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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Costa Rica Part 11

    Tuesday, August 8, 2017
    Quepos to San Jose, Costa Rica

    Welcome to the store of the good prices in Quepos, Costa Rica.
    Welcome to the store of the good prices in Quepos, Costa Rica.

    A little after 11:00 am today, I packed up my backpack, checked out of the Plinio Hostel and headed up to the bus terminal in Quepos. There, at 11:30, I bought a ticket for a non-stop ride to San Jose for the reasonable price of $8.00. I had a half hour to kill, so I wandered around for a few minutes. I noticed one old local man at the terminal who was leaning on a small ladder with a thick, softcover book in his hands, which were resting on top of the ladder. He didn’t have anything else with him. I wonder if he did something there every day, like give readings from that book (which looked like the Holy Bible), or if he was just waiting for a bus? I wanted to ask him if I could snap a photo, but I chickened out.

    A colorful storefront in Quepos, Costa Rica.
    A colorful storefront in Quepos, Costa Rica.

    The big ol’ magenta Tracopa bus finally pulled in close to 12:30 pm–a half hour late, as usual. Surprisingly, it only filled up about half way. A half hour after we left Quepos, the bus stopped once in a small town, where a few more people got on. A little while later, it stopped one last time for 15 minutes at a roadside buffet joint, where I procured a modest helping of rice, beans and veggies. I started in on an apple for desert, but had to hightail it back to the bus when the driver climbed back on, or else I may have been left behind!

    A nicely textured scene in San Jose, Costa Rica.
    A nicely textured scene in San Jose, Costa Rica.

    A rusted out top half in San Jose, Costa Rica.
    A rusted out top half in San Jose, Costa Rica.

    A common room at Costa Rica Backpackers in San Jose, Costa Rica.
    A common room at Costa Rica Backpackers in San Jose, Costa Rica.

    After passing through some small towns and jungle landscapes cut through with deep river gorges, we made our way through at least five toll booths all within the last hour or so of the journey. Around 3:30 pm, we finally entered San Jose, Costa Rica’s largest city. At the Tracopa bus terminal, the taxi cab drivers tried to rake me over the coals by demanding $5.00 just to drive me one mile to my hostel! So, I just walked instead, making sure to stay on busy main streets. It seems like there’ll be plenty of photo ops in this town, as I spotted a lot of interesting textures and street art on the buildings.

    Another common room at Costa Rica Backpackers in San Jose, Costa Rica.
    Another common room at Costa Rica Backpackers in San Jose, Costa Rica.

    After 30 minutes, I arrived at Costa Rica Backpackers, one of the nicest hostels I’ve ever stayed in. Most, if not all, of the walls have a fresh coat of paint, plus there’s nice landscaping and a swimming pool, common rooms decked out with couches, a big kitchen, a restaurant, etc. I checked into a bunk bed in a spiffy dorm room for just $14.00 per night.

    The swimming pool at Costa Rica Backpackers in San Jose, Costa Rica.
    The swimming pool at Costa Rica Backpackers in San Jose, Costa Rica.

    Later, a very chipper and talkative 21-year-old kid from Washington DC named Robert chatted me up for well over an hour. He told some crazy tales about Venezuela, where his mom is from, and how the rich people there have to live in gated communities with high walls topped with razor wire and 24-hour armed security guards. Despite that, a family who were friends of his mom still got mugged by some thugs who penetrated the barrier. After that, the residents had to pool together more money to hire even more security guards.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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