Published: July 20th 2012June 7th 2012
Making my way underneath the waterfall!
Dear Blog Readers,
Another brutally early start and a wait for the Tica Bus to arrive to take us from Granada to San Jose. The air-con was cranked up (or down) to near Arctic conditions. We passed the beautiful Ometepe Island and recounted tales of bowel movements and near-death experiences on motorbikes and bid a farewell to the wonderful Nicaragua. Since the Tica Bus staff take care of the border crossings, there was significantly less hassle this time around - however, for anybody doing the border crossing into Costa Rica, they do
ask for proof of an onward flight/trip out of Costa Rica. If you don't show something, there are Tica Bus attendants outside who will happily fleece you of £30 to buy a San Jose to Managua bus ticket to show you are leaving. Here is a tip - whatever flight you are leaving on, alter the ticket so it says 'San Jose' as they don't check anything else on the ticket.
After a 4 hour stretch, we arrived back in San Jose. We missed being greeted by our Finnish friend Laura this time round and had to find our own way to our hostel. We eventually found
Lunatics jumping into the water from the rocks!
La Casa Del Parque and it was simply superb. Without doubt the best hostel we have been to in our entire trip - a real home away from home! The lounge had a huge TV and I was able to settle down in the evening and watch the basketball finals with a coke and a slice of pizza - could I be anymore American? Laura was still taking the course of $1 antibiotics from Nicaragua which weren't making her feel any better and I had a restless night because two blokes in the dorm started chatting to each other at 3am as though they were trying to communicate at a Slipknot gig.
Once the alarm went off at 5:15am (I made sure it was close to one of said blokes), we grabbed our bags and got to the bus stop to take us to Montezuma. We journey was pleasant and the scenary was beautiful and we arrived at the port of Puntarenas where a large ferry took us, and the coach, across to the peninsula. A couple of buses later and we arrived at Montezuma, a seaside town ferquented by surfers, hippies and Rastas. I managed to Skype home
The bay at Montezuma, great for body surfing when the surf is up!
to wish Dad a happy 98th birthday and we spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach and checking out the ridiculously overpriced shops.
Thankfully, the harsh beeping of my watch alarm was replaced by the crashing of waves just a few metres from our room and a cool breeze wafting through the window. We headed up a river trail near the hostel which led us to a magnificent waterfall. The torrential downpours of rain had unearthed a lot of silt so the water turned a poo-brown colour. Some lunatics were jumping from the rocks into the opaque (and feacally coloured) plunge pool - I thought a Darwin Award was on the cards. Montezuma's Revenge was still plaguing Laura so we debated some alternatives to curing her and decided that a 24 hour starving might help. Luckily it wasn't holding her back too much and we had a great afternoon bodyboarding after one of our South African friends, Peter, who we met in El Salvador taught Laura how to do it!
We headed south along the beach in the morning because it was low tide and the rock pools were great. The sun had warmed them up
Seats on the deck of the fancier ferry as we go back!
so it was like stepping into a bath but with tonnes of fish darting around and the number of crabs that we scurring around was incredible. After running the full course of the Sulfamethoxazole antibiotic that we bought in Nicaragua, we realised it still wasn't working and after doing some research we found that the bug is quite resistant to this antibiotic now. Unfortunately there wasn't a pharmacy in Montezuma so we would have to wait until San Jose to find a solution. That evening, we were treated to a gorgeous full moon which would explain why the tide was so far out in the morning which probably gave us access to some of the better rock pools!
Another early start but we were blessed with a fantastic sunrise and views of the bay as we boarded the coach to take us back to the port. The return journey had a much fancier ferry and we got some nice seats on the deck to take in the beautiful surroundings. We arrived back in San Jose shortly after noon to a new bus terminal which had already attracted a lot of dodgy people so we moved briskly to the
Gulf of Nicoya
Boats in the bay as we begin to embark onto the ferry across the gulf.
main road and familiar territory. The first stop was a pharmacy which, unbelievably, were happy to hand over Ciprofloxacin at $40 for a course which was our new attack for Laura's persistant burrito inducing stomach bug. Fantastically, within an hour, it was working wonders and we were kicking ourselves that we'd spent 10 days suffering! It was great to go back to La Casa Del Parque as our base with a great atmosphere and eclectic mix of travellers.
It was nice to have a bit of a lie in (well, 8am!), and we had to rearrange our trip as time was running out! Initially, we'd planned on working at a chocolate farm and we wanted to go to Monteverde to do a canopy tour. However, we did some research into La Fortuna and realised that we'd be able to do a canopy tour there instead of going to La Fortuna and moving across. We had a great day in San Jose shopping - I actually enjoyed it this time! Finnish Laura recommended a shop that sold some amazing shoes, all hand-made by locals and actually Costa Rican (rather than Guatemalan and resold as Costa Rican!!). Laura bought some
The view from our hostel at 6am!
fantastic leather boots but the shop sells all sorts of items - pictures, jewellry, etc. and the premium prices are worth it for the quality and uniqueness of each product.
We fancied checking out the huge mall at San Pedro and after getting a nice pizza, we went to the cinema but to our surprise, there was a huge queue and all the movies had sold out!! Basically, don't bother going to the cinema on a Wednesday! We were kind of hoping that the Hunger Games was going to be on since we devoured the books earlier in our trip but it wasn't on unfortunately! We went to bed excited, as it was now time to move up towards the Carribean coastline which we hadn't experienced yet! Fingers crossed for good weather, crystal blue water and white sand...
Tink and Laura
There are more photos below