Hasta luego Costa Rica, Hola Nicaragua!

Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Flag of Nicaragua  , Rivas,
Friday, April 8, 2011

This time we were determined not to miss the only daily public bus north out of Fortuna, so arose bright and early and were at the bus station in plenty of time for the 8.30am service to Tilaran, a couple of hours up the road past Arenal.

We weren't sure exactly where we were headed, other than northwards towards the Nicaragua as we weren't sure how long it would take. So we decided to play it by ear, thinking we'd probably break up the journey by stopping for a night in Liberia (a town at the junction of the Panamericana) or La Cruz (a coastal town very near to the border) before continuing on across the border the following day.

On the bus to Tilaran we hooked up with Cole and Rikki, a friendly couple from Lousiana who were also headed north. We shared a cab with them as far as Liberia and lunched with them at the bus station before going our separate ways; them off to surf at Tamarindo, and us further north - somewhere - although we hadn't still hadn't quite decided exactly where...
As it was still fairly early by the time we reached La Cruz we decided we may as well push on to the border.

We were relieved to find that in huge contrast with our past couple of border crossing experiences, crossing into Nicaragua was remarkably hassle-free. Within 15 minutes of stepping off the bus we were stamped out of Costa Rica, into Nicaragua, and on another bus towards Laguna Apoyo. The Peņas Blancas immigration staff could certainly teach their counterparts in Panama and Paso Canoas a thing or two.

The contrast between Costa Rica and Nicaragua was immediately obvious. You wouldn't find a bag of freshly cut mango for 14p, or a big horse drawn cart procession like this on the other side of the border!
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