Maybe I am Rich?
Updated: Jun 18
Once the decision had been made for me to leave Montezuma... because of my host's poor planning and organization, I made the plan to head towards Santa Teresa, on the opposite coast of Cabo Blanco. I had been toying with the idea of going there, but had opted to stay in Montezuma because I was sick and tired of driving.
Driving can definitely take its toll.
If I were to recreate my Costa Rican adventure, I would do it much differently. There would be more time spent in places I enjoyed, and less time on the road... and lost in the jungle.
I guess it would be more beach time... less exploration. As an inquisitive tourist, I unfortunately fall into the category of wanting to see everything. It becomes less of a vacation when you're on a mission.
I would also ensure my vehicle had a fully functioning USB charger,.. which, let's be honest, would have saved me a lot of unnecessary stress.
I had already seen a lot of what Montezuma had to offer. Being a very tiny town, one could explore all of it within an hour, walking slowly. I was disappointed I didn't make the trek up to the waterfall, or do the coastal hike at Cabo Blanco… but I guess there are some things one must forego when supporting a fellow traveller and the trials & tribulations affiliated with that of a broken and befuddled heart
Joni, Caroline and Liam were headed to Santa Teresa, so it would be nice to meet up with them again. That was a bonus. So far, we have met in Tortuguero, Cahuita, Coco, Samara... and now Santa Teresa.
I was shocked to arrive. The road running along the coast, between Mal Pais and Santa Teresa, was a combination of dirt, gravel and paved sections. This main strip was lined with hostels, hotels, restaurants, boutiques, vendor stalls, souvenir shops, surf board rentals... and an abundance of the most garbage I have seen since landing in Costa Rica. Trash was just dumped along the edges of the road, and in some areas, appeared to have been piling for days.
Strolling along the beaches, you could see canals draining dirty water into the ocean, which made me second guess this otherwise attractive beach town's commitment to environmental impact, the conservation struggle... and sustainable tourism, for that matter.
My accommodation quickly swept all my rubbish concerns and waste worries away.
The Eco Chic Hotel Canaima Chill House was booked quickly, as there were not a lot of options left, save for crowded hostels and dormitories. It was slightly out of my price range, but occasionally, I like to splurge. I have spent enough time in this country convincing people I am not rich... I might as well second guess myself from time to time.
My Canaima Chill House was located off the main drag, about 400 metres up a steep, dirt hill. I actually drove past it on my first attempt to locate it. Notice my excessive use of the words up, steep, dirt and hill?
Costa Rica, baby.
If there is one thing in which excel, it is taking wrong turns. If there is a wrong turn to take or a wrong road... you can guarantee I'll be on it. Makes the entire intention of a simple Point A to Point B drive extremely frustrating Even with directions right in front of my face, I mess up. To be honest though, I was going rouge a lot more frequently now. I was more comfortable with my Costa Rican driving and having one (or sometimes, both) map apps on throughout the entire duration of each journey, was the primary reason for my phone dying out so quickly. There was no win-win.
Finally I reached my Eco Chic Hotel Canaima Chill House.
It was eco.
It was chill.
And it was definitely chic.
There was NOTHING wrong with this place. In fact, had I been blessed with a more affluent and luxurious lifestyle, I might consider staying here for a year... or more. It was my own personal Eden for the evening.
My spacious, boutique suite could have accommodated 4-5 people, but I had the entire place to myself and I properly planned to use every single second of it.
The room had a Sleeping Beauty bed, with full netting and grand windows where my head lie, giving a magical good morning view out into the garden, when I awoke. Even the shower had a jungle view... built right into the backside of the lush labyrinth.
The gardens were tended to and cared for, but not pristine. They were symbolic of a 'chill' expression and mirrored that of the surrounding tropical entanglement. Wild. Lush.
In the middle of my own private rainforest oasis, was a small pool, no bigger than that of a backyard plunge pool. After a refreshing dip, I climbed into the hammock chair that hung above the water, and relaxed, in pure harmony with nature, and enjoyed a glass of white wine. The colourful birds were chirping all around and the howler monkeys were making their eerie calls.
