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I knew the driving in Central America would be an adventure in itself. After being part of it for a while, you start to figure it out. Sort of. I’m just glad I wasn’t the one driving. Sometimes I think they would just close their eyes and honk, hoping everyone got out of their way. Ok, so it wasn’t quite like this. Almost.
Let’s start with taxis. They honk for and at everything. Everything.
Walking two blocks ahead? Honk.
Stoplight and no other cars? Honk.
Stop sign at an empty intersection? Honk.
Fellow taxi? Honk.
Room for more people? Honk.
Mostly shuttle, and some bus, drivers are fearless multitaskers. If I didn’t feel like I was going to die, I would be impressed. They are almost always on their phone, talking or texting. Sometimes both. At the same time. Yeah, I don’t know how they do it.
This tends to be when they run errands, too. And hey, if there’s room, why not grab a few friends, too? This is less likely, but still happens. But, then again, they tend to greet most locals like they are long lost friends. If I understood Spanish I could give more input on this.
There is no such thing as a too full bus. I promise.
Road rules don’t exist anymore. Neither do blind corners. Or lanes. It’s sort of a choose your own adventure.
Blind corners really threw me for a loop. Have you ever been a passenger in a large vehicle practically flying down the road in mountains when you encounter a slower vehicle right before you get to a corner? The logical thing is to, well, you know, slow down and wait. No. They dive bomb into the corner and maybe have the fingers on their free hand crossed that no other vehicle is going the opposite direction. Maybe.
Lanes are actually imaginary. If there is room for a car, there is most likely a car there. In cities at least. Out in the country, the whole road is your lane.
Passing is more of a game of chicken than anything else. Drivers tend to pass anytime, anywhere, and go as fast as they can to avoid hitting the oncoming car, swerving back over at the last second.
My best advice is to just close your eyes and take some Dramamine and hope for the best.
What do you think of driving and road experiences when you travel?