On Jan 4th, day 65, Danielle got up a bit earlier than I at Barb and Gord's in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica. She soon came back into the guest room in tears, having just found out that her Grandfather back home had just suffered a massive stroke, and the doctors didn't expect him to survive much longer than a few days. Further, due to this very unfortunate event, Danielle's parents, who were supposed to arrive in Costa Rica the next day, were no longer coming.
Obviously, this came as a great shock. The rest of the day was spent frantically making calls, and was over all very emotional. Being the incredibly kind and generous people they are, Barb and Gord invited Danielle and I to stay as long as we wanted while we processed our next move.
The following day (day 66/Jan. 5), Danielle had decided to fly home from Liberia airport in Costa Rica, in order to see her Opa for potentially the last time. Barb and Gord drove us to the airport, where we dropped Danielle off. From the airport, the three of us continued into Liberia and we all got some groceries. That night, Barb and Gord, once again, made me dinner, which consisted of delicious homemade pizza; Barb enlightened me to the method of putting refried beans on pizza. We finished the night by watching the Canada vs. USA World Junior Hockey Finals (USA won in a shootout, sadly).
January 6th (day 67), was the day Danielle and I's great friends Jack and Taylor were set to arrive in Costa Rica, and thankfully they were still going to. I planned to meet the couple in the town of Montezuma, about a 4 hour drive from Playa Del Coco. I left Barb and Gord's in the morning, and headed south.
I arrived in Montezuma in the later morning, and got myself somewhat oriented with the small town. Soon after, I found a cafe, and sat on the porch keeping an eye out for Jack and Taylor. Soon enough, I spotted them. We caught up while eating and drinking at the cafe.
The three of us stayed in Montezuma from the 6th (day 67) until the 11th (day 72). While in the hippy town also known as “Montefuma”, we visited the waterfall (where I lost my sunglasses hiking and then had them returned to me by another visitor), explored the beaches, connected with a mutual friend who lives there, and also visited the neighbouring town of Cabuya where we did some pretty decent snorkelling around Cabuya Island – a small island only reachable on foot at low tide which houses a graveyard.
On the 11th, the three of us headed not too far away to the surf mecca of Santa Teresa. Our time there was a bit weird, having heard a few negative stories before we arrived there. Further, our host at the hostel we stayed at was a bit of a nut which added to our weird vibes. Nonetheless, we had a pretty good time there exploring the beaches. The highlight of Santa Teresa to me was seeing an armadillo scurrying about a pile of leaves.
Also to note, while in Santa Teresa, the three of us one day decided to drive a bit out of town to go find some snorkelling. While driving along the dirt road, we approached a very steep, rutty hill, and began our ascent. About half way up the hill, Bilbo began to sputter, and very quickly died. Unable to get the engine to run, we backed down the hill and luckily found wifi at a thankfully closeby coffee shop. After some time frigging around with various things, and making some frustrating phone calls over very poor wifi, Jack noticed the main air intake hose had completely cracked, and separated, causing a lack of air into the motor. After some duct tape and zapstraps, we were back on the road.
On Jan 14th (day 75), Jaylor and I breifly separated as I headed back to Liberia Airport to pick up the returning Danielle and they headed by bus straight to our next destination: Monteverde and Santa Elena.