Costa Rica

So we’re back… we have been a few days! It was SUCH a great time, some interesting, unplanned events… but still was really?fun. Unfortunately our camera broke after a few days of the trip so we don’t have many pictures. For the?few that we do have- click HERE.?So since I’m lazy, I’m just posting some emails andrew sent during our trip… it’s much easier than re-typing all the details. Yeah, it’s long… but you?only need to read it if you actually care about?trip :)?Email # 2 is the most interesting if you want to hear about the most exciting of our adventures!?We are supposed to get some other?pictures?sent to us by people we met with functioning cameras, so hopefully we get those and we can post some more!!EMAIL 1

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got a bit more time now but this keyboard is a mac keyboard and thus, it sucks. Went to the waterfalls here this morning. Was a pretty crazy trek through the rainforest, elsja pretty much got heat stroke cos she’s soft. haha..it was pretty hard work?so we’re?lucky that?we’re in pretty good shape. Some dude called Carlos (a local) met up with us on the first little bit so suddenly we had a tour guide. He was 29 but about 4’5 and very funny…spoke fairly good English but the german girl we had met spoke both English and Spanish so that was cool. Lucky we met this guy cos he took us to the upper falls that we would NEVER have found without him. We paid him 18,000 for his trouble in the end. I also jumped off a 50 metre waterfall much to Elsja’s grief. I dont think it sounds as high as it looks hey. Was pretty nervy. The guide assured me the landing was 10m deep so I went for it. Felt like I was falling for ages…which I guess I was.?More on the first night – we came out of the airport and were late (cos the airlines here suck as much as at home) so our transfer had left. So we were left to get a taxi and it was basically a battle of the taxi drivers for our business. Some guy lead us into the carpark cos he said he’d do it for 20USD…until he pulled up in the car. It was like an old datsun, unmarked, no colour…nothing. I told him to get bent and tried to walk off and he cracked it. There was police nearby luckily so we kinda raced over to where they were and went for another taxi. We got in and he raced off…no seatbelt, doing 130km/h and driving like a MANIAC! Swerving, overtaking, honking, flashing his lights…then he decided to make a left and took us through the worst, bum looking ghetto streets ive ever seen…left, right, left, left, right…going deeper and deeper into this shithole jungle. Elsja and I by now thought we were going to be robbed for sure. Now it was 11pm and there was noone around except these junkies laying on the streets. We kept asking him how far but he kinda ignored us…We just couldnt see how the mainstreet Best Western was so far off the main road. My adrenalin was pumping cos I really thought I was going to have to take this guy on at some point…Elsja has been here before so I thought she might say ‘no this is normal’ but she thoroughly agreed with me. So here I am planning to grab this guy around the neck whilst he’s driving, we had only had 4 hours sleep in 2 days and I was pretty wired anyway. Wasnt very nice..suddenly we see this crappy little ‘best western’ sign and we kinda pulled in. Couldnt believe it…the only thing he said to us when we got out was ‘stay inside, very dangerous’ in Spanish (elsja could understand).? So we spent the night there, didnt get much sleep, and then went back to the airport the next day to get a flight to Tambor and then got an hour taxi ride to Montezuma where we are now. When I say an hour, Im talking prob 15km but the roads are SO bad it takes that long. There are dogs running amuck, and we saw monkeys too…wild monkeys!! This place is awesome though…complete opposite of San Jose. It’s kinda like how Byron Bay wouldve been 20 years ago. Very hippy and laid back and the food is amaznig and very cheap. I ordered Calamari last night and it came with a huge plate of spanish potatoes, rice, veges for about $4 AU. Ive been ordering vege burgers for lunch cos theyre packed wtih salad and I can dump the local hot sauce all over it to get my fix. The local beer here which is awesome is about $AU1.50 for a bottle when you order it in a bar. You’re allowed to just walk around the streets drinking them so we’re just buying beer and cruising along.?Met quite a few other people from the US, Germany, England and a few other countries not worth mentioning. I think I’m the only Aussie here cos everyone is very surprised that there is one here. I guess its just so far to come for us.?We’re here til Tuesday then gotta figure out how to get to Arenal whcih is where the volcano is. Its about a 7 hours bus ride which is going to suck but we have no option. Staying there for a bit then I cant remember. I just ask Elsja and give her money when she says we have to pay for something.EMAIL 2? Hey all?Leaving for Arenal in 10mins so just jumped online quickly. Thanks to everyone who replied, Ive read them but dont have a lot of time to reply to everyone individually. The point of this email is really just to quickly fill you in on what happened yesterday. Such a crazy story. In short, we went on a snorkelling trip to an island but when we got on the boats to come back, the sea was too rough…the boat drivers (2 boats went) dropped us off at some random beach with ONE guide and left to drive the boats back themselves. Our guide then didnt tell anyone where he was going really, just mumbled something in spanish bout going to find the road and disappeared into the jungle. It was POURING tropical rain and very windy. There was about 17 of us and suddenly we were stranded on this beach in the rain with nothing. We trekked into the jungle for a bit and found a shack for shelter. It was starting to get dark by this point and we literally didnt know what was going on. A couple of the guys tried to find a path out but it was blocked by a swamp and we couldnt see any way through. There was a costa rican guy with us who told us there was crocodiles in there anyway so we shouldnt try to pass.We went back to the shack and lit a fire with what dry wood we could find. Hadn’t stopped raining the whole time. This idiotic tour company had literally dumped us on this beach cos they had no back up plan whatsoever if the seas turned bad and they couldnt drive us back in the boats. When I say the seas were bad, we’re talking up to 30ft swell and these boats were about 18ft long…it was so scary. The walls of the swells were towering above the boats. There was nothing to hold onto in the boats either. Really scary experience so before we realised the predicament we were in on the beach, we were actually glad to be back on land.?So we built a fire and started planning to spend the night there (im not joking). We started to think aobut food – there were coconuts and lime trees near by but the sound of the monkeys was getting pretty eerie to go out and start looking for anything else. The girls were getting a bit distressed by this point because we were literally preparing to spend the night…it was exactly like Lost. There were about 4 americans, the token aussie, some french, brazlians and mexicans and the costa rican family.Finally about 3 hour laters and dark – our tour guide came back in bare feet and no shirt. He said he had?walked through dense jungle in his bare feet and found a road and followed it. A couple of people had phones but they couldnt really get a signal. We ended up having to?walk another 20 mins along the beach, through more jungle and cross a river that was up to my?waist (now?I wish I’d had a hepatitis A shot) and get to some other dirty shack in the end that was worse than the first…we then had to wait another hour for a bus (mini bus, no 4wd). Finally got out of there but we were overloaded by 7 people in a bus that was not made for muddy, pissing rain terrain. Was nuts. Aboslutely nuts. This is the short version. We got back to the city we’re staying about?4 hours late and it turns out the tour company hadnt even known what had happened until an hour after we were due back…the boat drivers had thought they could solve the problem by themselves and screwed up majorly. We got all our money back for the day but it wasnt really worth it. I will tell the story in more detail but wanted to pass the basics on.?gotta run, the bus is here…..now its 7 hours of hell to get to the volcano.
The adventure continues…?
EMAIL 3?Hey all?Just a quick update before we go blow 20,000 ( i love that 20g?s here is only about $35) on dinner.

