After having such a relaxing beer and croc filled ride to Jaco, I decided to rough it back to San Jose, Costa Rica. I was told that taking the local bus would cost less than five bucks and that it was a decent ride. Sure enough, I went to the ticket counter on the north end of town and had very little trouble getting a bus ticket. There was some confusion in explaining that I wanted one for the next day with the language barrier, but pointing to a calendar cleared that up.
I cleared out of the condo before check-out and headed to Oz to wait for my early afternoon bus. I ordered a couple bottles of water and said my good-byes as I waited for the time to pass. I knew that there was a bus stop right across the street, but I felt more comfortable just getting on at the bus terminal because I wasn’t sure which busses stopped there. It turned out that I could have just hung out at the bar because the bus did stop about every two blocks to include right outside of the Mas X Minus grocery store.
The bus had been fairly full at the terminal and continued to get fuller as it made it’s way south through Jaco. Eventually, I started to notice people getting to their seats and others moving out of them. I had looked for a seat assignment on the ticket and didn’t find one. I decided I’d better look more carefully because one obviously existed. Sure enough, there it was, hidden with tiny numbers in the paragraph of tiny text that was written in Spanish. My number was 53. I was in 41.
I looked back towards the seat that should be mine and realized that there was a rather large family taking up the whole area. Even if I could brake through the crowds of people who were by now occupying the isle, it would have been a huge hassle to get them to move and even worse trying to separate the family. Eventually ticket holder # 41 boarded the bus and I found a seat on the floor. This was the beginning of the troubled Jaco bus ride.
Another fella was relocated to the floor next to me at the next stop. He was a bit younger than me, early 20’s, and didn’t exactly look like an honored citizen. I made sure my belongings were stored some place where a person couldn’t get to them without me noting and settled in for the 4 -5 hour ride.
I woke up about three hours late with my eye-balls floating. Every bump threatened to shatter my bladder and this bus had no bathroom. I pulled out the phone and opened the map app. It showed me being about 30 minutes away from San Jose in a regular car. At the rate I was going that was going to be a while. Not only was the bus slower than normal traffic, but it kept getting off the highway and letting people off. I tried without success to take my mind off of my urgent problem.
My troubled Jaco bus ride finally came to an end when, just outside of San Jose, I surrendered. I got off the bus at a stop with a gas station across the street and wobbled across the street to the restroom, pushing anxious taxi drivers out of my way. Luckily, they were very understanding once they figured out what was going on. I caught a cab the rest of the way to my hotel for about $15. I later realized that the stop was the airport stop. It’s one of those that looks way different coming in than it did going out.
Check the number on your ticket!
Spanish is not needed for this method of transportation. Just make sure you know the name of the stop you’re getting off at if you have never been there.
Take your vitamin C pills. I was sick for about three days after this over-crowded bus ride!