Keith Stokes' Costa Rica Trip
January 13, 2008
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Linda Vista del Norte
Linda Vista del Norte dining room.

domingo - day 5

I stayed in bed until after 7 AM, then showered, dressed and had the same breakfast as the day before. It was another mostly clear, beautiful morning.

Driving back to the paved road, I turned west toward Nuevo Arenal, then on around the west end of the lake. I stopped at a little pizza place that had been recommended on the internet, Mystica, but it wasn't open yet. I was only greeted by sleeping dogs.

Tilaran Wind Farm - Costa Rica
One of four wind farms near Tilaran.

Lake Arenal

Continuing on, the road rose up into the mountains, passing through Tilaran. In Quebrada Grande, I missed the turn onto the much rougher road up to Santa Elena. But there was a man with a clipboard flagging me down at the next intersection. He told me where the turn I missed was, and sold me a map for $4. He may be the reason the sign I was looking for hadn't been visible, but I decided not to worry about it. If someone would like a copy of this more detailed map, email for a scan.

At first the road up the mountain to Monteverde wasn't that bad. The first half kilometer was rough, but after that, for a long distance it was no worse than other roads I drove in the past few days.

Mountain view on road from Arenal to Monteverde

Cemetery along the road to Santa Elena.


But the last 10 kilometers to Monteverde were like driving up a steep, dry river bed with rocks sticking out of the ground and large holes. On this stretch I never got out of first gear. But it was kind of fun, I discovered that I was grinning as I fought the way up the path. I've never named a car before, but I decided to name the Ignis I was driving, "Tortuga" after the horse I rode the day before. I shifted into first gear, called "On, Tortuga" and continued on.

Arriving in Santa Elena, I was surprised to see the Pacific Ocean (Gulf of Nicoya) to the south.

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copyright 2008 by Keith Stokes.