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The Gap Year Blog

Muchas Gracias, Mario..?

6 Nov 2019 16:25 PM

How does one make it from Puerto Jimenez to Camp Osita in only 2 hours? How does one obtain front row seats direct to town twice daily? The answer, my friend is of course… The Society of the Collectivo. 

Once successfully in Puerto Jimenez, filled with Gallo pinto and stocked with enough snacks to last a lifetime; simply wait outside the Collectivo stop for the next bus (Tico time) and watch as Mario splutters along as elegantly as is possible in his trusty bus – or land cruiser depending on his mood. Hop on and prepare yourself for a unique experience, where the road is long, the people are cheery and the potholes are plentiful. Enjoy watching rivers cascade through the rainforest as you cascade through them, thanks to the vehicular prowess of Mario.

Don’t you worry yourself should the bus break down – it’s a given for a vessel that is held together solely by duct tape and willpower. If you chug to a clunky stop, you can watch in awe as Mario changes shirts and enters mechanic mode. In just a tick you’ll be fixed up and chugging back along the road, making occasional stops to drop off and pick up other blissfully optimistic passengers.

A routine stop Mario makes is at a restaurant/bar approximately 30 minutes from the end of the trip. Take this 10-minute break in the journey as an opportunity to stretch your legs, chat to some locals and regain a sense of mobile stability. Downing the strong black coffee certainly helps.

Your journey will end when you see a colourful bus shelter bus accompanied by the sign “control your dogs, save turtles”. One of the staff members will take you down the lane towards camp and get you settled in. Now you may rest in a hammock, have a tea or coffee and reminisce about your time on the Collectivo.

Muchas gracias, Mario!

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By Charlotte - Frontier Costa Rica Volunteer

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!