The money here is crazy. One colon is worth 1/5 of one cent. 10,000 colones is $20. It takes relatively little to be a millionaire.
So far I’ve been able to keep accommodations to $15 per night. The dorm room at Pura Vida hostel in Tamarindo sleeps 8, is co-ed, and is a 5-minute walk to the beach. There are two kitchens and a covered common area with rocking chairs, games, hammocks, and books. This is one of the tamer hostels in town, with quiet time after 11 pm. It can be interesting: one of my dorm-fellows said she was the only girl a couple days ago with a roomful of party guys. One of them came back one night and proceeded to walk around naked and drunk. I’ll be sure to get pix if that happens. Last night a group came in late late, one of whom spent a good deal of time praising the porcelain god, conveniently located in the bathroom next to my bunk. Sometimes $15 a night costs in other ways.
If you’re into normal hotel rooms, they can be had for $40 to $50 each night for basic services. The resorts are $150 and up for lux digs. I suspect these people enjoy hot showers, which I have not been.
Restaurants, at least in the beach areas, have been pricey. $8 for breakfast, $10 to $15 lunch, and $20 to $25 for dinner. The food has been great — last night was beautifully seared tuna over crisp veggies.
Guatemala spoiled me. The first three weeks were $60/week, private room plus 3 full meals six days a week. A good resto meal would be $5 and bring enough food for another couple meals. $2 at the open air market would yield salsa fixings for four servings.
The supermarkets here are fun to visit and give a break from heavier meals. Yesterday I bought a banana for 20 cents and an apple for $1 — lunch on the bus. Breakfast this morning featured a $1 papaya.
Entertainment at the hostel is varied. Lots of people from many places, and no lack of conversation: recommendations of places to see, places to stay, activities not to miss. Once everyone is introduced and warmed up, stories come out. Adventure, pathos, love, life. Last night a group of musicians gathered and jammed all evening, and there is someone playing guitar off and on throughout the day. Sleep seems optional, but eventually I’m tired enough to ignore everything.
Mirrors abound. It´s easy to get annoyed at certain personalities or behaviors, or at the slow pace when you’ve a plan in mind. This could be the most valuable part of the exploration — much information, and much time in which to process it. If I can recognize some behaviors that don’t serve my life, it’s possible to return with even less baggage than I came with.