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Written By: Gary on January 4, 2009 No Comment

It was kinda gloomy out and I didn’t want to hike far and get trapped in the rain. I saw a few people gathering for the bus so I asked what time the bus was, I was told 11:30 so I grabbed my stuff from the hotel and went back to the bus stop.


I’m not sure why this looks pixelated, it’s actually way better in High Quality.

A few people showed up at 11:30 but no bus. A few more show up at Noon but no bus. At 12:10 the bus showed up and lots of people showed up by 12:30 (which was the correct time). Turns out this is the one time of day the bus is generally on-time since they stop to get lunch when they arrive here. Why all those others thought it was 11:30 and 12:00, I have no idea, they said those times with no hesitation. I really wish “I don’t know” was part of the Costa Rican vocabulary.

And now that it’s all uploaded, I realize the ocean looks kinda washed out. But I swear it’s right there…

(FYI, I am not in Costa Rica)

Written By: Gary on November 28, 2008 No Comment

So riding the bus in Costa Rica is cheap and it’ll take you anywhere. The problem is figuring out when the bus is going to be running.

In the bigger cities this doesn’t appear to be a problem, if you miss a bus another one will be by soon and if it’s not the right bus it’s still heading in the correct direction, just hop on. In the more remote areas (such as Montezuma) they probably don’t come more than every two hours so if you miss the bus it’s a pain.

The people closest to the bus stop seem to have the most reliable information. Restaurants and internet cafes have it written down, but they wrote it down ages ago. My trickiest problem is asking “when is the next bus?” and they tell me “it’s in 20 minutes” but that’s too soon for me so I try to find out about the bus after that and it’s no good; I have to come back in 25 minutes and ask again to get the info for the bus after that :)

The appears to be no schedule posted, even at the bus station in Cobano (a central town in the lower Nicoya Peninsula). I did notice the bus that goes from Montezuma to Cabuya to the National Reserve does have a schedule taped to the window (4 trips a day) with pricing and everything; as an added bonus, it generally seemed to be leaving Montezuma at the correct time! More info below.

Pricing is cheap though. In San Jose I took a bus for about 150 colones (28 cents) but honestly I don’t know far that would have taken me, it was in front of me heading the right way and it kept going once I got off. In Montezuma, it’s 300 colones (55 cents) to go to Cobano which is 7 km. away (a very hilly/dusty walk).

You can get a direct bus all the way to San Jose from Montezuma, but you might not get a seat and there isn’t any A/C but I think you can do it for about $8-ish (maybe $10 including the ferry ride). CORRECTION: The direct bus does have air conditioning; if the directo bus in Montezuma does not have A/C, when you switch onto the directo in Cobano that one has A/C (and little controllable vents like on an airplane), I’ve taken it three different times now and it is an excellent value (it seems like it will stop at the SJO Airport [you must ask/tell them!] or San Jose at the Coca Cola bus terminal (updated March 2012; I think I paid just under $14 and that included the ferry ride). Montezuma to Cabuya to the National Reserve info: When I saw the schedule it said 600 colones to the Reserva and 500 colones to Cabuya (just over or under a $1.00). It leaves Cabuya for Montezuma at 7:20 am, 9:20 am, 1:20 pm and 3:20 pm (not sure what time it actually leaves the park). It leaves Montezuma for Cabuya at 8 am, 10 am, 2 pm and 4 pm. Obviously they get a long lunch hour or maybe it doubles as a school bus? (These times and prices are from November 2008).

Written By: Gary on November 27, 2008 No Comment

Does anyone know where the Official Bus Schedule for Public Busses in Costa Rica is? A million sites list bus schedules but they’re all different (and mostly wrong).

I understand the busses don’t run on time. But there isn’t any reason for me to be at the bus stop at 11:30 if the bus isn’t until 12:30 (especially if it’s going to be late), it’s certainly not going to leave early.

Written By: Gary on November 17, 2008 No Comment

So I “needed” to go to Cobano today. They have “real” internet! It’s really fast but I had to get there and come back. It’s only about 5 miles so I needed transport. I planned to take the public bus. As I went downstairs at my hotel to check on the times I saw the owner leaving to take Roger (another guest) to the local airport. So I hopped in the car with them, I forgot my Spanish book but otherwise I was good.

So I spent the afternoon in Cobano. Used the ‘net, ate lunch, walked around used the ‘net some more, ate dinner and tried to catch the 5:30 bus. Turns out it was a 6 PM bus, I had bad info…

Img 0418 2But the bus was even later. And the locals were getting pretty annoyed about it. It finally showed up at 7:12. For a hyper guy, I’m a pretty good waiter. The problem was that I already finished my book and my laptop was dead by this point so I was pretty bored. But the ride is only 20 or so minutes so at least it was over pretty quick.

The price was amazing, I’m not sure how much change he gave me back but it was no more than 60 cents for the ride. I could have taken a cab for about 7 or 8 dollars, but that wasn’t the point. It was for the experience…

I also went to the bank to try to make a withdrawl but that’s another story…

Written By: Gary on November 13, 2008 No Comment

So I scheduled a shuttle bus (a large van) from San Jose to Montezuma. Last night I confirmed all the details:

  • 8:20 pickup at my hotel. I guess they don’t pickup at all, but they pick up at mine.
  • I’m going to Montezuma
  • Approximate arrival time. She said 3 PM, which seemed really late, so I asked how many people were being picked up after me. She said “none” (I double-checked this and was told I was the only one going to Montezuma). I was excited because I would get the front seat, the back seat makes me a little nauseous, especially in Costa Rica.

