Monthly Archives: June 2014

Salty Indepenence

2014-05-30 at 01-27-46I put my shorts on backward this morning, I hope this isn’t how the rest of the day will go. It’s 4:30am I don’t know what day it is I think Thursday. We are going to get on a small boat of some sort to a larger sailboat today. There has been talk in the hostel all last night and yesterday, this hostel Mamallena has been buzzing with sailboat talk. We can read all the blogs we want to and review, get ourselves all worked up in high and lows. But really we will not know what’s going to happen on this sailing trip until we are there, it’s happening and there will be no swimming back to shore or changing plans only making the most of our experience. It’s our choice in how we feel, we will get what we get. Yes this is all based on our choices but the outcome is based on what we make of it. My belly is full of pancakes and eggs, the hostel provides an all day pancake station. I was up cooking eggs for Mateo early. I was awake at 4:07 my alarm was set for 4:15am. This is what I felt like the morning I flew to Alaska. Yet this is only a four or five day trip. Not three months in the freezing cold winter in Dutch Harbor. Reflecting on it my life has been full of this feeling. Te feeling of excitement, adventure, thill, and the unknown. If I can help it this is not the last time I will feel this way. I talked with Boss-Man Tim and he got me all stoked about the World Cup, I have been fearful of the giant crowds, drunkenness, and the civil tension about Manaus hosting the games (they just built this new stadium for 4 games, and they don’t even have a club team). He said have fun be safe this is a once in a lifetime chance. So I’ll be safe and smart, I’ll be with Mateo.  2014-05-29 at 18-37-09

I love to sail, I have never had a true fear of a boat sinking, I have always had an emergency plan in my mind. Ok once in Alaska I was sure the boat was going to sink, thirty foot waves should scare anyone, no matter how thick the steel is. This is the first seat belt I have worn I’m three months, a 4×4 picked us up at the hostel at 5:30am this morning. Now we ride in an air conditioned pathfinder like 4×4 out to a dock then see what happens. When I see people who fall asleep immediately instantly I want to be there under my own eyelids not caring if my head wobbles back and forth and my double chin is the only thing supporting my head, time passes when you’re not awake pleasantly you no longer feel the heat and discomfort of the ride. We enter onto a road that feels like a slow moving roller coaster this makes me feel a bit sick. Back and forth, up and down nonstop. There is a military check point, they checked every persons passport that was in every car. Our driver told us it was because of the two Dutch girls who went missing in Feb. They were out hiking in NorthWast Panama and never showed back up, they were doing humanitarian work and all of their stuff was just left at their hostesses house. They suspected foul play at first, now more so a kidnapping. Oh reality you are hard and we are reminded that life is fragile, here traveling and at home as well. We get to the end of the road. Then onto a small boat that fits 12 of us in it. Then the rain starts, it pours and pours. There is a cover on the boat, but it’s a river boat not made for comfort, we get wet. 2014-05-29 at 08-46-10

2014-05-29 at 09-09-16Our stuff gets a tarp and stays mostly dry. We get delivered to the bigger boat, the MS Independence. This is not what I think when I think sail boat. This is a vessel. After everyone arrives to the boat we get underway and then get out talk from Michael the salt dog that runs the boat. He speaks of his boat like any captain would, strongest, safest vessel around made to travel the world. I don’t doubt it, and at the same time we have all seen titanic. 2014-05-29 at 09-17-32Mateo and I went into this sail trip expecting nothing. The food good has been great so far and everyone on the boat is entertaining. It it hot at night and we have slept on the upper deck for the cool wind. The cabins are hot and there are a lot of people, 25 and 3 crew members. It’s awesome to hear the stories of adventure and of people’s lives back home. Majo is the captain’s right hand, she basically controls the people, gets them in line. We went and snorkeled a bit, I like to snorkeling, it scares me a bit to see all the fish or what really scares me is what I don’t see like the sharks if there even is sharks around most likely not.2014-05-31 at 07-58-53

