On Thursday morning Max, Kyle, and myself rowed ashore around 8am. Securing the dinghy to the dinghy dock at Banana Bay Marina we grabbed some hot coffee and walked the 15 minutes to the ferry dock. Buying tickets to Puerto Jimenez we waited for the small ferry to arrive. The ferry was rather fast, traveling about 25 knots and was a small boat with windows that opened, allowing the fast moving air to flow through the boat. It took about 30 minutes and was a pleasant ride. Arriving in Puerto Jimenez we walked around attempting to find the “micro bus” that would drive us the 40 minutes to Doz Brazos, where we could find the trail leading to our hostel. After asking a few locals we found ourselves waiting outside a hardware store, not completely sure we were in the right place. At 11am a woman in a small bus, more like a van, helped us onto the bus with some locals and a few babies. Five minutes into the ride the paved road ended and the remainder of the journey was on a dirt road with an endless amount of pot holes, large rocks, and small dips in the road. The surrounding land was absolutely beautiful. Small colorful homes, lots of children out playing, people on mopeds, and just this feeling of joy, happiness, and community. Despite the houses being small and open aired, I received a feeling of community and of love of their surroundings by the locals here more than anywhere I’ve been in the US. It was quite refreshing. Around noon we arrived at the office of the Bolita Hostel we had reservations at. A nice woman named Val showed us a map, gave us directions, and sent us on our way. This hostel is literally in the rainforest, and it takes about 30-40 minutes to hike up to it. It was not an easy hike, especially since we have been sitting on the boat for so long. But it was absolutely stunning. There was a small river crossing, little waterfalls lining the lower part of the trail, and steep inclines that lifted us up into the canopy. A half hour or so later we arrived at the Bolita Hostel. We were greeted by colorful hammocks, an open air kitchen and living area, and 3 volunteers. After meeting the owner, Ron, we went up to our rooms- Kyle and I had a small room offset from the dorm beds. It was so amazing- the rooms were completely open air, with a nice bug/critter net snugly around the bed. With our stuff unpacked and our beds made, we headed off to spend the next 4 hours hiking.
The hostel has 16km of self-guided trails that are well marked and maintained. We headed towards the two sets of waterfalls that allow swimming. It took about an hour to get there and the hiking was like none I have ever done before. Walking, quite literally, along the edge of the canopy we saw colorful birds, tons of monkeys, and the most luscious greenery. We spent a couple hours swimming in the waterfalls, walking along the river bank, hiking up small creeks leading to waterfalls, and walking through the rainforest. On our way back to the hostel it began to rain, brining a magnificent smell. It’s pretty cool hiking in the rain in the canopy of trees because even though it was pouring, we were hardly getting wet because the trees above us were so thick.
That night we made the pasta we had brought with us in the kitchen the hostel provides. After dinner I sat on our bed listening to the rain land on the tin roof above us. Looking out over the rainforest and listening to howler monkeys and tropical birds I smiled from deep within. I stayed up fairly late, just enjoying the feeling of total relaxation and happiness that my surroundings brought. The following morning Kyle and I woke early and went on a hike while Max slept. We then made some lunch and hiked a bit more before heading back down to Dos Brazos to catch a bus back to the ferry leading to Golfito. Had we not have already had our Zarpe (a document allowing the boat to leave port in Golfito) with my name on it, I was going to stay at the hostel and meet Kyle in San Jose next week. That’s how much I loved it haha. But knowing I couldn’t do that due to customs and immigration, I said my thank you’s for being able to experience such a serene and special place, even if just for a night. Thank you Bolita Hostel!
As I write this I am sipping on hot coffee over looking the marina and High Climber out on the mooring ball. Max is taking care of a few last minute things, and then we are going to top off our water tanks and head out to the Pacific. In two days we will arrive in Nicoya Bay where we will spend a night or two at anchor to rest and find some snorkeling. From Nicoya we will take two more days to get to Playa Flamingo, where Kyle and I will pack our bags and take a bus into San Jose to start the next part of our journey. Onward!