Friday, June 11, 2010

Checking in from Monteverde

Traveling by bus in Costa Rica is crazy!!! I had assumed that because this country is so touristy that travel would be easy but I guess that most of the tourists here fly and use shuttles like we did on our honeymoon. The buses never seem to go where we want them to directly and we have to change buses multiple times to get anywhere.

We woke early this morning and caught the bus from Samara to Nicoya. In Nicoya, we joined up with an Israeli couple that was wanting to go to Santa Theresa which is near Montezuma which I had already decided to skip because getting there seemed rediculous from Samara. We all knew that we needed to get to Playa Naranja to get anywhere and apparently, we had just missed the bus and the next bus would be 4 more hours. A taxi driver sold us on paying him to try to catch the bus that we missed and we decided that it was worth the money to get to our destinations in one day. He drove like a bat out of hell and we quickly caught up with the bus.

We said goodbye to the Israelis and boarded the ferry. Within minutes, they walked into the ferry. There was no bus going to their next step and it was cheaper for them to take 2 ferries before catching more buses to get to their destination. We spent the ferry ride comparing notes on places that we've been and places that we want to go while studying our guidebooks. They changed plans and decided to go to Quepos instead and we stood firm on our plan to get to Monteverde.

From the ferry we took a bus close to the bus terminal and then walked until we finally found it. It was more of a bus stop, with 1 bus sitting in front. Luckily, that was our bus to Monteverde so we stowed our bags and found our seats.

We both slept for the first half of the ride and then awoke and stared in awe out the window the rest of the ride. The scenery was beautiful...lush green mountains, thousands of cows and glimpses of the coast that we had come from. The air coming in the open windows was crisp so we left them open even though by the end of the ride we were covered in a layer of dirt. As we got closer to Monteverde, the roads went higher and higher until we were in the clouds and understanding exactly what they mean by cloud forest.

When we finally arrived in Santa Elena, we got off the bus and were met by a tout (a guy pushing his hotel for a commission). Normally we ignore them but he said the magic words "Private room, hot water, wifi, breakfast, $20" so we followed him, confirmed that what he said was the truth and dropped our bags in the large room.

We washed off some of the grime and headed straight to the nearby soda for some much needed food.

Now we have showered, checked in online and will head out to check out this town.

It is very damp here and chilly. We came from the beach in summer cloths and are both now wearing long sleeves and shoes.

I'm excited to see the cloud forest. This is what Costa Rica is all about. 100% humidity makes the forest thick with plants, animals, birds and insects.

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