My second project was to the turtle conservation in Matapalo and we were staying there for three days. Every volunteer had a time schedule to go to the hatchery and check if turtles were born. Guanhao and I had to be there at 3:00 AM till 6:00 AM. We had to wear red lights because the turtles cannot handle white light. Unfortunately, the first day was actually also the only time I’ve seen a turtle but on the other hand at least better to encounter one than none. In addition, I had to walk along the nests and check if new turtles came out and weight, measure and write down the exact time and then release them again in the wild. The hatchery was quite fun but the rest of the day we were free and to think about it, only working for 3 hours and spending much money to volunteer was not really satisfying in my opinion. Though, it was another experience and the beach was looking really nice, it was only a 2 minute walk to the beach. The 24th December my friend of the Netherlands arrived in Puerto Jimenez. He had already travelled for about a month in Costa Rica. I was very happy to see him and showed the little town where I am living in.The next day we went to another place which was also called Matapalo but just 18 kilometers away. We left at 6:00 AM in the morning and came to the conclusion that there was no supermarket or whatsoever to eat something. Only a restaurant but we were already pretty far away from the bus stop. Additionally, we hiked to a beautiful waterfall which was one of the most impressing things I´ve seen so far. It was a long hike but definitely worth to experience this. Afterwards we went to the restaurant close to the bus stop and ordered food which was not really much but we hadn’t eaten so any food would be good enough. Then we went to beach and chilled there for a bit when suddenly Janina called me and asked us if we wanted to stay for the Friday market. We had no plans so we stayed there and drunk some beers and relaxed some more.
Two days later my Dutch friend and I went to Panama, we went quite good prepared for the border in Paso Canoa. It was going to be a long day because first we had to go with the ferry from 6:00 AM to Golfito then to the border with a taxi and all the waiting process at the border, bus to David, bus from David to Almeirante, boat from Almeirante to Bocas Del Toro. We had to take 500 US dollar from the ATM, printed a bank statement, return flight to the Netherlands, bus ticket away from Costa Rica, bus ticket away from Panama, 2 copies of passport and passport and the yellow vaccination book. As I assumed we had to wait a long time in the queue but eventually everything went well. When we arrived in Bocas Del Toro we saw that is was very touristic with a lot of young foreigners. Everything was fully booked because they do not reserve beds because it is high season. A crazy price of 25 US dollar we paid per night but it was the most disgusting hostel I have ever been too because the water did not work. If the water doesn’t work you could probably imagine what happens to the toilet, kitchen and floor (they don’t get washed). We partied there every day haha because that was the intention of the Christmas holidays and celebrated New Year in a big club with very good quality music. We’ve met some new friends who joined us for a tour with snorkeling, lunch, hopping to other islands and seeing dolphins for a normal price of 25 US dollar. It just makes me so surprised that Costa Rica is so expensive, I would have lost 75 US dollar for this trip or more. It made me think that Costa Rica must be one of the most expensive Latin countries because 8 dollar for a six pack of beer in the supermarket, I could even buy 2 six packs of a half-liter of beer in Holland just to give you an indication. So we were quite happy to be in Panama where we don’t need to watch out to carefully for spending money. The way back to Almeirante I said goodbye to my friend, he was going to travel further to Puerto Viejo and I was going back to Puerto Jimenez. It went very smooth, all connected busses and the border was only taking a small hour! I managed to get the last ferry at 15:00 PM to Puerto Jimenez and chilled there the whole day. Eventually this trip to Panama was a thing I really needed with proper places to go out and being able to dance without the same karaoke music over and over again. See u next time guys, Pura Vida!