Puntarenas Travel Blog

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Ben on the ferry, crossing over



We took the advice of our newly acquainted surfer friends and at my insistence- read as frustrated anger with a slow-to-respond/hungover Ben, we headed to the southwest most tip of Costa Rica to a small little surfing village called San Jose. We really had no idea what to expect, other than it had great beaches and a great hostel to stay at. We rushed out the door and followed a road right behind JC & Friends that led us to the Coca Cola Bus station.

the Tica's flag- fly true you lone soul!
They said it would only be a five minute walk, but sweating under the weight of our luggage and simmering humidity it turned out to be a 20 minute walk or so. With a few stops for directions to make sure we were on the right path, we made it to the station and as there is not a one in all place to buy tickets we were going to have to sift out between some five to ten companies to find out which bus would take us to Santa Teresa. We walked around a bit lost and then asked where the offices of the bus stations were, and the local said, everywhere with a smile, but he pointed to one so i decided i'd just go to one and start working it out. The bus was to leave at 10:30 and it was 10:40. I was praying we were on Tico time because the next one didn't leave till 3 and by then Ben would lose heart and change his mind. We lucked out, he pointed to the bus and said rapidly in spanish we could pay the bus driver. We caught it right as he was shifting gears to back out.
ryan i think- a cannuck we met on the ferry over. he stayed in the same town as us and same hotel as ben


So we were off- that was our little adventure. Nothing else interesting happened other than a very comfortable bus ride on a big AC'd bus that took us to a ferry in Punta Arenas, we dished out a $1 in local currency and then we were off on the ferry. It was about a one hour ride and then we docked into a small tropical looking port a little like it was right out of a Jurassic Park movie. We hoped back on board, and headed into a jungle area. I saw a large black monkey above us as we drove and i got a kick out of it. I got this thing for monkeys- i just love 'em. We switched to a smaller bus in Monte Verde- i asked the driver if he moved my bigger bag i had stored under the bus, he said he did and then we were off. We also met up with a Canadian travelling to the same area. He mentioned he got his place for only $5 more and it had AC and Ben was sold. I wasn't. i wanted to be around other travellers- i didn't want my own room. Plus i was on a strict budget of $10 a night and i was going to hold to it! So when we got to Mal Pais which connects to Santa Teresa on the same road we decided we would split up but at least walk down to the hotels together. It was then that Martin met us with an old discovery land rover and had shown up to pick me up. He was kind enough to give the other guys a ride as well 'cause it was a good 3 km or 2.5 miles down a muddy, puddle riden road to our hotels. Ben and the other guy Andrew, their hotel was seperated from mine by only 300 yards maybe more, but it would come to feel like a few miles because of the three major puddles that stretched from end to end of the road and got to be as deep as just over the knees.


My place is called Cuesta Arribe, and it is really quite perfect at this low time of year. We have a great group of travellers and surfers and the kitchen is literally open to the elements. There is a tv chill room upstairs that is open as well and you got a great look at the large trees blotting you out from the rest of the people on the road. Even the road stays busy you feel very removed from everything. The beds are very, very comfortable bunk beds and there are even two beds side by side on a open room looking the rest of the room. There are four large rooms, each with a nice, new bathroom. Each room can hold up to six people- it is quite perfect right now 'cause my only roomate is me! Being here and seeing how social our hostel/hotel is and that we do community dinners when possible- ben will regret not staying here. What he does have going for him is that he is right by the little grocery store, the internet and the best restraunts and bars. I have to cross three red seas to get to them or him. The beach is only a fifty yard walk from the road through beautiful jungle like trees and vegetation.


I wish i could tell you the rest of the evening, but then i would implicate people and i'd prefer to not :) but we did meet up on Ben's side, we grabbed a great meal at the Tico run restraunt next to the internet. They try to sell us their rooms for only $4 a night or $100 for one month. I doubt its secure but its hard to turn down. I've already promised a week's with Barbara and Martin and Cuesta Arribe, so i pass and of course so does Ben. He is in cloud nine. He is talking about staying forever and learning to surf and never leaving. I give him three days and he'll be ready to reconsider that :) But we'll be here a week i know that- cause i just paid for it up front and i'm not taking that hit! Plus i dig this place. I like the people staying at my place, i dig the vibe on my side. I don't dig the drug induced/surfer feel you get all throughout the rest of town, but hell the girls are pretty, the traffic low and i hear the beach is something to see.


Oh yeah, we have a number of beers, somehow make it to the beach in pitch black darkness and then realize we can't walk too far down the beach 'cause we don't know how to get back to the path that will lead us back to the road, so we just chill there for ten minutes then walk back, find a place with more beers and a good atmostphere, cafe Tomato, the seediest place on the island and the place all the thieves hangout- so Martin tells us. And we make a good night of it. So yeah that is how we kicked off Friday night in Santa Teresa/Costa Rica. And no i didn't get drunk, i barely got a buzz. This high tollerance of mine will eat a hole in my wallet if i'm not careful. :)

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Ben on the ferry, crossing over
Ben on the ferry, crossing over
the Ticas flag- fly true you lone…
the Tica's flag- fly true you lon…
ryan i think- a cannuck we met on …
ryan i think- a cannuck we met on…
photo by: eglp