Category Archives: Getting around

Border crossings


By Vicki Barnes

We feel like we’ve crossed so many borders this trip (two in the last few days), it hardly seems a big deal any more. You get your stamps, you pay your fee, you walk out of one country into another, you get your stamps, you pay your fee, you walk into another country.

No biggie! Continue reading

Imaginary lines

imageBy Vicki Barnes
The towns along the Río San Juan are rough around the edges, as one might expect in the distant frontier of a country.
Sandwiched between the river and the rainforest on land that is Nicaragua, but which in some spots is claimed by Costa Rica, it is not surprising that the residents are strong and a bit boisterous. Continue reading

It’s all in a day on the road

Do you want speed or do you want adventure?

A van from the beaches in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica, where we stayed a few nights, to the nearest airport in Liberia is about $50 per person. A flight from Liberia to Managua, Nicaragua – the nearest airport to our destination in that country is about $120 per person. A van from the beaches where we were staying in Granada is about $40.

The route from Point A to Point B is not so easy sometimes.

The route from Point A to Point B is not so easy sometimes.

So for a mere $210 per person, we could have been here in a few hours.

Or, for $21 apiece, we made it here in seven – laughing, sore and sweating the excitement from every pore. Continue reading

Do you know the way to San Jose?

By Vicki Barnes

We made the trek to Alajuela – a few dozen kilometers from San Jose, the capitol of Costa Rica, so that our traveling companions for the first leg of the journey could catch planes back to the US.

An upscale (by Costa Rican standards) city of 85,000, Alajuela is made up of a large city center surrounded by barrios (suburban neighborhoods). The small hotel where we set up camp for a couple of days is in the barrio of Coyol,  west and a little south to Alajuela Central (downtown).image

Unless you’re up for a long hike, the best way to get to San Jose is by bus. First the local bus to Alajuela Central and then a larger “Tico Bus” to the center of the capitol. The task seemed a little daunting at first, but with a little coaching from the young woman at the front desk, we  march a few hundred meters up the road to the covered bus stop and waited for the next bus downtown. Continue reading