Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Segment 31: Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua to San Ramón, Costa Rica (January 30 - February 9, 2011)

After over two weeks on Ometepe, at this point the large group has begun to splinter up a bit: Mike has gone ahead to Costa Rica to meet his parents; while Jason, Sonia and Craig and Jeff and Katie weave loose bisecting paths between Ometepe and San Ramón.

Jeff and Katie returned to the Nicaragua mainland, passing first through Rivas...

this is a local dish called Vigorón, which is boiled yuca served with salad

Having some repairs done with a local tailor in Rivas

arriving at San Juan del Sur

sunset scene, San Juan del Sur

Now at nearby Playa Maderas, surfers heading out for a session.  We rented boards for $7/day.

Jeff about to duck a wave

our camp neighbor Mike on a longboard

Jeff coming out of the water to a delicious sunset at Playa Maderas  (photo C. Murray)

our campsite at Playa Maderas  (photo C. Murray)

... lots of critters around, eating our food scraps (above: crab after green pepper bit; below: grasshopper after avocado)...

playing guitar on the beach in between surfing makes for nice days  (photo C. Murray)

Katie strolling in late afternoon  (photo C. Murray)

plenty of these guys around

Playa Maderas sunset

Jeff headed out of San Juan del Sur, aiming for the Costa Rican border by dirt roads, but got stopped by a cracked frame detected near the above spot (not what you want to have happen on a bike trip!).  The crack was at the rear wheel dropouts:

... no problem, a $2 weld job back in San Juan del Sur on a Sunday morning by these guys:

From San Juan del Sur we made tracks to reach the central valley of Costa Rica by February 9th, to meet our parents.

wind power on the way to the Costa Rica border, Ometepe volcanoes in the background

crossing the border 19 days after our visas had ended... the fine is just under $1/day.  

first evening in Costa Rica.  This is Volcán Orosí seen from near La Cruz.  From here Jeff rode a mix of dirt and paved roads, while Jason, Sonia and Craig took the Pan-American Highway.

Jeff fills his bike with roadside oranges

orange groves with Volcán Orosí in the distance

some nice dirt roads on the way towards Upala

logging truck breakdown

This farmer, Alvaro, stopped Jeff cold, introduced himself, and immediately carved up a huge pineapple:
He had just harvested over 16,000 pineapples for export that day (!!!), and gave three more for the road, which of course didn't really fit on the bicycle!

Campsite in a different pineapple plantation near Upala.  The farm head showed up after dark (while Jeff was playing guitar), in a huge tractor and about to spray the pineapple rows.  Rather than be upset, he was amazed at the idea of camping "en el monte" (translate as "outdoors" here), and returned later with a plate of food, and a machete for harvesting pineapples, as many as desired!

the farmer said that they were going to harvest all of these pineapples the following day; 18,000 or so.

cycling around Lago Arenal on a delicious road

Volcán Arenal in the distance

roadside pink on the ride towards San Ramón, lining the roadway up through cloud forest

sharing a pineapple with Fabian, a telecommunications worker, to shed weight.  He was very curious about the trip, and his response was always "Pura Vida!".  This means "cool", or "way to go", although it translates literally as "pure living", or "the good life".  It approaches anthemic status in Costa Rica.

approaching San Ramón, passing through the highlands

reunited in San Ramón with Mom and Dad, along with Katie; the couple who have rented their house out to us; Craig, Jason and Sonia.  We haven't seen our parents since Kootenai National Park in British Columbia in September, 2009.


Mimi said...

Yo Jeff and Jason - Pura vida!
Vayad con Dios! Aunt Mimi

fletcher tink said...

Craig: Hey I've found you and am wanting to see more pictures and stories of your adventures. Fletcher Tink

Paul Smith said...

Really great blog keep it up.

walnut creek school transportation
San Ramon school bus