I arrived safely in Costa Rica with just two minor wrinkles. The first was that I had to buy a return ticket in LA in order to get through CR customs, or so I was told. The guy assured me multiple times that the ticket was fully refundable, but it may not surprise you to learn that it’s really not at all. Oh well, I got a partial refund and a voucher. Then, when I got into the San Jose airport, my ride was nowhere to be found amongst the swarming throng of pushy cab drivers. One of them, surely hoping to get business from a stranded non-Spanish speaking gringa, took it upon himself to call the school for me. They had gotten my arrival time wrong – 1140 pm instead of 1140 am. No worries, though. Had the opportunity to spend some quality time at the airport waiting for them.
The school at Turrialba sits in the hills above the town itself, with a cool volcano to the left. I got a picture of it one morning with a plume of gas coming out the top. It’s currently closed to visitors because it’s so toxic at the rim.
It rains a lot in Turrialba. A lot. The main thing it has to recommend itself, is that it’s a really fantastic tropical type rain. Sitting in a hammock outside reading during the daily thunder storms was pretty great.
Some things I’m getting used to: no toilet paper in the toilet – must go in adjacent bin. Being covered in mosquito bites. Cold showers. Cockroaches. Not needing to take a hoodie with me whenever I leave the house. Going to bed early, because it’s fully dark before 6, so 9 pm feels like midnight.
Spanish classes are actually going quite well. I’m amazed by how much I’ve picked up in just five days of classes. Don’t ask me to say stuff yet, but when people speak in Spanish to me in the same manner as they would to someone who has recently suffered a severe head injury, some of the words are familiar, and it’s brilliant.
Not much adventure this week because of classes and relentless storming, but I did get to do an afternoon of canyoning and ziplines. Oh man. They are individually spectacularly exciting, and the combination was unforgettable.
I regrettably decided to cut my Turrialba time short by a day because of the opportunity to travel to Bocas, Panama with a German couple. It’s a long trip with several bus changes, taxis, and a boat ride, and I was nervous about making it alone. So, I’m in Bocas now, probably will stay for two weeks because it sounds like Boquete (where I was planning to go in a week) is, if possible, more rainy than Turrialba.
My first evening here in Bocas was great. It has a distinctly Caribbean feel, and there’s music everywhere and lots of people wandering the streets at all hours of the night. It’s quite hot here, and no rain.
Buenos noches. Slaap lekker (lots of Danish folks in Turrialba).