(We have managed to fall behind with the blog, just not having enough hours in the day to do everything, so we are jumping ahead to the present and will try to catch up with the rest in between!)
23rd October LA CRUZ
After escaping a Nicaraguan scam (and with our second flat tyre in the space of two days) then subsequently arriving at the border at lunchtime where we wait around for hours to get through, we arrive in Costa Rica, country number 44, completely exhausted!
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We are heading for Canas Castillas located just outside of La Cruz, the closest town to the border, which had been kindly recommended to us for its great wildlife and camping.
It takes around 30 minutes from the border along some rocky 4×4 tracks to reach the town. When we get there, another camper translates for us and we get a room with a private bathroom for a great price. The tree and plant covered property has a pretty setting, located right on the Sapoa River.
As we have not eaten all day and the cabana restaurant is closed due to it being low season, we head back into La Cruz and console ourselves with pizza, which always seems to do the trick!
A quick stop at the super loud supermarket for some beer is next and we crash for the rest of the day.
24th October LIBERIA
In the morning, we awake to a family of Spider Monkeys swinging through the canopy just outside our room, one with a baby on its back! They are pretty cool with their long slender arms and big eyes and move very gracefully from tree to tree.
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The owners of the cabanas had rescued a baby sloth abandoned on the forest floor and are rearing it. It is unbelievably cute!
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This would be a great place to spend a few days but unfortunately we have to move on and see if we can get the tyre fixed or replaced. We stop in the town of Liberia, around an hour‘s drive away where they patch it up but the puncture is in the side wall and they confirm it can only be used in an emergency as we had suspected.
Our sponsors GT Radial have organised for us to pick up a new set of tyres when we arrive in Panama city. We cannot thank them enough, throughout our trip they have supported us every step of the way.
Along the main road, we are pulled over at a police checkpoint but the officers are friendly, commenting on the right hand wheel and asking to see our passports.
We stop for some lunch and find it quite expensive compared to what we had been used to paying in Nicaragua. Costa Rica feels a lot wealthier than the countries we have just driven through with its big brand shops and absence of armed guards on every corner.
We have arrived in rainy season and there aren’t many tourists around at all that we have seen so far.
We carry on to Rincon de la Vieja National Park 64kms away driving down private gravel road (which costs $1.50 each) but when we get there are told at the ranger station that only half of the track is open due to construction work on the trail. At $10 each entry and with it starting to rain, we decide it’s not worth the short walk. The heavens open and it starts to pour with mini streams running down the muddy track. The rainstorm does not look as if it stopping anytime soon so we decide to treat ourselves to a hotel in Liberia and relax for the rest of the day.