"Liberia" Liberia by Kaspian

Liberia Travel Guide: 46 reviews and 93 photos

Travel Dates: February 23 2009.

Take Me To "The White City"

With a 5-hour wait until my flight leaves to return to Canada, I can't be bothered sitting around with all the other sun-baked vacationers drinking, reminiscing, and being bored with each other yet again at the airport, so I approach the taxi stand with a tourist brochure in hand and show the drivers there a page-spread which features old downtown Liberia. I point at a white building in one of the photos. "Si, si, si...," they mutter. I clumsily ask in Spanish how long it will take to get me there and how much it would cost to return me to the airport afterwards. This doesn't seem like a request they're used to and they huddle in a small conference for a moment before answering, "30 dolares." They also tell me it will take 20 minutes in each direction. That's leaves plenty of time to get back here for the flight and it's made up my mind--"OK, let's go!"

On The Road With Eugenio

One of the taxi drivers leads me to his red truck and then we're off. He asks if I speak Spanish, and I tell him, "No... Poorly." I ask if he speaks English and he says, "No." But then he asks my name, and I do understand that. "Ed... Eduardo." I ask his and he shows me his ID tag, "Eugenio." "Ahh...," I exclaim, "Eugene! Mucho gusto!" He's very pleased with this translation of his name, "Si, si... Eugene!"
Over the next hour, Eugene shows me his city, Liberia--the city where he grew up. He stops at historical landmarks, churches, and parks. Grinning and beaming with civic pride at each new location, he encourages me to get out of the truck and take pictures of whatever he's pointing at. "Photo, photo...," he insists.
An hour later, driving back to the airport, we're chatting about all kinds of things despite the language barrier--the great sunny weather this week, the strong winds, beaches, music, our families and homes. We both have our windows rolled down and the warm Costa Rican air is running through my hair. I realize then that this is one of those perfect moments in life--one that you would be happy to be frozen in forever. ...Me and Eugenio on a never ending highway.
Sadly, we arrive back at Liberia International and I offer him $40--$10 more than we'd agreed on. He seems reluctant to take any of my money. He's had as good a time as I did on our afternoon excursion. But I insist, begging, "Por favor!" Finally he accepts giving me a giant smile, a warm handshake, and a pat on the shoulder. I'm trying desperately to think of the Spanish phrase for "that was fun", but come up blank. Instead I offer, "Amigos?" "Si, si, Amigos!," he returns.
I watch as he walks back to where the other taxi drivers are standing around. There's a spring in his step.

  • Last visit to Liberia: Feb 2009
  • Intro Updated Feb 4, 2010
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Comments (3)

  • jelw's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Wonderful share.

  • shohman's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2009 at 1:29 PM

    Great story! now I want Eugino to drive me around

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2009 at 1:04 PM

    Why did you go to the airport 5 hours early???? Our tour did that to us too except I think it was like 7-8 hours so we got a taxi to the beach :-)

Kaspian

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