After our Nicoya bike adventure we tore through the remainder of Costa Rica and most of Panama in 13 days with merely 2 rest days in between…
The Pacific side of Costa Rica has definitely been long discovered. In some places you would never know it, but jaunt a few kms off coastal highway 34 and you will find developed beach communities chocked full of retired ex-pats. On a couple of occasions we picked out (what looked to be interesting) beach stopping points on the map, only to end up in these strange Florida-esque bubble neighborhoods. However, Costa Rica also boasts the largest forest preservation effort in Central America that is a nice contrast to the over-farmed countrysides of its neighboring countries. There are massive stretches of beautiful jungle, wildlife and amazing, wild coastline throughout the Pacific corridor.
After spending a couple rest days in Uvita, adjacent to beautiful Marino Ballena National Park, we set out for Panama and it seemed the rainy season started. Every day around 4:00, a pretty hefty shower cooled things down for an hour or so and we made the most of it by finding a shelter of some sort and getting a little afternoon reading time.
During most of the Panama route, we spent the days dodging traffic on the Interamericano highway and the nights camping on the beach. We did take one side loop South through Soná which was a beautiful ride through hilly jungle and farmland that seemed to be the true Panama.
This lovely fruit is called granadia after ripping open the crisp shell, one eats the seeds that have a sweet/sour juicy membrane on the outside, but are crunchy on the inside.
Peering over a bridge at some massive crocs.
Lots of funky tourist haunts along 34.
An impromptu campground at the end of an odd retiree beach.
Drafting a palmfruit truck in Costa Rica.
Lee fixing his shifters leaving Flutterby.
These massive stone spheres are known as Las Bolas. The spheres are commonly attributed to the extinct Diquís culture and are sometimes referred to as the Diquís Spheres.
The Costa Rican dish called salchipapas. Basically hot dogs and fries.
Welcome to Panama.
A roadside entrepreneur selling guaba.
To eat the Guaba fruit, one cracks the hard shell and eats the sweet cotton candy flesh from around the hard seed.
Glad this guy wasn’t alive when we came across him.
There are several different indigenous cultures still keeping theoir traditional dress alive in Panama.
Almost an accurate grade.
The Surlys always look nice in front of a mural.
Some dogs out back of a fondita where we slept.
Brekfast of fried eggs, chorizo and holjadas.
This lady was hard at work making the thick, fried Panama tortillas.
Kitty was a little camera shy.
This is what I have been looking at several hours per day.
A hearty lunch of carne guisada and rice with lentils.
The Hotel Interamericano… classic.
Lee taking a swim/shower after a long ride in Farallon.
Cooking up the usual camp meal (pasta with veg and eggs); Lee gripping his prized titanium spork.
Our camp under a rundown beach shack.
Rented this little cottage for $15 at Las Ruinas.
The cashew fruit.
Has a really weird indescribable flavor that almost numbs your mouth.
Preparing to dare crossing the Panama Canal on the fabled Bridge of the Americas.