Archive for Mai, 2009

Exploring – first try…

Sonntag, Mai 31st, 2009


Today I wanted to jump on my bike and explore this area a bit. I read that you can cycled about 13km pretty much along the beach. Sounds great. But just when I was ready, around 10:30am, it started to rain. So I relaxed in the hammock some more and enjoyed the sound of the waves. In the afternoon I made a second attempt, but soon after I left it started to rain again. Nevertheless I stopped at a beach, took some pictures and sat there for a while.



 Back at the hotel I was a bit disappointed because I wanted to take some nice pictures, with palmtrees, beach and SUN! But tomorrow is another day!

Beach, hammock, book.

Samstag, Mai 30th, 2009


That‘ s it;-)

Back at the Caribbean!!!

Freitag, Mai 29th, 2009


Limon – Puerto Viejo

60,8km, 3:08h, 19,4km/h, 96hm, total 10464km

What a beautiful ride! I‘ m back at the Caribbean and today I cruised mostly along the coast, passed beautiful beaches and banana-trees. And it was so flat! I really had a blast. I was a bit worried that I wouldn‘ t make it to Puerto Viejo since I didn‘ t leave til 11am!!! But, no rain today, only blue sky – so I sat down on the beach somewhere which I had all for myself and just enjoyed….




At a gasstation where I stopped for a cold drink I talked to a local on a roadbike for quite a while. He said it would be easy riding all the way to Puerto Viejo, only the last 5km would be on a gravel road. I meant to stop in the town called Cahuita which I heard nice things about, but once I got there I kept going.

Around 3pm I arrived at Kayas Place, right at the beach, where Ryan, a friend of Laura whom I met in Guadalajara and then again in San Cristobal, welcomed me. I drank a beer and checked into a nice 4-bed-dorm where I‘ m the only guest;-). Though it was an easy day I was pretty tired, just walked to the grocery store a few hundred meters down the road, ate some sandwiches for dinner and went to bed.

Takin‘ a shower while cycling…

Donnerstag, Mai 28th, 2009


Sequirres – Limon

62,5km, 3:06h, 20,1 km/h, 277hm, total 10403km


Unspectacular day, except for heavy rain about 25km before Limon. Within a minute I was totally soaked. Every truck that passed me was like a shower – or even more like a bath. And there were many, many trucks!!! The rain was refreshing though and it stopped after 10km. So I dried a bit before I reached Limon where I stayed at the Miami Hotel – and didn‘ t dribble all over the place! The hotel cost around 15 US$, but I read that Limon is a pretty dangerous place and was warned by some locals, too, so that I didn‘ t feel like looking around a lot. And the room was clean and I was allowed to bring my trailer inside.

Later I searched for a bikeshop because my front wheel started to make some strange, loud sounds during the rain, apparently the bearings. I asked a local on a bike for a bikeshop and he was so kind to show it to me. At the bike shop they had never seen a hub with a generator for the lights (Nabendynamo) and didn‘ t really know what to do. They told me where another bikeshop was. The fellow there was very friendly and took care of the problem. After 20minutes I was good to go again.

I brought my bike back in my room and walked the dangerous streets of Limon. Many policemen where around and the feeling I got from the city wasn‘ t too bad. Probably not the place to spend your vacation, but ok for a nights stop. On my way back I bought 4 pieces of fried chicken for dinner, then I watched some TV and that was about it.

More climbing, more trucks, more heat…

Mittwoch, Mai 27th, 2009


Turrialba to Sequirres

It was hot when I left the hotel at 9:30am. The first 5km were mostly downhill, but then the neverending climbing started. I think it was something like a 350m gain in elevation over 15km or so. 5%, 8%, 12% grades … The good thing about that is that it makes a 2% grade feel pretty pleasant.


At a restaurant/ bar where I stopped for a coke a woman gave me some fruits, I don‘ t know what they are, they have a it of an apple-taste and a stone like a peach. I saw them a few times on trees along the road.

I made the mistake to stop at an 11 % steep climb. There was no way that I could get back on my bike, so I had to push it a few hundred meters until it wasn‘ t so steep anymore – and pushing is no fun either!

One time it started to rain a tiny little bit, but I was lucky and it stopped again. Somehow I wished it would rain though, just to cool off a bit. But the 14 km downhill ride into Sequirres wouldn‘ t have been much fun in the rain. Not much more to say about the ride, it was very green, hilly and hot, mostly no shoulder and there were quite some trucks on the road again, but as usual the truck-drivers seemed to know what they were doing. But after all it was a beautiful ride.

Soon I found a hotel. They had tiny rooms with no windows and shared bathroom, there was basically only the bed in it – those are called cabinas. They cost less than 5 €. I paid a bit more for a nice room with a bathroom, window, TV and plenty of room for my bike. It was only 2pm when I got here and I didn‘ t feel like spending the rest of the day in that “hole in the wall”.

