A Houston man trying to fly to the Costa Rican town of Liberia last week found himself in the west African nation of the same name some 32 hours later.
Attempting to escape record cold that left millions of Texans without electricity, Tony Townsend, 44, jumped at a Southwest Airlines promotion offering cheap flights to Costa Rica’s Liberia International Airport, located in the country’s tourist-heavy Guanacaste province. It wasn’t until six hours into the Air Liberia flight that he sensed something was wrong.
“We were somewhere over the Atlantic when I realized not one person had said ‘mae’ the entire flight and no one was wearing a tank top,” Townsend said. “When the in-flight meal was goat stew, I knew I was nowhere close to Tamarindo.”
Townsend, who often visits Costa Rica to escape his empty marriage and fish for marlin, pointed blame at the country for naming its prime tourist airport after an already existing African nation.
“Costa Rica has two major airports and both are named after places that already exist,” Townsend wrote on Facebook, alluding to the country’s main San José airport, which confused tourists such as Becky Miller in the past. “I mean, you could name it literally after anything else. Guanacaste International Airport. Howler Monkey International Airport. Gringos Borrachos International Airport. Anything!”
Upon his arrival in Monrovia, the capital of west Africa’s Liberia, Townsend said he kept an open mind and was able to quickly adjust.
“There’s a beach, everybody eats rice and beans and the roads aren’t paved,” Townsend wrote. “It’s actually not that different from Costa Rica.”
“Plus, my wife’s not around and there’s electricity,” he added. “Pretty first-world accommodations compared to Texas.”