Los Chiles

Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
Trip End May 02, 2010

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Alajuela,
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Took jeep-boat-jeep trip from Sta Elena back to La Fortuna, bus from there back to San Carlos, just missing the 1pm bus so had to wait til 3pm for next departure for Los Chiles - at least it was "expresso" but still took 2 hours.

The "jeep" bits were actually minibus & barely able to handle the road from La F. The 1/2 hour boat ride was pleasant despite the breeze but the countryside throughout was really pretty, especially around Lake Arenal & la F. From San C mainly sugar & fruit plantations.

Los Chiles gets bad press, especially in Rough Guide, but quite a pleasant small town, except for the pricey hotels. There was one for $4 mind with shared bath but with rentals by the hour & thin walls that don't reach the ceiling - nobody want's to hear those or any other noises.

Splashed out 9000 at Cabinas Carolinas for a nice quiet room but got woken by the gardener at 2am raking, sweeping & watering!!!

Went to migration first thing to get myself stamped out of Costa Rica & book my spot on the boat. Then off to the supermarket to stock up on snacks, fruit & veggies - the next couple of weeks will be in remote places & tiny villages with only local restaurants, where F & V are sadly rarely offered and rice & beans is always on the menu.

A local tax of a $1 was sprung on us at the pier, though all the locals were paying it too, so I guess must have been legit!?

Loading eventually started with all the cargo being precariously balanced on the accessible front half of the boat roof - the heaviest stuff was balanced on the prow, but none was tied down. Luckily personal luggage was stacked down the centre of the boat, though the whole thing struck me as pretty rickety, especially being as crammed full & low in the water it was.

Eventually arrived in one piece on choppy lake Nic' at the immigration office in San Carlos, where we formed one massive slow moving queue to enter the country.
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