Posted by: baropbop | April 9, 2010

I came in on the Greyhound, I’ll be walking out if I go

Yesterday was the day I left for Costa Rica and in keeping with the trend of the day before, it was definitely another hilarious adventure. I was fortunate enough to get a ride from one of the guys I went fishing with from the town of Pedasi to Davisa. The only problem with this ride is that he wanted to leave at 5 A.M.

I hear the horn honking outside and in a panic I start throwing all my last minute things together and taking them out to the truck. I’m so exhausted from the day before that I, once again, manage to leave my camera. Seriously I left my camera next to the bed, plugged in and charging. I don’t think that I forgot anything else. Considering that I have been lugging around two medium backpacks, I sure hope I haven’t. So I leave Pedasi and Make it to Davisa. I wait on the side of the road for about 2 minutes and snag a bus to Santiago. I eat breakfast at the Santiago bus terminal and buy my ticket to David. After waiting about an hour the double decker bus arrives and I eventually start heading toward David. Make it to David and decided to get some lunch. I walk into a nice little place that looked like it was pretty new called Apetito. I guess I couldn’t ossibly look any more like a gringo tourist. Hippie clothes, Sunburn, Long hair, 2 giant backpacks, mumbling through the blandest items on the cafeteria style menu. That’s when the man who is either the manager or possibly owner stepped in. I’m a little bit bummed that I can’t remember his name but I think it was Naseem. He speaks some English and begins to help me with everything and welcomes me to the country, town, and restaurant. After I get done waiting he even shows me out to the Frontera bus that I need to catch to the border. Super nice guy. Was really endearing to meet someone like that at that moment.

The Frontera bus was similar to that of most airport shuttles. The only differences is the duo that was running it and the way they drive. You have the driver who is driving as aggressively as the bus can possibly go and the assistant who hangs out the side door yelling at people to get on the bus. They were definitely a couple of characters. Eventually I made it to the border. I had to call on a bit of assistance to get through. It’s a little confusing because the border is pretty much open and the place where you check out of Panama is a bit of a ways away from the place where you check in to Costa Rica. I made it through that super fast and they didn’t charge any sort of fees. I was under the impression that they charge at least $1 for the stamp. I couldn’t find a bank so I decided to exchange some money on the street. I got a terrible rate, so I only exchanged $40. Then it was time to catch a cab to the next terminal. As I was getting into the cab. I scratched off the prepaid International roaming card I bought for my phone. Long story short the text didn’t go through and now I don’t get a signal so there is no way to send it now. So I’m assuming that the phone that I went through so much trouble to get is going to be completely useless the entire trip. Awesome.

The cab eventually gets me to the Ciudad Nelly bus terminal. Fare was approximately 8500 Colones. More than I expected. I notice that the phone isn’t working and think about going back to the border, but the last bus for San Jose leaves in one hour, so I pretty much have to just chalk it up. I make it onto the bus. Lets just say that if you haven’t been on a fully loaded massive bus while it’s passing an 18 wheeler on a two-lane super curvy mountain road in the rain, well, then you haven’t lived. Also forgot to mention. It was insanely hot and dry the entire time I was in Panama, and in all sincerity, it started raining the moment I walked across the border. I was hoping it wasn’t a bad sign. However, I knew things were going to be much different when they charged 200 colones to use bano at the terminal and it was a trough. I digress. I’m expecting the bus ride to take about 4 hours so everything seems pretty much good to go. Wrong. Total travel time….8 hours! We did take a 30 minute stop for dinner, but I didn’t make it to the San Jose terminal until midnight.

Guess what that means? It’s beyond curfew for the hostel where I was planning on staying! So I’m in the middle of San Jose, in a terminal that is completely closed down and I can’t go to the hostel. I called, they said no. Luckily in just the nick of time my karma swings back and I meet a super funny cab driver who says he knows a couple places that he can take me. We make some jokes and he tells me about his days in Miami and everything is fine again. He tells me that if I want something nicer I can go to the best western, but it will be over $100 per night. He reminds me that Costa Rica is expensive by Central American standards. He assures me that I won’t get shot and we make our way to the hotel, which is close to the hostel I tried to go to last night and plan on staying at tonight. I’ll definitely let them know about how bad they burned me. After the driver points out at least 20 transexual hookers who are seemingly on every single block, I make it to my new home. Lets put it this way. I slept on top of the comforter and used my hammock as a blanket. That’s what $40 will get a gringo in the middle of the night. I just woke up to the sounds of hammering and can hardly wait to see what this new day will bring!

Total trip time from Pedasi to my lovely hotel suite: 20 hours 30



  1. Poor Baby!

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