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Tuesday, 20 October 2009


So that night, i went out to some local bars in San Jose for a final drink, with some fellow hostellers, although i did cheat and went to sleep for an hour before the 6.30 flight. The bar is called 'oz's by the way, its a local joint with bad food BUT it has free pool and (as i found out at the end of the night) a poker room for locals in the back, i went through for a bit of fun later, and got a bit lucky. definately a good place if you are wanting to go local' and avoiding the mainbar area.

But after two days on a bloody plane it was lovely to get back to wet and cold and dark Tallinn, where two freinds surprised me at the airport and took me for a very traditional Estonian dinner (chicken wings at Macs barbeque ;o)
This photo is taken there (its Mari-Liis pretending she is a hamster, or maybe a rabbit, although why i dont know becuase she is eating cheese fries)

No more foreign adventures for 2 weeks now, until Brasil!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

bad apples and fake perfume

So here are a couple more photos of San Jose - The main drag, and one of the (illegal im sure!!) fake perfume shops. They have everything in these places, for almost nothing. You just dont get the fancy packaging (and who cares?!)

And i just recieved this video link...see if you recognise anyone ;o)

last day (ever) in Costa Rica

So, i took one last walk around San Jose. The National theatre (in pics with me and some freindly local cleaning ladies) was build as an exact copy of the Paris Opera house. Its actually about the only decent building in the whole city, except the post office, but anyway,

Tonight ill leave at 4am, for the 6.20am flight, and about 35 hours later, unless something really daft happens, ill arrive in Tallinn. Im looking forward to a good Sauna, my own bed, and all you lovely people in Estonia, who arent so bad after all, really. I hope you dont deport me since i now look like a pakistani.

In 2 weeks ill leave again for Brazil and Peru (via that other exotic destination, Glasgow)

One girl got a bag that said this as a goodbye present...quite...lost in translation but very funny too!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

So i have an early night (as i have no money!) and wake up ready for the plane. I call downstairs so their free transport is arranged and head off for the airport. i think this started as the worst day of my life....I got off at the airport, and the taxi driver starts asking for money. Of course i havent any, as the hotel was arranging it. Im a bit late for my flight so im in a rush. So i ask him to wait becuase i need to run and check in (and i deal with this muppet later). He doesnt like it and tries to stop me, and so anyway, the police come, and i tell the police that the hotel was arranging the transport as i was robbed the day before. She takes the side of the taxi driver and wont let me go and check in. 30mins of arguing later in bad spanish, and eventually, one very decent american guy sees the hassle this small gang of redneck 3rd world w*ankers are giving me and very kindly pays the idiot taxi driver and so i can get into the airport, (thanks a lot mate, i owe you one!! otherwise id be in a Costa Rican Prison!!!)

i get inside only to find ive missed my flight.

I go straight to the airline to explain...then straight to police - no one interestd etc etc. so i have to spend the day doing reverse charge calls to get some money over and buy a new flight for $1200. Anyway, rule of the day 1. never beleive ANYTHING they tell you in a cost rican hotel!!!

Anyway, after not eating the whole day, it all turned out fine. I got some food eventually (this photo above will stay with me forever, i was Starving!) and got a $9 a night hostel with great freindly people (there you are in blurred photos guys :o) ) (its called hostel galileo by the way, i recommend it!) , and had some beers, wine, stright rum from the bottle, and a zombie movie, which altogether restored my faith in humans quite a bit :o)

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Jaco pickpockets

Typical. im absolutely fine round the dodgiest places there are, and then today i got pickpocketed in the middle of the afternoon in Jaco main street.

So im stuck with no money, and the last bus to San Jose leaves in 10 minutes. Thankfully a kind local paid my bus fare, and theyll sort me to the airport for free too. Good to see there are decent people to help when these things happen. Some lucky guy in Jaco will be buying beer tonight with my cash!

i dont think i like Jaco so much now

Jacos underbelly on a tuesday night..

Anyway, since the town seems such a perfect place - (all year sun, a tae kwan doe club, surfing, good food, pretty locals, beautiful national parks nearby, 3 casinos, and cheap prices)I decided to check out Jacos nightlife, since i had barely left the hotel and it was my last night. This being tuesday, everyone at the poker table said it would be dead but still, at midnight i took a walk down the main street.

Within a hundred yards i met an interesting guy selling drugs.
me - so you ony have coke and hash? what about heroin?
diego - si si i can get you that my friend.
me - ok. Im quite a heavy user. Can you get me say 2kg for tomorrow? and maybe some amphetimines too?
diego - ok take it easy amigo....

and he walked off - this is almost as good a way to get rid of these guys as speaking to them in finnish.

