After a last second decision, which started when Chelsea passed me a note on a napkin on a crowded bus, we took a pass on Ometepe and headed for the coastal surfer town of San Jaun del Sur as our stopping point to Costa Rica.
We stayed in Pacha Mama, a very gringo hostel but with a great chilled-out environment right by the beach, AND a pancake breakfast with free coffee all-day long (Brad’s heaven?!) We checked out some stellar sunsets on the beach there, played some football, and of course watched the superbowl. WOn’t mention the outcome…except that, that was the night we cut all of Brad’s locks off with a pair of cheap paper scissors haha! A LITTLE…under the influence. Turned out surprisingly nice though!
Soon enough, we began our terror journey to Costa Rica. First step, bus ride to Rivas….easy! Hop on another bus to the border town…easy! THEN, we get in line at the border….what turned into 3 grueling hours in the heat. First we get in a line in the sun just to pay this border town a small fee to get through the gate to the actual immigration. Then we hop in this MASSIVE line that seems to move so slow that its moving backwards. Probably because it practically was…we were getting cut left and right by locals. We found out that there are actually professional line-cutters that get paid to cut the line, and then bring the group of people up! grrrr!
Eventually we got through, paid our tax, and walked 1km or so at noon across to the Costa Rican immigration, which we thought would be much more civilized. NOPE…even worse line cutters. In fact, at one point Brad blocked the way of these guys trying to move up in line in front of us, and then the guy behind us pushed in front, then the guy behind him…and so on! It was GREAT..everyone was standing up to this line-cutter because of Brad’s inititative!
We get stamped for 10 days and on the (much nicer) bus to Liberia! FINALLY! Our plan was to make it to Montezuma, but after a 3 hour delay at the border… that wasn’t happening, so we stayed in Liberia the night and worked out our next move! Already though, we noticed a huge difference in Costa Rica. While sitting in the main square in town, we noticed kids playing…riding their skateboards, running around, texting on their cellphones! NOT trying to sell us everything and anything under the sun…it was refreshing after 2 months of fighting off these poor kids everywhere else.
So with only 10 days in beautiful Costa Rica, we knew we were going to enjoy them! Pura Vida!