Cerro de la Muerte, Costa RicaMarch 23, 2017 in Costa Rica
Our big day of driving continued from Sierpe and took us high up into the mountains that cover a large proportion of the lower half of Costa Rica. The highest point took us to the top of Cerro de la Muerte at 3451m, which was a fair amount of hill climbing for old Terry. We were just happy we weren't covering this by foot. The change in altitude bought with it a massive drop in temperature and a complete change of weather. We started the day in stunning sunshine, blue skies, strong heat and humidity in Drake Bay but in the mountains we found ourselves in the clouds, lapping up the cool breeze and even a few stray drops of rain.
The locals obviously make use of the altitude up here as we saw many different types of food crops and of course many a coffee plantation too. Costa Rica is another Central American country which is well known for its quality coffee and have an estimated 130,000 coffee farms. Subsequently it is one of their main exports, although not as much today as previously, considering at one point in the 1900s it accounted for 90% of all their exports.
The rest of our journey was largely uneventful but long, with the driving shared between Mike and Shorty until we hit the other side of the capital San José where there was much more traffic. With just single lane roads and a double yellow line constantly, everyone seems to just pass each other anyway whenever there is the smallest gap to do so. Shorty followed suit but didn't realise that there also happened to be two police cars parked on the opposite side of the road. Subsequently they pulled us over and then proceeded to try and tell us that it would be a $600USD fine for passing on s double yellow line. This was when I wished I'd done a bit of reading up on how corrupt the cops are here and how best to play it but obviously we knew this was a big yarn. $600 was laughable but maybe some people would fall for that. Eventually with a bit of bartering and pretending that we only had $50 on us, the end result was somewhat more of a bribe so they didn't write a fine. We probably could have got away with less or not even paid at all but in broken Spanish and just wanting to get back on the road and be on our way, Shorty and Em took the hit.
By this point this 10 hour journey was really becoming a chore. Get us to Puerto Viejo. Stat.Read more