Costa Rica Cycle Challenge for The Urology Foundation in November
Early on the morning of 16th November, 41 intrepid riders, including myself, will leave Gatwick bound for Costa Rica to cycle coast-to-coast across central America in order to raise much needed funds for The Urology Foundation (TUF).This will be the seventh charity fundraising cycle ride for that charity. Commencing in 2008 the ‘Tuffers’ have previously completed tough cycle challenges in Sicily, Malawi, Madagascar, Patagonia, South Africa, India and, most recently, Cambodia and Vietnam. These efforts have raised more than a million pounds in total, in support of research and training in urology in the British Isles. A selection of images from these trips has been included in the blog. However, here is our itinerary across mountainous and volcanic, but beautiful, Costa Rica:
Day 1: We will begin our coast-to-coast adventure with a short boat ride out into the Caribbean Ocean. Once arrived, we will commence with 20km of cycling that will take us upriver, through dense jungle, before boarding another boat. This will be followed by a short 5km ride that will take us off-road and across a suspension bridge, before crossing the river to the lunch stop. The ride after lunch will take the road from Guapiles to our hotel.
Day 2: We begin the ride on a paved road heading toward the Sarapiqui River, where we will most likely encounter several groups of monkeys and many exotic birds (Costa Rica has a greater variety of birds than anywhere else in the world). This region is known for lush tropical vegetation, and we spend the day cycling past fields cultivating corn, coffee, cocoa, cardamom and hearts of palm.
Day 3: On day three we will cycle through the San Carlos agricultural area, famous for its tropical plantations of citrus fruit, papaya, yucca and pineapples. Following a very challenging hilly section along dirt roads, the afternoon will level out as we bike along paved roads to the active Arenal Volcano at La Fortuna. Here there will be an opportunity to take an optional trip to the hot springs, several water baths naturally heated by the volcano.
Day 4: Day four should be the highlight of the trip as we bike the Northern shores of Lake Arenal. The terrain is tough, the hills very challenging, but the sweeping vistas and breathtaking scenery will be our reward!
Day 5: As we cycle over the continental divide passing two volcanoes, on day five we will be aware of the difference in climate and vegetation between the East and West side of Costa Rica. The hot humidity of the tropical lowlands with dense green vegetation turns to the dry heat of the higher West, with red earth and dryer forest or bush. It will be a another challenging day ending at a hotel with naturally heat pools from the volcano.
Day 6: We will start the day with a tough 20 km cycle to Liberia, a busy gateway town to the West Coast. After lunch we will ride until the end of the day when we must complete a steep hill climb before reaching the finish line at the golden beach of Playa Hermosa! Here there will be a celebration meal on the beach.
If any readers of this blog do feel inclined to support our very considerable efforts, donation is straightforward through this Just Giving site: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rogerkirbycostarica
We are hoping to raise altogether more than £100 000 on this challenge and we can positively confirm that all the funds raised will be most carefully and strategically used by TUF to improve the care of patients suffering from urological disorders in the UK. Fingers crossed all will go well on the ride – when the going gets tough, the Tuffers get going! We will keep you appraised of our progress as we ride, so do keep a close eye on this blog.