One problem with traveling on a large “mid-size” ship like the Eclipse is that many smaller ports just do not have the docking facilities to accommodate us. So we anchor offshore and use tenders to go ashore, or we dock at a nearby commercial port rather than our destination. So yesterday our planned stop at Punta Arenas Costa Rica involved docking at Porto Caldera and traveling via the provided shuttle bus to Punta Arenas. A round trip of about an hour out of what was already a short stop. Oh well.
We had no advance plans, did my usual thing: got off the shuttle, looked at the small crowd of people offering “special tours”, picked one likely looking guy. Explained that no I did not want to ride in his nice bus with 25 other people on his prepackaged tour, but rather I wanted a driver and vehicle for the two of us for four hours. And yes, I understood that my plan would be more expensive. He relented, found a local driver for us, and we were off. Saw some interesting places (some of which not really reachable by those on large buses), got some nice photos and capped the day with one of Costa Rica’s best mojitos (according to the sign by the bar).