Two weeks after my arrival to Costa Rica – and I have to say that I’m starting to feel quite at home here!
I spent a lovely few days in San Jose at the Hotel Presidente http://www.hotel-presidente.com, which was a nice way to get over my jet lag (there is a six hour time difference from London).
I then took the 4 hour bus ride to Quepos near the west coast, where I was met by my host family.
Costa Rica is certainly very different to the UK. It’s a lot hotter and sunnier, and everything is in Spanish!
San Jose is quite a small capital (most are compared to London) but busy and lively enough. Quepos, on the other hand, is a very small town surrounded by luscious greenery and lots of wildlife. There are plenty of lizards and birds to be spotted in the trees. I go to sleep to the soothing chirruping of bugs and wake up to a chorus of the local cockerels.
My host family is really nice. I have my own room, get to practice Spanish at home and am fed fresh Costa Rican food everyday!
So far I’ve enjoyed two hikes through the rainforest. One was a trip to find a waterfall (unsuccessful), the other to visit a beautiful secluded bay that cannot be accessed by the public. That was a really tough physical trek for me! But completely worth it!
I also enjoyed a whale watching day trip to Uvita, which is 1.5 hours away by bus. My group was very lucky to find a mama humpback whale with her baby within 20 minutes of leaving the shore. And we saw a pod of dolphins too! Our guide told us it was quite rare to see both on the same day.
My TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course started last week in Manuel Antonio, which is 15 minutes away by bus. I have a great teacher and lovely classmates. The course itself is a little intense, but I’m learning so much and think it is really beneficial. This evening I have been working on a lesson plan for a lesson that I will be teaching tomorrow! They have certainly thrown us in at the deep end – with a lot of help of course.
The pros: change of lifestyle and scenery, adventure, meeting different people, sunshine, improving my Spanish, enjoying learning
The cons: Quepos is very humid (San Jose is cooler and drier), a lot of mosquitos
Overall, very good 🙂 and just the change I was looking for.
This weekend, I plan to visit the local market, go to Manuel Antonio wildlife park and veg out on the beach.
In the longer run, after my course is complete I will head back to San Jose to look for work. Mainly because I prefer the climate, but also because there should be more work available there. So far so good!