Friday, November 13, 2009

Costa Rica Days 13 & 14 - Santa Rosa and Rincon de la Vieja: Capuchins and Hitchhiking

Our last day in Santa Rosa...woke up, packed up our stuff and started the 5 mile hike out of the park. Saw a handful or Roadside Hawks, female Elegant Trogon, Western Slaty Antshrike, and finally! a snake! Pretty sure it was some sort of Lyre snake.
The other people who were camping at Santa Rosa left that day too and offered to give us a ride a couple miles into our hike. There wasn't really much room for us in the car, but we managed to smush in there somehow. Their English was great and they were headed to Rincon de la Vieja National Park, so we figured we'd make our way over there as well. Them driving us probably saved us a whole day from catching and riding buses. However, the kid who was driving did get pulled over by the one and only traffic cop in all of Costa Rica. The cop was just standing in the middle of the road and waved him over. It was mildly concerning. The kid's ticket was 10 bucks...we then informed them of the joys of speeding tickets in the US.
There was no camping at Rincon, so we just did a day hike. Saw quite a few White-faced Capuchins. The first guy was just sitting on the ground eating something tasty, he looked pretty ancient. Got a cute picture of him.
Lots of little geysers and tons of immense strangler figs at the park. Strangler figs are gnarly things...and fun to climb too.

The park was closing so we started our hike out back to the road somewhere to catch a somewhere. We lucked out again though - a nice couple from Illinois drove us about an hour (back near Santa Rosa) where we could catch a bus to La Cruz. They dropped us off and we attempted to hitch a ride (ahhh!) to no avail. Eventually, a bus stopped for us - please note, we're just standing in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road. Unfortunately, the bus was completely packed so the only place for me to stand was right next to the open bus door, hanging on for dear life, as the bus went 60 mph over crappy bumpy roads. I stayed alive.
Made it to La Cruz, which was not our favorite part of the country, and found a totally sketchy spot to sleep for the night. The was a motel owned by an exceptionally large Dutch man with a severe case of gout. However, he did give us a cantelope. We paid the extra 5 bucks for the 'nice', would hate to see the other rooms. The sheets were threadbare things from the early 80's and the door didn't quite close all the way. The toilet failed to have a seat, which is always fun. Obviously, there were lots of bugs, that more or less goes without saying.
We were ready to get out of La Cruz, so we ate our melon and jumped on the bus back to Liberia. Had to go through a couple checkpoints where one policeman took about 5 minutes to inspect our passport and stare at us. Got to Liberia, sat around breathing in the diesel for a few hours and finally got on the bus back to San Jose. 5 hours with another checkpoint and approximately 9,000 stops. Whew...finally got there and stayed in the city and ate a real meal with organic papaya sorbet for dessert. Sweet!

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