I watched a very old episode of BH 90210, took a hot shower and tried to find an internet café. Instead I found a place to eat. I had chow-mein and chicken. This place didn‘ t claim to be chinese, but it tasted a lot better than at that chinese-tico-place yesterday.

I didn‘ t find an internet-café, could have asked someone but decided not to. I‘ m probably addicted to the internet anyway, so I figured 2 days without won‘ t hurt and I bought 2 bottles of beer instead;-).

Since I had such a hard time to fall asleep yesterday (maybe because of my almost 3-hour-nap???) I didn‘ t take a nap today, hoping for a better night.

Tomorrow I should reach the Caribbean. I‘ d really like to skip Puerto Limon and ride on to the next town, but then it‘ s gonna be a 110km-day, hard to imagine after those last short but tough riding days. I have to see how much climbing there is – and at what time I‘ ll leave here;-).


Good night


I beat the rain;-)

Dienstag, Mai 26th, 2009


Cartago to Turrialba

43,3km, 2:43h, Ø 15,9km/h, 594hm


I took it easy this morning (I‘ m good at that!) and it was already 9:30am when I left after a good breakfast and saying goodbye to Louis and Maida. It was great staying at their B&B and I wish them all the best for the future!


The first 10km were basically downhill, the last 10km as well. That means that I climbed almost 600 hm over only 20km! The road was up to 14% steep, not much fun. But everything is so nice and green here and I got some nice mountain-views. The road was winding, there was no shoulder and heavy truck-traffic. The trucks are all going to/ coming from Puerto Limon.


I arrived in Turrialba around 1:30pm, just when the first thunder rolled. A few minutes later I checked into the “Hotel Interamericano”. My bike safe in the garage and I‘ m in a room with shared bathroom for 11$. Though the currency in Costa Rica is Colon you can pay at every hotel (at least those I‘ ve been to) in US $. And usually that‘ s even the first price they tell you. If you wanna pay in Colon they have to get their calculator out!

As soon as I was inside it started to rain heavily. I took a warm shower and passed out on my bed for a few hours. Last night I didn‘ t sleep very good, probably because I didn‘ t do much the last two days. So this nap was just the right thing to do.

I think Turrialba is a very nice city (at about 600and some m above sea-level, Cartago was at about 1400m) , but when I woke up at 5:30pm it was close to getting dark and I just walked to the grocery store.

Then I saw the Tico-Chino-Rstaurant, obviously partly chinese, and stopped there for dinner. You get your silverwear hear wrapped in plastic, kind of like on an airplane. I‘ ve seen that already at the place where I stopped for a coke on my way today. It‘ s obviously for hygienic reasons. The beer (

Imperial) was good, but forget about the rest. Toasted white toast with butter for an appetizer – very appetizing. The meals on the menu sounded pretty chinese, so I ordered Shop Souey (I don‘ t even know how to write it;-)) with chicken, chorizo and ham. I already wandered what the ham and chorizo had to do in there. It was a huge plate full of food – which I didn‘ t like :-(. The noodles were like “Rahmen-Noodles”, all 3 kinds of meat I didn‘ t like and there was way too much sauce on it. I felt like paying and leaving after the first bite, but I couldn‘ t really do that – and had to finish my beer, can‘ t waste that;-). So I picked out the noodles from under the veggies, meat and sauce-pile and regretted that I didn‘ t go to the place the woman from the hotel recommended which had local food.

Now I‘ m back at the hotel, sitting on the balcony and writing this. Turrialba is in a valley and I can see and hear the trucks and cars coming down the mountain. It‘ s only 7:25pm, no internet here and I don‘ t have a book. So I guess I‘ ll call it an early night.



Volcano Irazú

Montag, Mai 25th, 2009



Last night Helena and George from Australia checked into the B&B. They have a rental car and wanted to drive to the volcano this morning. I asked them if I could come along and they said that wouldn‘ t be a problem.

So we drove up the winding road to the volcano and had great views of the mountains and of Cartago.

It‘ s the first volcano I‘ ve been to and it was quite impressive. From the highest point we could see neither the atlantic nor the pacific which you are supposed to on very clear days. But it didn‘ t really matter. When it became more cloudy we drove down a bit to the main parking-lot, had a coffee and a piece of cake. Unfortunately an … what do you call that animal again … ? I don‘ t rememberm but it some kind of animal that reminds me a little bit of a raccoon. It actually jumped on the picnic-table and stole the cake right from Helens plate and ran off with it!!!

However, we walked to the place from where you can see the green crater-lake. Hard to imagine to be standing on an active volcano!



I enjoyed spending some time with Helen and George and was really happy that they gave me a ride there! Thanks again!

Around noon we were back in Cartago and they took off to San José to return their car and take the bus to Panama City tonight from where they‘ ll take a plane to South America. .

Now I‘ m just waiting for the day to be over to get back on my bike again tomorrow – and head towards the Caribbean.



