When I first thought seriously about driving a truck to Patagonia, I had dreams of crossing massive mountain ranges, camping on remote beaches, and crossing giant rivers. Somehow, we’d end up in a sticky situation, and we’d have to use the winch to escape to freedom.
Adventure like that seems like it’s been more the exception than the rule recently. Central America is crowded. We could escape the crowds for a few days up in the mountains or on a remote beach, but the escape was always very temporary. I hadn’t felt that sense of adventure and freedom of being able to drive and camp anywhere since we had been in Baja, Mexico.
All of that changed on the Nicoya Peninsula. We had to cross rivers, drive through mud, deal with tides as we drove down roads that were literally right on the beach, made fires from driftwood, and dodge poisonous snakes. Although we were never far from civilization, and we drove through several little towns, it never felt crowded. It always felt remote and undiscovered.
We had to drag ourselves away from Playa Coyote. We headed south, looking for another perfect beach to camp on.
Getting water in Costa Rica is easy, because you can drink the tap water. We filled up with about 60 gallons of fresh water for drinking, cooking, and showering. The best part? It was free.
As we continued on, we knew we were going to have to cross some rivers. The first big river crossing we had was probably the worst. The river was so deep in the normal crossing area that an alternative road had been carved through the jungle. Toby volunteered to take his truck across first, as his rig is a bit smaller and more maneuverable.
I don’t have any good pictures of it, but Toby’s river crossing was the easy part–it was much more difficult to get his truck through the bush road that had been carved through the jungle. This included several sharp turns around big trees and we realized later that there was a giant hornets nest we had disturbed!
At this point, the road headed out of the jungle and towards the beach. You can only drive the road if the tide is out. Toby had some handy charts showing all the high and low tides that we used to coordinate our drives along this beach.
As the sun set, we cooked a meal on our fire: potatoes, vegetables, and a giant red snapper. We made all of these dishes by wrapping the food in tinfoil and then laying them directly on the hot coals. The meal was delicious.
As I drifted off to sleep that night, listening to the sounds of the jungle behind us and the crash of the surf in front of us, I spent a few minutes thinking about how lucky I was to be there. Sometimes I find that people are always looking forward to the next thing (their next job promotion, the new house, their next new car)–they can’t find (or don’t see) the happiness in the moment.
We all have something to be grateful for. Don’t get lost searching for the next thing that you think will bring you happiness–find your happiness right now, in the moment!