I had noticed a few posts on Facebook from a friend of mine about her non-profit organization in Costa Rica, Clara Vista. After doing a little research on where it was located and what they were trying to do, I gained an interest in trying to become part of it. So I contacted my friend, Tammy, and asked if I could do anything to help. She said that there wouldn’t be anyone in Costa Rica while I was there, but I could still go do something. After a few emails, I found out where to be, who to contact, and Tammy arranged for me to stay with a family.
So after 10 days of working, skydiving, and hanging out with some friends I had to find my way to this little village. I was able to hop a ride to Tamarindo with some skydivers. It was 4 hours with a 25 kilos bag on my lap, but way better than the 10+ hours it’d take me on the public buses. I survived two night in the tourist trap of Tamarindo without getting robbed and I even caught a few fun waves.
From Tamarindo, there are a few ways to get to Venado. I could take a 1 hour bus, wait a couple hours, then another 2 hour bus. I could pay a taxi $50. Or take a bus and hitch-hike the rest of the way. Of course I opted for the cheapest and most adventurous route. By hitch hiking I had the fallback plan of catching the bus. But I had high hopes for catching a ride.
It turned out to be a 30 minute bus, 30 minutes waiting, then a 10 minute bus, 5 minute walk, 1 hour waiting for a ride and then finally the first car that passed picked me up for the 20 minute drive down a rough dirt road. Overall it was only about an hour faster than if I took the regular bus. But it was way more fun waiting for a ride on a dirt road, in the middle of nowhere, with my bag and surfboard with nothing around but a few monkeys.
Tammy gave me the name of the one and only local “restaurant” owner who I immediately seeked out once I arrived in the town center. I say “restaurant” because it is just her own kitchen with one table outside where she offers meals to whomever. In the same building there is a bar and a little store. The store is just as small as everything else. About a 3x3 meter room with random assorted goods.
Patricia was easy to find and told me to wait. After about 10 minutes a silly looking guy pulled up on a quad and said that he would take me to my homestay. I hopped on and hoped for the best. I didn’t know where we were going, how far it was, what kind of environment it would be, or anything. But that is what makes it fun.