Anyway, i checked out one bar called 'plankton' which as the guys said it would be, was deserted, as was monkey bar (it was tuesday night) and so i kept walking (there is park on the way with some lovely transvestites just in case you are into that kind of thing) and got to a place called 'the beatle bar' which seemed to have some people in there. It was $4 entry but anyway in i went, looking for adventure. Inside it was basically dead though apart from one side of the room which was bizzarely full of hookers, with the odd big fat german looking guy with a white beard (who are these guys? what do they do? why do you only ever seen them in dodgy and poor countries like Thailand with tiny petit prostitutes? do they get paid so well as santa claus at christmas to spend the rest of the year whoring round the 3rd world?)

Well im always interested in speaking to people, especially people with interesting lifestyle choices, and so of course within 5 minutes, a dark skinned girl came up to me and started chatting. Apart from looking a bit clapped out (as hookers tend to) and pockmarked, she seemed a nice girl, intelligent with fluent english. She said she has a house in san jose and one in jaco so maybe business isnt so bad (note for girls wanting to get rich) well who knows, maybe if shed been in a different line of business, in a different universe....who knows, she probably was quite cute a few years ago. But anyway since it was obvious i was just interested in her personality she quickly moved on to look for some willing punters. Next time though, i really would like to speak to one of these smiling fat santa claus lookalikes - these happy whoremongers seem to me the most bizzare race of people. Not sure if they would be so keen to discuss their motivations and aspirations with a nosey (but genuinely interested) student of life like me though.

I surprisingly met some actually pretty decent Americans guys here. I was pretty shocked, and assumed they were Canadian but no its true. We played poker with 2 aspiring poker pros who've moved down here for the good life and to play online - good luck guys if you read this Donald and Chris ! We played with some other pretty nice old codgers and some fat Italians who were total pricks. But its good to take their money.

Tonight i will go to San Jose - my luggage is already there in storage and i will plan to stay up all night as my flight is at 8am - straight from party to the airport! I'll check out the bars and clubs, and im sure something interesting will happen. Costa Ricans are totally different from the other Central Americanos. They seem much more Spanish. The girls generally seem actually pretty, not chunky and funky like Mexicanos but - su mejor si usted habla español, de lo contrario, cree que es un gringo estúpido ;o) (its better to speak Spanish otherwise they think your some just some stupid gringo! (but i probably said it wrong)

breaking up, Jaco

By early evening i had enough, and ended my relationship with lonely planet. I went to a 2nd hand shop (called books and things, its a pretty good place) and swopped my lonely planet guide for a really old Sci-Fi book by Poul Andersn, so now i have nothing to moan about, and im not a slave to any stupid ideas like 'check out the chicken burger stand here and kick back with the locals' or any inane nonsense it spouts.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Surfiing Jaco

After a night of Poker that ended pleasantl(read profitable) and earlyish, about 3am, i got up at 7am for a good breakfast and my first surf lesson. I was joined by two nice Norwegian girls and 3 americans who were surprisingly quite ok. Seems to me a bit like skiing, the more you do it the the better you get and the more fun it is. However i can now stand up on the board and do some little turns so we're getting there....i met an interesting guy at the poker table (its where you meet the most interesting people ;o) ) who had surfed for 20 years and told me he was still learning, so there is a long way ahead there....anyway the Jaco surf school is $40 for the morning lesson and they give you the board for the day, for those who are interested. i must admit i really enjoyed it and will do it again.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


So, not surprisingly, Jaco turns out be a pretty beautiful little town with an amazing beach and nice hotels. Either i think it must be a national holiday for the drug hooker criminal people, or else my mum was involved in writing the lonely planet guide and got carried away since she saw a homeless guy there once. Anyway, the good news is there is some nice waves for surfing so ive booked a lesson for 8.30 tomorrow am, although a bit of thunder and lightning is starting right now which is great!
I got a great room on the beach in a lovely hotel (which happens to have a casino so i can win that money back!) It also turns out the devil is stayng at my hotel, disguised as a Toucan. He knows when im about to dose off and then starts making a racket. So ill have to drink some at the poker tonight...

San Jose evening/morning

San Jose is a much cleaner, safer and more prosperous city than Guatamala, although still quite ugly. I wandered round downtown, bumping into numerous beggars and shady bars, until i stumbled on the (famous it turns out) 'hotel del ray' which is total carnage. Its another world, totally jam packed with drunk 60 yr old Gringos with their skanky looking hookers, but it actually has one of the only decent Poker rooms in town, so i went there and had a few coffees and dinner, and lost $200 in about an hour so decided that i was too tired for all this, and sloped back off to join the lizard...

In the morning i got a cab straight to the famous 'coca cola' bus terminal (pictured) Im not sure, by the looks of it Coca Cola should sue. One thing i noticed in San Jose is that guys with guns (ie everyone) are more cool with cheesy tourists taking photos. This policemans automatic (pic) was a pretty nice one to have in a tight situation. I chose him as he wouldnt want any cash for me taking it, cheapskate i am.

