1)    Mal País to Cóbano $800 Colones
2)    Cóbano to Paquera $1200 Colones
3)    Paquera to Puntarenas (by boat) $810 Colones
4)    Port of Puntarenas to Puntarenas Central $400 Colones
5)    Puntareas Central to San Jose (directo) $2510 Colones
6)    San Jose terminal to MUSOC Bus Terminal (Taxi) $1500 Colones
7)    MUSOC Bus Terminal to San Isidro $2655 Colones

Despite the fact that we rode in or floated on seven different vehicles to arrive in San Isidro, our 12-hour journey was smooth; no major delays, a couple of "directo" busses with reclinable seats and most importantly, the 9° drop in temperature as we ascended into San Jose from the sweltering 38° C heat of Mal País (translated as "bad lands") on the Pacific coast. We arrived in San Isidro at 7:30 pm on a Saturday night and carried our backpacks through the central square, teaming with flirting teenagers strutting their stuff, to Hotel Chirripó. The hotel was on the south-side of the park, facing the towering catedral on the north-side. We enjoyed people-watching over dinner on the hotel’s patio, heards of over-weight women in tight thin shirts and an exhorbitant number of push-up bras, while the men squealled around the park in their lowered Civics and screaming motorcycles.

I did learn that when ordering "gin" in Costa Rica, as in a gin and tonic, "gin" refers to ginger ale. Instead, ended up with a shot of vodka and a club soda; it worked. Chris stuck to a simple beer. Very simple since there are only three main beers that are branded on restaurant signs throughout the country. You know when you’re in "Pilsner" or "Imperial Country". Unfortunately for a stout drinker, the only "oscuro" or dark beer I’ve been able to find is a Bavarian, No. 3 of the top three, which also falls into the Coors light-esque category along with the rest.

The metal doors of the tiendas surrounding the park began to shut around 10:00, so we returned to our room. The hotel was fine at $18 a night with shared bathrooms, a window, fan and hot water. Although the metal bed springs poking into my ribs were a bit of a rem-sleep damper.

It was 5:50 am when the church bells began to sound, shortly followed by booming music rising from the city. And although Ticos are early morning risers, this sounded like something was going on, and it was. We woke to find the finish-line of the Coasta Rican International Bike Race in the street just in front of our hotel. One again we had an entertaining breakfast with peddling, cheering and entertainers on roller skates and stilts from our hotel patio. I love surprises. But now, we had other things on our mind, like the following days trek up Cerro Chirripó. At 3,819 meters, we would be ascending 2,500 meters of Costa Rica’s tallest mountain from the base-pueblo of San Gerardo, a short bus-ride away from San Isidro.