Saturday, April 26, 2014

Resting and healing in San Jose Costa Rica

I finished up all my medical visits at Cima Hospital. I caught up on all my medical needs since I had to be there anyway to find out about my bleeding problem. Turns out the bleeding was minor and not caused by any cancers or anything like that. My bike riding may have caused it by irritating my prostate and or my urethra causing it to bleed a bit. They gave me antibiotics in case of infection and told me to stay off my bike for a month and to also stay out of the sun and get some rest. That won't happen. I can not just sit around for a month. I also can not stay out of the sun and I most definitely can not stay off my bike for a month. I also went to the dermatologist and had my skin checked out. The dermatologist removed about 15 growths and things from my face and body. He calls it decorating a christmas tree because it leaves red balls all over your body. My face took the brunt of this work and it made my face swollen and with bright red welts all over it. It looks pretty ugly and would scare children if they saw me. I heal fast so I am not worried about it. I can just wear a Jason mask on my face for a week.

San Jose and Costa Rica have changed since my last visit. The one big change I noticed right away is how the size of the people has increased, especially around their waists and butts. When I first came to Costa Rica the people lived on beans and rice with eggs and chicken plus lots of fresh fruit. They almost all looked thinner and healthier on that diet. Now there are American fast food places like McDs, Wendy's, KFC and lots of other burger and fried chicken places all over town. The Ticos, as Costa Ricans call themselves, are lining up for all this unhealthy junk food and it shows as they are getting fatter and fatter quickly. I am sorry to see this change. Ticos were known for their long lives but this new diet will change that quickly as they start to die off of heart attacks and strokes and other obesity related health problems. Maybe the government here can do something about this problem before it is too entrenched if is not already too late.

I am spending my days reading cops and robbers books that I find or else I just go down to the square and sit in the shade and people watch. I wish I could find some better books to read. Today it is raining and it is predicted to rain through Monday. The water is needed so I am not complaining. There have been water rationing restrictions due to water shortages because of drought. I hope this rain helps with that. Let it rain now while I am sitting around instead of while I am out on the road riding my bike. I will try to catch up with my pics backlog but the wifi here is again very slow and even though I have lots of time I seem to lack the patience required to deal with the slow wifi without throwing my computer across the room or out the window.

Enjoy life and PURAVIDA

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ride Day 181 to Rivas Nicaragua

I have been remiss with my blogging lately. Between slow internet connections and taking time off to rest I haven't gotten much writing in. I will try to catch up here.

But first, I have one memory of Granada that is sticking in my mind. It was just near sunset and I was walking across the central square when all the noise and commotion suddenly became crystal clear to me. I could hear the thousands of grackles screaming as they fought for and found their favorite roosts for the night in the trees around the square, the horses were making horse noises and clip clapping along the roads with all the traffic noises, cars were honking their horns like the drivers here love to do, people were talking and laughing, walking sellers were calling out their specialties, ice cream carts were ringing their bells, shop owners were hawking their goods, children were trying to sell me gum and nuts and little carved bird shaped whistles, police were blowing their whistles while trying to direct the traffic which was mostly ignoring them, the cathedral was ringing their bells and a choir was loudly singing inside with organ music playing and I was trying to have a conversation with my friend. It was really very noisy when all this is going on at once and very loud. I had to explain to my friend why I suddenly started to laugh like a madman because of all the noise and commotion going on around us.

The ride from Granada to Rivas was only about 80 kilometers but it was a long slow grade over Mombacho Volcano followed by a slow downhill on the other side. In the 100 degree heat and 100% humidity I was leaving a small stream of sweat on the road behind me as I rode. When I went around the volcano and headed south as the road flattened out, there was a strong headwind blowing in my face for the three hours it took me to get from that point to Rivas. So the day was short distance wise but it was still a major workout. I did enjoy the ride despite its hard physical work. The views of the various volcanoes like Mombacho and Olmetepe made the work worthwhile. The people were all great also. I stopped a few times to buy water from small tiendas along the road and talked with them each time. Very friendly all of them and they were interested in my ride also.

When I arrived at Rivas I thought about riding the last 15 miles to the border with Costa Rica but my body told me it was time for a break. I ate a good lunch at a small restaurant and talked with them. They were disappointed with their business over the Semana Santa week that had just ended. Nicaragua has been shaking with hundreds of earthquakes and they caused people to not go on their annual vacations in the usual numbers. It hurt a lot of businesses pretty badly like this one was hurt. They pointed out their over ordered items stacked up that they would now have to try to sell in a slow market and they were not happy about it. I felt sorry for them. They tried and failed this time but they will make it next time.

I started to feel like I was getting heat stoke or something after my lunch so I immediately checked into a hotel and for a change I got air conditioning. I started to get dizzy and felt light headed in my room so I quickly laid down on the bed. I woke up later still feeling like what the hell, did I pass out or what. I was still not feeling well with weakness and felt dizzy. I drank some more water and went in to pee. I had a hard time starting to urinate then I was shocked to get a stream of blood instead of urine. It was not pretty. I pondered what to do about it since I was feeling so bad and then was bleeding on top of it. I decided to go see a doctor to get an opinion and found one real close to my hotel. The doctor had me pee in a cup and then told me I should go to the hospital because all the labs were closed at this time of day so the only place that could check me would be a hospital. Then he told me that most bleeding like this is caused by minor things and that it usually looks worse than it actually is.

I went back to my room and looked up my issue on the internet and it did not sound as urgent as it felt to me at first. The doctor had told me not to ride my bike anymore because the riding might have caused the problem. I ended up deciding to just take the bus to San Jose Costa Rica and going to Cima Hospital there since I was planning on getting some things done there anyway, this problem merely sped up my visit.

The bus ride ended up being almost nine hours instead of the scheduled five hours due to road construction in Costa Rica. I did make it to San Jose but it was too late to get to the hospital so I waited until the next morning. I checked into a cheap hostel in downtown San Jose and ate some food before going to bed. In the morning I went to Cima Hospotal and got injected, detected and all sorts of fun stuff as Arlo Guthrie says. No big deal they said, just take these antibiotics and stay off your bike for a month and do not go in the sun. That is not going over so well in my mind right now. I just can not not ride my bike and I am not able to stay out of all sun for a month either. I will be lucky to make it a week of further rest. We shall see but meanwhile my blog will suffer with no riding to report on, sorry about that. I will update here and there. I am having trouble with slow wifi lately so I am finding it very hard to load pics but here are a few

Friday, April 18, 2014

Just some pics from Granada Nicaragua

These are just some pics from Granada during Semana Santa or Holy Week which is the week before Easter. The donkey was meant to carry the statue of Jesus in a procession but like some stubborn ones tend to do, it refused to cooperate. I also love the way people double up or more on their bikes. I will be taking more pics of that in the future. It has been nice taking time off here. Granada and Nicaragua have changed dramatically in the last 10 years. It has gone from a scary war torn country to a legit tourist destination. It is still building up and could use some more infrastructure but it is well on its way to becoming the new Costa Rica which has priced themselves out of the running.