- Dos Lo­cos: TTZ - A River Runs Through It

Howler Magazine - - Featured Contents - By Johnny La­houd

My lat­est TTZ ad­ven­ture oc­curred this past Christ­mas Eve. I was with my new part­ner, Ben, in La­garto Beach, a lo­cal fish­ing town about half­way down the Ni­coya Penin­sula, fa­mous for fresh snap­per and cam­bute (conch). While watch­ing the beau­ti­ful sun­set, we spot­ted a lo­cal fish­ing boat come in with the catch of the day — snap­per galore. We picked out a few choice fish and headed to the bar for a cold one.

Once we got our Sil­vers, a lo­cal kid named Harold came up and we got to talk­ing about cam­bute. I had only tried it once and re­ally wanted to pre­pare some for Christ­mas din­ner. Harold said his neigh­bors has caught some fresh cam­bute that day and he would take us to their house to get one for din­ner. Ben is al­ways game for any­thing, so we told Harold, “Let's do it” and headed out for what we thought was a quick ride to get the goods. Lit­tle did we know it was to be a full-blown res­cue mis­sion tak­ing us into Christ­mas Day.

Any­one who's been south of Playa

Ne­gra knows that the dirt roads can be sketchy to drive on, es­pe­cially when you are off the beaten path. Well, within 10 minutes, we were headed down a wind­ing, twist­ing off-road course and it was get­ting dark to boot. Harold in­structed Ben to take a left into the riverbed, and that was when I started get­ting ner­vous. Ben was prac­tic­ing his all-Span­ish lis­ten­ing and talk­ing skills, and I re­al­ized too late that when Harold said, “Zig,” Ben zagged in­stead … off course and into some soft sand. The Pathfinder started sink­ing im­me­di­ately, and things were about to get more in­ter­est­ing.

Ben de­cided to slam into re­verse, caus­ing us to sink even deeper and skid to the left. We started tak­ing on wa­ter and I heard the muf­fler bur­bling in the river. We jumped out of the ve­hi­cle, only to see it half sub­merged in the sand.

Harold re­as­sured us the way any Tico would in a sit­u­a­tion like this: “No prob­lema, lo sacamos pronto,” which means, “Don't panic, we'll get it out lick­ety-split.” I knew we were in for a long night.

Harold went off seek­ing a res­cue crew, while I pro­ceeded to dig out the back tires with my hands. I had to hold my breath and go around the muf­fler and ex­ca­vate in the flow­ing river wa­ter. It was tricky, to say the least. To Harold's credit, he did re­turn with a truck and some rope. We at­tached the rope and tried to give it a pull, but only ended up spin­ning the wheels. On the sec­ond try, the rope snapped and left us just as deep in trou­ble.

News had spread through­out the neigh­bor­hood and a bunch of lo­cals and kids came down to wit­ness the grin­gos' or­deal. It was a clas­sic Tico Time Zone sit­u­a­tion. We strug­gled for an­other hour or so, only to break the rope all over again … even with a bunch of guys push­ing from the front.

By this time, Ben had lost in­ter­est and wanted to go home, take a shower and hit the party at the beach. He pro­posed leav­ing the ve­hi­cle run­ning all night and com­ing back in the morn­ing. I felt bad about still want­ing the damn cam­bute and told Ben I re­fused to leave the car. He re­sponded by wish­ing me good luck and jump­ing into our bud­dies' truck. So bye-bye, Ben.

Now I was just as deter­mined not to give up, and fig­ured there must be a back­hoe or trac­tor in the bar­rio. So I asked Harold and he fi­nally agreed — at, like, 11 p.m. — to take me to the lo­cal trac­tor guy. We got there, woke up the trac­tor guy and I told him he was our only hope. He was re­luc­tant, even when I of­fered money. So I sug­gested he might rather come down now than have us come back to sum­mon him on Christ­mas Day! He fi­nally agreed. Again, word had spread fur­ther and our res­cuer ended up bring­ing his whole fam­ily down to the river along­side the trac­tor to see what the tonto grin­gos had got­ten them­selves into.

Thank God, he had a chain. It still took an hour of ma­neu­ver­ing, but we fi­nally man­aged to pull out the Pathfinder … still run­ning and good to go! So I headed back down to the beach for the lo­cal party at Mar­bella. When I pulled up with the car, Ben started freak­ing out with amaze­ment and laugh­ter. He was stoked and learned the les­son of “tingo per­se­ver­ance.” Now, any­time we find our­selves in a new jam, we say, “No­body panic” and start the process of fig­ur­ing out a Tico Time Zone so­lu­tion.

We started tak­ing on wa­ter and I heard the muf­fler bur­bling in the river.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Costa Rica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.