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I was aiming for the horse!

hostels and happy accidents

View Central America 2021 on cblanc102's travel map.

My new place for the next two days. Very open to nature!

I wake up at 6 am now. Every day, without an alarm. It's just where my body clock has ended up I think, I never woke up this early before, even for work, but at 8:20 am I've had breakfast, two cups of coffee (Costa Rican style!), been to the beach (closed until 9:30), came back and swam in the pool, registered my drone for Costa Rican flight and washed and hung out my clothes. If only I was this motivated generally!

It's easy here, as the howler monkeys have been at it since the early hours. It's a nice way to wake up. Here is an apartment complex of sorts. collection of about eight wood and metal cabins some 200 meters from the beach set around a pool in between the forest and a mangrove swamp.

I decided to stay in a more expensive place for a couple of days (it's about twice as much as a hostel) because I need a bit of a rest and recharge. In the first 20 days of this trip I have walked well over 80 miles. Many of them through pretty harsh terrain, up steep hills and in heat topping the mid 30s. If I haven't lost some bloody weight by now, nothing will do it!

The past few days have been great and it was all by chance and by finally getting into 'hostel mode', where I become a little more sociable and spend less time by myself. I only really stayed in a hostel in Bangkok last year as the hotel rooms were generally so cheap there was no need to bother with them. But the hostels here have been mostly a trial for me. The one I stayed in twice at San Jose, while having everything I need (free breakfast, nice beds, hot water) seemed to make me somewhat depressed, although I think it had more to do with the city than than the place of sleep.
Hostel Plinio in Quepos

The hostel in Quepos however, was a great experience, and as I warmed to hostelling in general, I spent more time with the people, which in turn has led to more opportunities.

I met joey in the bar. A 74 year old American who's in there every night as far as I can tell. A bit of a character, he's lived in Costa Rica for a few years in an apartment up the road from the hostel. He tells me he's been travelling since 1972, but I think he's pretty settled now. He told me of a route South that takes me to where I want to go via a ferry that goes through forests and mangrove swamps. Tours like this are pretty expensive here, so to find a ferry that not only takes me where I want to go, but through lush beautiful landscape for just $15 is perfect!

Some Costa Rican critters!

I had a tour booked on Saturday to go to Manuel Antonio park, a National Park some 5 km away that is supposed to be one of the highlights of Costa Rica. I was booked to leave at 7 am. No one turned up. No one even contacted me until 10 pm that night with some rubbish excuse. After waiting an hour, I walked back to my room where a young girl was sat. Her name is Olivwia (not a typo, Polish mother). She told me that she was having trouble booking a ticket to the park, I told her what had happened to me so she game me the money and I booked tickets for both of us for the next day. While we were planning our trip, a guy called Tim sat with us. Tim's an American, 23 currently living in Vegas who has randomly been turning up where I am for the past 2 days, so we've spoken a bit, but not much past "Hello, where are you from?".

Tim and Olivia hiking through the jungle

Tim tells us about an out of the way waterfall that someone told him about. Apparently you need to hike for an hour to get there but it's worth the effort. So we all decide to go together. It was a very tough hike, through rain forest, rivers with no crossings, dilapidated bridges like something out of Indiana Jones and ropes down rock faces, but yes, it was well worth the effort. We saw loads of animals, including monkeys and two random dogs that followed us to the waterfall and back then disappeared, we climbed rocks, waded through rivers and then swam in a pool at the bottom of the waterfall that we had all to ourselves. We didn't see anyone else the whole time. It was tiring, but a pretty magical day that we ended with another little hike to a beach we had all to ourselves for sunset.

The Waterfall pool at the end of our hike

Our private sunset

One of the two beaches at Manuel Antonio National Park

Sunday, Oliwia and I went to the National Park. Again, it was an amazing day. Beautiful beaches where we swam in the Pacific which was almost bath water warm, we hiked through the forest spotting iguanas, deer, frogs, sloths and three breeds of monkeys. The highlight though was climbing up a hill to find a family of ten or so Capuchin Monkeys who could not have been less bothered by our presence. You're not allowed to take any food in the park with you, so the monkeys aren't always attacking you thinking you can feed them. We sat with them for half an hour, at times less than a foot away as they played. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

One of about 200 pics of monkeys and sloths I have

Yesterday we sadly split up some, as Tim headed back for San Jose before he returns home and Oliwia and I headed south here to Uvita. It's been nice to have someone to talk to for more than a day, although we'll probably go our separate ways either tomorrow or the end of the week as she heads North and I head south into Panama. This is how travelling is. It's crazy and temporary and the only way really that I would end up spending days with a 23 and 19 year old nowadays, and it all came about because some lazy bastards didn't come pick me up for a tour. But it's fantastic.

I did smash my finger on a rock though hiking!!

Posted by cblanc102 15:41 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged beaches monkeys hiking costa_rica beauty south_america central_america latin_america sloths solo_travel

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