Maria Magner

Joined May 2016
  • Day15


    June 14, 2016 in the United States ⋅

    We took the 4 AM shuttle to the airport. We stink, we're exhausted and we desperately want to be home. Our 3 hour layover in Atlanta turned into 5 hours because of a thunderstorm, but we made it back to St. Louis before dark. Our cats were feral and our apt is a disaster of semi-unpacked boxes, but it's home.

    It will be years before we have this much time off again, so we're happy that we took advantage of it. We learned what we like to do, don't like to do, and how to travel well together with very little.

    Until next time, adios.
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  • Day14


    June 13, 2016 in Costa Rica ⋅

    Today we left the big city of San Jose for Alajuela. The hostel there is 10 minutes from the airport and they offer a free shuttle. We're staying in a dorm room with a 19 year old British girl who's doing environmental research and a 50 year old man from Tennessee who lives in Panama but won't say why. Enough said.Read more

  • Day13


    June 12, 2016 in Costa Rica ⋅

    We rode the bus for 5 hours to San Jose where we met up with British med students, Joe and George. We all stayed at Backpackers Hostel which had a bar, restaurant and pool, but we called it an early night because we're all pretty beat and ready to fly home.

  • Day12


    June 11, 2016 in Costa Rica ⋅

    Falco, Jenny, Rory and I went to a tropical reserve. It was raining heavy this morning so no one was there and workers were eager to show us around. We saw sloths fighting, dart frogs, butterflies, and reptiles.

    The Costa Rica soccer team played Columbia so we went to a sports bar to watch the match. It reminded us of football bars in the U.S.Read more

  • Day11


    June 10, 2016 in Costa Rica ⋅

    There is so much to do here... ziplining, horseback riding, repelling, hiking, but all we want to do is lay around. It's been an exhausting few months and we're done with planning and going.

    We walked through town, lounged around, and ate. We migrated from a dorm room to a private room. Dorms are good if you're on adventures, but when you want to relax , having your own space is a necessary luxury.Read more

  • Day10


    June 9, 2016 in Costa Rica ⋅

    We took the bus to La Fortuna, near the base of Arenal, a dormant volcano. We're staying in a dorm room at Backpackers Hostel. Our roommates are two Germans, Jenny and Falco, who is getting his PhD in Climate Change. We're all about the same age (Which is 10 years older than most other guests), so they must've put us oldies together. The hostel costs $12 per person, and it has a pool, swim-up bar and restaurant.

    When we got to town, the woman sitting across from us on the bus, left her iPhone on her seat. Rory picked it up and chased her down. When we got to the hostel bar, we recognized her as the bartender. Her name is Maria and she gave us free margaritas for the night. We ended up playing midnight pool volleyball and acted like we were 21 again. (Our bodies do not recover like they did when we were 21...especially in this heat)
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  • Day9


    June 8, 2016 in Costa Rica ⋅

    This was a long travel day. Our hotel said we were the second guests to ever leave them via bus. Most rent cars or use the private airport. They also couldn't believe all our luggage is in our backpacks. Keeping it classy.

    Our day went like this:

    Taxi > Bus > Bus > Ferry > Taxi > Bus > Walk

    We started at 9 am and arrived at Hostel Sobano in San Ramon at 7 pm. It was long, but beautiful and exciting. We feel confident navigating transit and the elevated jungle landscape here is a relief from the squelching heat and mosquitos on the coast. Our legs are covered in bites and our clothes are sour.

    This hostel is quiet and we have our own (very clean) room. When you backpack, you learn to appreciate the basic things.
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  • Day8


    June 7, 2016 in Costa Rica ⋅

    We biked thorough Santa Theresa which was a chaotic mess of 4-wheelers, dirt bikes, dump trucks, horses and surfers. We were sweaty, thirsty and dusty so we picked up tequila, chips and salsa for a beach picnic, but by the time we got to the beach, the salsa had spillled all over Rory's bag. It smelled awful and looked even worse.

    When we returned to our room, we found candles and a lovely note from the staff. Our last evening was bittersweet because tomorrow we return to the life of backpackers.
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  • Day7


    June 6, 2016 in Costa Rica ⋅

    We've never stayed anywhere that pampered us like this! We took a boogyboard to the beach and tried to surf, but were a mess compared to the surfers on gigantic waves.

    We had a siesta in hammocks til it started to storm, so we moved to the bar for a serious game of rummy. We were reading on the front porch of our cabana when we realized we were both starting to burn out on "relaxing".

    That's when the hostess, Nattie, ran up asking Rory if he could help someone who was injured from the rocks. We told Nattie the night before that we were celebrating Rory's completion of medical school, so she knew he was a doctor. It was dark by now, so we grabbed our headlamps and ran to the beach. We could hear him screaming from far away and Nattie said there was a lot of blood.

    The man was propped up on two beach chairs, surrounded by hotel workers. Rory took charge, "Hello, my name is Rory and I'm a doctor." He started with the man's head, and worked his way down. He had cuts everywhere, his right heel was sliced off and and his left foot was a giant swollen ball. The man spoke Spanish and English which was a blessing since many of the workers spoke little English. The security guard explained that he heard the man screaming while patroling the beach. If he hadn't been there to pull him up, he could've died.

    The patient was staying at a hostel a few miles down the beach, and was out for a walk when the high tide grabbed him and threw him against the rocks. Our hotel warned us as soon as we arrived, not to swim near the rocks, especially alone and at night.

    A worker gave Rory a first aid kit and said the ambulance was 30 minutes away. The patient was screaming about pain, so Rory sent me to grab ibuprofen that he brought. Rory directed everyone on how to clean and bandage his injuries so he could be carried up to the road. During this whole process, Rory told the patient what he was doing and why.

    The beach is a quarter mile walk from the road so four men carried the patient in a beachchair in the dark. When paramedics arrived, they spoke only Spanish so the hotel manager translated for Rory.

    "Multiple contusions, 12 cm laceration to heel, flap injury, and compartment syndrome on left foot with multiple foot fracture, and mid-tibial fracture."

    Medics gave him saline, morphine and loaded him into the ambulance for the hospital 15 minutes away.

    Rory was gushing in sweat and we were both shaking. When we got back to our cabana, they had a bottle of wine on ice for us.

    We were no longer bored of relaxing.
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  • Day6


    June 5, 2016 in Costa Rica ⋅

    We took a shuttle up the West Coast to Santa Theresa, an area known for surfing and expats. We've been roughing it in hostels and making our own food, but the next three days are all about luxury.

    Latitude 10 is an eco-friendly boutique resort. There are only five cabanas, each with its own nest in the jungle. They are open air, so no windows and the bathroom doesn't have a roof. In fact, an iguana in a tree pooped in our shower! Water is heated by the sun and candles are lit at night. There is a pool and restaurant that overlooks the ocean.

    We keep looking at one another and giggling. This place can't be real!
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