Undercover to paradise: Costa Rica
Doing an internship in Costa Rica
Why didn’t I just stay at home, I thought to myself when I stood at the airport counter in Hamburg on 04 July in the morning. “I do three weeks of backpacking in Costa Rica and then move on to Nicaragua.
All in all, I’ll be in Mittelmarika for half a year,” I replied calmly to the question of how long I wanted to stay there. Lying has never been my strength, but I was satisfied with my “performance”.
“We must have some proof that you will leave Costa Rica after 90 days at the latest,” the Lufthansa employee explained to me with a view to my return flight ticket from San Jose to Hamburg. It was for January 26, 2020. “Otherwise you’d need a visa.”
Rainer had told me that I would most likely be approached about this. He also got me a bus ticket to Nicaragua to show it in this case. But it was inadvertently dated to 23.10.19 and therefore did not fit to my statement nor did it come into question as proof for a three-month stay. SHIT.
Unfortunately I had noticed this only in the morning on the way to the airport. I congratulated myself to my outstanding organizational talent and put the document nevertheless on the counter, where the lady studied it. “I have to get my boss,” she said suddenly and stood up abruptly.
Now I began to sweat blood and water. Did she suspect it was an alibi ticket? Or had she seen that the date of the bus ticket did not match my information? She left her counter and ran to one in the back of the row. I watched inconspicuously as she spoke to a man who looked at the bus ticket, returned something and began to type hectically on his PC. After a while the lady returned. I tried to be as relaxed as possible, even though my pulse was at 180. “And? I asked with big, innocent eyes.
“Everything was fine’, she said and smiled at me. I returned a hypocritical grin that was probably more like a nervous teeth smile. “Since check-in didn’t work without a contemporary return ticket, we entered a fictitious visa for you.” She handed me my boarding pass, which stuck to my frog hands, wet with excitement, as if by itself. But she either didn’t seem to notice it or ignored it. “I wish you a lot of fun and a good journey!”
That was the beginning of the adventure.
Welcome to Ticolandia
It was already very dark when I landed in San Jose. 11 hours flight had dragged like chewing gum. Only when I was sitting in a taxi as the only passenger, I realized that I had arrived. The cart roared with open windows towards the center of San Jose and in the airstream with a view of the brightly lit city my spirits awoke. I enjoyed the feeling of driving towards an exciting experience that nobody could take away from me anymore. The only thing between me and the beginning of my hotel internship was a night in San Jose and a 5-hour bus ride from there to Samara.
Here Rainer would pick me up by car. As we had already skyped, we immediately recognized each other without having to search. I was relieved. After Rainer had transported “child”, cone and two pink suitcases in his transporter, he rang in the very last part of my journey with howling engine. A 15-minute drive over a very authentic gravel road with potholes and the adventurous crossing of a small, low river by car followed – then finally the transporter spat me out at the gates of paradise! I felt like a settler who had set foot on the “new world”.
After an almost 30-hour journey of more than 9000 km I had finally arrived at my destination: the Hotel Paraiso del Cocodrilo in Guanaceste, Samara. And YES, it really is a paradise in small style: About 3 ha of green space in a nature reserve with numerous palms, fruit trees, bushes, a main house, 13 guest rooms, a breakfast terrace and a pool will be my home for the next 208 days.
I was astonished and the first three to do very paradisiacal things were showering, eating and sleeping.
Goodbye Germany. And HOLA Costa Rica!