The journey headed from Costa Rica´s touristy Pacific coast to it´s rural central region of Puriscal.
12.01.2010 70 °F
After spending a few days on the beaches of Manuel Antonio, it was time to head to the farm that we had contacted through WWOOF, located in the central, rural region of Puriscal. Before we left Manuel Antonio, we headed into Quepos (the town five minutes down the road from touristy M.A.) to find out which bus to take and what time it left for Puriscal. Kyle spoke with the woman behind the ticket counter who gave us a few different answers to our question...at first she said the only buses to Puriscal leave at 5am and 1pm...then she said that any of the collectivo buses to San Jose went via Puriscal, and those buses left almost every hour. We were confused so we started asking around (which has already become our method of understanding here. Or as Kyle puts it, you ask a lot of different people the same question and the answer that comes up most frequently is probably the right one.) So, we asked a ¨veteran taxi driver.¨ He also said that the only buses to Puriscal leave at 5am and 1pm. Alright, we thought. The 5am bus it is!
The owner of our hostel called a taxi for us for 4:30am the morning of our trip. We were surprised when the taxi arrived at 4:20am, but we got our things together quickly and left sleepy Manuel Antonio. It was pitch black when we arrived at the Quepos bus station and the taxi driver asked us where we were going. ¨Puriscal, we said.¨ ¨Puriscal?¨ he replied, ¨that bus left at 4:30.¨ We looked down at our watches: 4:33am. Uh-oh. You might say this was our ¨Welcome to Central America¨moment. Ah those pesky details, where a half hour just might leave you stranded without a place to stay at 4:30 in the morning.
But that was NOT going to happen. Not if our taxi driver has anything to do with it. ¨I can try to catch the bus¨the taxi driver offered, ¨but we had to leave INMEDIATAMENTE.¨ With a simple ¨OK¨ from us in the back seat, he gunned it and pushed his Kia as fast as that little engine could take us - fast enough to fear death while not wearing seatbelts.. After a few minutes of speeding down the empty, dark highways, we finally got in front of the bus and picked it up off the side of the road. A nice taste of adventure to wake us up in the morning!
We had very vague instructions from the woman at the farm on how to actually GET to the farm. All she said was to get off in Puriscal. Well, Puriscal is an entire region of Costa Rica. Ok, we thought. She must have meant Puriscal Centro. It had to be Puriscal Centro. So, we sat and enjoyed our victory actually making it onto the bus for a while, and watched the sun come up while bumping along the rain-beaten dirt roads. We knew that Puriscal wasn´t more than a two hour trip from Quepos...but when it got nearer to an hour and a half into the trip and we were still in the middle of nowhere on a mountain road, we began to question the length of our ride. After the two hour mark, we began to ask around on the bus. Kyle´s Spanish knowledge really saved the day after he talked to an older Tico on the bus. Fifteen more minutes, the Tico man said. Alright, fifteen more minutes!
NOT. The trip ended up being two hours longer than what the man had told us. On these collectivo buses, the bus stops literally every few minutes to pick people up at their houses. Ah, well. We finally made it to Puriscal and found a taxi driver who knew exactly where we had to go. Phew, that was easy.
Right now, we are at the farm and caring for two billy goats, two dogs, and a cat. We are leaving in a few days and heading to the Caribbean coast to Puerto Viejo before flying down to South America before the New Year.
Til next time,