Costa 'Croc' Rica

Trip Start Dec 10, 2011
Trip End Sep 29, 2012

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What I did
Crocodiles, pink flamingoes, Quepos
River Tarcoles

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Sunday, January 15, 2012

So after my big first bus trip I decided to cheat, well I can can't I?!. I took the tourist shuttle bus from La Fortuna to Quepos, heading south, at a lot more money at $38 but well worth it. If I took the public buses to get to my destination it would have taken three bus changes and a lot of time, who knows I may have missed the connections too. I got up early again, where are those lies in... , and took the shuttle at 8am, to my surprise it was not on ' Tico time' (way to explain the casual relaxed lateness of a lot of people and things here), but early by ten minutes, I was still slurping my tea with milk. The latter caused quite a stir (excuse the pun) with the guy working there who asked me you really want cold milk in your hot tea? I had just finished a breakfast sandwich of bacon, omelette, tomato, lettuce and avacado - delicioso!

I bagsy the front seat to see the view along my five hour journey ahead of me, we pick up another couple who were on my volcano tour the night before so we chat a bit along the way about my trip and 'aren't I scared? If only I had a free beer for the amount of times I've already been asked this in two weeks on my travels.

We stop at a nice 'service station' Costa Rican style and here I feature the very nice toilets with built in advertising and a plant for decoration. 

Passing by Putarenas a large port town, it's Sunday and there's lots of people are out enjoying themselves by the beach and there are people picknicking and large gazebo type tents they've brought with them to protect them from the hot sun.

We then pass over a large bridge at the River Tarcoles and notice lots of people standing on a very narrow ledge, definitely not a pavement, looking at something below. Our driver gets really excited and saying something which I did not understand at first, he pulled over and told us finally 'there are crocodiles'. So out we get and go to see these crocodiles, words do not describe, but I will try. We walk along this precarious ledge toward the oncoming traffic Sunday busy traffic and trucks and finally peer over too, wow! The photos I took do not do them justice to show how big and fat they were, so I have included a short video of them.

Our driver told us people come to feed them which is why they're sat waiting by the bridge about fifteen of them approximately. We see quite a bit of other wildlife here too, flamingoes, small black and blue coloured birds with borrowed binoculars, I'd really like some. 

I read up after online about this bridge, it's known more commonly as the Puente de los Cocodrilos (Crocodile Bridge) because of the scores of crocodiles that reside in the muddy waters of the river and doze along its banks. The rangers say that the crocodiles prey on farm animals that roam the surrounding pastures, and while there have been a few reports of people having their limbs chewed off or being eaten alive, the animals can be safely viewed from the edge of the bridge.

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We leave here and get out of the basking hot sticky sun and see boys selling large white and orange colour fish by the side of the road, as we pass along the coast and fishing villages. Our journey takes us past Jaco Beach, I see lots of surf boards on the roof racks and a sign showing

There's been and is, a huge property boom here luring the Americans to buy a piece of the 'vista' , view and invest in real estate in Costa Rica.

We get to Quepos a small town next to Manuel Antonio where I'm going to take up my second week of Spanish school. After some driving around by my shuttle and asking local people where to go, I am dropped off at my next 'familia di casa' homestay, very tired indeed and nervous again about how this town and family is going to be...

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greekcypriot on

I don’t think you should be nervous Charlotte. Everything will be fine I am sure. You seem such a positive person so don’t worry at all. There will be loving people again, otherwise they would not bother host students!!
And the people telling you “Aren’t you afraid” I am sure they were either very old or they wish they had been much younger to travel….

aborder on

Wow! Crocodiles in Costa Rica! How awesome is that! I love when locals get just as excited, it's like when canadians see bears! Well, from their car window!
It took me a few weeks to sleep in bunk bed dorms, catch local slow buses, but it is well worth it, plus your budget will stretch far longer! Keep the blogs coming, loving the content and detail :-)

Eddie on

You should not be to afraid think of some of the places I went in the 60's
I would not do it now at my age but so glad I did it then. Keep the blogs coming it seem we are there with you.

charlotte on

Thanks everyone, you are right I should not be nervous but I wouldn't be human if I wasn't. I guess it is more apprehension, than nerves exactly. I think I will get accustomed eventually to the dorms, just spent a whole week in one in fact and not the family homestay - will explain soon in my blog!

mmbcross on

You seem to be doing great up to now. You look really happy on all your photos. How's the budget keeping up? Under or over predictions?

charlotte on

I give myself a monthly allowance and try to not go over it. My trip to Venezuela did blow that by double but that's ok, that is why I budget the rest of the time. I transfer my money each month from my current account to my STA Travel card so if either gets stolen then I always have a backup, plus it keeps me honest with spending only what I can. I would say my budget is probably pretty average and is £500 a month... about £17 a day, some places I spend far less than this and when I feel like it I may spend extra on tours or activities.

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