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Manual Antonio area was our next stop. We had chosen this location as our good friends Nita and Kevin were there. They had just gotten married in London and had chosen Costa Rica for their honeymoon. CONGRATULATIONS!
So essentially we were crashing their honeymoon! But since we had not seen each other for ~6 years we were all very excited to spend time together again.
To give a little background of our friendship, we met Nita 10 years ago on a train in Thailand, and spent several weeks together on Thailand beaches. Since then we have met up in England, and Nita and Kev came to our wedding in Australia. Despite not seeing each other for huge chunks of time, they are a part of our extended family and we have a real connection that time does not affect.
Keira, Mike and I camped on the beach near Manuael Antonio using the facilities of the Beachpackers Hostel. It was a decent location with monkeys in the trees, iguanas in our immediate environment and the beach right at our door step. Nita and Kev had an amazing honeymoon suite which unfortunately they didn't spend much time in as we were together so much.
Nita and Kev had not met Keira, so we were excited for them to spend time together. We spent the days and evenings with Nita and Kev; enjoying the beach, chatting to catch up on 6 years, eating in restaurants (our favorite being a Fallafel restaurant) and enjoying a few drinks together.
We also did a day trip to Dominical, a little hippie surfers village that had a great vibe. It was really amazing to spend time with Nita and Kev. We love them very much. We were all very sad to say goodbye, but have promised to meet up again soon
Throughout this area and also in Panama, we saw the huge tracts of land that had been taken over by palm tree plantations. A lot of jungle habitats have been destroyed in order to clear the land for these plantations. Palm oil is in so many products and it is hard to avoid. But I challenge everyone to start looking at labels and to try choose brands which do not contain palm oil. Maybe if we all do our part, no more rain forests will be sacrificed!
Keira and I are struggling as we are addicted to lime plaintain chips!
Unfortunately we began to have a problem with Priscillas electrical system. The car batteries were not charging properly. Mike deduced that it was the alternator. After some research we were able to locate a mechanic in a suburb of San Jose that had been recommended by another overlander. Mike charged the batteries with a trickle charger so we could charge the batteries from an external electrical outlet.
Setting off from Manuel Antonio we had a full charge on both our batteries. After a 3 ½ hour drive through winding mountains roads we just made it to the mechanics with very little charge left in both our batteries.
We were very pleased to arrive at Americar mechanics. David Ortiz was in fact an excellent mechanic, and very accommodating.
After one false start with a faulty new alternator, we did get the correct part. And we had a functioning fridge once more.
HIGHLIGHTS/CHALLENGES OF THIS AREA:
MOST VALUED POSSESION: a new alternator
BEST EXPERIENCE: Mike- spending time with Nita and Kev ; Keira- meeting Nita and Kev and teasing Nita about spiders because she doesn’t like them; Riss- spending time with Nita and Kev defiantely
MOST CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE: Mike-working out car problems; Keira- waiting yet again at a mechanics for Priscilla to be fixed; Riss- saying good-bye to Nita and Kev after such a wonderful few days.
BEST FOOD DISCOVERY: Mike-fallafels, Keira- deserts at the Tapas restaurant, but the portions were too small; Riss- falafels/mint and pineapple shake
BEST CAMPING SPOT: by the beach- the only campsite for this blog
Just a place to keep our mates informed on where we are at, and what we are up to.