On arrival to Daniel Ober airport on Thanksgiving, after the melodious tones of the flight attendants noting that we have many options that they appreciate us for flying Alaska Airlines, a more jarring , male and official voice comes on over the plane's PA system with a local accent.
"Be advised that before leaving Costa Rica, there is a mandatory twenty eight dollar exit fee that you must pay before checking in, therefore it is necessary that you arrive at the airport no later than three hours before your flight time to allow time to pay this fee."
It's been a week of adventure, ripoffs, exploring, meeting people, and enjoying the unspoiled beauty of Costa Rica. Now we have to leave early to get to the airport. Also, because we had such a hassle at the rental counter when we arrived, I'm allowing two hours to allow for any necessary arguing or fighting at the rental agency when we return the car.
I'm kind of dreading that part the most.
Driving around our hotel, we've noticed signs for Sun Burst Coffee with tours and store in the "doit" center. We decide to stop there on the way back to buy some. Following the signs, we come to realize the the "doit" center is actually the Do It Hardware store center and the tour is just a slide show and some exhibits on the counter there.
There is a roaster and many coffees available for sampling and sale. I particularly like the dark roast but they don't have any in stock and are unloading the raw beans from a truck as I'm there so I settle on some French roast to take home.
It's good but not as good as the Trader Joe's French roast I have back home as a later taste comparison test will reveal.
At the Alamo rental agency, the turn in of the car goes smoothly. I find the agent that I dealt with at the beginning and he comped the GPS unit rental in the car, which came withing eight dollars of negating the $120 of insurance I was forced to buy and had no need for, so I'm letting that issue drop.
Now, it's four hours til flight time, we're at the airport, and we're told that Alaska Airlines won't open their counter for at least another hour and a half. It takes all of two minutes to pay the exit fee and now were stuck in the non-airconditioned ticketing hall until the Alaska crew shows up.
Eventually they do and two of them even recognize us from our arrival last week and make sure everything goes swimmingly from there. We make it through the easier-than-TSA security, have a nice lunch in the air-conditioned gate area, buy some duty-free Nicaraguan rum (better than the Costa Rican stuff, in my opinion), and take an easy flight home.
Now that that's over, please use the links below to catch up on our complete Costa Rican adventure:
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