Costa Rica :: Part 14

This story is being told as a series. Here’s a link to Part 1

Part 14

Back on the bus, the daily seat rotation continued; for the long bumpy ride toward our next destination — Fortuna, in the middle of the country — I was in the front seat. I was just behind Ciro, who was in the jump seat between the door and driver. Ciro referred to the rainy season as ‘pothole season’, and from my vantage point I could see why: with each hole full of brown muddy rainwater, they stood out in a way that made it more apparent that there was almost more pothole than road.

For long miles there was not much to see, just the swish of windshield wipers and the bump of the road. Ciro and Chucho seemed like old friends, and talked to each other in Spanish far too fast for me to follow. So often on my journeys it seemed that I brought the ghost of Richard along, but the rush of Spanish made me think of Davíd. It took me down paths I didn’t usually allow myself to go, and my heart felt a little tight at the thought of him.

When they weren’t talking, Ciro tended to sing to himself. I nodded off briefly with the sound of it in my ears, but the jostling of the bus didn’t allow for more than a few minutes of rest.

In a little while, we reached paved roads again. Shortly after that, we blew a tire. We pulled off the road briefly for Chucho and Ciro to inspect the situation, then slowly — agonizingly slowly — drove the 4-5 miles to a shop that might be able to assist in replacing the tire for us. It was going on midday, and there was some concern that the shop might be closed for lunch, if we ever actually got there.

But get there we did. Shortly we were unloaded from the bus into the full noonday sun, accosted by the smell of hot earth and hot tires. We watched with fascination the process, as Chucho went to work along with the shop owners… various actions to position the bus correctly, to move the jack into place, to open panels of the bus to get to the spare.

In one of the open panels, hanging clothes dangled in a dry cleaning bag beside a small motor bike. I realized this must be how Chucho got around on his “off” hours, so he wasn’t tied to us and the bus at all times.

Eventually we were back underway, a little late for lunch but otherwise unscathed. Ciro told me later that, despite my earlier impressions, this tour was the first time he had ever worked with Chucho, and that he’d been very impressed with the calm and professional way that the bus driver had handled what could have been a trying situation.

Copyright © 2010

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~ by lorakceel on May 11, 2010.

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