Originally published on facebook – May 9, 2009.

I didn’t talk too much about my time in Bocas Del Toro, because I didn’t stay there very long. I would have liked to stay longer but the weather wasn’t cooperating very well, (rainy) and I felt concerned that I wouldn’t have enough time to see the Caribbean side of CR before I had to head back to Montezuma for yoga teacher training.

So, after the hangover day, which was quite honestly a complete write off, Steph and I decided to head back into Costa Rica. We started our day with a rough boat crossing to take us to the mainland, I always get nervous when the boat is slamming down on the water, I try to keep reminding myself that they are built to be able to handle that, however, this purely rational thought doesn’t really help when all my instincts are screaming get back on dry land you idiot! But we made it, no problem. We got a great deal on a cab to the border which would save us at least an hour of time, and considering we didn’t leave the Bocas until 12:30pm we thought time might be a factor. So we took a cab to the border crossing. Border towns always seem to be so sketchy, they are dirtier then anywhere else and there seem to be more shady characters then anywhere else as well. The cab pulled up in what seemed to be an alley, we couldn’t see where the crossing was supposed to be, I got out but Steph was kinda freaked asking the cabbie, where’s the border, where’s the border? He pointed and then we saw it. Yeah I think the area is a little sketchy too but I figure, stay calm, don’t give off scared vibes, be alert and everything will be fine. We get our paperwork processed and literally have to cross a bridge to get into Costa Rica. This bridge is like the kind of bridge you see in movies where they exchange hostages and somebody always gets shot at, and we have to walk across it! Steph is so nervous the whole time, and I am trying to just reassure her it’s all ok. We get to the CR side and go to have our passports stamped, the official is wearing a surgical mask and rubber gloves, I ask him why and he tells us that the first case of swine flu was confirmed that day in San Jose (CR’s capitol city)…great!

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We catch our bus on the other side of the border taking us straight to Puerto Viejo, I am excited, finally I get to see the Caribbean ocean again! We arrive in PV and find a room at the Hotel Jacaranda. It is an awesome room, we have two double beds with a wall divider between us, separate shower and toilet and the walls are painted with wonderful flowers and flowy patterns. Outside our room we have 2 chairs and a hammock and the whole hotel is a big overgrown garden with colourful tiled mosaic walkways leading throughout. It rains here a lot and both of us are being eaten alive by the mosquitoes, I got three bites on one foot just while we were checking out our hotel room.

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The next day we walked about 2km down a beach side path to a beach called Playa Cocles, we hung out there for a few hours, it was overcast but warm. The water isn’t the beautiful aqua green-blue, I was hoping for but is still lovely. Steph is starting to talk a lot about the swine flu, she’s getting more and more worried. Her original plan was to end up in Mexico sometime in the next 2 months, now she’s talking about ending her trip and heading home asap! I keep telling her to relax, it’s all the media hyping up this crap, but she is convinced that she is gonna get quarantined if she doesn’ t go home fast!

The next day (still overcast) we rent bikes and ride 12km south down the coast to a little town called Manzanillo, we have lunch there at a french place that had the most yummy crepes, then we rode all the way back. At this point I am sick of the crappy weather so I decide that I am am going to leave PV the next morning and head to a town up the coast a bit called Cahuita. The weather is still shit but I’ve heard good things and want to go see it. Steph decides to head to San Jose to figure out what she wants to do, she says that way she’ll be close to an airport if things get worse with the flu deal so she’ll just be able to pop on a plane home. We go our separate ways the next morning and I’m glad about it as her paranoia was starting to irk me. It’s still grey and rainy in Puerto Viejo, but for some reason I think it might be nicer 20km up the coast in Cahuita, no such luck and I didn’t really feel it for the town either. I decide to leave the next morning and head to San Jose, I figured it’s a central place and I would be able to decide where I wanted to go next once I am there. At this point all I want is too find some sunshine again and laze around on a beach before buckling down for a month of intensive yoga training.

I get to San Jose and check in to the Tranquillo Backpackers Hostel, I am in no mood to explore San Jose and it’s almost dark so I hang around a bit, chat with other travelers, do some research on the internet to see where the weather is good and the run into Steph, she is staying in the same Hostel….I say hi chat briefly and then take myself out for a nice dinner. I come back to the hostel and have an early night, have a day of travel ahead….

Next morning I am up and outta there, after my free pancake breakfast of course. I have decided on a small town called Brasilito, it is about halfway up the Nicoya Pennisula near a slightly bigger town called Playa Flamingo (quite touristy, full on expats and over-priced) which is near an even bigger town called Tamarindo (party central for kids). I choose it 1) because of the favorable weather report and 2) because it is right next to a beach (Playa Conchal) that Lonely Planet calls “arguably the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica” and I would like to see that and 3) because I figure I will be able to get to Montezuma fairly easily from there. I arrive in the dark, I check into a hotel that is literally right across the street from the beach. I go to sleep to the sound of waves crashing in, lovely. Next morning I have a leisurely start, I am not planning on doing much in this town except lying around on the beach reading and tanning and occasionally going for a dip in ocean. The beach at Brasilito is nothing to write home about, very dark grey sand. However just over a bluff maybe a 10 minute walk away from my hotel is Playa Conchal. And it IS freaking beautiful! Lonely Planet actually got his one right! Millions of tiny shells litter the beach and they have slowly been crushed down to make the most amazing soft white sand, stunning! The water of the Pacific ocean is turned an amazing aqua blue-green, I didn’t know the Pacific Ocean came in this colour! I am very happy here and spend 3 days just lazing around.The weather was mostly good to me, it rained at night a couple times and on my last day as I was walking home from the beach I got caught in a shower. The rain falls heavily here, intensely, I was drenched in under a minute, but not cold 🙂 I didn’t try to meet anyone, I didn’t really want to, I just wanted to rest and recharge my batteries. I have been on the move since sometime around the last week of March, I felt like I just wanted to stay still for a while and I got my wish, Very restorative, very beautiful, very relaxing. I am happy I went there!

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Today I came back to my home away from home, Montezuma again. I found a place to live that only costs me $250.00 US dollars for the month. It is about a 5 minute walk to where I will be doing the yoga training so is very convenient. It’s basically a small bachelor apartment, very not fancy. Kinda primitive actually. It was filthy and the first thing I did is go to the store and buy cleaning supplies, re-washed all the dishes, wiped down all the shelves, etc. Then I unpacked, which was kinda exciting because I get to stay unpacked for a whole month now! My new place is about 20 meters up a hill from the ocean, yes I can hear it right now. I have a covered balcony area with a partial view of ocean, a kitchenette, and a bathroom. My living room and bedroom are all one space, but it is perfect for what I need it for. I want to do some improvements, of course! I think mosquito netting is going to be a necessity as are a few clothes hangers and perhaps a toaster. Have to ask if the posts can handle it but I would like to invest in a hammock for the deck, will see what my landlord says. Also my walls are bare, will have to find or make some art or something to liven the place up.

I have been having some problems with my camera, I hope to get it fixed or get a new one. It is being very temperamental about opening and closing, quite inconvenient, and only seems to work properly when I put fresh Duracell batteries in it every half day, kinda ridiculous. So haven’t been taking as many pictures as I would like, however I do have some to download, will get to it soon. I don’t have internet access here at home, will have to figure out somewhere I can go to use for free (I have a couple ideas).

Yoga training starts with a half day this Sunday. Then we go into our regular schedule 5 days a week after that 6am-9:30am then 1pm -5pm……ouch. I’m not sure how much I will have to share with you all about that, but if anything interesting happens I will write. Hopefully I will have a few weekend adventures in there somewhere

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