Embarking Variety Voyager
Villa Blanca is always a popular stay for Furlongs Travel guests. The combination of location, the style of accommodations, the gardens and the friendly staff team really make a visit to Villa Blanca something special. However we must continue the tour, so we set off for the Pacific coast! The drive along the lane from Villa Blanca to the main road is about 30 minutes. At the end there is a steep hill at the junction and Richard’s coach driver, Armando, is concerned to help Dawn’s driver, Carlos, at the exit. Basically you have to take a run for it and drive straight onto the main road, so you need to know the main road is clear. Armando makes it up the hill and we wave a car to stop as we exit. Richard jumps off and goes to stop the traffic as Carlos approaches. Unfortunately Richard doesn’t spot a Costa Rican policeman who gets rather agitated that Richard is directing traffic. Anyway, both coaches make it out successfully and Richard’s bail hearing is next week.
On route to the Pacific coast we seem to head downhill for ages. Eventually we level out and it becomes clear we are in a completely different ecological zone. We’ve visited lush cloud forest influenced by the Caribbean weather and heavy rainfall, and now we’re on the Pacific side which is very dry as a result of almost constant drought.
We make a comfort stop at a facility comprising café, ice cream parlour, souvenir shop and toilets. Guess what was most popular? Ice creams followed by souvenirs! Toilets came way down the list. By the way, it is very hot and humid here. In comparison, our air-conditioned coaches feel rather like being inside a fridge.
Our next stop or perhaps “slow down” is at the Tarcoles Bridge. This point attracts some rather large crocodiles that bask on the river banks. We have to look out of the coach windows because we are not permitted to stop on the bridge due to police regulations. This is rather laughable today because we are following a police car in which the driver is busy texting on his mobile phone while driving all over the road. He then decides to stop in the middle of the road to chat to a fellow policeman.
A little further down the road we arrive at Los Suenos, a rather swanky hotel and golf complex. Dawn and Richard have arranged a surprise complimentary lunch here. While the guests lunch, Richard supervises the loading of luggage aboard our ship, Variety Voyager. Guests follow late afternoon to find all luggage waiting for them in their cabins. After a thorough safety briefing by the captain and an introduction to the ship by Erick, the cruise director, we head for dinner. Considerable amounts of wine later, we retire to bed.