Saturday, June 14, 2014

El Sol Verde

Another great campground in Central America: El Sol Verde in Costa Rica. It was our first stop, where we arrived rather late after a lengthy border crossing. El Sol Verde is owned and operated by a Dutch couple who emigrated to Costa Rica 8 years ago. Especially after the 7 hour border crossing, which meant we were very tired, we wanted a decent place to stay. El Sol Verde didn't disappoint!

Arriving somewhere late and in darkness is always tricky. You're tired, don't pay as much attention anymore and you make mistakes. I vividly remember opening my tent in England's The New Forest in the morning, after arriving there very late the night before, and looking straight at a bull at less than 5 metres away. Wondering if we had missed the campground and perhaps pitched in the wrong field, I looked around and saw ponies, mules and… other tents! 

The El Sol Verde campground is a big level grassy field in a very quiet area. The small town in which El Sol Verde is situated is some 10 km away from the main road. The only noise is made by birds and crickets. 
There is a proper toilet block and during our stay a cold shower as the solar heating system didn't work. The toilet building is clearly made by someone with camping experience as all the necessities are there, from proper doors in the showers and shower curtains, to wash basins and even a mirror. Handy also is the small two burner stove and dish washing basin.

In the morning Gerard and Ingrid, the owner-operators, also serve a traditional Dutch breakfast on request in a common area with tables, books, magazines, board games and free Wifi. There is a lot to see in the area ranging from a beautiful swimming hole to the Rincon National Park. Gerard and Ingrid are a goldmine of information on the area and can tell you where to go. They will even make a packed lunch on request!

El Sol Verde also has a laundry service! Do read the prices properly though, we thought the price was per load as is customary everywhere else in the world. Here it's US$ 3.50 per kilo…! As we had 12 kilo of dirty clothes, we ended up with a hefty bill of US$ 42,- for the laundry. In their defence, all you have to do is hand it in, they will wash it, hang it and when dry fold it too.

At night these Light Emitting Bugs are everywhere
They don't sting or anything but just fly around
with their flashing lights on :-)
Apart from the campground, El Sol Verde is also a Lodge and has two semi cabins on the campground. We came for two nights, Mike became ill and then Jeanette picked up a cold or something. All in all we stayed a week and did some short daytrips to the nearby National Park and the west coast. There is a small shop within walking distance and a local restaurant. Liberia, which offers a multitude of shops is 15 km away, of which 10 are on a beautiful winding road. 

One word of caution for motorcyclists: the entry road is short but in places a bit rough, especially when arriving at night. The road to the campground at the rear of the property is gravel with a short steep bit at the end. 

Right next to our tent!