Friday afternoon was hot. My shirt clung to my skin, sticky with sweat, the people on the street walked lethargically, and we welcomed the occasional breeze that swept past as we walked to the bus station. Pavel, my trusted travel buddy, and I were ready for a weekend on beautiful beaches in Guanacaste. We took little more than our swimsuit and pajamas (it didn’t take me long to revert back to my almost gross traveling habits, sorry, mom) and headed on our way. What we didn’t realize, was that it is currently vacation for the Costa Ricans, as well. This meant that the only places available on the bus were de pie, on foot. Our two choices were go to Guanacaste, and stand on the bus, or stay in San Jose. We opted for the first choice and hopped on the bus, ready for the 7 hour journey.
After several hours on our feet, we resorted to sitting on the bus floor. The hours dragged on as we switched positions, leaning against each other, leaning against seats, sitting on the stairs… there are no comfortable positions on a bus floor, trust us. The trip was seeming pretty bad, but it got worse. We got caught in traffic and then, tragically, our bus broke down. When we arrived in Tamarindo, we were less than happy, tired, and very hungry. We found some food, a hostel, and went to bed.
Pavel is a surfing newbie and wanted to try his stuff, so we opted to stay in Tamarindo Saturday and then go to another, less touristic and more beautiful beach on Sunday. Tamarindo was HUGE, by far the biggest beach we have visited. In addition, there were tons of people. It isn’t particularly beautiful, but I didn’t mind. I had my book and was on the beach. I was happy….until it began to downpour.
One of the best parts of traveling is meeting new people. Saturday night we met a guy from Israel and spent the evening chatting with him. You can learn so much talking to other people. I love it.
Sunday we hit another stroke of bad luck. The local buses that travel to other beaches don’t run on Sunday. Nevertheless we lounged on the beach at Tamarindo for a few hours before loading up on the bus back to San Jose. So you’d think that we had run out of opportunities for bad luck, but apparently we were bad luck magnets. Our bus broke down again on the way back. I was pretty agitated as we waited over an hour for another bus to arrive to pick us up. Finally, after grumbling for half an hour I resolved that I would not complain again. Pavel and I began to rant on and on and change all our misfortunes of the weekend into positive things. We went as far as to claim what good fortune we had that our bus broke down because the second bus had lights so we could read our books. It was a little ridiculous, but it worked to improve my mood. I couldn’t ask for a better travel partner than one who can make me laugh, even in the most annoying situations.
So maybe I can’t say that this was one of the best weekends I have spent in Costa Rica, but you have to take the bad with the good. You learn from every experience and no matter what happens, you always have a good story to tell. It was definitely another interesting weekend on my Costa Rican journey.