It was time to head to Bolita! Yes, I’m sure you are wondering what that actually means… well, Bolita is an ‘eco-lodge’ – yes we can’t get enough of the jungle and wildlife, and we had had such a nice time in Puerto Jiménez spotting birds and animals, that we were ready for more!
They have a website – bolita.org – which describes the way to get there as a ‘beautiful, but somewhat aggressive 30 minute hike through the rainforest‘
We weren’t exactly sure what ‘aggressive’ really meant – hopefully not loads of animals trying to kill us! 🙂 – but the ‘beautiful’ part sounded good! To start our ‘aggressive’ hike we first had to get to the village of Dos Brazos – which was easier said than done. There was meant to be a minivan at 11am, but after standing by the side of the road for around an hour, nothing had arrived. There was also a German backpacker there, and the lady in the restaurant near where we were standing said that we were in the correct place.
It turned out that our problem was ‘trafficos’. I had always thought that ‘traffic’ was a singular noun meaning ‘lots of cars’…. and so was somewhat surprised that it was possible for ‘traffic’ to cause our minivan to be delayed, as we were in a tiny town which pretty much had zero traffic as far as I could tell. Still, everybody insisted that this was the reason for the delay, and that the minivan wouldn’t be coming anytime soon.
Well… it turned out that our Spanish was just not quite good enough for this situation, as it took us a LONG, LONG time to work out what was actually meant…. the clue is in the ‘s’ at the end of ‘trafficos’… yes, ‘traffic’ is a singular noun in Spanish as well as in English… so why the ‘s’.. because a ‘traffico’ is also short for a ‘traffic cop’! Yes, and when there are a bunch of traffic cops around, then they are plural…. so they are of course ‘trafficos’… Yes, the problem was actually that there were traffic police in the area, not that there was traffic in the area. AHHHH – it all finally made sense! 🙂
In our defence, I am going to maintain that Costa Ricans are prone to dropping the S at the end of words…. 🙂
So, the problem when there are trafficos around is that none of the minivan drivers have passenger transport licenses, they are ‘informal’. Everybody knows this, but the cops can still fine them if they catch them. The vans run on a schedule, so you would think it would be easy for the cops to catch them whenever they wanted. Well, it is – but they don’t normally bother. So why now? Apparently it was because ‘The trafficos need a bit of extra cash because the Easter holidays are coming up….’ 🙂
Yes, and the van drivers would like to keep their cash for the Easter holidays too – so today they were all hiding… most of them wouldn’t drive today in case they got caught. So that left us with the option of taking a taxi – luckily it was only around 12km to Dos Brazos. (this is my estimate as according to Google maps there is not even a road there and it won’t even tell you the walking distance!)
So, we split the cost of the taxi with the German backpacker and off we went – arriving around 30 minutes later (yes, it’s not a good road!) at the Bolita office ready to start our ‘aggressive’ walk.
The Bolita ‘office’ turned out to be the house of the owner who wasn’t there – but they had left a note explaining how to get up to Bolita – just follow the signs…. so off we went – unfortunately it started drizzling – but as we were dead tough we decided to go ahead anyway 🙂
After about ten minutes we reached a big river. Yes, a big river with no bridge at all… BUT, we had been warned about this, and had purchased special pairs of imitation ‘crocs’ especially for river crossings! Yes, we were like good Boy Scouts and were ready for river crossings! 🙂
After the river, the hard work began… yes the ‘aggressive’ part of the trail – which seemed to just mean ‘uphill’. We had left some of our stuff in Puerto Jiménez, so weren’t carrying a full load – this meant that it was actually quite a lot easier than we expected! 🙂
In the end, it did only take around 30 minutes to get there – and we arrived at the top still full of energy and ready for our stay in Bolita!