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.
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.
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.)
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.