01-Dec-2001 - Limon, Costa Rica
While traveling from coast to coast in the beautiful tropical land known as the Rich Coast or Costa Rica, one of our group of four, Nick, suggested we check out confluence points in the area. Nick, his wife Chanda, my wife Kelly, and I, found ourselves huddled around a computer at the “Ciber Café” in southern Limon province investigating. We were in Costa Rica on a reconnaissance mission for DriveAroundTheWorld’s Longitude Expedition and would be driving from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific coast in a few days. Of the four confluence points in Costa Rica, only the one in the capitol city of San Jose had been visited. One of them was only a 1-½ hour detour from our route. We realized our destiny.
Driving into the city of Puerto Limon, we followed the coastline until we found a beach with several motorboats moored. We parked and began negotiations with one of the local fisherman.
The look on the skipper’s face was priceless as Nick tried to explain in broken Spanish exactly where we wanted to go and why we wanted to go there. Visual aids helped —a little. Holding out two GPS receivers, a digital camera, and a hand held HAM radio, Nick stated, “Scientific measurements.”
Satisfied, the skipper agreed to venture out the nearly 2 miles into the smooth waters, if not for the money, then to see what these crazy turistos were up to. He knew he would have a great story to share with his colleagues. Still smiling, he cast off.
Approaching the confluence sweet spot in a small boat is no easy task, even in calm coastal waters. The boat constantly drifted with the currents and winds, the entire time Nick looking at the GPS display and calling directions to the skipper who cleverly used the outboard motor to compensate.
At exactly 10:36 local time on the first day of December 2001 C.E. our goal was achieved with our visit to the intersection of 10° North and 83° West. A fine intersection it is too. We highly recommend others visit this rich coast and experience it for themselves. There are 2 confluence points left in this paradise, one in a remote, mountainous region near the border with Panama, the other offshore near the peninsula of Guanacaste on the Pacific coast. Kudos to whoever gets the inland point. The jungle is incredibly thick and the terrain perilously steep in that part of the country.
Oh, and while you are on your Costa Rica Confluence Expedition, be sure and visit the country’s other attractions such as the rainforests, cloud forests, volcanoes, beaches, butterfly farms, banana, pineapple, palm, and coffee plantations, soda’s, cafes, fine restaurants, and museums. Pura Vida!
Nick and Chanda Baggarly
Jonathan and Kelly Knowles