Why? Because we asked for directions three times today and we understood EVERY WORD of the answers!!!!! This is a really really big day. You can’t imagine how happy that makes us. Giddy even.
In Costa Rica, roads have no signs, no names (except in the downtown areas of big cities like Heredia or San Jose where the streets are numbered), there are no house numbers – and when they do have house numbers, they aren’t sequential or rational. House number 2 could be next to house number 60375. Surprisingly, there is postal service in Costa Rica. Nobody uses it. Probably because your "address" looks like the "address" we were looking for today:
Hogar de Salvando (the name of the establishment)
de la Iglesia Los Angeles, 100m sur y 150m oeste, a mano derecha
(the address = from the Church of Los Angeles, go 100 meters south, then 150 meters west, the place is on the right)
Yes, that’s the address. The one you would write on your envelope. And this is a short address! There are certain landmarks that everyone knows and you just write out the directions from the established landmark. Keeps it simple.
Today, we had to first find the Iglesia at Ave 6 and Calle 9 in Heredia. After asking directions, we managed to find the grid with the Calles and Avenidas. After 15 minutes or so, we realized that on our side of the Parque Central (Central Park, like in Manhattan only waaaaaaay smaller), the Avenida numbers were odd and the Calles even… naturally the opposite of what we needed.
So like good ex-New Yorkers, we figured "hey, other side of park, we’ll find the evens and odds!" Sure enough, our hunch was correct, and a few minutes later, we were at the Hogar. Finding our destination after only 45 minutes of fumbling, wrong turns and asking directions a few times constitutes success!
More on driving in Costa Rica is coming up. Pictures of potholes that would "bury a Buick" as my mother-in-law says… and the ditches, ohmygod, the ditches. I still gasp as we turn some of these corners. The bridges… the bridges are unbelieveable. Driving drunk is out. This is the adventure part.
More soon, hasta la vista – love, Saratica