Costa Rica | Gruffalo

After the language school, Liv and I ventured to an island called Omotepe. It might not be spelled like that but it’s 6.25am and I do not care. Omotepe is a big volcano on an island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, which is the biggest lake I’ve ever seen and looks like the ocean. There are sharks in it: freshwater bull sharks. No idea.


We took a chicken bus from La Mariposa at San Juan to a place called Yanitepe or something, changed there, changed again at Rivas, then got a taxi from Rivas to the ferry. There was a horrible white little dog that kept barking at everyone, and the ferry took one hour to drive about a mile. I’m not sure they even turned the engine on; it’s entirely possible we just floated over with the currents.

Omotepe was fine but not fantastic, largely due to my own silly self. It would have been very amazing had I actually done anything, but I was grumpy and tired after the week-long stint at the language school, and so for three nights I lounged by the pool, looked at memes, and monologued to an increasingly disinterested Liv about my life. We hired bicycles one day. We should not have hired bicycles, it was very hot and the road was very bumpy and uphill both ways. I lost my driving license in a bar in Bangkok, however, and my travel insurance expired a few weeks ago (hmm), so renting a motorcycle for the day was not possible.

As I’ve travelled longer and longer – six months this year on the road – I’ve got evermore lazy when it comes to activities. You don’t do cool shit every day at home. You do cool shit sometimes, and in between doing cool shit you work and sleep and fart around. I am not working presently, and I don’t nap during the day, so all my time is spent farting around.

Nicaragua was farting around, basically. The country has stuff to do, sure: you can surf, you can ride a board down a volcano (Nienke did it and went flying and got her forehead scraped), you can go to the famous Treehouse techno rave in Granada, you can get hammered at the famous Sunday Funday backpacker bar crawl in San Juan del Sur. But I’m not… really arsed about any of those things. I’m not really sure what I am arsed about at the moment, come to think of it.

I’ll be finishing my trip in the next couple of months, I think. Besides the fact that my money is just exploding into thin air, I am finding myself feeling tired a lot of the time. Liv and I went to San Juan del Sur – surf town – after Omotepe, and on our first evening we walked to the beach and sat on the wet sand with a couple of beers to catch the sunset.

“It’s so beautiful,” said Liv.

And I just didn’t say anything because I honestly hadn’t noticed. I dunno how many beaches and sunsets I’ve seen this year. Beaches: Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Morocco, Spain again, Mexico (lots), Nicaragua. Sunsets: everywhere. I don’t want to be ungrateful – heaven forfend. It’s just natural. Human nature. Plane pilots don’t excitedly yell ‘weeeee!’ when they take off. They do it the first couple of times and then they get used to it.

This attitude doesn’t poll very well in hostels, of course. Hostel people are all very excited all the time. I am very tired all the time. That’s what would make me very happy at the moment, I think: to meet somebody like me. I would like to meet somebody who is the same age as me who has accidentally travelled too long and is now filled with a very broad and directionless sense of loathing. We could explore cities together and point out the litter to one another, and whenever a topless 21-year-old American backpacker bounded over to us to ask if we want to play beer pong, our eyes would meet and we would laugh without laughing.

Where was I?

Ah yes. My odyssey.

I’m in Costa Rica now. I’ve been here 5 days, living off a few folds of cash in my wallet because I lost my bank card in Nicaragua. Actually, I lost it twice. I left it in an ATM in San Juan del Sur, then spent an engaging five hours trying to get the bank to give me it back. I eventually did get it back, only to leave it in the exact same ATM the next morning. Why do they not give you your cash and card at the same time. Why god. Only realised when I was over the border in Costa Rica. Rats!

Liv’s mate Hannah flew into San Jose, Costa Rica a few days ago and joined us. I instantly liked her: she’s smart and she wears binoculars around her neck all the time in case she sees a cool bird. Only spent two days with her but – rare person, I feel. The girls left San Jose to go travel Costa Rica and seek out sloths, and before she left Liv withdrew £100 for me in colons, which is the currency here. Their money has sloths on it. ?

I’ve been living off my £100 for the past four days, and I finally spunked the last of it last night on beer and cigarettes while watching French give Morocco a thorough pasting in the World Cup, which I was very happy about because Morocco gave me and Sam a thorough pasting earlier this year. I still can’t think about that week without wincing.

Today I fly to Colombia. How do I feel about that? I don’t really know. It’s supposed to be very pretty and there are a lot of really tall trees, apparently. There is definitely a sense of ‘what am I doing’. However, I had a very big sense of ‘what am I doing’ when I arrived in Australia in 2018, and then I had what may well have been the best summer of my life. So I tell myself to stay the course and keep the faith: good things are out there. Opportunities are out there. New things to believe. New pathways through life you never even thought of. That’s why travel is good – that’s what it offers you. You just have to put up with quite a lot of frat boys on the way.

It’s good fun writing without the pressure of always being positive, you know. I can say whatever I want. It’s quite refreshing to allow myself to be grumpy. It sort of makes me feel not grumpy at all.

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