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Thursday, March 12, 2009

My butt hurts.

My butt hurts. Unfortunately, apparently owning my own mountain came complete with a really sore butt. Not the kind of tailbone hurt like when you fall and land on your butt, and not the kind of butt cheek hurt like when you’ve been snapped with a towel. This is the bike seat hurt where 'tenderness' develops where the pressure from the bike seat cuts off all circulation to the general area. Even with padded bike shorts (though I only brought my wimpy spandex as packing room was an issue), it has clearly been a long time since I sat on a bike seat and my butt was angry. So much so that at one point I had to confirm with Troy that it was normal for my butt to actually be numb...

That said, the first three days of our trip have been amazing! We have an awesome guide, Jairo, who is not only guiding us on our journey but is pretty much our own private spanish tutor for the duration of our trip. I can now say "my butt hurts in spanish".
So far we have been hiking and biking on a combination of gravel roads, 4x4 trails, and pavement. LOTS of uphill but also mixed with downhill sections. We never believe them when they tell us it will take hours to go like 12 km but it does because of all the up, down, and around, and switching back and forth... Our route has taken us through lots of little communities that are well off the beaten path and it has been neat that way, seeing mostly only locals on our travels. Our surroundings have included mountains and beautiful valleys, views from the continental divide, lush jungle, rich pastures, and dark green forests of coffee.

This is us right before we headed out from the Pacific coast. All smiles :)
The first day was biking in the hot, hot sun followed by hiking in the pouring down rain!

We stopped along the way to enjoy the vistas and have lunch and were even joined by some locals along the way. We camped overnight in the peaceful valley of Naranjillo, an adorable little pueblo of about six houses.

The sun was back out in full force when we headed out bright and early on Day 2. Seriously, sweating-standing-still hot.
We began by trekking 13km, including an infamous 3km climb up 'cemetary hill', and finished off the day on our bikes in the village of Santa Maria. Many refreshments were in order this day ranging from head dunking in rivers to consuming coca colas purchased from a 77 year old man (who incidentally has 17 kids and couldn't remember how many grandkids) in a tiny tienda on a mountain top in the middle of nowhere...

We spent the night at some rustic cabins and rested up to prepare for the following day which was promised to be one of the longest. We stayed in the aptly named 'Matthew McCaunaughey' suite. Apparently he stayed in the very same shortly after his breakup from Penelope Cruz...as i understand it based on the tellings of the owner who i think is still reeling from his presence in her kitchen two years ago... On day 3, what was promised to be the hardest, steepest climb of the adventure did not disappoint. The 14km uphill stretch to the Continental Divide, brought us to an altitude of 2330m, the highest peak of our journey.

This was particularly challenging for me, but they make the granny gear for a reason and I took full advantage. More than a few times I felt the twitch of my right thumb as it migrated over to the gear shifter, seeking, hoping, for another easier gear. But to no avail. So proud when I got to the top, I wanted to scream and shout but simply dismounting and walking seemed to stretch my capacity at the time so I opted for a big hug from Troy, a hearty breakfast, and this Day 3 photo.

The rest of the day was satisfying, though not easy, and involved more than a few hills (as per Troy's previous post...), a few thrills and a few spills...,

A river crossing and a river rescue of sorts...

And two very happy Day 3 finishers...

We spent our rest day today in the beautiful Orosi Valley, doing just that. Resting.


    Good ol' Troy, carrying you like that... and uphill, too! :-)

  2. Hey Kids. Amy and I were in Costa Rica from the 9th to the 16th. Saw lots of amazing things as you can attest to. Enjoy the rest of your journey.