Friday, February 19, 2010

Long Journey to La Fortuna in Costa Rica

I thought the walk to the ferry was a short walk, but it turn out the ferry dock is at least 30 minutes walk from town, I turn around half way because I left my big pack at the hotel. On the way back I was picked up by the mini van carry other backpackers to the dock. Paco from Canary Island recognized me and told the driver to stop. Luckily for me, else I would have to pay for a taxi to get me there.

By the time we got to the ferry there were already lots backpackers waiting for the ferry. We lined up for the ticket, but the line was super slow, the people at window had to stamps many things many times! All the foreigners booked the upper deck. The ferry suppose to leave at 7:30, but it took them forever to unload and load cargoes we must have waited for 3 hours to board the boat. By the time we got on, the upper deck is already full of people (some came from Granada, the boat's starting point). Paco and I went for the cabin, and that was pretty full too, and I got a bench sharing with another guy.

Trying to sleep on the hard bench was difficult. I wake up every 30-60 minutes.

The boat made couple stops to pick and drop off people and cargo. Around 6:40 we finally arrived at San Carlos, a small border town. I went to the atm to grab some money for the boat trip into Costa Rica and then met Paco for breakfast next to the town square. Paco wanted to stay one night in San Carlos to rest up before head into Costa Rica. He paid for my breakfast before I realized it. Paco took a buyout offer from Spain Airlines Iberia with 2 years of pay, and is traveling around for 9 months.

After saying goodbye to Paco I went to the immigration office off the dock to get my exit stamp. It is one of those small out the place post right off the water!

The small boat left for Los Chiles, Costa Rica around 10:30AM and went up Rio Frio. On the way we saw many water birds and as well the loud Howler monkeys. There are also many tourist boats heading the opposite direction, and some of the tourists on boat took the picture of our boat. Crazy tourists!

After arriving in Los Chiles, we went through the Custom (a desk and a guy in the court yard), then walk a short distance to pay $1 local tax, and then to immigration to get our entry stamp. Not too bad for border crossing in the middle of no where. I walked to the towns bus station to catch a bus to San Carlos (Costa Rica) and then transfer there to La Fortuna.

At the station a young student couple from Argentina (also from the same Ferry) also heading toward La Fortuna direction, so we stay in a pack on the bus. The bus in Costa Rica is not chicken bus, but it has tight seats and still stop frequently at the various bus stops along the road, so a bit better the chicken bus, but not much.

We arrived at San Carlos just in time to catch the next bus to La Fortuna. I think we arrived at La Fortuna around 5:15PM to cloudy weather. I say goodbye to the Argentinian couple (they are heading toward Monteverde).

After checking into the Arenal Backpacker Resort, I had needed shower and with naps on the bus, I think was feeling better. My long journey is finally over!

I will stay at La Fortuna for couple nights before heading to Monteverde, my last stop.

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