2014-05-31 at 11-38-02 Tonight there will be a bonfire and we are able to camp on the island. Last night we went out to an island and BBQ’d fish and had a really tasty meal. I have learned to like beets. Or I realy just like this interesting beet salad we have had many times, it is similar to potato salad. Mateo even ate the fish, tilapia is a fish that anti-fish people can eat, white and mild fishiness when it is seasoned correctly.2014-05-31 at 19-21-47

DCIM100GOPRO

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One of the greatest ditches in the world

2014-05-28 at 11-36-04Over one million boats have passed through here, one of the greatest feats of engineering knowen to man. I wasn’t leaving Panama without seeing it. We crossed over the canal the night before in the dark on the bus ride, that wasn’t enough for us, I wished we could of seen it as we drove over. I think I may have been fast asleep on that horrid bus. We catch a taxi out to the Miraflores Locks. 2014-05-28 at 11-36-40The cannel is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year. I loved the museum, with many small boat replicas, and the rich and also tragic history of the cannel. I noticed when we first arrived in Panama that there was a wide verity of races, from Asian to Afro American. Then reading in the museum people came from all over to help build this cannel.  Hundreds of thousands of people, join together in the construction. Many died from malaria and yellow fever, until the epidemic was under control. France began work on the canal in 1881, but had to stop because of engineering problems and high death rate due to disease. The United States took over the project in 1904, and took a decade to complete the canal, it was officially opened on August 15, 1914.2014-05-28 at 11-35-36 Now they are almost finished creating larger lochs for larger ships to pass through the canal. Many boat that expect to go through the canal are with the the specks to fit perfectly through. Some 300 million ships have passed through to date. I’m glad we took the time to go and see this, i just think it is so fascinating 2014-05-28 at 10-26-49

P is for Panama

The immigration office was a pill. They wanted us each to have $500 in cash on us when we crossed the border. If you have ever counted out $1000 at a border crossing you know how unsafe you feel. Also to prove when we would be departing the country. We have scheduled a sail boat ride through the Caribbean from Panama to Colombia. We have a confirmation email, it doesn’t look super official but we printed the series of emails anyways. Finally they approve us to enter the country with a strong push because we were riding on the TicaBus. Again we didn’t get our bags searched because we were at the end of the line from our bus, or our bags just look too difficult to look through. We are about 6 hours in now only ten more to go and we will have covered almost half of Panama. We find ourselves in Panama City at 5 am! Well, the rickety ride got us to the bus station at 1:30am instead of 5am. It felt like our bus had no shocks at all, when using the restroom feels dangerous you just avoid it. The bus wasn’t packed so I tried sleeping on a row across from Mateo. More than once I nearly fell from the seat on to the ground from the turning and stopping. There was not a single person in sight when we stepped off the bus. This station is like no other we have been dropped off at, it’s clean and feels safe. There were security guards roaming around, they kicked us off the stairs quickly while we were reading our guide book. The vultures were out, taxi drivers, staring at us offering us a ride. We were not getting on to a taxi. It is too late to catch a taxi to a hostel and hotels would be more expensive and we would only be there a couple hours. We finally found a location to sleep in the bus terminal. An air conditioned waiting area. I was scolded for laying on the seats, I guess only up right sleeping is allowed in this area.

upright sleeping

upright sleeping

 

