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Monday, January 11, 2016

Costa Rica Touring - Liberia, Guanacaste

Missed a post on Costa Rica? Click on these links to catch up, part 1 and part 2.

Even though we were ripped off a bit and had quite a row at the rental agency, we still ended up with a car so let’s get in and go for a drive. The big city here in Guanacaste is Liberia, where we flew into, so we head in that direction.

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Driving in this country is quite an adventure as we find out. A good portion of the drivers will pass you at any moment and in any traffic condition. Another large portion will drive exceedingly slow and will never, ever pull over. You soon learn that passing is a very necessary part of driving here in Costa Rica and passing lanes are pretty much nonexistent.

Add to that all the pedestrians, bicyclists, and animals that can be in the middle of the road at any given time, and you have your work cut out for you. In cities and towns, all the above turns into a free-for-all.

We make it into Liberia and find a place to park near the town’s plaza. The local church presides over it all…an ugly one, according to my wife…and it’s fiesta weekend.

Not much too festive in the daytime though. A few booths are open selling chicken and rice or dessert. We opt for dessert with some fritters covered in caramel and condensed milk and some churros.

It’s hot, quiet, and a few kids hit us up to buy a t-shirt or just to beg for money.

Walking around the perimeter of the park, I notice about 1 out of every 5 taxis are wheelchair accessible. One driver lets me take a picture of his for posterity.

We also notice that every public transit bus we see has a wheelchair lift and a spot to tie down a wheelchair making this the most accessible Latin American country we’ve seen for transportation.

The town’s a bit down in the mouth and sleepy in this humid heat so we move on.  We program the GPS unit in our rental car to take us to the nearby Rincon Vieja volcano but soon the pavement runs out and we’re on a very bumpy dirt road. When the Garmin says “drive 22 kilometers on this road,” we give up and look for a new plan.

On the map, it says there’s a zoo in nearby Salto. We head that direction.

In Liberia, we switch to Ruta 1, which turns out to be a modern freeway except it’s not quite finished. Instead, only one side is open and it’s on the honor system to be one lane in each direction. Again, we run into the problem of 25 kilometer per hour drivers on a 90 kph road.  One truck had over 50 vehicles behind him but, despite an abundance of space to pull over, he obliviously soldiered on.

We find the zoo, called the Adventure Park, and pull into the empty parking lot. A lady greets us at the entrance, offers us a cool drink, and wants to explain their “packages,” the cheapest being a basic zoo entrance fee of $100 per person.

That explains the empty parking lot which is empty once more as we hightail it out of there.

For today, we figure we’ll have more fun back at the Riu pool on the beach and spend the rest of the afternoon there.

Dinner will be at Papagayo, the steakhouse on the beach where Tim has this great looking burger…

…and Letty and I have steak, hers with the surf ‘n turf option.

It’s fine and delicious but down on the beach, the mosquitos know where dinner is also. Luckily, we put repellent on before dinner. Not many of our fellow diners were such forward thinkers, unfortunately.

Tomorrow, we have grander plans but until then, it’s chill in the room while listening to the floor show below and resting up for a very long drive and a big adventure.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved

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