Seeing Costa Rica by Public Bus

Looking out my bus’ front window at others waiting for different buses.
Coca Cola Bus Station, San Jose, Costa Rica

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

Robert Louis Stevenson

I’ve already mentioned that I am traveling to my next adventure destination by public bus. For fellow travelers here or you in other countries planning to travel here on a budget, let me share one more help for this kind of travel. It is a Facebook Group Costa Rica by Bus. It is a free, public group but you have to join to be notified of postings. 

The Robert Lous Stevenson quote above in on that group’s heading and possibly typical of the many young adults who like to travel all over Costa Rica. 

I just posted a statement of how I changed my plan for this week, learned from Juan, my new helper at the bus station here in Atenas. Here it is  in case you don’t see it there: 

I learned a new trick today to make my bus traveling maybe a little easier, thanks to Juan at the Atenas Bus Station. I’m going to Tenorio Volcano National Park, closest town Bijagua. The online scheduler had me going from Atenas to Orotina, then on to Baranca where I catch the pass-through bus to Upala after a layover. Juan suggested that even though “back-tracking,” it would be easier, maybe quicker, and surer to go to San Jose where the Upala Bus starts. When I’m on that bus (seat guaranteed if early) I never have to get off or worry about missing a connection or waiting for a bus or having a seat. Since the Atenas & Upala stations in San Jose are close, I’m going to try that this trip. Any comments or suggestions? Or something I or Juan didn’t think of? 

And I think I already shared the site where you can plan a schedule in English online:   To have it show my revised schedule above, I just add in the box “By way of” the words San Jose. And we will see if anyone comments on paragraph above. You can learn a lot from fellow-travelers! 

There are many bus companies in Costa Rica and we have one in Atenas:

Most Atenas buses are nice modern vehicles like this Mercedes-Benz
But most are not air-conditioned which really isn’t needed here.
This one is German-made, others Korean or Chinese – all imported.
Buses to very rural areas are sometimes old school buses.

And if you want something else to ride a bus to, try San Jose’s Fiesta de Gallo Pinto

A Tragedy in Paradise – While Life Goes On . . .

We received a huge shock this morning. Phons von der Bom, from Holland, the owner of these apartments, Hacienda La Jacaranda,  living in the big house on the property was found yesterday by the grounds keeper dead in his big house of an apparent suicide. Police were here most of the day they said, while I was at church and the potluck lunch. He was quite depressed from the death of his wife to cancer followed quickly by the death of his father in Holland and missing his children who are now back in Holland. The holidays were especially depressing and lonely for him and he was drinking heavily. I had not seen him in a week or more. Some have said he is an alcoholic. Regardless of all the reasons, it is so very sad when someone takes their life. Rudy, the caretaker, and Patricia, the secretary or practically the manager are devastated and of course don’t know what will happen. I saw two men who looked like business men or lawyers in the office with another woman today. She might be the daughter who I think was already scheduled to arrive today. And of course those of us who are renters could be in limbo for awhile, expecting that the place will be sold. For us, that could be the silver lining to another cloud, since Phons was the reason for poor management and maintenance. So we who live here are both sad and hopeful for better management – but have no idea of what will happen now. Your prayers appreciated.

For a happier note, I photographed my bowl of cereal with pasas y manzas (raisins & apples) which I topped off with a banana and strawberries – much like my breakfasts back in the states.

Breakfast Today

This was followed by a cup of green tea and receipt of the bad news about Phons’ suicide. Then I walked to town with Camella to Su Espacio for my first Spanish Class and her signing up for Zumba. The class was an excellent beginning with 11 students for the young enthusiastic teacher David – pronounced “Day-Veed” here. He is going to try and split our class for more personal assistance. We will know by Wednesday, which is the second of the two days a week class. Then I walked around town exploring again and had an early lunch at La Caretta, desiring some Gallo Pinto, Costa Rica’s special black beans and rice with onions and peppers. Been here nearly two weeks and had none! They only served it with breakfast, so I had Gallo Pinto con huevo y bacon (with eggs & bacon.) While eating, my neighbor Jean Pierre showed up without his wife Elizabeth and joined me at my table. He had a steak! While I added Tres Leches y cafe negro. Another pleasant morning in Atenas except for the Phons shocker! I walked home via Coope for a few grocery items and there ran into one of the ladies from church. It is beginning to feel like home!

You possibly saw the latest thing going around on Facebook about Costa Rica as the Happiest Place on Earth or in the top 2 or 3 or 93% depending on which survey. One of the writers  for Tico Times gives her take on it with a nod to the MacGyver TV show which I don’t think I ever saw. It is titled: The real secret of the world’s happiest country: grapes and MacGyver . All this relaxed, easy-going happiness is in addition to living in the town with the “Perfect Climate.” It is always nice to have your decisions confirmed by other people and research!  🙂

Living the Pura Vida in Costa Rica!    -Carlitos