I was transported from the airport to Hotel Luz de Luna by Eric, a very nice man who spoke as much English as I do Spanish – muy, muy poquito. He got me here safely, but it was a bit hair-raising. I was somewhat prepared, having visited Honduras 11 years ago, but honestly, I am amazed they don’t have more accidents.
The city is old, and very crowded, with lots of traffic. Besides cars, there are buses and small motorcycles. The cars and buses merge unexpectedly without signaling, and in the crowded two lane streets, people on motorcycles “white line” even when there’s no white line!
The drivers seem to have a rather mysterious method of communication via honking. Sometimes the honking means “you are in my lane, move away” and other times it means “go on ahead of me.” At one point, Eric rolled down his window and yelled at someone, then apologetically turned to me and said “stupid people” and a lot of Spanish words I didn’t understand. He then proceeded to drive at breakneck speed through what seemed like back roads.
Alto doesn’t mean stop when it is on a red and white sign that looks like a stop sign. It apparently means “slow down just long enough that when you enter this road you probably won’t get hit.” And traffic lights don’t seem to serve much purpose!
Funny thing is, I wasn’t really scared. Even when Eric didn’t seem to be paying much attention to his driving because he was texting and calling almost constantly, I only slightly tensed up. Everyone drives this way here, so I somehow knew everything was all right. I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness and serenity that I was finally in Costa Rica.
Tomorrow, we get on a bus for an eight hour journey to The Turtle Project on the Northern Peninsula (where, I am told, wifi will be sporadic). We being me and 8 other women, seven of them from the UK and the 8th from Canada. Great people, lovely accents, and I am looking forward to sharing the adventure with new friends.
In the meantime, we enjoyed complimentary Sangria at the bar in the little restaurant here before having a delicious dinner at a restaurant down the street.