A Travellerspoint blog

DAY 124-125 BOCAS DEL TORRO

FUNKY BIKES, BOAT TRIPS AND RUM!!!

30 °C

After a huge fruit breakfast at Carrie and Wills massive cabana we rode our funky bikes down to RED FROG agency and hopped aboard a private tour where we visited several lush beaches. The guide took us to 2/3 snorkeling locations where we saw a sea floor of Star fish and the coral reefs were pretty dam amazing too. We then tried out this new water sport called Aqua Boarding which involved just wearing a snorkel mask and holding on to a plastic board which was tied to the back of the boat. The boat then pulled off at low speed and you could dip the board down and glide underwater as deep as you liked. It was amazing, it felt like you were a Dolphin. We went to Red frog beach where we chased tiny red frogs in the jungle and then we all swam in the waves. Will was extremely happy being a water baby and keeping cool. On the way back we saw a large sloth just climbing a tree just 4ft in front of us. Really chuffed that Carrie and Will got to see this.

In the evening i cooked up our favourite peanut butter stir fry for us all. We had bought beers and rum and played cards most of the evening.

For the next day we had booked another full day trip, this time going to the National park, some other snorkeling destinations and more Agua boarding. Unfortunately, by mid morning Carrie had developed a migraine and we stopped at the restaurant on stilts where she lay down for a while. It did not go away so we arranged with the guide to go back and come back tomorrow at 12pm to finish the tour.

IN the afternoon, Mel and I mooched to a nice cafe and sat for 2-3 hours enjoying the breeze and lattes trying to set up the new laptop and photos etc.

In the evening we dined at a really nice Indian restaurant, paneer curry and lentils all washed down with plenty of beer. We then went for some beers and cocktails at a party hostel nearby. most disappointing.We then went back to the cabanas and drank rum and played cards until 1am.

The next day, we were all looking forward to our lay in, late breakfast and coffees in the morning followed by finishing off the trip from the day before. Unfortunately the latter part did not come to much. We attended Red frog to find out that our guide had left us in the lurch and had taken out a full day trip. We were pretty pissed off and asked for a refund but the poor girl on the desk did'nt really know what to do. So we asked for the manager to attend. The 'Manager appeared' and we politely told her what had happened and asked if we could at least get a refund on the national park entrance fee which was $10 each as we did not go in. She literally laughed at us and said she would only give us $5. As the conversation went on the conversation turned sour, with her smirking and laughing at us and some childish name calling. Brilliant!! my favourite part was when Carrie said to her "WIPE THAT SMILE OFF YOUR FACE!" That in itself I would pay $20 to hear again. lol!!!

Anyway, after our failed attempt we went to another company and booked an afternoon on a boat for a really good price, dropped off on a lush beach taking photos in crab positions and with star fish, then more snorkeling with jelly fish in some choppy water. All in all a decent and well saved afternoon.
In the evening more lush food, beer, rum and cards.

Posted by Markandmel2016 06:59 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

DAY 123 CROSSING THE BORDER INTO PANAMA

'CARRIE SAVES THE DAY'

-30 °C

My sister Carrie saves the day, bringing peanut butter, shampoo for Mel buying a laptop and camera from England and Will buying me clothes. Legends!!!!

Our crossing to Panama was pretty uneventful. We bused, shuttled, walked and ferried across to Bocos del Torro to meet my sister and her husband Will.

As we got off the ferry we walked up the road to ask for directions from the nearest bar only to find two white looking creatures and one very sweaty man beast. (Carrie and Will) Omg!!! it was so good to see them both especially after what had just happened. We lunched and got on the beers and took a very long walk to our hostel. To be honest the main Island (Isla Colon) is a bit of a dive. I'm not sure Will was particularly happy with the establishment but he put up with it anyway. Good lad.

In the evening we went to a sushi restaurant and ate some lush Japanese treats whilst swirling it all down with mucho cervezas.

Posted by Markandmel2016 06:52 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

DAY 120-122 PUERTO VIEJO

'LIVING IN A GARDEN SHED'

37 °C

The next few days we immersed ourselves in western food and coffee to drown our sorrows following the 'incident'.

Higthlights:

BREAD AND CHOCOLATE CAFE (BROWNIES)
THE FRENCH BAKERY (FRIO LATTES)
BIKE RIDE INTO THE NEARBY VILLAGES
JAGUAR RESCUE SANCTUARY (BABY SLOTHS IN BASKET)
A MASSIVE CRAB IN THE BATHROOM

LOWLIGHTS:

LIVING IN A GARDEN SHED ROOM
SHARING A TOILET/SHOWER BETWEEN 8

Posted by Markandmel2016 14:56 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

Day 116- 119 - Cahuita

DISASTER!!!!!

sunny 38 °C

Today we set off early and caught a coach back to San Jose.

From San Jose we caught another coach all the way up to Cahuita on the Caribbean arriving in the later afternoon.

We booked into Riverside Cabanas and immediately spotted plenty of wild life in the garden, including Cayman, black vultures, jesus lizards, white face monkeys, howler monkeys the list goes on.

We went out that evening to a dodgy restaurant and ordered sea bass expecting a grand grilled pescado. What I got instead was a mushy old tasteless pile of stuff covered with an odd sauce. I picked and poked my way through it. Not happy!!

The next day, we ate fruit on the porch and If my memory serves me correctly I saw a large red crab curiously perching on the stem of a flimsy plant very close to our cabana.

After breaky we scurried down to the Park 'O' national paying a mere tuppence to enter. We bimbled down a sandy path and along white sandy beaches covered in fallen trees. When studying them closely we noticed that huge spiders were hanging around between the trees awaiting some stupid gringo to go marching past and inflict its bite upon them.

