Jaguarundi and The Detour

two dogs on trail in PuriscalLast Wednesday was an interesting and action packed day. I started the morning with a walk on the Otro Lado with Spencer. One route I often take with him is to walk straight up the internal road to a place we call The Church. This name came about from the structure over the gate leading to our neighbor’s farm. This place often serves as a resting spot for me before heading back down the road. While I rest, Spencer checks out the nearby trails or goes into our neighbor’s farm to harass the bulls. On this day I was resting and drinking water while Spencer was down another trail. I looked up the road, which leads to the very top of the property, and walking down it towards me was a black jaguarundi.

A jaguarundi is a small sized wild cat. I have only seen them in the distance way up in trees. This time this beautiful creature was about 30 feet away from me, walking right towards me. It walked a few meters more towards me before I began to quickly decide what I was going to do. I had cooked pieces of chicken in my pocket (the bribe to get Spencer back on his leash) and no noteworthy weapon. I thought the likelihood of the cat attacking me was very low, but nonetheless I didn’t want it getting too close to me. I decided to raise my arms in the air, to make me look bigger, and to hiss. This made the cat stop and look at me, for the first time. He seemed curious and just stood there for a while until I hissed again. He then turned around and walked a few meters, stopped and looked back at me. I hissed again and he walked a few more meters away, stopped and looked at me. This went on several times until Spencer finally showed up and chased him away.

I felt so fortunate to have been able to see the jaguarundi so close. I was able to get a really good look at him, noting how strong his back legs looked and how beautiful his coat was. He seemed curious and almost friendly, but that didn’t fool me into thinking he was a domestic cat on the loose. Because he was entirely black, what struck me as most odd was that his face was entirely black. I couldn’t make out his eyes, which must have been dark color, and because of that his face did appear intimidating. May the wild cats live long and prosper on our property!

Costa Rica red birdWe had two guests with us for the past several weeks. Later that day me and one of the guests had dentist appointments scheduled in EscazĂș. We scheduled the appointments so that we could be dropped off while John took the other guest to the airport. We left early and in plenty of time to make the appointments and be at the airport on time. We got about 30 minutes from our house, on the main road to San Jose, when traffic completely stopped and cars were turning around and heading back in the other direction. This didn’t look good.

A traffic police told us someone died in an accident and the road would be closed until 1 pm. 1 pm was about three hours from then. With this info we knew we needed to find an alternate route. A tico walked by our car as we were beginning to turn around. John told him what the cop told us. He said he knew an alternate route into Ciudad Colon and that we could follow him.

By this time many were ready to follow someone on the alternate route to bypass the fatal accident. We followed the caravan, which took a sharp left off the main road and up a very steep dirt road. Luckily it hadn’t rained for many days so the road was completely dry and passable with four wheel drive. All was good for a while. The scenery was beautiful with views of the Central Valley on one side of the road and the Puriscal region on the other side. Then we came upon a very steep incline, so steep one of the cars ahead of us decided to try going up it in reverse. That didn’t go very well as he couldn’t see exactly where the car was going and got stuck in a ditch, blocking the entire caravan.

Just about every man in the caravan got out to assist the stuck vehicle. After a few minutes he was out of the ditch and on the side of the road leaving just enough room for others to get by. The next car to go up the incline was an older sedan, definitely not made to travel roads like this. That car got about a third of the way up the hill and stalled. The hood goes up and again the men go to the rescue. Meanwhile, time is passing by and we are going to miss our dentist appointments, but there is still time to get our friend to the airport.

The sedan ended up having to be towed up the hill by another car. It was finally our turn to scale the hill which was no problem in our vehicle. We crested that hill and could see in the distance several more of the roller coaster ups and downs we were going to have to traverse until we reached the city. We eventually made it through the detour and to the airport exactly on time for our friend to catch his plane. I was in contact with the dentist and he said whenever we showed up they would be able to see us. If this dentist was in the USA we would have been charged for missed appointments and given a new date months in the future.

I’m not sure what was going on astrologically that day, but after dropping our friend off at the airport we saw several more traffic accidents. It was definitely a day full of obstructions and potential danger, but all worked out well for us.

Puriscal house constructionHouse construction continues to go well and move forward. This is a picture of the area where our shower and bathtub will be. It is under the roof but completely open to the outdoors. I wanted it that way to make cleaning easier and to be able to enjoy the killer views while bathing.