Leaving Costa Rica, and back to the racoon !!!

Puerto Viejo Travel Blog

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Hola amigos ! yep I ran out of time on the last blog, so no racoon news, but here it comes.....

After leaving the peaceful paradise (albeit lacking in timely public transport.. I understand a little how Robinson Cruseau must have felt...) we headed off back to the mainland and the notorious Party town of Jaco !! this was the Miami south beach of Costa Rica, purpose made for rich young americans to come spend SPRING BREAK on the pacific coast. AS it transpired, we were again early in the season, so ther place was pretty much deserted ! and actually a welcome return to civilisation ! and not too expencive.. well we did not partake of the packets of white powder being offered at each street corner, which I think helped limit the costs, but it was nice to be asked :-)
We were only one night in this hedonistic paradise, before heading off to Quepos, a totally different kettle of fish, not at all developed and more of a wprking town it did not have any of the niceties of Jaco, and at first view could be classed as, well, not somewhere to stop off. But we found a great Hostel, the wide mouth Frog, that has its own pool, and as the weather was good this was a great place to kick back for a couple of days...and best of all, a 10 minute bus ride away is Manual antonio, a national park famed for its wildlife and beaches !
So the next day off we went, we had been informed that once in ther park, there is no amenities ( food or water) so we stopped off and picked up pleanty of water and a really tasty looking giant ham baguette for lunch, then off we went ( can you see where this is going.....). The park was amazing, withing 10 minutes we had seen sloths and monkeys and the beach was everything you imagine from a pacific dream location. It was while happily spalshing in the surf that we notcied afore mantioned racoon coming gingerly out of the forest towards the beach.. aaaah we thought, being from Europe where racoons are liked and it was Cyril Sneer who was the thieveing bas*ard ! anyhoo, as we aaaahed and oooghed he came closer to our bags and stared ferreting around ( or racooning around if you will) and before I could rush out of the surf, the little sod has got into the bag and made off with the oh so delicious sandwich that was our lunch !!! and so, in the 35 degree heat , after trekking though the jungle for 2 hrs ( and of course the 2 hrs return) without food, we were quite peckish by the time we got home to the hostel ! more rice and beans please !!
After Quepos we headed down to the surf mecca of Dominical... nothing to write home about here I can tell you, so the next day we left for the central highlands and the Orosi Valley. This was such a nice suprise ! we went to try to se the volcano, but when we got there everything was shut (the tour operators) so we stayed in town in a great hotel with views ( at 5am, any later and the cloud sets in) of the smoking volcano in the distance). in the evening we looked for the local hot spot, and found it, the whole town was there....in the school.. playing BINGO !! and when I mean the whole town,. I mean THE WHOLE TOWN, we fould one place still open selling food so were ok :-) the other ''famous'' attribute of the orosi valley are more volcanic hot springs, so the next morning we went to sample.. for hot springs read municipal swimming pool... and not that hot :-) but as it was a glorious day it was a great way to spend a morning !

After having our fill of the valley vistas ( stunning) we set off to Cartago on the bus.. ( oh oh first signs of tummy trouble.....) and then from Cartago to san jose and san jose to Puerto Viejo, on the carribean coast ! we could now tell tourist season has started as the bus was FULL with americans and europeans, mostly on two organised trips ! but we arrived ok ( got the last two seats on the bus) and got to the glorious town in glorious sunshine 5 hrs later and straight in for a swim in the Carribean !

The town is great and the beaches even greater, but I wont bore with details suffuice to say we did a lot of swimming and bar Hopping ! However on the last evening the weater turned to the biggest tropical storm I have seen, with driving rain and churning seas ! and it did not quit all night ! limiting the swimming opportunites !

Another first for this evening was the EARTHQUAKE that hit the town about 2am, waking us up as the room shook ! was V strange sensation, but over in 5 seconds ! the owner commented that this was the first they had in 2 years ! Lucky us !!! was not the kind of knee trember I was used to in the bedroom, i can tell you !

So in the driving rain the next morning ( this morning in fact) we left the town on the way back to San Jose, but again the weather gets the better of us, as the bus is stuck in traffic caused by massive landslides blocking the road! so the 4 hrs journey took 6 hrs, but what else can you do in the rain !
last night tonight ( meerting up with a friend of H's) and then off to Ecuador tomorrow... a bein tot !!
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