Whenever we venture outside of the major urban centers on our travels, I drive. Not having to depend on strangers for transportation and enjoying the unconstrained ability to stop and explore something of interest along the way are a couple of reasons that always tip the scales toward getting behind the wheel myself.
There are, obviously, counter-reasons. With a hired driver, you gain knowledge of local roads and full command of the spoken language when it is not English, and are relieved from caring for such trifles as parking, gas, or dents and scratches. Costa Rica was our first trip ever on which I allowed these considerations to outweigh my preference for driving.
As would be expected, our chauffeured transfers that lasted just a couple of hours did not include any defined sightseeing stops. But the trip from Arenal to Manuel Antonio takes over five hours of driving, so we split that with a stop at the Crocodile Bridge, where reptiles lounge on the banks of Tarcoles River. (Did you know that a group of crocodiles is called a “bask” precisely because they spent most of their time basking in the sun?)
I took a good number of shots through the car windows over the course of over 10 hours in the front passenger seat on the three transfers between our bases in Costa Rica. And threw most of them away upon examination. Whether through my lack of skill, my repeatedly late reaction, or the unfortunate dearth of eye-catching vistas as seen from a moving vehicle, barely anything came out as worth keeping.
And with that, our series recapping the trip to Costa Rica and Panama is at its end. Pura Vida!