Hola! I’ve finally arrived at Shaka Beach Retreat. The trip here was long and relatively painless. I left Hinton around 10:30 am, dad gave me a lift to Omaha to catch my 1:20pm flight. It was a quick ride to Denver and we made it right on time.
I took the Sky Ride to Northglenn and made myself at home at my brother’s house there. Since I hadn’t had the foresight to hang on to some cash earlier in the week, I walked down to the credit union to make a withdrawal. Since it was after 5pm, I had to use the ATM. I realized much later that I had left my debit card in the machine! Ooops. Gave the Credit Union a call to cancel the card and have another one sent. Fortunately I was able to work a deal out with my family and get some cash to tide me over. I will have to have the card forwarded to me since I haven’t been able to reach the bank to have it expedited here.
I spent the evening with my family, had dinner at a cozy new restaurant in Boulder called Bru. It’s got a great concept, the chef has reused or refurbished all of the furniture, appliances, etc. and the food was fantastic. The service was extremely slow, but I still enjoyed the atmosphere enough to say I would return.
Katie brought me back to Denver to catch my red-eye flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. I made it just on time and boarded the plane quickly. To say the ride was uncomfortable would be an understatement. I sat in the row ahead of the exit row so the seats would not recline. I watched enviously as the girl in the row behind me sprawled out across 3 seats and sawed logs the whole trip! Thank goodness for some flexibility, I contorted myself into about 5 different positions throughout the night, but sleep never really came.
We arrived promptly at 5am local time (we are on the Mountain Time Zone here) and I realized catching the 6am bus to Santa Teresa probably wouldn’t happen. I milled around a while before catching a cab into San Jose to the bus station. I had intended to do a little exploring, but another cabby warned me that the area surrounding the station is not particularly safe for tourists. He sneaked me the wi-fi password though so I wouldn’t be totally bored during my 6 hour wait.
I heeded his warning for the most part and waited at the station most of the day. I got restless and took a few walks just around the block. My last walk was put to a halt when an elderly man who had earlier tried to sell me $1 knock off CDs approached me with a hug and multiple cheek kisses. He got a bit carried away and I panicked a little when he tried to turn my face several times and plant one on my lips! Blech! I booked it back to the station and only left again for lunch.
Speaking of lunch, I think maintaining a vegan diet will be a bit of a challenge. I found it difficult to read the menus and not all translations are direct. Vegetarian will be a piece of cake, but it will be fun to explore some new food options as well.
One the bus finally arrived, we loaded up and started our trek to Santa Teresa, a 6 hour bus ride. While on the bus I met Steven from Santa Cruz, California; Anne from Montreal, Canada and Sean and his girl friend from Sacramento, California. We all chatted on the bus ride and while we crossed the water on the ferry. I found out Anne had also made the trip to Costa Rica with little planning and traveling alone. I hope to meet up with her after my stay at Shaka and maybe do some traveling together.
We parted ways towards the end of the trip, Steven and Anne were headed to Montezuma and Sean and his girl friend to Santa Teresa. I shared a short cab ride with the latter and then continued on to Shaka Beach Retreat, I got there at 9pm!
That’s where I will stop for now, there’s a beach to explore and breakfast to be prepared.
Question: What the heck is “Pura Vida”? Post card to the first one that nails it! =D
Some photos from the ferry ride. It was storming the whole way, but the scenery was still lovely. I didn’t bother to take any at the bus station, not much to see there. I was not impressed with San Jose, definitely not the eco-community I had envisioned… just another big city.