The camper was broken!!! What do you mean by broken? Well, to continue with our last post… One lovely morning in Utiva, Costa Rica Rian was winding down the camper when he heard a funny grinding noise. The noise was the cranking mechanism in the pop up camper breaking! Which meant we could not pop up the camper! The sound was similar to the sound Rian heard a few months back in Las Vegas when the camper was broken the first time. We had two days until we had to be in San Jose, Costa Rica the capital to pick up Kevo. No biggie except we couldn’t get inside our home LOL!
The first time in Vegas Rian managed to fix the camper crank handle with some DIY engineering and was confident he could do it again. The only thing was, he had to take it all apart. Confident and at the same time keeping our fingers crossed we headed back to Playa Herradura further North along the coast to find a small hotel for the night. Herradura is only a two hour ride to San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital so we knew we had time. The family who owned the hotel was very accommodating and hopitable. After having our attempted Spanish conversation they were nice enough to let us park under their shed garage so Rian could fix the camper. Rian sure was greatful for that shed because it down poured rain the whole afternoon. There was that rainy season starting.
Just as it got dark that day Rian had re-assembled the crank mechanism with the piece fixed and the camper was back in action and cranked up! Such a relief! I knew Rian was going to be able to fix it but now we could rest easy and get ready to pick up Kevo. Our last night on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica we spent it back at Playa Herradura. We enjoyed a great evening on the beach. Rian caught a good size snook which I prepared for ceviche. The rain came down that night and Rian filled up the cooler with the fresh rain water coming off the awning to fill up our tanks. We were officially ready to pick up Kevo!
Rian and I hit the road the next morning and took the quick 2 hour drive towards the San Jose Internatioanal Airport and waited at the gate for my Dads arrival. Kevo arrived right on time and we all jumped into the front of the truck and started making our way to Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. We knew the ride was going to be long but whoa we didn’t get the memo about all the trucks! Of course there was traffic, which led to buying of plantains being sold on the side of the road to light rain and then heavy rain all along one very tight and winding road through the rainforest. There were sooooo much tractor trailer truck traffic, banana farms, more truck traffic and then a dark road. After the 6 hour journey we all arrived safe and in Cahuita. We arrived safe but seriously hungry and even more thirsty.
A big added bonus, besides Kevo finally being with us was our good friends Dan, Tiffany and Bella were hanging in the parking lot waiting for us with beers at the Cahuita National Park. We checked Kevo into the National Park Hotel and confirmed with them we could stay the night in our van/campers. The ceviche was ate (I realize that snook isn’t the best ceviche option, a bit mushy) lots of beers were drank with even more laughs were had. It was perfect start to being on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica!
For the next few days we bopped around the area and camped at Playa Cocles. Kevo borrowed a tent from Dan and Tiffany and we sent it up under the awning of the camper in the sand and made a sweet cozy bed for him. We boogie boarded, swam, cooked out and enjoyed beach life. Kevo said it was the best sleeps he has had in a long time. The comfort of the beach and the sounds of the waves gently breaking onshore always makes for a great sleep.
After living the camping life for a few nights and tearing it up in the town we decided to all check into a hotel for Kevo’s last few days. After checking out a few places we stumbled upon Calalu Bungalows off the main road in Viejo. Falling in love with their pool and awesome bungalows we booked a few rooms and moved in! The outdoor kitchen was awesome, the showers were amazing and the a/c during the night was the real treat. We slept clean and fresh the whole night and woke up dry! For the next few days we cruised on some rented bikes, enjoyed all the beaches in the area, had great snacks at Salsa Brava, loved the cool dips in the pool and had good old fashion fun playing cards and just hanging out.
After our blissful stay at the Calalu Bungalows Dan, Tiffany and Bella had to head North and make their way back to the States and Kevo had to catch his flight back. Rather then driving Kevo all the way back to San Jose we convinced him to book a small flight departing from Limon to get to San Jose. It was an awesome visit and exploration of another great area with all of us. The three of us are always looking at new places as a potential future place to live and we all agreed that Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica is now on the top of the list. The overall vibe of Viejo was up our alleys and there was nothing not to love about the lush jungle on the golden sand beaches. The waves could be big but in certain areas at certain times the beaches could get Caribbean calm. Rian and I didn’t realize how much we love calm waters! Airport drop offs are never easy but this time around having the feeling like we are all a little closer to what we have been dreaming up felt really exciting and good. Summer was quickly approaching and time was going quick!
Rian and I spent a little over a week in Puerto Viejo after Kevo and the gang left. We set up camp at Rocking J’s where we rented bikes and kept exploring. Chatting with people and spending more time in the areas we liked gave us a better idea of what was going on. We meet some relators and checked out a few listings. As we checked out some listings we noticed the common trend like other places. The trench of expensive people are selling crap for. Homes and businesses are seriously lacking in quality and not price. We did notice there were somewhat decent land prices though…..
The Caribbean rain and electricity at Rocking J’s made for great night sleep that week. This was the first time the whole trip that we had made a point to find electricity to use the A/C Rian installed on the camper. We are usually pretty hot but never make it a point to find electricity for the A/C. So that is how hot it was in Puerto Viejo. Especially in the Summer.
Time was ticking by and July was quickly approaching! Our Costa Rican trip so far was beach after beautiful mountain and wonderful people. There would never be enough time to truly see all of Costa Rica but we would sure try again. Costa Rica was on our list of potential places to call home buuut we at this point we were not a hundred percent convinced! Panama here we come!!