'For Adventures of a lifetime'

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Carate - San Isidro

6th August 2012-08-08

Yet another travel day...

Hi everybody or as they say in Costa Rica “Hola a todos”. Its Holly again , here to tell you all about the 6th and what we got up to on our travels that day! :-) So let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start. A sound of music song quote there folks.... a popular song choice that has been sung many times on this trip!

We got up bright and early at 5am today and awoke to the sounds of the sea right at the foot of our tents, quite literally in fact with some team members having to dig trenches to stop their tents from flooding!! (Ed. the tide was on the way out folks...honest!) We had a filling breakfast of porridge (if you couldn’t have guessed already) with jam and condensed milk and then got packed away.

A short 5 minute walk led us to where our “collectivo” or minibus was picking us up. We waited for the “collectivo” which was 10 minutes late and as soon as the “collectivo” came around the corner, the group was in utter shock. It was definitely not a minibus. We had seen and heard rumours yesterday as to what this “collectivo” was going to be like so it’s pretty fair to say we weren’t expecting the best bus in the world but we were at least expecting a bus! It was a ram-shackled cattle truck with benches that offered no support from the bumps in the road and absolutely no handles whatsoever to hold onto for dear life. I’m being generous with my choice of words there but believe me when I say we were not expecting that! (Ed. World Challenge style risk assessment carried out :-)) We all piled on with our gigantic rucksacks filled with foisty, mud filled clothing and we squashed up to make room for the other 3 people getting on the collectivo at the same time. (Ed. the smell was rather intense and we were happy we all shared the same smells )

The actual ride itself was only 2 and a half hours which is one of the shortest bus journeys that we’ve had to take in the whole 3 weeks of being here but it felt like forever. The road we were travelling on was called “The Punisher” by the lonely planet guide and it is the second worst road in Costa Rica so it’s fair to say we felt it! The bumps and lumps in the road were felt by every single person and the ups and downs in the hills made it feel like we were on a rollercoaster which on reflection was thrilling but at the time you just wanted to get off. The journey was bearable until we started to stop and more people piled on! There was barely enough room to fit the 20 already in there without an extra 10 people getting on! I’m still pretty astonished as to how some people, not mentioning names (STEPHIE, CLIFF AND JACK)   managed to fall asleep on this death trap!(Ed. tiz easy :-)). To finish the journey off it started to rain pretty bad just as we arrived in Puerto Jimenez but we only had to travel 2 minutes to where we wanted to be. I felt a bit sorry for the group because my role throughout the expedition has been travel and this was not an enjoyable experience as such but an experience none the less.

We got back to the accommodation that we had been staying at before the trek (cabinas the corner) and picked up our day sacks. Our next bus from Puerto Jimenez to San Iisidro wasn’t till 1pm so as a group we divided off to go to either the supermarket or to look for souvenirs. My cooking team (Alex, Emily,Taggart and myself) then had to do lunch which is always a strenuous task but nevertheless we pulled through. It was a fairly simple lunch of strange tasting wraps with the fillings of ham, cheese or jam. The group then headed over to the bus station whilst Beth and I ran to the supermarket to get a drink and then ran back as well. It sounds harder than you think to run in the heat!

We managed to get onto the bus safely and quickly (were getting good at getting on and off the buses with our bags!) and then the next 6 hours were spent talking amongst ourselves. We did however find a deeper side to Alex’s personality.

We arrived in San Isidro at 7pm and had a short 10 minute walk to Hotel Amaneli. That’s right, a hotel! It was very basic but each room had its own toilet, shower, bed, fan and mirror. Some rooms even had the luxury of a chair and TV! We then set out for tea at MacDonald’s just down the road. I don’t think we would of went if we had a choice but we were all tired and hungry and it was close. The portions were bigger and better than the other MacDonald’s we had in San José and everyone enjoyed it. We then returned to the hotel and went to bed. Ella and I were sharing a room and we had a very random view out of our window... a scary, pointless room filled with things you find in a shed. We had a lovely shower, one of the best because we felt so clean and refreshed afterwards and then went to sleep in our lovely SpongeBob duvet beds.

Holly Laing

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