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You can’t drive to Costa Rico

Outside of Nuevo Laredo Mexico

Rodgers H Bestgen

Editor

This was the number one response I received when I began to discuss my plan of closing  the family shop in my native Cape Cod, picking up everything and starting a new life in Costa Rica. Fortunately I had discovered Costa Rica  just before 9/11. Im not sure if you remember that time  when the attacks occurred but my thinking was the big one was coming next that same day. My true fear was  the planes were just the warm up. It was so close to home. Time to move to a non nuclear target zone. Enter Costa Rica. Of course these thoughts were not at the front of my mind but  they were definitely swirling around in there driving the expressway tunnel in Boston the morning of the attacks.  Getting out of Dodge so to speak to the Maine border I heard on the radio that the attackers had left Logan that same morning only a few miles off  my right shoulder. This was  a truly creepy feeling. After a few days in an empty Moosehead lodge at Rangely Lakes crying my eyes out watching the aftermath there was definitely a   paradigm shift. Business was rough terrorists were trying to ace us. I was out of this nonsense! I had decided this without realizing it and subtly my every waking effort forward turned to the study of my new home and how to pull off this a move to a country I  had only visited once but had fallen in love with for its rugged beauty and rustic feel. I mean cows grazing across from a new international airport, beach 30 minutes away. Talk about ground  floor.

Playa Potrero

final destination

View from my favorite bar stool and my new local bar Las Brisas on Potrero beach and a stones throw from my new place

I chose my final destination on a map after much study of the country. On my visit I had stayed in San Jose, La Fortuna, and Quepos. While in Tamarindo I rented a scooter which if you are  brave is a great way to explore the back roads  of Guanacaste. Watch out for the cantinas along the way. I ventured as far north as Flamingo and as far south as Junquilal. The decision came after much study and even though I never visited there. Potrero became my choice. My reasoning was that a community with a dead ending beach road within an hour of an international airport was a pretty sure bet for growth and I needed to make a living so dead end beach road it was. I rented a beautiful round tree house with an ocean view and a huge yard for way too much money and I had arrived. Overestimating what I needed and could afford as many newcomers are wont to do.

The Journey

Spaulding Rehabilitation hospital, Boston, MA

August 2004

I left the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on the day in August 2004 my sister was finally released from the hospital into the hands of her waiting husband. I had spent the previous year by her side while she spent a year getting sicker and sicker until finally receiving a liver transplant. I was the only one with the means to be by her side so I spent the entire year in a  Brookline Hostel provided for families of critical patients by the hospital. Needless to say that was a very tough year for us.

Laredo Texas/ Nuevo Laredo Mexico

Laredo Texas holds my personal record for the city with the most official law enforcement uniforms that I could not recognize. Ever! This is a Scary place obviously under siege. I chose a Holiday Inn with air conditioning and a pool to stage my drive through 5 countries.There I set up my bulky desktop computers, avoided the 105 degree temperatures, did some final planning on the 2004 version of the internet, secured the many many papers required for the dog and  waited 3 days for important documents sent overnight express.(very remote vibe)Of course the Rio Grande was a few hundred yards away. I had to see it so I took the poor dog down for a walk, It was smaller than I imagined but foreboding nonetheless. We beat feet pretty quick back to the AC. Thank god for the dollar taco shop across the street and the Walmart where I was able to buy a case of oil for my leaky jeep.encountering a dearth of road maps for my planned route I just assumed the Mexican gas stations would have maps…. OK stop laughing. Anyway I had a compass built into the dash. This was after all a jeep. You’re still laughing. Believe me that compass came in handy trying to get out of  a San Salvador street fair on a rainy Saturday night. Loco!

The Drive

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