Two days of hard cycling. Staying at La Cruz Hotel in Costa Rica on the border with Nicarangua where we go tomorrow. So where do we start?
Yesterday. We cycled 84km in over 10 hours cycling on dirt roads and doing river crossings! Yes, I mean proper river crossings. We started yesterday with a double river crossing and I almost lost my footwear because of the strength of the current. Tour d´ Afrique arranged to mount a rope across both river channels and all of us had to hold onto the rope while crossing the river with water reaching my thighs . I actually fell into the water. But the story continues.
We then cycled 15km in about 2 hours crossing more rivers. Dad and I were together for the whole of yesterday. Just as well. My gears broke at the back and I couldn´t change the back gears. That means you have to cycle really slowly. Eventually Dad managed to fix it but it broke again. Also by the end of yesterday Dad´s back gears packed up and he was forced to walk up hills.
Basically we were hammered when we arrived at our accommodation. The gear problems were caused by the mud on the roads and river crossings. Dad and I were so hammered at the end. The accommodation was really basic consisting of a room full of bunk beds. Fortunately Dad and I had a room to our own. But the drama never ends.
We still had to charge Dad´s garmin that tells you what distance you have covered according to satellite readings. This is very important because at the end or the beginning of every day, there is a board with distances written on it and instructions whether to turn left or right at these distances. Therefore if you don´t have a garmin you are going to get lost. Next.
The bicycles had to be fixed by Luke, the mechanic. No problem. Gears fixed but for one of Dad´s gears.
Today. We cycled 110km mostly on tarmac except for 20km on a dirt road. Even though the distance was 26km shorter than yesterday, it was considerably easier. We got off to a good start and had lunch at 60km at the start of the dirt road. I am trying to eat less, so I eat just enough and in the process lose weight to help my running.
After lunch still on dirt road. Deceptive. The designated coke stop was only just under 10km away at 69km but I tell you those 9 or so kilometres were tough with long climbs. Eventually we got to the most primitive of coke stops and promptly drank 2 cokes each. That was enough to keep us going.
End of dirt road at 80km. Dad took some photos of kids in a small town just before we turned left onto a tarmac road. Then we put on our wings! We cruised the last 30km in 90 minutes catching 5 other cyclists which makes me feel chuffed. Then we arrived at the Mirador Hotel feeling not so broken as yesterday. Tired but still able.
Now we are walking along the streets, sat down in a cafe and looked at a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. The first time I have ever seen the Pacific Ocean Noreen. You probably see it all the time!
Relax. Time up, time well spent, moments of madness, but no injury to ourselves but only to our bikes. Make hay while the sun shines, that´s when we push ourselves to the limit to finish before it gets dark. Tomorrow a new country, Nicaragua.