Costa Rica!


We’re off…no…we’re not.  It’s a typical border crossing day as we arrive at the fronteras.  The holiday crowd are returning home with a vengeance.  When I say queues, I’m talking about the mother of all people back ups.  It snakes around the Costa Rican immigration booth and stretches into eternity.  To top this, it’s baking hot, with very little shade, I’m loaded with all my bags and a guitar string has broken.  I can’t even throw a cap down and busk for some extra Codones.  Once more a total shit show of organisation.  Or distinct lack of.

The day starts well and with a tempo I’ve not felt in a long time.  I’m feeling very Bosa nova.  I’m traveling again.  I can actually write about traveling.  I’m moving places.  I’m finally leaving Nicaragua.  Never to return.  Until next year.  The chicken buses hold no problem.  The crowds of people, the hustle and bustle of the stations and streets.  The bags on my back and front pose nothing but a mere inconvenience.  I’m free.  The wind is at my back, the glasses are on my face, and the big man upstairs has me in the palm of his hand.

It all comes crashing down at the Costa Rican border in what turns out to be a total nightmare crossing.  Myself and Zoe, my travel partner in crime, dally for ages in queues for other queues.  Hours go by with the merciless sun beating down, shuffling forward a yard at a time.  The horror dawning the faces of people passing to join the back speak a thousand words.  We’re going to be here a while.

For the most part the morale remains upbeat.  Especially from my point of view.  A new stamp in my passport awaits.  A new flag sticker for my guitar.  A new adventure at the end of this horrendously long line of people.  Little can dampen my spirits.

We make it through with no issues at all, save that my hunger costs us seats on the shuttle to Liberia.  Falling asleep on our feet, we clog the aisle of the bus, heads swimming.  At least I’ve just eaten a ridiculously over priced chicken.  Costa lot.

The difference in wealth and expense is evident immediately, but even more so as we reach Liberia, a one stop town that serves as a transport hub for the rest of the country.  For a few moments, you have to remind yourself that you’re in Central and not North America.  The McDonald’s, Burger Kings, wide, well maintained streets and road side diners mask your location.  I feel like I’m back in the States.  Some people are averse to this, and complain about Costa Rica’s prices and tourist trap resort reputation.  For as long as I can remember however, I feel totally comfortable.  I wonder what could possibly go wrong?

We bed down for the night…err…no…hang on.  I hit the town with Zoe and do my best to forget a hell of a day and my promise to detox for a month.  I lasted a week.  I’m proud I managed that long, and duly award myself with eight bottles of beer and a shot of vodka.  I thought Tona and Victoria were bad; Costa Rica’s Imperial beer is like drinking alcoholic air.  Piss weak alcoholic air.  Thank goodness I’m only spending a few days in this country; I’d give my right arm for a pint of Tetley’s.

Website Apps