From Granada, we made the obligatory tour of Ometepe, before skipping over the Panamerican back to the Pacific Coast to look for sea turtles at La Flor. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out (more below in the captions), but the riding was much nicer than the Panamerican!
After four final days in Nicaragua, we entered Costa Rica to discover what real rain is. I mean, really… this amount of rain is actually laughable. In Nicaragua we would get grumpy when we were caught in a ‘downpour’. In Costa Rica, the flash floods are turning on and off several times and day and we just start giggling maniacally as we continue pumping along with our trench feet.
The rain situation is made worse by our slightly broken tent, which is less waterproof due to a cracked tent pole. We plan to intercept some spares at a Warm Showers host in San Jose (courtesy of MSR). Until then, we are being forced into hotels or camping under cover.
Arriving in Liberia, I was pleased to find a number of well equipped bike shops. In particular, I spent time at Ciclo Guilly and Motoshop talking bikes and trails. The former has the biggest shop and widest selection of parts, but their prices are quite steep. Motoshop on the other hand has very reasonable prices – no more than what you would pay online in the USA or UK. I was able to buy two new disc rotors, six pairs of disc brake pads and 50 ball bearings for a shimano hub all for about $50 USD!
Anyway, here’s a quick burst of photo captions covering that last week or so. Enjoy!
Saying goodbye to the baby bunnies at the Backyard Hostel in Granada
Back on the road, it wasn’t long before we encountered Dutch Menno & Marije travelling north after 11 months in South America.
Upon arriving at Ometepe, we noticed several of these signs dotted around. I am not sure how anyone would be able to evacuate if there actually was an eruption!
Much of the island is paved, but we found some quieter, dirt roads around the north side between Moyogalpa and Altagracia…
… and some more dirt on the south side after Balgue.
Coffee break at the gorgeous Finca Magdalena (thanks to Cass for the recommendation)
View of Ometepe and Lago Nicaragua from Finca Magdalena
‘Leftover surprise’ wraps – queso, piña, apio, pepino and limon in fresh tortillas
De-sanding the feet before getting back into the cycling shoes
Volcán Conceptión viewed from southwest – the clouds finally parted enough to see the summit.
We caught the 6:30am boat across the lake to Rivas the next morning for an early start on our way to the Pacific coast…
… where we rolled into touristy San Juan del Sur to find a massive cruise ship off shore…
… and the place was flooded with a bunch of retirees Skyping on their iPads! So we got back on our bikes and kept riding towards La Flor, a home for protected tortugas. Sadly, we ended up skipping La Flor due to heavy rains and expensive entry fees.
Crucial pit stop to feed our every growing addiction to passionfruit (aka maracuja).
Cooking at a random house stay during a power outage, Jenny came up with an ingenious lighting solution by fixing her bike light on top of a gallon of water!
After a particularly busy section from Peñas Blancas border crossing, we were relieved to reach La Cruz where we descended to the Bahia de Salinas for treecovered dirt roads…
… not without a few small crossings during a relentless drizzle…
… but worth it for the lush green tree tunnels.
We stopped at Playa Junquillal for a quick swim. There is normally an entrance fee, but the ranger waived it.
Potentially our last Pacific coast beach action for a while, as we plan to head into the mountains and over to the Caribbean.
After our swim, we found more dirt leading up to Junquillal where we stocked up on supplies…
After a steady climb back up to the Panamerican, we’d worked up quite a hunger!
After fighting the rain for hours on the busy Panamerican, we finally reached Liberia where we checked into Posada del Tope near the centre of town…
… a quirky hostel with massive rooms and an affectionate mascot…
… lots of interesting (perhaps odd) decor.
After several days of rain, the Brooks saddles were waterlogged, so I dried them out and soaked them in motor oil over night.
I recently discovered that my front rotor was worn to less than 1mm thickness! I scored a great price on some new rotors, pads and hub bearings at Motoshop, Liberia.