I left Chiansomethingorother at 8am after a hearty breakfast of one slice of bread cut into four pieces with butter and jam. It was ok though it was included with the price of the room. I headed off across Nicaragua to a place not too far from the Costa Rican border, a little surfing town called San Juan Del Sur. On route I detoured to Masaya to see into a volcano. There have been volcanoes along Central America and I have ridden on heaps but this one you can ride right to the top and look right in. The smell of rotten eggs immediately invades the senses as you reach the top. There is a cloud of sulfur gas rising from the creator which is quite impressive, what’s more impressive is that there are birds flying around and actually living inside this poisons gas.
I reached San Jaun around three pm. Whilst looking for accommodation with secure parking I bumped into a Texan on a BMW gs 650 named Chip. Chip was also looking for secure parking, just as we got chatting a women came out of the house we were parked outside. She had everything we needed, rooms; secure parking and a few mean looking dogs just in case anyone was to get over the 12 foot razor wire covered walls.
We explored the town until we found a nice restaurant and bar where we settled in for the evening. Chip’s an interesting and funny guy to say the least, originally from Texas but now he has no fixed address, he’s retired and spends his summers kayaking around the Caribbean islands sleeping on remote beaches in hammocks and his winters riding bikes around the Americas. We decide to ride out together the next day but it never happened, it turns out we both have a fondness for the Nicaraguan beer.We ended up staying two nights before leaving. Nice little place San Juan.
We crossed into Costa Rica easily enough the next day, this one was fairly slow alright but nothing compared to Honduras. We only had to grease one palm here and got through for about 40$ in about two and a half hours. I’ve only got one more difficult border crossing tomorrow, Costa Rica to Panama, after that it’s suppose to be plain sailing. There are truck drivers waiting on both sides of the border for up to three km, they must spend more time waiting to cross than driving. What a way to spend your life.
We headed into Costa Rica to a little place on the beach called Jaco. It’s just another surf town on the coast. A massive storm blew in so we went to the first restaurant we saw. A place called tsunami sushi where we dined on raw fish and beer for most of the night. The weather here is improving but it’s still rainy season. It’s generally wont rain too much from seven am till three pm so that’s the best time to ride but today we were only heading about one hundred km to a national park so we had a nice breakfast and took our time on the ride.
Along the way I passed a familiar looking guy. About seven weeks ago back in southern Mexico I had noticed this guy before. I was heading north to a little beach town at the time and he was heading south. I didn’t stop to chat with him back then, he looked like he was on a serious mission and did not want to be disturbed. He’s was wearing shorts runners and a bandana on his head. His torso exposed to the baking sun, his skin was like leather, and he a look of sheer determination on his face.
Today I passed this guy again, I thought to myself that can’t be the same guy but after a km or so I was convinced it was. I took off after Chip who was taking the lead and told him we must turn around and meet with this fellow. Chip was intrigued and immediately agreed. Anything out of the ordinary would be right up Chip’s alley. We headed back the road, parked up and waited for this mysterious character to arrive. As he did I had my camera ready and started to take pictures. The man immediately smiled, removed his hands from the trolley he was pushing and waved a friendly salute. I thought at least he’s friendly and introduced myself. I asked him if I could have seen him before in Mexico, he replied with a massive smile.
I’ve met a whole lot of crazy people on this trip. There are people who I am in complete awe of, people who I have the utmost respect for; there are people cycling bicycles around the world for no reason at all, they only make it about two hundred km on a good day, it takes some of these guys and girls up to three years to ride from Alaska to Argentina. There have not been too many but there out there. I feel compelled to stop and chat with these guys and pat them on the back. This guy today takes the biscuit though. He has taken me back to memories of India where I met a guy with bandages on his hands and knees rolling along the highways. He was being followed by a musical cart being pushed by his friends just to keep him getting run over.
The Guy I met today’s name is Pierre, he’s been heading south pushing a trolley from Prudhoe Bay Alaska for the last eleven months. Walking the length of Alaska would be a life time achievement for most but Pierre is on the same route as me and heading to the southernmost tip of the American continent, Tierra del fuego. He must be averaging fifty km a day to say he’s made it this far in eleven months. He’s a lovely guy and a whole lot crazy. When he reaches the end of the Americas he’s planning on walking from Ireland to Hong Kong along the Silk Road. Pierre you’re an inspiration to us all. It’s what I’ve been telling poor people all around the world my whole life; if you don’t like being poor and don’t like where your living just walk. Just walk to someplace else, it can be done. Pierre couldn’t stop and talk for too long, after all he’s walking the length of two continents’ and will never get anywhere if he stops for two long with everyone he meets. We exchanged details, took some photos and said our goodbyes. People of Ireland keep an eye out for this man; he should be heading your way in about a year at the speed he’s going.
Afterwards we rode to a national park and to the beach where we explored for sloths but were unsuccessful. We did however see many giant iguanas. We have set up in the wide mouth frog backpackers for the night. I now have four day and only one border to cross before making the crossing to Colombia. I should be fine…