There’s a saying here in Costa Rica that the busiest day of any week is mañana. Everything moves a little slower here. The internet, the waiters, even the sunset lingers to let you sit back and enjoy it. I’m also moving slower today, trying to keep my back from locking up… the lingering effects of my early morning surf lesson yesterday.
Our journey here started fast enough as we cruised south on 95 headed toward Palm Coast, Florida, where we planned to drop the van at my parents’ house and my mom would drive us another 90 minutes to Orlando airport to catch our 9:45pm flight. Our van had other plans and just north of Jacksonville, we end up on the side of the road with a plume of white steam rising from under the hood. I had checked the oil on our van but not the water. We had a gallon jug of water in the van, because who doesn’t? Waiting for the radiator to cool down I cursed TSA because I had no matches or lighter and all I wanted was a cigar! First world problems. I poured the jug into the radiator and watched as steam poured from an obvious whole on the passenger side. Things we’re getting interesting. I called my brother and gave him the scoop. He immediately headed north and I limped the van toward the next exit. We only made it a mile and a half before the temperature spiked again and I coasted to a stop. The map on my phone showed a river up around the corner so I set off with my jug, picking up random bottles along the way. I hate litterbugs as much as the next guy, but today I silently thanked them for their lack of concern for the environment. The river was tidal And unfortunately it was low tide, so there was no hope to walk through the mud to get to the glistening water just beyond my reach. As I trudged back to the van I noticed just beyond the fence sat at five gallon aquarium full of recently fallen rainwater… Seriously. I filled my odd collection of containers and made my way back to the van feeling a little more confident that all was going to work out, but the clock was ticking. I filled the perforated radiator and made it another mile up the road before having to shut it down again. This time there was a lovely ditch full of rainwater and we were back on the road. We made it to the exit and found a thrift store parking lot next to a convenience store. I parked the van, the needle in the red and walked next door to buy a lighter. My brother rolls in at 6:15 and we headed for Orlando. The gps said 2 hours and fourty five minutes, but it didn’t take into account that we’d be hammering down the road at 80mph. We pulled up to the departure gate at 8:50.
We made it to San José with no trouble and boarded the bus for the coast at 6:30am. The taxi divers at the bus station in Liberia tried to convince us that the bus would take too long, to which I smiled and replied in my broken Spanish, “solo tengo tiempo.” He nodded and moved along. Tomorrow morning we’ll climb back aboard the slow bus and meander our way to Grecia, about an hour north of San José, but for now I’m going to do nothing more than get a little more sunburned. We didn’t get a chance to hook up with our cyber friends who live just up the street from here. They had an appointment that that just wasn’t going to happen… Oh well, maybe mañana.