My last night in Guatemala was entertaining to say the least. My last night travelling with Lucy and the second time in my life I’ve felt an earthquake. This time of magnitude 8.4 and only 200km away! It’s one of those moments where you think to yourself, the room is shaking, oh wait the floor is moving, and then about 20 seconds later your brain actually realises what’s going on and shouts ‘EARTHQUAKE’ – as we were a couple of shots of Mezcal down this time it took a little longer to register! It only registered it was a biiiig one when it didn’t stop and it didn’t stop. Eventually the owner shouted everyone outside! To the street seemed like a better idea, especially as he’d just announced he’d only replaced the roof in the other bar next door – the one we weren’t it! So yeah that happened! In an earthquake between four volcanoes. As most of you who know me will realise I was secretly, or not so secretly in geographers paradise! I’m still a geek!
Next stop – Costa Rica!
My first bit of advice about Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica was don’t get a Pura Vida tattoo – you will regret it I was told! And sure enough first person that spoke to me off the bus offered me a tattoo of Pura Vida – pure life! So I very politely said ‘ no thank you’ – then remembered where I was and said No, Por favor! Country number 3. I have arrived.
The flight was pretty easy, in fact pretty nice – it was no Wizz air haha 😂 . One flight, a taxi and bus later I arrived in Puerto viejo, via San Jose for 4 hours. A tiny slice of paradise on the Caribbean side. I’d been told it was beautiful, the people were friendly and fun and that was very true! On my first night, a old lady selling cake in a bar befriended me. She asked if I would look after her cake whilst she danced and she danced like nobody was watching. It was fantastic. When she came to sit back beside me, she said ‘ life is for living and loving huh!’ This has really resonated with me over the last couple of days, along with her telling me I looked funny so dark with bright blue eyes haha. Her name was Bertina, and she told me her cakes were like her dancing – beautiful and good. So I dutifully bought a cake, which sadly was disgusting!!
The first couple of nights I stayed in a chilled out hostel as I still wasn’t feeling well! Nobody in my dorm spoke to me and I realised I needed to move. So I moved to the party hostel with a view
Right on the beach – it’s amazing! If you get too hot, it is 35 degrees at 10am, you just jump in the sea and cool off! Most of the people in my hostel have been here months! You could definitely laze around here for a long time! It’s stunning and so Caribbean – fun, laid back and the rum is gooood! Also it’s hard to tell who’s a local and who’s a tourist – it’s so diverse and everyone intermingles. It’s different from anywhere else I’ve been. I think my next trip must be the Caribbean.
Most of my days passed in Costa Rica with little or nothing worth writing about but on my last day I decided to go horse riding! It’s always been on my bucket list to ride in the sea and it was incredible. The views were stunning, riding along tiny beaches completely alone.
I’d booked a 6 person trip for 2.5 hours as it was the cheaper option. When I arrived it was only me, with a chap named Raul who was lovely. He said he never normally takes out one person but that I sounded nice! I wish I’d given my height out when I booked when he thought I was nice as the poor horse I was going to get on looked like I could wrap my legs the entire way around him. Luckily for me, Raul at the moment announced that it was fine, when he saw the look on my face that he could take 200kgs and you are not 200kgs! Good to know!
The horses were obviously well cared for. You never know in other countries and I like to do my research first. There was no sadness in their eyes with was nice to see. Although he was one of the horses who rather than canter likes to trot really really fast. And getting any grip when wearing trainers, not boots is impossible so I really struggled to make him canter – fast trot it was! I imagine it was hilarious to watch – plus I’ve never ridden without a bit!!!
We went through the jungle right next to beach where Raul pointed out wild sloth’s asleep in the canopy. Just casually hanging out. Another thing to tick off my bucket list 😊 I think I was actually grinning from ear to ear. Monkeys, spiders and more sloths! When I mentioned I hated snakes, he said me too, they killed three of my horses! There are lots in Costa Rica and I hate them! I wish I hadn’t said anything! It was definitely a day I will never forget. Especially at the end when my horse decided he was hot, it was bloody boiling and he decided to just lay down in the fresh water lake. Luckily I saw what was coming and slid my feet out of the stirrups and jumped. I was soaked but not under the horse so that’s a win! Raul looked really nervous but I just couldn’t stop laughing, my horse looked so god damn happy!
It did mean that getting back in the saddle was also impossible as it was wet and covered in sand. Oops 🙊 something I will never forgot and could only happen to me!!
I’d walked an hour to get there, then ridden for 3 hours then walked an hour back in the blazing sun. I was tired to say the least so basically camped out on the beach for the afternoon! And to celebrate my last night in Costa Rica – we eat Thai food and watched NFL – very Central American!
Next stop – Panama!!! The 40th country on my list. Only about 160 odd to go