Nicaragua is the only country of the covenant of CA-4 (Nicaragua / El Salvador / Honduras / Guatemala). Now we learn to our expense that the gentleman who had left much we spent in Guatemala continues to fuck us. In our passport, the number written next to Guatemala buffer indicates the number of days allowed in the alliance ... 15 days ??? !!! 15 days ??? Fifteen days down to Central America, normal yeah whatever !! The guy too nice! Fortunately in Central America everything is settled by paying because in Russia we would have had more trouble. However, we still had to pay $ 1 a day passed, almost 20 USD each !! That's it, we have our output buffer Nicaragua remains ... that of Costa Rica. There, we met Manuel, a Swiss that we had met on the island of Ometepe, which decides to occupy the 4th place aboard El Diablo. We tell him he is free to take the bus as pass a border by car is often much longer. But Manuel still decides to bind us. (We will have warned you, you will not complain). As we head towards the Costa Rican border, we see an endless line of trucks, some of which already waited for more than five days to pass the anti-drug control customs search. We decided to grill (in French) the tail kilometers to be stamped. For passports, it will be done smoothly. However, El Diablo, it's a long day that awaits. Here are some key points to 24 HOURS way to summarize the seven hours of waiting at the Costa Rican border (yes I said 7):
- Time 1: We arrive at 10:30 in vehicles excavation place for the issuance of a paper attesting that the car does not contain weapons or drugs. We learn that there are at least four hours of waiting. It's better than waiting a week but it's still shit! Chief we will see directly asking him if there is no way to speed up the process. He says, well then ... two hours you park there, between the two trucks. Why two hours? For in one hour it's lunchtime!
- Hour 2: After a good hour, against some generous dollars, they accept to please the search. But when the tournevisMan arrives at El Diablo, he begins to feel a monstrous laziness which prevents him from touching a single bolt of the car. The charm of El Diablo, it's crazy! "It's good it is clean" he says, here's the paper, you can from the local. We will not exactly understand what had happened but all that mattered was that they had stamped paper, signed and dated by the "Head of The Dig."
- Time 3: We are now seeking the wooden hut which issues permits for cars Costa Rica. 5, 6 round trips and we finally find! We proceed to queue in a disciplined manner (!)
- Time 4: No discussion possible, after trying in vain to confuse the police officer with a ton of papers and bills at the con, the official attestation paper of selling is required to cross the border. Come on, we already know that the the, how many hours to wait, you have copies right? But we already have! Come on, is how much? Nothing all our "advances" will not work well and we wonder what to do! Ouch, ouch, ouch ... This time it looks to be serious. Return to Nicaragua and trying to find a notary public to damn us this false statement? Expect ? Pay ?
- Time 5: We expect and hope that the situation loosens and the police officer who issues permits wants to give us a plausible solution.
- Hour 6: Manuel, who was beginning to despair of having on board with us, as he watched the time pass and we still had not moved a centimeter. After Val done little, the situation loosens finally! "So small, you're going to see Alvaro is one of my mates who precisely is public lawyer. It will make you the certificate you need. Come back later. "On a decided step, Val slips into Alvaro office that looked more like a church than a lawyer's office ... but never mind. That's it, against 30 USD, we have in our possession a beautiful paper with stamps and pads everywhere. Now you have to go in another wooden hut for a white paper on top of our paper rose confirmation of the beginning, he says. Come on, this time it's good, it has everything! We take our our cliques and slaps, and we drive to the control desk. Niet !!! It lacks a yellow paper says the agent. But this is not possible, what yellow paper? The blue paper, white paper and red is not enough? "Yet we are French, that it should! ù $ *% ^ $ p ". It's anything that border !! For a country that has no army, they really start to break us!
- Time 7: That's it Mr. the agent was yellow paper !! So it's good, you can go? No !! What now ?? The license plate indicated on the certificate is not the same as El Diablo? But it's not true !!!!! The lawyer has Gouré a letter !! It really starts to lose patience this time! Val, edgy like a louse, see Alvaro returns to remake the certificate with the correct registration. 5:30 p.m., we finally managed to cross the border !!!! Youhou !!!!!! Champagne !!! (OK, OK, a cold beer will do).
