Sunday, November 16, 2008

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Good Morning, Costa Rica!

It's a lovely Sunday and as we have had nothing planned other than sitting around and waiting for the weekend to end, we rented a car (a manual Toyota Yaris) and my driver, La, started driving us to Los Angeles. No, silly! Not THAT Los Angeles, the one down here in Costa Rica! You have to travel through San Antonio, San Francisco and Santa Ana to get to it! ;)

Our mission? A trek to the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Virgina de Los Angeles in Cartago, about 14 miles away. In speaking to others who had come down here for this treatment and others to had already gone though it, the story was that drinking the Holy Water and being washed in it made for a near guarantee that total recovery was to be expected.

Now as many of you know me not to be the most pious person (although in my defense I AM a nice guy) but I am also not to be the one to ignore ANY possibilities - hey, it couldn't hurt! Plus there's always the ROAD TRIP factor.

So off we went boldly going towards Cartago when we realized a couple of things. There are no street signs or highway markers. And also that all roads seem to lead to San Antonio. Again and again. Sigh. It ultimately took us two and a half hours to get there (it took us only forty minutes to get back) Round and round and it goes; where it stops, nobody knows.

Part of our time in getting back was recognizing places we had seen before circling aimlessly on our way there and now with a near smug satisfaction muttering to ourselves, this way definitely leads almost DIRECTLY to San Jose!

Before the cart gets too far ahead of the oxen,I should talk about the Basilica. It's beautiful. It's HUGE. It's almost entirely handicapped accessible. We walked with a small line of faithful to the Holy Water springs. When we arrived, we both quaffed from the springs and proceeded to fill some bottles with Holy Water for me to drink later and La bathed my face, arms and legs with a touch of the water, all the while blessing me in Spanish. We sat for a while in the church admiring the incredible detail and listening to the services. Needless to say, La took pictures.

We headed back - after asking directions to San Jose from a flower-girl on the side of the road. She had amazing Poinsettias for less than six bucks. We only got almost lost a couple of times (I know RIGHT where we are . . . ACK! I didn't see THAT our the way out!) We soldiered through in record time. As we chuckled to ourselves that things couldn't get any better, what should show up at the side of the road but a shining Denny's sign. Now, yeah, I know that this may not seem to be a big treat, but the last time we found ourselves THIS excited about food from home when in a foreign land was probably as we were surrounded by thankful Americans at a Mickey D's in Hong Kong - laugh if you will, but know that there are times when is only proper and correct to bow down before the Altar of the Big Mac...

Tomorrow, poked again...

1 comment:

glennie said...

Hi you wild guys,
I told you it takes 3 hours to get anywhere in Costa Rica! Do you like the potholes? They come with the territory...

A guide down there told Carl and I a story about being able to tell a drunk driver vs a straight one...the drunk one drives straight down the road and the sober one drives back and forth swerving all over the road!
I'm glad to hear you got out to see some country side etc...