week 4 fulltime (guanacaste)

For week 4 of living in the van the heat continued… it was a challenge but, living in the van now, I knew I had to deal with it or put up with it, or suck it up! I love Tamarindo but the weekend was approaching so it was time to move on, I wanted to avoid the busy weekend and find a familiar spot to spend my next week. So I headed down south to Junquillal.

This is a place I visit often, the Malinches campground is an old favorite, it’s a big space, right above the ocean and it was my next destination in hopes of some down time and hopefully a breeze. I love driving into campgrounds I visit frequently, people are always so happy to see you back and it had been a while for me. Last time I was here it was muddy and rainy, I spent most of my time in the van just looking outside the windows. I picked a different spot this time, I knew I needed some direct sunlight to keep the electrical system running… and I wanted to be closer to the path down to the beach – what a mistake!

I love this place, the walk down the beach is stunning, just below the campground there’s a chill-out spot for sunset watching where you can sit above the reef in low tide. Junquillal is not a popular tourist destination and that’s what I love about it, you rarely see any folks on the beach other than locals fishing and the odd couple taking a late evening walk. The water was clear & fresh, so nice to take a dip in the ocean again and just relax on a lonely beach.

The heat was still on, Taco and I took multiple showers just to stay cool, so tricky… these bluebird summer skies are amazing but being in the van full-time in temperatures above 80º is not an easy task. Just a couple of weeks ago when I was in Jaco Beach I had seen a blue converted van with Costa Rican license plates, and it suddenly drove into the campground and parked across the field. A fellow van-lifer! It was a 60+ year old man who apparently lives with his wife in the van, and here I was thinking I’m the only crazy person to do this here in our tiny little country. It was fun to chat and share tips, see each other’s rigs. I can’t wait to get my insulated window covers!

Saturday arrived and with that more people, I really have a hard time understanding why folks see an empty campground yet insist to come park right next to you – and that’s what happened. A truck with a rooftop tent decided to squeeze right in the spot next to me, play his loud music and make noise all day packing & unpacking god knows what! So that was my queue to move, the noise, the heat, people walking across my spot, it was time to drive to the shade risking a dead electrical system and with that, a dead fridge. In the prices of this weekend, I began to look online for a little getaway, I deserved it!

And just like that, the next day I drove down to Avellanas Beach and booked a couple of nights in a cozy little hotel called Soul Shine. It was the perfect moment to catch up with work, sleep with some AC, watch a little Netflix and lay in the pool all day. Just down the road is the famous tourist walk over the Avellanas swamp, it was Monday and it was perfect timing to go for a walk, experience this attraction – not a soul in sight! I like this beach, the soft light brown sand reminds me of Mexico, and the people are so friendly. I was ready to go back into town.

Since I moved into the van I’ve lost track of time, just a little bit, only because I’m working full time… other than that I would know know if it’s the weekend or Monday. However, I was completely oblivious that Christmas was just a few days away. So the remainder of week 4 was spent in San Jose, crashing at my daughter’s house running some errands. Details are boring, but it was nice to catch up with the kids, do some laundry and head back out.

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