Look a friendly Cab driver

Look a friendly Cab driver

Managed  to fall in and out of sleep all morning. At least I’m not sweating, that is always a plus. About 7:30am we both are awake and decide to start figuring out how to get ourselves to the hostel. We head over the walkway that gets us over the freeway, and it gets us to the subway system. Not where we want to be. With this much exhaustion in our bones we fold and take a taxi to the hostel.  Feeling more spry than at 1:40am when we got off the bus. Yet still groggy, we walk up to the hostel. Mamallena is a hostel with no rules there was no fine tuned sermon given when we enter about cleaning up after yourself or what time the lights go out. This is unusual for a hostel, normally there are rules at least a few, ahhh but yes we are all adults and are adult enough to travel the world and are still alive. Every one is really relaxed, the guide book spoke of this hostel as unfriendly, more so I think it is not the hostels responsibility to hold our hands as travelers. Isn’t travel about growing? It is for me at least at this point in my life. To get an education through the world and experiencing that world.
Our beds were open and ready for us to sleep and restart our day not in a bus station. Oh the beds here are not full of springs and do not have bent bed frames from large people, the ac gets turned on from eight to eight. It is nice to wear my pjs at night and not the more exposed modest sleep wear I have because of the heat.  We both sleep a couple hours and wake up at noon, the time has changed by one hour, traveling through time zones is strange when it’s done by land. When you get on a plane it is like time travel backward or forwards. I was looking at places to eat in our travel book and quickly found a New York Bagel shop. Mateo said he wanted bagels the other day and rice and beans will not be making the cut this morning. From what I have seen in the bus station, Panamanians don’t eat gallo pinto for breakfast anyways instead they eat this condensed form of stew. We make our way to the the bagel shop, guide book in hand. It is a healthy hike away and we zone out on our phones after we eat our bagel breakfast. Mateo swears that this normal breakfast of bagels, country potatoes, and eggs makes him feel 100% again, he wasn’t looking good when I poked and proded him out of bed at noon. We search around the internet for what activities to do in Panama City. We found a park that is a nature preserve on the lonely planet web page. That’s when the rain started, the down pour session lasted at least an hour. It’s so hot here in Panama we were in shorts an sandals, the bagel shop was a good place to wait out the rain, how long could we wait, the park closes at 6pm.

Mateo absorbing the knowledge of Einstein

Mateo absorbing the knowledge of Einstein

We ventured out eventually and found a pharmacy that sold umbrellas. That will have to do, we are from Seattle it rains all the time. We catch a taxi to the entrance of the park. I read that we may see this creature I have been waiting on, the sloth. I’m not convinced they really exist, I have been told so many times you may see a sloth. No sloth, one of my favorite animals. I like the weird ugly animals that have strange character. As we begin our hike my glasses soon fog up, this is unhelpful in the sloth sighting experience. Every moment we stop the mosquitos invade our skin and we are attacked from every angle. I’ll be lucky to make it out of this jungle trail hike without feeling like I donated blood to the Red Cross. This is the mosquitos perfect breeding ground, warm wet covered by trees. We are their thanksgiving dinner. We arrive at the top, how amazingly beautiful it is. We get to see Panama City skyline framed by the rain forest. Eight degrees from the equator. The rain has only been at a drizzle this whole time. I mostly use the umbrella to hit away or kill landing Mosquitos.

Rain or sweat who knows

Rain or sweat who knows

Umbrella

Umbrella

PANAMA CITY

PANAMA CITY

We catch a taxi back to town, he kicks us out early and doesn’t charge us, but he leaves us with a big smile. We assume because where our hostel is located there is heavy traffic all times of the day. So we get out and start walking without rain, after locating a supermarket we go there and pick up all the snacking things we will need on the boat, this supermarket is like America town, everything is over priced and imported. Not Mateo and Emily friendly. On the boat they provide water and three meals a day. Snacks are on us, Mateo doesn’t like fish much so we get extra snacks, and our hostel has a kitchen. I have been craving a grilled cheese sando and some tomato soup. We get just that and get back to the hostel to make ourselves long awaited comfort food on the cheap.

Goldie Moldy

On the phone the Madre de Mateo

On the phone the Madre de Mateo

We had arranged with Laura to meet her in Costa Rica if we could while she was there visiting her mom. We met up with her, her sister and Inara. Ate some cheap and tasty lunch and then went and toured around the university. I brought my bracket making string with me, I wanted Laura to teach me a more complex knot with 12 strands instead of 6. I have been making a lot of bracelets, with the long hours on the bus and my incapability to sleep, bracelets have been my addiction. I also like the challenge of figuring out new knotting techniques and color combinations. I have started making bracelets for people back home, they are compact and what an awesome souvenir to bring someone than something that I made myself.2014-05-22 at 14-39-07

Swing time with Inara

Swing time with Inara

 

University of Costa Rica

University of Costa Rica

San Jose became our time to just hang out in the city. We don’t spend much time getting to know an area. With our hostel being so cheap, clean and safe we may stay longer than expected. Tomorrow we plan to go up to the Volcano Poás, we can take the city bus all the way to the entrance of the park. No tour guide, hooray!

