At this point I had been away from home 102 days, and wasn’t really missing it, although I was missing my mum terribly, thankfully for this part of the journey she was coming out meet us. Well she had kind of already booked this trip before we decided to leave, but hey I was going to see her.
I got the plane from Panama to Costa Rica which left around 9 AM, however Jake caught the Tica bus, which didn’t leave till 11:55 PM that night and took 14 hours, good luck to him.
I arrived in Costa Rica at 10 and mum wasnt due till 2 so I say and waited. I was waiting outside when all the lights went out and chaos erupted. No I know what’s happening, and everyone was urged to move back and nobody came through for four hours, when mum finally got outside about six she had managed to sneak out, about 1000 other people were still waiting inside. Apparently they had been circling for ages and there was nowhere for them to land, they were the last flight to be allowed in before all flights were diverted to Jamaica! We found our it was because all electricity has gone off all over Latin America, from Nicaragua down to Columbia possibly more.
I was happy just to finally see mum.
Finally at the hotel we met up with our tour group. ( Jake was still travelling,) he was staying in San Jose while me and mum did a tour around Costa Rica G adventures.
I had done tours before, one to Thailand and the other to Cuba which I both really enjoyed, what makes it special is the people you’re travelling with. I’m not just saying this because they might read it, this was generally the nicest group of people I had ever met.
We are from all over, Ireland, England, Belgium, America, Canada and Costa Rica. A real mixture but clicked instantly.
The first night we went to a Cuban restaurant that was covered in graffiti, it was a really cool place. I had a huge prawn filled pineapple thing covered in cheese, after eating super noodles and rice for the last month it was heavenly.
The next day we set off from San Jose to la Fortuna, it’s called that because it was built on the side of a mountain, that turned out to be Arenal Volcano. When it blew, it completely missed the town so was named las Fortuna or the fortunate. On the way we stopped at waterfalls and a coffee plantation and saw how coffee was made, the whole process, from planting the seed to the finished product. I don’t even like coffee but it was alright, for the coffee drinkers it was stunning. I did like the Coffee liquor though. We got to plant seeds, and grind beans, as well as juice sugar cane. The juice was okay, but did not like chewing the actual cane, I had tried it before in Jamaica and still didn’t fancy it, despite having such a sweet tooth as I do.
Our first day in Las Fortuna wait split up on the different activities. Mum, Chuck and Julie (the cutest couple ever) went on a boat told to see wildlife, Zoe and Kimberly did the more adventurous canyoneering and white-water rafting, while me Annemie, Max and Maureen did canyoneering and stand up paddle boarding.
Canyoneering was amazing. There were four abseils The last one was over 200 feet, and lots of little ones to scramble down. You could also cannonball into deep bits, and one section where you let the water buildup and then cascade over you so forcefully you have to cling on or else be swept away.
That evening went to a spa/hotel with hot water springs with pools and slides. It had a swim up bar and little Jacuzzi pods, it was perfection, although in the end me and annemie had to get out and urge others to do so too as we were so hungry, at that point I almost enjoyed the buffet as much as the activities.
The next day was a travel day, we went from las Fortuna to Monte verde. We had a beautiful boat ride across Lake Arenal, under the Arenal volcano – which was where we did the paddle boarding the day before.
That night went to a place called the treehouse. It’s built around a tree and is trip advisors is one of the top 10 bizarre restaurants around the world, it was really good to go to, very unique.
At first it was fine, then they started the live music and we were sat directly next to it. Usually that wouldn’t bother me, but they played excruciatingly loud. So loud you had to scream in the persons ear next to you in order to talk.
For most people this would probably be an annoyance or a little problem and would just enjoy the music. For me, having Autism, it was an overload of sound that became torturous, it felt like my head was going to explode, my skin felt too tightly and prickly, almost painful like pins and needles, I started to shake and feel like I couldn’t breathe, I suddenly burst into tears as it was just too much. My reaction was so extreme I felt like I was going to be sick and had to run to the bathroom, thankfully I wasn’t, but it shocks people – who don’t have an understanding or know much about autism how something can affect the person so strongly.
It was horrible and all I wanted to do was leave, run far away and never stop running. Thankfully mum talked to Annika and got us moved to the bottom floor where you could hear the music but it wasnt overwhelming. It took me all night to come down, but could cope. I told the rest of the group why, and I think it was the first time any of them realised I was autistic.
That is something most people don’t realise. That I’m different, my brain works very different me from the rest. I like this, I like being different. I like that most people don’t know, it means people don’t treat you differently. on the other hand – people don’t you differently, and expect you to be able to do everything that anyone else can, and seem very unforgiving when you can’t. For the most part anyway. Thankfully this group was awesome. I don’t tell people that often, as people don’t usually react all to positively, I’ve lost many friends just telling people. Here, with this group, I wasn’t really too worried.
Oh, – nearly forgot before the meal we had a night walk through the jungle. It was good, we didn’t see any sloths or monkeys or armadillos or a kinkajou – which I would’ve loved to have seen, but we did see a funnel-web spider, tarantulas, bugs, hundreds of bat and a green striped who was absolutely beautiful.
I’ll finish my Costa Rica Quest next week.
Our time in Monte Verde, Salsa dancing and party boat.