And the waiting continues
And just 1 hour later our replacement car arrived. The exact same model. Same colour, same equipment, same signs of wear, same mileage…. almost the same car. The floor mats at ours had already visibly suffered. In no time at all we cleared all our crap into the new car (it always collects a lot), I shortly explained the employee of the agency what exactly had happened and we made our way to our accommodation, because in the meantime it was almost 8 pm.
Since there was no heating, but we wanted to dry our clothes, we had a short hairdryer session. Despite rain capes the jackets and trousers underneath got a little wet and the next morning we wanted to start the day fresh. A slight feeling of hunger made us go out again into the rain in a soda (a Costa Rican restaurant, with Costa Rica prices). Quickly dined and off to bed. Because the plan for the next day looked like this:
- 6.00 a.m. Get up
- 6.45 a.m. Departure into direction of cloud forest
- 7.00 a.m. Small breakfast at Café Kolibri
- 8.00 a.m. Tour through the cloud forest
- 10.00 a.m. Return to the hotel
But as it goes with plans..
We both made the first program point, we started at 6.45 a.m., but after a few meters the “fresh” rental car greeted us with a bright engine control light. Jeih! Nevertheless we wanted to drive to the café and make the phone call from there. Arriving at Café Kolibri, we could already see the thickly packed rangers at the entrance of the biological reserve Monteverde (both are only a few meters apart) and thought we’d go and have a quick look at the situation. A guide approached us directly and explained “I am afraid the cloud forest is closed today, due to the weather conditions. It is too dangerous.” So our lucky streak apparently continued.
Turned around and off to the hummingbirds. EuRopcar was called again, but they only asked for the model (a ssangyong korando) and then told us that it was normal with the car, we could just continue driving. Well, at least.
So there was a little breakfast surrounded by many different hummingbirds that were so close that you could have stroked them. I resisted the urge and didn’t do it. But to just stand there and watch these incredibly nimble little animals from very close made me forget all the trouble about the car. Unfortunately I had to tear myself away from this dazzling sight because I wanted to go to the Butterfly Gardens.
Butterflies in plastic cups
There we got a private guided tour, because no other tourist was there. Tarantulas, stick insects, beetles, ants and of course butterflies. All animals that live in the rainforest. There were everything and of course many interesting facts. We were also allowed to take butterflies, which hatched in the morning and waited in plastic cups for their release and let them fly in one of the greenhouses. A really nice guided tour. Unfortunately it was already time to go home.
So we drove off in still pouring rain. Like on the way there, we got into a traffic jam at Limonal, but this time not caused by demonstrators, it was apparently just a lot of traffic. Just when we were in Nicoya, the rain subsided a bit and we opened the windows to let fresh air in. After a few moments it started to rain again and we wanted to close the windows. Not a bit of it. The window lifters did not function any more. Thank God my window was only a few centimeters open. That of my boyfriend was almost completely down.
So it rained happily in and we still had a good half hour drive ahead of us. As a makeshift measure we clamped the poncho in front of the window and were already looking forward to the next call at the car rental center. We also called directly from the hotel. Contrary to our expectation that they would send a mechanic who would take a look at it, we were promised a new car right away, the driver was supposed to leave at this moment and be there in 3 hours. We already knew the game. This time we did not get a ssangyong, but a Toyota. It looks more robust and offers more space. But it doesn’t have an all-wheel drive, so we are curious to see what will happen on our next trip…
By the way, what we realized afterwards: it wasn’t just a lot of rain and typical bad weather in the rainy season. An alarm was issued for the Central and North Pacific region. Due to the heavy rain there were many landslides, roads were flooded, houses had to be evacuated and in the Guanacaste region 13 emergency shelters were set up. In total, there were 21 shelters for 2793 people in the affected provinces. One man died because a tree fell on his house.
In Costa Rica after the rainy days 79 road damages, 35 landslides and in some places problems with the water supply were reported. On our way back we noticed of course also the one or other obstacle more on the road, but well shielded from any news and fully in tourist mode, we didn’t think much of it. Meanwhile the weather has calmed down again so that the clean-up work can continue.
Who wants to read how we got ourselves in this situation, should visit this site