Santa Teresa, Guanacaste

After a few days in Jaco having spent every morning surfing, and every lunchtime cowering in the shade from the ridiculously strong sun, we decided to move on. We left Jaco with a few good surfs under our belts, some epic sunburn, (even through wearing factor 50 my neck blistered; the sun is far too strong there!) and a taste to discover what else Costa Rica has to offer, and what the real, off the beaten track Costa Rica is really like...

From Jaco we set off early to the Nicoya Peninsula via boat; the quickest way to get there. After 40 minutes of gazing out into the crystal clear waters eagerly keeping my eyes peeled for dolphins, we finally landed in Montezuma. We were greeted by the quiet seaside cove/yoga retreat of Montezuma, which unfortunately we didn't have the chance to explore as someone offered a cheap ride over to Santa Teresa before we even got off the beach. So instead of chilling out by waterfalls and meeting yogis (which I greatly regret) we set off on a bumpy, hot and sticky ride to Santa Teresa. Although just a few kilometres away, the journey took a little longer than anticipated as the roads around this area are renowned for being some of the worst in Costa Rica. Even in a 4X4 the jeep struggled to reach the top of some of the hills where deep ditches lurched the jeep back and forth making all passengers inside grab onto something to stop ourselves falling into each other. We soon realised how dusty, dry and barren the climate was in Guanacaste as brown dust covered the road where the jeep had just passed. Gusts of wind lapped up the dust forming clouds engulfing the jeep.

Eventually, after an hour or so of lurching off our seats, and bumping our heads into windows and each other, we arrived in the tranquil, dirt track town of Santa Teresa.

As the jeep sped off leaving us on the barren track we took our backpacks and headed to the nearest hostel. After many refusals we finally managed to find a hostel run by a lovely Italian family. I really can't remember the name of the place but it had a pole coming down from the shared rooms into the lounge area where a few dogs laid out and chilled with other travellers. The hostel lies up a dirt track leading up to the jungle path.

We opted for a private room as unfortunately Matty had mumps which had unfortunately managed to come all the way over with him from England. As the fever sweats, aching, swelling and headaches kicked in we opted for a chilled few days in Santa Teresa with nothing but healthy food in an attempt to rid him of the mumps. No beers, just lots of fresh fruit, water, some heavy doses of heat to sweat it out of him, and of course some beautiful sunsets on the beach.