Going the Wrong Dirrection – From Panama to Costa Rica

Here I am … in Costa Rica … third time this year. Why you’d ask? Well, since I thought I would go to Nicaragua to volunteer for three months, I left my backpack with a lot of crap in San Jose and had to go back and get it sorted out.

A lesson learned: “Don’t think you will stick to your plan when you travel. You will always meet someone or decide to do something more exciting than you thought you would.” And do not think that you can travel with two backpacks. It’s impossible.

I almost thought the voyage back to Costa Rica was a waste of time and money if not a four-day trip with my dear Mexican friend Mar to La Cruz, salsa en la calle and getting my life a bit organized.

So far La Cruz has been a cherry on a cake of Costa Rica. It’s located in Guanacaste, almost on the border with Nicaragua and has the most beautiful virgin beaches I have ever seen in my life. No cement, no tourists, no McDonalds. What can be better?

The first day Mar and Marina woke up at 7am and went to explore la mar de la Cruz. We walked about 30 km through sun and sand, small rocks and big boulders, saw cows and horses, poor villages and expensive hotels. We bathed and tanned, had beer and water, ice cream and tortillas, beans and tomatoes until we got to the very end of the peninsula: El Jobo.

It was about 5 pm and we were tired and ready to take a bus back to La Cruz. Little we knew that the beach and the village had the same name and were pretty far apart and the bus wasn’t any near where we were. On the beach we saw two Tico guys drinking their Imperial and enjoying reggaeton.

– Excuse us – we said. Do you know where we can catch a bus?

– Oh chicas, you are pretty far. The bus is about 30 min from here.

So we walked, walked, and walked. It felt like we walked about 5 km when we run into an older Guanacastecan worker.

– Excuse us – we said – is the bus stop far from here?

– Oh, about 30 min.

We kept walking. When we finally got to a bar and had a Coke, a bartender said we were about 30 min away from the bus stop.

So we kept walking. On the way we met a crazy cow who somehow got out from the razor-ribbon fence and was running around the road. I don’t think I have ever been so scared of a cow in my life! Her eyes were all over us and you could tell she was pretty far if we were to take off and run. As a biologist, Mar suggested we get to the other side of the fence where the cow was. And that what we did. While we were sliding to the other side of the razor-ribbon barrier, carefully watched by a crazy cow, the same worker was passing by in a car and asked if we needed a ride.

Tired, dirty, and smelly, we gladly accepted and climbed in his old SUV. 5 min later we were happily eating ice cream and waiting for our bus. After a good cold shower, we headed to the town that had a fiesta! Arriba!

Next two days were spent in Liberia, waterfalls, and Playa de Coco. If you can avoid those places, please do, but we were happy we went.

The last few days were spent packing and re-packing. I will never again travel with so P1020906much stuff and two backpacks. It’s crazy. I had to donate cloth to a poor cleaning lady that helps Catalina around the house and mail my backpack back to Oregon.

Tomorrow morning is a busy day. My visa for Colombia should be ready at 8am and then Mar and I are taking off to Panama City from where….. Colombia here I come!



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