Wednesday, my objective was to bike from Nicoya to Playa Hermosa where some friends offered to host me for a while. I was so tired the night before that I fell asleep before 8pm, so I woke up shortly after 5am. I packed, checked emails, but wasn’t feeling like eating at that early hour so I was on the road a bit before 6am. It is nice to get such an early start in the cool morning air. I was almost chilly the first hour, and I tend to look around a lot more when I’m not trying to keep my face out of the intense sun.
It was interesting to be out so early. There was some traffic on the road, but if I had any ideas of stopping for breakfast in an hour or two I was out of luck because nothing was open. The cool air was really nice though. I had also been warned to get an early start because it was expected to be windy in the afternoon. I could already feel the wind picking up by 7am. This is unusual because this is not the season for wind.
The time went by, the miles went by, the sun became higher, and the wind got stronger and stronger. Thankfully there was only a few spots where I was facing it head on. Most of the time it was partly or fully from the side and at least the terrain was quite flat. I listened to Seven Years in Tibet on my MP3, and his account of escaping from a prison camp in India by trekking through deadly cold conditions in the Himalayas, often with minimal food, that made my heat and saddle soreness seem quite insignificant.
Today was a 50 mile day which went very well, but the last few miles were the most challenging. As I got close to my destination the road began to climb, and climb, and climb while I was hot and tired. Another cyclist gave me a big cheer of encouragement, not knowing that I just walked the last section. But, eventually I reached the top but then faced a really intense downhill. I took it a bit slowly and checked my bike part way down, and my rims were too hot to touch. I waited a while until they were cooler and the discovered, thankfully, that I was very close to my destination. The directions to my friends’ house were excellent and I didn’t have any trouble finding them.
I can’t believe I have made it to the other side of Costa Rica! The plan now is to rest for a day at my friends’ house. Then I will bus to the border rather than risk a need to spend the night in a rather remote area. Once at the border I bike into Nicaragua to Rivas and catch a ferry to Ometepe Island, my destination! I am really excited.