Leaving Paradise

Paradise Lost

After breakfast and a short walk around the grounds we were sad to leave this idyllic setting but more discoveries lie ahead  As we boarded the boat I struck up a conversation with a young man I learned was from Pittsburgh and we chatted about travel.  He was traveling on his own for a couple of weeks, flying between the parks.  Another couple was from Switzerland and a gentleman from France made up the passengers on the boat.  Remember we have a wet landing on the other side of the bay so as we disembarked into the water our luggage was carried down the beach to the 4-wheel drive land rover for the short trip back across the bridge and through the river to the airport.  When we approached the bridge the young man from Pittsburgh covered his eyes, he was terrified of the bridge and would not uncover his eyes until we assured him we were on the other side.  He travels the world on his own but is paralyzed but this short albeit rickety bridge.  I can empathize.

We had a short wait for the plane and it was a busy morning.  Nature Air arrived first and as it was sitting on this single runway, loading passengers, our plane came in from the opposite direction, landed and taxied back to the “airport” and positioned itself out of the way so the first plane could take off.  It was quite a ballet.

San Jose Roof Tops

We had a nice flight back to San Jose and were picked up at the airport and transported to our hotel, the Balmoral, right in the heart of San Jose’s historic center.  There had been some confusion with some of our backpacks that had been left at the other hotel and confusion over when we were to meet the other travelers and our tour guide for the remainder of the trip so we decided to have lunch and check back before heading out to explore a little of San Jose in the daylight.

After a number of phone calls our backpacks was located and eventually delivered.  We met Andres, our guide for the next two weeks, got the schedule for tomorrow and then headed out to see San Jose.  The hotel fronted on a pedestrian street that runs for many blocks, a good place to start.

San Jose Park

I wouldn’t describe San Jose as a particularly attractive city, there were a few lovely old buildings, a few modern buildings but mostly it was old and commercial, lots of people on the streets and lots of traffic.  We walked around a number of blocks to get oriented and see what we could find.  The Teatro Nacional was close to the hotel;  we plan to visit that tomorrow, we visited the gift shop of the Gold Museum, it was too late in the day to do a tour of the museum.  A couple of blocks from the hotel there was a large plaza full of people and a troupe of vaudeville performers putting on a show.  We watched several acts and the performers were delighting the crowd and us with their shenanigans.

When we arrived back at the hotel we met some of the other travelers and then retreated to our room to re-organize our luggage and shower before dinner.  Friday night and the bar was full so we had a nice dinner in the hotel dining room before retiring, tomorrow we head north.

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