Hiking in San Isidro de El General – Life is good

Off for a new adventure. I left the Lost and Found hostel at 9.00 a.m. and took the bus to David. From David further on, I crossed the border to Costa Rica, Paso Canoas. My first border crossing on this trip. A border that doesn’t have a single sign that explains what the shelters are built for. Finally, at the emigration in Panama. Stamp. Stamp. I took a bus to Neily. Met David on the bus, an amigo about 20 years old. He is learning English to travel the world. And, he wants to come to Alemaña one day. We connected via Facebook. So far on the bus today: 120 km in ridiculous 3,5 h in small and preferably old buses. The bus ride continues with the Tracopa bus to San Isidro de el General which is another four hour. At least it is good to be back on a comfortable coach that allows to do some reading. 🙂 On the bus, I trained my Spanish with Antonio, who is 14 years old and went to school far away from home. …Youngsters everywhere.

Bus Station in David:

Border crossing to Costa Rica, immigration. – Luckily, here with signs telling you where to go: 

These bus rides, I will not miss. That day, all in all, I made like 330 km in not so speedy 10,5 hours. $11 for the buses and $1 for trans-bordering. We stopped by at least 120 (!) bus stops, where people where jumping off and on. A German would never identify the stop places as a “bus stop”. Haha. Well, Central America. 🙂 Anyway, I arrived in San Isidro de el General at around 6.30 p.m. An additional hour time shift applied …which I learned about when complaining at the shelter about my bus ticket to be already overdue. 😉 I checked-in at Hotel Chirripó and took a single room to wash my clothes and get a decent bed for some rest. Finally, I went for dinner at a nice local place.

View from the hotel room:

Nice brand “Bavaria”, and tasty. 😉

It’s interesting to see how deep conversations can become if the parties don’t speak the same language. When they talk in Spanish, I can grasp a little bit. When I talk in English, they can grasp a little bit. Still, the conversations have as much content as one at the Oktoberfest after the third liter of beer. Haha. 🙂


Heading to Chirripo National Park

Well, as I said, I speak little Spanish meanwhile. Learing of the day: Never trust a single advice. Better ask for someone who would know the answer. I just caught the bus after I had been waiting at the bus station for ten minutes. It was the very last second after finally talking to the guy who really knew the answer. A 60 min bus ride from San Isidro to San Gerardo, $2. Good value, almost missed. 

What a hiking day! I knew that I will not make it to the top of the highest mountain of Costa Rica “Chirripó”, since I will meet a friend the day after and hiking Chirripó would last a minimum of two days. I walked around in San Gerado and found a nice place, like a hostel, offering some breakfast for $5. Eggs, breads, marmalade and these awesome intense tasting fruits. Mhmm. Jose, who climbed Chirripó three times gave me some hints how to spent best one day here. Ready and with new energy, I took my day pack and started walking. After a few minutes a horse looked for shelter as the machine came along the road. Funny.

Some other good company joint for at least 600 altitude meters. I called him Chico. The scenery was amazing! Chico went back with some horses… Isn’t he cute? 🙂

Let’s get more pictures rolling:

Two of my favourite pics:

I decided to make my way via Cloud Bridge as well . The hike down was kind of scary for a while, walking through the kinda dark jungle on my own for two hours and only meeting one group of four hikers crossing. Snakes, Tarantulas, apes around me. Well the apes weren’t the issue. 😉 Down at the water: Cloud Bridge – a nice place!

Tour of the day, by Garmin Fitness watch:


I was wondering a little bit why this banana was orange inside. I was told later, there are more than 50 kinds of bananas. This one, was not for eating raw, but rather cooked. Haha. Stupid. …Tasted good for me though. 


Waiting for the bus in San Gerado to get back to the city, a slim guy came with his car, parking directly in front of me, where I was waiting for the bus back to San Isidro. “Howdy”, he said. “Your just coming down the mountain?” He was around 60 years, I would guess. A white goose beard marked his face. We started talking. He’s from Minnesota and came to this lovely place twelve years ago. They don’t need a lot for living in Cloud Bridge, he said. Growing their own food and living at the end of the world. After I had figured his name, Tom, I asked my question: What does happiness mean to you and how do you achieve it? “Ha,… good question”, he responded and thought for a moment. Then he answered clearly in a sentence:

Do what I wanna do and be with the people I wanna be with“.

Tom, continued: “When I say ‘do what I want to do’ that means doing something that will make a difference in this world or in someone’s life, doing something meaningful. And when I say ‘with the people I want to be with’, to me that means Linda, the woman I love, and people who are doing or have the potential to do something meaningful.”

I must say one thing at this point: Asking the question, the wiser and older people are, the better the answers we get. Short and focused, and so much to take out of it. I love it! After some more talking the bus arrived and more local Americans gathered. “Hi, how are you?”, Tom asked. They answered: “Life is good“…. I had to leave for the bus…”All the best, Tom, and thanks for the conversation”, I caught my bus back to town.


Meet Familia Díaz in San Jose – Pura Vida.

About the guy.

2 thoughts on “Hiking in San Isidro de El General – Life is good

  1. Hi Alex, it was a great pleasure to chat with you in San Gerardo, your blog is great, wonderful photos. You are on an amazing mission, best of luck and if you are ever back in the neighbourhood stop in. Safe travels. Tom

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