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Monday 16 Dec 2013
Quepos, Costa Rica

Sunset salsa

The three of us dragged ourselves out of bed and finished repacking our bags before trudging up hill to the bus station.  Luckily there were still tickets available for the 6am bus.  Steph and I had planned to book the shuttle instead, but had been too late and missed the last available seats, so now we were joining Andrea on the public bus down to Puntarenas.  It was good that we were still able to get seated tickets, as people were packed into the aisles throughout the three-hour journey.  At Puntarenas, we said farewell to Andrea, who was heading over to Montezuma to meet up with Gayle and Chris again.  My time in Costa Rica was too short to include the ferry to Montezuma as well, so Steph and I were continuing down the coast to Quepos, the nearest town to the Manuel Antonio National Park, in search of sea turtles.

The police were waiting for us as we piled off the bus.  Not actually waiting for us specifically, just there to advise tourists how to reach their next destination in one piece and with all their belongings.  Puntarenas, it seemed, was not a nice place to hang around and we were warned against walking too far with packs (get a taxi to avoid muggings) or putting bags in overhead bus racks (they were unlikely to be there at the end of the journey).  Even putting bags under the seats was unsafe as thieves often slit the bottom of the bag from behind.  Nice.  Steph and I sent Andrea off with a group of backpackers heading for the port, happy that she wasn't travelling on alone, before getting a big breakfast at a nearby café next while waiting the 90 minutes until our next bus.  Another four-hour bus ride later and we finally reached Quepos and checked into the Wide Mouth Frog hostel.  After so many hours in hot sticky buses and walking through town in the 36-degree heat, we ditched our bags and jumped straight into the hostel pool, delighting in the cool water.  Bliss…

We headed down to the sea front and found a first floor bar with a balcony to enjoy a nice cold beer and the sun setting over the ocean.  I’m very glad I went down to the waterfall in La Fortuna with Blain and Mark, as Steph and I had become a great travel buddies.  Every now and then you meet someone you just click with and feel like you’ve known them for years.  It was a shame I didn’t have longer in Costa Rica, but I suspect our paths will cross again in the future.

We walked along the sea front for a while and watched a group of drummers setting up.  There were at least 10 of them with an assortment of percussion instruments.  They formed a loose line across the boardwalk and played energetic rhythms for a group of five dancers.  We took it for an impromptu jamming session, but when a very camp, slightly overweight white guy walked up and joined in, we realised it was actually a dance class and this guy was the instructor.  In spite of his first impression, he could really move.  He had great rhythm and took charge of the girls, shaking and twirling in time with the beat and had them working really hard.  I was almost tempted to join in... almost.

Back at the hostel, Steph and I started playing cards and were joined by a couple of American lads, Scott and Adam.  They were ecologists, down here for a tropical ecology and conservation course, along with their friend Andrew.  By the time I’d taught them all to play Yanneth and lost resoundingly at my own game, we’d arranged to head over to Manuel Antonio together the next day.

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Zoe's Big World Adventure Part II - #2 Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica

Travel blog by zobeedoo

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I met Christina in April. We travelled a bit of Australia together and both learned to dive. Now we're off to Mexico and Belize to see what the Caribbean and the Great Mesoamerican Reef have to offer, before I head down to Costa Rica for 10 days.

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