Monday, April 13, 2015

Rica Costa Rica, April 10-13

The road out of Jaco follows the Costa Rican coast south for hundreds of kilometers.  We woke up in our air conditioned room well rested and ready to take on the heat, and we knocked out over 65 kilometers of flat road before lunch.  There wasn't much to see, just huge palm plantations, rows and rows of orderly, swaying fronds that would eventually end up as palm oil.  
We passed a factory, too, its towers belching smoke.  I had heard about biologically rich forests being cleared for palm oil plantations in Indonesia and other tropical countries, and although Costa Rica has done a great job of protecting its natural resources, it was disappointing to see that kind of deforestation here, too, in this biologically diverse place.  

Remember that scene from Castaway where Tom Hanks, finding himself marooned on a small, tropical island, starts to hear strange thumping sounds in the night?  We heard that exact sound right after we lay down in our tent, which we had set up under some swaying palms in the sleepy surf town of Dominical.  The source of the sound, like in the movie, was a coconut, which fell from a height of 50 feet or so and landed right next to us.  We moved the tent a few feet away from the tree, yet a few minutes later, when a massive frond fell and speared the empty tent next to ours, we moved way out to the beach.  Far from the reach of murdurous palm trees, we fell asleep to the sound of crashing waves.

6:30 am.  Sweating again.  Time to get up.  Numerous hills quickly left us with sweat beading all over, but the road was wide and the riding decent. Two older cyclists from Germany, Silke and Klaus, crossed our path in the late morning, heading north from Panama.  When they said that they were keeping a blog so their children and grandchildren could follow their adventures, we laughed; it's the opposite for us!  They have toured in Cuba for a bit and are now making their way north to Nicaragua, and we swapped info about the road ahead.

The afternoon was like a different day: clouds and rain damping the heat, and a much narrower road.  As the sun started to set, we arrived at the side road to Puerto Jimenez, where we would be meeting Tam's parents the next morning!  Rather than having them drive to pick us up, or try to bike the 76 km early tomorrow morning, we hopped on a bus, hoping to surprise them at the airport.  Unfortunately our location app gave us away, although, surprise or not, it was great to see Andie and Michel when they got off the plane.  We then drove with them way out on the Osa Peninsula, basically to the end of the road, where we will be staying for a relaxing week at an eco-lodge next to Corcovado National Park!  
Water, Sand, Rainforest

Andie and Tam

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