Sorry to leave you hanging last time, but I ran out of space. So here is….the rest of the story!
One of the things Laura and I love about traveling internationally is that we frequently have totally unplanned (and unplannable) experiences. NOTE: those of you who remember the sorry tale of the Asian night bus will understand that not all of these unplanned experiences are good. The one I’m describing today happened between the volcano and the dairy on day five of our trip. As our merry band was wandering down a country road taking it all in, we saw three vehicles beside the road. As we approached, we realized several of the men were holding instruments and wearing (or in some cases putting on) costumes. Stick with me here, because I have pictures to prove all this….in the middle of nowhere, in Costa Rica, we had stumbled upon…..a Mariachi Band!
This led to a great deal of discussion about what they might be doing there, and if their van had broken down, and whether they would be serving chips and salsa, which is what I unconsciously associate with mariachi music based on too many visits to El Chico. We waved, and they waved, and we headed on. Some time later, as we were learning all about the volcano, we heard horns playing off in the distance. The mystery deepened; not only were they in the middle of nowhere but now they were also playing. At that moment we made the choice we should have made earlier.
As we returned from the volcano, our bus slowed and our guide yelled out the obvious question: would they play us a song? And being true performers, they agreed! So we piled out of the bus as they began tuning up their giant guitars and putting on their heavy, hot-looking coats and passing out very stiff sombreros to the audience (see top photo. And…
We learned that they were there to shoot their latest music video, and after we passed the hat (literally) to tip them, we went on our way rejoicing. Like every third person on the planet, the band has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MariachiAlmaTica/ where you can see other videos and book them for your next event.
I think one of the best reasons to travel (and there are many) is that you will come face to face with totally unexpected things and people and situations. In our experience, most are interesting and pleasant and safe, but notice that it took us two tries in this story to actually embrace the opportunity. So if life deals you an unexpected chance to do an unexpected thing, take the chance. In most cases you have little to lose and much to gain.
Fun fact: “mariachi” translates into English as “guitar-osaurus.” Roughly translated. VERY roughly. Fictionally, even.