It always starts with a Ferry……
However frightening, mystifying, or just plain practical………… It has both commenced our journey and linked our adventure to different lands, worlds and almost planets!
As we drifted slowly towards the port of Paquera from Punarenas on our 90 minute journey linking us to the Nicoya Peninsula (short cut from Jaco), Ray & I couldn’t help but shake our heads and wonder……….. how many ferry’s have we been on? Or perhaps, how many have we survived?
So we have complied for your pleasure and ours– the WYATT’S TOP 3 FRIGHTENING FERRY AWARDS:
(And this was a hard list to sort to JUST 3!)
1: CAMBODIA– As you can see by our picture, it was a make-shift ferry from wooden ‘boards and boats’ and the motors were actual truck engines with extremely long metal poles with propellers on the end of them. When the
engine was turned on, the propeller spun. It’s truly a miracle the one made it across. And the kicker? You can’t see in the picture, but there was a beautiful brand new cement bridge that crossed this river- but clearly this was the cheaper option. Clearly.
2: MOROCCO– Now, not so much frightening as a ‘boat’ standard, but terrifying on a ‘holy crap-stix’ there goes the roof top of my 1971 VW Van like a tin can of tuna!! You know us Wyatt’s, always looking for the ‘best deal around town’ and this ferry with our precise exact Diva Measurements. We thought we had some wiggle room, of course! So imagine our surprise when we pulled up to the port (always the first, always…..) and eyed our height and eyed the entrance and then ‘eyed’ each other FEARFULLY. So I do what I do best (closed my eyes tight) and Ray pulled Diva in like a champ
and we somehow– someway managed with not even a millimeter to spare! I am sweating just remembering this moment…….
3: TANZANIA– ………. Drum ROLL PLEASE! The winner takes all! IT’S THE PUKING PANGANI!! Looking for a ‘cheaper option’ across the sea from Zanzibar to Tanzania (I am sensing a ‘we are cheap’ theme here), we found ourselves a nice little local ferry that would be a convenient way to the port of Pangani, TZ. We went wrong with the ‘nice little local ferry’ portion of our trip around hour 4 (this is a 2 1/2 hour journey tops) somewhere mid-sea where people were getting sick onto each other, we were the only tourists, there were no life jackets, we were over-capacity x 4 and the ferry looked like this…… need we go on? Somewhere around hour 6 I think we arrived into port. I was still sane enough to somehow
snap this shot to remind me that we were ‘survivors.’ Or just extremely stupid.
Wednesday, February 10th:
So once again, we were first in line for the ferry. It never fails. We had missed the 11am by 15 minutes even though the agua de pipa lady (fresh coconut juice) directed us to the secret ninja shortcut via a dirt road onto the hwy so we didn’t have to pay a toll. But hey, everything happens for a reason…… with waiting come opportunity. Like roadside kababs
& non-scheduled village overnight pauses.
We arrived into the port of Pequera after 4pm so getting to Santa Teresa by nightfall was a bit of a push as we didn’t know where we were staying that night & we didn’t want to miss anything on the way….. So we chose to stay in the town of Montezuma. We arrived just in time to be turned down by two hostels & scored the last room by sunset on the third. Now mind you, its been a long time since Ray and I have stayed in a hostel, and perhaps we are a bit ‘out of practice’- but it was highly refreshing to note that there are people OUR AGE at these establishments so we don’t have to feel so….. well, ancient? Nice to know that hostel life hasn’t changed since our around the world tour in 2007. Dorm rooms, private rooms, private rooms with bathroom & some with shared bathrooms….. pick your poison! Still simple. Still about the size of your four finger. Still have signs on the fridges demanding you to ‘PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR FOOD!’ ‘DON’T TAKE UP TOO MUCH ROOM!’ ‘IF YOU DON’T LIKE CLEANING DON’T USE THE KITCHEN!’…. I must admit, it put a smile on my face. Its nice to be back in communal environments where everyone’s in the same boat. Everyone’s a traveler.…….
Montezuma is one of those places that is lost in time….. and as soon as you enter you instantly inhale the deep aroma of the incense, watch the villagers twirl hula’s & fire sticks or just soak up the hippy drum circle kind of life living vibe….. Its a slow pace, and you can tell a lot of tourists don’t just pass through. They stay. Perhaps never leaving their hammocks, we aren’t quite sure? Regardless, Ray and I felt for us– one night was enough. We know our style. The next morning we explored the Southend beaches and it was the first time we had seen the sweeping white shell sand of Costa Rica and it was stunning….. we were ready to move onto Santa Teresa!
Thursday, February 13th: There was no mistake about it. We had gone from the tropical rain forest climate of Jaco where you could part the humidity in the air with a knife to the dry dusty desert wind of the Sahara of Santa Teresa! As we bumped down the dirt roads in our little budget $15 a day rental car (great deal, right?) we couldn’t help but watch the 4×4’s zoom by us with the drivers all scarfed up like mummy’s
with goggles and think…. just WHERE are we heading?? And then no sooner did we need to question then did the magnificent beaches of Mal Pais & Santa Teresa peak out before us, and the dust didn’t quite matter anymore…… It was extraordinary.
We had ourselves a 3 nights stay at charming surf hostel called Tropical Pasta right in the middle of 3 beaches (Mal Pais. Santa Teresa & Playa Hermosa) for 3 nights and we were excited to explore the long road that linked these 3 villages as well as the surf break that Ray was willing to courageously paddle out into…… and live to tell the tale. The town’s themselves remind us
so much of ‘Asian Island’ towns, as they are set off the beach- dusty (understatement) but have quaint restaurants, shops and although spread a part- we are extremely fortunate to have a car that we can explore and check out different little beaches within the area.
Today is our final day here in Santa Teresa before we head North and I can say that we have loved its simple ‘surf lifestyle’…. its quietness about it, its beautiful beaches & stunning sunsets. We have loved our sundowners on the beach every night, and love how everyone congregates to watch the final surfers score their last waves in……
I have also loved that Ray came back this morning from another surf session and again, survived another day.
Until next time.