Arrived in San Jose. Costa Rica feels familiar and exotic at the same time. Steamy, tropical heat. The airport was clean and modern. Changed money and got a city map at the airport, then took a taxi into town. This was very easy; the official airport taxi had a desk right by the door and took US money. Arrived at Hotel Le Bergerac. Very pretty...clean and airy with a garden patio and huge tiled bathroom. A 15-minute walk downtown for dinner of arroz con pollo at the fabulous Gran Hotel...a beautiful old 1930s building. I felt like I was walking into an old movie. If I didn't like Hotel Le Bergerac so much I would love to stay here. The staff told me that if I wanted to take a taxi back to Hotel Le Bergerac I should only pay 600 CRC, but a taxi driver wanted to charge me 2000 CRC so I walked. It felt perfectly safe. Next trip: write down weather, exchange rate, and tipping guidelines in advance. Figuring out who to tip and how much has been the most complicated thing so far.
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