We woke at 2 am to begin our travels back to our home, which has been in storage for four months in San Jose, Costa Rica. On a list of things the van has hopefully withstood during this time are a 7.6 magnitude earthquake and the bulk of Central American rainy season. While waiting for our first flight, Zach looks worried so I ask him what’s wrong. He lays out a list of problems that could be awaiting our return. For once, I am the optimistic one. My only worry is whether or not I can once again adapt to cold showers.
We arrived to a very dreary, smog-laden city late in the morning. A long line at customs and a mile walk with 50 lb packs ensures we don’t arrive at the aduana, where we’ll renew our vehicle permit, until just before 1 pm. It’s just as well – the officials are on their hour long lunch break. We wait. This becomes a theme of the day. If we had forgotten what Central American bureaucracy looks like, we are quickly reminded. A simple renewing of our vehicle permit takes 3 hours. Without a line. Once the official hands us the precious document we are quickly out the door. We must make it to the vehicle storage before they close or we will be stranded. We make it on time, but the waiting game is not over. An hour later, I finally see Zach pull up in Blue Steel and happiness overwhelms me. That is until we realize the car is leaking gasoline. Oh well, that is a problem for another day. For now, we must focus on finding a safe place to cook dinner and rest our tired bodies.
Now I remember. This is what it’s like to live in a van.