Once leaving a paved road, you are off-road...as in rocky, rutted, compact in some places, silty and slick in others, with nowhere to pull over. Places where you and I might expect to pull over in an emergency is often a deep drain for flooding rains. Pull over into one and you surely snap an axel. The car jolts up and down hill with force that is beyond rattling and rumbling.
I cringe a few times every minute with the concussive force or stress placed on the vehicle. Our friends shared that they know someone who lost a tire...a wheel actually...as the vibrations loosened or snapped the lugnuts.
Costa Ricans must be great drivers to maneuver around one boulder in preference of going over the tooth-jarring other boulder in the path. Drivers here have to avoid bicycles and motorcycles zipping around cars; wandering livestock; dogs rooting around or laying in the road; and people walking...but the unpaved roads take the cake.
We stopped for a roadside bite--spicy shredded chicken, lettuce, and tomato wrapped in grilled flour tortillas. They were browned and soft and tangy.
Behind the hut, macaws live in the trees. They are kept well-fed by caretakers but fly freely from tree to tree.
Climbing the "good" road to Monteverde--the road where our hosts chatted freely while Karla and I gripped each other in the back seat--was another unexpected adventure. Imagine an incline of cinderblock, stone, and sand. Now imagine it snaking uphill for mile upon mile--with sheer dropoffs of a thousand feet or more (no guard rails of any sort). Imagine it as a touch more than one lane and insert occasional oncoming traffic around blind turns.
The ascents and descents were steep as roller coasters.
And everyone used to living here laughed about the road...because it is the GOOD road. Horses grazed on the sheer ledge and shared the road with passing vehicles honking for then to move...where, I don't know. On that road, options are limited unless one has wings.
When I climbed out of the car, I asked our friend, Bill, if he ever gets white-knuckled on that road--nope, but that other road, yes, at times.
There is always another road...one less travelled for a reason.
Everything doesn't always have to be so damn poetic.