Saturday, September 24, 2011

La Fortuna and San Jose, Costa Rica 20 - 24 Sept 2011

Volcan Arenal
La Fortuna 20-22 Sept 2011

The Jeep Boat Jeep is actually van boat bus, a door to door service. It was a pleasant journey with view of mountains, valley, lake and Volcan Arenal. The bus dropped me at Hostel Sleepers. The hostel was empty, I had the dorm all for myself :-) I went for a stroll around town, first to post office and then bought some food for the next few days. It was very hot, especially when I just came down from Monteverde. A change from 20 degree to 30 degree is too extreme! Can't take the heat so I went back to the hostel for a nappy.
For the next day I booked myself on a horseback riding trip to La Fortuna Waterfall, though I don’t know how to ride a horse, I guess they will give me a crash course tomorrow. :-)

I left at 8:30am, it was just 5 minutes drive to the ranch. My horse is called Yulin. A white 8 years old female. I put on my helmet and the guide help me to get on the horse then he passes me the rope that was connected to the mouth of the horse. He said to stop pull the rope, to turn right pull to the right, to turn left pull to the left and to go just give it a kick. That was the crash course I got. :-) The rest is learning on the go. As soon as he whistles the horse start to move. At the beginning I felt like falling off but I then I learnt that I need to step on the thing where I put my feet in to balance. The horse actually knows what to do. When the horse tried to go faster, it gets bumpier. :-)
After about 30 minutes of riding, we arrive to La Fortuna Waterfall. We got off the horse and trek down to the 65m high waterfall. The water was ice cold! On the way back it gets more challenging when we go off the road to the farm and field, we have to go down slope, uphill and cross a small river. I screamed and held so tight to the saddle, so scared that the horse will tumble with me on her. :-O On the way back we pass by the indigenous home to see their handmade souvenirs. They were wearing wood made material cloths. I guess being so close to the town, this is just a show to the tourist that this was how they were before being civilized.  When we came back to the starting point, we got off the horses then the horses just went back to their home on their own. As if like “ok job done, let’s go home” :-) It was a great experience for my first horse riding adventure, but I think it’s not good for my knees because it hurt after that.

After spending US$40 for a 3 hour horse riding tour, I hit my budget for the day. Don’t feel like paying another US$25 to go to the hot spring. Better spend a day visiting San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. I will have one day to see the city and then fly back to Guatemala.

San Jose 22-24 Sept 2011

The scenery on the bus journey to San Jose was breathtaking. Everything is green except the road and houses. Farms, agriculture, forest, ranch and mountains cover the country side. It's really beautiful here. Arriving at big city makes me nervous. I knew which hostel I want to going, I always find at least 2 hostels to go before I arrive at any place. I copied down the direction in Spanish and read it out to the taxi driver. Lucky he understood. It was peak hour at 5pm, traffic jam everywhere, the meter clicks every second, makes me more nervous. We found the place easily. The hostel is very tranquil, nice ambience, spacious, bright and the weather is cool. There is also a big fat cat :-) I love cats so it makes me happy when I see one.

National Theater

I only have one day to see San Jose, I started my day with the Jade Museum. It was a great choice, they exhibit lots of pre-Columbian stone carve, clay pots and jade made tool use for cutting and jade jewelleries.  Then I went for a stroll to the main avenue, wow! shops and shops, I can’t resist shopping and bought myself a tank top, I figured my bag can squeeze in one more :-) but along the way I lost my one and only sweater. :-( Adelyn, I’m sorry!

I went to the Central Park, Post Office and Central Market. The Central Market seems interesting, they sell vegetables, meat, fishes, animals, sweets, cheese, fruits, souvenirs and also some food stall. Everything under one roof! By 2pm, I saw the cloud coming in and I decided to go back to the hostel, I just made it back before the heavy down pour. Phew!

That will wrap up my trip in Costa Rica. Tomorrow I will be flying back to Guatemala to spend 2 weeks with Santiago. :-) South America is coming up soon. Stay tune!

La Fortuna  – Hostel Sleepers – US$7 for a dorm bed with breakfast and WIFI available
San Jose - Tranquilo Backpackers Hostel - US$10 for a dorm bed with breakfast and WIFI available

Bus from La Fortuna to San Jose – C2150
Taxi from bus terminal to Tranquilo Backpackers Hostel – C2500
Taxi from Tranquilo Backpackers Hostel to Bus Station - C2500
Bus to Airport - C700

Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall – US$40 (approximately 3 hours)
San Jose Jade Museum – US$5 (student price)

1 comment:

  1. So you are on a world tour? Your brother Thomas told me so. :-)

    I can see a lot of info here. I am a regular visitor to Malaysia.

    All the best with your travel. Do visit mine.