Sunday, October 02, 2005

San Jose, Costa Rica

French-born San Franciscan and fellow world traveler, Anne Girardin. Anne is making a similar journey (SF to Prudhoe Bay to Tierra del Fuego) on a BMW 650GS, traveling sometimes with others and sometimes solo. Our paths crossed in Anchorage, Alaska then again in San Jose, Costa Rica. (See Anne's website: Link)

"This is your life. What are you going to make of it?" Awoke to this all-too-rare question.

Arranged to meet Anne Girardin at her hotel, the "Washington", in downtown San Jose. It is in the heart of the city, a gritty neighborhood. Her motorcycle was stored in an interior space used for doing laundry. She had an "interesting" time "woman-handling" it inside.

The rain was coming down as we walked around the block to the get some lunch at the "News Cafe" in the "Hotel Presidente". A pretty classy little place that seems to draw a lot of Americans. Over beers, and nachos and shrimp appetizers, we caught up, comparing Central American experiences. Her riding partner, Brad Houghton has gone ahead to visit "the Guianas" and they'll rendezvous later. (See Brad's website: Link - he has some great photos.)

After lunch, we took a walk over to the cathedral, just ahead of the 4:00 p.m. service. Many people already kneeling or sitting in the pews. Contrary to my negative associations arising from a dogmatic Roman Catholic upbringing, I suddenly viewed this as a sanctuary for meditation, a quite neutral connotation in my mind.

Anne suggested we see a movie, so we found the local cinema. The only offering was Monster-in-Law, starring Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez. Basically, a terrible movie.

Just "hanging out" a little longer, we returned to the "News Cafe" for a drink. While Anne opted for the healthier banana and milk blend, I ordered my traditional "on-the-road coffee special": "Gran Marnier" and "Bailey's Irish Cream" with coffee. It links the present with the past (and perhaps the future)! (Lots of fond memories associated with this beverage - traveling to exotic places with my Mondavi Cork Group co-horts, Russ Warren, Lisa Hayes and Mark Smith!)

Bid Anne farewell and continued good luck, then returned to my hotel (after getting lost a little bit more!) The rain only helped make it a little more challenging.

Stepped into the hotel restaurant, and heard "Supertramp's" 80s hit, "It's raining again". It could be my Central American theme song. But I always liked a particular verse in that song:
Come on you little fighter, no need to get up-tighter,
Come on you little fighter, and get back up again,
Fill your heart again

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