Cartago – Volcano Irazú?

Sonntag, Mai 24th, 2009




Since I was so close to the volcano Irazú, the highest volcano in Costa Rica, I decided that I could as well go and check it out. Maida explained me the way to the busstop where the bus should leave at 8:30am. After a good breakfast (fruits, eggs, bread) I was on my way. I went to the busstop and asked a busdriver there for the bus to the volcano. He sent me to another place. There I asked again and was sent to another place… It went on like that forever. I asked busdrivers, locals, taxidrivers, policemen… Finally I found the right place, but the bus left a few minutes ago. What a pity…

The bus only leaves on saturday and sunday at 8:30am.

So I sat at the plaza in front of the “Ruinas” for a while and “watched people”.

Later I walked back to the hostel, read, surfed on the internet, slept … What a boring day. In the afternoon I had a late lunch at Mc Donalds and wandered through the streets a bit more.

In the evening Luis and Maida showed me some interesting places in Costa Rica on a big map.

That was about it.



Here I go again…

Samstag, Mai 23rd, 2009


San José to Cartago

28km, 2:25h, Ø 11,5km/h, 481hm

total 10248km

A girl in my dorm-room got up at 5am today. I thought that I should get up as well and leave early – but turned around instead and slept for another 2 hours. I took my time eating breakfast, packed, checked my e-mail one more time, said goodbye to the canadian and left the hostel at 9am. Finding my way out of San Jose was a bit tricky because of all those one-way-streets, but no real problem. I didn‘ t even get lost! Though once I thought I was, but I wasn‘ t. Some people showed me a “thumbs up”, some honked and others asked me where I was going and wished me good luck. That made me realize that it was actually my first day of cycling in Costa Rica. The drivers don‘ t seem to be as considerate as in other countries I‘ ve been to, but that‘ s just my first impression.

I saw many cyclists on racing bikes today, passing me as well as on the other side of the road. Most of them were very serious and didn‘ t even have time (or the will) to greet me. Maybe every wasted breath slows down their average;-).

Until 5km before Cartago it was pretty much all uphill. At the beginning, still in San Jose, my thighs were burning, but after a while it was ok and it felt great to be back on the road!

Cartago (or parts of it) has been destroyed by eruptions of the volcano Irazu several times. It‘ s a city of 140.000 people and my guide-book said that there are several accomodations. I got there already around 11am and rode along what I thought was the main road but couldn‘ t see any hotels. Then I saw a bike-shop and stopped there. My gears needed some adjustment anyway and I asked for a hotel. The woman who worked at the Bici Mania bike-shop called her husband to ask. A few minutes later her son showed up and cycled with me to the hotel which turned out to be the B&B Casa Aura. The owners, Maida and Luis are very friendly and helpful. I‘ m the only guest here, sleeping in a very clean 6-bed-dorm.

In the afternoon we had a cup of coffee together, sitting at the patio during the afternoon rain. I told them everything they wanted to know about my trip and I got some insider information about Costa Rica and learned that “banana” and “platano” are different types of banana.

It was strange to have so much time in the afternoon, it almost felt like a day off.

After nutella-sandwiches, pineapple and nuts for lunch I had Mc Do for dinner. I just couldn‘ t resist;-).

Since I‘ ve never been on a volcano I‘ m actually considering to take a bus to the Irazu tomorrow. This is a great place to spend another night and my bike and gear seem to be very safe here.

Moreover that would give me more time if I‘ ll go to the Pacific or the Caribbean. Obviously it‘ s even wetter at the Caribbean side, but it‘ s a bit easier to get there. To get to the Pacific from here I‘ d have to climb the Cerro de Muerte which would be the highest point of my trip with 3335 m.

I guess I‘ ll decide tomorrow – after breakfast!

Good night




Freitag, Mai 22nd, 2009

19.05.09 – 22.05.09

Why did I stay here all the time? Well, I don‘ t know for sure, but I did. A whole week of extrem-chilling. I saw many people come and go, some left and came back, and a nice guy from Quebec stayed as long as I did. He always wanted to go back to the beach the next day, I wanted to get back on my bike. So we had this running-gag going on after a while, about wanting to leave the next day, yeah, maybe, let‘ s see after breakfast.

Breakfast, as I already said, was really good. The first morning I was asked if I wanted 1 or 2 pancakes. And, of course, I said 2. I mean, what‘ s 1 pancake!?! Here it‘ s a lot! The pancakes were pretty big – and good – but I fought and I won! Some more syrup and coffee and the pancakes were gone;-).


I have enough of the hostel-life and am ready to leave tomorrow. I had a pretty bad headache yesterday morning and this morning. Guess I didn‘ t drink enough (water) and lay around too much. Or maybe it‘ s from the smell of weed all day long… Time to get out off here!!!

But what can I say? Ask me tomorrow after breakfast!!!