Monday, March 12, 2018

Day 4: Nicaragua to Costa Rica

Today we began the lengthy drive from Nicaragua to Costa Rica. After breakfast at the hotel, we departed around 7:45am. We traveled for about an hour, then stopped at a roadside fruit stand. Several on the bus needed to use a bathroom - cost to use the "western-style" toilet was $1.50 per person. The fruit was also fairly expensive, so we passed on that. As we left, there was a very loud thumping sound - not a flat tire, but a large rock wedged between two back tires. Jason was able to pry the rock out and after a few minutes we were back on the road.
A couple of hours later we were at the border. At the stop on the Nicaraguan side, we handed over our passports and had about a 15 -20 minute wait until we were cleared to go on.

Once we cleared the Nicaraguan border we then had to go through customs at the Costa Rican border. This was a lengthier process; between waiting in line, getting our passport inspected and stamped, and putting our carry-on luggage through a scanner, it took a little over an hour. Interesting to note, when my bags went through the scanner, the woman that was watching the monitor wasn't watching the screen at all and didn't look at me.

Finally in Costa Rica! We continued on the bus for another hour, and reached the Rinc√≥n de La Vieja national park.  We stopped at a hotel near the entrance for lunch. Lunch was buffet-style, with salad, plantains, rice, beans, chicken, pork, and pasta, along with sweet tea, and sweet bread for dessert.  Very filling!

After lunch we drove into the park for about a half hour, reaching the area that we would hike and explore, with fissures and sulphur pools formed by volcanic activity.
We hiked around three miles, and Wendy explained a lot about the native vegetation and its uses.

Leaving the national park, we headed to Liberia. We stopped at a supermarket to get snacks and water, then continued to our hotel, Los Boyeros, which was right across the street from the supermarket.
After checking in, we had a little time to relax before dinner, which was chicken tenders, French fries, and salad. Tomorrow is snorkeling at Playa Hermosa.

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