Monday, January 16, 2012

The backpackers lunch box

Water taxi to isla Carenero

A few hundred meters from Isla Colón is the oft-forgotten island of Isla Carenero. The island takes its name from ‘careening, ’ which in nautical talk means to lean a ship on one side for cleaning or repairing.
Thanks for letting us know about this place Mike! A pickled parrot, two margaritas, beers in a styrofoam cup "to go" and we were on our way.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Isla Bastimentos; A Gem

We thought we would stay for 1-2 days but it turned out to be something like 7 days. There is something about Bastimentos that makes you get stuck. while exploring the island a bit, the more I saw the more I liked it. There are amazing beaches you can walk along. Wide, white, empty beaches... Just beautiful. Marisol and I met some great people and ended up having a great time!

Bastimentos town is not more than one street along the sea. A very quiet place where you could enjoy nature, but also hear the heavy reggeaton from the bars and houses! Crossing the tip of the island though (very muddy after the rain...) you get to Wizard beach, which is a beautiful white beach. Not a lot of people are there, and if you continue, you get to totally empty beaches..

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Casa Verde/Heike

Our home for the next few days. Marisol catching up on some reading in style before a long night out!

Bocas Del Toro

Costa Rican Slang: Pachuco y Tiquismos

Hanging out with the locals has made one thing for sure - I've learned a ton of Tico Slang, or Pachuco as they call it here. It's a lot of fun to use, and it definitely makes me feel like less of a foreigner, but this stuff is puro tico, which means most of it only functions here in Costa Rica, so if I go traveling to other Latin countries, I'll be back to square one with the word on the street...

Below is a list of some of my favorite and most popular Tiquismos. This is mostly for those of you who speak Spanish, or people who are coming here or living here now.

Tico/Tica: Costa Rican born male or female.

Pura Vida: Costa Rica's official slogan, locals use it to replace the word, goodbye, your welcome and thank you.

Que chiva: slang for "how cool"

Mae:"buddy" or "man", it is often used to start or end a sentence.

Apretar: to kiss

Al chile? - Seriously

Que me dice? - What do you say? or What's up?

Que es la vara? - What's the deal?

Solo bueno! - Only good! or It's all good!

Póngale! - Hurry up!

Buena nota - A “cool” person

Nada que ver! - Nothing to see! or No big deal!

Zaguate - A womanizer (literally a mutt or a street dog)

Pura vara! - Lies!

Un pichazo - A large blow or a huge hit of something

Que dicha! - How great!

Por dicha - Fortunately

Blanco - A cigarette

Chinga - A cigarette butt

Jetón - Liar

Me presta una teja? - Lend me a buck?

Que vacilón! - How fun!

Que despiche! - What a mess! or What a good time!

Meter yucas - To tell lies

Estar puros dieces – To feel great (literally to be at pure tens)

Clavo - A problem (literally a nail)

No se monte! - Don’t mess with me!

Tumba la vara! - Stop bothering me!

Hay gente para todo – There is a fool for everything

The Caribbean “Rice & Beans”

Puerto Viejo is a nice little seaside town. The Caribbean side of Costa Rica is quite a bit different than the Pacific side. Here the music is mostly reggae, the people are darker and there are way more dreadlocks!

One of the local staples they simply call “rice and beans".

The ticos on the Caribbean coast prepare food differently from the rest of Costa Rica by cooking with coconut milk, curry, and ginger. In addition to Caribbean-style food, you can find a wealth of international fusion flavors in Puerto Viejo.
Rice and Beans – rice and beans cooked with coconut milk and spices is the perfect accompaniment to Caribbean Chicken.
Ron Dom – sopa de mariscos (seafood soup) prepared with coconut milk.
Pan Bom – dry chocolate bread cake.
Patí – spicy beef empanadas.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rocking J really rocks!

Rocking J's was an amazing place. There must be 150 hammocks there. These hammocks you can rent as your sleeping quarters. With these hammocks you also get a large storage locker for your stuff. I’m guessing there are around twenty hammocks scattered about for general lounging about and napping. There is also a huge platform stuffed full of rentable tents ... maybe seventy-five of them, also with storage lockers. Every square inch of Rocking J’s is decorated with tile mosaics.. floors, support columns, fixtures, tables ... everything. Rocking J’s is a huge place.

Six countries in four days!

Last week was an exhausting travel week. Mexico to Chiapas/Guatemala/El Salvador/Honduras/Nicaragua/Costa Rica. Before planning my new years trip to Mexico, a friend and I had planned to meet in Costa Rica. Therefore I had to trek my way through central america by bus. A total of 55 hours by bus. All worth it to meet my dearest friend Marisol, who will meet me anywhere in the world!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico

Having both slept surprisingly well on a 17 hour bus ride from Mexico to Tapachula, even through rain storms and three stops, I find myself in Tapachula, a town about 30 minutes from the border of Guatemala, where I will catch a bus to El salvador tomorrow morning. I was able to find a quite, clean, cheap hotel called, El Lux, conviniently right across the street from the terminal, which is perfect for my 6a.m. bus tomorrow morning.

Feliz Año Nuevo desde La Ciudad De Mexico!

Merry Christmas!

Although a little late, I hope evryone had a wonderful Christmas. I was fortunate enough to fly back to the States and spend Christmas in Chicago with my family. Although I was a little hesitant in going back because I didn't want to break the groove of my travels, little did I know it was just what I needed. Now I've recharged and on the road again. Also I was really lucky with the weather there, I didn't freeze to death!