Yeah, well, here’s MY side of the story.
First of all – she is right, I was a nervous wreck. Not a friggin’ panic, tho.
Nervous wreck, yes.
Nancy never learned how to paddle shift her car while in the safety and security of the neighborhoods in the U.S. The Smart has a manual-automatic. Meaning you can drive the Smart as an automatic transmission – or you can choose to shift the gears manually by using the paddles on the steering wheel.
Left paddle shifts up, right paddle shifts down.
Never needed to paddle shift anywhere in the US of A that we drove Ms Smartie. Not many steep hills on I-65.
We’re not in US of A anymore, remember?
On the mountains of Costa Rica, Ms. Smartie sometimes needs a kick in the pants to make the grade. Thus paddle shifting is helpful. Today was the day we decided Nancy should learn to paddle shift. Beautiful sunshiny Monday and we needed to make a quick, short run to our attorney’s house to pick up some official documents.
Just as you leave our gate, there is a sizable hill. Nancy’s first attempt at paddle shifting. I showed her how, Ms. Smartie climbed the hill just fine and we were on our way. Once on the main highway, Nancy shifted into automatic mode and let Ms. Smartie decide when to shift her gears.
Thank GAWD the paddle shifting lesson went well.
As we left the attorney’s place, a gigantic storm brewed in our pat toward home. On the most twisty, tree-lined, mountainous part of the main road the rain came in buckets and the wind kicked up. Ferocious lightning with accompanying thunder. A real heller of a storm.
Giant storms in rainy season, fairly normal.
Giant storms with wind in the rainy season, fairly rare.
Small tree limbs were littering the highway as we arrived in town. We needed to make a quick stop at the Vet for Sofi and that just gave the storm enough time to catch up with us.
As we neared our gravel road, still in town, the huge drainage culverts were running full.
As we headed down our gravel road, the gullies in the roadway made from earlier rains were running full.
As we proceeded down our gravel road, the ditches alongside were running full.
We had not gone 100 yards (91 meters) than a huge tree branch was in our path. 50 yards past that was another. If we had not been in the Smart, I would have had to get out to move the limbs.
OK, back to the water…
Ever been on a flume-type ride? Yeah, running water like that. No, not running, RUSHING water.
Except we weren’t in a plastic log and the water wasn’t crystal clear.
In Ms. Smartie and the water looked somebody flushed the chocolate milk commode.
Rushing… at least 25 mph… because we were doing 10-15 mph and I could tell.
Yesterday we found ourselves on some of the newest, finest roads in Costa Rica. They got that way because the last road had disappeared because of and earthquake and landslides.
We picked our way through the torrents of water flooding the roadsides.
Two points in our journey, the water was flooding across the road. I’ve read about the stupid people that try to drive through flooded rivers only have their cars wash downstream.
Luckily this wasn’t a stream – IT WAS A FLUSHING DITCH. I asked Nancy to stop.
I don’t know why. No prayers were said, there was no strategy. I was freaked! Mmmmmmmkay? After decided that we wouldn’t die, I told her to just do it.
Obviously we made it through the water crossing the road.
BUT there is was – a landslide – dead ahead.
Awright, it barely knocked over a sapling and was the equivalent of about three Red Rider wagons, but it used to be a bank of dirt and it slided.
Next time, we are stopping in town, going to Antano’s and drinking until the rain stops for at least ten minutes to let the mountains fully flush.
Today was the fourth day of the rainy season.
I may never leave the house again until November 15, when it ends.