Okay... I have been so busy that I completely forgot about updating this bad boy. As its been so long and I have a lot of things to write.
Puerto Viejo- The Caribbean Coast
Road trip!!! So seen as Penny had done nothing but nagged about going to the Caribbean carnival in Limon, even though all the Tico's, nickname for Costa Ricans- don't ask why, had informed us that this is a very rough carnival and there would be a lot of trouble, we decided to go. Hell we're from Yorkshire after all, it will only be like a sunny version of the Huddersfield Caribbean carnival.
Elsie the American short term volunteer decided that if we went she wasn't taking a bus, so we all chipped in and hired a car for the weekend. 7 us cramped into a tiny people carrier and began the 6 hour journey to Puerto Viejo, were we would be staying 45 minutes away from the carnival itself.
After blasting a bit of Oasis out for 40 minutes I was out for count.
When we drove through Limon we decided to have a sneak peak of the start of the carnival as I think only me and Penny was down for a bit of danger. Well after locking all the doors and putting my hood up so my blonde hair didn't highlight the fact we was tourists I still don't think any of us felt safe: Smashed glass on the floor, people off their faces, police stood in lines shouting and full blown fights in the streets, and the carnival wasn't officially starting until the morning. Ha-ha Penny soon changed her mind and decided we relaxed on the beach all weekend.
One Word to describe this place... WOW!! The hostel itself was open air and had hammock's splashed all over it. The over grown plants and palm trees really set the scene. We had arrived in Paradise. We was all in the main part of the hostel however I wanted to be in the private rooms... They were only tree houses! The host was a yoga teacher from Holland so it was quite nice when he told us that everyone spoke English due to the amount of tourists they get every year. We was also informed by the locals that there was a private beach that not many tourists go to as to get to it you had to treck through the jungle. So all in bikinis and flip flops, why not? How hard can it be? Well of course I kept thinking out loud " Argh was that a snake? Did something move? I think this is a trap, we are going to get kidnapped" Ha-ha of course I was everyone's favourite person at that point. When finally hearing the funky beats of the Reggae music blasting from nowhere we knew we had arrived. It was like something from a movie that in words I couldn't describe how beautiful this place was.. White sand, clear turquoise sea, palm trees and plants scattered about all over, a bar placed in the middle of the beach serving the finest passion fruit margarita's. I never wanted to leave..
One of the locals had told us that night there would be a reggae that would be packed, so off we went to Johnny's Place, I actually felt like I was at a club in Huddersfield, all the girls grinding on guys, everyone high and enjoying the beats of the music. After about 4 hours it was crazy obviously they don't have capacity laws like they do in England it was so crowded that people had to stand down the street. At the end of the night we had been speaking to one of the local "badmans" and he seemed to have a soft spot for our Pennita... A good job really because we had to walk into the local town to get a taxi and I know that if he hadn't of come with us, we would of been stranded and robbed. Fun times.
Jaco.. Like a Posh version of Blackpool
So Jaco is the closed beach to the centre of San Jose were I am living & normally were most volunteers start off going to. Well now I know why... There is a lot of nightlife in Jaco and unlike the other places we had been at previous weekends you could tell that it was made for tourists, excursions, surf tournaments and a lot of drinking going on. When arriving on the beach we all looked at each other and laughed it was poor black sand and green coloured water, oh how we had been spoilt in the other beaches we had been to. We couldn't have everything and been English I was just happy that they were bars that stayed opened passed 4 in the morning.
Well it wasn't what I expected as it was basically like show and tell rather than a competition but the atmosphere was amazing, people dancing on the beach drinking and watching as the sun set. Bliss!
Orange pub, right next to our hostel at 10pm til midnight served free drinks to girls ha! ONIT Me and Laura ended up dancing on the tables and trying to take over the place. Winner!! When coming home we had found a cockroach, Malcolm I named him, and me and Francesca found him absolutely hilarious.. Too many vodkas!
Halloween- ACI party!!
