On the road again, Costa Rica
Finally reunited with the bus. E seems to be in pretty decent shape considering the year and a half spent sitting in storage...at least now that we've broken through the crusty layer of dirt. The guys at the storage facility thought they were helping to protect it when they threw a giant black plastic tarp ona year ago, but instead we ended up with not only a thick, caked on layer of dirt and dust but also mold and mildew to go with it. We thought better than climbing inside and sleeping with the mold, so we stuck around the hotel to deal with the issues before finally getting underway.
[youtube width="650" height="400"]http://youtu.be/oPp209p2jv4[/youtube]
It took us the better part of two days to unload every item from the bus, do a deep clean/scrub of every surface and then reload/repack for the trip north. It was a manic process, but we somehow got every surface cleaned and everything back in its place...
Our home away from home is certainly not in as mint condition as when we started the first leg of our journey, but far better than where we started 2 days ago. We'll take it!
We left our hotel in the mountains, coasted downhill and headed northwest for the beach. When we drove this road inland 19months ago it was incredibly hot, we were already longing to be back in the northwest and we were pretty stressed about the problems we were having with the bus. This time was far more comfortable!
While we thought we were heading for points unknown we pulled into town, found a sports bar to watch the game and realized we were back in Playa del Coco, where we spent one of our last few nights along the coast heading south. We enjoyed the game at the bar with what appears to be an entire town full of crazy packers fans (luckily we have a few of those in our life as well, so we fit in just fine).
Somehow we even managed to meet a few other travelers who happened to be there and made new friends along the way. Perfect!
At halftime we pulled into the same palm grove where we slept months ago and after a late night dip in the pool we retreated for our first night's sleep in the bus of this trip. It's almost comedy watching us try to fit back into the life that was so natural and comfortable to us before.
Our leap back into the deep end of overland travel seems much more difficult than the slow immersion we gave ourselves on the drive south. I'm sure a few days on the road and everything will start clicking, but for now were stumbling along like vanlife rookies.
Finding places to camp seems almost a completely new experience for us, and we seem to be in slightly too much of a hurry for everything going on around us...even though we seem to live a pretty slow existence at home as well. We can only imagine what the border crossing(s) will do to our now-re-urbanized brains.
I feel like I'm driving the bus for the first time, we cant seem to remember how far we can drive on a tank of gas (fairly important since we have no working gauges) and we can't remember how to work the nuances of our camping setup that were simply habits before. The solar and electronics we have forgotten about completely and everything else seems like we should have written ourselves a manual when we actually remembered what we were doing. We sweated through half of our first night before I finally bolted upright and realized where we had stashed the bugscreen that allows us to leave the cargo doors open at night.
In the morning we walked to the next beach south (which turned out to be much further than anticipated, and all three of us were wishing we had simply paid the handful of dollars for the cab) to spend the day with our newfound friends at their rented apartment... and it's 7 pools.
We certainly had no lack of conversation as we seem to be living somewhat mirrored lives. They also left their jobs to travel, to live life to the fullest and to find themselves/figure out what they want to do next. Rather than driving, they've been hopping from country to country staying at each place for weeks/months on end. I can easily see us employing this technique for a future leg of our journey.
We spent a slow, low-key day in the pool staring at the landscape around us and talking about life and dreams. We then loaded in to a cab to make our way back to camp. We accomplished nothing, made no plans for the next few days and checked nothing off our list.
It was great.