I had pulled into Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica an hour shy of sunset, and 45 miles from my destination, but there was something I couldn’t pass up. A visit to a German bakery that felt a little too much like a slice of home. Then, I just didn’t want to leave. The delicious coffee, a fresh slice of apple strudel and cats that warmed my lap all kept me there Luckily, the friendly owner, Tom, has a place I could stay in the back.
The next morning I stayed too long at the lake, got (really) lost on the way to my intended destination of Playa Dominical for the night and needed to find a place again as the sun was setting and ended up paying more than I wanted for a room on the beach. Overheated from riding, being agitated with my inability to ready maps and my choice to not carry a GPS with me, and in a rush so not stopping for needed meals during the day, I dropped everything in the room, stripped off my gear and headed straight for the Pacific Ocean. The warm waves melted away the stress of the day. I swam in reflected rivers of gold until the bright pink sun returned the water to a purple night.