Of Course I Know The Way (To San Jose)

Of Course I Know The Way (To San Jose)

Dunno how, but I woke up in time to drive Casey and I back through Manhattan to Newark airport, fill up with petrol, return the car, check in, get through the odious security and board the flight.

Speaking of odious security, I do NOT allow myself to be scanned with that infernal body scan machine they have in Yankee airports. You know, the ones that take a big fat photo of your balls. Americans are more than aware of their own rights, you only have to watch a real-life cop show (or engage in debate with a member of the NRA) to know that. Not so aware of other people’s rights though are we America? What’s that you say? The scan images are not recorded? REALLY?! Is that how TENS OF THOUSANDS OF THEM ENDED UP ONLINE?



Nah, I’ll take the “pat down” which is slightly – SLIGHTLY – less intrusive, but still somehow involves a total stranger getting to know me better than they would after a first date. I find it interesting that on my journey to every country in the world I wasn’t personally violated in this way in order to enter any country… and yet the country MOST obsessed with its individual rights and freedoms is the place where everyone’s like “ah yes, I see why this is totally necessary!”

Jimmy Savile
The head of the TSA. Presumably.

Anyways…….. so off to Costa Rica!! “Eh?! Why Costa Rica?” I hear you cry from the Peanut Gallery, “I thought your island was in Panama?!” Yes but Jinja Island is tucked away in the very top left-hand corner of Panama, making it closer to the capital of Costa Rica than it is to the capital of Panama. FACT!

So unless you’re taking a domestic flight from Panama City to Bocas Del Toro, there be no sense in lollygaggin’ around the canal zone. We would be taking the bus, and SJO will do us just fine.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica!!!

We arrived in San Jose just after midday. NO WAY am I spending $25 on a damn taxi, so we hopped the local bus into town. We checked into a sweet little guesthouse called Kap’s Place. After dropping our bags off and showering, Case and I headed out for a walk. The capital city of Costa Rica is not the most attractive of tropical metropoli – it’s a grid system built up with more concrete than a 1960s Town Planner’s wet dream. However, there are small pockets of UTTER MAGIC which more than make up for it, not least the wonderful colonial architecture and churches dotted around the place. If you know where to look.

San Jose Church
Hidden Gems shine all the brighter against a backdrop of concrete, bureaucracy and compromise.

Case and I saunted along the main shopping street towards Central Park, which isn’t called Central Park, it’s called La Sabana. It was a bit further than we anticipated and it was getting dark by the time we got there…

San Jose Sunset
Goodbye Mr. Sun

…so we got a shot of the lovely Museo De Arte at the park’s entrance…

San Jose Museo De Arte
That’s nice innit?

…and jumped a cab back to the hotel. We even managed to convince the driver to turn the meter on and everything! RESULT!!!

(I’m pretty sure that the general lack of taxi meters round these parts is why Central America is the murder capital of the world.)

Back at the ranch, we realised that we HAD. NOT. STOPPED. for weeks and promptly fell asleep.

Graham Hughes

Graham David Hughes (born 1979) is a British adventurer, filmmaker, television presenter and Guinness World Records holder. Graham successfully visited all United Nations member states without flying. He did so over a period of nearly four years and completed the task in November 2012. While on his journey he presented the television program “Graham’s World” on the National Geographic Adventure channel, a weekly look into his ongoing quest to break multiple world records by visiting every country on earth without flying.

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