So I decided to give Costa Rica a second chance. First time there I got stuck in a door bus, credit card was swallowed by a machine and a hostel owner chased me to my room in the middle of the night. But this time I felt safe with the protection of Jaime and Ylva, two work buddies in Nicaragua.
After such a long time in Granada we were all a little happy to be getting out. Ylva and Jaime mostly wanted to leave because they’d said goodbye to people so many times, only to bump into them again a while later. The biggest problem Jaime and I had was finding Ylva. We sat patiently waiting for her hoping to get the 3pm bus to Costa Rica, but at 5pm we were still one Swedish girl short. Nicaraguan graduations tend to run over, she eventually came back to us later in the evening.
Again we were almost ready to leave Granada when Ylva made the shocking discovery that her rucksack was locked into the La Esperanza office. So after an hour of knocking on doors, asking for people’s numbers, to be brought to more houses where someone might know someone who had a key to the office we found it, packed like lightening and hit the road. At this stage we had planned to even just run across the town square and sleep there, just so we didn’t have to say goodbye again.
In the end we left for our roadtrip at the very odd hour of 8pm. In our desperation to get going somewhere we took a two hour taxi to Rivas, down in the south of the country. Next morning we got up before most of the world to make it through the border. One of the border guards looked at me and put his hand up to about his chest, which was about Ylva’s height. “She’s smaller isn’t she?” he laughed. I didn’t quite know what to say except, “Yes sir, I suppose she is”. So Jaime and I went onward with our ‘smaller’ friend to find some sea and sand in Costa Rica.
We found a little place called Samará down on the Pacific coast which a friend in Nicaragua had suggested. Seems it’s a constant struggle in Costa Rica these days to find somewhere that’s not completely built up and full of tourists. Samará is supposed to be on it’s way to that, but not quite yet. I decided to try a new thing I was trying out and not use Lonely Planet to find somewhere to stay. Marco, a guy I travelled with in Ecuador, had taught me that way cooler places can be found by walking around a bit.
Night 1 was spent in a thatched hut, recommended by the Lonely Planet. But my plan didn’t fail too badly. I found a house during my wandering around, except it was full for night one so on day 2 we moved into our swish beach house, which we shared with an American couple and a Canadian couple.
Our days in Samará were spent chilling on the beach and sipping wine, just as we’d hoped. As lovely a place as it is, it’s not the place one should go looking for a party. One evening we found a bar with a pool table, fuse ball table and ping pong table, which would have been fun had it not been for Jaime’s crazy competitive streak (I’m only mad I lost). But other than that establishment, Samará was a bit lacking. Most places shut up shop at 11pm.
On my last night we passed their local club. This is a car park during the week. On weekends they clear out the cars and put in a few white chairs and flashy lights. When we first walked passed it, we laughed at the idea of going in, second time we ‘Hmmm-ed’ and by the 4th time we had realised there was no where else to go so headed to the local hot-spot. At one stage a dog ran by my legs on the dance floor. We ordered a vodka and white which none of us could touch. I’d say roughly 85% of the plastic cup was vodka, with a dash of white, at least we got value for money!
Possibly the craziest part of the trip was making my way home. This involved a bus, another bus, yet another bus, a taxi, a bus, a taxi and a walk. After bus No.1 I met a very interesting lady called Bee. Bee is the one who explained to me that Latino people are love-crazy because it’s free, and when you don’t have playstations or weekends away you need something to fill your days. Hence the freeloving atmosphere here. At first it was difficult to keep the conversation up with one hour of sleep under my belt. But after she grabbed my arm at the border crossing and told me to run as fast as I could, I soon looked a lot more lively. My new friend kept screaming
“Just run, it’s ok I know some people”
So we ran past the three hundred metres or so of a queue and stopped about three from the top. The two hour line suddenly turned into about five minutes. I would have been happier had the ‘people she knew’ been border officials, not some random French people who happened to be further up the queue. But because of our antics we made it to bus No.4 so we could make it back to Granada in time for me to get some sleep before summer school started the following day. I should have explained to the angry people in the queue that I was only doing it so I could get back to the children. They might have looked a little less murderous then….
These were my co-pilots on this trip, Ylva (the Swedish looking one) and Jaime. I think this was when Jaime realised her passport was in her toilet bag or something.
Ylva at the border realising she’s written her two middle names and surname, but forgotten her first name!
We made it!!
Where we spent our days….
Ylva poses for a “Overpacking is bad for your back” add.
I slightly overreacted when confronted by a MASSIVE snake.
Best way to ward off unwanted male attention: travel with blondes!!
What every decent pub needs; a dog.
Tags: 7 - Costa Rica, Costa Rica