Mateos obsession with gatos goes to far

Mateos obsession with gatos goes to far

We were up early to navigate our selves to the right buses. We arrived in the town of Alajuela where we would catch our next bus up to the volcano, the bus driver informed us that the volcano may be closed for emergency situation drills. We could take our chances and go anyway, a guy on the bus told us it was a beautiful drive up and there maybe a chance that it was open. We got on the bus. Not many of our plans have gone awry so we would just stick to it and go anyway. This is when I realized that my thought process has been faulty, that if I continue to think this is what is going to happen and not have any flexibility in my “plans” I’m likely to be disappointed when things change. Much of life is this way, I think end goals are good but flexibility above all is best. I don’t normally think myself through thoughts like this. For some reason today it is really striking me. We get to a small town, we have the option to hike up the road to the entrance of park, the police are not letting vehicles go to the park. So everyone from the bus starts hiking up, it’s a 10 kilometers hike up, about 6 miles. We all have nothing better to do until our bus leaves at 2:30 to got back to Alajuala. Mateo and I stop for lunch about 4 kilometers away from the park. Local cars were driving around, hitch hiking was unsuccessful. After eating lunch at cute little dinner I was walking out of the bath room just in time to catch a glimpse of our bus going up the road. We missed it, the bus surely would have picked us up if it would of seen us walking. So we continue out hike up. We could hear thunder and lighting for the majority of the walk up the road to the park but no rain. I wanted to just start walking down the hill. My calves were still sore from the extra long hike at the other volcano, Arenal. We didn’t even know if the park was open for people or if our bus was just allowed to go get the riders that had hiked up. This was not a motivating factor for me. What was motivating for me was Mateo, the views, and the coolness in the air. I was so happy it was not hot and sunny out. Finally I was convinced that my goal should be just to get to the bus, we made it to the park, the road was gracious in the park and even went down hill a little. The park rangers would not let us go to the bus that was
parked inside of the park. It was a $10 entry fee, we waited outside under the cover of the pay booth. It had just begun raining right as we were arriving to the park, what a relief for the rain to hold off until we were close to cover. We would not be seeing the volcano or the crater with the lake. That was okay with me, we did make it to the top and almost in though.

Views on the hike up

Views on the hike up

 

"Happy camper"

“Happy camper”

Tica bus race…
Once we were back in San Jose, it was 4:30 and the TicaBus agency was going to close at 5pm. We went darting off the bus, the GPS said we were 19 minutes away walking. So if we run/walk as fast as we can we may get there to buy our tickets for the Monday bus that goes to Panama. I didn’t have much hope in the agency being open on Sunday either. The last time we showed up to buy our tickets we were 6 minutes late, and the online site is down, not sure it ever worked.  We finished our day with Papa Johns in the park, that was fun.

Costa Rican Bob Ross painting happy fruit

Costa Rican Bob Ross painting happy fruit

Our time in San Jose has been full of walking and touring the city. We went and saw the Pre-Columbian Gold/Currency Museum. We learned about currency and the processing of gold, it was a great place to learn about the history of Costa Rica. On Saturdays and Sunday the city comes alive with farmers markets and carnivals in the main parks. We have met some really awesome people at our hostels as well and can fully say after so long of traveling that party hostels aren’t our style and having somewhere safe and quite to come back to is important after a long day of adventuring/bussing around. Once in a while they are fun, but don’t compare to a better kept hostel and quietness.

An awesome game of chess, yes Mateo won

An awesome game of chess,
yes Mateo won

Musume

Musume

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Miniature Indians

Miniature Indians

Gold Musume

Gold Musume

 

VrooooooooM!!!!

