Puerto Viejo

Aside from staying in the grossest hotel on the planet (dead frogs under the bed?), I really enjoyed Puerto Viejo. It’s a straight up tourist town, but if you like chicks in bikinis and the smell of weed…. wait, I don’t like either of those things. Nevermind. I really did like it, though!

One afternoon we biked 26km on fixies to check out the Manzanillo national park  and beach hop our way back to town. Again, the coolest day and me without my camera. So I guess take my word for it that I enjoyed the shit out of that day.

 

Birds, bugs, and boats in Tortuguero

I’ma lay down a PSA because whenever I think of Tortuguero I get super pissed off.

Picture this: You’re visiting a nationally preserved turtle habitat outside of turtle season. Your tour guide happens to ‘know a place’ where you can see baby turtles and maybe even help those poor little bastards make it to the sea. What luck!

Guaranteed, you are participating and shady and illegal activity whereby the tour guide and his bros have stolen turtle eggs during hatching season and saved them for unsuspecting gringos like yourself.

This didn’t happen with my tour guide, but his colleague leading a tour one day behind ours was running this scam on his group. I wish I could go back and kick the guy in his huevos rancheros.

But I digress. There were some pretty cool things to see around Tortuguero. Except for the spiders. Fuck those guys.

 

Jungle Lodge, Sarapiqui Rainforest

Pulled behind a tractor for 2 hours to get to a remote jungle lodge.  All of our food and supplies for the few days were on the trailer with us.

I think I shortened my lifespan by a couple years from breathing in the straight up diesel exhaust.

And it was Christmas! Someone played Christmas music while we bounced along and it was the most wonderfully absurd day ever.

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An actual tractor. Don’t they have 4×4 in this country?

The days I spent at Magsasay Lodge were some of the best of my life and were once again without a camera to capture it – jumping into the cold river and watersliding our way downstream; stumbling around in the pitch black on a half-assed night walk led by the ‘guide guy’ and ‘machete guy;’ pulling on over sized rubber boots and tromping through the jungle for what seemed like hours to find the bend in the river where we could jump in and swim.

I did manage to take a few photos, but they just can’t capture the pure magic of being in the middle of nowhere in the rainforest.

 

En Route to Costa Rica

Edmonton to Vancouver; Vancouver to Toronto; Toronto to San Jose. I should have known better than to schedule a flight that had 2 connections. But hey, cheap is cheap.

By the time I made it out into the muggy Costa Rican night, I was almost delirious with exhaustion and frustration. I picked the first guy that said ‘Taxi!’ and was on my way.

The travel blogs you read about airport taxi guys who will scam you are correct. The driver said something about traffic and just drifted nonchalantly onto an off-ramp. Oh, Google Maps says we’re going the opposite direction and you’re tagging on an extra 20km to the trip? Sure. The newby traveler in me doesn’t know better and the Canadian in me feels like it’s rude to haggle, so…

The hotel website said they closed at midnight, so all I cared about was this guy getting me there on time.  I arrived at 11:59 and gave the driver a $10 tip on top of his scammy fare. That’ll show him….