Palmar Norte to San Vito - Central America - CycleBlaze

January 21, 2023

Palmar Norte to San Vito

Today was rough, and hot, but I made it!!  I’m at about 3,300 ft elevation today in San Vito now.  Went up about 5,500 ft, and down 2,000.  The steepest part was 18%, according to Komoot.  Tomorrow I’ll climb another 4,000 ft up, and 2,700 down to reach the highest elevation of the entire trip on the bike.  I just don’t have the legs for those hills.  I was hoping as I went up in elevation throughout the day, I would not feel so hot, but that was not the case.  It was just so humid and sunny.  I am so done with this sauna action in Central America.  I don’t think my jersey and pants have ever been so soaked with sweat as much as they were today.  They were just heavy and dripping with sweat.  Just no air movement as I’m going up at ~5-7 kph, unless trucks or semi’s pass in the opposite direction, then I feel some breeze.  I had my jersey unzipped the farthest ever, hoping for some evaporation with any breeze.  I probably got a bit burned there by the sun, but so be it.  No clouds either, well not over me at least.  But after I checked into the hotel, there are some dark clouds forming now.  Fortunately, the Nicoya Peninsula did a more than adequate job of preparing me for the heat and climb today.  I firmly believe that if you can cycle the Nicoya Peninsula, you can cycle just about anywhere in the world.

The town of San Vito is apparently known for its Italian food.  I asked the hotel owner why this was, and he said that it was originally established in the 1950’s by Italians.  But now, there are hardly any Italians left.  As I am eating in the hotel restaurant here, it is actually cooling off nicely.  This is the first hotel I stayed at that does not have air conditioning.  Apparently, none of the hotels do in town.  Well, according to the hotel owner, there is one hotel with a few rooms that have AC, but it is next to a noisy bar.  I especially like the AC to help dry my clothes after shower/laundry, but actually after I took my shower and hung up my clothes by the window, they seem to be drying pretty fast.  The real nice hotel owner said it will probably rain this evening.  

Mechanical report: Gel seat is starting to leak a bit from a couple thumbnail holes I put in it while grabbing it so hard and pulling it up the hills on the Nicoya Peninsula.  I’m getting some real bad chain skip right in the middle of my cassette on a couple of gears.  Annoying, but not so much as to stop somewhere to change it out.  No time really for that.  The back tire seems to be doing okay still where I got the slice through the Kevlar, as far as the tube trying to bulge out.  I think that liner really saved the day on that.  I have just over 400 miles to go to the finish line now, so, I’m hoping I can hobble to there to Panama City!

Tonight is my last night in Costa Rica.  I’m about 8 miles away from the border.  I sure liked all the little beach towns and things to do in Costa Rica.  Very safe, but just also very expensive.  Very clean too.  As far as cycling goes though, it seems they need to get some people familiar with cycling on the committee or department to get some better policies here.  CR is the only country where I did not see any signs on the road like “cyclists on roadway”, “watch for cyclists”, or “give cyclists 1.5m clearance”.  Instead, they just restrict the nicest roads in the country (and Central America) from cycling on, all because the speed limit is close to 50 mph, but there are other factors too that should be considered, such as curves, hills, and of course, the real nice shoulder.  This just does not seem congruent with their vision for tourism, sustainability, and “saving the planet” (seen everywhere).  Recognizing where they have good cycling roads and where not, signage to inform drivers, planning for future bike lanes – they have a long way to go here, and it just does not seem like it is being pushed at all, which is so odd for what the country is known for.

Starting the day off on CR Hwy 2. Finally, I road I can legally travel on!
Heart 0 Comment 0
Yes, because this is so much better and safer to cycle on!
Heart 0 Comment 0
Look at that shoulder!
Heart 0 Comment 0
The Terraba river. It was big!
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Crossing the river. Now it's all uphill.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 2
Bill ShaneyfeltOh how I dislike that surface on bridges!
Reply to this comment
1 week ago
Ken DyckmanIndeed, Bill! I was just hoping that I didn't catch one of those edges on my back tire split and dig in worse. I suspect I did though just by statistics, but it seems to be okay still.
Reply to this comment
1 week ago
Where I stopped on the other side of the river to load up on some Oreos before the climb up
Heart 0 Comment 0
Gaining some elevation now
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Chicken lasagna from the hotel restaurant. I'm going to go the supermarket to get another Gatorade for tomorrow then come back and get some nachos for the room (like last night too).
Heart 1 Comment 0
Misc images from around town, after dinner
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
My hotel - El Ceibo
Heart 0 Comment 0
My hotel again
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 52 miles (84 km)
Total: 1,660 miles (2,672 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 2
Comment on this entry Comment 0