Mangua to San Jose – two weeks with Pops

April 29th, 2006 by David

   As I said in the previous entry, my father flew to Managua with a silly looking bicycle and the plan to bike with me to Costa Rica. Two years ago, Pops and I biked from Virginia to Oregon (watch the movie of this trip) and, amazingly, we still want to ride together.

   After spending a night with a family in Managua, my father and I biked for two days and then took a boat out to a volcanic island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s largest lake. After three days of enjoying the island, we took a second boat to the far side of the lake near the Costa Rican boarder. We rode ‘first class’ on this boat, which meant we slept on the crowded second floor with tourists instead of the crowded first floor with Nicaraguans, many of whom we were told were hoping to cross the border into Costa Rica to work.

Biking in Granada
Waiting to get on the ferry to the Isla de Ometepe
Biking the Isla de Ometepe
Crowds waiting to get on the boat from Ometepe to San Carlos
The bikes rode 'economy class,' boat to San Carlos
Boat ride to Costa Rica
Sugar Cane processing plant
Costa Rica has efficient industrial agriculture

   After another short boat ride, we entered Costa Rica. Costa Rica has a stronger economy than the other Central American countries (see facts), which is why many of the Nicaraguans wanted to go there to work. In comparison to Nicaragua, the farms were not small family lots but rather large efficient farms. While there were still people using machetes, many others used gas powered weed-whackers. Roadside trash was nearly non-existent, and somehow I felt far safer biking into the major cities. Also, the dogs in Costa Rica are more likely to chase cyclists (watch movie of dogs), which I would guess is because they are better fed.

Two Rainbow Tarptents, and a cow eating my handlebar tape
Pushing our bikes up the hill
I think this is a 20% grade
Hurry up Pops
Biological Preserve

   Pops and I climbed up into the mountains, following steep dirt roads with 20% grades . We spent two days at a biological preserve, where I met with scientists studying climate change and my father recorded birdsong. (Pops studies birdsong – he even wrote a book about it.)

American School of San Jose, middle school

   From Monteverde, we biked to the coast and then back up into the mountains to San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, where I visited the American School of San Jose. I now have to say goodbye to Pops, who is catching a flight tomorrow morning.

4 Responses to “Mangua to San Jose – two weeks with Pops”

  1. Jan Swayne says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip, your knowledge, and your passion with all of us. Great work!!!

  2. Julia says:

    Hey, I liked your dad’s bike! Seems like it would work well for bike-train-bike trips, in addition to airplane trips. How could a guy with such a weird bike seat get embarassed by a bike with teeny-tiny wheels? I bet you when we’re 80, we’ll all be riding little collapsable bikes like that, since gasoline will be too valuable to waste fueling cars. Maybe those bikes will have fins, too, to deal with rising sea levels.

  3. […] Recent Comments: David: RESPONSE TO STEPH: Yes, I saw those adds. I hope they are too ridiculous to make… steph greene: Not sure where this should fit on your site, but given the topic of your… Julia: Hey, I liked your dad’s bike! Seems like it would work well for bike-train-bike… David: Here are the items that I loaded into my father’s suitcase before he flew back… Jan Swayne: Thank you for sharing your trip, your knowledge, and your passion with all… Jacob: This guy biked solo through Colombia. He is soon to return to his home after… Leo: I`m a half Costa Rican half Colombian located in San Josè Costa Rica. I`ve… Edgar: Colombia and Venezuela are very dangerous countries. Kidnapping is a daily… […]

  4. […] 4/29 Pops viaja conmigo desde Nicaraguia hasta Costa Rica  […]

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