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  • Writer's pictureJoanna


Updated: Jun 25, 2023

It was absolutely exhilarating being on the road… free… and I’m not even much of a fan of driving. In fact, I hate driving.

But you know what?

I hate the bus more.

Much, much more.

Regardless of the cost and the caution… and the financial ruin I’ll probably endure… having my own set of wheels is the only way solution.

“My ride”… as opposed to… “another bus”…

I parked my car at the lot in La Pavona, and once again, walked away… leaving the world‘s most expensive tin can alone… valuables and all.

Off I headed to the dock, where I would catch the ferry to Tortuguero National Park.

And when I say dock… I mean a large, riverside mud bog. And when I say ferry… I am

referring to the long & skinny boats that snake their way from the mainland, going through rivers and canals, to reach Tortuguero. The ride took approximately 45 minutes and it was almost like a tour in itself ~ breathtaking views of lush rainforest, and birds & wildlife along the banks.

The boats held about 20 people… and my pack was the equivalent of 1. It was so big and bulky that it actually required its own seat. I did try to lighten the load by leaving some unwanteds in the car...

Can’t help but wonder if my dirty laundry and discarded clothing is a deterrent for thieves or a magnet?

Time will tell.

I had originally told the staff of my eco-lodge, i would be arriving on the 4:30PM ferry, but my stealth-like and overly qualified Central American driving skills managed to land me on the 3:00.

Willis met me at the dock and took me out to All Rankin’s Eco Lodge. He’s nice… but then he’s suddenly aloof… almost rude. I’m not sure how to take him yet.

He’s quirky.


For example… while we were coming up the canal in his boat, my crap mask flew off into the river. He turned the boat around to retrieve it immediately. I understand the prohibition of littering in a National Park… and it’s benevolent he took the time to pick it up out of the water… but he made mention at the time, he would go to great lengths for his guests… nothing was too big or small.

Ok. Good to know.

I love hospitable people when I’m on vacation.

Then he made me carry all my belongings (including heavy pack) to my cabana… while he sauntered along beside me… empty handed!!!

Definitely random.

There is a baby crocodile living under our dock… and as we pulled in, we saw him catch a small fish!

I’m now obsessed with crocodiles… and I want to learn everything I can about them. I want to hear all the stories… and I want all my questions answered.

Willis is not the man for this. He was knee-deep in the river earlier, cleaning fish and I inquired as to whether or not he was afraid of being attacked. He grunted and replied, “Crocodiles are afraid of me.”

Ok. I guess I can work with that.

He dropped me back off in the village and I set about exploring this quaint, little fishing village turned tourist hub. Tortuguero is a single path village set along the river bank, full of restaurants, souvenir shops, mini-supermarkets and guest houses. The community is built on the strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and Tortuguero Lagoon.

I refrained from buying anything… yet.

But… as it was my birthday, I decided to treat myself to a lovely glass of vino tinto, as I watched the sun go down.

It was almost the perfect ending to my day… I take my first sip…

… and…

.., bletch!… wtf????

It quite nearly came flying out of my mouth and it was all I could do to act gracious and lady-like. Spitting out copious amounts of red wine in a public place might be frowned upon. I couldn’t actually tell if the wine was corked or had just been sitting out, open, for weeks on end. Either way… not good.

And not good enough for my special day, anyway! ❤️

I moved on from this location, although they did have nachos on the menu… and those were screaming my name!

If the wine was bad… I hardly wanted to play RussIan roulette with the food. I had to move on.

Found an even nicer place to finish the sunset, called The Patio. Enjoyed a delicioso vegetarian stir fry with plantains and a nice glass of vino blanco!

Cheers to my birthday!

And Cheers to being in Costa Rica ❤️

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