After the OUG Panama conference we arrived later that night in San Jose the capitol of Costa Rica. The whole emigration, luggage pick up and customs was the smoothest experiences I have ever experienced at an airport. All was done in a matter of minutes. All the booths for emigration and customs was open and staffed. When was the last time you have ever seen this before. It was a very positive start to our short couple of days in Costa Rica. We had arranged for our hotel to have a taxi pick us up and sure enough the driver was there with a good clear sign. From time of landing to being in my hotel room, which was a 20 minute drive, took no more than 1 hour.
The next morning (Tuesday) we (Debra, Glenn, Gurcan and I) headed out to do some exploring of San Jose on foot. Our first task was to get some breakfast but none of us had any local currency. Debra volunteered to use one of the enclosed ATM machines to get some money. But there was some issue with the machine and she got locked into the cubical. At the same time she got a phone call from her bank in the UK. Her ATM transaction was flagged as a potential fraudulent transaction. I most say Debra’s bank was very quick to contact her and to make all the necessary changes so that she could withdraw some money. After which we had a local breakfast.
Then we sent the next 3 hours walking around San Jose.
Then it was back to the hotel in the early afternoon as the local Oracle User Group had arranged a mini bus to take us up to a hotel that was near the conference location in San Carlos. We had been told that the journey would take 2 hours. Well after 2 hours of driving up hill we were told we were only just over half ways there. It was a long long journey but the views were really beautiful. We had a 10 minute break at little village with a nice church and a really cool garden in front of it.
After anther hour we arrived at the hotel, checked in, and we met up with some other presenters for some dinner. Then it was time for bed as we were being collected at 7:30am.
On Wednesday morning we got collected and taken to the conference venue which happened to be a local university. The User Group had proved a bus service from San Jose to the conference venue and there was a sizeable number of industry people mixed in with some of the university students.
My first presentation was in the auditorium just after the opening keynote. This has to be one of finest rooms I’ve seen and presented in. Even better we had a HD projector. This has to be a first, so I had no resolution issues with running my VMs. I had a really good turn out for my presentation and the photo below shows only some of those who attended.
In the after noon I had my 2nd and 3rd presentations. For my last presentation all the seats were taken and there was even some people standing. There was a lot of people who came to all my presentations which I was delighted with.
After my last presentation I had a raffle for a copy of my book. There seemed to be a lot of interest in this :-). Here is a photo of me with the winner of the book and someone else who was having a read of it afterwards.
This was a very enjoyable conference and the attendees at my sessions were laughing at some of my jokes or maybe they were laughing at me. Anyway I took it that they were enjoying my presentations. For the first time, I had people come up to me after my presentations to have their photography taken with me and to ask me for my autograph.
Here is a picture of the Oracle ACE Directors who presented at the OUG Costa Rica conference.
We were told that our bus journey the day before was the scenic route so that is why it took 3 hours. As soon as the conference was finished we got back on the mini bus to be taken back to our hotel in San Jose. Theoretically it should have been a much quick journey as we were going back the quickest route. This time it took 2 hours 40 minutes.
On Thursday at 2:45am we were woken by a 4.7M earth quake. The room was shaking and everything was shaking in it including me. After breakfast on the Thursday morning, Debra had arranged for us to go on a tour of a Coffee plantation and factory. This coffee tour was hilarious and the best tours I have ever been on. Our tour guides were a comedy double act 🙂
After the tour it was back to the hotel and to get our taxi out to the airport. Did I mention how well operated the airport was. How often have you gone through security when all of the scanners were in operation and fully staffed. This meant that there was almost no queue and I was through security in no time at all. From check in to the departure gate took about 2 minutes.
Our (Glen, Debra, Gorcan and I) next stop was Mexico