According to the map, there are a hundred kilometers to reach "Monte Zuma", a small village on the Nicoya Peninsula in western Costa Rica on the Pacific coast. Except that to achieve this is no pie! Nightfall, in 18 hours, we cut in our tracks. But determined to arrive, we continue no matter what. At 19 hours, asking our direction, the Costa Rican told us that there are at least 3 hours away! It's weird, it's close to the air on the map !! Is at Costa Rica is 3:00 or 3:00 that's more than five hours? Who cares, we'll see ... 10 minutes later, the road turns into a real motocross circuit is OK ... better already includes three hours. Then history still further complicate the situation, the two front lights of El Diablo (which already shone not much) we let go! Awesome. So summarize, it is 20 hours, it's dark, it just started for 30 minutes a dirt road in the middle of the Costa Rican forest and we have more lights! In both directions to the next town is 1 hour drive (with lights) ... Manuel, beginning to despair, tells us we can connect son headlights directly on the + of the battery. It left for play mechanics apprentices. Knife, front ... there is to find the headlight wire. Val takes a little on every son hanging near the driver's pedals and concluded that this is perhaps the blue wire. It then cuts a portion for connecting the lighthouse on drums. Great it Works !!! Ahaha, it is too strong !! We left, this time with a lighthouse on both, but it's better than trying to see rolling with warning! 3 minutes later ... "Hey guys, do not you think that it smells burnt? "Oops, the engine temperature needle is in the red !! "Val, do you think we cut the wrong wire? ". A new ruling allows us to identify the problem is ... we supposed to cut the fan to cool the engine! It really sucks! "Manual, if the fan is the wire connects to the + of the battery, it should work, right? ". Luckily, this air run ... During the time of repair, I went to ask a passing tractor in the corner, how long he thought Monte Zuma. "5:00" he said. "No, sir, not the tractor but with our car. "" Ah ... well, I'll say eight hours then ... "" Haha very funny !!! ". Guys, I think we have to face the facts, it is 21 hours and it will not reach Monte Zuma tonight! OK, we stop to the next, it is more reasonable. History to remember a little of that memorable day, it starts raining ropes. So there PAUSE, have to imagine ... 4 tourists in a car registered MEXICO at 21 hours in Costa Rica, with only one headlight, raining inside the car and out Val head out the window to drive because the last wipers that worked flew ... Although my side, I found the situation rather comical, Manuel, he burrowed deep in his seat prayed to arrive alive. 9:30 p.m., we arrive at the next Cobano town, where locals are amazed to see us here! Before going engulf our first Costa Rican beer, do not forget to disconnect the lighthouse and the battery fan if tomorrow we may stay there! "Seriously, will have to disconnect and reconnect every time you stop? ". Coooool !!
Monte Zuma finally ... there was not much of 5:00 far from relaxing road. We wanted a headed corner, we have had! Relative to its name transformed by local Monte Zuma, aka "Monte Fuma" ... people are not much. Between two firecrackers, there are rivers, waterfalls, forests and shark fishing for the more adventurous. A good week later, Manuel decided to drive us apart. The episode border had been enough to him ... The day starts on Bob Marley. The deluge pushes a few hours we left and we take this setback to go to El Diablo inflating tires. Starting on the stroke of 10 hours, we prefer to embark on the El Diablo fairy Puerto Escondido rather than redo 6:00 back road. Thibaud over with only a few days before his plane, he will take away the only fairy Romain earlier, their friend working in a Finca in Turrialba. From our side, Val and I écumons Queue will take us the day. We spend the night in Puerto Escondido, to start over again tomorrow morning.
New strange noises have emerged since the passage of the border. When night travel before the border, we lost the front license plate of the car taking off on a speed bump ... We also say that a bolt walk in the front left wheel. We also feel that El Diablo has less and less grip in the corners. At each turn in the approach to the capital San José, El Diablo seems to be in the process of losing a significant part. The road to get to Turrialba is laborious and mountainous and obliges us to stop in a Volvo garage for a quick check-up. That way, we fixed ... its just the steering axis that is about to uncouple. This is 1200 USD to change the axis that then you do not drive at more than 50 km / h if you do not want pommer the steering axis and secondarily off the road. It's starting to get tougher Val seriously !!! If we can Turrialba, I swear I'm more back in this car. Anyway, it's there that you wanted to sell so that's good. Finally, we arrive at the nightfall on Turrialba after a day's drive and have doubled our turn by a few tractors! We find Romain and her blue school bus equipped for 6 people with whom he came down from Canada before it makes the soul in Costa Rica ... Nothing less! The climate is much different than the coast. It's hard out of the pants! We celebrate our arrival, the starting and the end of Thibaud roadtrip MEXICO / COSTA RICA with a bottle of rum and houses wood fired pizza !!!
