Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Samara to Santa Elena/Monteverde. 114 miles. August 23rd, 2010
We had looked at many maps and guidebooks and one thing was clear, the road to Monteverde is without doubt the worst they had ever driven and now both Tom and I concur. First of all, there is no "good" road up here. Whichever route you take, you end up driving the last 25 to 30 kilometers on a rocky, gravelly road. This entails driving at a speed of about 5 - 10 mile an hour, if you're lucky. We elected to come via Tilaran which is supposed to be a little longer than the road direct from the PanAmericana but with less of an incline and mountainous turns. In other words, easier for the RV. It took well over 5 hours to do the journey and we were completely tired of the jarring and bumpiness of the road by the time we arrived into the small connected towns of Santa Elena & Monteverde. We had the name of one hotel located just outside of town that another RV had stayed at and that was going to be our first stop. After a couple of missed turns in town and asking a few different people for directions, we eventually found the hotel. The owners, Nidia and Danny are delightful and suggested we park right on the lawn one one side of the hotel. Also, they have internet and do not charge RVer's for parking, breakfast, if we want it is $5.00 each. Fabulous even though both Tom and I have an agreement that if we use someone's facilities we try to compensate them in some way. As Tom drove, I got out and with Winston, were chatting with Nidia. Suddenly there was a sound of wheels spinning and I saw the RV slipping. I yell and Tom got out. Cripes! Nidia then told us there had been more rain than usual for this time of year. We were stuck and not only stuck but had managed to tear up and put deep gouged ruts into their beautiful lawn. It was getting dark and even though we were not quite lined up properly, decided to deal with it in the morning. We got our power cord and Nidia plugged us in. The hotel is a B & B, with no bar and serves only breakfast. No matter. We got ourselves a couple of beers and walked Winston around the property, trying not to look to closely at the damage we have done. At the back of the hotel is a walkway that bridges out over a canyon. Although we can't see anything due to the clouds, we can hear a waterfall and river in the background. As night comes, we see the town lit up as it spreads into the surrounding hills. It is a beautiful sight. We discuss dinner and decide to keep it simple and microwave some taco meat we had done a few nights before, chop up avocado, grate cheese and with salsa make our now famous "gringo tacos". As we chat and get back into the RV, we grimace at our parking job and the lawn and hope our hosts, Nidia and Danny will be as delightful and friendly in the morning.