Thursday, March 29, 2012

Central America … Check!

Since meeting with our family in Costa Rica, we’ve continued our ride through Costa Rica and Panama.  These countries have struck us as being very different than the rest of Central America.

The riding through Costa Rica was absolutely gorgeous.  We followed strings of beaches down the Pacific Coast.  In Playa Hermosa we camped right on the beach after watching the sunset.  In Quepos we were able to surf and visit Manuel Antonio National Park, renown for wildlife viewing.  We saw sloths, toucans, macaws, and more howler monkeys.  In Domical we had the generous offer of a free beach house to stay in and were able to take advantage and get in some more surfing.  And in Puerto Jiminez we visited a friend and saw crocodiles and caiman for the first time.  All in all we loved our time in Costa Rica.

Enjoying Jaco, Costa Rica, from a distance.

Looking back on Jaco, Costa Rica.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

National Lampoon’s Tico Vacation

For those of you who don’t know, we have been pedalling on this trip for almost seven months now!  The six month mark or roughly halfway point of our trip had us just entering Costa Rica; the perfect time and place for a family vacation.  So, that’s what our family did.  Dave’s parents, my parents and my brother Dan all flew down to spend two weeks with us in Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste. 


Woohoo!  Family vacation!

And what a two weeks it was.  First off, the beach was beautiful and the town was laid back and quiet.  This allowed us to spend a lot of time just enjoying each other’s company and the sunsets.

Monday, March 5, 2012

You Get What You Put In

As in most things in life, this is definitely true in cycle touring.  It’s easy to take the biggest, fastest road and speed through to your next destination.  Or you can spend more time and effort, and take a longer route, linking the places you want to see.  This sentiment has certainly been true in the last two countries we have travelled through: Honduras and Nicaragua.

Honduras is known to tourists for spectacular Caribbean beaches on Roatan and incredible Mayan ruins at Copan.  Unfortunately neither of these places were convenient for us, so we just rode right through along the Pacific Coast.  The road was hilly and in poor shape, with temperatures over 40C.  To top it off, all the kids screamed “GRINGO!” at the top of their lungs as we passed, even from less than 2 meters away.  Guess what … Honduras didn’t make a big impression on us.

Welcome to Nicaragua!

Welcome to Nicaragua (and Japan apparently).  Famous FSLN president Daniel Ortega’s pink political billboard is the first thing you see when entering the country: “Christianity, Socialism, Solidarity”.