08 May 2013

Road trip to Playa Jaco the long way... via Puriscal

This morning I told John it was time for a "day off" from the daily grind of retirement and we needed to go on a road trip to somewhere we had never been. So I suggested we take a drive up to Santiago de Puriscal, to the South of us, in the mountains at about 3500 feet in altitude. From there we continued south, on the old road, Highway 239, all the way down to the Pacific coast, somewhere between Playa Jaco and Parrita.

Today was a good day for a road trip, the weather was clear and beautiful, and the rainy season is just now starting, so everything is vibrant green again.

It's only about 35 kilometers from Puriscal to the Pacific on this road, but only the first half is paved. We continued to climb up the mountain to around 4200 feet and the temperature was so pleasant we opened the window and turned off the A/C. As we came around a curve, we found this big guy parked in front of someone's house. 

We looked up to the left to see where it came from and this is where it rolled down. Can you imagine the racket it made as is came to it's resting place. The folks living in that house sure were lucky this bolder ran out of steam when it did, or they'd have been like the Wicked Witch of OZ.

There were some beautiful vistas on this road and this photo doesn't begin to do them justice.

It wasn't too long after the bolder that we came across this sight. You've heard of a "vehicle in tow", but I'll bet you've never seen a "horse in tow" without a trailer.

The driver was just coasting and the horse was just walking along behind, like a dog out for a walk on leash.

The road was pretty good for a dirt road until we came to this very narrow iron bridge. Then the road was nothing but a dirt track, about 17 kilometers of BAD road.

When we dropped down out of the mountains, we saw the remains of someone's pipe dream of a "gated community". What on earth were they thinking? Who, in their right mind, would invest in property at least 10 kilometers from a decent highway, and probably 25 to 30 kilometers to any sort of amenities, like a grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, medical care, you know what I mean, the basic stuff you just gotta have. Sheesh, no wonder it's abandoned.

So here is one finished house with an empty pool and the steel framing for two more houses. Lots of money down the drain on this venture.

It took us about 2½ hours to drive from Puriscal to Jaco Beach, and since it was already lunchtime, we stopped for some Arroz con Camerones (Shrimp and Rice) at a local seafood restaurant before heading home on the Autopista del Sol, Costa Rica's version of a super highway. The final leg of the journey only took an hour, but that 17 kilometers of BAD road took it's toll on my chauffeur.

I thinks it's going to be a "kick back" sort of evening with maybe popcorn, or cheese 'n crackers, for dinner.


  1. Awwww, so disappointed that you didn't finish off your road trip by coming by our place! One bad road deserves another.

    1. Now you know we thought about it, but by the time we got to the Escobal exit on 27, the only piece of bad road we wanted to see was the rough patch on the Radial coming into Atenas. hehehe