The Boys Are Back, The Boys Are Back

Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
Trip End May 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hostal Ciudad Blanca Liberia
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Guanacaste,
Sunday, March 27, 2011

La Cruz, Costa Rica to Liberia, Costa Rica 66Km
Elevation Gain 389 meters
Average Slope 1.2%


We set out for Liberia before sun up. In the distance, we could see the morning clouds licking the peaks of the high mountains. For the first 30+ km we encountered mild ups and downs while crossing a plateau. The jungle scenery disappeared and no tiendas to speak of along the entire 66km stretch of road.

We lucked out in finding little sandwich restaurant, 200 m down a crossroad. It was Sunday and the cheerful young woman was willing to come out of her house and open her doors a bit early for us.

We enjoyed one long (but way too short) ride down off the plateau before continuing on the level road with mild ups and downs. 

By 9 AM the temperature had risen to 42C and the last 20 km became an all too familiar struggle. The heat reflecting off the black asphalt adds a few degrees. The few wispy trees offered little or no shade. About 10 km out of Liberia there was a bar with great shaded patio on the right side of the highway. It was closed but we took advantage of its patio shade and breeze.

After about fifteen minutes, we were joined by our favorite cycling threesome; Finn, Matt, and Andy, We'd met in Oaxaca and again in San Juan Del Sur. How did we get ahead of them? They are great young men who started in Alaska and on real tight $7 a day. You may remember us mentioning them. Finn, still riding with his surfboard on his bike, unbelievable.

The owner of the bar where we stopped (nice guy, ex-Marine from Florida, with a Brooklyn accent who sold his business in Georgia to move here) came out after while and offered to let us take shower in a small building out front. We passed on the offer up but Finn and Matt cleaned up nicely. They had spent the night at entrance of National Park. The park service came to check them out and suggested that they camp inside the park at a campground, which they accepted. There, they got eaten alive by ants!! Ants in their food, in panniers and all...a mess. 

While comparing notes with the guys, it dawns on us that, even though the guys are shunning restaurants and hotels, they have astonishingly light loads! Matt has front and rear panniers that are NOT overly stuffed. Neither Andy or Finn need front panniers at all. (The obvious exception is Finn's whopper of a surfboard.)  Andy is not carrying a sleeping bag or a tent. Andy admitted that he froze his ass in the high mountains of Guatemala. PLUS, their bodies are lean! This lightness gives them quite an advantage when climbing the hills!

Meanwhile, Michelle's load weighed 61 pounds when she started this journey and Dave's weighed a whopping 89 pounds! Our panniers are stuffed full. And let's ignore BMI.

Here is a list of 50+ items we could have left home without much difficulty:
- Long camp pants
- Bike Shorts
- Swim suit, tights
- Tank top
- 26" tire  spare
- 28” tire spare
- Slime 2x
- Skewer & cable set spares
- Mosquito net  
- Speedometer
- Fry pan
- Extra fuel cannister
- MSR Towel
- Hammer
- Extra playing cards  
- Camp Shovel
- Pillow  
- 2 plates  
- 2 Tupperware bowls
- Sink
- Michelle's camp towel
- Spatula
- 2 pr Gloves
- extra lighter
- compass,  
- Aqua tabs  
- Extra baggies 
- stickers   
- Small Atlas
- bandages moleskin 
- Mosquito jell
- calculator  
- Ibuprofen   
- Antibiotics 
- Magnesium  
- Sleep tablets
- Yeast infection pills  
- Eye drops   
- Cream   
- Assorted bandages  
- Sterile pads
- Iodine tablets
- Long Cycle Tights,
- Rain Pants  
- New Cycle Gloves 
- half Ankle support  
- Ground sheet        
 - Sheet

We have already used up or otherwise gotten rid of some of the items. But how can we just get rid of my water filter? We will use that next time we go backpacking... And much of this stuff is brand new. Too good to just toss. So we continue to lug the load........ And as long as we stay on the relatively flat coast, it is not really too unmanageable.
Struggling in the heat, eventually we made it to Liberia. I've never been so happy to see the golden arches!!!  We zipped in and ordered big mac combos. Three hours later, we were still enjoying the aircon and refills from the coke machine. And the free WiFi. Dave ventured out and found a nice enough hotel where we could enjoy a few rest days in comfort.

BTW all the water in Costa Rica is potable!! That will save a penny!! Everything else is more expensive than elsewhere in Central America.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Susan on

SINK! You even brought the kitchen sink??!?!?!?

Bonnie on

Mail the stuff back to Oxnard or whereever.

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