Solo Travel with no Espanol!

Some of you may have seen my Facebook post about the little errand to San Jose for sending a letter. But did anyone wonder about the return journey?

Going to the Wrong Station?

There are 2 buses a day back to Puerto Jimenez. There is no central bus station in San Jose so you need to get to the right station for your bus. To date, I have always managed this well and made my bus. So, fairly relaxed and sleepy I get an Uber to the bus station at 5:30am to discover it is closed.

I presume that I am at the wrong station and the bus station is in a dangerous part of San Jose, so I can't look too lost or helpless. I look for a taxi to take me to another bus terminal. When the taxi driver pulls up, I show him the address, he says “ok” and I hop in. Then he makes a call, “There is a strike and may not be a bus” he tells me. There is no bus, not for 4 days. I am supposed to be teaching tomorrow.

The taxi driver pulls over; "I help you" he tells me and calls various bus & private companies to see if there is space for me to get a bus closer to Puerto Jimenez. No luck. I check car hire and flights, all fully booked. Hostels are full he tells me as travellers cannot leave San Jose.

Trust in a Stranger

I can trust Juan-Carlos. I see he is a kind man trying to help me, but I can’t fully understand all the details of the travel. I know the places and ask about money, he tells me confusing amounts and I slightly disregard my understanding as my poor Spanish skills. I am totally dependent on this kind man working out my travel route.

Finally, he has an option - a bus from Orotina to Golfito, and then the boat to Puerto Jimenez. I ask how much, "46,000 colones" - this is a lot! But less than a flight so I guess I will go along with it.

We drive through San Jose to another bus station "You may catch this bus" he tells me and he runs out to check in the station. "No good" he comes running back. Then he says "I take you to bus. Same for my company so I take you to the place”. On reflection, I should have questioned this approach further, but he is trying so hard for me.

After 90 minutes we are still in San Jose and rush hour traffic. I think we are going to another station in San Jose as I recognise the areas. Then I notice we leave San Jose and are travelling West towards the Pacific coastline. I know the area from working in Atenas last year. It’s beautiful. I am trying to not worry and console myself about the stress with the beauty of the surroundings. In the back of my mind “I know this is a $40 taxi ride already and we have gone further than that route, plus the traffic”.

We continue through the mountains, 2 hours have passed and Juan-Carlos tells me that the bus knows we are coming. We are close to being on time he reassures me. At a town he stops “You can get out money” and I ask “How much?”, “260,000 colones”. This is £350! My bank won’t let me take out more than £200 a day, so I get that out. I tell him about the limit and he says “If you have dollars too that helps”. I can't feel ripped off for the amount of effort I can feel him expending to help me, but there are tears in my head of "Oh my god! I can't afford this!"

The Bus Chase

Back into the cab and 2 bus stops later. We have missed the bus again and again, but the driver knows we are following Juan-Carlos reassures me. We must catch the bus as it's too far now to go back.  He is driving so fast, weaving in and out of cars along the mountains. He is amazingly skilled driver and I feel the car chase that we are on!

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We reach the Pacific Ocean and turn south.  Juan-Carlos gets a call from his boss in Spanish “Why are you at the beach?!” I understand the call, but by now my anxious and distressed Mind wonders about being kidnapped from some elaborate plot! I know I am safe and can trust this man, but I am also alone, not understanding a work of what is going on, sitting with all the cash I have access to in the world in my hands and potentially stranded in Costa Rica.

I sense Juan-Carlos's anxiety and I can feel tears and the stress headache fighting to get out. I must stay together for now. I look at the beauty around me - to be present in the moment of beauty, to surrender and fully trust another person to help me and not take advantage of me, accept my ability to make a mistake and overspend on a taxi because I am confused by the language. To wonder if it’s all worth it with the house when the buyers are now being slow and difficult. My ex is threatening to pull out of the sale - all of this drama and I hate drama!

Karma Catches the Bus

It seems that my decision pre-accident were so misaligned to my wellbeing. That life created so much drama and misery.  I never liked the drama and never understood why I attracted it. Now I can see how deeply I suffered back then. When I come up against clearing out my old life (like selling my house) I notice these challenges reappear; the drama comes back. Money flies away, things are complicated, I feel deeply frustrated and a hateful self talk reappears....I’d like a cigarette!

Nowadays, I understand the suffering I lived in. I am not sad for my old self, nor angry at her. I send her love and compassion. She tried her best, but was so lost from her path of true joy. I can sit in a taxi bus chase along the Pacific Coastline of Costa Rica and know that I no longer feel lost.

I notice the beautiful colours around me.  I think of sitting by a beach drinking a cappuccino with a pan au chocolate between teaching and healing clients. This is now my life. I can hold this feeling to get me through the adventure.

A Vital Change

At 3 hours exactly from when I got into the taxi, the bus pulls over.  I give Juan-Carlos a wad of cash - $333 and he pays for my bus ticket! He says to me "I've never been so stressed!". I give him a hug to say thank you; he is far from home now.

On the bus we follow the coastline. I remember this drive from March when I drove down with a friend to visit the jungle. I am surprisingly calm. When I arrive in Golfito we are no where near the port. A taxi ride to the river taxi, thankfully I kept aside $20 for this part of the trip. Anxiety returns to more expensive cab rides and will I make the boat. I arrive to Golfito boat taxi terminal $3 taxi ride, 3,000 colones and the last boat leaves at 3pm. 3-3-3 again.

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Seeing the sign 3-3-3 can mean a variety of things. I am fully aware that my house contains a huge amount of strong karma for me. For me, 333 signifies my release of my house karma. The many poor choices I had made and a turning point that I did not learn from when I left my husband and house in 2012. The sale of my house and drama attached to it reflect the karmic changes I have been working to change about my relationship with money, owning a property, associations to 'owning' a home, my career, my marriage.

I am surrounded by smiling, laughing, kind and helpful people who let beauty shine abundantly around me. I choose to send love to my old self and ex-husband. We made the best choices we could at that time. I decide: It’s only money and I really must learn Spanish!