Pura Vida in a car

Traveling without using our muscles, sleeping in hotels and visiting expensive parks

Tomek comes in the afternoon with his car and we use it for visit the hot river – it is raining this time, it’s colder and we have a bottle of “coke” :). Really much pleasant visit then the first try. After two days of having rest we put the bikes on the roof of his car and the comfortable traveling starts – for free and without using our muscles.

First stop – volcano Arenal observatory from where the entrance to the national park with Cerro Chato is a little cheaper. First 2km of paved road changes to another 2 hours of uphill on a real touristic path (just roots, mud and rocks :)). Around us is really dense green vegetation and fog which adds to the true atmosphere of the cloud forest. Last kilometer from the edge of the crater is a tough downhill to the lagoon which is so steep that we understand the warning that one should be in good condition for this trip. The water is cold and we can see only 10m around us – these are the reasons why we are out of the water in 3 minutes :). The way back is long but we see monkeys and Jan also one snake.

Next morning we go to Santa Elena and 30km of dirt road is difficult for the car, our bicycles on the roof and also the driver. When avoiding a bus we hit a sharp rock an cut a 10cm hole in the tire. While the men change the tire with the help of a local boy, I enjoy the humming birds which are flying next to terrace of a nearby cafeteria.

We reach the town of Monteverde too late to visit the park and so we only find a hostel and with Jan we go to see the snakes… or we would see them if the entrance isn’t 9 dollars and we can touch at least one of them. Hey Costa Rica, isn’t here at least something for free or for a reasonable price?!

We are sad and disappointed and in a local paper store we buy notebooks, crayons and ink and hope that expressing our feelings in paintings will better our mood. We spend the evening in the hostel chatting with Danish girls, Tomek is afraid of big tough Canadian girls and we cook great dinner.

In the morning we tidy the car and it is unbelievable that we can fit 5 people inside. Monteverde is a cloud forest with a special climate but still we think it is too much to pay 17usd entrance fee. We walk different circles on a neat almost paved trails through the dense green forest and we are not able to see any animals (and they should be really many here!). 3 hours of tiring slow walking inside the jungle are really enough and we continue south to Puntarenas.

In this dirty and expensive port town we sleep in a most expensive and worst hotel ever and we really want to travel by bicycles again – through small villages without tourists. We get to Jaco in the last day – town full of surfers, hotels, restaurants and expensive shops.

On the way there we stop on a bridge where should be possible to watch crocodiles for free – hard to believe! But they are really there, a lot of them and we don’t need to pay to anybody :). Basically they are just laying in the mud and we don’t see much activity, but it’s still and interesting view because normally it’s possible to see crocodiles only in zoo.

Tomek invites us for lunch – he didn’t even want us to contribute to fuel and now this. Around 3pm we say goodbyes, we are thankful for the ride and we go different ways. We would like to get a little bit further but a strong rain starts and we end in a hostel. In the evening we are looking for a bathing suite here but there is nothing under 30usd.

This is probably the first time when we are really looking forward to sit on our saddles and pedal again tomorrow… It wasn’t a bad way of traveling, it was just different and thanks to this experience we appreciate our bicycles much more now :). We have the freedom, we are really able to see the country and not just some places, we meet more people and we are able to escape the touristic rush.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *