First trip to the beach
In order to show you how a Tico mind works and how the culture influences every day life I need to give you an example. I was in Costa Rica only about 2-3 weeks when Randy said: we're going to the beach. Just for few days before New Years Eve. Let's face it, going to the beach for a party? What lose could I want?
We were supposed to leave around 9. But in Costa Rica time goes by in a very different manner. I got up at 7, had my breakfast, shower, knowing my friend Randy I even joked that we will leave around noon - I wasn't that far off.
At 8:45 it turned out that Randy doesn't have a sleeping bag. OK, I remembered that our friend Alex mentioned we can borrow his camping equipment if we needed to. Although he went home for Christmas I knew how to get into the apartment in San Pedro without a key. Problem solved. On the way to the bus station we needed to pop in there. But on the way where? Randy, although born and raised there had no clue where the bus was leaving from.
Ok, we called information services. Then Randy decided we are not taking a bus as it was way to far to the station and we couldn't afford a cab so he called his dad to drive us first to San Pedro and then to the station. When we got there it was 12.
After 3h of boiling on the bus the level of my enthusiasm went down but still, I was about to see the ocean for the first time.
The beach Randy wanted us to go to was really difficult to get to. 3 hours from San Jose to Puntarenas, then a little ferry to somewhere that looked like a virgin jungle at first site, and lastly 2 hours (through that jungle) on a school bus from old American movies.
When we got there it was already dark. Randy made it sound like he knows the place, he didn't. So we wondered along the beach with backpacks hoping to find a cheap camp site. Luckily we did.
The town itself was rather small and full of hotels and restaurants, bars and discos. A lot of good old rock mixed with salsa, merengue and cumbia. Prices are higher than expected but tourism and tourists seemed to be the only source of income for people living here. The atmosphere was quite different to your normal holiday resorts. You wouldn't see there coaches filled with tourist groups waking up every morning ready for some sightseeing. This place was for chill out, further away from crowds, further away from many things.
The ocean was indeed amazing, just as I suspected. At the beginning I didn't think if differed much from our Baltic, well it's definitely warmer. And you do feel its strength. I only realised the vastness of it when I tried to remember the map. The next land westwards are tiny Polynesian Marshall Islands and then the Philippines.
The nights there were amazing, clear sky, the sound of the ocean, Imperial beer in your hand. Mornings are even better, like a fairy tale, the ocean blue and green, palm trees, blue sky and a swim.
What else is there? Waterfalls, although you need comfy shoes to get there they are worth the "walk". I was so overwhelmed I'm not really sure where they were. In Costa Rica many places are hidden, saved for locals, you either know someone who knows, or your know who to ask for directions. No signs, nothing on the maps.
There is nothing else to say but to reveal the name of the magical beach retreat: Montezuma, on the Nicoya Peninsula.