Last night, Jael and I met at the San Jose airport. Although customs was a breeze, convincing the ATM to give us collones proved to be a more arduous task. Finally, with collones in hand, we hailed a death cab to the hostel. This experience only cemented my thankfulness for the decision to forego a vehicle rental. I do not want to be behind the wheel with these crazies.
This morning, I was jolted into reality in my first Central American bathroom experience. These normal looking toilets are actually quite deceiving. They do not accept toilet paper, so into the trash can it goes. Lovely, really.
All aboard to La Fortuna! Now, I know that Jesus is always with me, but I'm not used to his picture watching me. But, Jesus' picture is displayed at the front of the public bus. With Latin music blaring and the local women rockin' their assets and ginormous cubic zirconia rings, I am quite amused that my Costa Rican experience is so far living up to all of my Central American stereotypes.
We tumble up, down and around mountains, amidst a lush green landscape that that stretched as far as my 20/20 vision can see, capturing my attention for hours. Pleasantly surprised by the quality of roads, I had braced myself for Uganda-like travel conditions, an experience in which I have a deeply rooted love/hate relationship with. Costa Rica doesn't hold a candle to that transportation experience: a fraction of the stops, no chickens pecking at my feet and I am allowed my personal space! My perfect little bus experience comes to a screeching halt when the bus breaks down. 1 hour later…new bus. Moments later, I feared for my life as I was nearly trampled by the locals flocking to the back of the bus where a tourist's wallet had been stolen. Oh, the drama! The Ticos were pressed up against the windows watching all of the action so I didn't really get to see what all went down. Apparently it was quite the debacle, as it took another hour for us to leave. This four-hour bus ride is quickly turning into an all day affair.
When we finally arrive in La Fortuna, a margarita is all that's on my mind. So I find one and dive into the local fare too. A casado is a traditional Costa Rican dish with rice, black beans, fried plantains, salad and choice of meat. My experience with meat in Uganda has forever scarred me, so I opt for the vegetarian version.
After locating our hostel (which, by the way, is the nicest and cleanest I've ever been in contact with), we lounge by the pool and plan our adventures for tomorrow: canyoning, hiking Volcano Arenal and hot springs!