I was told that that Manuel Antonio is close to nature, for me this meant close to spiders and freaky animals hahaha. But I have never been so much one with nature as in Manuel Antonio. Some ants crawling between the keys of my laptop as I am writing this right now. For a guy like me this sounds impossible, but it is happening.
Yesterday I walked for like two hours to a remote beach called Byzantine with hardly any people on it. Underway witnessed monkeys fighting birds, making a growling noise. They are called howler monkeys. When I came back to the Hostel I experienced a beautiful sunset on the same place where I had me breakfast the day before.
Today (because I catched that walking virus) I went for a hike in Manuel Antonio National Park. On my way there I met this great guy who makes wooden eyewear. He just started it out of boredom and now four years later has this great company going. Inspirational! I ended up hiking in the Manual Antonio National Park for 4 hours. I went up hill to Mirador to have a great view of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. After that I went down hill. After a hiking through the bush bush you suddenly enter the Gemelas beach. And this transition is sooo overwhelming!
After that I was exhausted. You can’t buy any food in the park and I didn’t bring any food with me. But I WAS going to see everything! So I went on hiking for one more hour. On this last hiking trip I came across this old mexican lady who seemed a bit troubled. She seemed to be lost and was looking for her family. I tried to help her, but she nearly only spoke Spanish and mine is really bad. I found out she had to go to M.A. beach. I knew where it was. With hand signals and the map I tried to explain here and then decided to walk her there. She followed me, but was somehow realizing that she was really lost. She was afraid her family already left, she will never find them etc. etc. and suddenly she got this little panic attack. And I was thinking: “Why me!?” I could have just pointed her in the right direction and go on. But now we had some sort of agreement. So I kept calm and walked her to the beach. When we came there she anxiously scanned the beach for her family, but they weren’t there. She started crying. But thankgod suddenly someone waved at us from far. It was her daughter. She turned at me and thanked me like a hundred times. Karma will be good for this trip I guess! ;)
One thing I learned during this trip is that talking to 3 or more people gives you more valuable information than surfing the internet for a day. I now know that Costa Rica has a Pacific side and a Caribbean side. On the Pacific side most of the surfing is done. On the Caribbean side most of the relaxing is done. And where all the good spots are! All the people I met talked about Manuel Antonio. It is known for it’s great nature. So after the wild water rafting I took a bus to Manuel Antonio. One footnote: I slept 4 hours the day before and it was a three hour night trip. I took a taxi to the bus terminal. And I must say, it doesn’t feel very ok with all your belongings on you, close to midnight @ a bus terminal with no tourists and a few local grumpy, only spanish speaking people. I put on my poker face! ;) There I sat in the bus, my backpack in the storage beneath the bus and the daypack on my lap driving, somewhere in the world, to god knows where, sleepy as hell! These moments make you feel really futile. Luckily I use oMaps. I will talk about that later, but I arrived in Manuel Antonio and took the taxi to the Hostel Vista Serena. Only the next morning I understood the name of the Hostel as I was having breakfast. The view will make every breakfast taste like heaven!
Then my dentist from the Netherlands called me why I missed my appointment. I had a very good reason. He agreed ;)
Today I went wild water rafting on the Pacuare river. The rainforests that surround the river are home to exotic animal species such as jaguars, monkeys, ocelots, and a very large number of birds. Also it was considered one of the 5 nicest rivers to practice rafting by National Geographic. Enough with the wikipedia stuff. It was simply AMAZING!
We did a 4 hour trip of 30 km without any stops, but it felt like an hour. We sat in a boat with six people and one guide. The guide gave instructions when to peddle forward, backward, stop, left backward, right backward and so on. In the beginning you just follow the instructions and don’t know why, then you see a big run ahead which swings you all across the river. After a while you can anticipate on what the guide is going to say.
As we approached the misty mountain steeps where all the wild animals live, it felt like that scene from Jurassic Park where they approach the island LOL. We went on a 1 to 4 level raft. Level 5 is for pro’s. So when the guide screamed: “THERE IS A LEVEL 4 AHEAD, FORWARD HARD!!” You start peddling like crazy! At one “level 4 run” we lost one of the rafters. She bumped in to the water and had to be saved. We also had a lot of nice, quiet pieces though, where we could relax and enjoy the great nature around us. The water coming from the hot springs is so clean you can drink it. There where beautiful butterflies surrounding us along the way. They had really nice colored, almost luminous wings. At one point we voluntarily jumped in to the water and took a swim. At the end of our trip it started to rain, giving the surroundings an extra scenic appearance. One word: WOW! This shouldn’t be in the top 5, but numbero uno!
Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure this is al really happening. Last days were like a complete movie. I met the most interesting people, heard real interesting stories and my trip has just started. It took me a few days but I’m in my zone! It’s indescribable, even with pictures, so I have to remind myself to make some.
My flight Costa Rica was leaving in a few hours and I still had to pack my backpack and book a hostel for San José. I did this all quick, took a bike to the bus station (with my backpack and daypack on lol). My bus arrived at Miami international Airport on time and I saw this beautiful work of art saying: “Peace & Love”. I though I could have me some food @ a Japanese sushi bar with a glass of sake. Well.. dinner was served 5 minutes before my boarding time. I never ate and drank that quick. :D Eventually I got on the plane on time. I had a bumpy 3 hour or so flight. Really a lot of turbulence. An old woman next to me firmly held on to the chair in front of her and kept praying and saying: “Maria, maria, Ghersus, ghersus”. I guess it helped. :)
I took a taxi to the Hostel Casa Colon in San José. San José is like a starting point. I will I only stay here for three nights and then head south to the (so they say) beautiful Manuel Antonio to get the real Costa Rica nature experience. But first I will go for a Wild water raft tomorrow. I have to be up @ 6!! It better be nice! ;)
Yesterday we went out Miami style. I’m in the M.I.A. so why wouldn’t I? The day started out pretty healthy. I went out in the park with two fellas I met @ the hostel and did a miniature ghetto workout. But… really miniature though Lol XD. I also visited the Miami Ink. tattoo studio @ 1360 Washington Avenue, which is really called Love Hate tattoo studio. After strolling around Miami beach for a while went to the Hostel to take a nap, because I was tired, but some of the peeps I met earlier were planning on going out and they asked me to come join them. Like I could say no ;) Eventually we ended up being picked up by a white limo, got dropped off @ a bar to have some drinks freely and after that crushed into this club called “The Story” and what a story it was! Really enjoyed it!
Yes, fresh of the plane. First stop Miami. Coming to mind are: Miami Vice, Scarface, Gloria Estafan, Will Smith’s corny Miami song, Chuckie’s Miami song and a lot of cuban influence! I must say it’s crazy! I have to uncomfort, but could not resist to go to a restaurant the first day. It was an italian restaurant, but they played Wu Tang and all other classic Hip-Hop. Nice! But I have to get used to the hostel life. 12 snoring guys in a room with 1 bathroom and 1 restroom hahaha. Eventually you can get used to anything I guess/I hope. Finally I discovered (which I already did back in Utrecht) that the best way to discover a city is by bike. So the Deco Bike store is my best friend around here! :) And the first attraction I visit was the Bass Modern Art Museum! Frans!! Really!? I’m getting old ;)
Yes, I was a bit sceptic about setting up a travel blog for my journey at first. Especially because I thought of it as showing off how fantastic your travel is. But, I was convinced by the following thought:
“Nobody is an island. We are all interconnected. That’s why I believe that an experience is even more beautiful when shared, because it’s spread like a warm glow through out this interconnected body”
For one, this post is to fill up space. I need three initial posts to start ;) But why not tell you about my current thoughts. When things look too complex, too far fetched or too big to fit in your head… just make them small. To be honest I have had some fear of starting this adventure. There have even been a few times when I got overwhelmed with anxiety. Jump in the deep and then learn how to swim. Let’s just do that! Someone once explained me that you get the courage after warts. So this reminds me of this wonderful parachute jump I made on the 5th of May (out of all dates) in 2013. I only remember the courageous feeling after warts :)
Yes! This will be my companion for the next 6 months. It took a while to select a nice back pack, but the Gregory Thundercloud Black is the chosen one baby!
Eventually I had to buy a bigger back pack. The thundercloud was 58l, but when I stuffed all my stuff in it it almost collapsed ;) So I bought his bigger brother: The Baltoro! En let’s be honest, who wants to go on a trip around the world with a backpack named: Thundercloud black?? Hahaha
THE BALTORO 65!!!!
“Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near” ― Paulo Coelho, Aleph