Unforgettable Taxi Ride in Costa Rica

After the bus station fiasco in Nosara and negotiating down our cab fare, we were finally off to Garza beach. We began talking to the taxi driver about his family, hoping to make friends with the man who had our lives in his hands. He spoke both Spanish and English, which was quite different than the taxi drivers in Nica who always only spoke Spanish. After the forced small talk was over, about 20 minutes went by in the silent taxi when the driver turned around and asked us if it was ok that he pick up a girl. Confused, we said yes and asked if it was another client of a friend. “Um not exactly,” he responded. Just as he said that, he stopped the truck outside of a house and honked his horn. A large Tica woman ran out in black leggings and a tank top that was far to small for her. She came up to the window and asked in Spanish what was going on. The driver simply told her to get in. Just as confused as we were in the back, she nodded and ran back into the house to grab something.

The girl quickly jumped into the truck, closed the door and placed an unknown item in the center consul. The driver quickly took off and rolled up the windows. The woman smelt of very strong floral perfume. I hadn’t smelt perfume like that in a long time. Jon grabbed my hand. He whispered in my ear, “When there’s light, try to see what it is that she brought into the car.” I nodded and squeezed his hand harder. What was it? Was it a weapon? They could rob us and leave us on the side of the road and get away with it easily. Or worse. A million things raced through my mind as we continued down miles more of dirt roads.

The driver definitely took some sort of detour to pick up this chick. Garza Beach couldn’t be this far. All I wanted to see was some sort of signage verifying that we were going the right way. I didn’t want to end up on the side of the road in the dark with nothing. I was so mad that we allowed ourselves to be in this vulnerable situation. We never travel at night. Why did we let this happen? We’re smarter than this. I tried listening to the driver and the woman’s Spanish conversation. It was strange, they were just making small talk about where their families lived all over Costa Rica. I still couldn’t see what the object was, it was too dark.

Just when I thought I was about to cry, Jon told the guy that he could stop and drop us off. He stopped, turned the lights on and I jumped out of the truck as fast as I could. Freedom! Before I closed the door, I looked in the front to see what the object was. It was a dirty grey sock. I looked up at both of them in the front and in the bright ugly light of the dark night I finally realized what was going on. I wasn’t scared anymore. I was actually relieved and a little weirded out. The taxi driver had picked up a prostitute for the long drive back to Nosara. Whatever. Jon paid the guy and quickly grabbed my hand to take me to the house, which was fortunately just across the street.

We opened the gate, ran inside and desperately knocked on the door. A sweet small Tica girl opened the door with a smile and let us in. We were both so happy to finally be here. It was a long journey here. We learned a lot. It was the scariest situation we’d experienced in our travels so far. We didn’t even want to think about what could have happened. All we wanted to do was see the beach. We threw our stuff down, opened the back door and there it was. Finally. Beautiful Garza Beach.

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3 responses to “Unforgettable Taxi Ride in Costa Rica

  1. I had a similar experience when I arrived in Managua… I was completely at the mercy of the taxi driver, trusting him to bring me to a safe hotel. I got taken a bit on the price of the taxi, but the fact that he brought me to a safe hotel that I can use in the future in Managua makes up for it.

    • Absolutely. Thank feeling of relief when you’re safely at your destination is the best feeling in the world and when you’re in a vulnerable situation, money doesn’t even seem to matter–you just want to be safe! Glad you made it safely to the hotel. Keep traveling safe and smart!

      -Quinn & Jon

  2. Pingback: LOOTB Back in Nica | Life Out of the Box·

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