I’m making some changes to my blog. I’m finishing up the blogging workshop and decided now was a good time to do this.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do or how it will work out. I do have some help here at the moment.

I hope I don’t screw things up too badly! It will probably take another couple of days (at least) before I’m comfortable again.

Got in Late

Today was another busy day. I made it to Costa Rica yesterday in time to start the blogging workshop I’ve been so excited about. We had our first class session yesterday and had a chance to meet everyone.

This morning we all left our hotel at 0700 for a day at the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. It took a couple of hours to get there and another couple to get back to our hotel. We spent all day there so I didn’t get a chance to get any photos online yet.

I got all mixed up when we got there. I thought we were going to take a ‘short walk’ through the forest to a waterfall for photos and then a horseback ride. Well, I took a walk, but it was NOT a short one!

Somehow I got off ahead of everyone else, thinking they were all ahead of me! I kept on walking and walking, thinking ‘damn! how the HELL did they all get so far ahead of me??’.

It was a really beautiful walk. It was really breezy up there (up the slopes of the volcano) and so it was pretty cool. Lots of interesting plant life. Huge trees with buttress roots and all kinds of bugs (but no mosquitos- too windy). 🙂

I didn’t see many animals (maybe because I was making too much noise huffing and puffing up the slopes?). The others saw some monkeys.

I did see some gorgeous big metallic blue butterflies, blue dragonflies and lots of other butterflies. Also some pretty birds and some big lizards (I think collared lizards but they ran away before I could tell for sure).

I saw a couple of pretty waterfalls, a few fumaroles (hot, steamy, sulfer-smelling volcanic vents) and a bunch of bubbling mud pots. After seeing 3-4 of them, I quit turning off the trail to check them out. The photos I took didn’t seem to do them justice. Plus, I was starting to worry about the others I was with worrying about me. I was trying to hurry up and get back to the beginning of the trail.

Every time I saw someone on the trail I asked ‘how much further is it to the exit?’, they would say ‘not far’, something like 300 meters. So, I kept on going. The longest 300 meters I’ve ever walked!

I did finally make it to the end of the trail. Thank goodness it was a loop! Seems like I didn’t hold them up too long after all. Glad of that, since we still had lunch waiting and the promised horseback riding after that. 🙂

Just In Time

I left Granada this morning on the Ticabus (there is alsoTransnica) and arrived in Costa Rica just in time to start my blogging workshop this afternoon. 🙂

I really didn’t think it would take SO long to drive such a short distance! The bus left Granada right on time at 0700 sharp! We got to the border around 0830 and didn’t get through there til almost 1100!

We all piled off the bus and hung around waiting for ????? (they did make announcements in Spanish but I am not at that level yet). No one was allowed back on the bus. It was hot, but thank goodness we had a nice breeze and the clouds helped a lot. There were all kinds of locals hanging around.

They had food and drinks: regular little roadside restaurants with tables in the shade set up selling bar-b-que chicken and plaintain chips. Cold water, fruit juices and sodas. Lots of people wandering around to change money, sell you sim cards for your phones, guys selling leather shoes and trinkets, gum and cigarettes (individually), hammocks, women selling sweets and cashew nuts.

After about an hour and a half, a little Nicaraguan lady came out of the station with our passports. She called our names one by one and we were allowed to collect our passports and re-enter the bus. We drove about 300 meters and had to go through the whole rigamarole again on the Costa Rican side of the border (tho it went much faster there). I’m sure glad we didn’t have to wait for the dozens of trucks!

They dropped me off around noon at the Ticabus station in Liberia where I tried to find another bus to my final destination. The bus from Granada just goes direct to San Jose. The ticket costs the same $29 whether you want to get off in Liberia or go all the way to San Jose.

I probably could have found something to get me a little closer to the beach, but since I was cutting it so close to the time the class started, I just took a cab.

There are shuttle buses that run from the airport to the resorts, but it would have cost me $10-15 to get to the airport and then another $20-25 from there. Considering the extra time, I figured it was worth it to just take the cab straight from the bus station for $40 direct to the hotel. My driver Angel was fast and spoke enough English to make the trip even more interesting. 😉

More manana!

Time Off?

I’m still on the rig. Everyone I came out with has already gone home. The hitch here is 4 weeks on, 4 weeks off. I’m still in the pool so I don’t really have a relief, but the guy who was supposed to be coming back to relieve me just ‘resigned’. He just had enough of all the BS we have to deal with out here. I can’t blame him at all. I’m just about in the same frame of mind at this point.

People are a little surprised I’m not upset about staying out here longer. I am upset about a lot of other things going on around here, but staying over isn’t too high on the list right now. Actually, this works out well for me. I’ve been trying to get time off to take a trip down to Costa Rica for another writing/blogging/photography course. I’ve been asking for months and never getting any reply. This is the same course I signed up for last year and had to cancel when they messed up my schedule last year.

When I signed up for it this year, it was in the middle of my scheduled time off. They changed around my schedule a couple of times and all the sudden it was in the middle of my time on! So, now if I work over a couple of weeks, it will be back in the middle of my time off again.

It sucks to have to struggle so hard to get the time off I need to do anything. I can’t plan for anything. I ‘d really like to start booking flights, hotel rooms, etc but I can’t since I still don’t know when I’m getting off here.

I’m hoping to spend at least 3 weeks down there. Costa Rica, maybe rent a car and check out some of the other countries nearby? Anybody have any suggestions?