Note: Autos in Costa Rica are toy-sized, with manual transmissions.
Advice: Practice at home because you will find yourself immediately driving uphill to merge onto the San Jose Interstate.
Warning: The massive truck behind your Matchbox car will be six inches from your bumper when you stall on the semi-vertical ramp on which you were forced to stop.
Alas, once my feet, the clutch and gas pedal were speaking the same language, we were safely on the road to Jaco Beach. So it seemed. Because, speaking of language, we continued to debate the English meaning of the verbiage on each road sign.
Brake lights ahead. Uh-oh, in the light rain, small rocks tumble down the side of the mountain. We inch along aside orange cones. Once free from the jam and clipping along at the speed limit, the ambulance in front of us swerves into the oncoming lane. I slow, but find that I, too, was destined to choose between the oncoming lane and the boulders rolling like tumbleweeds down the side of the mountain. As tourists do, Li is capturing amusing photos to prove that we’d driven through a bona-fide rock slide. While she plays photographer, I hold my breath in the oncoming lane, observing that the steep pitch of the mountain side leads to oblivion.
The following day hotel guests buzzed that, “the main highway was closed last night because of a major rock slide.”