Lava Lovers
Costa Rica: Country #9!

June 16 & 17, 2016

We take a rest day, and meet even MORE British cyclists, then we make a big decision.

What happened…

Andrew writes: Since we knew that today would be a short day, we really took our time leaving the hotel in Masaya. The ride was quite pleasant, especially the downhill roll into Granada with Lake Nicaragua in the background. It was almost like being by the ocean again…almost. We found our AirBnB on the outskirts of town, near the cemetery, but the location proved ideal. There was a pool, nice spacious rooms and kitchen, and we hadn’t been there more than 10 minutes when Ali and Liz showed up, with two other Brits; Sam and Laura.

Sam and Laura are in their mid-twenties and are cycling from Cancun south, until the money runs out. Seeing the big beard on Sam has me thinking of starting to grow one for myself. It was nice to hang out with the four of them all afternoon, whether relaxing poolside or when we took a trip into town to sight-see and share a bucket of beers.

Then we woke up to e-mails from two prospective house-sits who both wanted us to come and look after their homes. So we spent the whole day planning a) how to cancel our Olympic flights and accommodations and b) which of the two house-sits we wanted to do. One was in late-August, in Costa Rica, in a beach community with surfing and whatnot, except it would be the “rainy” season. The other was in Ecuador, mid-August until October in the middle of the mountains in some place I’ve never heard of. Amanda was leaning towards the mountain community, and of course I wanted to surf, but I figured what the heck, let’s try something new. So we’re off to Ecuador! Well, first we need to get through the rest of Central America and then Colombia.

Amanda writes: A slow departure from Masaya was nice as we got to explore the town more. It really was much larger than we realized and it had a nice waterfront boardwalk. After exploring and walking through the city market we headed out on the road. The market was one of the largest I’ve ever walked through and was a bit overwhelming. There was a part of me that wished I had my camera to capture the buzz of the market, and the other part of me glad I didn’t because I’m not sure it would have made it out of the market with me.

As Andrew mentioned we went through the process if deciding which house sit to take on, and while that process was difficult; the most difficult part was the reality that we weren’t going to Rio for the Olympics. Since we first started planning this adventure, the 2016 Olympics in Rio were part of the plan. Everything was wonderfully in place; job offers from the Olympics committee, flights, accommodations and making it to Colombia for the flights. Then just in the last couple of months the confusion with the administration of the Olympics committee resulted in my position being removed. If I look at the big picture I’m one of 70,000 volunteers and while I’m frustrated at the administrative error, I understand they have a lot to juggle. So while I’m terribly disappointed to miss the incredible opportunity I’m grateful that I’ve already volunteered at two other Olympics and am happy for anyone that is going. Combine this approach with I’m confident everything happens for a reason and I’m not as upset as some may think.

Choosing the house sit was a bit more rushed than we had hoped, however everyone wants an answer right away and our internet is never reliable so we needed to make our decision on this day. We tried to do research on seasons and travel VISA’s in different countries and tried to map out our travel progress. As we head further South, we need to be cognizant of winter and rain more than we did in Central America. If we selected the Costa Rica destination we’d have to explore Costa Rica for another month before starting the two month house sit. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to explore the Country more and have heard wonderful things about it, however that’s a long time in an expensive Country. It’s tough because Andrew and I both like the beach and water and the house is located in a very popular surfing destination. My sister and brother-in-law actually came to the town for their honeymoon and she tells me it is beautiful. The house is also less work and only involves one cat. However, I’m so tired of the heat. I know it sounds terrible but it’s true. I’d really like to wake up in a bed that is not soaked with my own sweat. I’d like to sit outside without my clothes being saturated with humidity and sweat and maybe, just maybe I’ve had my fill of beach communities for a while.

Andrew’s right, I was leaning more toward the house sit in the Andes mountains with moderate temperatures and 3 dogs and a cat. Sure it’s more work, but it’s also secluded. We’ve been traveling in Latin America now for 8 months and this sub-continent is very populated. It’s rare to travel for more than 20 minutes on our bike without seeing someone. The home in Ecuador is apparently about a 45 minute walk from the nearest town; sounds perfect! Solitude, quiet, no roosters, barking dogs, people, cars; just quiet. In any event, at the end of two days we opted to start peddling our asses off to make it to Southern Ecuador in time to start our house sit at the beginning of August. I felt badly when we informed the Costa Rica home owners that we were declining their offer because they said during our Skype call that they felt a good connection and positive energy; and the feeling was mutual. That being said we also felt good about the home owners in Ecuador. So off we go … with lots of ground to cover in just under two months!

Today’s Photographs

Lava Lovers
Costa Rica: Country #9!