The patio not only had a full bar table, with open windows into the kitchen area, but also a full glass table set, a hammock and a bamboo swinging bed. I lied there for at least two hours, dripping wet from the pool, and rocking back & forth, back & forth... back & forth. It was so soothing, I forgot to drink my wine!
My only complaint was the location of the sink, and the wooden post that protruded out into my personal corridor. I must have tripped over it 10 times.
In the afternoon, I met up with the Germans for our usual taco feast... and then quickly got myself back to my oasis to relish in my all-too temporary extravagance.
Lap it up...
As someone with much debt and quite desolate bank accounts, I was forced to leave the following day, but not before the very final ding dong of check out expiration.
I loved this place.
I wanted to live in this place.
It killed me to leave this place.
A piece of me is now gone forever.
I will learn to love again...
I walked down to the beach for a while to sit and watch the surfers. I must say, I was quite impressed. I don’t know the first thing about surfing, but they all looked pro to me. The way they dodged those sharks and crocodiles and rode those waves, was nothing short of extraordinary.
After a little bit of window shopping, boutique browsing and ice-cream eating, I was on my way again.
I was determined to take my time, and visit some beaches along the coast, as I made my way there. After all, I had all day. Right?
I always start with the best intentions, but I hardly take into consideration ~ road conditions, traffic jams, construction, rivers... damn rivers!
There are a couple different routes one can take to reach Monteverde.
Drive all the way around ~ 4 hours and 12 minutes.
Take the ferry ~ 4 hours and 38 minutes.
Slow ferry. Holy.
Still... sitting on a ferry as opposed to driving more, seemed the better option to me. I was sick of driving.
The ferry ended up being a no-go... as the gentleman that approached my window to inquire as to whether or not I had a reservation, let me know I 'might' make the 6pm ferry. It was 2:10pm.
No, thank you.
... and back to driving...
Well... a simple 4 hour and 12 minute journey quickly turned to 7.
For all the reasons listed above ~ construction, big trucks, traffic jams, slow drivers, winding roads, potholes... etc. You name it, we hit it.
**BONUS - NO RIVERS!!!
There is more road construction here than any other place on earth. I intend to come back in a few years, when it is all completed. Won't that be glorious? I'll rent a convertible and drive around, celebrating and waving my hands in the air. I fear though, road construction is never really finished, is it?
Of course, not being in the category of highly intelligent people, I only inserted Monteverde into my phone app, which led me on a wild goose chase and into the middle of nowhere... and beyond... again. Unbeknownst to me, at the time, Monteverde is not really a pinned location... so it was difficult to locate it with exact driving directions. The map merely chose a random and central location in the area, and then attempt to guide me there.
What I should have done was enter my accommodation into the map.
I did not do this.
It was dark, it was getting late, there was wavering cell coverage and my phone charge was hanging on by a thread. A common theme seems to be occurring.
Here I was, once again, traipsing around the back 40 of Costa Rica... heading into some ravine on a dark and dusty, narrow dirt road.
Gawd, I was being rough on this vehicle… or... was life being rough on me? LOL
This little Bird had definitely taken a beating over the past three weeks. I owed a lot to its endurance.
In addition to maneuvering my way along back roads in the dark, dodging potholes and staring at my phone for odd and misleading directions, a small lizard managed to land, smack dab, on my windshield and positioned himself directly in front of my line of sight, for the entire duration of the rest of my trek.
So now I had him to contend with this... and trying desperately not to accidentally turn on the windshield wipers … even when it began to drizzle.
I kept thinking how I was taking him so far away from his family. He would probably never see his kids or parents or friends again. Right now, he's probably tangled up in some territory war and will be beaten to death. I don't know what lizards do, but regardless, I felt bad.
Karma is a bitch.
Finally I turned myself around, having lost all confidence that I was headed in the proper direction. I got myself back on paved road, made my way into minimal coverage, found the exact location of my hotel, memorized the directions and made my way there, ignoring all phone prompted suggestions to turn off onto shortcuts or alternate routes.
I made it right to the hotel reception, ONE SECOND before my phone died.
Luck is sometimes on my side. Sometimes.
… and then my trusted little Bird gave out…
My car died.