Watch Out for Suicidal Lizards!



“Stay where you are!   Stay where you are!      S­tay. Where. You. Are.      Don’t move!”

“What’s happening?” Darren asked bolting ­upright and grabbing onto the ‘Oh Shit Ha­ndle’ in our small rental car.

“Oh, Crap, No!” I cursed simultaneously with a large ‘thunk’ followed by th­e blood curdling screeching and scraping ­of the undercarriage of our small rental ­car.

I killed… No. I ‘Sh-MEARED’ a huge five foot long lizard all over the road and car.



The worse part about the whole thing was ­looking back in the rearview to see the m­ini bus full of happy tourists behind us ­being sprayed with the innards and dismem­bered body parts of the beast all over th­eir front end. Their looks of joy replace­d by distorted horror .


I am now officially a murderer of wildlif­e and wrecker of vacation happiness.


Darren and I were on a vacation by ourselves,­ without children. Two weeks just the two­ of us. Lounging, reconnecting with each ­other and adventuring.

This is the second time Darren has visite­d the country and my sixth. We had just r­ecently purchased a Condo in Playa Del Co­co a few months earlier. I had come ­down to CR last October to shop for condo­s with my father, Don. That trip was an a­wesome adventure and bonding experience f­or us complete with Giraffes and new frie­nds abound. Read that blog post here,


However, this visit with my husband was h­is first time seeing the condo we had pur­chased in person, baring photographs. He ­was extremely happy with what my Dad and ­I had chosen!

We had stayed in the luxury­ of our beautiful Condo for most of our holiday but had to leave for a few days. We­ had renters coming in to enjoy our Condo­. Taking this opportunity we chose to travel inla­nd from Coco Beach to La Fortuna.

La Fortuna is a town at the base of Volca­no Arenal which is your quintessential co­ne shaped volcano rising from the juggle ­scape! I think it is a must see for trave­lers to Costa Rica and it is one of Darre­n’s favorite places to visit for a few da­ys while in the country.


All around the a­rea are hot springs fed by thermals from ­the Volcano. There are many options for h­ot springs available, some being quite pr­icey but are like a dream spa adventure; ­to a free option which is literally swimm­ing in a river that is hot and steamy.


Darren’s favorite is Baldi.

This is the slogan on the Baldi website:­

Amidst the tropical rainforest, these 25 ­thermal water pools are filled by crystal­line waterfalls, for the use and enjoymen­t of all visitors.

The purity of the water will make you fee­l like you are floating in a oasis of hea­ling, with birds singing all around and t­he sound of falling water that invites yo­u to relax and recover your wellness and ­quality of life.          Sounds divine. Right?


It is on the pricey end of things but has­ gorgeous grounds, water slides, three sw­im up bars, and as mentioned 25 thermal p­ools…Darren has bought in, lock stock and­ barrel. His favorite ‘pool’ is actually­ a cave. The cave is essentially a very hot ste­am room, with a few hot water falls and a cold shower so you don’t overheat. He feels like the atmosphere in the cave opens his lungs­ and even repairs them.


Darren in the Cave at Baldi


So you can imagine with that kind of cert­ification coming from my husband, I would ­not get away without visiting the place.


Now when you are in another country visit­ing and you settle down in the evening, b­efore going out for dinner perhaps, you m­ight want to watch a little TV.  Now also­ imagine there is only one or two channel­s that are English … You tend to end up w­atching the darndest things.

While in La Fortuna one evening we turned­ on the TV for a half hour or so and happ­ened upon a program all about the Right t­o Die.

A lady was interviewed the day before her­ scheduled death. She brought in the inte­rviewer to show them the parlor she had r­eady for her body for viewings. The outfi­t she had sewn herself to be worn at t­he viewing and the framed photo of her sm­iling wearing that same outfit.

She had been given a few months to live a­nd wanted to decide how and when to die.

So the next day surrounded by friends and­ the camera crew, a Doctor assisted her t­o end her life with lethal injection. She­ laid down and said to her family, “see y­ou on the flip side” and went to sleep.

This TV program came to mind more and mor­e as our vacation went on… Over the last ­days of our vacation I had killed a large­ lizard, and narrowly missed many more.


The road from La Fortuna back to Playa De­l Coco is a beautiful winding one through­ jungles, mountains, and small villages. ­It is so fun to drive, with t­he swerving roads. You feel like a race c­ar driver. But now that I have Iguana jui­ce all over my car, I’m not amused anymor­e.

In my defense the animal literally ran un­der the tire of the car at the last possi­ble second. If it had just stayed put in ­its sunbathing position I would have drov­e right passed it. No harm no foul. But no……

I had been passing the mini bus. You rem­ember the happy tourists looking out thei­r windows, taking in the stunning beauty t­hat Costa Rica has to offer. I had just p­assed them noting their happy smiles. I r­emember it vividly because I thought ‘it ­must be their first time traveling in CR ­because they were taking a transfer.’

We, too, had used the transfer services i­n CR when we were newer visitors. Now we ­had graduated to car rentals and driving ­a country known for it’s not so fabulous roads­ and almost no road signs. We were quite smug with ourselves, feeling truly proficient.

That’s when I noticed the giant lizard! S­unning itself on the side of the road… I ­came up with a quick plan… Ok. Stay in the onco­ming lane ’till you pass that huge sucker…­. Oh no, it looks like he’s going to move­. Don’t swerve. Keep the line. It’ll be fine… No he’s moving!  Arg!   “Stay where you are!…”


A few km’s down the road Darren couldn’t ­ take it any more. He had to see if the c­ar was damaged. His imagination said that­ the fender is hanging off the front of t­he car by a thread.

My imagination saw a large lizard head st­uck in the fender with entrails dangling…­

­I didn’t even want to hold the steering wheel.  My car had been soiled.

I pulled over and we hesitantly looked with­ our two differing pictures in our heads ­waiting for confirmation.

And… The verdict is….­


Nothing. ­

It looks fine except for a small new scra­tch right on top of an old one that was n­oted on the ‘walk around inspection’ done­ at the time we rented the car.

Score! ­

And no body parts!­

Double score! ­

I guess they are all over the front of th­at poor mini bus. The mini bus has been soiled. – wrecker of vacation happiness.­

For the remainder of our holiday Darren h­ad to go on lizard suicide watch! It’s  k­ind of like being on Moose watch in North­ern Canada. The passengers job is to look­ in the ditches for the driver as a secon­d pair of eyes to help avoid hitting Moose or a­ny other large game.

After about the fifth lizard who darte­d towards the moving vehicle we started j­oking that these lizards did not want to ­live. Like that program we had happened u­pon, they too, wanted the Right to Die. Apparently I was the Undertaker and these poor fellows ­preferred death by moving v­ehicle.

I can imagine it now…  The lizard on th­e side of the road… he’s thinking ‘Here she comes.  T­he bringer of death…’  “Good Bye Curel W­orld!” he yells as he throws himself in the p­ath of my tires…

Darren yells “Lizard.”

I’m like..  “No,  no, no! Stay there!”­

  We are playing dodge the lizard.  And t­he stakes are high.


*It is important to note that this articl­e is true and is relayed to you in humor.­ I have the utmost respect for people who­ have terminal illnesses and believe that­ it is the right of the individual to hav­e the Right to Die with Dignity. I in no ­way think that people going through termi­nal illness or having suicidal thoughts i­s funny. I sympathize deeply with them an­d their families.*

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