2014-05-21 at 06-29-35One thing with tours is that you really have to know what you’re getting into. Yesterday morning we singed up for this jeep boat jeep tour, sounded romantic, taking a rugged jeep, and then going across the lake, and getting on to another jeep. Then looking into it further we both realized that the first jeep would take us on to the north side of the lake, we were already on the south side, then hop a boat across the lake, and then end 25 kilometers from where we were currently, and it was $60. We woke up early, packed our tent up, hiked to the hostel and informed the hostel guy that we would need to cancel, I felt embarrassed. It wasn’t a comfortable feeling to cancel the morning of 2 hours before the shuttle was to show up and take us to the jeep, but Mateo and I saw it as reasonable to not spent the money and to only finish 25 kilometers away from where we started.2014-05-21 at 07-42-08 We drank coffee and caught a different shuttle in to La Fortuna, ate cheap breakfast at a recommended location, had the best orange juice of my life, and went in search for a black tank top for me or a swim suite. I didn’t find either, to save room in my pack I normally swim in a black sports bra and matching black bottoms. I’m starting to want a swim suit so I hope to find one by the time we reach Panama, it would be great to get rid of some of my shirts as well. They all are a bit worn out after almost three months of travel and a lot of hard work. What we did find was a hair cut. Mateo wants to avoid looking too scruffy, and he has decided too keep his beard until the end of the trip, so keeping up on his hair helps with the heat and him looking not so scruffy. We get on on our connecting bus to the capital, San Jose! Mateo and I have developed this way of getting on the bus so we sit with each other, I take the small bags and what ever snacks we have, find us a double seat and he gets the bags put under the bus. It works well. It should have taken us four and a half hours to get to San Jose. It always seems to be a bit longer than what the schedule states, the bus is making several stops along the way, picking up and dropping off people. Then the bus stops for several minutes and people start getting off, it seams like all the foreigners are staying on the bus.2014-05-21 at 16-38-18 We have heard stories of busses catching on fire and this French guy not knowing a thing about it because he was sleeping and listening to music. Then one of the girls getting off the bus says in English the bus broke down or something. That’s when we all start to pile off and get our bags from under the bus and find a cozy rock to sit on until the backup bus comes to pick us up. Many people who were on the bus call their friends to come and pick them up. I spent the time trying to convince Mateo that we should hitch hike, we had good luck last time. He was convincing me to be patient. Patience is not my strong suit, after 30 minutes another bus arrived and we continued south to San Jose.2014-05-21 at 13-52-22 We arrived in San Jose several hours later. It was dark out yet the city was alive and kicking. I haven’t been in a city where the streets are clean and with no dogs for a while. We walked to our hostel Mateo had booked the night before. It was in the historic district close to the University. Wow! This is the nicest hostel we have been in to-date, the one in Matagalpa was nice but this hostel was once a old mansion and now a hostel. Really beautiful. It also has an awesome kitchen so I’ll be making use of it! I have really missed cooking for myself, out side of the expense of going out to eat, I like to cook, it relaxing and fun for me.

Bush whacking goodness

2014-05-20 at 10-06-22I love waking up to the sound of howler monkeys and birds. Oh and not to mention a giant Volcano outside the tent door. This camping spot is amazing, to my delight where we are camping is a ten minute walk from the hostel itself and there are composting toilets. We are surrounded by farm area as well, and the walk is through jungle, yesterday we caught sight of monkeys swinging from tree to tree with baby monkeys on their backs. Wow!!
2014-05-19 at 17-32-47We also caught the shuttle down to some hot springs that are heated from the near by volcano. We took the local route with the springs and went down under the bridge to hop in to the hot springs. My skin is so soft today, and I was told that the springs make you look younger. All this sun damage has been reversed, hallelujah, and thank you volcano gods. Now please don’t erupt on us. 2014-05-20 at 09-55-12 We caught the shuttle to the entrance of the national park, we really wanted to catch it to the Arenal obseveratory but we had a miscommunication. We hiked the trails of the park they were short and full of people, but with great views of the volcano. I liked the signs that say enter at your own risk active volcano.  In 2008 there were 4 evacuations of the surrounding area due to activity and hazardous gases from Arenal. Mateo found a trail in his GPS app on his phone.2014-05-20 at 10-02-23 Once we arrived at the end of the park trail and the beginning of the GPS trail is when the bush whacking started. There really was no trail, some areas did clear up and gave us just enough hope we were heading in the right direction. This trail would lead us to the Toucan trail which was close to where we wanted to be in the first place. If not for the GPS I’m sure we would of ended up a story of two lost hikers at the base of the Volcano. 2014-05-20 at 10-39-49

