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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Back to see the Ticos

COSTA RICA | Saturday, 25 August 2007 | Views [914]

            Today was the fifth day on my Central American journey. I woke up at 7:30 and washed up. I then ordered the pancakes with fruit breakfast again, and I checked email while I waited. I’m sure going to miss this beautiful and loving country! I ate pancakes with syrup, a banana, cantaloupe, watermelon, and pineapple, and also had two cups of tea. I talked with this couple from New York. I then got back on the computer and I saw Patricia again. I went to my room and emptied my locker and then checked out. This is one of the best, if not the best youth hostel I’ve ever stayed at! It’s very clean and it’s a very warm atmosphere. I sat with Patricia and got another cup of tea. At 10:20, Patricia and I started walking, but I first had to say goodbye to everyone. I sure will miss this place and I’ll most certainly never forget my adventures in Nicaragua. I told Chad and Analisa that they’re ever in L.A., they can stay at my house. First, we walked around the corner so I could get a new pen because I’ve been having very bad luck with pens on this journey. I also got a banana for along the way. We passed the old church again; I really wanted to go to the top and ring the bell, but I didn’t have time. We walked down Calle Real Xalteva and over to the bus station. However, the 11:00 bus was full and there was space on the 2:00 bus, but it was $28 instead of $15. I heard it’s a nicer bus and you can get free food. At the station, I saw a man who I met on the plane on the way to Costa Rica. He’s from the UK and lives in Australia. When I was in Iceland, I encountered a few sets of travelers in a few different places. I had to come back at 1:30, so we started to walk back to the hostel. Patricia had to visit the travel agent and I wanted a hot dog at the place I visited yesterday. On the way I got some photos of the colorful buildings; they’re painted brightly like in Reykjavik, but the architecture is vastly different. I got a hot dog at the stand and Patricia went to the library. As I sat to eat my hot dog, there was a guy selling pirated movies and CD’s; something that’s very common in third-world countries (and something I’ve seen plenty of here). I walked past all the street vendors, drinking my pear juice and realizing how much I’m going to miss this place. Back at the hostel, I saw Chad again, and I just hung out at the computer. Patricia came back about 20 minutes later and I hung out with her. She agreed to walk with me again to the bus station. I swung in the hammock for awhile and talked to this man from Georgia. He said he’s been to Cuba, Thailand, Taiwan, and a few other countries. Then at about 1:30, it was time to leave. I said a final goodbye to everyone and then Patricia and I started out toward the bus station. We walked a different route this time. We only waited for a few minutes before the bus showed up. I gave Patricia a big hug goodbye and then promised that I’d email her. The bus is actually quite comfy. It has reclining seats, foot rests, tray tables, and all that. We began moving, and it was time to say goodbye to the beautiful city of Granada. I’ll sure miss it! I’ve had many great moments here! One of these days, I’m going to do a full Latin American journey where I visit South America and rest of Central America. On the bus, the attendant passed out lunch. It was rice, beef enchiladas, vegetables, and a roll. It was very good! I then got a Coke and a cup of water. I sat back and enjoyed the view and just read my book. Since I woke up this morning, I’ve been having muscle pains in my butt, and I thought I had been bit by some type of bug, but I realized it’s from sitting too long. We passed banana plantations, sugar cane fields, volcanoes, and the beautiful Lake Nicaragua. On the way I filled out the usual Customs junk and had to pay $3 to leave Nicaragua. We got to the border at about 4:00 and the driver collected all of our passports. It’s more convenient that they do that, but I sometimes get nervous when my passport is out of my possession. We all got out and I got an ice cream and a bottle of water. I was talking with this lady named Alicia and she’s from California and now lives in Costa Rica. She said she loves Latin America more than any place she’s been, and I can easily understand why. I picked up a small rock while we were waiting, because I like to have a rock from every country I’ve visited. After awhile, I got my passport back with another stamp. I have too many to count now! A few minutes down the road, we were at Costa Rican Customs. They moneychangers are so annoying, but oh well. I went and got another stamp and then got a Red Bull. It was time to put away my córdobas and get out my colones. We had to wait awhile for the bus to be ready, so I just hung around. It wasn’t a pleasant sight because of all the garbage everywhere. I’d like to tell you one thing: I don’t care how much garbage is lying around, I still don’t add to it. I don’t care if it’s a banana peel, a Red Bull can, or whatever. I throw it in a trash can. Hey, it’s all a part of responsible travel! I was talking to a well-dressed Nicaraguan man named Leonardo. He said he liked Fidel Castro and also agrees that Americans undergo too much stress. Cuba I think has done well under Castro because they have free health care, education, etc. As a result, I consider myself an appreciator of Castro. We ended up waiting nearly 45 minutes, but this situation was nowhere near as bad as on the way to Nicaragua. The bus kept going and it was getting dark and it started to rain. I saw lightning in the distance. At one point, we stopped and the police got on the bus to check for something; I’m not sure what though. We passed through Liberia, which looks westernized with Papa John’s Pizza, Burger King, etc. About an hour’s drive south, we stopped at a soda, for a food break. I ordered beef (seasoned), rice, this odd type of vegetable soup, and fried yucca. It was all very good and only $5 with a bottle of water. One bad thing I found out is that there were no more buses tonight to Monteverde from La Irma. I had to either take a taxi or hitchhike, but I promised I’d get a taxi if I needed to. I got dropped off at 7:45 and I found out the taxi was going to be $50! I was reluctant and I tried to flag down a few cars, but I had no luck. The driver said I could pay $45, but it’s still a substantial amount. It only cost me about $16 to get to Nicaragua, but about $73 to get back! The driver’s name is Zach, and he spoke little English. I told him how much I loved Nicaragua. We were driving up the hill, and about an hour into the drive, Zach pointed out an owl and let me jump out for a photo. I didn’t get a good one though. We got to Monteverde at about 9:30 and I thanked Zach and I got my own room for only $5! Many of Costa Rica’s accommodations (most, in fact) are locally owned. This prevents leakage, therefore keeping the prices down. I put my backpack in my room and then walked up to the store and got a Red Bull and a water bottle. I then went to the internet café and emailed everyone about my travels in Nicaragua. I then got some photos of myself in the Tree House Inn; a restaurant and hotel that actually has a giant tree growing up through it. My father had a friend many years ago who had a house like that. I then went back to the hotel and I was having trouble with my key, and felt bad that I had to wake the manager to help me. I then went and took a long shower. It felt really good after another long day. I then got myself a cup of hot cocoa and checked out the various tour brochures. I saw one of an evening tour of Volcán Arenal that caught my eye. The Frog Pond seems very cool too, so I’m going to go there first thing tomorrow. Tomorrow night, I have to stay in La Fortuna because my flight leaves early on Monday morning from La Fortuna Airport. I really don’t wan to leave! Anyways, I’ve been up for 17 hours today and I hope to get that perfect shot of Volcán Arenal tomorrow night. I’m going to bed. Good Night!

Tags: Misadventures

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