It did not take too illusions, no want of El Diablo. Not even the garage! After a week without any proposed purchase, even at 500 USD, we decided to let him make one last little way up the East Coast, Puerto Viejo. Maybe we'll have better luck there. I, who had vowed not to go back in that car, I feel the galley arrived from far far away !!!! Only 210 km separate us from Puerto Viejo ... go, a little effort !!
Costa Rica is a much more touristy and more expensive than its neighboring countries Nicaragua and Panama. Although national parks contain species of animals I had never seen, Puerto Viejo will be my last stop. Just out of town, it takes a huge pothole that blew the left front road of El Diablo. Here it is the galleys will change begin ... a full turn wheel on a muddy ground ... 20 minutes later despite a new spare wheel ... El Diablo continues to make his own, stopping several times in the descents of the valley Turrialba. At the bottom, you can not restart ... The drunks and tramps who were staying at the supermarket quickly begin to turn us around trying to explain in English that it is the "gasoline that not happen in the pipe" !!! Thank you Pedro council but will manage without you guys. While Val is looking for a mechanic, I stuck with the ten drunks, all intrigued by El Diablo. It was 14 hours and I saw myself leave the car here and finish the journey by bus. But, an hour later, the mechanical and happens in 3 minutes by the clock, encouraged by the ten gus drunk as boots, diagnostic starting fuse. Phew, I did not even know he had a fuse to start. In short, we are happy that this is it! By the way, the mechanic we branch the second lighthouse on the battery ... Yes indeed it can be helpful to us for this end of the day is not over yet !! So we go again ??? YEEEEAH !!! A 15aine kilometers later we lack to be knock by a bus that was beginning its shift quickly. This third rustle disaster really not reassuring for the rest of the way. And indeed, at night we notice that one is followed by a white van for a few minutes. What the hell was that again? Who's who advised us not to drive at night in Central America already? A good kilometer after, that's it, we have the right at flashing light and siren! The cops ? What have we done yet? "You think they saw we had a light problem? ". We did not even have time to think about a second truck comes encircle us from in front by slowing our pace ... It's like a movie, except that we are vying for them it looks !! It then ranks on the low side of the road and realize with surprise that 10 police vans down and surrounded the car! "Val, I smell a rat! ". An officer from the driver's side and another passenger side enlighten us with their huge torch face and ask us to please turn off the ignition. "Yes, so Mr. agent, we are sorry but ... well if we cut the contact ... to go the headlights and disconnect the fan manually under the hood or we may have trouble leave ...". PAUSE: you still imagine the situation ... Two pilgrims head into the engine surrounded by 10 guys from the GAO armed to the teeth, "Are you sure it's this thread that disconnect? Yeah, go, go, get crazy !! you ". Incidentally, the GAO (El Grupo de Apoyo Operacional of the Fuerza Publica) is the armed force of Costa Rica which tracks stolen cars and vehicles transporting firearms and / or narcotics. It is obvious, seeing El Diablo registered MEXICO circulating in the darkness of night ... it was assured the Jackpot! Except that lack of bowl, it was not for today. They had to get naked when instead of finding two Mexican mustache with a ton of cocaine in the trunk, they saw two poor tourists in mountain shoes, backpacks, guitar, bike and bodyboard in the trunk ... From Suddenly he had been forced to check the papers of the car and our passports ... But everything was in order! Too bad guys, not tonight that you post to your Facebook group heroic arrest of the most dangerous drug cartel in Mexico through randomly by Costa Rica !!
Terminus Puerto Viejo. This time we stop there, Val. OK ? You got your fix here? Well we agree, too! Caribbean style city is "laid-back" where there is only one slogan: "Pura Vida". Not surprisingly, 40% are local African Caribbean descendant of Jamaica. We stay at the "Rocking J", a gigantic hostel decorated in a funny way with artistic 50aine hammocks, a 30aine tents, and some bedrooms. The atmosphere is more festive ... it's good that's exactly what we wanted to clear his head. Roman will join us later, having succeeded him to sell his bus! The beaches are still wild ... the critters too. A beautiful destination before hitting the road alone to Panama ... As for Valerian, he will go for a ride in Jamaica before returning to France.
At last, a mechanic would have bought El Diablo, wanting to give it a new sporty look. If you see by chance in the streets of Puerto Viejo a Chevrolet coupe Caballero painted red with two white stripes on the hood ... go say hello from us. Finally it is not so bad in this little piece of paradise ...