Starting time was 8.30am. A long bus ride from the mountains down to the Pacific Ocean.
Leaving Monteverde we drove over very rough gravel roads again. We are getting used to it!
After the tractor massacre from a few days ago, gravel roads do not feel so bad.
By the way, have we told you that we have not had any rain for the last 4 days? No rain since we left Rara Avis. We read in a paper here that the rainy season is supposed to start early (like right now) and will be nasty. The scientists don´t understand why it has not started yet. We are perfectly happy it waits until next week!
Back to our journey! We were going downhill because Monteverde is about 2500 meters above sea level. The temperature is nice during the day and at night cool so we didn´t have to use air conditioning.
The views were beautiful.
The road was quite narrow and very very dusty. We were glad to have air conditioning in the bus so we could keep the windows closed.
After about 2 hours we had a peebreak at a reataurant in the middle of nowhere it seemed.
Then we got to drive on some nice highways. The lower we came down the hills the hotter it got. Monteverde's temperature agreed with us very well!
At about noon we stopped for another break and a "surprise".
The surprise was that the place where we stopped was beside a river which is the home to quite a few crocodiles. We walked across the bridge and saw at least 10 of them lazing in the water or sunning themselves in the mud!
After that intermezzo we contiued on the Central American Highway and got close to the coast. At some places we could see the ocean.
On the last stretch there were palm plantations which produce palm oil for cooking and cosmetic use.
We arrived in Quepos at about 1.30pm. It was hot - the heat just fell on us. We went into town to look for an ATM because we needed some money! That turned out to be quite the adventure too!
The Bank of Costa Rica took Brian´s debitcard, told us that it was invalid and refused to give it back!
We went inside the bank and a guard showed us the process. We had to take a number and wait in the special service desk line-up. Fortunately there were chairs to sit on and it was air conditioned!
We had number 80 and they were at number 53! This was going to take a while. I walked back to the hotel to get our passports. They were the only way we had to identify ourselves and prove that the card belonged to us.
I was back in plenty of time. It took an hour and a half, but we did get our card back. The young man at the desk explained that that bank does not take our kind of card. We went to another ATM and it worked perfectly!
We walked through town a bit. Quepos is not a very attractive town. The sidewalks are uneven and very often you can smell sewage. Quepos is right at the ocean and has a small harbour. We are here in a nice hotel. Quepos is very close to Manuel Antonio Park. This park is the nicest in Costa Rica and besides nice wildlife watching tours also has a very popular beach.
At 5pm the group took the local bus to Manuel Antonio which costs all of 23 cents. We met at a bar for drinks to celebrate a birthday in the group. After the drinks we went to the beach to have a barbeque supper.
Our groupleader Michelle had bought a pineta (sp?). The pineta is a big decorated ball made of papier mache. Charlotte, the birthday girl was blindfolded, got a good stick and had to try and hit the pineta. The goal is to hit it so hard that is breaks and releases its content - usually good candies. It took four people to hit the pineta before it broke and the candies came tumbling out!
That was a lot of fun!
We all took the bus back to the hotel. Brian and I had a nice cool shower and relaxed the rest of the evening.
Another day gone. They are going fast!
Eke and Brian.