Trip Start Sep 30, 2013
88Trip End May 31, 2014
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The usual early start was followed by a pleasant one hour lake ferry and then back on the pan American highway in a minibus to the border with Costa Rica. Now this IS the kind of border you expect in central America. Total chaos. A queue of lorries half a mile long on the Nicaragua side and a mile long in Costa Rica. Police inspecting the contents. Several places to report to, get your passport inspected or stamped, pay some money, and they have changed the procedure since the last time our tour leader crossed.
Costa Rica is even more like the USA, especially the prices. Its currency is the Colones and there are 500 to a US dollar. Nearly all tourist prices are quoted in dollars and change is usually available in dollars. ATMs issue US dollars.
Costa Rica is the richest country in Latin America, having abolished its army in 1949.
In the 50s a bunch of Quakers quit the USA after the reintroduction of the draft and established a community here in Monteverde. It's a very eco friendly place and we visited the large nature reserve bordering the continental divide. To the West all rain flows to the Pacific and to the east it all flows to the Atlantic.