Surfer's Paradise? Cockroaches and smell...yes!

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
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153
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Trip End Nov 04, 2008


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Where I stayed
Rancho Grande - $40 triple, ensuite, tv, surfers

Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Up bright and early to visit the national park, and....argghhhh....no electricity in the hostel so no warm shower. Don't you just hate those days!

And additionally its still raining! It hasn't stopped for 2 days now.

In any case, we are here to see the cloud forrest and so we do. On the positive side we did see an amazing forrest (and you immediately understand why they call it the cloud forrest!), and we "heard" an incredible amount of birds with amazingly different calls.

However, on the negative side: we only saw a few hummingbirds (which come to the water and sugar bowls at the entrance of the park), and one too many centipedes. The rest of the wildlife was impossible to see with the rain and the mist. Unlucky. In any case we still walked around the park for 4 hours, so good exercise was done. We decided to take a short cut back when the small mud paths started becoming mini rivers and making walking slightly difficult.

After the national park we started our drive towards Quepos on the Pacific Coast, which should have taken us from 2 to 3 hours, but some of things we have discovered in Costa Rica are:
- They hate road signs, so they are normally not there
- When there is a road sign it indicates a direction, but then does not warn that you should turn on the next turn
So our trip expanded to 6 hours of lovely mountain roads and circles!

Also, we bumped into a car accident on one of the roads down to the Coast, and as the cars were blocking the path we had to wait for over an hour. The funny thing is that in accidents here (even when there are no victims) the police has to arrive and take measurements and notes. It took the police guy one hour to arrive and then he was investigating the scene as if it was something out of CSI!

By the time we reached the coast it was getting dark so we decided to stop at Playa Hermosa which is just 5 kms past the Benidorm of Costa Rica - Jaco. All the area is full of surfers hostels, shops and restaurants. One immediately understands why when you look at the size of the waves coming into the beach.

So, against our principles of avoiding "surfers" places as they are way too cool for us (all that talking of waves and boards and listening to Robert Marley is just way too cool...), we checked into Ranch Grande hostel which is owned by an American or Canadian or something of the sort. The place is OK, with rooms apparently clean and spacious, and the beach is only 50 metres away...however several horror stories relate to this place:
- Cockroaches immediately infest the place the moment you turn the light off (as Steffi found out when he left his luggage open during dinner)
- the towels they gave us had cockroach legs and some brown marks (no comment there)
- the toilet did not work and when it did brown water came out (same as with the tap!)
- the air conditioning sucks out air from a sewage next the hotel and makes the room stink stongly

Anyway...being tired we still took it, but didnt actually sleep too well. Steffi´s toilet practices didn't help either!

We did enjoy a good dinner at the Jungle Bar. They make an excellent Tuna Teriyaki...worth trying.
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