Last week I decided to make a break out of Colombia and head north. Other places in South America looked amazing, but being winter, I decided to hold off. I bought a ticket to San Jose, Costa Rica for a quick stop before crossing the border into Nicaragua for my next adventure. During my visit in August, I fell in love with this beautiful country and its kind people been and have been feeling a call to return.
I arrived at the Cartagena airport feeling organized and ready to go. When I approached the Copa check-in line; however, they had a different idea. There were groups of travelers standing all around looking stressed and confused. Everyone seemed to be missing something. When it was my turn to speak with the agent, she said I need a ticket out of Costa Rica before entering. Lame, and never asked for again, but $400 later, I had a ticket and was off…
I booked a nice hotel a bit out of town for three nights to give me time to recharge and get my trip to the border figured out. It was the most comfy bed I’ve had yet, so that was nice! Not much to mention, other that I did take a day trip up to the Poas Volcano, and was very lucky to see the beautiful gaseous blue lake without cloud cover.
I had taken an Uber to the volcano early in the morning, but when I was ready to leave, there was no cell service and no Uber. I asked around for a few minutes trying to find a ride back to town…about an hour drive, but no luck, so I started walking. About 5 minutes later, a couple of ladies picked me up and took me about 15 minutes of the way to where they were stopping. I continued walking, and a few minutes later, the sweetest couple from Costa Rica/Colombia stopped and offered me a ride. We started chatting and they were great! We stopped at a coffee plantation for some coffee and empanadas, and then they dropped me in Alajuela so I could get an Uber back to my hotel. It is so amazing how nice people can be when given the opportunity! Thank you Milena and Humberto, you saved the day!!
During my time at the hotel, I arranged for a taxi at 4:30 AM on Sunday, my last morning, to take me to the bus terminal where I would catch a bus to the Nicaraguan border. All went well until I was dropped off at the wrong terminal. The bus company I was supposed to buy a ticket from was not there, and I was told there were no more busses to the border until Wednesday. I wasn’t going to accept this, so I started asking around out front. A man told me I just needed to go to the correct terminal and should be able to catch the 6 am bus, but we had to hurry. I didn’t feel good about this, but knowing the bus was at 6 and it was about 20 till, I knew I had to get moving. I got in his car, and suddenly he was telling me there was a transportation strike, blah, blah, blah, and drove me wildly around town for almost an hour. He said they were closing roads and we had to get through toll gates, etc fast. My intuition told me there was something wrong, but at this point, I was stuck.
He made calls along the way and told me he was going to take me to meet the bus. Suddenly he stopped and locked me in telling me if I did not give him all of my money, he would not let me out and would take me to the police. Luckily I only had about $75 in Colones in my wallet, so he made off with that and I got the last seat on a bus for the border. Yikes!
I arrived at the border about 5 hours later, and after waiting in line for 2 hours, and them not wanting to let me in because when they asked my profession I told them yoga teacher. In August, I was not teaching yet, and told them I was a photographer, so they decided I was lying. After about 25 more minutes, I convinced them photography was my hobby and I was not a reporter or taking pictures for any other reason.
So, after a not so relaxing day, I finally arrived at Eden on the Chocolata, a eco-lodge/yoga retreat center just outside of San Juan Del Sur. It is beautiful and relaxing!!! I will be spending two weeks here doing yoga twice a day, eating yummy vegetarian meals, and playing at the beach. I’m really looking forward to just being settled for a bit!
I will enjoy this peace and whatever comes next. The word is there is a hurricane coming in the next couple of days, so we will see what happens…. 🙂
Peace, Love, and Happiness!