Well what a let down... First of all no one noes how to party on Halloween like English people & second of all WTF!! Haha after 1 hour at the party I decided to learn some Spanish insults while Penny swanned off to the next bar, I told one of the locals I was off to find Penny, and they said that she had gone into a very unsafe bar and that I shouldn't go.. Well 10 men here matched in dressed as a playing card Joker and demanded the doorman released my friend. They pissed themselves and let me go find her, she was stood on a chair telling the tallest man id ever seen that he was very rude and needed to learn some manners haha! How on earth did they pick a pair like us to volunteer, I never know! So we decided to make the most of the night, necked a few shots and took to the dance floor... CHA CHA SLIDE!!! you what... I know this dance! Well let me tell you the Costa Rican cha cha slide is nothing like ours! I think that I stood on people toes, knocked one guy nearly on the floor and fell on the floor laughing! Okayy Penny lets try a bit of salsa, turned into a Joker & a Leopard doing a retarded version of dirty dancing and Waltz.. Was defo time to leave!! They did not look happy.
So me and Penny decided to go round San Pedro for the night, a nice town next to Guadalupe, where I live, took us until 10:30 to get ready as neither of us could be arsed, had a couple of vodkas and fled to the nightclub. On arrival you got a free drink and we decided to get a lot of tequila! We met some nice people and I danced a bit of salsa! After that everything's a blur... I tried to sleep in the bush, and was sick a lot.. NO MORE TEQUILA AND RUM FOR ME!!
So my brightest idea yet.. Lets go to the mountains on a nature reserve, it will be fun! Well to me a nature reserve is like tropical world in Leeds, I was thinking maybe a bit more exotic and some nice sun. Ha-ha how wrong I was... To get to the effing place you had to walk an hour up hill through mud, stones and log bridges.. Not to mention a slippery bridge that looked like it had just come out of "I'm a celebrity get me out of here" We all managed it and took pictures of the gorgeous views of the jungle. We had to take a stop as me and Francesca was desperate for toilet, luckily a lady with about 13 dogs that lived in a shed let us borrow her toilet, when going in she immediately rang someone and locked the door behind us.. Okay my instincts of been kidnapped immediately kicked in and I started ragging at the door.. it automatically locks itself.. PHEW!! When arriving to where we was starting our tour, 30 minutes late we had to rush to get round. Okay wipe off the sweat now time for the fun bit. Wrong again it starts wanging it down and the tour wasn't a tour it was basically just climbing through the jungle.. No safety paths nothing!! I think I managed to fall 6 times, fell in sinking mud loosing my shoe and having to get it pulled out for me, some of the time the hill was that steep you had a better chance to climb up the tree and jump! Everyone behind was screaming, everyone in front was screaming and me and Fran just couldn't stop laughing, I think that's why we fell so much! It was the hardest nature tour I've ever done, I didn't even have time to take photos. Wedging yourself between branches because there was a 15 cm path from you and a 20ft drop. What a feeling eh? At one point I decided that after falling on my bum down a 2 metre drop it was actually easier to fall then try and treck like the professional's. So of course me and Fran crawled, shuffled and jumped our way through the jungle stating 'if I sit on a snake Fran I hope it bites me so we can get out of here' Surely now the worst part was done had about 15 minutes left until we reached the end... A piece of rope going from one tree to another half a mile down.. What's that for? Ill tell you what it was for... To cling on for your dear life.. hold on and jump!!! When coming to the end we was told there would be a beautiful waterfall which would make the hike worth while.. No waterfall!! Vinico then decided to tell us it was only a 5 minute treck from where we started... So Yes we risked falling from cliffs and getting eaten for nothing! I wanted to kill him. Off we go down the steepest drop I have ever climbed down in my life swinging on bamboo, holding each others hands and thinking thank god im not scared of heights. When arriving to the waterfall it was like a dream a private pool. it was worth the 6 hour death walk to get there. So when arriving back into San Jose me and Fran decided it was our first and last treck, we was covered from head to toe in mud, half asleep and sat on a bus, like been back at Leeds fest, but no Eminem to make it worth while!!
Friends along the Way..
Well so far volunteering in an organisation you meet so many different people from all over the world that I never thought I would become close to. I have a second family that have made my experience 100% more worth while. When I was first told I got the place in Costa Rica I didn't really know if I could to it on my own, I have always done everything with friends or family. I'm not going to lie I papped myself thinking that for 10 months I'd be a loner, that couldn't speak Spanish. When I met Penny and was told that she was the person I would be travelling with, I was so excited she was the type of lass I would bump into on a night out and have a 2 hour long convo in the toilets like I'd known her all my life. What a better match! When arriving I met so many different people that have shared these amazing places and memories with, some of who will be with me my whole time here and others that have already gone home or moved to different countries, it is so hard getting to no someone and then in the same breath saying bye! But I know that I have made friends for life and cannot wait for one big hell of a reunion!!