And just like that, all your well-laid plans get deflated like an untied balloon.
Because Costa Rica does not allow border crossing for rental cars (in spite of what Hertz told me) there is virtually no way for me to get from Nicaragua to Panama. Believe me - I checked (and am surprised I am not in some banana republic prison right now.) I even thought about tempting the fates and hoping to maybe sneak through one border patrol but the chances of making it through four of them with no problem (there and back) was virtually nil.
So, I just had possibly the most expensive 25k in history, doing the warm-up run at the Fuego Y Agua. An enjoyable adventure nonetheless, but obviously not why I came to Central America. Nor why I booked hotels in advance in multiple locations in multiple countries and sundry other things which went into this event. Alas.
I am a tad disappointed at this juncture so I will refrain from saying more (well-meaning friends with statements of "everything happens for a reason" are not helping right now!) When I get back to the States I will dissect this and see what I can do in the future to make sure this goes off without a hitch.
The run is not dead. It has just been postponed. I waited seven years from the time the idea popped into my head until I put it into action - I can wait a little longer.