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Old 04-29-2013, 06:49 PM   #14
Cousteau OP
...seeking adventure
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Guatemala City / Washington, DC
Oddometer: 61
Into Costa Rica

I left Granada early in the day and headed for the border with Costa Rica. The drive down was pretty spectacular, as I headed near the coast in Rivas. As I crested a hill, I was struck by an unending field of wind turbines.

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America after Haiti and they've had an energy crisis for the last eight years, with constant brownouts throughout the day. In Managua, the capital, these usually were programmed to start around 2 in the afternoon. The government even changed it's schedule to operate from 7AM through 1:30 strait through. This was setup as a measure for energy conservation, but also because of the crisis. During the peak of the energy crisis, there was even a generator ship stationed off of the coast feeding the electrical grid.

Today Nicaragua has a steady flow of energy as new energy projects have come online. Some are diesel generator dependent, but it's nice to see these massive wind farms off the Pacific coast.

As I kept driving through the fields of windmills, I also hit swarms of butterflies right as I got close to the border. Getting through the border was really non-eventful, with the exception that on the Costa Rican side I ended up having to go back and forth between two of the Customs offices and wait around for truckers to put through their paperwork. Basically I lost three and half hours going through the motions.

It was then getting late in the day, and I still had a few hours of riding before I got to San Jose, where Carlos and Carolina, my hosts for the next few days, were waiting for me to arrive. Right as it was getting to dusk, I started to climb from the coast through the tropical rain forrest, and rain it did. I hit a massive downpour and thought about pulling over, but for some reason, many of the highways in Costa Rica do not have shoulders, so I had to keep going - slow and steady. I finally came up behind an 18 wheeler and just followed the red lights as we made our way through the arching canopy that covered the road. The rain was simply merciless.

About an hour later, the rain dried and the temperature stopped as I continued to climb. Long lines of traffic started to form as heavy trucks were making their way up to San Jose. I passed most of these groups and rolled into San Jose around 8:30pm arriving utterly exhausted after an intense day of riding.

I tried to chat with Carlos and Carolina when I arrive, but I was just to tired to form complete sentences. Fortunately they were having a practice session with their church singing group. This allowed me to quickly eat the meal they had left for me and excuse myself to my room. I was out by 9:20pm and did not arise until the next day at around 7ish.
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