Costa Rica has Dedicated Cab Drivers

The newly formed river was a raging force of choppy, splashy and very angry-looking water. It had been created by days of pounding rain and poor drainage systems. It was 50 feet wide and was flowing from our right to our left with a mighty force due to the slope of the terrain. There was a line of about 20 cars in front of us and as we approached we saw a very strange site: a bull dozer with several teenagers hanging off it crossing the river. Apparently they were charging the equivalent of 20 U.S. dollars to tow vehicles across. "Quite the young entrepreneurs" I thought as we pondered our possibilities.

The young men were pulling cars across in both directions, so the wait would be long if we were to accept their offer. Mario, our cab driver, looked stressed, probably thinking that he wanted to get back to his young family sometime today. We still had a couple hours to go to get to our destination even after we crossed "The Monster" plus he would have to come back across to get back home. He then made a decision: let's go for it.

He didn't hit the river with much speed. Perhaps he thought the river might just take a fast moving car and turn it into a fast moving metal raft. As soon as we eased in I could feel this incredible pull; I knew this would be a very treacherous undertaking. As we got a few feet in the water level was literally above the base of the side window; how that cab didn't instantly get flushed into the abyss is beyond me. We were moving faster to our left than we were moving forward, the engine was roaring like a desperate and depraved lion scrambling and scratching in an effort to not fall off the edge of a steep cliff. At one point I actually felt the tires come of the loose ground and the whole cab drift downstream. We must have hit a bump in the landscape and somehow regained our footing. Mario furiously stomped on the gas and with one last desperate effort we gained enough ground to get past the halfway point and continue to power through the other side. I think Mario was still feeling the rush after we breeched the last of the river because his foot was still powerfully pressing the pedal to the floor. We shot out of the water and went careening uncontrollably over a small hill toward a group of slightly amazed onlookers. He came to his senses and narrowly brought the vehicle to a halt as a few of the onlookers scrambled behind their cars. We were approximately 75 feet further to the left of our starting point. This is when I knew that Costa Rica must have the best cab drivers in the world.

A Ladd

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