Friday, 25 November 2011

Day 18: Costa Rica (549 kms)

We hit the road early. Over night, a plan emerged to try and get ahead of schedule by a day or so and spend a rest day on the beach in Panama. This meant passing through CR largely in one day, and perhaps crossing just into Panama if possible. This is a shameful way to see one of the world's must beautiful and interesting countries, but that is the kind of trip we're on... Fortunately we'd visited CR before, in 1997.

We made good progress through the morning and pushed through San Jose just after 1pm, stopping for lunch on the eastern outskirts just as the climb into the mountains started. The roads were busier and had more frequent changes of elevation than elsewhere in central America. It was slow going, but enjoyable riding. After lunch we continued on CA-2 and climbed to over 3000 meters. There aren't any photos, but I took a lot of video which I'll post once I have a better Internet connection.

Around 4pm we got caught in a wicked rain storm. The road became less hospitable too, with frequent washouts. It was even slower going. But we pushed on, our day off on the beach was calling.

We rolled into the highway town of Rio Claro around 8pm, about 25kms north of the border. I was done; Nathan seemed ready to ride right to Panama City. We checked into a motel that was intricately lighted up and decorated for Christmas; it is still only 15 Nov. We both agreed the aesthetics were pleasing but some of the energy might have been better directed at maintaining toilet hygiene. (Side note: I must be a sucker for road side advertising. This particular motel had road signs every 5km or so for the 30kms before Rio Claro. It reminded me of Wall Drug in South Dakota.)

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