To keep you entertained while we work on our next post covering the Guatemala-Nicaragua leg of our adventure, here is a short story of a recent Costa Rican escapade.
I was particularly excited to finally reach Costa Rica for an old friend was waiting for us in Bahia Salinas. Nicola Bertoldi runs the Blue Dream Hotel, a kite boutique nested on the South shore of this gorgeous bay blessed by almost permanent winds. After sacrificing the ritual 3 hours needed to cross the Penas Blancas border, the Zebra and I giddily glided down the Pan-American highway to La Cruz where a dirt road dives into the bay. The Blue Dream and Nicola seemed like they had not moved since my last visit: “Good to see you again my friend! Congrats on making it to Costa Rica! We had 20 knots yesterday, in the mood for some kiting?” I’m always in the mood for kiting, and soon found myself sailing to Isla Bolanos where a long time ago I woke up to the sunset of a new year.
To recover from the exertion of kiting, the Zebra and I had planned to take mud baths at the Borinquen resort in the Rincon de la Vieja national park. Our semi-tamed GPS was decisive, 86 km and less than one hour. Shortly before Liberia, we followed our GPS onto a dirt road, beginning our ascent into the mountains. After 45 minutes, the road dived through a tunnel of trees and opened into a grassy clearing, home to a deserted ranger station. The GPS remained unfazed and insisted we proceed toward a small hiking trail at the west end of the clearing. We should have known better and taken the first boulder as evidence that our GPS was trying to get us into trouble. Naturally we did not.
It took us close to 2 hours to get both loaded DRs through the next 2kms. A river, barred by tree trunks, drove home the message the boulder failed to. Fortuitously, an old wooden sign suggested we might find rest at a nearby thermal spring. Exhausted, the Zebra and I set up camp and agreed to deal with the situation the next day.
The sulphuric waters gave us the energy to deal with the first matter at hand: a bent rear sprocket fallen victim to the boulders. We used Neanderthal engineering and brute force with success. The Zebra did not rest much that night and instead mentally reviewed all the ways we were going to stay stranded in this comfy but isolated paradise. A cup of tea and the glimmer of the morning brought the only solution, we had to backtrack and face, once more, the rocks and rivers that punished us the previous day. Less than one hour later we emerged back into the grassy clearing, kissed the sign, snapped a picture and headed for our next oasis: our friend’s villa in Playa Flamingo
- Spend a few days at the Blue Dream Hotel to learn how to kite. Enjoy a sunset at either Jobo or Rajada beach
- Ride to Liberia and ride the trail highlighted on this map. Turn left at the first “Crossroad to pavement” and head to Borinqen resort for a mud bath. The day fee is reasonable, an overnight stay a lot less
- OR go straight at the first “Crossroad to pavement” and get to the Santa Maria Ranger Station”. Leave your bike there and hike for an overnight stay at the “Termales”