Goodbye rich coast....

Trip Start Sep 26, 2009
Trip End Jan 06, 2010

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Where I stayed
Casa Tranquilo

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Limon,
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another whole day of journeys... boat, then rickety bus, then less rickety bus to san jose.. then taxi across san jose to the correct bus terminal (tried to rip us off, but we won!), big wait here, so we played cards and silly memory games, had lunch and cake., then another bus... really rickety until monteverde...!

We got the cake, and she didnt give me the slice i pointed at, but as usual, just took it and smiled... we sat down and took a bite, and it was rock solid... like so many before it, and I normally just throw it away and forget about it - but it annoyed me, so I plucked up the courage and went back to the desk, smiled and said "is this cake meant to be this hard, because I cant really eat it this hard" - she smiled and gave me a different slice, squeezed it and said "thats better"... well, i got back to al and we took a bite, and it was less hard, but still hard... and I didnt have the heart to go back again, so we ate it, and then it repeated on me for the whole journey to monteverde... I was quite proud of myself for keeping it down... just! That will teach me to eat stale cake!

We were really sad to leave Tortuguero, despite the rain, we really loved it there, I can imagine going back there one day - maybe not in their rainy season though!  - I bought a newspaper today and read about how the rain has really been affecting the places we have been... rivers starting to overflow and cause chaos, so maybe we were just unlucky with the weather, I cant imagine it can always be like that....

Things seem a little cheaper, particularly in the supermarket here, so we are feeling happier. It makes sense things would be expensive in Tortuguero as everything has to be boated in, but the other places dont make sense... its annoying really... and the price of rum is extortionate (its cheaper to buy imported baileys !) - There are so many things to do here too... we had always planned to do the zipwiring here, but that is really expensive and we did an amazing one in thailand last year, so we decided to do some different things... on a smaller budget too... because there is plenty to do that doesnt cost too much (!)

We went to catch the bus to go to Monteverde National Park, but they have stopped all the buses between 7.20am and 13.30, so we decided to walk there... its only 6km... we just hadnt realised that a lot of that was uphill! oh well, we got there really quickly (as my watch had stopped working!), we ended up getting there at about 10, having stopped to book a night tour at the childrens eternal rainforest... - well, we paid 17 dollars each to get in, and were really disappiointed. IT was full of paths that made you feel as far from a national park as possible, and completely full of loud german tourists, shouting and stomping about - so no chance of seeing or hearing anything... we wandered around for a few hours and then gave up... we then visited the free hummingbird place next door and had a great half an hour. There are so many hummingbirds here and they remind us of Als grandad Vic, because when we went to stay with his grandparents a few years ago, Vic spent everymorning showing us the hummingbirds in his garden... good memories and beautiful birds! - we got the yellow school bus back to the village - santa elena, and cooked some lunch before getting picked up for the night hike...! - we got collected at 5, the minibus driver stopped a few times to show us different viewpoints to watch the sunset, it was beautiful... it gets really dark, really quickly after the sunset here,...

We had a great evening on the night hike, we didnt see a sloth, which is what I was secretly hoping for, not for lack of tryig though, my torch was shining up in the trees for most of the walk. we went with a couple from the canaries and an american guy...we saw 3 tarantulas, scorpion, millipede, lots of other spiders, glow worm, leaf bug, bats, and the giant blue butterflies... it was a lot of fun, and I would recommend that company to anyone... we even got free entrance into the park the following day, which we took up in the afternoon, and had a lovely time.... walking through a real forest, no big groups of tourists, and we saw a whole family of coati´s and monkeys... and loads of birds... we are becoming complete wildlife geeks...  -

The next day, we decided to have a free day, so went for a walk up the 3 amigos path, to a viewpoint where you can see Arenal volcano... but as we expected the weather wasnt brilliant... as Monteverde is quite high, its constantly drizzly, as you are in the cloud forest, and at night, it gets pretty cold... cold enough for me to sleep in leggins and wear my wooly hat out for the evneing! - it was hot when we set off, and it just gotworse and worse, the path goes up 300m in 3km, and it was a muddy, clayey path, slippery and hard to walk on... we did eventually make it to the top, having skidded and slipped all over the place, and waded through massive puddles and you guessed it, we couldnt see anything, just clouds... the wind was really strong up there, and there were TV masts, and the sound of the wind howling around them and the tree´s could actually have been the soundtrack to a horror movie, quite frightening... we had our hard boiled egg and banana, and headed back down. I found a stick and hung onto it for dear life the whole way down (I am a bit of a spaz going down hill... always scared i will fall and twist my ankle... for dads ankles in that respect...!!!) we then washed our feet in a freezing cold stream at the bottom!

we were going to go to the cheese factory after that, until al realised it wasnt free... so we didnt, even though we walked the 3km to it! we just went and spent the afternoon around the Childrens eternal rainforest and then walked the 3km back to the village...! We went out for dinner... as it was our last night in Costa Rica, and even bought a beer and a can of rum and coke to celebrate... we went for a cheap dinner in a soda, and when the bill came, they had overcharged us for the soft drinks by 300colones per drink... which isnt loads, but is quite a lot - the waiter instantly said, oh,they are meant to be 700, not 1000... before I mentioned numbers... but then he spoke to the cashier, and he brought back 3 menus with the prices changed to 1000... i explained that my menu didnt say that, but fine.... then I decided it wasnt fine, and went and got 2 more menus that had the price as 700, and the waiter looked knowingly... the cashier got in a mood and threw 300 colones back on the desk... I really wanted to ask for the other 300 (as we had bought 2 drinks, but thought I had better leave...!) I did explain to the waiter, it wasnt the amount, it was the principle and he smiled knowingly... as we left, the other gringos were having the exact same conversation between them.... - they should know not to mess with me by now!!!

So, after quite a physical few days, we were exhausted, but really excited about going to Nicaragua... cheaper, and lots of more exciting adventures to be had... of course, after another long journey! Until Nica! xxx

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