Richard Watts

Janner gone Westerer!
Living in: Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • Day103

    Headed to the big smoke alone after not enjoying the Lost and Found hostel much.
    Checked into a hostel on the first night, it wasn’t a great area, but luckily there were some people I knew there. They left early the next morning, so I did after breakfast.
    Hostel number two was in the older area of Panama City, which is supposed to be somewhere to see. It was okay. 😂 I went for a run along the sea front, which was good, and my various injuries didn’t bother me. The hostel was nice-ish, but had a bar playing shite music till 3am under my dorm, so I left the next after breakfast.
    Checked into the third hostel, not expecting much, but it was a better location. I was sat contemplating what to do next as this hostel was quiet, when Rob and Emily walked in. A couple I had been in my Spanish school home stay in Antigua! Good news!
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  • Day98


    July 31 in Panama

    Bocas was a nice start to Panama. The first day we chilled and the weather was awesome!
    The next day we went on a tour, the weather was far from awesome. On the tour we saw a load of bottle nosed dolphins, snorkelled on a shallow reef, which was good. We stopped in an island for two hours, the first hour and a half it was cold and raining, it cleared a little by the time we were leaving, luckily I took a six pack of beers, so at least there was a bit of a break from the rain. On the way back, we stopped by Sloth island, where we saw about 5 sloths. Then on to the so-called Hollywood where there were loads of starfish. All in all, not a great day, but something to do.
    Later I bumped into more people I had met before and four of us headed for some food n drinks.
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  • Day95

    Getting up late, had a an awesome coffee and then had breakfast in Puerto Viejo at a place called Cafe Rico! We then jumped on a bus to head to the boarder.
    It wasn’t long before we were at the bridge that crossed from Costa Rica to Panama. To get into Panama, you have to have an onward ticket. We didn’t, but luckily Syarda had a plane ticket layout pdf, so she forged a couple of tickets over breakfast. Win! People get turned away all the time for this or have to buy a bus ticket. It’s a good job we had them as it was the first thing they asked for at the boarder!
    It was all quite painless and as it was later in the day, we jumped on a shuttle to take us to the water taxis, which would then take us over to Bocas. The boat did not hang around, it had some big outboard motor and it really shifted!
    It took about 45 minutes at full chat!
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  • Day94

    Puerto Viejo

    July 27 in Costa Rica

    It’s a nice little surf town with some good place to eat and waves! It’s a bit out of season for surfing, but you can see it’s potential.
    A lot of the businesses here are run or owned by expats, so it obviously has a way of keeping people! Our hostel was run by a German, Cafe Rico was owned by an english dude who’d been there 17 years. We hired bikes from an Australian and I had the best espresso ever from a French cafe.
    It’s got a real Caribbean vibe here, like most of this coast, and it’s a total mix of local people.
    It was pretty much raining the whole time we were here, I think we got the only good day in Tortuguero.
    We hired bikes and cycled up the coast to Manzanillo, had some food, had a play in the sea, drank hot chocolate on the way back at a cacao farm and had a couple of beers. We saw some capuchin monkeys in the trees too! All good.
    The next day we went to the Jaguar sanctuary. They didn’t have jaguars, but they did have loads of sloths and monkeys. This was the best run rescue Center I had been too and it was all funded by the tours. The woman running it was a primate specialist and most of the people working there were volunteers. Our tour was with a girl from Manchester who was really good. She has the worlds first PhD in Sloths, so really knew her stuff. I am now full of all the facts and happy that I’d seen enough sloths. On the cycle home, we saw a couple of wild ones too. All good fun
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  • Day91

    Tour time!

    July 24 in Costa Rica

    We woke up late am rushed out. Got a cinnamon roll for breakfast, massive!!
    We had booked a canoe tour for the three of us, although Syarda was the only one who could paddle. Good job the guide did, but he was still in bed when we got to the tour place, so he had to wake up pretty quick!
    The hope was to see a sloth and some toucans, anything else was a bonus!
    We headed off into the jungle on the waterways, which were quite busy with people doing the same, but it didn’t feel like a merry go round. Hopefully the pictures came out okay, I’ll upload them in a bit, but we did manage to see quite a lot. Only saw a Toucan flying quite high, but it was there, and no sloths, but we did see quite a few wild camen, makaws and big lizards. I also got a camen in the face when the (possibly slight hungover) guide took the canoe slightly too close to where one was sat conveniently at eye level for a seated Watts. I had my paddle at the ready to give it a jab!Read more

