How fast things can change sometimes…
We, too, had followed the news around the Corona virus during the last weeks but it has always seemed far away from us. First it was in Asia and than the spread started in Europe as well, but still we would have never thought it would become this big. Therefore we were still optimistic that we could cross the border from Costa Rica into Panama and later on into Colombia to continue our ride southward.
We had enjoyed our time in Costa Rica but slowly it became clear that we would be affected in one form or another. Suddenly we weren’t all that sure anymore that we could still enter Panama and that we would still make it to Colombia in time before they closed their borders. Colombia is quite big especially compared to the small Central American countries and so we thought it would be a good option to be there and cycle within the country until the land borders would open once again. We were quite happy when we were still able to enter Panama but they closed the border behind us a day later. Close to the border we were hosted by Maxine to have a rest for a day or two and to gain an overview of the current situation. Suddenly everything was happening at once and around the world borders were closing and shutdowns announced. From one moment to next we realized that we had to either cancel our trip now or prepare ourselves to be stuck in one place for the foreseeable future. Our host simply told us that her home was open to us as long as we needed a place to stay. Most airlines were closing down and in the end we had to decide quickly.
Right now we are already back in Germany. With a lot of effort we manage to book seats on one of the last planes out of the country and after 40 hours of chaotic travelling including two nights in different airports and one on an airplane we made it to Munich. Somehow it is fitting the rest of our journey.
We can’t say much about future plans right now. In Europe as well the borders are closed or difficult to cross and public life has been reduced to the bare minimum which limits our options considerably. Aside from that we still didn’t really have the time to sit down and think about what we could do. Should we wait and restart cycle touring once the situation gets better? Should we accept the abrupt conclusion of our journey and find a place to live and work? Both options are difficult to imagine right now.
There’s nothing else for us to do than looking back to our last few weeks in Costa Rica and to our journey.
Costa Rica was very exhausting at times. Most roads were narrow and often steep and there has always been a lot of traffic. It is an inconvenient combination of big American cars and mountain roads. Nevertheless it was gorgeous, too. The route we had chosen to cycle took us through the mountains up to above 3000m a.s.l. which meant that the contrast in climatic conditions was maximal. In the high mountains it was often cold but luckily dry whereas the coast was incredibly hot and humid.
In contrary to many areas in the last Central American countries we had cycled through Costa Rica’s nature is well preserved. There still is a lot of jungle and every now and then we encountered some interesting wildlife. We treated ourselves to a visit of La Fortuna which is a small touristic town northwest of the capital of San José. Many tours and attractions were way out of our budget and so we were content with a walk through a little wildlife forest trying to spot exotic birds. La Fortuna is famous for its hot springs and even though they come with an impressive price tag we treated ourselves to a visit to one of those as well and we fully enjoyed a wonderful evening – we can only recommend the Ecotermales.
Our journey took us to San José where Walker and his room mate hosted us for a few days. We rested a lot and were able to run some important errands in the capital. Thank you very much to the two of you – it was a funny and cozy time!
The last part of our tour through the country led us once again through the mountains and finally down to the coast and on to Panama and Maxine. Another huge Thank you to you!!
We have enjoyed the past two years tremendously. It was and is an immense privilege that we could travel the way we did, that we could visit all these beautiful places and that we were able to meet so many wonderful people. We hope that we could enrich the lives of those we encountered as much as they enriched ours. Thank you to all of you who met us, took time to talk with or hosted us, for all presents both immaterial or not.
Hopefully, see you!