Failed Surfing & Fruit (Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama)

Central America, insert checkmark. South America, vamos

I haven't spent too much time exploring Panama. Just cruising along the Panamerican highway on my way into the metropolis that is Panama City. Along the way I was cheered on by hundreds of road construction workers who never appeared to actually be working at all. I also was woken up at 1 am one night when sleeping in a pineapple field, told to move away from the sprinklers by the farmers, and gifted a fresh pineapple for breakfast. That one worked out well. With a couple more days to bike out of Panama, I am ready to take on continent numero dos.

IMG_0123View of Puente de las Americas just before crossing over from Central America into South America

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I have been lucky enough to stay up on the 20th floor of a high rise apartment building with a host here in the middle of the Panama City. The view offers an interesting look at the two worlds here. Below these skyscrapers are shacks of poorer fisherman, housing that I am more accustomed to seeing throughout Central America.IMG_0151 Another Panama City skyscraper

IMG_0143 View of the shipping port along the Panama Canal

IMG_0128View along the huge Panama CanalIMG_0160Panama City before its afternoon showersIMG_0149

IMG_0115Someone made great use of a bunch of old tires, an entire jungle gym of them on the side of the Panamerican highway

In my former life I was a Supply Chain man. So I take interest in things like refrigerated containers being transported in a staging area next to the Panama Canal. Here's a "behind the fence" look at how they get it done.

Costa Rican Fruit

After finishing up a month filled with beaches, surfing, and hammocks in Nicaragua, I made my way into Costa Rica. I don't have as many pictures as I'd like after my phone was stolen (sorry to anyone who tired to whatsapp me lately, but I will never be able to respond again). I did manage to snag a couple photos from some great friends I made along the way though. After some time on the truly rich coast of Costa Rica, I started saying "Pura Vida" (the Costa Rican greeting of "pure life") to locals as I made my way to higher, cooler ground. I finally escaped the draught that has plagued much of Central America's Pacific Coast for the last two years as I biked through green cloud country at high altitudes down Costa Rica's backbone. Along the way I was spoiled rotten with all of the ripe tropical fruit falling off of trees along my path. I ate 15 mangos in a 12 hour period one day, and have been using a machete I found on the side of the road to cut open coconuts. Pura Vida indeed.

IMG_5051Mmmmm

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This was the booze cruise

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IMG_0088Costa Rica country

IMG_0073The highest point of the Panamerican highway in Central America was up here on the top of el cerro de la muerte. At over 11k ft, the humid trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean turn into clouds, creating a mystical feeling in the midst of the mountains.

NicaThese lovely ladies invited me on a booze cruise

IMG_0040I rode up the Cerro de la muerte (hill of the dead) with Danny, a bike shop owner who put me up for a night with his family and tackled the climb with me the next day. Thanks Danny!

IMG_0006Ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya

IMG_0063Costa Rica sees a lot of rain, so you know the locals stay dry AND comfortable while waiting for the bus

IMG_0069Costa Rican grub? How about some gallo pinto (rice and beans), a fried platano (banana) with cheese in the middle, and a loaf of fresh bread. Did I hear carbohydrates?

Scuba Diving and Surfing in Honduras & Nicaragua

I spent a week on the little island of Utila, north of Honduras. Utila is considered the best place to learn to scuba dive in the world. A week underwater brought me up close and personal with life below sea level, with awesome views of beautiful sea creatures. From there it was on to Nicaragua to spend some time writing and learning to surf. I am taking some time off of the bike to enjoy paradise and wait for good weather in Patagonia, which won't come until November. A couple days eating salt water in Juquilillo, on the coast of northern pacific Nicaragua, followed by more days eating salt water in Las Penitas, and I am now surfing. A great feeling to glide over the powerful water of the Pacific.

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IMG_4732 Dramatic sunsets on the Atlantic in Utila

IMG_4744 Meet Robbie, my British scuba buddy. Robbie saved my life when I was underwater. I ran out of oxygen and he shared his with me until we surfaced. Thanks mate.

IMG_4879 Nicaraguan watermelon distributor and lender of machete.

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IMG_4934 Pelikan surf shop owner Lenin and surf instructor Roger in Las Penitas, Nicaragua. We made some tasty sopa de pescado throughout the week with fresh catch from the local fishermen.

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IMG_5040 Las Penitas beach on a Semana Santa day

IMG_4888 I found the cutest girl in all of Central America, little Angie, Wilson's granddaughter hanging at home.

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IMG_4959Hamacas everywhere in Nicaragua. I decided I will not buy a bed when I return to civilized life.

IMG_4719 View from Paradise Dive shop in UtilaIMG_4781

IMG_4735 Our lovely dive instructor, ex-accountant from Colombia, Ms. AnaIMG_4874This was a special watermelon I consumed as I crossed into Nicaragua. This was the first watermelon I had eaten since watermelon feasts with the great Rane Roatta and the trashfreeway crew back in the States. I benefited from a machete to split mine open, then ate away with a spoon like Rane taught me. You can see Rane's exotic fruit selection for sale, instagram miamifruit.IMG_4892 I met Wilson Williams the night I arrived in Juquilillo, a beach in northern Nicaragua. Just as I was about to set up my tent on the beach, Wilson shouted for me to come try some of his coconut cinnamon bread he was selling on his bike cart. We ate bread walking our bikes along the beach, and we shared stories the next couple days as I stayed on his slice of the beach.IMG_4913 Nicaraguenses (nicas) celebrate bdays with a pinata too, the first I had seen since Mexico.IMG_4951 Sunset on the beach of Las PenitasIMG_5024 View of Las Penitas on a normal dayIMG_4726 Fisherman Zoro had the hook up on fresh fish in Utila. 1 pound = protein for two days .