It's Called Costa Rica (Pura Vida)

Trip Start Jul 15, 2009
Trip End Jul 15, 2010

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Where I stayed
Vista Drake

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Saturday, April 24, 2010


It was a narrow escape having to leave from Nicaragua on my expired passport. The first guard clocked me and radioed through to his boss who requested me to go to him. That meant one of four things, a fine or bribe, sent to the capital to clear my passport or, detainment for 72 hours plus the aforementioned. I agreed and asked where to go but instead of going directly to him, thought about this border. Like all borders this one was messy, people just loiter around, so, I was free to wander. Some unofficial looking guy came over and told me I had to go to the blue building to see the boss, I said yeah, no problems to get rid of him. I had just seen some gringos lining up to a window and discovered this was the exit stamp booth. I lined up, grabbed a leaving slip from a guy next to the line and got through without the migration officer noticing the date on my passport. I got over the border quick! Upon entry into Costa Rica I used my new passport explaining the other had expired and they stamped me though after a few discussions and sideways looks. I was in to Costa Rica!

Breathless in Osa Peninsular

"Shit it's hot"! I think I’m boiling over, am I on the edge of collapse or just imagining it, and am I pushing myself to hard, is what I’m doing dangerous?? am I feeling dizzy, dehydrated or just exhausted? I feel as if I’m suffocating in this dense rain forest with its overpowering heat and humidity. I better stop for 10 minutes and rest. I’ve drunk 7 litres of water so far today and have 3 left with one steep mountain pass to cross plus a few rivers that run over this gravel 4wd only road. My piss is dark dark brown and I wonder how much fluid I’m losing per minute. To add injury to insult my rear brake is sticking and the chain is crunching through the dirt grit, splash back, off the road. I rest; I sit in the muddy mix of dirt gravel on the road catching my breath and realise that this region is outstandingly beautiful and worth all the effort, especially with the cracks of lightning and rolling thunder growling at me overhead. I feel small like a rain drop in this passing storm. The heavy downpour is little relief to my body temp and when the sun pokes through it boils the blood under my skin.

It’s a two day cycle over two mountain passes from Uvita to Bahia Drake, Osa peninsular, its paradise, mostly untouched for ever and off the beaten path. So humid everything feels damp and does not dry unless the sun is out, and when it is, it’s so hot you could swear you can feel the mass evaporation rising around you, through you and out of you. Normal days are sauna like, where you just sweat in the shade and the slightest strenuous task you’re soaking. The sky throws you a warning flash followed to let you know you have a few minutes before the clouds open up unleashing some of its 4 meter annual rainfall and you feel the powerful thunderous reverb vibrating the earth under you.

The Corcovado national park is why you come and is a lush and wild habitat running from 16k’s inland to the 40km coastline. Waterfalls drop from ancient first generation rain jungle off cliffs onto ocean and beaches. The puma and many poisonous frogs and snakes live near. A boat ride to the middle and hiking about for as many days you can handle this environment is outstanding and the lodgings back in towns are luxury if you can afford them. I was happy in my provide tent under raised shelter.   

Bobbing around with Bob

Before jumping back on the bike I cruised around with Bob in his car to visit some of the far out places in Costa Rica; running around the Nicoya Peninsula’s pacific beaches, up through the highlands around volcan and lake Arenal, visiting hot pools, heading onward to volcan Poas before climbing over the continental divide mountain range again and down to the Caribbean beaches.

The coatimundies are fearless animals who don’t run from humans they just give you the once over and then waddle off unconcerned, cross between a raccoon and monkey, they look very badger like maybe related to the wombles. They are pretty dam cute so when one hungrily ate food from my hand feeding these two little guys the rest of our bread was easy. Their claws aren’t so nice; they can climb trees almost as good as monkeys.

The central mountain range of Costa Rica seems to be crumbling, giving way to mother nature’s mighty forces. Rain and earthquakes are showing their strength and the road shows it. At the end of this road we drive past a sign that says road closed, earthquake zone. The road started out well until it started to disappear in places and temporary roads rerouted us over or around piles of dirt and through river fords, houses were perched on new approaching cliff sides and one outhouse had its curtain flapping in the wind over the edge of a huge land slide. Why wasn’t there one at the other end??

Cahuita’s Caribbean culture.

Cahuita is a little two bar town on the Caribbean coast, a national park nestled at one end with a short but clean surf break. The park, free entry by local demand, which goes totally against the grain of the Costa Rican Costa lot experience, was one of my favourites. A spectacular place to walk among the beach palms, trees monkeys. Camping on the beach front under the same trees at Tino’s place was paradise and five days slipped by unnoticed while mesmerised by this shady little town that had a bad rep in the guide book. The party in town was great, live reggae and cheap beers. But watch out for the shirtless incredible hulk looking guy who rants and raves while walking through town puffed up like a pigeon or on your walk home where you may see the crazy man bashing the middle of the road with his fist! He was only trying to open a coconut, I realised from my hiding place behind the tree!  

Montezuma’s and the shadow walkers

Montezuma is paradise full stop! A stunning coastline of rocky outcrops hiding sandy bays shaded by lush palms. You can find you own beach for the day easily. Good hikes and a layered waterfall where the strong hearted fall 10 meters to a pool midway between the bottom and top with a tough wall to scale back up. If that’s not enough you can take on the locals by walking out the 7 meter tree branch to plunge off it backward another ten meters to the top pool.

You can literally soak up atmosphere, surf and sun for days on end, that is, until you have a bad experience, which I had on the first night! Like all of Costa Rica’s beaches there are the underworld clans. The people who lurk in the shadows and steal you bag when you go for that tempting dip into the blue. So when I heard the click, clack of the Tupperware container my laptop lived in and awoke at 5am to see this mutha fucka in my tent, in my bag I said exactly that, what are you doing mutha fucka. He freaked and split, I looked and my stuff all laid out and ran after him only to realise I had no clothes on; nudeness through town was not an option as my laptop was still there, so I threw on my shorts and legged after him but he had disappeared into thick air! Not surprising....  SO on checking my stuff I couldn’t help wonder why he didn’t take the whole bag, an easy task considering the opening and rummaging through all my stuff. Maybe money was a priority of maybe this stupid dickhead was so smashed up on drugs he didn’t know his own name. Al was there except my knife so in a way not finding him could have been a blessing in disguise...And upon moving to a different camp ground I was assured no trouble would come to me here as the guy running it knew all the scum and they didn’t cross him. It was true and the rest of the experience was as described. Perfect!

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rusty dusty on

great photos! what awesome wildlife

lisa likes on

i want to see more pictures of that super guy with the little red car. !

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