There was only one minibus available to take us to the 730 ferry to the Nicaraguan mainland today but somehow we managed to all fit inside with our bags on top. The ride back to the mainland was just as calm even though there was a strong wind blowing this morning so I didn’t need the spare seasickness tablet I found the other day left over from the Roatan crossing. The crossing itself went without a hitch but by the time we arrived back in San Jorge I was so hungry due to not eating since the BBQ yesterday so picked up a bag of some sort of sweetened corn bread from a seller at the dock which only cost the equivalent of 50 cents but filled a large gap!
Mena worked out that the cheapest and easiest way to get to the Costa Rican border would be to take taxis from the dock and, just like the other taxis we used in Honduras, the ride was incredibly fast but the driver handled the car well and we arrived at the border earlier than planned which was just as well due to what was ahead of us. The local mayor has imposed a tax on visitors entering the border area so we had to pay $1 to these people in a hut on the approach to the border in exchange for a ticket which would allow us into the border area itself. Once on the other side the exit procedure from Nicaragua went smoothly and after paying my $3 for an exit stamp I helped translate for some of the group who were needing to exchange money.
After everybody had done everything they needed to we walked across the border into Costa Rica where we were presented with a VERY long queue for passport control. It seems they were being very detailed with their checks as over an hour later when we reached the front of the queue we found out they were checking the onward travel details of everybody before letting them into the country. This didn’t pose a problem for me as I had all of the details they needed but it posed a problem for some of the group who were travelling on an e-ticket they only purchased recently and didn’t manage to print out. Others just didn’t print their itinerary out which is always a bad idea but once again Mena managed to straighten everything out and the border guards let us all in… eventually. By this time we were exhausted and we were glad that we opted to pay Mena an extra $8 each to travel on from the border by minibus as opposed to travelling by local bus.
After an hour in the city of Liberia for lunch we started heading up into the mountains to our first destination in Costa Rica – the Monteverde Cloud Forest. It’s actually really nice up here except for the fact it’s freezing cold and we all need to wear our jackets that we didn’t expect to need until we arrived back home. The hotel we’re staying at here is really nice – the rooms are big, the setting is nice, the owners are friendly, they have an adorable dog called Luco, and also there’s the free wi-fi.
Tonight some of the group opted to go on a night trek around the jungle to see some wildlife but I had read in advance that Tarantula sightings would be guaranteed on this particular walk so I gave it a miss – instead opting for a Team Breakaway dinner at a lovely but expensive restaurant called The Tree House. The food there was incredible – I had the “Tablito Tipico” which was a large dish consisting of all sorts of typical Costa Rican foods including tortilla, meats, cheeses, banana balls, lemon juice sauteed onion and much more. It was well worth a visit and Mena says she’s going to suggest we have a group meal there tomorrow which I’m definitely up for.
I’m back in the hotel now relaxing while waiting for the others to return as the door in the room is self locking and I’ll need to let Guido in. Although we did decided to sit in the hotel reception drinking a bottle of wine, playing with Luco, and chatting before heading back to our rooms which was really nice. I know I’ve said it before but I really like the people that make up Team Breakaway.