I write this from a super nice lookin' hostel in the capital of Costa Rica, that apparently used to be the home of the Costa Rican president in the 1940s!
At the end of the last post I said there would be one more Nicaraguan adventure. I lied. For the life of me I can't remember what adventure I had in mind, if any, when I wrote that. But anyway, Kelly and I hung out at the hostel for a while longer, played some card games, made friends with a super adorable stray dog who hangs around the hostel, and kinda just relaxed for another day. God how I've missed not doing anything of any particular importance.
We snagged some of the dope breakfast food at the hostel, then worked on scramming so we would have ample time for the border. As we were checking out, a couple arrived at the reception counter to check in. It turns out they're overlanding in their Ford Transit! We chatted with Eric and Yuko for what had to be an hour and a half. Everything from chatting about places we traveled through, to their experience during COVID, to giving tours of our vans were covered! (Their van is super nice). They even picked up their cat at the hostel Kelly and I stayed at in Antigua, Guatemala!You can check out their website here! They're super cool.
We definitely wouldn't have minded another day or two at the hostel to chat with Eric and Yuko some more, but our time was up and we had to move on. We had a few hours to get to the border, then that process is pretty much never guaranteed to go smoothly. The drive there went pretty smoothly though!
The border area to exit Nicaragua was wacky. As we approached the immigration building, we were accosted by fixers, money exchangers, and vendors selling SIM cards all approaching the van and trying to flag us down. There was the customary long line of trucks waiting for customs, but it was hard to tell where we should go. Eventually we were able to extricate from a few fixers where to drive to after sifting through their sphiel about needing a SIM card or needing to have a printed copy of our health precheck for Costa Rica (spoiler alert, the QR code on our phone was just fine). After we crossed some invisible barrier, they all simply dissipated. We surmised they weren't allowed close to the immigration building, much to our relief!
The Nicaraguan exit procedure wasn't too bad, the worst part was figuring out where to go and who to talk to, beyond that it was smooth sailing! Before we knew it, we were on our way to Costa Rica immigration. Read about that here!
We hang out a bit longer at the hostel, chat with some fellow overlanders, then cross into Costa Rica!
If there's something I wrote too little about, make a comment or reach out to ask to hear more, I'd love to answer any questions!