Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jaco, Costa Rica

Day 161

Miles 150

Ttoal Mileage 7514

Waiting out the rain. You do this a lot in rain forest. Big surprise!

A gorgeous beach with no one on it. I love places like this.

I dicided to jump in one of the many rivers around here to cool off.

I am currently in Jaco, Costa Rica. This is an interesting place, it has a real party atmosphere, and its a little bit on the sleazy side with a lot of drug dealers trying to sell you marijuana or cocaine on the streets, and a lot of prostitutes prowling around but its all right so long as you steer clear of that sort of stuff. There is a lot to do that doesn't involve criminal activity as well though, and I have been enjoying myself. I am staying at a great place, Las Camas Hostel, and have been watching the Olympics non stop (Way to go Phelps!) and hanging out with some really nice travelers. I also got to meet up with Fred again, which was cool, and I also bumped into another traveler from California that I had met in Playa del Coco. It feels good to see familiar faces while you are on the road.

Getting here was a trial though. I don't know what was going on with my body, but riding here from Playa del Coco felt like I had just started my tour. The first day I only was able to ride about 73 miles. Half way through the day my legs started cramping badly and I was having really strong muscle spasms. I was really low on energy as well and it was tough to keep going. I had to call it quits early in the day and camped out. That night was really uncomfortable as it was very hot and humid and my legs were spasming badly. It looked like I had snakes crawling around under my skin, and it didn't stop until after midnight, which made it very difficult to sleep.

The next day was worse, and despite the fact that I only had to go another 72 or so miles, it took me all day to do it. I just didn't have any energy and was constantly having to pull over and rest. It was strange, my fitness level felt very low. I was drinking loads of water but no matter how much fluid I took in, I couldn't stay hydrated. My urine was bright yellowy orange all day.
Just before I got to Jaco, I had to climb a fairly steep hill and I swear, I thought I was going to die going up that thing. I was having tunnel vision and seeing spots badly, and would have to pull over every few hundred meters to take a ten minute break just to get my heart rate down. I have no idea why I hit the wall so badly but I was in a bad way. Half way up this hill, which honestly was not even that big, I just crashed. I had to sit down so that I wouldn't fall over and just hung my head between my legs. It was pouring rain too, but I didn't care. Its funny the things you think when your mind isn't working correctly. I honestly contemplated dragging my bike into a ditch and pulling my rain tarp over it and myself and taking a little nap!

I was so disoriented that I couldn't even make anything to eat, so I just took some honey and drank about a third of a bottle of it. It tasted disgusting but after about ten minutes it got me feeling a little normal and I was able to force myself up and over the hill and get into Jaco. That night I was absolutely ravenous, I ate two massive plates of rice, beans, chicken and friend plantains, with two salads, and then a big giant sandwich and a bowel of soup all in about an hour and a half. My body was dying for some calories.

I honestly don't know what went wrong, I am hoping it was just a fluke. It was very hot and humid in hilly terrain which makes for tough riding, but its nothing I have not done before.
I will be heading south tomorrow and I am fairly certain I will just ride hard all the way to Panama City, as from there I need to find a boat to take me to Colombia and from what I have heard, it is a 5 day sail to get there. For those of you who don't know, there are no roads from Panama to Colombia, just a stretch of totally untamed jungle called the Darrien Gap. So I figure I need to give myself a few days to get to Panama City, and a few days to find a boat willing to take me, and then another 5 to get to Colombia, and as I want to be there by September, I need to get after it sooner than later.


Anonymous said...

Reece -

Clean your camera lens.

Thank You

From the photographer

Anonymous said...

Also I need to thank you, I read your post on Carlsbad Caverns and decided I needed to visit immediately so I drove the 1,600 miles there in April and I just got one of the pictures published in a travel magazine. So Cheers.