We arrived in Costa Rica on Monday in a rainstorm, it is now Sunday, and it is still raining. Granted, it has not been raining non-stop, but it has rained every day so far. And when I say “it has rained” I mean it has really rained – buckets and buckets of the wet stuff!! And there has been a lot of thunder and lightning as well during these downpours. It is the rainy season here in Costa Rica, so this weather was not totally unexpected. But the amounts of rain that come down during these cloudbursts has been surprising. It can start off clear and sunny in the morning, but by the afternoon hours the clouds will build up, the skies darken, and then it is only a matter of time before the skies open up with the rain setting on “high”. We have managed to get out in between the storms each day, although Wednesday, our big grocery shopping day, we waited outside the grocery store while the storm raged on for what seemed like well over an hour before we were able to walk back to our place in a light drizzle.
We have come to San Jose, Costa Rica for a medical tourism trip – we are both having dental work done at one of the dental clinics here. We flew into San Jose from LAX on Alaska Airlines which seemed a little odd flying into a tropical area on “Alaska” Airlines, but hey, they had the lowest fair for a non-stop flight when we bought our tickets. After going through immigration control and customs we were escorted to our “Guanajuato” shuttle van (meaning a wild ride, based on the crazy bus and taxi drivers in Guanajuato Mexico, making you so grateful to arrive at your destination safely), which took us to our hotel room which is actually a two bedroom apartment. Even though it was only around 5:30 PM it was already getting dark – at first I thought it was due to the storm that we were driving through, but actually there are a few reasons for it getting dark at this early hour in May in San Jose, Costa Rica. In other words, it is time for a little geography lesson…..
One of the reasons for it getting dark this early is due to the time zone that Costa Rica is in (Central Time Zone) and the fact that they remain on Standard Time all year long, i.e., no Daylight Saving Time. Another reason is San Jose’s longitude (84°05′W) which is roughly around the same longitude as Knoxville TN and Atlanta GA (both of which are in the Eastern Time Zone in the USA). So San Jose CR it is pretty far east for being in the Central Time Zone. And since we are only about 10 degrees north of the equator, the length of the day here does not vary nearly as much as it does in the US. So even though we are nearing the longest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere, the days here in Costa Rica aren’t that much longer than they are during the shortest days of the year. More specifically, the length of the day in San Jose, Costa Rica on December 21 is 11 hours and 30 minutes and on June 21 it is 12 hours and 40 minutes, a difference of only 1 hour and 10 minutes. Contrast that with San Jose, California where the length of the day on December 21 is 9 hours and 33 minutes and on June 21 it is 14 hours and 41 minutes, a difference of 5 hours and 10 minutes. So all of these reasons combine to make it get dark here earlier than we expected.
So our first night here we both got attacked by mosquitoes, although Judy got hit the worst, and she has a pretty bad allergic reaction to the bites. Once she healed up from the bites Michael came down with a nasty head cold – don’t ask me where that came from – it doesn’t seem like one should catch a “cold” in a tropical locale like Costa Rica. So needless to say we haven’t gotten out to see much. But actually the down time feels very good to us both right now after our hectic schedule for the past three months running around the US.
Our dental work starts this Tuesday with a consultation to plot out a plan of action. We will hopefully get another update out once we see how that is going. Until then be well all.
To see all of our Costa Rica photos please visit our San Jose, Costa Rica Gallery page here.
– – Michael Guttman, 2017
– – Photography by Michael Guttman and Judy Terra