Bob’s bike-pack trip this past March without me was a bummer, but as mentioned in my post, Costa Rica Blues, I had a job lined up. Now I am finally getting around to tell you a bit about his travels.
The new route Bob checked out is between Quepos and San Jose. This is what he planned and for the most part, rode:
From Quepos, Bob took 235 and then headed west on Hwy 34. He then turned right onto Camino Quepos-Terrazu for several kilometers. Bob had to take care not to miss a turn as it is a windy road, with dead-ends forking out from it.
About 23 kilometers from Quepos, Bob saw a sugar cane mill, where the traditional way of extracting sugar cane juice is still used. Bob stopped in to chat. The lady was surprised to see anyone ride up that dirt road. She told him that nobody ever bicycles up. She then gave Bob a sample of fresh-pressed sugar cane juice for energy to get up the rest of the mountain road.
The above photos of the Grin Mill are ones I took in 2016, when Bob and I were at the National Museum in San Jose. This is what Bob said the farmers use to process the sugar cane.
At the end of Camino Quepos-Terrazu, Bob turned right on Hwy 303 into San Marcos and then left onto Hwy 226 into San Pablo, where he stayed at a cabina (cabin) for the night. At this point is where Bob was advised to alter his route a bit to get into San Jose.
Since Bob sent me emails soon after finishing that route, he and I decided it best to just post the emails and let you read them. His description was written “in the moment” and is described better than what he can do now. Here is what he wrote:
You won’t believe it; I did 22 kilos straight up on dirt – I mean straight friking up and only walked about 1 kilo or so. Looked at my shoes in the morning and ALL the cleats; all the base of the shoe was fricking GONE, WORN OUT, snapped off. Just the cleats and a little tiny bit of the front cleats barely – even the side of the shoe the brand name worn off. On one helluva climb; from sea level to a mile high on DIRT. The local bicyclists were amazed. Ticos don’t even ride that direction. they ride down to Quepos.
I never would take you on that ride. Maybe two days to the first town. Crossed a low river at the start. Yeah what was cool at 21k started to climb aaaaaaaaaaaaaaway from river. about 23 ks and stopped at home made sugar cane mill, drawn by two oxen. Had coffee there, could have ate and probably slept outside there. Gave me a taste of pure sugar cane juice for strength. Must have worked; made it another 23k up hill to pavement. Then sat down at a bus stop bench and found 20000 note on the ground with wind blowing. Free stay and dinner in San Pablo that eve. Met a biker on his phone right near that cabina I was looking to stay at. He said he has cabinas…haha about 200 meter from Sogigiuod cabinas. It was so good. His cycling buddy told me DON’T go the way I was planning. Sent me right; not to Fralies, but to Cartego all the way down Hwy 2 Pan Am Hwy. Good ride into San Jose.
OK I’m beat; didn’t sleep that great last night. Plus busy hard 66k ride. The first 22 k was some awesome downhill, and then all right back up, up, up, and up in the sun. Little shade. Some FAST ASS DOWNHILLS AND SWITCH BACKS.
There you have it. That is a road I will never get to experience. Bummer.