2014-05-20 at 10-59-33We continued to crawl under brush and over logs, I was hoping not to step on a snake or find myself bitten by a spider. We arrived at the Toucan Trail covered in sticks, scratches and sweat. 2014-05-20 at 11-30-54

2014-05-20 at 10-47-09Lucky we were only hiking with a small bag, larger bags would have hindered our crawling under barbed-wire fences. :) The trail was a very old trail that used to connect the two, but now one pice of land that borders the National park is privately owned the two no longer connect for most people.  We saw old signs and pieces of trail throughout the trek. The Toucan trail was not exciting we hiked it a bit but never saw any toucans, I would of not been satisfied with the toucan hike. We knew we really shouldn’t of been cutting trails on old trails and got a bit of a reprimand when we exited via the toucan trail. We offered to go back and the guy at the entrance said just not to do it again. That would of been a story if he would of said to go back.  It was time to head to the Arenal observatory to eat some lunch and do some more hiking.2014-05-20 at 12-28-57 After a satisfying lunch of sandwiches we hiked up to Cerro Chato. Once we arrived at the trail it was time to start hiking up to this crater lake. After our bush whacking experience I was tired but we ony had four hours to get to the lake and back before making it to the road to catch our shuttle on our return trip. I had a rough trip up and I convinced myself I didn’t want to hike down into the crater to the lake.2014-05-20 at 14-37-21

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2014-05-20 at 15-33-19 This is where Mateo really helped, regardless of what he says if he keeps moving so do I. I had a pretty grumpy hike, he also convinced me after we had reached the top to hike down to the lake for a swim. It felt so good to get in that water, it was even cold. It took about half the time to hike down the muddy steep slope. We power walked to the road side to catch our shuttle, and also someone expedited our walk by picking us up and taking us about a kilometer.  We treated ourselves to dinner at the hostel, much of the food they serve the guests is from the farm on the property and the cook is great, he make delicious healthy food. I can’t believe we have come this far completely by land, with the exception of the boat ride from La Paz to Mazatlán. When I look at the map it’s crazy to think how far a person can get without a plane involved.

Volcan Arenal

Upon arrival

Upon arrival

The lady running our hotel told us many times that there would be coffee in the morning, and just as planned we woke packed up and used our travel mugs to get a cup of coffee on the go. The pastries we had bought the morning before would hold us over until we ate some real food. We marched down to the bus station coffee in hand to catch our bus. After asking for directions many times an being pointed in many different directions, a collage student told us in English to just wait here and a bus should arrive anytime. We sat back and watched all the busses pull out of the station, then the La Fortuna bus pulled up we hopped on. I had found a place the night before on google by searching La Fortuna Camping and came upon this place Essence Arenal. An ecolodge hostel, I thought I had found good directions. When Mateo and I started looking into the guide book we couldn’t figure our where this place was. So we cross referenced the guide book with the google directions, and also Mateo’s app on his phone we figured out where we needed to be. We got off the bus right at the dirt road that led to the national park. It was a 9 kilometer walk, the bus would not get us closer. The hike would pass by the entrance of the National park, so there would be some traffic for at least the first 3 kilometers. We thought we would have a good chance of finding a ride road side, we were picked up within minutes of starting our trek, by a mini bus, that was taking people to one of the adventure establishments.

