The next day I left the Arenal area in the pouring rain and headed southeast through the mountains. My destination was the capital city of San Jose. Seeing as it raining, it made stopping and reading my map a little problematic so I decided to rely on the GPS since it had listed a hotel near to the one I was staying at in San Jose. After riding through the fog and the rain through twisty, narrow and dangerous mountain roads I realized that the GPS was kind of guessing where it was going. It didn’t even remotely follow the most direct or shortest route but instead chose to route me through every run down, half baked village on the way. I got stuck behind all sorts of traffic and domestic animals and a two hour ride turned into four. When I finally did get into San Jose, I came upon a 3 mile long traffic jam due to bridge construction. No way I was waiting in that line of traffic so I used the empty lane that was reserved for buses only. Apparently, I was not the only one with that idea and as I neared the bottleneck at the bridge, I saw five policemen giving tickets to people who had tried the same thing. Fortunately, they were focused on them and not me so I nipped back into the flow of traffic and turned an hour long wait into a five minute delay.
Getting to my hotel continued to be a bit of a debacle because, like every city in Central America, most of the roads are unsigned and one way only… usually the opposite way that you wish to go :). I drove around and around for 30 mins knowing that I was close but not being able to get there. Eventually, I stopped to ask a taxi driver where the hotel was and he had no idea! Idiot. The next taxi driver spoke such rapid Spanish that I just gave up. Another 15 mins of driving around had me showing my IPad to a parking lot attendant who spoke no English. However, he was a lot more interested in helping me and eventually we figured out where I needed to go. Another few minutes and I was pulling into the secured parking at the hotel. Thank you God! I was tired and frustrated and I was getting picked up at 6:20am in the morning so I really need to get settled and relax a bit.