On Monday, we boarded the 9:00 a.m. Atenas to Alajuela bus. I still get a kick out of the window curtains - great for blocking the sun. All the windows were open and a cool breeze blew in for the entire trip, which took about 30 minutes.
Lots of hill climbing and twisty roads with steep drop-offs. Incredible views. Another thing I like about the Costa Rican bus system is that you can bring food and drinks on board. In fact, on our San Jose trip a fellow boarded selling cold pop and water and we were happy to see him. When I think back to the Lower Mainland transit system and all their rules and regulations - phooey! If the bus driver feels like it, he might have a Costa Rican radio station playing on the sound system.
The bus station in Alajuela is a large dirt field where most of the buses park. Depending on which bus you want to catch, you might board at the station or out in the field. Nice small market area as you walk into town, which takes about three minutes. We stayed in Alajuela about four hours, which included getting lost and asking directions in the police station, having lunch, and shopping at Torre del Lobo. Bought a couple of shirts for Lance but could find no shorts for me. Also bought four towels which I think are duds because they don't absorb water very well and keep pilling up even after being washed. Made in China - should have known the quality would be poor.
As everyone who lives in, or has visited, Costa Rica knows - there are no street signs! Navigation is by landmarks. Okay if you live in the town, but not so good if you are visiting. There is always a central park and a church in every town to use as your GPS.
Found a large department type clothing store - two stories - filled with clothes for everyone. Forgot to write down the name. Really needed more time to look at everything so came out empty handed.
We were very fortunate in showing up at the bus depot about 5 minutes before the Atenas bus left - weren't sure of the schedule or even the time - so we lucked out. It started raining on the way home and people started closing the windows - it got quite humid and hot inside the bus.
This morning we went into Atenas nice and early. Had breakfast at the Tres Hermanas soda ("Three Sisters"). Excellent place to eat and you can watch the world go by out on the street. Cost of breakfast for two: 5125 colones, or $9.75 CAD. For that price, we got two plates of rice and black beans, scrambled eggs with ham, corn tortillas and two big mugs of really good coffee.
After breakfast, we crossed the street to a bakery. You can smell the fresh baked goods all over Atenas in the mornings. Bought a loaf of bread and four pastries for the grand total of 1300 CRC or $2.47 CAD. Eight fresh eggs, probably laid yesterday from hens who get to run free, set us back 735 CRC or $1.40 CAD. So I suppose a dozen eggs would cost about $2.10. These eggs are terrific. The shells are really hard and the yolks are very yellow.
Here is a photo I took the other day on the road that runs outside our house of a hen in a corn field.