Costa Rica: 3/12 – 3/18

 

Puerto Viejo >>> San Jose >>> Quepos >>> Manuel Antonio >>> Uvita

3/12
Travel to San José and say goodbye for now to our German Friends
+ We all met up in the hostel lobby at 7:30 ready to leave Puerto Viejo on our last day together.
+ On our 4+ hour drive to San José, we were driving through that same place we’d been before so… we made our 3rd and final stop at our favorite Costa Rican restaurant, that same Taco Bell! Since it had been almost 72 hours since indulging our appetites there, we didn’t feel too guilty. Besides, it was practically tradition now!
+ It rained almost the whole drive and at one point, we noticed that in a passing car the guy was leaning out his window and physically moving the wipers back and forth to clear the rain! Lol. We still continue to be amazed by some of the crazy things we see in Costa Rica.
+ When we made it to San José, Marius graciously dropped is off at what would be our fanciest stay of our travels, a Holiday Inn right near downtown! Using some of the free IHG points we had earned back home, we booked 2 nights to catch up on some of the work and research we had fallen behind on.
+ Laura was headed to the San José bus stop to continue onward to the Montezuma area of Costa Rica, and Marius was going to meet up with his brother and 16 of his gay friends. They were staying at a super “schmancy” place near Manuel Antonio to celebrate his brother’s birthday.
+ Our room was also vastly different from the hostels and dorm beds we had been sleeping on and we were happy to have some little luxuries, like soap, hand towels, big soft pillows, and even A/C!
+ We spent the rest of our day lounging in the room using the phones and tablets and watching random movies in Spanish on the tv.
+ We also continued the trend of eating American food and got Pizza Hut for dinner since it was the closest take out to the hotel.

3/13
Rest and Planning in San José
+ Corey woke up early and watched a movie while Liz enjoyed our lush bed a little while longer.
+ We had a very lazy morning and afternoon, spent hanging out in the room and doing research.
+ We eventually ventured out for lunch and to run some errands. We stopped by a few stores and picked up snacks and ate lunch at a restaurant we hadn’t been to since Xela, Guatemala: Pollo Campero. Although it wasn’t quite as nice as before, it still hit the spot.
+ On our way home we passed through the park and watched a live band play as many locals danced. We decided to use the excuse of carrying grocery bags to not dance and went back to our room on the 14th floor, where we could still hear them anyways.
+ San José was definitely the biggest city we’d been in since Orlando (with 1 million people) and neither one of us had missed the crazy hustle and bustle, nor the McDonald’s on every street corner.
+ Back at the hotel, we went downstairs to use their computer room and spent the next bunch of hours researching and planning on those, as well as finally updating the blog which we were weeks behind on.
+ We ended the night by watching more parks and recreation until the wee hours of the morning.

3/14
Rest and Planning in San José
+ Slept in late today since we had decided to use more of our IHG points and extend 1 more night here.
+ Lounged around in the room watching various movies in Spanish before our growling stomachs told us it was time to leave for lunch.
+ Grabbed a quick lunch of more fast food 😦 There were no cheap Sodas within walking distance of our hotel.
+ After trying 2 more shops, we were FINALLY successfully in finding the special batteries we need for our Steripen (water sterilization light). If we had realized the Steripen takes such unique batteries we would have DEFINITELY brought spares from home!
+ Headed back to the hotel to do more planning and make some big decisions that will steer our travels over the next few months.
+ Later, we grabbed dinner of traditional Casados at a cafe . We were happy the cafe was not too far and hurried home after dinner. San Jose is definitely not nearly as bad as other central American capital cities, but still not a great idea to walk around at night.

3/15
Reunited with Laura and Marius in Quepos!
+ Reluctantly checked out of the Holiday Inn and walked across town to catch the 2:30 bus to Quepos.
+ Hopped off the bus in Quepos to discover our hostel, Villas Jacquelina, was very nice but a far walk outside of town.
+ After checking in, we saw a HUGE gecko on the outside wall. The gecko was black and at least a foot long! It didn’t even look real!
+ We walked into town and met Laura at her hostel! Later, Marius joined us and we were all reunited again! 🙂
+ Spent the evening socializing, boozing, and playing Hot and Cold (or Heiss und Kalt). Apparently this is one of Corey’s favorite games.
+ After the long walk back to our hostel up on the hill, Corey passed out in the hammock for the evening.

