The Trip to La Fortuna — By Lydian Shipp
Central America Costa Rica North America

The Trip to La Fortuna — By Lydian Shipp

Arenal Volcano at Arenal National Park.

This last weekend was interesting, though extremely exhausting. The morning of Friday the 24th, I woke up at approximately eight or eight thirty. Five seconds after I woke up, I heard my mom shout, “Lydian, there’s a cockroach in the sink! I need your help!” So, I helped. I washed the dishes. This was my wakeup call.

Originally, we were going to work that morning until about ten before leaving to get to the car rental place (it’s close to the airport in Alajuela). But, we changed our minds. It was only about nine o’clock when we left. We walked down the hill to the bus stop, got on the bus that went to downtown Alajuela, and then got a taxi. It just so happens that the man driving the taxi was the same person who had driven us home from yoga the night before.

Budget was one of the many car rental places where my dad had reserved a car, it was also one of the rentals that had good reviews. The man who was in there was friendly, but we decided that because the deposit was expensive ($1000 USD) we’d have to find a different car rental place in the Alajuela airport area or just deal with it. He said the most of the other car rental places made you pay the same amount of money for a deposit. He called one of them for us, and told us where the place was. We were a little apprehensive toward going to this new car rental place because my dad hadn’t read the reviews or anything like that. For instance, even though this new place, USave (a car rental chain), that didn’t mean it had good reviews or that it was and “okay” to rent from…. The Hertz in Alajuela had a lot of bad reviews!

As we were walking to this new place, we decided it would probably be best to go back to Budget instead of taking a risk. (Nah, I guess we will go to this USave place, let’s just try it… No, let’s go to Budget! Oh, whatever! Screw it, let’s just go to the Usave place, it can’t be that bad, right?) During our decision making process we must’ve walked up and down the sidewalk at least five times as we changed our minds from one decision to the other. We probably looked pretty stupid, really.

In the end, we wound up going with Payless, which was located right next to USave. It seemed like a good place overall, and I won’t comment much on the car, which was very small and cramped, but it worked.

Here in Costa Rica, I’d recommend not worrying about street numbers or anything like that. Just follow the town names and landmarks, and you’ll be fine. And if you get lost in a city or something like we did, take all the turns possible going toward the direction you were going originally. Yes, it a bit messy, but that’s the way it is.

Not long after successfully getting onto the Pan American Highway, I got frustrated with myself. Here I was, on the freaking Pan American Highway and I wanted to take a nap. And put my headphones in. And do everything within my power to not pay attention. I was probably just overwhelmed, but my mom told me that it was fine if I wanted to take a nap and do such things.

I still paid attention. The arrival at La Fortuna was monumental. There was a volcano, and it was pretty. But nothing made sense until we got to our house, which was also monumental considering we all got to get out of the car and sit on comfortable chairs and beds for the first time in two-and-a-half weeks.

Apparently, it hasn’t been spewing lava for two years now, kind of disappointing, but perhaps for the best.

The apartment that we stayed in was nice. It was clean, things were comfortable, and there was a colorfully painted refrigerator. The only problem that I had with the apartment was that there were no ceilings on the bedrooms, although there was one on the bathroom. This was a little bit annoying because if anybody talked anywhere in the apartment, then you could hear them no matter where you were. Even if you whispered, if one strained their ears enough they would be able to make out the words. I suppose the good part of this was that it forced me be quiet for once, considering I have a tendency to be loud. I got to be loud though at a different time on this weekend trip, thankfully.

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