Perfect fall day 2022
Perfect fall day 2022

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Other than NYC and Buffalo, we hadn’t been anywhere since Covid hit. A travel article we read in the depths of winter made this small hotel on the rather remote Pacific coast of Costa Rica sound like paradise. So we booked for late October never imagining the equator would only be a bit warmer than upstate New York. And can it possibly be any prettier?

We were originally scheduled to fly to Newark and then Dallas but United routed us through Chicago first. I hate the idea of traveling in the wrong direction. The sun was setting by the time we reached San Jose so instead of moving toward our destination we took a shuttle to a chain hotel near the airport. We asked the desk clerk where we could change money and get sim cards for our devices and she suggested Walmart next door. We stumbled through both transactions but the young Walmart workers could not have been more helpful or sweet.

We slept so soundly we missed the early bus to Puntarenas so we arranged an Uber. Instead of going through the small town,s he drove on a toll road with all his windows down. He told us he also worked from home for Amazon España and he want to practice his English so I  came up with random topics. The temperature got hotter and hotter as we approached the coast.

At Puntarenas we bought tickets for the ferry, an hour’s ride to the peninsula where our place is. We were sitting on the top deck and I began to feel a bit seasick when we hit rougher water so we moved to the lower level. There was a bus down there (with all the cars) and the destination on the front read “Santa Teresa” so Peggi asked the driver if there was room for us. He told her there wasn’t.

On land we found a bus that would take us part way, to Cobano. We felt like we were in that Buñuel Mexican bus movie where someone gets on with a live chicken. There was no air conditioning, of course, and standing room only. We were crammed in the back, standing over a women with a board in her lap, displaying jewelry she had been trying to sell somewhere. Out the windows lots of almost outdoor living going on. Rusty metal roofs and tarps, shacks in the lush tropical jungle. One lane bridges and serious switchbacks, at one point the bus slowed to crawl as we rode in first gear up the side of a mountain, then views of the Pacific Ocean from Bahia Tambor. The bus stopped anytime someone was standing along the road. With a lower vantage point Peggi saw a monkey hanging from its tail in the tropical jungle.

En Cobano nosotros tomamos otro autobus. This one was like a Sea Breeze ride but without the seat belts. The driver had the doors wide open. One lane of the road was washed out in several spots and the brakes squealed so loud we had to plug our ears. Waterfalls and amazing flora along the way. Bob Marley on the driver’s radio. We were following his route on the phone and when he got to the coast he turned the wrong way. Peggi asked him if we should get off and told us he was going to come back to that spot and then continue to our place. We hung in there.

We did indeed reach paradise.

Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
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