Tamarindo, Costa Rica
We continue south and start prep for our trip home. We had planned on skipping Tamarindo, thinking that it was just too big of a town for our tastes but everyone we spoke to kept telling us how it was a must see. We also were told that the vet outside of town was the place to go for a cheap kennel, which we need for our flight home. Tamarindo it is.
We pull into town early afternoon. Its hot. Real hot. Its funny how we feel like we are well acclimated to heat after living/sleeping in a van for 10 months, but some days (like this one) there's just nothing you can do. The humidity is rising fast here and we adjust by spending our time in and out of every pool or shower we can find, but after a few hours in the car we are absolutely spent. We hit a few hostels looking for a place to camp but there's nothing but busy roads here, and currently most of them are under construction. We finally find a place, grab an overpriced lunch and give in to the urge to sleep under an air conditioner. Our daily budget is blown, but we move into the worst room of the trip and will the machine to work faster. E gets to rest in the half pipe among the partying backpackers and we keep the lights off so we dont have to see the walls of our room.After our body temps are reset we head to the vet. First order of business is a heath exam/certificate of health for Karma. She loves the attention and you'd think she was at the spa, tail wagging the whole time. Then we fit her for a crate and are thrilled when we see she fits in a used one and we save 50%. Even still, between the exam and the crate our bill is almost the same as a month of vet treatments/visits back in mexico. Costa Rica may be pretty, but for the price I'll take mexico or the rest of central america any day!
We pull out early the next day trying in vain to beat whatever amount of heat we can. We desperately want to continue heading south and enjoying the beaches on the nicoya peninsula... but we are hearing more noises from the rear wheel and didn’t want to get stuck on the bad roads further south and possibly miss our flight home. Probably not warranted, but we had to follow our hearts and the odd loose feeling from the rear of the vehicle.
We head instead down the main highway for the ferry terminal at the tip of the peninsula. There's something always exciting about a ferry ride, even if you're less than excited about the destination. Something about loading you, your belongings and your vehicle/home onto a boat set out for something on the other side that never ceases to set the brain in motion and glue smiles to our faces. It also means a constant breeze, which we would have probably paid extra for if they asked.
We hit the mainland and drive inland. Crazy busy compared to the peninsula. Highways and intersections and traffic lights. Eek. We think there's enough daylight for a push all the way to San Jose but we opt to stop at a small town rather than push our luck up the mountainous highway inland. We were on this highway a few years back when vacationing in Costa Rica with family and know how steep it is. The mere thought of it is actually why we decided to upgrade to disc brakes before leaving VAN back in the day.
Again the heat is sweltering and trying to find a place to stay tests our composure. We aren't even hangry, but you couldn't tell it. Every road we take after seeing a hotel sign leads us to a road out of town, and they all plummet down a steep hill we know we aren't getting back up without an assist. Jen eventually spots a place, jogs over to make arrangements for us, the bus and the dog and we are nothing short of done when we walk inside and drop our bags off. Sadly, management apparently had pictured a chihuahua when agreeing to allow a dog and kicked us out when they got a look at our menacing beast of attack dog. Argh.
A few blocks down we find another establishment, crawl inside and turn on the a/c. We're done, this time for good.