A few weeks before our friend Sean came to Costa Rica, we made the decision to go home to visit family and friends and work for a bit. It made the most sense to do this from Costa Rica because you can park your vehicle in government bonded storage and have your vehicle import permit put on hold for a fairly cheap daily rate.
We spent the last few weeks at our house preparing to go home. We found cheap plane tickets and got information on a storage place for Truck from our good friends, 30 for Thirty. The last thing we had to figure out was Brady. After doing extensive research and emailing numerous people, we found out that we would need to buy a crate for him. He would need to fly as cargo because of his size and he would need to receive an international health certificate within 10 days of our departure flight.
There was a local veterinary office just down the street from the house, so we went over there to set up an appointment for the health certificate and to look at crates. We ended up ordering a crate that was the correct size and it cost almost as much as one of our roundtrip plane tickets! Brady is lucky we love him
When we weren’t doing research or preparing to go home, you would find us at one of the local surf breaks in the area. We were absolutely loving surfing and were getting pretty good at it! It is an addicting sport and we couldn’t get enough. It is such a wonderful feeling sitting on your board out in the middle of the ocean waiting for that next wave to come and take you on the ride of your life. We had been surfing at Domincalito, The Point, and Playa Hermosa, all nice surf breaks right down the road from our house, but were ready for a change.
Kellee and Jamie had rented a house near Pavones and invited us to crash their party. We packed up the truck one morning and were about to pull out of the driveway when Nate remembered that he heard a strange noise coming from the brakes the day before and wanted to check them out before driving the four hours to Pavones. Good thing he did because the brake pads were completely worn through to the metal! After about an hour of taking off the tires and replacing the brake pads, we were good to go.
We enjoyed our drive to Pavones. We missed driving around in Truck! When we arrived, the Tranquilos were preparing our classic meal of veggie burritos for dinner along with a couple of “Tranquilizers”- their version of a margarita
We spent the next four days surfing the best break we had ever been to. I didn’t actually get out on Talula (my surfboard) until the second to last day because the waves were a lot bigger than I was used to. Once I got out there, though, I had the time of my life! I caught the longest wave I have ever caught- it was unreal! Nate also caught his best waves there. The boys were having so much fun while out on the water that they would be out there for a good four hours before coming in. We have talked about making our way back over to Pavones one more time before crossing into Panama when we return in September
After our mini vacation in Pavones, we headed back to our house in Dominical. Kellee and Jamie came by for a couple of days before they headed back north to a house they rented on the Nicoya Peninsula. We all said our “Hasta Luegos” and shed a few tears. You create a special bond with people on the road, especially ones that you have so much in common with and get along with so well. It seemed like our goodbye happened so quick and after traveling with them on and off for about three months, it was hard to watch them drive away knowing we wouldn’t see them for a long time. Good luck on the rest of your adventures, Tranquilos, we will miss traveling with you!!!
We had about two weeks left and we wanted to do some work to the truck before parking it in San Jose. We pulled out the drawer to sand and paint it, repainted the fridge slide and sanded and painted a section of the sleeping platform. We also took everything out of the truck, went through it, cleaned it and organized it before putting it back. We rotated the tires and rotated the spare in- what a difference 17,000 miles will do to a tire!
A couple of days before our flight, we moved out of our house and got ready to spend the next couple of nights at a hotel near the airport. We spent a total of almost two months at the house and really loved it! We had a nice routine of surfing in the morning, making delicious smoothies after, lounging by the pool and then running a few miles through the jungle hills before dinner. But all good things must come to an end, so we said our goodbyes and made the trek to San Jose.
We arrived at our hotel and unloaded our packs that we were bringing home with us. The next day, we drove Truck to the government bonded parking lot and got all the paperwork completed in order to leave it for an extended period of time. When we came out of the building, a man was in the drivers seat, revving the engine, blowing black smoke everywhere. Nate’s face instantly went pale. I thought he was going to cry when he saw someone else sitting in Truck treating her like that! We didn’t know that they were going to be the ones driving it over to the lot and weren’t ready to say goodbye just yet. So we hopped in with the guy and went over to the lot with him. We took lots of pictures and said goodbye to our best friend. We felt bad just leaving her in a lot all by herself. She got us this far and we felt like we were abandoning her. As we walked away down the dirt road, we kept looking back to get one last look. Sorry Truck We hope you enjoy your nice little siesta, you deserve it!!!
We walked to the main road where we grabbed a taxi over to the airport. This was the first time in nine months that we didn’t have our own form of transportation. It took all of our willpower not to go back and get Truck and call the whole thing off. We wanted to get our tickets and tax forms so it would be one last thing to do at 3:00 am the next morning. We also found out where to drop Brady off at the cargo area for United Airlines and paid for his ticket- which was three times the amount of one of our one way tickets! Once again, he’s lucky we love him so much!
After getting a taxi ride back to the hotel, we went for a run and relaxed the rest of the night. It was a difficult and tiring day and we still had a whole day of traveling ahead of us! We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner with a glass of our favorite wine, Clos Carmenere.
In a matter of just a few days, we had said goodbye to our good friends Kellee and Jamie, our wonderful house, our truck, goodbye to surfing for the next three months and would soon be saying goodbye to our ultimate freedom living in paradise. We tried our best to remember that most of these things are not necessarily goodbyes, more like a “See ya later”, and tried to enjoy our last night before we would submerge ourselves into the overwhelming, fast paced, consumer society that we would live in for the summer.
Author: The Long Way South
Nate and Sarah were born and raised in the small town Saco, Maine, USA. We attended college in Boston, MA where we caught the traveling bug and have been addicted ever since. After our brief stint with the corporate world we decided, never again! The Long Way South is our website for our Pan-American journey, and the porthole for a life full of travel.