We Are Here: Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

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Getting here wasn’t easy

We left Nosara (Pacific Coast) for Puerto Viejo (Atlantic/Caribbean Coast) on September 3rd. And frankly, we weren’t sure it was going to happen. Our plan was to catch the 12:30 bus to Samara by standing up on the main road and flagging it down. You know, the usual. We got there early (since bus schedules are more like rough estimates) and got comfortable on a couple of football-sized rocks by the side of the road. We practiced our throwing-pebbles-in-puddles-across-the-road skills while we waited in our dusty, but shaded spot. Then, right on time, a bus headed to Samara rolled up.

We flagged it down and hopped on board. We even got to use the front door! Fancy. As per usual, we were cramming our bags into the overhead rack as the driver pulled away. But we didn’t make it very far. No sooner than we had plunked our butts in our seats did the bus lurch backwards, grinding to a sad stop just 5 yards from where we got on. So far, we netted 5 yards of travel today. And we also felt bad being the only two people the bus stopped for and then couldn’t get started again. Sigh.

We all waited as the bus driver made a couple of phone calls. He said it should be an easy fix and a mechanic was on his way. In Costa Rica this could mean 10 minutes, 10 hours, or 10 days. One never knows.

Luckily for us passengers, in about 10 minutes, another bus rolled up and the driver agreed to let us all get on. Hooray! Fifty hot, rickety, bumpy, windy, minutes later, our bus stopped at a gas station/bus stop and a bunch of us piled out onto the street corner. We were expecting a long wait until our connecting bus arrived, but as luck would have it, one arrived in about 2 minutes. AND… it was AIR CONDITIONED! omg. best bus ever.

So we spent the night in Samara, and the next morning we caught the direct bus to San Jose. It was about 5 1/2 hours of windy roads and we were sure glad to be standing on solid ground in San Jose.

What I haven’t mentioned thus far is that I get motion sick. Our ride to Samara was rough on me. Our ride to San Jose — though it was a much nicer bus — was still pretty rough on me. I was not delighted to be getting on yet another bus the next morning from San Jose to to Puerto Viejo, but sometimes you have to man up and ride another bus… for 5 hours, in the sun, on windy roads.

As it turns out, this sort of travel is a recipe for heat exhaustion for me. Well, heat + exhaustion + dehydration + side effects from a motion sickness drug = really bad joo joo for me. And when we checked in to our hotel in Puerto Viejo, our shower only had hot water. It was 90F with an AccuWeather “Real Feel” of 114F and I only had a hot shower as reprieve. Mind blowing isn’t it?

So… we spent all of our money on a hotel with a pool and air conditioning. But that’s a story for another time.

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