Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Santiago, Panama to Dominical, Costa Rica – April 6

We were on the road by 7am with hopes of reaching the frontier at Paso Canoa early to avoid crowds and also because we expect the border crossings in Central America to be very time consuming.IMG_1453 Checking out of Panama wasn’t too bad time wise, although the customs inspector did force us to buy some bogus “official stamps” from his buddy on the street before he would process our documents.  It was only a couple of US dollars, so we gave him a hard time on principle but relented to get on with it.
The Costa Rican side was all properly conducted, but slow. We were cleared into Costa Rica by noon – 2.5 hours total for the crossing – and on our way north.
Costa Rica is lush, incredibly green and tropical, and amazingly beautiful.  Oh, it’s a tad warm as well at 37 degrees and close to 100% humidity! IMG_1470We rode the Panamerica to Palmar Norte and then Hwy 35 along the Pacific Coast.  The vegetation is so dense it doesn’t afford a lot of ocean views, but we did get the occasional glimpse before stopping for the night in Dominical.  IMG_1463I changed into swimming gear quickly and dashed for the ocean to cool off.  The beach runs for miles and was virtually empty (less than 10 people visible in all directions.  The water was incredibly warm, and the waves were awesome.  IMG_1477I could spend a lot of time here, but we’ll be jumping back on the bikes at dawn and heading for San Jose!

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