  • Day91


    July 24 in Costa Rica

    Went on a tour last night to see some turtles. We saw three massive green turtles! One laying eggs, one come out of the water, head up he beach and then go back, think it was scared; and one just coming out of the sea.
    It was an awesome experience as they are really big!! Probably about 4’ long by 3’ wide. As with all these things, it seems a bit wrong, but the $15 park fee dose go towards protection them and numbers have been going up steadily. Sadly, no pictures are allowed.
    A highlight indeed!
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  • Day90

    Tortuga Town!

    July 23 in Costa Rica

    So I only knew of this place from the Lonely planet and knew from someone in the hostel in San Jose that it had a lot of rain. So much that they had been stuck for two days as the boats couldn’t get up the river.
    It took us three buses and a taxi to get to the boat to take us to Tortuguero. The last bus from Cariari took us through some big banana plantations and farmland which was under a lot of water. It had clearly been raining a lot! We got on to the boat and it was instantly obvious that the river was swollen (coming back the level had dropped 2m) and there were crazy Eddie currents everywhere! Me and Diamaid (Irish bloke) were in a boat with all of the luggage. We hit a tree very soon and at that point the transfer boat took on a new guise as an unexpected adventure tour. Nice!
    We got to the dock after about an hour of crazy boat ride, just in time for the heavens to open and soak us! Great news when you have to walk around and find somewhere to stay!
    Found a hostel, booked a canoe tour for the morning, eat and hit the hay. Long day and another 5:30 start in the morning.
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  • Day89


    July 22 in Costa Rica

    This by far a nicer place than La Fortuna. A nice little mountain town, still really touristy, but a lot nicer vibe.
    I got via a bus and a boat, then another bus. The boat went across part of a lake, it was raining and not too warm, but mildly intresting all the same. The other side, I went to get on my bus and was told no. I found out, only as they were calling the name ‘Ricardo’ that I was in another bus. It was a guided tour and, by now, as they been calling my name, everyone greeted me with a “Hola Ricardo!”. Turns out they all spoke English, but thought I was Spanish, including the tour guide who spoke to me in Spanish. I waited half an hour before I broke my cover, it was quite funny.
    I got to my hostel and started to think what I should do in Monteverde and the rest of my time in Costa Rica. I thought I should just maw a run for the board, seeing as though I cilantro surf, and get in to Panama where I knew people would be going to a party. An hour later, someone I knew walked in an that plan got changed. Funny how things happen. I had met Syarda in Utila, then again in Antigua briefly, and now!
    The hostel turned out to be very social, so two became seven and we had a little crew!
    The next day, we went for a walk in the Santa Elaina cloud Forrest, looking for wildlife. We saw pretty much nothing until we got back to the car park and saw a Coatapi walking around. In the arvo, everyone else went zip lining, I stayed in and learn a song on guitar. Nice.
    Next day, 5 of us went for a walk up the hill to find the chocolate and cheese factory’s, also some cafes. The chocolate place was shut, the cheese factory was crap, but I did drink an awesome affogato.
    That night, three of us planned to leave early and head to Tortuguero! 4:45 start.
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  • Day86

    La Fortuna, no bueno!

    July 19 in Costa Rica

    Not had a good day. Woken up early by two seppos leaving and packing every plastic they’ve ever owned, into plastic bags, and not whispering quietly.
    Then went out to see the town, between the really rain storms, to find out that people here are just plain rude! If you arnt giving them money, they are rude. If you are giving them money, rude! Way too many seppos here too. I have to call them that as my term Oosa’s (USA’s) hasn’t caught on and although they like to call them selves Americans, everyone on his continent is American!
    It rains here waaaay to much to do anything, and I haven’t even seen the volcano yet, which you can’t climb.
    Anyway, book my way out at 8:30am. Done.
    This is all on top of the fact that I have pulled two or three intercostal muscles and won’t be able to surf for at least 2-3 weeks, which was my whole reason for getting excited for Costa Rica. I just hope it’s not a broken rib! I have no idea how it happened, but it was whilst surfing.
    Bummed 😕
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