The photos are finally online – see the previous post at the bottom for the slide show. By the way, if the slide show slows everything down, please let me know. I can always just post a link to it online. Thank you.

Our drive to Mastatal so soon after the six days of Alma’s downpour was eye-opening. You hear about landslides but it’s like hearing about floods. You know they are devastating because you hear they are, you see pictures, news reports… but it wasn’t until Wilma flooded Key West, till it happened to us, that we really "got" it. The word devastation just begins to cover a flood.

Likewise seeing the evidence of a recent massive landslide: suddenly, you get it. You can imagine driving along, then suddenly seeing and hearing – hopefully, only that – the mountainside in front of you slide off into the road. Often taking the road with it. Whoa.

During the two weeks after Alma, the ranch was inaccessible because there were so many landslides between them and Puriscal. They nearly ran out of food and water. The phones were out, no electricity, no running water… In a real emergency (?), they could have walked to town, climbing over slides as they went. Yeah, green acres is where I want to be. Farm livin’ is the life for me.

Right after Alma passed over, one of Hal’s Nature Kids‘ English students who drives a tourismo van, was stuck for FOUR days, along with 30 other cars, between two landslides on the Cerro de la Muerte [SAIR-oh day lah MWHERE-tay, hill of death]. Four days. Thirty cars. Fortunately, they were near a tiny village so they could get some food and water. Apparently the nights were the worst because of the cold. Who carries a spare blanket in their car in June?

Driving through this mud was another thrilling experience. We drove through this a total of six times, back and forth between the ranch and our guest house. Each time, when we got halfway around the curve, even in Timo’s bigger car, the mud, so deep and sucky, grabbed our wheels and tossed us across the road to the outer edge. Fortunately, Hal (who drove it twice) and Gabriel (Timo’s tico mechanic who is used to these roads and drove us the other four times because it was so terrifying) knew how to regain control of the car and get a grip. I sat in the back with my eyes closed and prayed. Hard. I don’t ever want to do that again.

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