15 November 2023 Santa Elena, Monteverde
In search of a Jeep
“Expectations are disappointments waiting to happen”Anonymous
“Sometimes it seems that life is just one difficulty after another… one disappointment after another… and we start to question ‘will I ever be happy… when will this end?’”VJC (Freedom without Expectations… talk for Sangha Live)
Awake at 0600 naturally.
The hotel had a sign offering a Jeep-Boat-Jeep ride from La Fortuna to Santa Elena (Monteverde) for US$ 28. I had asked one of the Tour Companies in La Fortuna how much for such a trip and I was told US$ 40, so I booked through the hotel.
I was outside the hotel waiting for the Jeep at 07:45 am in plenty time for the advertised 8 am pick up. I messaged Marvin, the hotel owner at 8:10 am to ask if there was a problem. Marvin made some calls and then the Jeep arrived at 8:20 am.
The Jeep isn’t a Jeep! It’s a compact mini-bus with 18 passengers and baggage!
But the First Principle of Transportation is Safe Arrival so I will put aside my expectation… for now at least. But it is clear from the comments of the other passengers that expectations were being challenged.
The mini-bus takes us to Arenal Lake near the Volcano of the same name.
We disembark the bus and are given numbers correlating to buses that will be waiting for us on the other side of the lake, hopefully. I will be on bus number 3 seemingly.
We board the waiting boat with our baggage and take a seat.
There are many other, now empty, mini-buses parked by the shore awaiting passengers coming in the other direction. This is self evidently a well ‘organised’ operation or fandango depending upon your point of view!!!
The boat ride takes about 40 minutes and is pleasant enough. Quite calming.
I have decided to slow down a little bit and spend 4 night in Santa Elena. I will do some activities and make plans for the next two weeks. The only restriction I have is that I must be at San Jose (SJO) airport on 5th December for the flights that will take me back to Ireland.
Once we reach the other shore people head off on different buses to different destinations. I find bus number 3, which is a small vehicle but spacious enough for myself and four other passengers.
It was a nice drive on tracks and minor roads including a short 15-minute stop at cafe come souvenir shop for refreshments and baños.
The drive from the lake to Santa Elena, the hub of Monteverde, took about an hour and a half including the cafe stop. I was dropped off at ‘Cabinas Eddy B&B’ at midday. There might not have been Jeeps involved as expected but even so, I think that the door to door service for US$ 28 was almost worth it.
I checked in with Eddy the owner of the hotel and then went for a walk to find some coffee followed by lunch. It was around 1:30 in the afternoon and while window shopping the heavens opened up to a tropical downpour. I made my way to the Taco Taco Restaurant and enjoyed Soup followed by Tacos. It was a very filling meal, which was just as well because the rain continued heavily for the rest of the day. Once back at the hotel and dry, I didn’t want to go out again.
- ‘Jeep-Boat-Jeep’ La Fortuna to Monteverde € 26
- Coffee at Jiménes Bakery € 2
- Late breakfast/lunch/early dinner at Taco Taco € 29
- Cabinas Eddy B&B booked through Booking.com € 41 per night with breakfast.