Keith Stokes' Costa Rica Trip
January 14, 2008
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Second floor -Tree House Restaurant at left, Boemios Restaurant at right

For lunch, I returned to Santa Elena's central triangle and tried the Tree House Restaurant - built around and through a large tree. This proved to be the second best meal of the trip. I had Mariscos, a Latin American version of fruits de mer - an open faced sandwich with white squid, clams, mussels and roasted tuna, garnished with green salad, capers, tomato, hard boiled egg, olives and pickles. $8.95 including French fries, a local tartar sauce and mustard sauce. More than I could eat. I recommend it.

Their chocolate shake didn't have much flavor.

Dining in the Tree House restaurant in Santa Elena, Costa Rica.
Tree House restaurant outdoor dining area.

Mariscos - mixed seafood.

The drive down on the Pacific side of the mountain was much like the route up, but finally I reached paved roads and easier driving. Part of the route back to Alajuela was on The Interamericana (Panamerican Highway), and the speed limit got up to a trip high of 80 kph (49.7 mph)! But slow moving trucks on long grades quickly brought the speed down to less than half of that.

Scenes from the drive down from Monteverde.


In a few hours I returned to Alajuela and Villa Bonita. In the evening, I asked the young man at the desk about restaurants within walking distance. He said there was an Argentina Restaurant and I followed his directions (or tried). After going many blocks farther than I thought he said, I started back.

There was a KFC near the area I thought the restaurant was located, and I tried asking the security guard at the door about the restaurant. But he spoke less English than I spoke Spanish. He either told me that the restaurant was 4 blocks up another street, or 2 miles, or something else entirely. I decided on supper at KFC.

Language was also a barrier ordering chicken. I first looked at the picture menu, and assembled enough words to order a 3 piece combo meal. But the young lady kept asking more questions. I figured out "crispy" and "for here or to go." But she kept asking until I just smiled and she gave up and took my money.

After supper, I went straight back to the hotel. Although the neighborhood has nice houses, the bars on doors & windows and barbed wire didn't encourage wandering around after dark.

Nearby homes have bars and barbed wire.

Also the street isn't safe for walking, At many intersections there are open manholes. It would be easy for someone careless to be seriously injured.

Open manholes lining the curbs of Alajuela.

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copyright 2008 by Keith Stokes.