as we walked I found a giant leaf

as we walked I found a giant leaf

They brought us with in 3 kilometers of the place we were heading, we were blessed to have caught a ride so far. The rest of our hike to Essence Arenal was mostly steep uphill making us even more thankful for the ride. Once at the end of the road we found our Hostel and we were greeted by two girls who were volunteering for two months from Spain. They checked us in and pointed us to the camp spots. Costa Rica is so green with lush rolling hills, we are next to a beautiful and this hostel boasted of the amazing view of the Volcano Arenal. I would like to stay here for a week, and just enjoy. I think Mateo and I are a bit worn down from the travel and would just like to relax and not be on a bus. We will stay here for two nights and then move south. Our little tent is all set up on a fantastic ridge where we will be waking up to the view I can’t wait for tomorrow morning to come.2014-05-19 at 11-43-09

Costa me much

We arrived into Rivas and insisted that we be dropped of at the TicaBus station, the cab driver was not convinced that the TicaBus will let us on without a pre-perchessed. It was Sunday so the station was not open. The cost was threw the roof, but there was no getting off when the bus was underway. After crossing the border on our extremely expensive Tica bus we were dropped off at Cañas. 2014-05-19 at 09-19-29Costa Rica has already proven it’s self to be more like American pricing than any other country we have traveled through, our taxi ride to the next town over cost 20$ for a 17 kilometers. We were told by the taxi cab driver that there was a bus to La Furtuna that left at 2pm from Tilaran, La Furtuna was our final destination for the day. The time was 1:19pm, we did get him down to 20$ the starting price was 24$, only to find out once we arrived at the station he lied to us and there was only two busses a day and they are at 7am and 12:30pm. Grrr I really do not like taxi cab drivers and we will refrain from getting any information from them when possible. While deciding what our next step would be another taxi approached us and said he could take us to La Fortuna for $90, and that all the hotels in the area would charge us 25$ to sleep for each of us. We left and sat at the park where we were approached by another taxi can driver that said he would take us to La Fortuna for 70$ and that we was giving us a deal. We finally took refuge in a restaurant from attacking cab drivers and enjoyed a late lunch. After zoning out on the wify for a bit we weigh our options, pay for lunch and ask the waitress if she knows of some cheap hotels. We did just that and she directed across the street to Mary’s Place Hotel, $30 a night, ac, shower, fan, and even some cable television. We took it, got settled, went grocery shopping and finished our night with some pizza. Thank you Costa Rica, if you could show us a better side tomorrow that would be great because we are not feeling it today. Maybe we will be in Panama quicker than expected.

Wild Wild Horses

2014-05-18 at 08-25-39Everyone one woke up late. I guess riding a motor bike around the island really took it put of them. Then there is me waking up early, I like my mornings drinking coffee and blogging on my own. I have always been a person to wake early ever since I was a kid. I remember taking books to friends houses during sleepovers and being the first to wake up and waiting hours for everyone else to wake up and reading and waiting around until my friends woke up. The employees are always awake when I am the majority of the time. I don’t like forcing my myself back into sleep unless I’m really tired. When the light starts to shine I’m like a rooster. We have all decided we will stay today and leave tomorrow on the first boat at 7:30am. Then get onto a TicaBus into Costa Rica, Danny has told us that the TicaBus picks up at 9:30. I am not 100% when I take travel advise from people when it benefits them, we spend more money here at the hostel if we stay one more day. We stay plan to stay another night anyways. This island is really beautiful, today will be a beach day. After everyone is awake we get some breakfast into us and head to a short hike and down to the beach. It’s amazing how this little island was once surrounded by salt water and now over hundreds of years has turned to fresh water. It is a wives tail but we have heard there are fresh water sharks, they haven’t been seen for many years now. We start making our way away from the hostel, at the beginning of the trail there is a butterfly arbordium, I go and venture off on my own to go inside.

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2014-05-17 at 12-07-33

2014-05-17 at 12-22-20

What a cool place, full of so many butterflies. Butterfly’s only have a life span of two weeks, some of them spend the majority of their life’s living on the forest floor. They are interesting little beings. I catch up with Mateo at the entrance and we wonder in to find Tua and Timmy. I’m going to miss our Swedes, it’s nice traveling in a pack of four. We will part ways four hours into Costa Rica. The hike is nice and hot with great views, we opt out of swimming in the Laguna because it looks like a power shake full of kale and spinach. The beach is awesome, swimming in a lake that feels like the ocean without the salt, it is really nice. We find a place to get some lunch, Tua is always looking for dessert or cookies I love this about her, because then we can share. I try to limit the sweets or that’s all I would eat. Everyone falls asleep and rests up a bit with a view of the beach and cool breeze it is easy to find yourself sleeping. 2014-05-17 at 16-21-02

