Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 11 - Rest Day

Oh how nice it was to wake up and NOT have to ride a bike for the 10th straight day!

 View out our room window

View from breakfast

There were many organized tours around the islands - dolphin sightings, ziplining and more - but Jeff and I decided to just RELAX.  We took a water taxi to Red Frog Beach after breakfast and planned to just enjoy the beach and then nap the afternoon away.

Red Frog Beach

Our spot in the shade

I spent a long time playing in the waves and tried my best to get a photo of one about to hit me :)

View of the HUGE mountains on the mainland - we'd be crossing those tomorrow!

Back at our hotel

 It was the perfect way to spend a day off!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 10 - Hello Panama

On Monday, we left the little reggae town on the beach and proceeded south through the last bit of Costa Rica.  My body's reaction that morning was to break out in hives when it realized we were riding AGAIN.  I've never had hives before...they are interesting.  As soon as we started riding, my body gave up and they went away.  We climbed up up up into the indigenous town of Bri Bri and then rode straight to the border with Panama.

Going up...

We had to make a bit of a stop along the way as two members of our group crashed after trying to hug on the bike.  Thankfully everyone was ok - just bruised and scraped.

And then we were back on our way!

What's possibly better than cows?  A pig on a leash.

 The Costa Rican-Panamanian border!  Aka "the dodgy bridge"

Border town

You think I'm kidding about the dodgy bridge...

It was with much delight that we were finally allowed into Panama after only TWO hours of border shenanigans on both sides, much improved over our experience leaving Nicaragua.

Next stop, the water taxi!

20 people and all our luggage fit in that.  It was a little bit scary but you learn to just take a blase attitude in a 3rd world country!

Our destination for the next two days was Bocas Del Toro, a group of islands in the Caribbean off the coast of Panama.  It's a pretty cool and crazy place full of beaches, nature and backpackers.

Hotel lobby upon arriving from the water

View from every restaurant and bar

Tomorrow we would finally get our first rest day of the trip, after 9 straight days of riding.  Time for some fun!

Ride map and profile

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 9 - Off to the Carribean

As we left Fortuna on Sunday morning, the volcano finally peeped out from the clouds for a longer period of time!

We rode out from town, first downhill and then on rolling terrain, and even with an early start it was already quite hot!

When we reached the point where traffic and road conditions would become an issue, we loaded up the vehicle and headed off for a long drive across eastern Costa Rica.  We stopped just outside the Caribbean port town of Limon and hit the road on two wheels again for the ride along the coast into Cahuita, our stop for the night.  The east coast of Costa Rica was like being in Jamaica, right down to the reggae music!

Jeff and I got the group pace-lining it together for a long stretch of miles

Sloth in a tree

Relaxing post-ride

The ocean from our hotel driveway

Enjoying Costa Rican beer in a reggae bar on the beach

The gaudy-eyed tree frog!

 Maps and elevation for the day's rides: