We were, driving along, using Google Maps, when the last dot of cell connection disappeared. No Signal. Crap! Not what you want to happen in Costa Rica. Thankfully, there’s a solution. But first, the story behind our own scary lesson.
After you’ve been, it’s a tourist joke. “Man don’t drive through Costa Rica if you don’t have to. Their roads are BAD!” Yet while you’re in the thick of it for the first time. It’s anything but funny.
On Google maps, the trip from Playa Samara to Montezuma takes just over three hours. Google maps assume you’re going the posted speed. Impossible to do in Costa Rica and still have teeth in your head. So we were already five hours into the uncomfortable trip. Driving Costa Rica at night is notoriously unsafe, so we grew concerned when our signal dropped.
Without a GPS signal for Google maps, we had to break out the map from the car rental agency. Thankfully, we had one. Problem was, it was cryptic at best. There were straight lines in red, green and yellow plus dashed lines and dotted lines. We learned the hard way, to avoid the dotted lines.
We’d been winding along an inclined road that kept narrowing. Bello, ever the competent, confident driver was handling that part ok. His wife having a panic attack next to him, not so much. I saw nothing but air from my side of the car.
About the time, the grass had completely overgrown the road, we realized we were in big trouble. We forged on until the road disappeared in front of us. A bridge that had once been there, had been washed away by heavy rains and a rushing river.
The first tip, avoid the dotted line roads!
I’d read at the rental car company, to test water depth by walking into it. If it went past the middle of your calf muscle, cars could not drive through. Really, how did we get here! The water was too deep, reality sunk in. We had to turn around and go back.
So there we stood. Outside the car. Bello’s hands on his head, mine on my knees, bent over, trying to remain calm. I tried walking back, finding someone at home in the one house we had passed along the way. No luck. We had to get ourselves out.
It took many, many small maneuvers. Bello in the car, me outside checking the tires and the edge of the road. We lost our patience with each other. We found our patience with each other and eventually we got turned around and out of there.
Second tip, the one I wish we had before we hit the roads in Costa Rica, download google maps to your iPhone ahead of time! Here are simple instructions: How to Download Google Maps for Offline GPS.
That way if your google maps signal is lost, you avoid unintentional off-roading while off-lining.
Despite the crazy road trip distractions in Costa Rica, Bello created beautiful work for his Paolo Ferraris Colors Collection. I gained clarity of mind on how to live a more stress-free life and took a flying leap from corporate America. Together, we experienced a memorable trip full of long walks in the rainforest. Three pretty good reasons to fall in love with Costa Rica if you ask me!