Monday, January 31, 2011

Lemonade in Limon, Costa Rica

Tilda and I were ready to stretch out again. We were to be in port from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: plenty of time to get a street map, plan a route, and grab at least 50 miles of sun, surf, and jungle. With a little more fore planning and a 7:30 departure I fantasized it would have been possible to make up that lost Ft. Lauderdale century. But hey, 50 would be great. So, off to Cahuita we headed.

My first observation was that there are no road signs or route markings. I had only to turn left (west) out of the cruise port and left again (south) on to Rt 36 which would take me directly to Cahuita. The gas station at the 2nd left seemed an appropriate place to confirm I was on route. Indeed I was, but the driver who pulled in behind me at the pump encroached my personal space big time finally stopping within 1 inch of Tilda’s rear wheel, a reminder that personal space is, indeed, culturally defined.
Within two miles I was open and free of urbanity and lovin’ it--Mar Caribe on my left and jungle on my right with occasional shanties made of whatever was available at the time of construction. The road was lightly traveled, but the 4-16 wheelers pushed their speed to at least double the posted 60 kph slaloming the many and rugged pot holes across both unmarked lanes. Again, the rules of Chicken engagement prevailed with the contenders of shared space simply waving and maybe giving a “hi neighbor” toot of salute.

The Sloth Sanctuary at 17 miles offered a welcome pit stop, not many of those in North America. A couple miles further, at only the second intersection of any kind, was a gas station replete with bottled water, diet coke, and red bull all of which, after much punching of calculator buttons to convert Colons into dollars, I got for $4.00.
I noted several photo ops I'd take advantage of on my return ride to the ship. Little did I know then that I would not be snagging those pix and that I would revisit this gas station 5 more times in the cab of a pickup truck with Carlos, Tilda banging around in the back bay with no assurance that I would ever make it back to the safety of my ship.

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