Sunday we were up and into the turisma van at 6:45. And it went downhill from there. We knew we were in for a long drive to see the beach. We didn’t know that the van driver and our guide had Dr. Who-like time stretching powers. We stopped about an hour into the drive for breakfast – which was lovely – eggs, beans/rice, bacon and other stuff in the typical open-air pavilion structure. Very pleasant in the early morning.
Next, we stopped on the side of the highway to see crocodiles beneath the overpass. Our fellow tourists were delighted. I guess we have lived in Florida too long. You can see alligators next to our middle school bus stop everyday. Crocodiles have a thinner snoot but, they’re basically the same thing.
And we reboarded the bus and drove and drove and drove. And drove some more. About thirty minutes from the beach our guide (my mom and I were the only English speakers on the bus) started explaining about the wait and how no one had considered it was Holy Week (where I guess most of Costa Rica shuts down). Our guide was adorable and nice but, her English was terrible. It’s a shame I only found out at the end that she knew French – that might have changed the day.
Traffic was insane. The only good thing was we got to know some of our fellow travelers who had varying abilities in Spanish and English. Working together we were all able to sort of figure things out. We arrived at our hotel and changed into swimsuits and proceeded to stand in line for 90 minutes before being allowed into the park. That left us with very little time on a very beautiful beach – imagine being on the set of Gilligan’s Island!
There was confusion on getting the group back together after the beach. Everyone was grumpy and tired as we headed to our lovely dinner spot. It was hot by Florida standards – we were all sticky and tired. Dinner was lovely and spirits were revived. We got back on the bus ready to face the windy mountain roads. And it was all good for about an hour. And we pulled over for a scheduled bathroom break. That was when the bus started overheating. The driver dumped water on the engine – the bus filled with an explosion of steam. It was kind of crazy-amazing.
Thirty minutes later we were back on the road with all the windows open (chilly in the mountains) and getting in line with the rest of Costa Rica coming home from a day at the beach. It was nearly 9:30 pm when we got home!!!! LONG day.
And still, I’m glad we took the trip. If I were to go back to Costa Rica, I would stay on one of the beaches – they are stunning! We got to know some lovely people – a young teacher from San Francisco, a businessman from Barcelona and a fun family of four from Brazil. Still, it was a long, long, long day. I don’t think Bing and I exchanged more than a dozen words once we reached our hotel.
Reserving our engergy for Day Nine! 😉