I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Are you sure this is the way?
We had seen pictures of the Villa we
were renting in Costa Rica, and we knew it was way up a mountain and
remote enough that a 4 X 4 was strongly recommended to get here. I
decided to download a Costa Rica Map for my old GPS, and bring that
with me, but when asked the Villa owner did not have GPS coordinates
to give me. Instead she sent me a Google Map and instructions that
her son had created. It looked pretty straight forward for the first
part of the trip. We had to get out of San Jose and pick up highway
27 which we followed for about 50 km until we came to highway 34
which took us towards a town on the west coast called Jaco. Here it
got a bit sketchy. We had to turn right after a river and climb up
the mountain. There were about three turns along the way but the
roads were all called “Unnamed road”. I pulled up Google Maps and
located this route, but was not actually able to see the house itself
on the satellite imagery. I decided I'd be able to find it when we
It did not work out so well. Google
Maps told us to turn and the directions seemed to make sense
ended up in someone's driveway, no way on a mountain. We backtracked,
looking at the owner's quite detailed instructions, but could not
find any of the landmarks she gave us. We did however have the
housekeeper's phone number and called her, but she did not answer.
Finally we stopped at a restaurant on the highway and asked for
directions to the tiny town we were supposed to look for at the top
of the mountain. The owner of the villa said it was 3 km up the
mountain, but the friendly servers at the restaurant said it was 5 km
back and at least 10 km up. At least the server's directions got us
to the turn, but it was at least 10 km climbing a rough mountain
road. We reached a town, but there was no name, and the “Park”
where we were supposed to turn was simply the school yard. We were
told to look out for a restaurant called “Rancho Shady “ . . . .
. . Really? Who names your establishment “Shady”; oh wait we're
in Costa Rica, they are literally bragging that they have shade from
the sun. However when we did find a place called “Rancho Shady”,
we finally realized we might be on the right track.
Next step was to find an entrance to
the actual “community”, two large stone walls and a gate. Through
the gate, and old man and his wife sat on lawn chairs guarding the
entrance. We mentioned the owner's name and we were waved through and
down a washed out narrow road where only a 4 X 4 could go. Here we
were driving down the mountain and realized that we had no idea where
the villa was. We had pictures but realized there were not pictures
of the front of the house. We had to drive up two driveways where it
was almost impossible to turn around without falling over a steep
precipice. Finally we came to driveway with an open gate and our
friendly housekeeper, Nora, was waving to us.
Up, Up and more UP!
It was really a trial finding this
place, and I cannot imagine how she gets rentals with the sketchy
directions. We had to work to find it.
However, once we pulled into the garage
and walked out onto the terrace we realized that it might just be
worth the trials.