Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1671: David, Panama – Rio Claro, Costa Rica!

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on May - 11 - 2015

Distance: 92.38 km
Ride time: 4:26:35
Average: 20.79 km/h
Max speed: 43.05 km/h
Total: 34902 km

I didn’t have many expectations when I arrived in Panama but I have very much been positively surprised. The people are as friendly as in Colombia, and there is so much diversity – from the sky scrapers in Panama City to the jungle, beaches, and mountains.

Now I was cycled the final kilometers in Panama towards the border with Costa Rica. The distances here are more manageable than the big countries in South America – only seven cycling days in this first country of Central America.

The border crossing went easy enough even though the Costa Rica officer asked if I had a flight ticket out of the country. I pointed towards my Bianchi and that seemed to be explanation enough.

Among the other travellers I have talked to, Costa Rica has a reputation of being beautiful, expensive, and touristic. My first meal certainly confirmed the rising costs. 7$ for my set meal might not seem bad if you compare to North American or European prices, but the same meal would have been 2.5$ in Colombia and 5$ in Panama.

It was not only the price level that went up – the landscape also almost immediately got even more green and beautiful once I had crossed the border. In the afternoon a big thunderstorm was building up, so I had to stop in Rio Claro a bit short of the fishing town of Golfito where I had thought about going. Cycling in the rainy season requires a bit of flexibility, but really isn’t a problem.

And so, my first day in Costa Rica ended at a nice (and reasonably priced) hotel room in the random village of Rio Claro. Everybody seems friendly and the surrounding rain forest is beautiful. Not a bad start to Costa Rica at all. Tomorrow I should be passing several beaches – looking forward for another swim in the Pacific.

Categories: Costa Rica, Panama
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2 Responses so far.

  1. It certainly can’t have been a difficult border crossing, if that’s all you were asked – and then he being satisfied with the answer! If only all border crossings were that simple!

    The place really is so green!

  2. Marcos C. says:

    On border crossings:

    “What do we leave behind when we cross a frontier?
    Each moment seems split in two.

    Melancholy for what is left behind, and the excitement of entering a new land.”

    – Ernesto Guevara – “Motorcycle Diaries”