Hang on folks, this is going to be a long one. By now I thought I’d be writing about my experiences on a farm in Costa Rica, as a volunteer through WWOOF (World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers). Well, that was not to be!
The owner kept leading me on – I think hoping to fix some issues before I was to come – but finally asked for more time to get ready for me. I had to answer no and I told her I was going to Panama instead. That was the day I landed in San Jose, Costa Rica after a 7-hour bus ride. I literally gave her up until the last minute as I was to leave the next day for her farm.
But this really isn’t the interesting part. It began with waking to a rainstorm of epic portions (well, not for Costa Rica but for everywhere else). I had arranged for a new friend to take me the four miles or so to the local bus-stop to San Jose that morning. BUT – and this is a big but – I had to get myself to his restaurant about a ¼ mile down the road because the people who own the house I stayed in do not have a car.
So, in this downpour, I trudged down the dirt road with potholes quickly filling up and a poncho over me and my backpack when the Universe came to my aid – well, actually it was a guy named Mark with a pickup. He kindly threw my suitcase in the truck bed. I hunch over in front with my back pack still attached to me and dripping on his front seat. At the end of the dirt road, before the pavement, a small lake had formed. I could not have passed through.
There was just enough time for me to thank him and ask if I’d met him before – he looked familiar. Turns out he had lived in Potrero for 30 years. So if any readers know who I’m talking about, tell Mark he saved me.
I arrived – stripped off my poncho and tore off the garbage bag I’d pulled on over my luggage when Nubia, one of the waitresses, gave me a towel to dry off. Soon, Jay arrived and drove me to the bus stop. Thanks to both of you and Mark!
It was still raining, so I sat inside a realty office, after a quick breakfast at the Mariner, and talked with Robert, who was actually an Avis representative. I knew the bus normally stopped just outside his place and waited for a while, which he confirmed, but this time the bus driver didn’t even hesitate but instead, rounded the circular drive and went on his merry way.
Robert was all over that and grabbed his keys, shouted “Get in, we’re going to catch him!” I followed his orders jumping in the front of his SUV while he loaded Burple (my very heavy purple suitcase) in the back and off we flew. We caught up with the bus and Robert flashed his lights until the driver pulled over just outside of Brasilito, another nearby beach town. I frantically waved goodbye and yelled “Gracias” to Robert as the driver tossed my bag into the luggage bin. Off we went to Brasilito, where there was an Independence Day parade through town and we couldn’t pass for about a half hour, ironically.
The rest of the trip went smoothly and I arrived San Jose in one piece. The hotel was a relief for me with AC and a restaurant on the same floor. I didn’t have to venture out into the noisy and a tad bit frightening “big city” at night.
This is when I got the farm owner’s final message to wait before coming… (watch for the second installment for how I got to Granada instead of Panama City!)