Friday, March 20, 2009

Pesos, Quetzales, Lempiras, Cordobas, and now... Colones!

(Leon, Nicaragua - Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica)

Yesterday we arrived in Costa Rica, our 5th country! We pulled into Tamarindo just at dusk and found a little hostel up a dirt road where we got two beds in a dorm room. Suprisingly, this is the firt time on the trip that we have stayed in a dormitory and not had our own private space. Other than the fact that the beds were insufficiently padded and miserably uncomfortable, AND the lack of any type of air circulation whatsoever which lead to a sweat soaked mattress, there wasn´t really much to complain about.
A few American guys and some Israelis got thoroughly hammered on the hostel patio last night, polishing off a bottle of Vodka in minutes, which provided a consistent amount of entertainment as Grace and I kicked back with our books. One of the highlights was when the one guy from Indiana attempted to sing the Israeli national anthem which was, to say the least, embarrasing and honestly a bit offensive:-o

The four days we spent in Leon, Nicaragua were a fantastic break from the constant travel and we did some serious lounging. The hostel we stayed at was named Via Via and offered a perfect atmosphere for taking it easy. (By the way, Jenny, I finally finished ¨What is the What,¨ and, although a fascinating read, I want to personally congratulate you on putting me into an introspective depression over the last few days:-)
The only physical activity we did while there was going Volcano boarding on Cerro Negro. Twenty-three bucks a pop gets you a 45 minutes ride in the back of a truck to the base of the volcano, a guided 1 hour hike to the top, and then a 45 second ride back down on a piece of plywood. (They´ve got a radar gun at the bottom and the tour guide was going 70kph on the way down. Grace was clocked at 30kph and I was going under 20. I wiped out halfway down when he took the reading... I swear!)
Finally we decided it was time to move on, so we packed up and hit the road. We spent 1 day in Granada which we both really liked and felt we could have explored a bit more. We found the city more ¨walkable¨ than Leon and the buildings more interesting. We felt restless after our long stay at Via Via though and decided to keep moving on to Ometepe Island on Lago de Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America.
It was only an extra $3 to throw the bike on the ferry which was great and we were able to do a serious tour of the island on our own once we arrived. Unfortunately, the room we found to stay for the night at Hospdaje Buena Vista was seriously bug infested and we did NOT enjoy a good nights rest :-( On a lighter note, we only talked to 3 people the entire time on the island, one of which used to live 2 blocks from our house in South Park, San Diego, and the other two used to live on Orcas Island 32 years ago. Amazing.

The border crossing into Costa Rica yesterday was fairly straight forward and now we´re planning on spending the day here at Playa Tamarindo, paddling around in the waves, and workin on our tans. Life continues to be good.
Take care all!

1) Our Hostel in Leon,
2) where they let us pull the bike right up into the mix
3) Hiking with our Volcano boards at Cerro Negro
4) They gave us some killer duds for protection on the ride down
5) Grace was a little nervous at first...
6) but after a couple swedish girls took off ahead of us...
7) there was no stoppin her!
8) Grace is on the right getting clocked with the radar gun
9) that´s my girl
10) Ahhh, sweet success
11) Grace in Granada
12) Waiting for the Ferry to Ometepe
13) Peter strapped on board
14) Sunset as we wound around the Southern loop of the island


  1. I'm sorry, but, that volcano surfing looks NUTS! What if you fall off...would you not be hamburger? None the less, amazing photos and stories! Keep moving and stay safe! You are our inspiration. Palma

  2. Dude...volcano boarding looks amazing! Our personal favorite picture is the one from from the bottom of the hill looking up! Insane & so cool! Miss you guys. Have a wonderful time in Costa Rica!!

  3. Alright then, finally created an account so that I can jump on the commenting bandwagon. Fun following along with you guys on here. Sounds like it may have been a lot of effort for a quick ride but how could you pass up an opportunity to volcano surf? Would have been even cooler if the lava had been liquid.

  4. You guys just rode across the section of Costa Rica that I dream about. Nicoya Peninsula from Nosara to Mal Pais is awesome... How many rivers did you do? (We almost lost a car with 6 surfboards in one of them) Pictures. STAT.

  5. Hey, it's Pauline, the girl who raced Grace on the boarding. Just wanted to say hi! And if you're saying your time was under 30 kph, I guess that means I get to keep the 37 kph time, right? Thanks, and have a great trip!