It all started out so lovely, in the daytime, when the sun was out, when expectations of fun and adventure were high and thoughts of thunderstorms were fleeting like the clouds high above our heads. The infamous monkey trail was ours for the conquering and yes, we drove, we banged around, and we captured that monkey by the tail. Did I mention we were driving in a car, no high carriage 4wheel drive for us. We climbed rocky terrain and splashed through streams in a 4 door senata.
We went zip lining which was amazing but in terms of adrenaline pumping it was like taking a nap in a hammock compared to what happened to us when the sun went down.
After our highflying escapades we drove to Liberia for some real Tico food at La Choza de Laurel. We highly recommend this place for good food and great service, not cheap but great portions and decent prices.
With full bellies and dreams of amazing sunset drives along the coast, we made our way back towards route 911. Yes I know red flags should have been flying, bells ringing. Route 911, running parallel and at times including the monkey trail, that crazy off-road adventure we barely made it through.
So we make our way along and it's smoother than the other trail but it gets darker and the road gets rougher and steeper and the streams turn into deep pools we have to cross and before we know it we have travelled back in time, 2 years back to be exact.
I am standing outside in the pitch black with my three boys on a cliff and Teddy is trying to figure out how to safely navigate the car either up an impossibly steep rock wall of a road or turn around on this thin sliver of land. The boys and I had gotten out of the car to make it lighter and to clear giant rocks from the path.
I was terrified. I watched my brave husband push that car to its limit. This time I didn't just prepare to push the car like I did on the hillside in Spain, I got behind it and pushed with all my might trying to help him anyway I could. But my efforts were futile, the car would not make it and are fears escalated. What to do? We were 2km from the nearest small residential area where we also knew someone. Did I mention the cell phone had no service and even if it did, it wasn't able to make calls for some reason AND we had no flashlights. And what's that flash of brilliant light I see in the distance, yes lighting.
I looked at my babies, draped in beach towels to guard against the mosquitoes while bats zoomed around their heads keeping watch over them as I attempted to think.
I almost broke down, my husband looked shaken but determined. I wanted to just pull to the side of the road, sleep there until morning and them walk the 2 k for help. But my husband, full of faith, said no, let's go back (wait did I mention we had less than a quarter tank of gas and we hadn't seen a gas station in over an hour). I freaked a tiny bit, scared of running out of gas with no phone no flashlights and no sides of the road to even pull off onto. I looked at Teddy's face and God said "he is the head", so despite my fears I followed my faith. We all got back in the car and prayerfully held our breathes as we went back into the jungles, over the streams and through the darkness.
He, both God and my husband,
delivered us safely out of the wilderness and into the bright shiny lights of a gas station where we found out we were not only coasting on fumes but also on a leaking tire. We filled the tank, taught the boys how to change a tire, and headed home on the boring, safe, paved highway while flashes of lighting occasionally lit up the sky.
As we drove home I realized just how far I have come in two years. When we were on a cliff in Spain I lost it. I didn't listen to nor trust anyone. I couldn't hear my husband or my boys or God trying to calm me down because fear was screaming through my very being. Tonight was a nightmare, but I realized I wasn't alone and that God has yoked me to a man who balances me out. He can keep his head when I'm losing mine and if I just trust him when I'm scared everything will be alright because his faith is big enough for the both of us.
I have grown, and in two years when I find myself in an unfamiliar country on a cliff with my boys in the dark and my husband in a car you can bet we will have flashlights, a working cell phone, and a car with 4 wheel drive.