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Waiting for a bus – 8km from San Ramon, Costa Rica

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Costa Rica Bus Stop

Costa Rica Bus Stop

After work, I missed the bus home by two minutes. Unlike everything else here, which runs on TicoTime, the buses are extremely punctual.

I considered walking home but already exhausted and looking up the hill at the 7-8km walk into the next valley I instead wandered along to the next bus stop which I remembered as having a seat and settled in for the now 70 minute wait.

As I sit here an old man is behind me slowly chopping away at some corn with a machete. Every time there is a lull in the traffic I expect him to bury the blade in the back of my neck and steal my rucksack.

Quite a few taxis go past, but are all occupied. The official taxis here are red, with a yellow triangle on the doors showing their home town. There are also unofficial cars called TicoCabs, but they don’t often stop for mud-covered Gringos. These are unlicensed and uninsured, so in the event of an accident the local hospital won’t take you in without pre-payment.

Two different white vans drive past and the drivers mate shouts something out of the window at me. Fortunately I can’t understand either of them, but with the laughs disappearing down the road I get the gist.

Machete man is still idling behind me.

A horse wanders by without a rider. Seems content.

Watch an inch long ant wend its way toward me and up my boot. It climbs to the top of my sock and bites me. Passes the time for both of us I suppose.

Whilst I’m head down writing a TicoCab pulls up in front of me. As I look up he drives away. Tease.

Just as it starts getting chilly the bus arrives. As I stand up I hit my head on the rather short bus shelter which amuses the driver considerably more than me.

Machete man curses his missed opportunity.

Arriving back in town the girls drop in and we head out for drinks to celebrate my last paycheck from the job I left to come here. Everywhere in town closes at 8 so we end up with cakes and chocolate milk, which I’m secretly perfectly happy about.

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Since leaving London in 2006 I’ve travelled, worked, volunteered and lived in over 90 countries. Highlights so far would be driving along the Silk Road from Beijing to Istanbul, a complete circuit of South America and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica. I’m currently back in Beijing, as a base to visit more of Asia and attempt to learn Mandarin.

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