The narrow beam from our headlights lit a violently flowing river. Through the heavy rain, it looked to be only 100 metres or so across and our map showed that the road went straight across it. The rainy season was in full swing now with daily rains consistently reaching into triple digits. Our original route had been blocked by a large land slide carrying a tangled mess of trees and power lines across the two lane coastal highway, so we decided on this secondary road. Creeks and small rivers had been no problem for our rav4 on secondary roads up to this point, but this river had a different character. Now we had to find out how daring we wanted to be. After a heated battle of rock, paper, scissors, I was tasked with the river reconnaissance. I started into the thick brown water, mud sucking at my flip flops and rain stinging my eyes. A few metres from the bank, I was nearly swept off my feet and taken into the darkness by the strong current. We would not be crossing tonight.
Driving back to town, we found a small, rundown guest house for the night. Seeing my mud saturated legs, the owner - a native Costa Rican woman in her mid forties, asked us what trouble we had been up to. Through this exchange, we found out that the road does actually cross the river, but with a small rusting ferry which runs only during the day - powered by a lawnmower engine and bicycle chain. Happy with our decision, we cheersed our Presidentes and settled in for the night ready for a much easier crossing than we were anticipating only an hour before.
- September 2007