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rainy days with sarah and tom

When I finally limp into Alajuela, Sarah and Tom still aren’t there. I check into a hostel and make the trip by bus back to Liberia to pick up my mail. Liberia happens to be home to some very fine bike shops and so my first purchase with the long awaited bankcard is a new derailleur and a few other bits and pieces for my trusty steed.

Once Sarah and Tom return to Alajuela and all our bikes are roadworthy again we set off with the aim of getting out of Costa Rica as quickly as we can. I have tried to like Costa Rica but it’s a small country – as I’m sure I have already mentioned – and much of it is in the hands of foreign property developers and other dubious expats who see the place in terms of real estate opportunities whose value is measured only in dollars. We are all looking forward to new horizons.

The available routes out of Costa Rica are not overly inspiring. First we need to skirt around the urban conglomeration that is Alajuela and San Jose which leads us to a series of camp sites ranging from the dubious to the amusing and inspired.

Rainy days and nights. Our first camp site out of Alajuela is on the basketball court behind a police station in a dubious satellite settlement of San Jose. The proximity of the police, who wouldn't let us camp in front of the station, does not protect us from a midnight visit from a couple of guys who steal Tom's raincoat and Sarah's helmet, as well as a hat of Sarah's that Tom thinks makes her look like a Japanese golfer and, consequently, is not really missed.

Rainy disturbed nights still lead to a cheery breakfast of porridge and coffee. Yum.

I'm still learning to be an optimist and a daily reminder doesn't hurt.

Following the incident behind the police station the following night we opt for the protection of the guardian frog outside a restaurant and garden centre. Tom and Sarah camp in the shelter next to an artificial pond while...

...I bed down in the nursery.

In the distance another volcano puffs away.

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