Day 8 – March 24
Mountain bike – 43.4 km (22.6 miles), 678 meters (2,224 ft) elevation gain.
The porters and guides caught a bus to the beach then on to San José and back to the Caribbean.
You’ll probably notice a significant drop-off in the quality of the pictures for the next few days. Andres is a professional photographer and took many of the best shots in the first week but his feet had turned into hamburger inside his mountaineering boots. As soon as we reached a road he headed to the nearest clinic then back to San José to recuperate.
Shower and Shave
We climbed on the mountain bikes that Javier brought and headed out on the last legs of the human powered trans continental trip.
The first stop was Buenos Aires. The only place you could call a town along the route since we’d dipped our toes in the Caribbean. Javier had arranged for a couple of rooms at a local cabinas for a couple of hours so we could all take showers and shave while the maids did our laundry. Ahhh, a clean shirt!
It was good to be touring on a bicycle in Costa Rica again. It had been over ten years since we decided the roads were getting too dangerous and hung up our panniers but Javier scouted out a route that was all back roads except one little section of the Pan American Highway which we’d do on a Sunday morning.
We used back roads and local trails to avoid the Pan American highway. Most of the day was in pineapple plantations but just being in the warm, dry sunshine was marvelous.
As always Costa Rica surprised me with just how much uphill it can take to get downhill. I mean we were on the Continental Divide at noon the previous day. Once we stepped over to the Pacific side by definition it has to be all downhill to the ocean from there. That’s why water on one side of the divide runs to one ocean and water on the other side to the other. The catch is that the roads don’t follow the all downhill route that water follows.
Social Security Camp
We set up camp in Cordoncillo in front of the Seguro Social office where we had access to a sink with running water. Javier arranged for us to use the bathrooms in the community center across the street but we had to ration our use carefully because there was something wrong with the plumbing and it was only good for about three flushes a day before it backed up.
Chris made a delicious ramen with veggies and chicken for dinner and turned in early in the most comfortable camp of the trip.
Photo Gallery Day 8 – Ujarras to Cordoncillo
Each of the images below is linked to a larger version with a detailed description