Costa Rica Border Crossing

Friday night fueled a hearty hostel breakfast of eggs, salsa, beans, rice and fresh sliced avocado. I climbed the stairs to the rooftop bar and clocked in some quality hammock time. It was morning and the beach town of San Juan Del Sur was still sleeping. I picked up the small bag of laundry I had dropped off the day before and strolled the streets for a while. Determined to surf Dominical, a fellow canon 7D shooter and I decided to cross the border back into Costa Rica. We said our goodbyes to the Aussie entourage and caught a local bus to Rivas for something like seventy cents. The breeze was perfect since most of the windows were open or broken, and I sat next to a cool guy with a cool hat.

Rivas was a market marvel jammed with rickshaws, random milking cows and explosions of fruit, vegetables and colorful household trimmings. Horses pulled carts, stray dogs patrolled streets. I got a little lost in the lure of it all, and had to catch a rickshaw to the station where I nearly missed the Tica bus to San Jose. The bus ride took a wild seven hours and rained the whole way. Our bags and passports were checked, then re-checked, and we shuffled in and out of checkpoints while stocking up on street vendor cashews and sweet eats.

We eventually pulled into barrio chino, San Jose. We dropped our bags at a hostel tucked behind a barricade of steel bars and ventured out to the streets in search of food. The roads were empty and wet with rain, soldiered by locked doors and steel gates. We were legitimately intimidated, but too hungry to care. We took our chances on a plate of cheese tacos at some dice bar with really loud, really bad karaoke. The next morning we were up and packed by 6:30am. We walked aimlessly for a while in search of the Coca-Cola terminal where we exchanged 18,000 colones for two bus tickets to Dominical. I had my backpack, my canon, and a visa from border control allowing just seven more days in Costa Rica. I didn’t have a confirmed ticket home, and no idea where I would stay the night in Dominical. The plan was not to plan.