3/16
Beach day in Manuel Antonio with Laura and Marius
+ Corey and I overslept our alarms and were a bit late getting over to Manuel Antonio to check in to our new hostel (Backpackers Manuel Antonio) and meet Laura there. We decided to save exploring the national park for tomorrow  (to make sure we could get our money’s worth of the $16usd entrance fee)
+ Met Marius and went down to Playa Espadilla right before the entrance to the park.
+ We haggled with the vendor and got a good price on 4 beach chairs and a large tent for shade. We appreciated the shade as it was very hot!
+ Played frisbee on the beach. Liz finally successfully caught the frisbee under her leg! Corey was crazy impressed and wishes his frisbee skills were up to par with Liz’s.
+ The 4 of us watched sunset together and then caught the bus back up the hill into town.
+ After showering, Corey and I ate dinner at the pizza place next door to our hostel
+ Marius joined us after dinner at our place and we hung out the rest of the evening.
+ When it came time for bed, we said our goodbyes to Marius as this will probably be the last time we see him.

3/17
Manuel Antonio N.P. and travel to Uvita
+ After our free breakfast of pancakes and pineapple,  the 3 of us caught the bus to the manuel antonio national park. We all agreed, if we had not already been to other parts of Costa Rica, this would have been our favorite park. Lots of animals and relatively easy to find! However, in all of Costa Rica this park is by far the most crowded with tourists.
+ We saw tons of animals… multiple sloths, squirrel monkeys, baby deer with spots!, howler and Capuchin monkeys, nice Miradors. And Very hot everywhere.
+ After sweating out every bit of moisture from our bodies, the three of us caught bus in to Quepos and then caught a second bus on to Uvita.
+ Arrived in Uvita and checked in to the Tucan Hotel. Corey and I got the last 2 dorm rooms and Laura chose to sleep in her hammock for the night.
+ We ventured our to find dinnner only to discover most places were closed already! It was only 730 on a Thursday night. Corey decided on Chinese food for dinner! Liz tried this Costa Rican ice cream sandwich called TRITS that other backpackes had been raving about.

3/18
Snorkeled Whale Tail beach in Uvita
+ After a quick breakfast of granola bars, we checked out of Tucan Hotel and locked up our bags.
+ We walked 15 very hot minutes up the dirt road to a local waterfall.
+ Luckily, the water was ice cold and very refreshing. Much better than the ocean which feels more like bath water here.
+ Corey joined the other locals and tourists who would climb up to the top of the waterfall and jump into the pool below.
+ After our trek back to Tucan, we grabbed lunch at a local place advertised as a “beer garden”. Unfortunately the beers were so expensive we didn’t partake but we did eat some delicious burgers.
+ Grabbed our bags at Tucan and rode the short taxi ride over to our next hostel, Flutterby House. This hostel had a treehouse feel and was much closer to the beach.
+ After storing our bags on our dorm beds, we walked out to the beach and found Laura.
+ Uvita’s beach is well known for its whale – tail shape when the water is at low tide.
+ We walked down the beach and out to the whale tail. With the afternoon sunlight      looking back to the shore was so beautiful. Seeing the lush green Costa Rican jungle meet the sand and ocean here was definitely the most impressive beach we had seen in the country.
+ We had been warned this stretch of beach was prone to robberies and to not bring any valuables. We were disappointed we didn’t have our camera to capture the beautiful coast line.
+ After reaching the end of the Whale tail, the three of us snorkeled until sunset.
+ We saw Moorish Idols (yellow and black fish from finding nemo) for the first time among many other fish and we hung out with a turtle as he grazed on the reef for a bit.
+ The sunset was a fiery orange as we climbed out of the water and found our shoes.
+ After making our way back to Flutterby house, we enjoyed a huge dinner of fish, yuca, and salad.
+ Corey and I stayed up late planning our next moves in Costa Rica.
+ We eventually decided to give our wallets a break- it was time to move on to Panama.

Click here for more photos of Costa Rica!

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