Don’t Do This!

Don’t do this while Driving!
But don’t worry. I wasn’t driving. Stopped for construction, motor off!
But this photo did not really show the backed up traffic I was in.

And Don’t Be in a Hurry while in Costa Rica!
After getting around the construction I was anxious to get around
the slow moving cars and big trucks and started passing them . . .

But do you see that double yellow line on that straight stretch of road. I guess it means the authorities don’t want anyone to pass on the mostly two-lane highways like this. So . . . I was one of 6 cars stopped in not a “speed trap” but a “passing trap” by el policia with a very serious lecture in Spanglish about the dangers of passing when there is a yellow line (There’s almost always one) and that if he writes the ticket and it goes to court it will cost me the equivalent of USD $600! But if I promise to drive more safely he will settle for $100 cash. Well, I learned in West Africa to never mention bribery or tangle with a policeman and so folks, I chose $100 over $600 even if what he said may not have been true, I do know that going to court would be a nightmare! 

I took my time the rest of the way, taking 4.5 hours to go 117 km, with one bathroom/snack break and of course the construction break! 🙂  That highway in the photos above is Costa Rica Highway 1, The Pan American Highway, linking all the countries in the three American Continents! 4 lanes would cost too much! And they do keep the pot holes filled with constant construction work AND they are building a partially controlled-acessed 4-lane segment with overpasses through the area’s big city and provincial capital of Guanacaste, Liberia, north of where I turned off for Monteverde. 
Then off Highway 1 to Monteverde was uphill all the way and about half a narrow gravel road with one lane bridges over the streams. Reminds me of Arkansas in the 1940’s and 50’s! “The Good Ol’ Days!” Remember? So I learn another lesson the hard way! Slow Down!
Now I thought Atenas was a country town and it is! But Monteverde is, well, more country! Most of the city streets are dirt or gravel (there’s a difference folks!). But the main drag through town is paved which helps reduce some of the dust. But I like my first night’s lodging, a cabin in a little 8 acre forest with lots of birds and nature. And the butterfly garden and dinner place was good, which I will tell about in a separate post. Tomorrow I move to another set of cabins with the birding club where they did not have room for me tonight. 

“We are changing the road map of Costa Rica.”

‘Men At Work”
From dirt ditch to a new spillway from road down to our River Cajon,
a new waterfall for us during rainy season.

Moving on past the apartments

“We are changing the road map of Costa Rica” is what one of the construction work signs says on the road in front of our apartments. Or actually “Estamos cambiando el mapa vial de Costa Rica.”

They have been repaving the road, improving the drainage ditches and other infrastructure for weeks now between us and downtown. So my sandals and shoes have sticky tar and my face wrinkles from all the smiles as I walk past the stopped cars waiting their turn through the one lane of traffic. I smile and say “Buenas!” which is the new shortened version of “Buenas Dias!”

Well, today it begin to pass our place and will soon be up the hill toward Mercedes and we will be less aware of the “changing road map!” But I really like the improvements and especially the big concreted drainage channel by the bridge to the river along side our apartments! In rainy season, a fifth waterfall for us!

There are too many cars for such a small town – the price of progress I guess – and that makes me even more glad I am walking!
Live simple and enjoy life! – My new mantra!

All photos by my cellphone. Click on the image to enlarge.