Saturday 7th October – Madrid to San Jose, Costa Rica

After a good nights sleep we caught the shuttle from our hotel back to the airport at a very respectable time of 8.30am!  However, I think that we were both still half asleep having not yet had a coffee and we struggled with the automatic bag drop and check-in, only to be told once we had done it that we could have used the business class check-in! Our next challenge was to find the lounge….we went up and down stairs 3 times, going round in circles following the signs before we eventually located the lounge.  On arrival, we were told that it would be better if we headed to the other lounge, located in the satellite terminal as that is where our flight is from!  So we retraced our steps and got the underground train to the terminal and then joined a chaotic and lengthy queue for passport control.

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All checked in!

Once we’d been checked through, we found the lounge and finally were able to have a coffee and some breakfast.  By this time we were both a bit ratty and needed some caffeine – easily distracted and annoyed by other travellers ‘getting in the way!’  That said, once we had some food, we started to relax and feel like we were on holiday! 🙂 img_20171007_0953563417581203074201949.jpg

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Great view of Iberia tail planes for an aeroplane nerd like me! 

We boarded our flight and settled in for the 11 hour journey to San Jose.  A pre-departure Cava helped to make the settling in easier!  The departure and climb were, thankfully, uneventful, and soon we were being served with lunch…appetisers, followed by a choice of main course (I had the Bream) and then a dessert!

There were some nice views of Spain and then Portugal before we headed out over the Atlantic for a featureless flight over the sea.  I managed to watch 4 films and then about an hour before landing we were served another lighter meal.  I also used the 30 minutes free wifi for novelty value!

We landed in San Jose on time after an 11 hour flight and after a bit of a queue for immigration, we retrieved our bags and met the transfer.

The ride to the hotel took about 30 minutes and we checked in to the Don Carlos Hotel. The hotel is in the old colonial style, and our room was overlooking a small courtyard with pool.  With a couple of hours to kill before our welcome meeting, we located a cash point and then took advantage of the bar for our first beer in Costa Rica.

Our welcome meeting was at 6.30pm and so we headed to the meeting point to join our fellow travellers.  Our guide is called Fran(cesco) and there are 7 other travellers as well as us – a range of countries represented…although unusually no Australians.

The welcome meeting turned into a welcome dinner and I had the nachos with beef while Ed had chicken with rice.  Seems like we’re going to get used to rice and beans over the next couple of weeks. Both meals came with mashed beans…which had a slightly worrying colour and consistency (think small cow pat), but actually tasted very nice.

By 8.30 we were both ready for bed, having been awake for almost 22 hours.  A 7.30am start in the morning for a public bus to the Caribbean coast.

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