One of the activities I was set on doing while in Costa Rica was bicycling. I looked up some possible routes that people had taken and was excited to explore the countryside by bike. I figured I could just find a place to rent bikes while in town. We talked to several shops, one didn't recommend their bikes for anything but the road and nothing of any significant distance. We found a shop on the main drag in Tamarindo that gave use rugged bikes for about $20 for 24 hours.
Before heading out on our path to Playa Avellana and Lola's on the beach, we stopped at Tamarindo Shuttle to make our reservations for white water rafting. While at the shop, the employee suggested that we take the more scenic path on some back trails to Playa Avellana. His comment as he was giving us directions was "You can't get lost!" This became our motto for Costa Rica.
As you may suspect, the path to Playa Avellana was not so easily navigated as we were led to believe. Once on the trail it became apparent that we were in the middle of no where, with no sign that we were making it any closer to our destination. We were in Costa Rica during the rainy season, while it hadn't rained during our stay, it had rained at some point. As we made our way further from the road, we soon hit mud. Not just a little mud, but the kind that cakes onto tires making it impossible to pedal. What started as a bike ride, turned into a bike pushing exercise.
At one point I was dragging the bike under barbed wire fence to avoid a 20 foot section of shoe-sucking mud. We passed a guy on horseback who just stared at us, I'm guessing by this point we had taken a wrong turn and were on 4-wheeler and horseback trails, not biking trails. It was too late to turn back, so we pushed on, quite literally. Every now and again I'd stop and grab something to push mud off of the tires, because they would lock up from the mud pack.
A fork in the road, what to do, continue to the right and into uncertainty or take the left and head towards the sounds or traffic? We chose to go left and soon popped out on a road. As we pedaled down the road, mud was flying up in my face, like large clumps with small rocks in it - not the soft hit you expect. Signs indicated we were still 7 miles from our destination and were already nearly out of water. Luckily, we came upon a bar a few miles down the road for a water refill, so timely!
With a huge sigh of relief, we found Lola's and made our way to the rest of our group, who had decided to drive to the beach. To our dismay, Lola's was closed. Never thought to check if Lola's would close during the slow, rainy season, but yep that's what they do! It was a great ride through the jungles of Costa Rica and makes for a fabulous story, but if I had to do it over again... Well I'd probably find a better route!