Well here is the blog for Costa Rica, sorry about the lack of recent activity on this site due to recent events, in the next few days I promise 2 new photo albums for you to feast your eyes on. 2 weeks ago on my arrival in the capital, San Jose, I checked into the Hostal Pangea. This was the biggest hostel I have been in so far, 46 rooms and about 150+ beds. There was a swimming pool, rooftop bar and dancefloor and even a mechanical bull if you were in the mood.
I met some nice people there and together we headed to a large complex with about 30 different bars and clubs, it was like a maze and I got lost. The next day I set out on the streets of San Jose, looking for a digital camera to keep this site updated. 4 hours later, and after seeing about 70 cow statues (I think it was publicity for a dairy company) in the centre of town, I found a nice camera and went back to the hostel happy. I have to say there wasn`t a great deal to see or do in San Jose so off I headed to the volcanic cordillera of Arenal in northcentral Costa Rica.
I boarded the 4 hour coach hoping for a comfortable journey, and everything was fine and dandy until the seats were all full - very well, when the bus is full, its full right? Well seems they cram them in here, I can honestly say there were more people standing then there were sitting down, there must have been 100+ people on a 52 seater coach. So my lovely trip through the Costa Rican countryside turned into a mobile sauna, and I arrived in La Fortuna dripping in sweat. Needless to say I jumped into the pool at the hostel on arrival, and booked myself onto a Lava tour. 10 of us headed to the active volcano nearby and watched the lava, tephra and molten rocks spew out of the volcano, it was definately something different. The second day, I joined up with 2 guys from Canada and we hiked to an extinct volcano 2 hours away. On the way down we cooled off in a huge powerful waterfall, very refreshing I must say. Later that day we found a natural swimming hole downstream where all the locals go, complete with ropeswing and rocks to jump off.
I started longing for the beach again so off I went to Playa Tamarindo- one of the big Costa Rican beach resorts. On first arrival you can see the development in the town is too fast to be sustainable, everything there here is real estate and there are high rise buildings going up all the time. They haven´t got round to tarmacing the roads yet so the whole town is covered in dust everytime a lorry thunders through. I stayed at Botella de Leche hostel, it was really nice and very layed back. Made friends with 5 other gap year guys from England and Portugal and we together hit the beaches and I learned how to surf. I managed to succesfully stand up and ride a wave all the way to the shore, even throwing a turn or two in there. Every night we chipped in together and made a three course meal. Carbonara, salad, garlic bread and strawberries and cream, anyone? After a week in the sun I feel my tan is more evenly spread now, rather than the farmer tan of just my arms from before. I had planned to head to Nicaragua but unfortunately the bus drivers, taxi drivers and hauliers are striking against fuel hikes by the government, and it is impossible to get anywhere. So a detour was made and we are now back in Panama, Bocas Del Toro for more sun, sea and sand. I plan to head to Nicaragua when the strikes are over. Keep your eyes peeled for more in the next few days.