An old friend in San Jose

Posted from Heredia Province, Costa Rica.

From Santa Teresa I headed to San Jose to see an old friend. I didn’t have much plans for San Jose, just two nights. My journey to the big city was a rather disappointing, and over-priced shuttle experience. Santa Teresa is a bit out of the way, making it a little complicated to access, or leave with public transport, but shuttles really aren’t necessary. There is a direct bus that costs $17. Take this. It’s worth it. I took a $50 shuttle that really wasn’t a shuttle. It was a waste of money.


It’s amazing how many ferries I’ve had to use on this trip.

The company, Montezuma Adventure, was having a slow day. Usually they pick everyone up in the van and drive it to the ferry, load it on the ferry, and then drive everyone to where ever they’re going in San Jose. But on this day they only had seven customers, so they picked three of us up from our lodgings in Santa Teresa with a taxi and took us to Cobano, a small town about 15km from Santa Teresa.

Then we waited and waited for the van with the customers from Montezuma, a beach in the other direction. A company rep felt so bad, that we had to wait so long that he bought us each a coffee. But there’s more. The van finally showed up (someone had slept in!) and we’re told we will be getting off the van and taking our luggage with us on the ferry. The van, as it was late, drove like a mad hatter down the horrible bumpy road towards the ferry. I couldn’t even drink my coffee, but rather wore a good portion of it.

The company that took me for a ride.

I got off the ferry to find the company I had booked with had no idea who I was or that I had a reservation. I was ready to cry. Fifty bucks just wasted on a “shuttle” that was not a shuttle. It was four separate modes of transportation. Someone, who seemed in charge, made a few phone calls. Shortly afterwards one of the drivers came and put his arm around me, and said I was going with him. Thank God. We dropped off two people at the San Jose Airport and then he drove through horrible traffic all the way to my hostel, Isha, and left me there.

San jose

The horrible traffic from the airport to my hostel.

The next morning, after a wonderful breakfast provided by the hostel, an old friend from my younger years came and collected me. My friend, Tim, had been living in Costa Rica for more than 10 years. I found out he had opened a guitar shop that was rather popular amongst musicians in the country. I had no idea. We went to an old church and enjoyed a beer or two, catching up on old times. 

Retrotone Guitars

My buddy Tim showing me his awesome shop.

We spent hours talking and went out for a delicious lunch where I actually got to eat some real Costa Rican food. After a few beers and much catching up, Tim took me to see his shop. It is beyond cool. There’s that moment when you see a friend in their element and you have to submit that they’ve really done it. I was so proud of him. The shop is called Retrotone Guitars and is by far the best guitar shop I’ve seen in years.

San jose

Here’s to seeing old friends!

Tim had to work that night, so he dropped me off around 6 p.m. I had an early evening and made my way to bed before 10. I had to be up for 6 a.m. as I was going white water rafting along my way to Puerto Viejo. It will be my last stop in Costa Rica before heading into Panama, my final country on this trip. 

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