As I’m heading further south the border crossings seem to be taking longer and longer. Today it took 4 hours to exit Nicaragua and enter Costa Rica. Luckily the roads are pretty good and I managed to get to Lake Arenal in a reasonable time.
I pulled up to the Hotel Los Heroes to ask if I could camp on their grounds. They said that was fine and pointed me to the lush grass out the front where I could pitch my tent.
Later in the evening I went to the restaurant to check out the menu. While I was there the owner asked me where I was from and how long I’d been travelling. She said” I could have a room free of charge”. I said “that is so kind of you”, she then replied,” you can have it for another night if you like, consider it a Christmas present”.
The room was very nice with an on suit, its own balcony and a view of the lake.
I’ve decided to stay another day at the Hotel Heroes. It’s a good opportunity to try and find an airfreight company that can fly Winston from Panama to Columbia.
There is no road access from Panama to Columbia. There is a 90km stretch of jungle known as the Darien Gap.
I had booked a sail boat crossing for 27th November but had to cancel that as Winston and I were delayed in Chetamul, Mexico.
The sail boats are a good option as they sail around the San Blas islands which are very picturesque. The windy season is from December to March so the seas will be choppy. There is no chance of getting on one of these sail boats as they are fully booked around the Christmas and New Year period. Very few of the companies reply to emails. The only one that did is booked until February.
The dim light shone through the window. I stretched out in the king-size bed like a starfish and wondered what the day had in store.
I flopped out of bed, looked out the window and found the day had low cloud and torrential rain, hmmm!
I headed off in my wet weather gear along a lovely twisty road running with water. It was slow going. I had wanted to view the volcano but it was hidden by low cloud and rain. That was a shame because it looked as if it would be a nice site.
I continued south east up into the hills where the rain stopped but the wind was almost gale force, gusting and pushing me in its direction.
Once down the hill the wind stopped and the sun began to shine. It was time to shed the wet weather gear. If I was a steak I would’ve been well done.
The roads in Costa Rica are very good in fact there on a par with the USA. It’s not surprising as Costa Rica is one of the USA top holiday destinations. There are lots of signs in English, they also use US$ as well as their own Costa Rican Colon’s. I’m not going to make a pun out of that although it’s begging to be done. I don’t know what the GDP of Costa Rica is but it seems more affluent than the other Central American counties I’ve visited. The food and drink cost around the same as the USA, in short Costa Rica, Costa – A lot.
As I headed to Manuel Antonio which is a major tourist town, I passed through Kilometres of Palm plantations. The Sloth is native to Costa Rica and there’s no way they will be hanging upside down in a palm plantation. I’ve always wanted to see a sloth in real life. The closest I’ve come is having two teenage daughter haha!!
Once the rain had stopped, I head to my final destination for the day where I camped. It was a nice spot and I had a lovely view from my tent.
It was a 50km ride to the border of Costa Rica and Panama. It was another time-consuming effort getting the paperwork done. This time I had a Panamanian helper. He pointed me in the right direction and got me the forms I needed to fill in. He cost US$10 but it made it so much easier.