Monday, March 9, 2009

300 mile detour

Lately, we have been griping about the serious amounts of rain soaking us during what is supposed to be the dry season in Costa Rica. We were lucky that we managed to visit Tortuguero the two days when the rain was intermittent, and downright sunny the morning of our jungle canoe trip. After Tortuguero, our next stop was the small beach community of Cahuita. While it was a very nice Caribbean village on a crescent shaped white-sand beach, we didn't see much through the sheets of rain that descendedfor two straight days. Hoping for better weather in Bocas del Toro, Panama, we headed for the Costa Rican-Panamanian border. The border was nearby, and then it would be a scant 30 miles to the Caribbean paradise that awaited in Bocas.

Desired Route to the Border

Driving to the border, we passed flooded fields, rushing rivers that overflowed their banks, and houses surrounded by ponds of muddy brown water. We wondered why people were flashing their lights at us as we drove down the road, and quickly realized they were trying to warn us that the border road had been washed out. Not two hours before we arrived, according to the crowds gathered at the gaping hole in the road, the waters overtook the road and washed it away.

We scrambled to look at our maps to figure out our detour. With sinking hearts we realized that we had to drive all the way back to San Jose and across to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica to get to the other border, takings us 300 miles out of our way. Rain, fog, wrong turns and two mountain crossings slowed down our drive, and an exhausting 10 hours later we collapsed into a cheap hotel in the small city of San Isidro. We will forge on tomorrow for the small surfing community of Pavones, Costa Rica on the sunny Pacific coast to rest for a couple of days before continuing into Panama.

Our 300 mile detour


  1. Great blog. Really looking forward to seeing how you get across the Darien.... you're a nutcase if you attempt it, either way, good luck!

    Chris - you'll find some tips for your travels there I hope....

  2. Thanks for the information. And we aren't planning on crossing the Darien on foot - agreed, that is crazy. We're in Colombia now, having crossed by sea - you can see how on later blog posts:



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