Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Part Two.

This is Part Two of our trip to Costa Rica. Part One is here.

So we're standing at the bus terminal with all our luggage with no clue what to do. This Costa Rican cab driver who barely speaks English starts shaking us down to take us to Puntarenas for $100. We are hesitant, and he finally says $80, and we take it (keep in mind it's a two-hour drive). The four of us and our five suitcases squeeze into his tiny red car and take off for Puntarenas. He is playing a mix cd that is all American 70's and 80's music and includes Journey's Faithfully and Billy Idol's Eyes Without a Face. He drives like a mad man to try and get us to the nine o'clock ferry. I fall asleep about half-way there. When I wake up we're pulling up to the ferry terminal as the ferry is pulling away. They tell me that the only reason we missed it is because some bitch on a scooter was driving really slowly and wouldn't let us pass.

So there we are, standing in the middle of the street with five suitcases, and the cab driver points out a restaurant where the food is supposed to be good. We drag all our shit up the long, metal staircase and take a seat in a lovely, open-air place that overlooks the water. The next ferry leaves at twelve, so we have a few hours to kill. We order gallo pinto with juevos, with sour cream, or with beef in sauce, and the waiter suggested we use this sauce. It is GOOD STUFF. We eat slowly and drink hot, strong coffee and smoke cigarettes until twelve.

It is HOT on the ferry, espcecially after dragging all those suitcases up the black, metal stairs. We sit inside and rest. I realize that I still get a little seasick, and curse everyone who ever told me that really big boats don't rock. YES THEY DO.

We get to Paquera and it is HOT. Dripping sweat. A swarthy little man tells us he'll take us to Montezuma for $50. He points at his SUV and says, "That's me." We take him up on it.

He proceeds to take us on one of the wildest rides I've ever been on (from this Wikitravel article: Driving in Costa Rica is, by American standards, dangerous. Costa Rica has one of the highest deaths by car accidents in the world.). He drives very fast on small dirt roads, passing people and honking and giving them dirty looks. He keeps giving us the thumbs-up and saying, "Montezuma! Pura Vida!" (from this article: Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, good spirits, enjoying life slowly, celebrating good fortune, whether small or large.)
He turns off the main road onto a red clay road that is so bumpy, so much like off-roading, and Kristi says, "Um, is this a short cut?" He replies, "Si. SHORT CUT." When we discuss it later, we realize that we were all thinking the same thing: he was taking us out into the woods to rob us and maybe kill us.

What happens next? More tomorrow.


Ramey Channell said...

This sounds great! A fun time was had by all, I dare say. Wish I'd been there, since I'm totally down with off-road scarey driving. The only difference in your "Short Cut" driver and my daddy, is that Gordy drove a pick-up truck with us terrified kids in the back, and he spoke English. Mostly what I remember him saying during these break-neck excusrsions is "Low limb!" That was meant as an adequate warning to duck and hold on.

Anonymous said...

I wish there had been a clearer picture of the sweet bus terminal. However, I think the accompanying description helps to communicate the mood. Also, we can order Salsa Lizano from the Internets for $7.95 plus s/h.


Anonymous said...

I told you man, I bet that's the first effin time that dude had heard the word "shortcut." You could've said, "Is this granny panties/pickle relish/sweat socks/Cat Fancy Magazine?" and dude would've been all, "Si. Cat Fancy Magazine."

Anonymous said...

PS: I dunno why, but the fact that you were listening to "Eyes Without a Face" while on your way to certain death ratchets up the terror factor a few thousand degrees. I would've been SOBBING at that point and clawing at the door handles. That is creepy as FUCK.