This morning was a slow start. 8AM we rolled out of bed with the aim to catch the 10 or 11AM bus. This was going to be a bit of an adventure trying to intercept the bus we wanted on the side of the highway. Lots of cushion from a time standpoint so no rush.
As we sat there eating some pink instant oatmeal and sipped our instant coffee with the last of the uncurdled milk we fought with the internet connection again. The wifi in this place was spotty and resetting the router in the place had little to no effect other than making us feel better. Pulling the plug from the wall, then re-engaging suddenly brought our connection to life. An email trickled in and Melanie’s FB messages started to pop up. Apparently her cousin Julie had just arrived that morning in Coco, flying in from Alberta. She was there with her mom and aunt and was keen to meet up for breakfast if we could.
That 10AM bus would have to go on without us. Melanie started to hurriedly get herself ready and I did our final pack. 9:45 the projected meet time and that was way on the other side of town. Nothing a cab couldn’t help us out with. Breakfast finished, packing complete, lady purtied up and we departed at 9:25.
Of course, no cab. There has been a cab sitting either right outside the steps to this complex, or at the roadside each of the 5 days we have been in Coco. Today either everybody decided at the same time to take a a cab, or it must be a cabbie holiday because none were around. Time to hoof it. Bags in tow, we made our way into town, then back almost out the other side to that little cafe we ate at yesterday. We were 1 minute late. As soon as we stopped, every pore opened up and the perspiration began to run. 30C, high humidity, and 20 minutes of vigorous walking with suitcases in tow. Time for a drink of water.
We got a solid hour long visit in before departing for that 11AM bus. It sounds like the three of them are in Coco for the next 12 nights. That might be a few nights too long, but if all you are into is lazing by the pool and drinking with some of the expats in town…12 might not be enough. We proffered a few tips on where to eat, where to find people, what to do and said our goodbyes after a smoothie. It is always nice to run into familiar faces when traveling, even if just for a short visit.
Off we marched to the bus in hopes we could still make that connection. We were told the night before 300 colones should be enough to get us to Comunidad. We were also warned that bus drivers will also claim to not have change, or will take forever to get it to you. Without any fixed fares posted, our fare suddenly became 500 colones a piece. It probably didnt help that I gave him a 1000 colones note. It was a much nicer bus than the old city bus we arrived on, so I wasn’t going to dicker over 50 cents or a dollar. 11:02 the bus was rolling…for a few blocks anyways, then stop and load more people…and again onwards, stopping again. This bus was taking forever to make its way out of town with all these pickup points. I kept track on my phone as to our progress with Google offline maps so that we wouldn’t miss our drop point.
30 minutes later, time for us to depart. Off the bus, and across the road to find a bus shelter. Maybe we wait 10 minutes, maybe 90. Maybe our plan would have to change with a bus to Santa Cruz to then catch another to Flamingo. This could be a long or short travel day depending on how well i could decipher the schedules. Luckily for us it was about 60 seconds before a bus cam into view. Tamarindo was the destination which was close to where we were going, but not quite. A quick question to the driver and he assured us Brasilito was on the way. On we got, he had a schedule to keep.
This leg of the ride was now 1500 colones each. Again, that seemed high but we did have an hour long ride and there was no waiting. We squared up and settled in for the second leg, hoping the bus was headed in the right direction in a timely fashion. Those smoothies were starting to fill the bladder quick and this old bus certainly didnt have any facilities on board.
Down the highway we went. A few points we peeled off to some small communities to drop a few bodies and pick up a few more. The scenic route so to speak. Local little bus stations where a pile of moms and tots would get on and off. A warm day and barely a drop of sweat on anyone’s brow. Even the two of us in the still air of the bus were able to keep those droplets at bay. A careful balancing act between a filling bladder and skin that needs to irrigate itself to regulate that body temperature.
I had estimated just over an hour for travel time in a cab. With that quick connection and a few turns of the bus in our favour the hotel we were staying at was right on the bus route. He dropped us out the door of the place just over 2hrs after we started. Again, not a bad travel day and we will have to explore a little more bus travel. The cab drivers wanted 60USD for the same ride and here we spent all of about 7USD for the two of us.
After dropping our bags, we were off to see what the town of Brasilito and Playa Conchal were all about. A 10 minute walk into town down that busy roadway got us to the water. No shoulders on the road here. No sidewalks. Either you walk on the road and pray cars go around, or you try your luck with the grass on the side. The road is safer to walk on in almost every situation here. The single lane bridge without any pedestrian section is also something to get used to. We made it to the shore, stopped for a bite to eat. Got massively overcharged for a dish of extra salsa (no where in the world would anyone pay 5USD for a simple dish of pico de gallo), then wandered down the stretch of Playa Brasilito to Playa Conchal.
Conchal is a nice light sand beach created from crushed up sea shells. The near side ends up being larger, crunchy shell chunks that are loose and hard to walk in. Kind of like quicksand and a ball pit, but much prettier. We snapped a few pics and headed further down for some of the smaller grit to polish our heels with. It was getting late in the day, and we had no swim gear on so we are saving our playing in the ocean for tomorrow. Today we check out town and relax in the pool to literally chill out.
On our return, they had a welcome drink for us. Some fruit called cass blended up with mint to make a limey tasting beverage that was very tasty. They dont add rum, but they really should. We added a couple happy hour mojitos to that welcome drink and called it quits for the night. Mosquitos are swarming and that beachside meal with the really pricey pico de gallo was still filling our guts. Probably not recommended, but peanuts are for dinner tonight instead of the alternative of an Italian restaurant next door. Maybe we check that out tomorrow night.
I guess we were out later than usual last night. We can make tonight an earlier one. I am looking forward to a big breakfast though.