Tuesday, November 13, 2007

La Ruta - Ready or not, here I come

We slept with our door open again, as we have each night we've been in Jaco. The theory is that it will help us adjust to the heat. It's uncomfortably hot and humid, but its nice to not have a loud airconditioner moaning all night, plus our room stinks, so the fresh air is nice, even if it is like a steamroom. I woke up to a loud pounding noise and looked out the door and saw a little man with bare feet, no gloves and a machete, perched on top of a four story high palm tree in front of our room. We watched him climb (unassisted) and cut the rest of the trees along our side of the hotel while we listened to Jon tell us about how his 'short walk on the beach' the night before turned into a three hour adventure. Short story is that he saw a back alley and decided to explore (typical Jon).

He ran into some friends and they decided to check out the Jaco nightlife. They agreed that the key marker of a good bar is a large number of taxis out front, and found a club that fit the bill perfectly. Every guy in the club was enjoying the company of a provocatively dressed woman. Some even had more than one female friend. Either these guys had some serious game - or, the opposite. It explained the taxis out front - and helped make it an early night for Jon (who, again, had to break some hearts).

Gerry and I went for a light bike ride to Hermosa Beach. The weather is spectacular and not wet at all, in contrast to earlier reports. My fingers are crossed that it will stay that way. Gerry did the race two years ago and he gave me a piece of advice - just keep moving - I'll have to remember that tomorrow.

There is a constant flow of riders arriving at the hotel, including Tom, a friend of ours that did TransRockies and went to France with us last year. He brought the full weather forecast. Apparently we have been living in a bubble and Jaco is the only dry spot in the country. It's been raining constantly over the last few days everywhere east of Jaco and there is waist deep flooding near Limon. Like I'm not terrified enough!

All I want to do is finish each stage of the race. For now, I'm focused only on Day 1. Last year, only half the racers finished the first stage. I think I might be able to finish if everything goes perfectly, but it will be close. Every minute will count. Usually, I don't worry much about placing, as long as I'm not last. Here, I will be overjoyed if I am the last rider across the finish line on Day 1. This isn't a matter of setting the bar low - this is at the limit of my physical abilities and that's why I am here.

Breakfast is at 3am tomorrow, so that we can leave at the crack of dawn, so it will be an early night tonight.


Blogger Emma said...

This is a fascinating story, Tori. I can't wait for the next chapter. It's raining here too, but somehow I'm guessing it's a bit warmer where you are...

(And, because I know you'd do the same to me, or to Chris, at least: you went to France yesterday with Tom?! Wow. (oh, the perils of subject-noun agreement.))

November 16, 2007 at 5:57:00 AM MST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled for you that you made it through two stages so far--probably 3 but the results aren't posted yet! You rock!! Nothing like getting to two biggest races out of the way in your first season! Everything you do from here on will seem like a piece of cake! Hope all goes well for you and the others for the rest of the race. Looking forward to the stories when you get back. Have a blast!

November 16, 2007 at 11:01:00 PM MST  

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