Really nice long lie!
Shared with Kerry cos Freda and Melanie were both leaving at 5 in the morning. Went for lunch in the park, did some last minute shopping in the market, and came back to the hotel and waited for Kerry, Ruth and Jon's taxi to come for them.
Andrea's friend Wendy picked me up from the hotel, and took me to her house. It was beautiful, really unusual compared to the other houses in San Jose. She took me to a special church in Cartago, where people walk to from all over the country in August. They had a fountain with special holy water, but I suspect it's not as holy as Lourdes....
Tried to go to the craft market, but it was shut. So Wendy took me out for dinner to a typical Costa Rican place which sold Chicharonnes (spelling?), which is different types of fried pork. We shared a giant plate with mini torillas (which tasted suspiciously like tattie scones) with some picadilos made of potatoes, and some kind of root vegetable which tasted of lentil, and refried black beans. There were 2 types of fried pork, ribs and belly, and some plantain, and yucca. Very tasty, and very filling!
The restaurant was made out of wood, and you could see the kitchen which had giant vats of hot oil for frying up the pork. It was up in the hills overlooking San Jose. The city looks giant at night, a great big urban sprawl. Most buildings here are single family houses, and I've not really seen any apartments or high rise buildings, so the city is pretty spread out.
On the way up I was saying that San Jose didn't seem as poor as I was expecting, and then we passed some slums on the river. It's hard to judge the levels of poverty here, everyone seems to have their own house, and if they can't afford one, the government gives them one instead of sticking them in horrible tower blocks. The poorest houses seem to be made from tin, then wood, and the rich people live in stone houses. Everything is totally fenced in, the more money you have, the bigger then fence, wall, and barbed wire.
The city has an organic feel to it, every building is different. Different styles, building materials, and colours. I don't feel very safe here at all though, it's not safe to walk on your own after dark.
Wendy took me over to Andrea's parents' house, Henry and Martha. So tired, and it was so nice to have a room of my own!