2014 9:49pm

I took another minibus shuttle from León to the airport this morning, and was treated to a prime selection of 80s music: Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, and, of course George Michael, singing "Careless Whisper". We passed by many fields of sugarcane (all owned by Flor de Caña, if their map is correct. It started to rain a bit, and everyone's luggage was on the roof, so we stopped at a gas station, made the people pack in tighter (the van was at about half capacity), and stuffed all of the backpacks in the back.

I got dropped off at the airport about three hours before my flight took off, so I got to peruse the souvenir shops outside of security and the duty free shops inside. It turns out that the most expensive bottle of Flor de Caña (the 25 year) is widely available in duty free, and is about $20 cheaper than at the distillery. The prices on the other ones are better there.

I bought my ticket for this flight from United, but it was technically a LACSA flight. However, my boarding pass said it was operated by Aviateca, and was printed on Avianca ticket stock. The plane itself said TACA on the side. It was an ATR-42 turboprop, and I got to sit with the propeller right outside of my window. They served us a meal... a ham and cheese sandwich, just like old times.

My phone wasn't getting data service when I landed, so I bought a SIM card from the local carrier that was recommended by most Internet sources. But I couldn't even get signal on that carrier in the airport, so I switched back to my American SIM, which finally did manage to get a data connection. Our hotel (costing more per night than my hotel in León did for my four day visit) is the first place I've stayed on this trip that doesn't have free wifi, so this is being posted over a shared connection from my phone.

I've met up with Chuck, Gina and Frederick, and we've planned to spend tomorrow around San Jose. Our boat leaves on Monday, and I'm not sure what kind of network (if any) I'll have between then and when it returns on the 16th.