Central America, Costa Rica


9 Apr , 2015   Gallery

Well, well, well. Finally in Costa Rica. After 2 days without electricity I left Bocas Del Toro archipelago and decided to cross the border. One month in Panama was just enough. Bastimentos was a lot of fun and relax but it was time to move on. And it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t forget to check the map. Suddenly I realised that border on the north of Panama is not suitable for me. I wanted to go to Pacific side and there was no road in Costa Rica. I would have to travel to San Jose and then back to the south. Not a very good idea. In 5 minutes I rather decided take the bus back to David and cross the southern border in Frontera/Paso de Canoas. The other problem was that I was not able to do any research as there was no electricity and therefore no internet. And so another quick decision had to be made – I stayed one night in David. It was public holiday, everything was closed an streets were empty. At least very nice policemen helped to find a hostel.

Next day I did a nice morning walk through David and Saturday’s market. So much good stuff everywhere. But my mission plan I set up previous evening was clear – take the bus to Frontera and travel to surfer’s paradise called Pavones. Why paradise? Because only in Pavones you can surf the longest wave in the world. I thought it will be more paperwork to cross the border but in reality it was super easy. No lines, no gates, no army, no police, no checks. It was purely up to me to visit immigration office and let them know that I am leaving Panama. It was also up to me to visit immigration office on Costa Rica side and let them know that I am entering their country. The only thing really required was some kind of proof that I will leave Costa Rica at some point in the future – bus ticket, airplane ticket or something similar. Web site http://www.returnflights.net did a great job. But again, I had to screw it up. I can legally stay in Costa Rica for 90 days without visa. However, because my return ticket was dated to 24th April I got permission only for 30 days. Yeaaaaahhhh, good job dumb head.

The hostel owner in David told me I have to travel to Golfito and then take a local bus to Pavones. I did small research and he seemed to be right. Everybody was suggesting the same way. Costa Rica has a lot of mountains and even a short ride by bus can take couple of hours. It was really nice ride to Golfito but that was it. I arrived around noon and the next bus to Pavones was coming around 15:00. Three long hours of waiting. It was extremely hot, I was not able to find any supermarket or ATM. Golfito is very long town and I had no idea where the bus stop is. I even forgot that Costa Rica is in different time zone and there is one hour less than Panama. Yeah, even this is travelling. At least I had a LOT OF time for my diary and watching local people living their very slow lifes. Pura Vida everywhere around.

Bus ride to Pavones was amazing. Almost 2 hours across the jungle. Dusty road, beautiful sunset over Pacific, super narrow bridges and supermarket in the middle of nowhere. Whole day of travelling and waiting and I was finally standing at front of hostel Caza Olas. I stopped making reservations couple weeks ago and because hostel was full Jenny the manager was so kind and found me a place – on the floor in unfinished room. I was so happy to be there. Such a nice girl. She would do anything in the world to make you happy. She really knows what Pura Vida means. And she even told me there’s a direct road from the border and I could be in Pavones in less than 2 hours. At least I enjoyed my bus ride through jungle.

Pavones is very small village with 3 supermarkets, couple of hostels and nice rocky beach with black sand. No tourists, just local people and surfers. Pure paradise. And people in hostel? Super cool.

Even horses were super slow:

I came here to surf and I really did everything I could to find me a suitable surf. Unfortunately, beginner’s boards are real luxury item everywhere. I almost bought Santa Cruz board from Felipe but it was very narrow and short. It didn’t feel good in the water. People in Playa Venao warned me. It can take couple of weeks until you find what you’re looking for. I decided not to rush anything and mainly not to spend too much money on renting. Costa Rica is very expensive even without it. And so I had to find another things to do. Like rope swinging under the bridge.

Or jumping off the cliff to the river with local guys:

Or biking around:

And of course, serious training for upcoming downhill season. I have to be fully prepared once I will be back home with my amazing friends in Kalnica:

I even started learning how to cook. Costa Rica is very expensive and you can save a lot of money by cooking your own food. I definitely recommend web site Hostel Cookers which I discovered in Boquete.

Let’s not forget that I tried to learn how to play this hippie bamboo instrument (no, it was not working at all and I can’t remember how it was called):

And we spent wonderful afternoon near the river doing crazy shit:

Anyway, the most beautiful thing in Pavones were definitely the sunsets over Pacific ocean. Like this one:

And what about joggling? Jakob is the master:

Most of the guys over there had stayed for couple of weeks. Yes, it was very hard to leave because I really felt like part of a family. Very similar feelings I had while staying in Playa Venao but this time much stronger. I met so many amazing people like Jenny, Noah, Rachael, Sarah or Jakob. I will remember my last evening in Caza Olas forever. Noah playing one of his favourite dutch songs on guitar and me thinking about everything that has changed in my life in past weeks. Then we were just chatting about travelling and life. For the first time in my trip I was sad that I couldn’t even sleep my last night there. I was so sad that instead of saying goodbye I rather wrote a short note. But Jenny still came and hugged me while I was waiting for my morning bus. Leaving sucks. But I know now that surfing community is really special. And I definitely know what’s my next goal. So don’t forget. Pura Vida really works.

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  • Lydia Green-eyed

    Wow, Igor, it really looks like Pura Vida in the pictures! I love the rope swing. Enjoy it, buddy. We are missing you a lot in Slovakia and Poland 🙂

    • igorlopasovsky

      Lydi, you would enjoy this place so much, believe me. The rope swing was so much fun 🙂 I miss you, too. When I see how many things are going on at home and at your new home, I just want to come back. This is the hardest part.

  • igorlopasovsky

    Oh my Lydi, you would enjoy this place so much, believe me. The rope swing was so much fun 🙂 I miss you, too. When I see how many things are going on at home and at your new home, I just want to come back. This is the hardest part.