|Cort Montague - Our Spanish language expert|
That’s Costa Rica. And really, it would help to know something of the native languages, something more effective than arm waving or currency waving, which works pretty well but tends to reinforce the American stereotype.
|Rich Hass at Dominacal, Costa Rica|
Everyone knows the harrowing experience of highway driving in such areas. But half a day later, at the hotel in Dominical, our vehicle doors flew open, the empty cans fell out, and we followed. Fearless, we were ready, in the morning, for a flying site discovered a couple of years ago by Rick Hubbard and Mike Freeman. Two mountain launches look over a valley and then an ocean to die for. Well, you could die for it if not conscious of the riptides and occasional wayward crocodile. Swimming and surfing was outstanding on water safe days.
But we came to fly and that’s exactly what we took our 2WD overloaded van with wimpy tires to upper launch to do. Until we couldn’t get there. And we weren’t about to send one of the other three 4WD rigs through that swampy, slippery wet almost-a-road trail when we could let two local macho tree smugglers in an ancient Toyota four-wheeler pull the van free. (Here’s where some currency waving was completely legitimate).
|Looks good. You go first! - Tom Allen, Rich Hass, and Mike Brand|
|Tom Allen - Caldera, Costa Rica|
The non-pilots in our group toured native reserves, sat poolside, did the hang by your feet zip line and hand fed the crocodiles. Okay, they didn’t do that. But they did have a good time. Some earned 5 continuing education credits in Drivers Training, with extra credit for willingness to carry insurance in Costa Rica: How to load a GPS and load a cooler; Driving 2WD likes it’s 4WD; Traversing steep mountain terrain - Practicing the Hail Mary and Our Father; What to pay local machete-yielding gate keepers; and How to locate most XC pilots most days. Others earned 1 Phys Ed Credit for Ocean Swimming: Judging water safety conditions relative to alcohol consumption; The aggressive swim stroke technique while in a riptide; and Sharing the ocean with crocodiles - volunteer participation only.