I was driving into Samara the other sunny morning and I learned another lesson in what things I should always have in my vehicle. I now add machete to a list that includes water, food, flashlight and umbrella. It’s the end of September and my favorite part of wet season. Last night the Howler monkeys announced the onset of a thunderous rain storm that arrived just moments later. The rain beat down on the metal rooftop of my house so loudly that conversations ceased. Lightening flashed so bright; it blinded me for a second even though my eyes were clenched shut. It continued all night until I awoke to puffy white clouds against a bright blue sunny sky the next morning. The main road into Samara is now washed clean, purple blossoms from wild vines dot the green jungle on either side. Wild Heliconia, in blossom, peaks out here and there. Cattle graze in pastures while Egrets preen themselves. Rivers are flowing a brownish red from the silt they carry under the bridges I cross. You never know what you’ll see around the next corner when driving in this country, and sure to form, I round a corner to find traffic stopped due to a ten meter tall tree that has fallen across the entire road. The ground it grew out of over saturated from nightly rains. Three cars were in front of me, and three doors opened. Out of each vehicle, exited local men I recognized from town, and each carried a machete. They went to work immediately on the multi stalked tree, hacking off tree limbs from what used to be the top, and stacking them off on the side of the road. Four other men worked their machetes from the other side, no doubt from four cars that were exiting Samara. Within minutes they were down to the trunks, and had one lane opened. They reminded me of the Leaf-Cutter ants that decimate my tomatoes and favorite ‘about to blossom’ plants at home. In what seems like the blink of an eye, traffic is moving again and I round the last corner and arrive at that magical point where Samara suddenly appears. The line of the horizon outside of Samara’s bay, splits the two blues between sky and ocean. The road I’m on continues straight and turns into Samara’s main street, lined with restaurants, hotels, boutiques and shops. Oceanfront breakfast is being served by Locanda, La Vela, Lo Que Hay, Gusto’s and Sheriffs. Diners watch the surfers riding the waves, sticks and frisbees are being thrown for dogs, and couples walk hand in hand along the shore past free roaming horses. A very green Isla Chora beckons offshore for a kayak visit to it’s sandy beach for a picnic, possibly spotting some of the Humpbacks whales, recently seen breaching outside the protective reef of Samara along the way. Whether you’re arriving from San Jose, Liberia, or just my house outside of town, the road ends at Playa Samara, it simply ends at the beach. Because you’ve reached your destination and there is no need to go any further by car.
I now carry a machete in my truck
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