Blazing Southern Costa Rica and Panama

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…

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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.

Bike touring Costa Rica - Granadia
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.

Costa Rica Crocodiles
Peering over a bridge at some massive crocs.

Costa Rica
Lots of funky tourist haunts along 34.

Bicycle Touring Costa Rica
An impromptu campground at the end of an odd retiree beach.

Bicycle Touring Costa Rica
Drafting a palmfruit truck in Costa Rica.

Bicycle Touring Costa Rica - Flutterby House, Uvita
Lee fixing his shifters leaving Flutterby.

Bicycle Touring Costa Rica - Sphere
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.

Salchipapas - Bike touring Costa Rica
The Costa Rican dish called salchipapas. Basically hot dogs and fries.

Panama beer - Bicycle Touring Panama
Welcome to Panama.
Guaba - Panama

A roadside entrepreneur selling guaba.
Bicycle Touring Panama
To eat the Guaba fruit, one cracks the hard shell and eats the sweet cotton candy flesh from around the hard seed.

Bicycle Touring Panama
Glad this guy wasn’t alive when we came across him.

Bicycle Touring Panama
There are several different indigenous cultures still keeping theoir traditional dress alive in Panama.

Bicycle Touring Panama
Almost an accurate grade.

Bicycle Touring Panama - Surly Troll, Carradice Panniers
The Surlys always look nice in front of a mural.

Panamanian Dogs
Some dogs out back of a fondita where we slept.

Panama food
Brekfast of fried eggs, chorizo and holjadas.

Bicycle Touring Panama

This lady was hard at work making the thick, fried Panama tortillas.
Bicycle Touring Panama

Kitty was a little camera shy.
Bicycle Touring Panama

Bicycle Touring Panama
This is what I have been looking at several hours per day.

Bicycle Touring Panama - Lunch
A hearty lunch of carne guisada and rice with lentils.

Bicycle Touring Panama - Interamericano
The Hotel Interamericano… classic.

Panamanian Coast
Lee taking a swim/shower after a long ride in Farallon.

Bicycle Touring Panama - Primus Stove
Cooking up the usual camp meal (pasta with veg and eggs); Lee gripping his prized titanium spork.

Bicycle Touring Panama - Farallon Beach
Our camp under a rundown beach shack.

Travel photo- Panama

Bicycle Touring Panama

Bicycle Touring Panama
Rented this little cottage for $15 at Las Ruinas.

Panama - Cashew fruit
The cashew fruit.

Panama - Cashew fruit
Has a really weird indescribable flavor that almost numbs your mouth.

Bicycle Touring Panama
Preparing to dare crossing the Panama Canal on the fabled Bridge of the Americas.

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