Days 15-19 in San José

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Aye, what a tumultuous weekend!

It all began on Thursday, the day of our exam. My classmates and I agreed that this one was a doozie, and we left feeling exhausted and fried. There was no time to rest since we only had two hours to pack and maneuver our way through downtown to get to our bus station. Fortunately, we timed everything correctly and made it to our bus with plenty of time to spare. We were on our way to Puerto Viejo!

I had little part or say in the planning of this weekend’s trip, but I don’t think it could have been planned any better. The majority of our group stayed in a hostel (yes, a hostel, scaaarrryyy) called Rocking J’s. Not only did we read commendable reviews online, we also heard many great things about the place, and when we arrived, we could see why.

For starters, English. I know I’m on a study abroad trip, but you don’t value your native tongue until it’s spoken to you for the first time in two weeks. Most of the employees at RJ’s either came from the U.S./an English-speaking country, or they managed to learn a good bit from their customers.

Also, it was so clean. Granted, hostels are not supposed to be a five-star experience, but ours was pretty clean compared to the ones our other friends stayed in. There were no cockroaches or litter in the rooms, and the hostel had strict behavior codes that they heavily enforced. I’m not big on the hippie/surfer vibe, but it grew on me a little bit during my stay. There’s funky artwork and thoughtful poetry painted everywhere amidst the mosaic tile work and swinging hammocks.

You read that correctly. Hammocks.

Now, my roommates and I opted for bunk beds, and others chose twin beds. But I can’t knock the hammocks because they’re just so comfy. If you opt for a hammock or a room with no lock, you are given a fairly large locker to stash your stuff throughout the day.

And I almost forgot the food. My gosh, I haven’t had pancakes that good even in the states! I was extremely reluctant to dine anywhere else. In fact, I don’t think I did…

I sort of lost track of time during that weekend, By day, we were either at the beach (no sunburn this time) or meandering through Puerto Viejo, which is a touristy yet charming town that definitely appeals to Americans.

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I don’t think I’ve seen darker sand…

At night, we were stupid exhausted, so we’d trudge back to the hostel and eat a late dinner. If we felt up to it, we’d stay up and watch a soccer game with some of the other people staying there. I met an incredible range of folks, from Canada to Germany, Seattle to New Zealand. I enjoyed those nights of sitting in a group at a picnic table, just getting to know each other (and bumming bug spray from each other. My gosh, the mosquitos are terrible in PV!). Sometimes, RJ hosted some fun events, such as a fire show:

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That was fantastic.

It seemed as though time had stopped in Puerto Viejo. Now that I think about it, Puerto Viejo is the closest thing to Neverland you’ll find outside a book. Everyone of all ages and backgrounds was there, but no one was progressing. Divorcees, high school drop outs, baristas, lawyers, and more had fled there to escape the curse that we call “growing up.” Was that a bad thing? Not necessarily. But all children must grow up, so on Saturday afternoon, we packed our things and journeyed home to San José.

Because we hadn’t had a “lazy” day yet, my roommates and I decided to separate ourselves and veg out on snacks and Netflix. We only moved from our beds for meals, and that was totally fine by me. This picture of my bestie sums up our day:

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Oh yeah, we reached that level of laziness.

Monday came, and we got our test scores back. We were all pleasantly surpassed with A’s, but we have our suspicions that our professor took great pity on us. As I sat at my desk and pretended to understand the imperative verbs she kept throwing at us, my mind wondered back to Puerto Viejo, a land of never’s. You would never grow up, you were never be bored, you never knew the time… Image

And you would never let your fears stop you from an adventure.

 

Be back soon!
Caitlin

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