Harry and I were able to fully recharge our batteries during our six-day stay in San Jose with Ben and Stephanie — and to prepare for Harry’s greatest travel adventure: our transfer to Guayaquil, Ecuador, where la bestia is supposed to arrive around New Year’s.
Whereas la bestia is currently en route in an MSC container to the port of Guayaquil, Harry and I flew from San Jose to Bogota and from there to Guayaquil.
Stephanie and Ben bid us farewell with yet another yummy dinner (risotto) and a generous portion of Stephanie’s home-baked cookies.
On December 21 we took a cab to San Jose airport…
… where Harry had a fleeting canine encounter with a West Highland White Terrier (“Westie”) traveling to the United States in a polka-dotted carry-on bag. Unfortunately neither Avianca nor San Jose Airport left positive impressions on us. It was as if the airline had never before transported a larger dog, and the check-in procedure took 80 long minutes. Following a quick walk for Harry to relieve himself outside, the overeager airport security staff did not let us back in — they held on to him at the door and made me drag his crate back from the check-in counter. When everything seemed ready to go, I noticed that the ground personnel had forgotten to tag his crate. After I somewhat passive-aggressively inquired whether the crate shouldn’t be tagged, it took them ten minutes to print a tag and affix it. Harry and I are glad that we won’t have to fly with them again.
Costa Rica sent us off with a warm sunset smile. I feel a bit sad that I did not get to see much of it this time around, but the car shipping saga and our exhaustion from all the recent border crossings had to be dealt with first.
In Bogota I spotted this Buenos Aires-bound Aerolineas Argentinas plane. It would be wonderful to spend Christmas with my family and friends over there; alas, this year it’s Guayaquil for us.
Imagine my relief when I saw Harry’s crate (see the white-and-red arrow above) at Guayaquil Airport. I had been told over the phone that in light of our arrival time–shortly before 1:00AM–Harry would have to wait an additional seven hours for his veterinary inspection around 8:00AM. At least we were in the same place!
And then… a huge surprise: my most precious Christmas gift arrived on a carousel. I assume the baggage handlers did not really know what to do with him, and since none of the Agrocalidad staff were around to inspect him, we whizzed through customs and straight out of the airport. Maybe I’ll go back in a few days to register him properly; for now, I am thrilled that we’re back together.