Did the earth move for you baby?

Luca, unmoved by earthquakes, or anything else.

Luca, unmoved by earthquakes, or anything else.

We don’t spend a lot of time worrying about earthquakes, though they are part of life throughout Central America.

So we were caught unawares the other day when our rented house at Samara Beach rattled and juddered for five seconds. We had a strange sensation of the floor tilting somewhat.

We haven’t been all that impressed with the standards in this house, so our first reactions were not “earthquake, run for the open”, but rather, “what the heck is the problem with this house now?” Rather than springing into action, we just looked at each other blankly, gobs agape.

The girls had just started writing postcards so were only delighted to have a bit of excitement to include as news.

Here's what the last earthquake at Samara beach looked like.

Here’s what the last earthquake at Samara beach looked like.

The water in the swimming pool rippled over and back for half a minute after and the monkeys in the coconut trees above shouted and howled hysterically.

It was only 4.7 magnitude, so we weren’t unduly alarmed until our neighbour told us the earthquake wasn’t so much a worry as the tsunami that might follow, as we’re only metres from the sea. He pointed to a hotel high on the hill and said if another one happened we had less than ten minutes to grab the children and get up there.

There’s a lot to be said for being clueless about these things.

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One Response to Did the earth move for you baby?

  1. floodjo says:

    Hi Paul,

    Ah thought you must be in Costa Rica by now. I’m not in the least surprised to read that it looks much wealthier than Nicaragua. To us Costa Rica looked pretty well off. We also spent time in Samara and really liked it though Primo has less pleasant memories as his souvenir from Samara was a blistered, red and ravaged back that made the moon surface look flat and smooth (not that I’ve been there to verify for myself!).

    My animal encounter in Costa Rica was something I don’t particularly want to revisit. Driving along in pitch darkness, rounded a bend to light up a massive white cow strolling along the middle of the road. Collision was unavoidable but I slammed on and swerved right in an effort to side swipe the beast rather than have the thing smack the front of the car. A truly terrifying experience. The cow was ridiculously unfased, made complete shit of the left side of the car and strolled on as if she’d made a friendly gesture! This incident reminds me of one of the annoying things about Costa Rica – the clocks! They should move their clocks forward by at least 2 hours. That cow collision was at about 18:00, already pitch dark. Yet it’s bright again at 05:30 or thereabouts.

    Driving around Samara was incredible – real dirt roads. Took hours to get anywhere. We spent a few days in Montezuma which we also really liked. Touristy, but scruffy tourism, no upmarket luxury anywhere at all. I hired a mountain bike there for half a day and did the most strenuous cycle I’ve ever done – dirt road and ferocious short, leg-draining hills, up and down, relentless. I suppose an Alpine pass is harder but you know what’s coming and mentally adjust accordingly. Some absolutely fantastic agricultural scenery en-route. We took a ferry from Naranjo and drove along the coast to Manuel Antonio national park (was along here that I had my plough with the cow). The National park was excellent – beautifully maintained. Beyond the park, is the town of Domincal where I came across the remotest Irish bar on the planet. I wonder if it still exists. From there, a spectacular road takes you from the tropical heat to 3600m in an hour, where you may well find yourself back in Ireland, climatically speaking. Cool, grey, damp but very welcoming in this instance.

    Anyway, that’s just my view if you’re looking to go elsewhere. Great headline for this piece and I am glad the earth didn’t move too much for any of you. How the heck are your kids going to settle back to the cold and normality of Ireland after this adventure. Reading your articles makes me think we should all be doing what you’re doing.

    However, you did miss BOD fever which is sweeping the country today after our 6 Nations win last night in Paris. It was unquestionably the tensest match I have ever seen. I was a nervous wreck during it and the last 300 seconds were pure hell – eventually turning to heaven with the final whistle. You also missed what was apparently the worst (= wettest, stormiest) winter on record so you chose your time well!

    All the best to you all,

    John (in CH)

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