    Ib LogoThe “Really Good” is their actual motto. I’m not sure if it was originally translated strangely and it stuck or if it’s how they were really rated on a survey or what, but I laugh every time I see their signs…

    They were actually there early. And of course there was someone else on the bus. And we were picking up 3 more people (2 stops). But, it turns out they were going to different places. Here’s the process on how it worked:

  • Pick me up (semi-English speaking guy).
  • 2 stops to pick up others.
  • Stop in Punteraeous and put me on a different shuttle (they were already waiting for me) with 6 others (who were going to get dropped off in Tambor about 10 miles before I was. Driver was non-English speaking guy.
  • Before the ferry boat another Interbus employee squeezes in (semi-English speaking guy).
  • At the ferry boat we all take our luggage off the bus and put it in a not-so-secure area on the boat. (The other bus turned around and went somewhere else with no passengers).
  • On the other side driver grabs a van he left there a few hours before from the people who were going the other way.
  • He drops everyone off at a hotel/resort in Tambor (Hotel Tambor?). Very nice!
  • He drops me off.
  • Ten minutes later I realize I don’t have my GPS, I was playing with it on the ride (an awesome birthday present from my Mom!).
  • After multiple transfers on the hotel phone (with hotel people translating) we realize it’s lying in the gutter next to where we parked when I got dropped off. Oops!

    All in all it was a great value! Only $39 (it’s $150+ for a cab). I didn’t wait anywhere, even the ferry was ready to board when we got there (not sure how long the Tambor people waited for me, but they then would have had to wait for the ferry). Air conditioned vehicles in pretty nice shape (each time I changed busses they got a little more worse for the wear).

    And I think I arrived at around 1:30 (maybe a little sooner). If traffic would have been worse out of San Jose (and it wasn’t great), it probably would have been a lot later since the next ferry probably wouldn’t have been for hours.

  • Written By: Gary on June 6, 2008 No Comment

    The Oyster Card is a debit-type card for using the Tube (subway) and bus systems. It’s very very convienent, why they don’t push the Oyster Card as an alternative for tourists I have no clue. There’s advertising everywhere but not pushing it for tourists (the airports and train stations would be a logical choice). It’s a “gift card” that you load up with any dollar pound amount and just tap it (like the new Visa cards with the tap or blink function) to get onto a tube train or bus. If you use it a lot, it can automatically top up from your credit card so you’ll always have enough (and I think you can get your photo put on a more permanent card).

    “Our aim is to ensure that Oyster always charges the lowest fare.
    Where it doesn’t, we will refund the difference.”

    It’s much easier and faster plus you don’t have to decide if you need a all day tube ticket or bus option or anything. It calculates the best possible fare for you at the end of the day and they promise it’ll be cheaper than tickets. Plus you can use it on the cool red double-decker busses!

    It’s a 3 pound deposit, but I’m under the impression that when we return our cards we get the 3 pounds plus any other cash we still have on it returned to us. Our only concern has been not having enough on it when we get on a bus (it’d be too late to put more ca$h on it then).

    So my vote is get a Oyster Card as soon you get to the London area!Later: We did get the deposit (3 pounds) and all our money back with no problem.

    Written By: Gary on October 6, 2007 3 Comments

    So I’m looking for a practical and cheap and semi-direct way to get from London, England to Cardiff, Wales. I figure my choices are train, bus or rent a car (I have no problem driving on the left). When I go to London in the spring I was thinking of spending a day or two over that way. Also, I’m looking for a place to stay in Cardiff near public transportation, decent but not too expensive (of course) a hotel or bed and breakfast would work. Of course I’ll want to visit this general area so I’ll need some walking tour information too (or book recommendation).

    Cardiff Words LightI keep seeing it on TV and movies and other places so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve never been in that direction, I think the farthest west I’ve been is Stonehenge/Sailisbury.

    Also, any bloggers who lurk around here and want to meet up drop me a note. I’m also looking for restaurant and other tourist recommendations. And if anyone knows about any Torchwood filming dates in the spring (I’m thinking they’re editing around now, so probably not) I’d be interested in that too, especially if you have any contacts related to seeing some of it.

    Written By: Gary on June 10, 2004 No Comment
    Onesome: School— Since the school year seems to be over (your mileage may vary: some of you are already in summer sessions!): what was your favorite year in school? Yeah, the one you had the best time in or learned something special or had that learning breakthrough?
    I loved the year I spent in my master’s program. Projects I liked, classes, I liked, profs I liked, I think I even got in a lot of dating and socializing in that year!
    Twosome: Bus— Hey, how did you get to school in the early years? Walk? Bike? Mommy van? Bus? …and for those still attending, how are you getting to and fro these days?
    Walked, when I got older I biked. When I got to middle school, I was pretty good on my bike in the snow (falling on the ice is way better than falling on cement).
    Threesome: Stop— …and when did you stop going to school? …or did you? Are you still at it? Any plans to go back for those who are out of the system?
    I went for 11 years straight. One summer I worked at a camp but every other summer I took classes. 4 Associate’s, 1 Bachelor’s, 1 Master’s and a lot of assorted credits. I loved college, I loved my assistantships too. I only left because they kept complaining about ‘academic progress’ or something like that… I didn’t really like the Ph.D. classes so much. I miss it, I miss the East Lansing area. What I really miss is that every 10 weeks class was over and you got to start over, you could only fall so far behind before you ‘reset’ back to the starting line again. it was kind of refreshing.

    From The Thursday Threesome

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