Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Costa Rica-ca- ca

I woke up on January the 26th in a strange bed in New Zealand and I felt like my head was going to crack in two.  I shuddered at the thought of the amount of wine that had passed my lips the night before. Then I remembered what we had to do that day...

We had to get up (already a challenge there), walk for half an hour in the hot sun with all of our bags, get a thirty minute ferry, get a 50 minute bus, check in at the airport and then fly twelve and a half hours to LA, wait there for 2.5 hours then fly 5 hours to Miami before getting a taxi for half an hour to South Beach. The biggest nights always seem to be the ones just before we have to do something that will be utterly awful if you are hungover.

Miami was however two days of pure pleasure. I love South Beach and we had a perfect little American breather. We went to the cinema twice in a night to see first True Grit and then The King's Speech. The latter made the former seem very inferior. We ate in a traditional diner with bottomless coffee, pancakes, bacon and maple syrup. We strolled on the beach, had key lime pie and baby back ribs and a pizza the size of  satellite dish while watching Fox news and South Park. Then, just before we burst, it was time for Central America...
We were nervous about Costa Rica after our friends had everything pinched on a bus a few weeks back. Also if you've heard anything about Central America, you get the notion that theft is pretty much guranteed. Coming from the safe dreamlike land of New Zealand it was going to be a change of pace.  Arrival in San Jose did nothing to quell the fears. We got there late on a Friday night and our hostel was in what seemed like a double dodgy part of town and behind massive gates with a security guard. Our room was the most like a prison cell I have ever encountered apart from my years spent at Her Majesty's pleasure.*

Things always seem better in the daylight and this proved to be so despite Gemma almost getting her wallet swiped from her bag by some old biddy in the street. After a weekend in San Jose we really needed to get out into the country and so we headed to Tortugeuro which is dubbed the mini Amazon. What a tonic it was too. All our fears evaporated within minutes of our boat taxi to the town where we saw three crocodiles, a turtle, three Iguanas and a hatful of herons before settling down to jerk chicken, rice and peas for lunch and a stroll on the beach. That's more like it!

Since then we really haven't looked back in Costa Rica. It's a brilliant place to travel around. The Caribbean coast has a chilled reggae and rum fueled vibe with beautiful black-sand beaches and palm trees. The people are mega friendly and although the roads are a bit of a state the buses aren't too much of a hassle. Of course the wildlife is the main attractionand we are seeing it by the bucketload. Pura Vida as they say around these parts.

*I was the Queens special prison cell monitoring ...erm...butler. Yeh that's it royal prison cell monitoring butler.

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