2014-05-17 at 13-50-32

Today will be a relaxing one, I’m really sore from the motor bike ride yesterday.2014-05-17 at 17-38-20
We wake up early and scurry to the boat, that is ten minute walk away, Danny has been so helpful, when we were paying our bill last night it was much less than we all expected, he really gave us a deal. I would love to go back to the island and stay right in the forest to explore more. We have to find the TicaBus station as soon as we can when we get to Rivas. Taxi cab drivers can be helpful at getting you places. The boat ride is beautiful with views of both the volcanos, what a lovely past couple days we have had.2014-05-18 at 07-35-54

on the boat ride back to shore

on the boat ride back to shore

Cocibolca, the lake of Nicaragua, Oasis of Peace

2014-05-22 at 09-26-12

2014-05-16 at 09-46-30

We wake up and have a great breakfast, anything we eat from here is good. We hear the dirt bikes pull up. Hoping they don’t require a lot of paperwork or proof of license because Timmy’s wallet got pocketed at a carnival and he has no proof of his license. Mateo of course has all his documents. The bikes look a bit rough, and the helmets provided look rougher. They are just these little bucket helmets and with all the gear we have normally been wearing would of consisted of riding pants, jacket, gloves and a nice full face helmet. We are in pants, a long sleeve shirt and helmet. We have read about horror stories that led us to believe we needed to thoroughly inspect the bike before renting it. So Mateo video recorded both bikes to insure we would receive our deposits back. Timmy took the bike out for a spin to familiarize himself again, as did Mateo. Tua and I donned our helmets and hoped on. There was no deposit, no checking of license, we were off. I was scared our bike sounded like it would soon shake to pieces if we hit any bumps. Timmy and Tua’s bike seemed to start up well and have better acceleration. As for Mateo and my bike it had trouble starting and going, our electric starter was broken and our kick starter was missing a pin so the rod you would kick down would go flying off every time you would kick it down. Oh and the kick starter would not start the engine very well or at all. So here I am, a motor bikes starter, Mateo and I would both start pushing it, and he would hop on and I would continue to push. If we were lucky we would have a down hill to help, we sometimes were not so lucky.  When I first got on the bike I was so nervous and just closed my eyes most of the time. I tried to get Mateo to slow down, I felt so naked without my gear. Eventually I was used to the feeling of no gear and speed, and by speed I mean not very fast just fast enough to get us places. We saw many sights Danny set us up with a map and a time line to see places.

Bracelet making on our break

Bracelet making on our break

2014-05-16 at 16-39-16

2014-05-16 at 16-59-36

Punta Jesus Maria

Punta Jesus Maria

Tribute to Anna's Graduation

Tribute to Anna’s Graduation

Moo time

Moo time

yes the beard is getting bigger

yes the beard is getting bigger

Laguna Charco Verde hike and view

Laguna Charco Verde hike and view

Laguna Charco Verde

Laguna Charco Verde

Laguna Charco Verde

Laguna Charco Verde

2014-05-17 at 13-17-25

Beaches

Beaches

Me and petroglyphs

Me and petroglyphs

Tua and the petroglyphs

Tua and the petroglyphs

Where's Waldo

Where’s Waldo

2014-05-16 at 11-42-24We made it all around the island, and even on to a road that was all large rocks and dirt for 10 kilometers. This was one of the roughest areas to push start the bike. We finished the ride with a sunset and going back In to the main town of Moyogalpa to find an ATM. Right as we arrived to the atm the power went out, it started raining and the darkness came on quickly. We all were tired and made our way back to the hostel. Just about everyone on the island road bikes, at all times of the day. There were many bikers on the road as we rode back to the hostel, I just wanted to get them all reflective gear, I wonder how many people are hit by cars on this island.2014-05-16 at 18-00-35