Ben in Wonderland... and i´m the Cheshire Cat :D

Santa Teresa Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 12 › view all entries

¨I´m never leaving this place- EVER!¨

Thats how i was greeted by an awestruck Ben as he came walking up to his hotel where i was waiting for him. He had a dazed look on his face and a half drunk six pack of Imperial beer. I believed him, at least i believed he was blown away by this place. It was a calm sleepy little beach town with only one muddy, puddle ridden road and in its background was the soothing crashing waves from a beach only some hundred yards away. Howler monkeys and all types of tropical birds and geckos could be heard filling the night air. It was dawn and i had been waiting for Ben for the last thirty minutes. We have no phones, no watches and no way of really getting a hold of each other outside of chance. Why me and Ben are not staying in the same place... i´ll get to that later. But for now, i´m dealing with an inspired, amped up Ben Smith.

It´s nothing new, i´ve heard it before. He is caught in the moment of where he is or what he is experiencing and a grand claim always follows. So i nod my head, barely acknowledging this claim.

´Let´s grab dinner.¨

Ben´s frustrated... he wants me to acknowledge this sudden epiphany of his. ¨I´m serious steve.¨

¨Uh huh....¨

¨You don´t believe me do you?¨

¨Sure i do. But i believe you´ll be here a week and then you´ll be ready to get out of here.¨

¨You´ll see, i`m going to take surf lessons, i´m gonna get good. At least a month i´m planning on staying here, till i get good. I love it here, everyone is so relaxed. Its got a really good feel to it.¨

And he´s right, there is something relaxing and easy about Santa Teresa. Its loaded with surfers, guys walking around shirtless, surfboards tucked under arm, barefoot, half of them seem high. The locals are just hanging around stores drinking the cheapest cerveza available. It seems over 3/4 of the town is foreigners or expats. Its cool, its chill, its a kenny chesney song about mexico and no shoes or shirts no problem, its a bob marley tribute fest here... i like it, but then again i don´t. I didn´t come here for Marley and surfers. I came here for latin america and this, nothing about Costa Rica has that pulse and feel that i became so accustomed to in my trips to mexico. Hell even south San Antonio has a more latino feel than this place. But hey, i paid for seven days because the place i picked to stay is unreal. Just the perfect chill spot to relax, breath, meet people and not have any type of agenda. My place is called Cuesta Arriba, only a five minute walk through the jungle to the beach.

Me and ben were going to stay Cuesta Arriba on the reccomendation of the two surfers we had met at JC Hostel in San Jose. But on our 6 hr bus/ferry/bus trip down there we met a canadian from B.C. who was staying at a place called BeachBreak Hotel. He had managed a deal for only $15 a night for a one week stay. We were paying $10 a night no matter what or how long we stayed. $10 was my budget max, but Ben thought the other option sounded much better because the hotel had AC. I remained firm, i knew myself and i knew what i wanted was to meet other travellers, not have my own room and feel i had to work my way around to meet people. So when we arrived in Mal Pais, and we were picked up by Martin, the Argentinian owner of Cuesta Arriba, i had made up my mind i was staying there. Martin was nice enough to drop ben and this guy Andrew off on their place on the way to his. Like i said, it is only a one road beach town and i was about 200 yards away from there place.

So that is my long intro into Cuesta Arriba, i mainly write it for myself, rather than anyone reading this becasue i want to remember all of this. But this place is tight. I´ll write a review of it and describe it in more detail, but the crew i´m staying with is awesome and we do community meals. I had dinner with ben and andrew my first night but from then on i was eating with my peeps at my hostel. I love the peace and solitude i have available to me. Its only day three. Soon, i know ben will start thinking about leaving. He isn´t or hasn´t done surf lessons and daily seems more and more disenchanted with this place and the idea of surfing. He also hangs out alot at my hostel ´cause there are more people to hangout with and we have a tv room so we can watch the news or movies we rent for free. But Ben is still enjoying himself, and so am i. This place is just what i needed, its remote in a way and though it is full of travellers it doesn´t feel touristy.

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Santa Teresa
photo by: kelleb