I’ve said before that a bad day on the road is better than the best day in the office. Sometimes though, it does not feel like it. The riding has not been enjoyable since entering Costa Rica due to several factors.
First, the traffic is heavy, and unrelenting. Throughout Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, car ownership has been low so we shared the road with predominantly motorcycles, trucks and buses. The drivers were for the most part courteous and gave us a wide berth. In Costa Rica, it seems as if there is a constant stream of personal cars, gringo filled tourist buses, second class buses and truck traffic. The tourist buses are the worst vehicles, because the large box on wheels displaces a vast amount of air creating a gust followed by a vacuum, sending the bikes swerving. Additionally, unlike trucks, they will not move over, even if the oncoming lane is clear.
Second, Costa Rica’s roadway shoulders are narrow to non-existent. Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador had beautifully paved roads with wide (almost a full lane) shoulders, making bicycling a lot less stressful.
Third, the temperature and the humidity have been high combined with an unrelenting headwind. Cool coconut drinks and swims in rivers (when they are not dry beds) have provided welcome, if unpredictable relief.
Today, we had a change in fortune as the road conditions changed. Usually, road construction adds to the burden of riding, however we’ve benefited from an intermittent private highway due to a road reconstruction project.
Recently, the insects seem to be gaining the upper hand.
The night before I found a tick crawling on me. After setting up camp late in the afternoon, I found two embedded in me, one on my stomach and the other on my arm.
Nothing that a tweezer, a firm grip on the pest head and a gentle yank could not fix. The most satisfying part of the delousing process is holding a sham witch trial for the beastie and burning the pest, waiting for the audible pop.
At least I faired better than the beetle that was on the losing end of the encounter with a scorpion outside of our tent. Watching the whole hunt unfold was like being in an episode of Wild Kingdom or on an Animal Planet Show and it had me pondering … who would win in a match of scorpion vs. tarantula? Leave it to the Japanese, bored with tentacle erotica, to come up with the answer: Gladiator Bugs.