AVCRHM–With Love, Rosa Parks

After taking our trusty steeds to the waterfall, we headed “into town” for lunch and to soak up some of La Fortuna’s beauty and hospitality…


The food was nothing exciting – traditional Costa Rican casadas that came with rice, beans, fish, and nary a vegetable in sight.  (such was the trend for 99% of the meals we had)

Along with vegetables, filtered drinking water was hard to come by.  I wasn’t really down for catching scurvy or paying for stuff that should be free (bottled water) so we put our faith in fermentation to kill the bacteria :


After lunch we headed across the street to grab the bus back to the hotel.  We decided that while we were out here being all adventurous and shit, we’d give shady public transportation a go as well.

(see also: evidence #2 of I’m-a-cheap-asshole)

Let me preface this by saying I DON’T DO PUBLIC TRANSIT.  I rode the BART in San Fran and almost crapped myself.  I’ve done nothing but get stuck behind the SoCal busses, and grew up in a town too small to have a need for them.  I didn’t even ride the dang bus to school.

Mark the Treehouse manager gave us play-by-play instructions before we left that morning.  Where to wait, how often the busses come, how much it’d cost, and when we’d get off.

So we sat on the bench Mark told us about, and waited.  And waited.  AND WAITED. 

No busses.

Double-checked our giant I’M-A-TOURIST! map to make sure we were in the right place (since there were no signs/schedules/english-speaking people to guide us)

25 minutes, still no bus.

… and then the rain came!

After hiding under an awning for another 10 minutes, we finally saw a bus pull up across the street and raced over to it.  The driver was getting out and said “cinco something something”, which we translated to “5 minutes, homies, and I’ll save you from this rain and take you home.”

35 minutes later…


Turns out he meant “5 O’CLOCK”.  Whatever.  We were the first and only ones boarding, so we showed him the address for Treehouses and made sure we were going to the right place.

He nodded, we paid, and took our seats.

5 minutes later, the bus was COMPLETELY PACKED – with a dozen or so people standing in the aisle – fast-speaking locals and two tall, blonde Americans sticking out like sore thumbs.

There were no “actual” stops or order to the whole shit show – the driver picked up anyone standing along the road, and stopped whenever someone yelled.

I sat in my seat, staring in my lap, cursing myself for being to cheap to pay $25 for a private car back.  Adventure my ass – this was hell.

There was a group of teenage boys behind us, yammering away and laughing like obnoxious boys do.  They tossed in some English in a terrible British-ish accent they apparently thought fitting, and I realized they were mocking us.

rude CR boys : ‘Let me off thees buuus, right neow!’

Freaking hilarious.

Suddenly the bus came to a screeching halt and the driver yelled,

driver : ‘TREEHOUSE! OFF!’

I looked at B in shock and confusion – we weren’t sure where we were, but it was not where Mark told us to get off.

And now half the bus was yelling at us, along with the driver.

We finally got up, walked off the bus to the driver glaring/smirking at us , and watched as it sped off.

With nothing to do but cry start walking, we headed in the direction we thought the hotel was.  It was almost dark, we had no phones, and not a clue where we were.

me : ‘B this doesn’t look right. We’ve been walking for 10 minutes, there’s no sidewalk, it’s about to be dark, and we’re obviously going to die. Happy honeymoon.’

Two big windy hills, a few human-roadkill scares, and 10 minutes later, we finally saw the restaurant Mark said the bus would drop us off at.

At least we weren’t lost.

When we finally got to the hotel, Mark asked how it went.


I never really got to that “We can laugh about it, now!” point – B says it’s a story we can retell at Christmas and laugh about because HI WE DIDN’T DIE! and it’s funny somehow.

I on the other hand will be writing thank you letters to all the civil rights activists and sending presents to the Parks household.  And seeing a therapist. 

And never riding another freaking bus, ever, the end.

Sarah OUaL


16 thoughts on “AVCRHM–With Love, Rosa Parks

  1. Buses confuse me to begin with. So, when I’m in a foreign area (including those two blocks down the street from me), I stay far away from public transportation. I may be cheap, but not willing to risk humiliation when I ride the bus in a giant circle back to where I started (not that that happened or anything…).


  2. Reminds me of the public transportation in St Thomas (USVI). Imagine something like a 30 year old extended bed pick up truck with benches in the back. Then imagine the driver drinking beer, and throw in some tight curves on narrow mountain roads. Same deal: no schedule, just rides in a loop picking up anyone who’s out waiting. If you were lucky, you got one with a canopy over the back :) We of course could have paid for cabs, but that was like 5x the price and no faster.


  3. I hate public transportation, probably because I can’t read a map but also because weirdos take public transportation and then I have to pull out the bitchy face.
    I think you will laugh about it…eventually, it was def an adventure.


  4. This story made me giggle in so many areas. So, if you can’t get to the funny part, please know that I have gotten there for you. You are welcome.

    I was all freaking out about riding the subway in NYC for the first time when my friend assured me everything was fine. We got on. It was crowded. There wa no where to sit. Except this one totally open area that everyone was avoiding because there was blood all over the seats and hand rails.

    And yes. We sat there anyway.


  5. I am ok with public transportation in the US, but in another country? HECK NO! I am surprised you didn’t turn around and teach the kids mocking you the bird. Oh wait, the whole being in another country thing. Roger that. Nevermind!


  6. ahaha I love you and every single face you make on this thing.

    p.s. WHAT DID YOU THINK of Imperial?! when I spent a summer in CR, I drank a whoole lotta the stuff. aaand did you try the guaro?

    (do you like that almost everything that comes out of my mouth usually has to do with running or booze?)


  7. Pingback: AVCRH : Hotel #2 – Nayara « Once Upon a (L)ime


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