Day 12: Getting to Puerto Jimenez and further!
Golfito has not much to offer… Some trails but that’s pretty much! So I enquired about the ferry boats to Jimenez and how to visit the Corcovado Park which is another 2 hours from Puerto Jimenez…. Apparently, this is more complicated than I thought… You need to sign up 1 day in advance and this is compulsory to have a guide! The tourism office lady gave me a guide listing; I wrote emails to a few of these guys. One called back immediately saying he would be waiting for me on the other side. I took the boat, which took about 45 min to get to Puerto Jimenez and the guide was already there waiting! We walked to the Park Center where you need to register, but there I asked hundreds of questions, from what I understood, the guide wanted me to pay him $50/day which is reasonable but after I have to take care of all the expenses and truly I didn’t know what to expect… At the end of the day, all costs added (food, lodging, guide, registration, transportation, etc… ) it could be easily over $400 for a 3 day tour, I thought…
Not even mentioning all the bloody admin you have to do by yourself… I told my guide that with him, I’m gonna give it a miss because I’d rather have a all-included tour, so I can have some peace and quiet.
The city center is about 3 kilometers from the port and when I got in, I came across the first jungle tour and the guy, Eric, his name was, offered me many variants : either a 1 day tour which included a 2 hour transportation on a banana truck to Carate village (just in front of the Corcovado Park) for $150, or a 2 days/ 1 night tour for $225 which included a camping lodging at Sirena Station and back to Jimenez (with same means of transportation) or a 3 day tour with a boat transit to Drake village on the other side of the Peninsula for $340. Each option sounded interesting, though I didn’t feel like going on a cowboy tour on the other side of the peninsula. But at that moment, the guy said: “You need to be 2 to get on a jungle tour!”. “Where the hell am I gonna find a dude to come with me in the jungle? It’s bloody low-season…” Was I thinking. At this instant, the tour agency guy called for a guy’s attention passing by in the main street. “J! J!”. Here came a 25-year-old, blond, short American guy from California in the office. He was looking for a jungle tour as well and he came across the same problem. Happy enough to have found each other, the guy re-explained all the options we had. All sounded interesting but the American guy and I wanted 2 different things. I wanted a 2 day tour and come back to Jimenez because I know it would be complicated to get my luggage to Drake, take the boat to the mangrove, take a collective bus to get to the bus terminal to get back to San Jose… But Jacob wanted absolutely to get to Drake because of the positive feedback he heard of and for the sake of the adventure. At this moment, at the back of my mind, I had some devils pushing me to do it although I felt it would be the wrong decision… “Ok man, let’s do it!” The problem now was the price… $340 + luggage cost + boat cost to Drake, I’m not even mentioning the cost back to San Jose… Man! That’s a lot of bucks! We enquired to other offices, it was more or less the same stuff so we bullied Eric over the phone so that he lowers his 3 day tour to $300, which he did (taking off the 2 breakfasts at the Sirena refuge + Park registration fee). We had all the papers signed and we paid the guy! I took the strict necessary in my back bag and left him my luggage. Jacob and I bought food we needed for the tomorrow’s 21 kilometers trek waiting for us! But until then, a good night sleep!