Thursday, October 15, 2009

Third World Travel

I’m being reminded that going from Point A to Point B in a third world country is not always a straight shot. We’re finding out just how difficult it is as we attempt to arrange transportation for our January trip to Costa Rica.

It turns out that if you are in any hurry, you are better off flying. And you can fly in a tiny plane to just about any place you might want to go. But the cost is prohibitive.

If you don’t fly, the choices include driving a rental car, taxi, shuttle, and bus. We’re not even considering renting a car or hiring a driver. So we are left to try to find a group of people to share a shuttle with or use the public buses, by far the cheapest solution.

It sounds like one of the big problems is the quality of the roads. Interbus, the pre-eminent shuttle company, doesn’t even drive to Nosara, where the Omega Institute’s one-week program will be held. One Blogger says “Nosara, for better or for worse, is off the beaten path. This is a big part of what makes it special. It takes some effort to get both there and away, but there are options depending on your time and economic situation.” It must be way off the path if a shuttle company won’t even go there!

I have an e-mail message in to Vino Transportation, which claims to provide service between the Liberia airport (where we arrive) and Nosara. You would think Omega Institute might provide FREE transportation to and from the airport if they want many people to show up.

We have decided to go all the way to the Caribbean coast after our week at Omega. It’s only 275 km. from Nosara to Puerto Viejo. That’s less than 180 miles. One person said it might take 2 days to go by land and therefore recommended that we fly. But I want to see what lies between and not just from the air.

I have another inquiry in to a travel agent a friend used to try to unlock the secrets of getting around the country affordably.

From Puerto Viejo, we’re planning to go to Bocas del Toro, which is just over the border into Panama. It looks so close on a map, but apparently takes 4 hours, including walking across a railroad bridge crossing a ravine at the border.

After we spend a few days relaxing at Casa Cayuco, on a small island off of Bocas, we will then need to figure out how to get back to San Jose for our return trip home the next day.

I’m sure we will know so much more about travel around Costa Rica by the time we get home. But now there’s still a lot to learn.


Blogger GEWELS said...

I know, I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you about this.
Give my son a call at Pacific Trade winds Travel.
His 800 number is 800-630-9126
They can talk to you about the best way of getting around. They use shuttles allot.
Nosara is gorgeous and we have never had a problem driving there. The roads are so much better than they were a couple of years ago. We've driven all over the country. (except we still have never been to the Caribbean coast. The roads out there are much worse and few and far between).
I will call you tomorrow. I promise.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gewels -- So good to hear from you. I will be calling your son tomorrow. Remind me of his name.

9:22 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Ryan is my son or you can talk to his girlfriend Meghan.

How long will you be in CR?

9:43 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

What on earth is that critter second from the right on the yellow sign?

9:46 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gewels -- I will catch up with you on e-mail.

MC -- Yeah, I was trying to figure that animal out, too. A sloth maybe?

12:30 AM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

Looks like a Costa Rican Cootie!
Bigger than a volkwagon!
More colorful than Carnivale' in Rio!

2:50 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

BH -- I couldn't find any such cootie in that link. Did I just miss it? Or are you pulling my leg? :)

4:08 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I can't wait to hear all about your trip and getting from A to B by way of C, D and X.

9:49 AM  

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