After an hour or so of walking we made rest on a secluded beach and flopped into the water cooling down our now sweaty bodies. We bathed on the beach and ate some picnic food we had bought with us, most probably peanut butter and banana sandwiches. On our march back I had to cool down again so I ran into the water like David Hasselhoff and played in the waves like a massive kid. In the afternoon, evening we relaxed and then went out for dinner again but found a better place where they did a huge veggie plate.

Now.... the last day in Cahuita will be one that we remember for the rest of our lives and as I write this blog some 5 weeks on, Mel still has horrific nightmares about it (well maybe not that bad)

This is how the day unfolds.......

We wake to the usual fruity breakfast (no pun intended) and sidle down to playa negro which was a bit on the drab side but none the less it was secluded and a bit of a dog beach. We swam had a drink and slinked on back towards the main town. On our way back, we both had a feeling to have a drink at a random roadside bar overlooking the sea. Well as luck would have it we sat down and the waiter said "Oh by the way there is a sloth in the tree right here with a baby." Well for the next 1 hour or so we were both besotted by them.

In the afternoon, we went back to the cabana and the room had been cleaned and the bed made. Nice!!! (well so we thought)

Mel roamed around the garden with the camera taking photos of the all the wildlife.

Then at about 7.15/30pm we locked up the room as normal and went out for dinner. We only stayed out for maybe 1 hour-1 hour 15 minutes and as we walked back to the cabana and it came into view. We both noticed the outside light was now off and as we approached the front door the door mat was out of place and the padlock was missing and there were obvious tool marks on the frame.

We went inside and the whole room had been ransacked, weirdly we did not notice that my whole large backpack was missing and Mels small day bag was missing. All our electrical items had been taken, both phones, ipad, cameras, passports. Oh my god our worst nightmare.

We flagged down a neighbour who spoke English and flagged down a passing Police vehicle. We were both deeply shocked but to give them their dew about 15 Police officers turned up, in massive american 4x4's, motorbikes the lot. No one spoke English so it was pretty frustrating trying to understand what was going on.

The whole incident was very sus as the owner was away in the city and no one was looking after the place, supposedly a youth had been arrested but who knows really who did it and what happened.

That night we stayed at a family members house for free but did not sleep a wink. We woke at 5am to search for our discarded bags. As it turns out the thieves had a conscience and had returned our passports on the table outside our room. Later that morning, our bags turned up with my phone and mels diary and other bits n bobs.

Posted by Markandmel2016 14:51 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

DAYS 113 -115 UVITA, COSTA RICA

sunny 37 °C

We arrived in Uvita mid morning and found our very nice hostel (Tucan Hotel) pretty easily. The communal area was the best I think we have ever had since beginning our travels. Hammocks galore, huge kitchen, all set in a tropical garden with a mango tree overhead.

The first afternoon we strolled 15 minutes up the road passed sporadic bungalows with huge well maintained tropical gardens. Even walking for this small amount of time my t-shirt was wet through with sweat and I was ready to jump in a freezing cold natural spring pool. We paid 1000 colones each (£1.40) to enter and clambered down some wet slippery steps to the bottom. We both stripped off quick smart and dove in, well more of a belly flop actually but who cares. We were the only ones there so took our time in being wallys and jumping off rocks into the deep water.

In the evening, I cooked up my travelling speciality 'PEANUT VEGGY STIRFRY' yum washed down with a few Pilsen cervezas. Oh we also had air con here so afterwards we chilled out in the room and watched Out of time with Denzil Washington on the IPad. We thought this WAS AN ABSOLUTE TREAT.

The next day, we set off at 9am via the free shuttle service to the nearby Marine national park. Most months of the year you can see migrating hump back whales here. But not in Mid April to May you can't, just our luck. Oh well!!! The beaches here were absolutely deserted and the waves were awesome. We spent the first few hours sunbathing and mucking about in the water. The "doomsayers" that described the park as being hostile with criminals who would steal your belongings and hold you up with weapons were non-existent. we then walked up to the Peninsula and waited for the Whales tail to emerge from the ocean. Unfortunately, not a real whale but a sandbar in the shape of a whales tail created when the tide goes out. We waded out through the knee deep water and were trying not to get our backpacks soaked by the crashing waves hitting each other from either side of the sand bar. We mucked about on the sandbar and swam in the boiling hot water. Lush!!

The last day, we chilled out in the morning floating over to a nearby coffee shop offering Soya Latte's and the best artisan toast OMG!! Whilst sat chatting away an American guy donning hippy attire and long dreads introduced himself to us and started reeling off what he did and all his beliefs about the planet. We both could not get a word in edge ways and towards the end found him a little annoying.

In the afternoon, we both forgot to look at any directions to a view point, waterfall and swimming holes situated under 1 hour away. But we trekked off in the general direction on a little adventure. After 20 minutes or so we were both soak through with sweat but managed to get to a bamboo forest where it had grown over 100ft tall. Amazing!! We then continued on a steep path in the 38 degree heat to a supposed view point that never arrived. I decide that venturing on someone's private land would guise us to the river. It did indeed the owner came down and politely redirected me to some waterfalls. We went rogue by following the river into a small canyon balancing on boulders and wading in deep pools. Eventually we came to the top of a waterfall where you could abseil down using a dodgy looking rope and some foot rungs. I slipped my way down and jumped backwards into the pool at the bottom. It was brilliant our own secret jungle waterfall.

After this we tracked down further and found a part of the river with deep swimming holes and natural jacuzzi pools where we spent the remainder of the afternoon.

Posted by Markandmel2016 16:58 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

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