Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 13 - The Standing Room

Date: 7/13/12

Start: Playa Blanca, Puerto Jimenez
End: Tibás, Costa Rica

Word of the day: Omnibus - Bus
Turtle Fact: The leatherback is the record holder of sea turtles, traveling an astounding 10,000 miles or more each year in search of jellyfish, crossing the entire Pacific Ocean from Asia to the West Coast of the United States to forage off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California.

5:00am the alarm goes off. I wash the face, pack the remaining items and look over the room for anything I might have left behind. I sneak into Shay, Ricardo and Paula's "cabin" and give them quite goodbye hugs before heading to the bus stop a 1/2 mile away.

Once I get to the bus, I put one bag in the belly of the bus and then I was directed to bring the other large bag on the bus with me. I step foot on the bus and it was PACKED! Every seat was taken and there was even a couple people already standing in the aisle way - this is not looking good for a 8hour bus ride. I get situated near the rear doors and plop my large bag on the ground, and put my backpack on the top shelf with the rest of everyone else's carry on luggage. Using my Chicago CTA skills, I brace one arm on the top handrail and the other on the vertical handrail next to the rear doors. Both arms slightly bent and supporting some of my body's weight. We Ride.

After traveling like this for a half an hour, I convinced myself that this would not be so bad... then we stopped and a gaggle of high schoolers from WI got on the bus. Since they paid for their tickets ahead of time, they got seniority and sat down in seats, which caused an equal amount of Costa Ricans to stand in the aisle way (Men, Women, and children of all ages). There was certainly something wrong with this picture. Clearly some of these high schoolers were very selfish, but probably did not know any better.

The rest of bus ride remains the same. Every 1/2 hour, I adjust my arms, feet and weight distribution. The bus did stop twice, both for 10 mins. Enough time for a potty brake, a bag of plantains and some random CR juice box.

We arrive in San Jose just after 2pm. I take a cab to the Widecast office where I meet a Luis, a coordinator for Widecast on the Caribbean coast. After our introduction, he assists me in purchasing a USB data card, which will allow me to access internet (coverage willing) throughout Costa Rica (Nicoya in particular). After this, we head to the bus station to pick up a ticket for tomorrow, to ensure I get a seat. Heaven only knows I DO NOT want to do that again!

I taxi it back to the WIdecast office and set up a pick-up for the following morning. Gotta love older male taxi drivers with random icons all over the dash. Within 10mins Didher (Widecast head honcho) and his son, Didher, arrive to drop of some things to the office. We exchange some small talk and off they go.

I grab some dinner down the street, catch up on some journals and get to bed a little early in preparation for the following day. Sleep.


Lesson:
  • When traveling always buy your ticket beforehand
  • Laughter really is universal language
  • Smiles go a long way
  • Even in a third world country the internet is everywhere
Food: Tartaras de coco
Animals: Dragon fly, rat/mouse, cockroach 

Something I am thankful for: Having a seat to sit in - Anytime anywhere I needed it in the past. 

Something I don't want to admit: I was actually late to the bus this morning. As I walking down the dirt road to the stop, I heard the bus from down the road turn a corner and apply the brakes - sound travels. Knowing that this was my bus and I COULD NOT miss it, I ran and ran. Well more like power walked. After all I walking with about 100lbs of gear (again - probably too much gear). When I arrived to the bus (which had been parked there for the past three minutes) the bus driver has just finished loading some cargo from a semi truck and this Americano with bright colored bags and waited an extra minute for me. I hand him my bag, dripping in sweat as if I just walked out of the ocean (for real). THANKFULLY I didn't care all that much because I was wearing my Dakota Grizzly Shirt and shorts which wick away sweat/moisture like it's no one's business! 30 mins later, and a application of deodorant, I was brand new! 

*The standing room is also the name of an AWESOME sandwich shop in Redondo beach, only a block away. I miss them just thinking about their sandwiches.  

Days of Rain: 6/10 - there was a little sprinkle but I'm not counting it. 

Didher and I

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