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WEEK 19 – MOUNTAIN BLISS & STUCK IN A DITCH

Van life sure isn’t boring! I mean, it can be, but there’s always something. So continuing my weeks of blissful spots, I decided to head north to camp out in a friend’s backyard. It’s always a great opportunity to hang with a good friend, have steady Wi-Fi, and in this case, some cooler weather. 

I also had to do laundry, very desperately! I’m good at making the best of my wardrobe but all my bed needed a clean, pillows, blankets, sheets, throws, the works. So a few days in the mountains dog & house sitting were the perfect moment to catch up on laundry, wear some nice warm clothes, work with a view of the city and continue this streak of van-bliss. And of course, time with friends is always good, late nights, drinks & intense talks – in this case at least!

This brings me to the topic of weather. For the last 40 years I have lived in a tropical country. Other than a few years abroad here & there, Costa Rica has been home. I’ve noticed that as time passes, or as I get older, I become less tolerant to heat. Maybe it’s an age thing, maybe a van thing, who knows. Both? The van struggles in the heat, and so do I. Everything overheats, the fridge struggles to stay cool, the laptop’s fan is going non-stop draining the battery and by the time night comes around, batteries are too low to sleep with the fan on. It’s a technical detail I need to work on but it’s just not ideal. Now, add to that, the fact that I hate the heat. Being all sweaty while trying to get work done, again, not ideal. 

I’ve noticed that lately I’ve been leaning towards cool weather spots. I love the beach, I looooove waking up on the beach. Sleeping to the sound of the waves, beach campfires, walking on the beach – it’s of the many little things that make me happy. The heat, nope. 

So after a few days up in the Barva area I drove out to Liberia to pick up some friends. We had planned a couple of days in Monteverde so that was the plan. I think this day is actually the first time I have driven the van for 12 hours, or somewhat, I definitely beat my driving record on this day. Leaving Liberia in the evening for Monteverde was not my ideal situation, I really don’t like driving at night but I mean, it’s pretty straight-forward right? And the company would make the drive easier. 

Needless to say, we ended up yapping along while I was just following Google Maps on the screen. We were 20 minutes away from our destination and hit a dirt road. It was actually a pretty nice dirt road – I’ve driven sooooo much worse. Long story short about 5 minutes later we had to turn around, we were informed that the road got worse and was even dangerous for a 4×4. Trying to get back to a different route, the van got stuck going up a dirt hill. It was probably around 8pm at night and with every attempt, I ended up back tires in a ditch leaning against a tree. Thanks to local folks and my very short Treds, we got the van out. 

This was not a good night. This is exactly the type of situation I avoid. But it happened. 

The weekend ended in a great campfire, good food and fun talks. However, this weekend really put me on edge. I still have no idea how we got that van out, things could have gone so much worse. I really need to be more careful and that’s that. 

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