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Monday, October 31, 2005
The Diary: Wednesday 28 September to Tuesday 4 October 2005

Wednesday - 205 miles today to La Fortuna. Lots of coffee and tobacco plantations along the road. Lots more rain today and the road around Lago Arenal was very rutted and bumpy.

Thursday - 145 miles to Sarapiqui. A very bad day as it was torrential rain the whole way and we had to negotiate steep twisting mountain roads. Past the stunning la Paz waterfall. Our stop over was at a jungle lodge in the rainforest. Julia had a fall today on one of the sharp bends and broke her arm.

Friday - day at leisure in the rain forest. Lots of birds, lizards, poison frogs. Stayed in wooden cabins on stilts. It is very humid and in the night, even more rain.

Saturday - 125 miles to Cahuita to get us close to panama border. The hotel was right on the Caribbean beach. Spent the afternoon swimming in the pool. Very Caribbean here: Bob Marley blaring out from everywhere!

Sunday - another border crossing. Central American countries are so small! Today was the infamous banana bridge and probably the most terrifying thing we have ever done. The bridge was high above the water and it was two planks of wood wide on each side of the railway track. You could not put your feet down and the planks are spaced apart so if you get it wrong your front tyre will get stuck. Not to mention missing planks, missing barriers. A real nightmare, but with teamwork and Kevins expert advice, we all made it across in one piece.

Monday - A surprise for all today. Another banana bridge and even worse than yesterdays. A train was coming when bikes were halfway across. Took us more than two hours to get everyone across and some were shaking at the experience. Even worse, the humidity and heat were intense. But the road after to Santiago was spectacular.

Tuesday - 200 miles into Panama City. All along the pan-am. Crossed over the famous bridge of the Americas and rolled into the city along the main bay. Team photo: we have made the half way point!