|finally made it into costa rica! the border crossing was a river crossing which was a bit of a novelty for me as have only crossed borders by road before..although even then we nearly weren't allowed in the country as we'd both run out of money and couldn't pay the $2 entry tax so had to be escorted to the bank...and then the boatman came and chased us up the street when he realised we hadn't paid him enough - we'd just thrown all our last change at him and ran hoping for the best - but we didn't get away with it! fortunately he was a nice man and didn't call the police!
was a bit sad to leave nicaragua as i've loved it and probably my favourite country in central america so far - never expected it to be so beautiful.. but looking forward to a new country too - travelling in nicaragua was definitely hard work sometimes, so will be nice to have a bit more civilisation and relax a bit in a country that is so much more geared up to tourists...
we took a bus to Ciudad Quesada (one of the best buses been on in a long time which ironically then broke down!) and spent our first night there...it was such a big developed town and felt so strange seeing big supermarkets, shopping malls and basically civilisation again after being in nicaragua...the 2 countries are SO different you can't believe they are so close to each other... we went to a supermarket and were like 2 kids in a sweet shop - so much choice of everything - food and toiletries and wine (!) it felt so exciting (didn't think i'd ever get excited about being in a supermarket but travelling in 3rd world countries does strange things to you!) ...i even managed to find some conditioner AT LAST (v lucky has not been able to get a brush through my hair in weeks and was starting to resemble a birds nest...attractive!)
we then headed to La Fortuna, a very touristy and commercial town popular for its hot springs and close location to Arenal Volcano. There were so many tourists here and everything is SO expensive that the novelty of being in CR quickly wore off...Nicaragua we were living on less than $10/day (if some of you girls at home even saw some of the places i've slept you'd just die!!)...but you can barely get a bed for that here...so i think we are going to travel through quite quickly as can't afford to stay long or do anything!!
Unfortunately, we also seem to have arrived here right in the middle of the American spring break holiday...so there are hundreds of american college students here all getting drunk and generally being very loud and obnoxious - v annoying for us as prices everywhere have gone up for the only 2 weeks we'll be in the country!
Wasn't all bad though - i bumped into my friend Sean , an american guy i'd met in Guatemala, and a load of us went out one night for a good drinking session ...shouldn't be so horrible about the american students though as we had a really good night out with a group of them - learned a fab new drinking game and had lots of fun ...
although the hangover was not fun, so we treated ourselves to a day at the hot springs - 25 different pools of varying temperatures, beautiful views of the volcano and some swim-up-bars..fortunately we were too hungover too drink anything which was a good thing when it was $4 a beer - almost england prices!!