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In my ever lazy pace of blogging, this is the second part of my Costa Rica "series". See Part 1 to catch up on all the exciting details.
Traveling in Costa Rica more touristy areas is pretty much like anywhere else I've gone minus the public transportation. A bunch of crazy cab drivers who can zoom around while you silently pray to yourself. In Alajuela by the airport they're a little more crazy. Blowing through red lights and stop signs, looking like they are about to smash up their car, getting you to your destination through a dizzying set of roads and back alleys so that you aren't sure exactly where you are. Pretty standard stuff.
Around Arenal we actually rented a small car for the day so we could get around. Driving there was actually kind of fun with the gentle up and down of the roads. That was the first time we had rented a car in a foreign country and over all it was a brief and pleasant experience.
About 50 minutes into our 2 hour journey we met up with another "taxi" that had been sent and half of the people switched to the other cab. About 5 minutes after the transfer we got a flat tire. In the middle of the jungle. Nothing around except for squirrel monkeys. The driver had a X tire iron and actually torqued the end of the iron trying to take off the rusted nuts (he used a pipe for leverage). As I had mentioned in Part 1, people are really friendly and a Tico stopped to talk and help. He had a X tire iron too, but that didn't seem to work. It didn't take long until our driver took out a hammer and chisel. No joke. He was wailing one those nuts to try and get them to turn. I've never seen or heard of someone trying to take a tire off like that. There's a reason: it doesn't work too well. I wasn't paying too much attention and then I heard a car door slam and the guy who was helping us drove off with our driver. Luckily he came back with another tire iron after like 10 minutes, but we didn't know that. He didn't explain it before he left... we wouldn't have understood him anyways. Short story, he came back, was able to change the tire and we got back just a little late. As for how many lug nuts we had on the tire: I don't ask questions I don't want to know the answer.Posted by jim at March 25, 2008 07:38 AM