After a few minutes, a large group of Americans get on - a part of 9, taking up all but one of the remaining seats. And then, after a long bumpy taxi along the gravel we're up again, heading back to San Jose.
It's a smoother flight than the previous one, but not as smooth as Friday's. If these experiences had been in a different order there is no doubt that Helen would have refused to fly back, chancing her arm with the 7 hour boat/bus/bandidos route instead. But anyway.
It's only about a 20 minute flight back to San Jose. We skirt around a couple of volcanos and the weather systems over them, spot the big church in Grecia that we'd got the bus past the other week, then land. There is no fanfare and no-one handing out medals for bravery or anything else that Helen thinks would've been appropriate. I'm hyper and giddy again. It's not that I wasn't scared at all, I totally was during parts of the first flight, but I still had an absolute blast. She never wants to fly such a small plane again, so next time I'm on my own.
Confusingly, to me at least, there are no cabs at the Sansa terminal of the airport. I'm sure there was a queue of them on Sunday and just kinda assumed there always would be, but with none in sight we walked to the international terminal outside of which was a huge scrum of official drivers and pirates and those waving signs with people's names on.
I'm instigating a new rule that you never accept a cab ride from a driver who hails you, so we battle through the masses to a man with a clipboard who shouts "Alejandro!" at a guy presumably called Alejandro. He will drive us to the Pura Vida hotel in Tuetal Sur, swanky venue for our last night in Costa Rica.
This place is more expensive than 3 nights in Tortuguero. We deliberately splurged, wanting some comfort and being a bit spoilt on our way back. The drive is quick and even though we pay and handsomely tip the driver, he loiters around to be paid by the hotel - he's totally trying it on, because they only cough up if you arrive via an international flight. Jose, the man who greets us, tells him to do one.
Inside, as well as Jose, we meet Cibo and Bandido. These are large German shepherd dogs, deceptively cute and predictably smelly. Jose walks us to Katydid, our 2 bedroom villa with living room and kitchen and stuff, and comes back 5 minutes later with a welcome drink.
The place is huge. When we booked it we'd received an excellent, long, informative email from the owners regaling us with knowledge and tips and humour - and now that we're here, the theme continued. The 16 page booklet in the room is written in the same style, and features email replies given to the more unusual or ridiculous requests. Of particular interest is the very diplomatic answer to someone requesting a recommendation between Sansa and NatureAir with emphasis on safety: apparently Sansa have "the braver pilots". Ha.
There's a big garden with numerous other villas, all hidden from one another's view by a mass of plants. Most of them have labels in, giving the name and some information about them - even when that info is "We have no idea what this is". It's a bit wacky and quirky but not off-puttingly so, and the garden is stunningly beautiful and peaceful, except for the fairly noisy road outside.
We both try the hammock, me more successfully than Helen, and then move to sun loungers - with beers retrieved from the restaurant. Cibo comes to show off the log they've got, then roll around being all cute and that, then sniff Helen's feet and disappear quick smart. Eww, apparently.
Unfortunately, it's still pretty cloudy, and Helen (incorrectly, as it happens) predicts there's an imminent downpour so we go in for a siesta. I wake up after only an hour or so, feeling pretty dreadful; a shower sorts that out, and then we pop up to the restaurant.
Pura Vida hotel is famous for its food as well as the accommodation, and we've booked ourselves in for the three course dinner. As we get there, another member of staff introduces himself followed shortly by Berni, one of the co-owners. Turns out he's from southwest London. Good lad.
Another family appears, being Texas Joe with his wife, daughter and son-in-law. They sit on the table behind us, throwing the football repeatedly for Bandido to fetch. At one point they get bored with this, and want to eat, so the dog brings the ball to my feet. Aww. But we've decided to follow the explicit "please don't throw stuff for the dogs" instructions.