Tropical Storm Nate turned a long difficult drive across Costa Rica in to a scary six hour ordeal of white-knuckled battle with flooded roads, wind-tossed debris and torrential rain. Undaunted, and probably foolishly, we carried on to reach the capital city, San Jose, so you can see this masterclass (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD1cHjsQogs) of home-cooked Costa Rican dishes by professional chef Mario. Finding him was tricky in the dark and awful weather and, as is usual in Costa Rica, no address: you just have to phone your host and they come to find you!
His kitchen was a haven of peace after all the hours of storm noise – and it quickly filled with the gentler sounds and smells of cooking. It was just blissful to relax with a glass of wine and excellent simple food expertly cooked after a difficult day.
And the following morning was just as tricky. I’d been planning a farewell kitchen session with the Costa Rican association of blind people in the capital’s top cookery school. But we found that the city had been closed down as the government warned everyone to stay inside due to the continuing storm. We heard from contacts in the UK that flights to San Jose were cancelled and began to wonder if we would be able to fly out the following day.
The hotel only offered a breakfast buffet so videographer toby went on a scavenging hunt to secure enough food and water for the day, in case the situation got even more risky.
Thank goodness the weather was rather calmer next day and the flight out was possible. But, after all the drama and fabulous food of costa rica, we would have preferred our last memories to have been better than the rather dry sandwiches and warm water of our final meal there. If you want Western comforts mixed with life on the wild side, Costa Rica is just perfect – but perhaps better outside the rainy season!