Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tipica Tico

Everyone talks about the roads, or lack there of, in Costa Rica. We'd encountered the "Costa Rican massage" as the locals call their dirt and potholed roads but always with someone else driving. When Dayne drove from Arenal to Tamarindo the roads, although very windy and dotted with potholes, were paved. But on this drive, with me behind the wheel, it was nothing but dusty dirt roads, huge potholes and ruts for a good hour and a half of our four hour drive.

I couldn't pass anyone so I tried to stay back away from the clouds of dust. We watched the car in front's small trailer wheel shred and go flying, leaving him rolling along on the rim! This was the "tipica" Costa Rican road experience.

About half way into our drive we stopped in the small town of Santa Cruz for lunch. We drove each street checking out the assortment of restaurants before choosing Venus de la Diria because of it's open air style and also we could park the fully loaded car right in front of our table (there is a very high rate of vehicles broken into all over the country). There was no English spoken and we had to use our menu readers to figure out all the options for their casado's but we managed just fine.


We knew that casado's are the tipica lunch time meal of rice and beans with meat and salad from our previous lunch in Fortuna. Here in this town, without the tourists and only the "tico's", as the locals call themselves, frequenting the restaurant, the meal was much more authentic. And it was very good.

Back on the road, but this one paved, we headed towards Jaco. There is a bridge spanning the Tárcoles river which is a very well known spot to see crocodiles. We parked just before the bridge and walked out and immediately saw the largest crocodiles I could ever imagine!
The biggest of those crocs are about 16 feet long. Holy hell I'm telling you that these things are monsters!! And there were scads of them! Handbag anyone? There are boat tours of the Rio Tárcoles but we didn't need to pay a peso for our view of the crocodiles. And as an added bonus we passed a tree heading back to the car which had two beautiful scarlet macaws hanging out in it.
Just another tipica day with the ticos!