The next bus was to Jaco (pronounced Haco) The lonely planet describes it as a kind of Amsterdam on the surf and says all sorts of mealy mouthed liberal crap about the drugs and prostitution, alcohol, and gambling there. Sounds perfect! Who the hell wants to spend a holiday discussing global warming with some arsehole vegan with a beard and his whining feminist girlfriend....Mischeif awaits so on the bus i go!!!

Monday, 12 October 2009

San Jose, Costa Rica - Early Sunday Night

Of course no hotel in Costa Rica is the real deal unless you have a massive lizzard in your room. Mine was pretty big, but fortunately doesnt snore or talk much. He has just ran on the floor so im going to go for a beer somewhere so i wont notice if he's in bed next to me when i come home.

Tomorrow ill get up early and make a random choice to a beach somewhere for 3 days to get some surf lessons. Pura Vida!

Flower of the Maya

Well, Guatamalan ladies do get a bad rep. , but i personally cant say anything bad about them. They may not be the best looking Chicas in the world, but there definately is some kind of homely warm feel to them, and a nice loving smile, which was a lovely break from Las Vegas people. Anyway here is my future wife. And her mum ;o) selling pirate CDs in the slum. And if you read this- i hope girls that DVD you sold me works or im coming back!

There were lots of other cool shops, if you like brightly coloured pieces of cloth. im not sure exactly what the were all for though.

Guatamala City 2

So i walked around various shady streets with the crazy idea that there would be a cafe to write postcards. No such luck here though. It seems all Latin American Cities are either hemmed into little valleys with no where to grow to, or hanging for dear life onto some small craggy plateau, and it seems Guatamala is 3m people doing the latter.
Anyway, i made it to the main Square called the Parque Central, where there was a very pleasant band of guys in suits playing large Xylophones, around the usual main Colonial Buildings. It seems like its the national instrument. It also plainly had a very calming affect on goats as the square was full of them for some reason. as you can see there was no grass left at all.

Guatamala City 1

Guatamala City- this felt more like an adventure, as the guidebooks all said how dangerous the place was. So i set off armed with only my trusty camcorder hanging out my pocket like a cheesy tourist, and some assorted shrapnel, and got the taxi straght to where the (extremely crap) lonely planet warned idiot backpackers to avoid, as its where the most robberies were - the red light district between Calle 18 and Avenue 6. It was actually pretty pleasant - it was Sunday morning so all the hookers must have been at Church, and they were replaced by quite normal and particularly ugly Guatamalans walking around in their Sunday best, buying knocked off DVD's from the million stalls selling them.

I noticed that in this town that to be anyone, you have to pack a piece. Every doorway had a guy with a large gun, even some out of uniform. After about 5 attempts (and a few not so nice replies which isnt great to hear when the guy has a large gun) i got one guy to pose with his gun and the idiot Scottish tourist. Im sure he got sacked for this, but it was funny.

Flores, Guatamala

I arrived in Flores on Saturday afternoon, and after a totally uneventful day, and after having no time to see Tikal (photo,right) which is the reason i wanted to go in the first place, i went to bed early, after taking part in the usual Flores pastime of watching people swim in the lake during the thunder and lightning, with a couple of local beers (left, with lovely concrete mixers to ruin a killer view)

Next morning. i got up early (6am) for a big bowl of pineapple melon and honey and flight to the heart of darkness itself, Guatmala city.

Friday, 9 October 2009


Right now im in Cancun, stuck for 2 days after my flight to Flores, Guatamala was cancelled. Im going to try to enjoy it here, even though im stuck in the Marriot Courtyard Hotel which is as mexican as a fish and chip shop. (but it does have a great car par view, with the beach in the far far distance)

I thought id go to a bullfight today, but it was only on yesterday, so ill forget about culture and concern myself with the beach and amusing myself that the red as lobster fat americans here actually think they are in Mexico (although to be honest they do sell Tacos)

Anyway, more to come (when i reach an interesting place!) and i hope you all enjoy! Please dont grump about by my non pc language. i will try to offend everyone fairly.

Saturday ill hit Flores, and then on to Guatamala city and Costa Rica...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Cancun Mexico

So, all - im joining the 21st century. Here is my first ever blog. Nothing fancy or deep and meaningful, just a bit of fun recording my travels around the world.

Right now im in Cancun, Mexico (which is partly a dirty and boring town and partly las vegas without the casinos)
and tomorrow i leave for Flores, Guatamala to see some Mayan ruins up in Tikal. Im going to attempt to download a video tomorrow on that so lets wait and see!

Meanwhile here is a test to see if videos work -