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Yesterday we went on a volcano tour which basically gave us some history, a walk in the rainforest (apparently it was a hike but i break more sweat walking from my car into work), sitting and watching the lava come out of the volcano and then going to the hot springs that are heated naturally by the volcano. It was basically a whole system of jacuzzis that u sit in and chill out, order drinks and do whatever. Then we had dinner there which was included in the tour. It was a pretty amazing 3 course meal that we didnt expect for what we paid. The whole place was surreal cos we were sitting in these volcanic heated rock pools, it was raining and there were thunderstorms around and they were blasting corny 80s rock music. Very weird. Oh yea I also ate live termites straight off a tree in the rainforest. The guide said they were edible so him and I dug in whilst the girls nearly threw up. They kinda tastes tangy, like lemon. Whatever.?Today we went on a rainforest canopy tour. This included doing 9 zip lines which are awesome fun for those who haven’t done it. They let us do a couple upside down so here we are, hooning through the rainforest canopy dangling upside down from a cable a couple of hundred feet above the ground. Then we got to abseil down a cliff and then rode horses back up to the top.?This arvo we just hung out. Had beers and lunch etc and just hung out. Happy hour is very happy here…4 cocktails for $7.00…cant complain about that. The pool is great, theres a jacuzzi where we can just sit and drink cocktails and watch the smoke and stuff spew out of the volcano. Loving it.? Ok, off to dinner. Adios!

5 Responses to Costa Rica

  1. amanda September 4, 2008 at 6:05 pm #

    I read up on Costa Rica – but I can’t see the photos! 🙁

  2. elsja September 4, 2008 at 6:31 pm #

    you can’t? why not? when I try it it works!

  3. Brenda September 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm #

    It sounds like you guys had a great adventure! I have always wanted to go to costa rica,but I guess I will have to settle for living vicariously through your blog!

  4. Audra September 8, 2008 at 10:14 pm #

    Ha – I have stayed at that Best Western. We nearly got mugged trying to find the bus terminal the next morning but luckily ducked into a police station. Tababcon Resort is one of the most tranquil places I have ever danced on a bar in my bikini…

    I know where you can get an Imperial Beer in Newtown!

  5. Jill September 9, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    Happy Birthday!!!!!
    I was thinking about you yesterday and never got a chance to shoot you an email. I hope you had a great day.
    Love you

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