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The trip started with a 6AM flight from Boston to Miami to San Jose, Costa Rica.
It was an OK flight and because we had left so early in the morning we were able to get to Costa Rica before noon. We proceeded to rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle from Avis as I had read everywhere that we would need it. As it turns out, you need the height more than the traction. We headed up the Pan American highway towards our first base, Nuevo Arenal. After about an hour on the road, we decided to stop at a roadside 'soda' to get something to eat. They don't serve food on planes anymore! The sodas are usually just a family place where the family lives and they use the front for cooking and serving food. They always seem to have plastic lawn furniture. We saw a lot of plastic lawn furniture in Costa Rica.
At Canas we turned off the Pan America highway, that I guess
runs the length of Central and South America, and headed inland towards Tilaran
& Lake Arenal. When we got our first view of the lake we also saw Arenal volcano
at the other end of the lake. The car was still pretty shiny at this point. That
will change soon!
I had told the owners of the house we were renting, Britt
and Gloria, that
we would probably get there about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. We were making great time
and were about 25 miles from the house, just after the picture above was taken, when we hit the first of 3 major mud
slide backups that would ultimately add over 3 hours to our trip.
We ended up waiting for one guy with a backhoe to clear all 3 of the mudslides over about a 15 mile stretch. There were a lot of mudslides and the locals say that it was the worse they have seen in many years. There were rumors that there was a small earthquake, combined with particularly heavy downpours that contributed to the high number of mudslides. By the time we got through all the mudslides and to our house it was close to 9 o'clock. It had been dark for a few hours. As it turns out, the owners had been stuck, just outside of town at the last mudslide since 11 o'clock in the morning. We had waited only about 30 minutes at that one. They had waited about 10 hours!
We made at least one friend during the 3 mudslide stops. Mark from Florida. We bumped into him again the next day in La Fortuna.
Finally we reached our house, 'Por Dicha'. We would use this
as our home base for the next couple of days.
and here we are walking in the undergrowth