Landing in Liberia
Our arrival into Liberia was pretty straightforward. It was noticeably oven-y on the tarmac, as expected on the west side of Costa Rica (90+ degrees this time of year, not to mention the drought) and the customs process was relatively uneventful with the exception of the “no sex trafficking here” posters lining the entrance area.
The moment you think the tough part is over, you step outside the air conditioned building into a bull pit of taxi drivers screaming “TAXI?!” thinking that maybe if they are louder than their peers, you will deem them worthy of a ride. Luckily Rob and I had already booked a rental car and only had to shout back “ADOBE?!” a few times to locate our shuttle service.
Adobe* provided us with a cell phone (very handy in a few situations!) and a GPS. Initially, we thought this was a fantastic idea: no internet, no cell service, no worries – we can navigate easily with the GPS from point A to point B, right? Wrong. The GPS was less than worthless. We attempted to use it to get into downtown Liberia, and after about 20 minutes, gave up and left it in the glove box for the rest of the trip. We somehow made it to our Air BNB in Liberia before dark due to some combination of intuition, resourcefulness with my cell GPS, and dumb luck.
Quick Tip #1: It was windy, hot, and humid, so I’d recommend being dressed appropriately prior to stepping outside. I, for example, was wearing a dress and felt a pretty concerned about having a “Marilyn Moment” in front of 50 sweaty cab drivers.
Quick Tip #2: Any person you interact with after stepping outside may ask you for a tip. Be ready with a few bucks or a few hundred colones so there aren’t any awkward cash-digging moments (cough cough).
Quick Tip #3: At the rental office, I saw signs for “in-car Wi-Fi.” If the Wi-Fi works even 10% of the time it would be more useful than the gosh darned GPS. I also found an offline GPS app that we used for the remainder of our trip called PocketEarth – discussed in a later post.
*Adobe Rent-a-Car was recommended to us by Kathy, one of the owners of BioThermales (mentioned in a later post). She gave us all kinds of tips, guides, and general info about the area, so if you stay there, use her up!