I have lots of great stories about our time in Nicaragua to share with you, but I won’t leave you hanging any longer about the drama that unfolded trying to get back into Costa Rica. So we are going to go a little out of order here. Hang on tight, I know you can handle it.
Oh and also, with the high stress nature of this situation, picture taking was not a priority, so please enjoy my home made art work to depict how things went down. I’ve added additional notes about this artwork at the end of the post.
So, if you’ve read yesterday’s post, you know that our trip to Nicaragua went off without a hitch. We sailed smoothly through the entire process, and ended up in San Juan del Sur safe and sound.
Despite the ease of our voyage, we were still a little wary of what would happen on our return trip. We had booked in with the same tour company, and the idea was we would be meeting up with that same day tour from Grenada on their way back into Costa Rica.
A great idea in theory, but the timing of this rendez-vous seemed pretty sketchy. We were told to be at the Maxi Pali, a grocery store chain, in Rivas, Nicaragua at 4pm. Our shuttle would arrive to pick us up sometime between 4 and 5:30, depending on how long the sightseeing on the tour took.
We had never been to Rivas, and the though of standing outside a grocery store parking lot seemed rather unfortunate. But, based on the great experience we had with the tour company on our way over, we figured everything would be fine. We also confirmed everything that day before,just to be on the safe side. So we were entering into the situation with confidence.
We arrived at the Maxi Pali around 3:40. We took turns going into the grocery store, and grabbing a couple snacks for the road. Then we sat and waited
Every time we saw a shuttle go by, we would stand up thinking it was ours, but no luck. Before we knew it, it was 5:25, dusk was setting in, and we were suddenly faced with the real possibility of being stranded in Nicaragua.
We instantly went into problem solving mode. Although I didn’t have the number for the tour company, I did have one for the tour operator who booked our trip. It was just a matter of finding a phone that we could use. Well, not only a phone, but one that we could use to phone another country.
Shaun headed into the Maxi Pali and asked every employee he ran into. No one was willing to give us a hand. Meanwhile, I waited outside with the bags, and for the first time in the entire trip, I got a little nervous about being alone, being a women, and being so obviously a tourist.
I swayed back and forth from wanting Shaun to find a phone so we could sort out the shuttle, and wanting him just to come back and stand with me. After about 10 minutes, Shaun came back out, no phone. It was time to make a decision.
Just as we started discussing our options, a tourist van pulls in. We recognize the company name and we are extatic. As a couple of their passengers get out, we grab our bags and walk up to it, but they don’t open the door for us. We walk over to the driver’s window who is now giving us a very strange look.
The tour guide comes out and asks us “What are you doing here?” We respond that we are waiting to go to Tamarindo with them.
“Not with us,” he responds. “We are going to Playa Coco in Costa Rica, the Tamarindo bus is long gone. The only reason we stopped here was because someone had to pee”
Our jaws dropped.
Our shuttle had forgotten us. We would have been stranded, but by some amazing, magical twist of fate, someone asked the driver if they could pull over to pee, just as they were about to pass the exact grocery store we were waiting at.
No pee…no stopping…no border
Without a moment of hesitation the guide whisked us aboard his bus, telling us just how close we came, and how lucky we were.
We felt LUCKY! I literally have never been so elated in my life.Everyone on the bus marvelled at our story and welcomed us into their tour group with open arms. I told the guy who had to pee that he had a magical bladder, and I was so thankful for the massive beer he had had with lunch. We ended up having an amazing ride back to Costa Rica, and met so many cool people along the way.
In the past, I might have focused on the “what if’s” and been mad at the tour company for screwing up. But I don’t feel that way at all. I’ve been working so hard lately on gratitude and positivity, and I truly feel that living my life with this kind of outlook is sending all sorts of magical situations my way. This amazing lucky moment, being one of them.
A couple of notes about the art work in this post
- Despite what it may look like, Shaun and I were actually fully clothed during this adventure
- I can also attest that we both had hands at the time of this event as well.
- Yes, my head is consistently larger then Shaun’s in these pictures for a reason
- The stringyness of my hair is actually a fairly accurate depiction of its actual state at that time
- This will be the first and last time I make my own art work for the blog. You can’t even begin to imagine how long these took me lol
Have you ever experienced something that made you feel lucky?
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