After our jungle tour it was time to say goodbye to the family and to Nicaragua. A large section of the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica runs on the right (southern) bank of the river. So we were really close to Costa Rica, just on the wrong side of the river.
Saying goodbye to the mother of the family
Before leaving we spend the afternoon with the family. The family don’t have any electricity, so we decided to set up Esben’s laptop in the family house and put on the movie Trolls. It is the only movie we have on the computer in Spanish. But no movie without snacks!
Buying snacks for the hole family, at the local store by the river
Watching Trolls with the family, just relaxing in the afternoon
Only the eldest son had a cellphone. So I borrowed my cellphones to the girls in the family. The girls took good care of my phone, and they treated it very carefully. But the fun ended after 2 hours, when it ran out of battery.
During the afternoon we also checked my sleeping mattress, because it was flat at 3:00 am, and lost the air really quickly. We found 2-3 smaller holes in the mattress, but what was even worse… we found between 30-40 holes in the bottom of our tent. Our tent had been eaten by ants! Later we learned that it probably was leaf-cutter/chewing ants, whom had been eating our tent. There are about 47 different species, and the leafcutter ants can carry more than 20 times their body weight and cut and process fresh vegetation fx leaves, flowers, and grasses (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leafcutter_ant).
We made dinner: tortillas with refried beans and some cheese, that was suppose to be parmesan cheese. After dinner we moved the tent away from the ants and went to bed, to get an early start to go across the border to Costa Rica.
The next morning we drove to the border… and everything just took forever. Not because of a lot of people, but because the slow process of getting all the paperwork in order. This picture describes how slow everything went.
Sometimes it just felt like nothing was happening, two places we had to go back and forth, because the employee didn’t give us all the papers the first time… in total we spend more that 3½ hours to get into Costa Rica. We also had to buy insurance for the motorcycles, and then we had to pay in Costa Rica Colons, but we didn’t have any. We had done research about the border, and had read that in Costa Rica they use both USD and Colon. After talking to the employee for several minutes explaining our situation, he exchanged our USD into Colons from his own wallet. The only other option had been to go back to the border in Nicaragua to exchange our money at the bank, but since we had already exit Nicaragua in our passports we don’t know if we were allowed to go back… when we finally left the border and drove into Costa Rica it had started raining, but it got dry again…
We were heading towards San Jose in Costa Rica, where we would visit our friend Felipe (an enduro motorcycle rider we met in Valle de Bravo, Mexico) and his family. But we didn’t drive that long before we had to stop because of a big road construction. Cars and trucks just lining up behind us. After waiting 15-20 minutes, and several local motorcycles had been let by, I decided to talk to the employees.
They told us, that we had to wait another 40 minutes before we were allowed pass the road construction. We explained that we had to get to San Jose before it got dark, and finally just Esben and I were allowed to drive through the road construction as long as we promised to drive very slow. The road construction lasted for more than 10 kilometers, and we still had to stop a few other places. We just spend an hour going through the construction… and that was without the additional 40 minutes of waiting!
We got all the way to San Jose just 30 minutes before it got dark, where Felipe and his family was waiting. We had a family dinner together, with a lot of good food, and Felipes mother, had baked brownies for dessert. It was all amazing, and we really needed it after 2 weeks with rain everyday, hole in the tent, cameras that stopped working because of the humidity etc.
Meet the family, from the left Philips father,
felipe, Tommie (younger brother), Esben and Philips mother (Paula). Philips older brother was not home.
More about our say in San Jose with Philips amazing family in the next post.