Justins World

Border crossing

Well lets just say I arose early this morning after my afternoon lap lasted 13 hours or so. Must have been the sleep deprivation on the ferry. I caught the express boat back to San Carlos, I had no idea it was the express boat until:
1. It went really fast
2. It didn’t stop for no one or drop anyone off.
3. They charged me more.
It did give me time to grab some gallo pinto and eggs for breakfast. Gallo pinto isn’t too bad but I’ve had it for a few meals now in this part of Nicaragua. Variety is the spice of life and I ain’t getting any variety.
I had time to spare so I answered some emails wrote up a few entries for here and then went to immigration. It was fairly simple except I didn’t have the form I was meant to fill in and I didn’t have $2 to leave the country. So I handed over a $5 note knowing I’d get no change, you never do at borders. Just as the boat was leaving the guy came running out “Senor, cambio”. Wow I got change.

Rio San Juan

Rio San Juan

The river crossing to Los Chiles was nice and scenic. So scenic in fact once we passed the Nicaraguan border there were tourist boats everywhere. Welcome to Costa Rica, tourism capital of Central America. Lots of grey nomads cruising around on pontoon style boats looking for wildlife. They paid a fortune for the tours too. It is cheaper to cross the border. On one tour boat a lady yelled out “hey do you speak english” and I responded “yes a little bit” with my best foreign accent. She asked “Where did you come from” and I responded “Nicaragua” and she asked as the boats were getting out of range “Are you illegal aliens…..”.  I expect to meet more of these people the next two weeks.
In Costa Rica, there was some holdup at the Immigration office I didn’t understand. The guy looked at me, the only person who had pale skin and asked do I speak spanish. I said no and he repeated everything again, but really slowly for me. I worked out something was going to happen in 15 minutes. Sure enough In 15 minutes I got my passport back.
I found the bus going roughly in the direction I wanted to go in. and told the driver I wanted to go to La Fortuna. It was a nice comfortable bus, that stopped every few metres to pick up and drop off people. Just as it started to storm heavily the driver said to get off here and wait for the bus to La Fortuna. Gee thanks. At least I was in a town, so if it didn’t come I’d be able to find a hotel. But this is civilised Costa Rica, the bus came and an hour later here I am in La Fortuna. The name means what it sounds like. Not sure why though.
After the several days on remote towns on remote islands and in the middle of tropical rainforests, I was ready for some civilisation. Of course my hotel I wanted was booked. But right next door for less money was a new hotel with air con, TV and hot running showers….. ooh it felt good.
Then I wandered into town and found a coffee shop.  Two really good lattes later and I was feeling refreshed. I browsed the souvenir shops (anyone want a real preserved butterfly?) and found a place for dinner. I’ve worked out if all else fails order the pollo, so I ordered pollo empanzeda and I had a huge schnitzel thing and nice steaming hot crispy vegetables. Oh it tasted so good, I haven’t had vegetables for ages and I’m not a salad person…. its been killing me.
So I’m enjoying the change of country. It seems people with a distinct lack of knowing basic spanish can travel here. So mum rest easy, you and dad could come here and be able to enjoy it.

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