Sorry Iíve been off so long. Getting caught up at work and Iíve been on call since I got back. Anyway a quick wrap up of the trip and Iíll post a few extra pix later (Iím in my office now and donít have the pix here).
Travel arrangements while on the bike were by Costa Rican Trails and my contact was David. For the most part everything was done very well. There was a slight problem with the second nights hotel location. In the information I received before we left it said our hotel for the first night on the road was in Quepos near Manual Antonio. When we got to Quepos I checked the itinerary I received when we got into San Jose and saw that the hotel was listed as being in Dominical. We back tracked 42 kilometers to Dominical to find out it was in Manual Antonio/Quepos. So back up 42 kilometers to Manual Antonio and this is one of the few places we had trouble with the lack of signs. We did find the hotel before dark with no problem once we found the road to Manual Antonio. Two things here, one I should have checked the itinerary better when we first arrived and they could have given us some directions to each hotel. There was a map to the one in Arenal. All of our hotels were excellent if not a little more than what we needed. Overall I was happy with their service. Next time I would probably find my own accommodations as we go.
The bike was from the BMW dealer in San Jose arranged by Costa Rican Trails. I was a little surprised that they just turn the bike over to you without any idea if you can ride it. He did ask me if I had any questions about the bike before we left though. It was the first time I had ever ridden a BMW of any kind. At first the front end felt a lot heavier than my V Stroms at slow speed but I got used to it pretty quick. The controls felt very awkward and I had to actually let go of the grips to reach some switches. Maybe I could have gotten used to them if I had more time but I donít think I would ever like the way they are. Also I was surprised it did not have self canceling turn signals. The throttle was very touchy especially in second gear. A G2 Throttle Tamer cured that on my Strom. The clutch had a very strong pull which wore on your left hand in stop and go traffic. Ergonomics and handling were great and I loved the engine.
Travel was made a lot easier with the map from MapCR.com . Very accurate and well made. It took a lot of abuse and held up well. All the roads we traveled were on the map. The roads range from good blacktop to rough as a cob dirt roads. You know itís bad when a bike canít even find a line through pot holes. The best roads we found were the single lane dirt roads and for the most part they were in good shape. The wider gravel roads all were very rough and could loosen a few fillings in your teeth. The road signs were actually better than I had expected after reading so many ride reports to the contrary. Even in the middle of nowhere we seemed to always see signs at the intersections. They may not have your destination on it but with the map you can usually figure it out. By the way I was going to take my garmin with me and I even purchased and down loaded gps maps from Costa Rica. I have to say I am so glad I left it at home. It was a hell of a lot better without worrying about it all the time. My advise, buy the map.
FOOD - Eat at Sodas, period. Best food and prices and your eating like a Tico. Although we did eat in some restaurants and at some of our hotels all the food was good and fair priced.
Pack as light as possible. And we did take all our riding gear, mesh pants and jackets, riding boots, helmets, and gloves. I got hurt in the DR a few years ago and I donít want to go through that again (not on a bike). Even in the hottest of riding we were never too hot with the gear on. Also a quick note that when youíre traveling on a bike in 90 plus temps donít bring stick deodorant.. Found that out the hard way.
Money can usually be US or Colons but I preferred Colons. Go to banks for the best exchange rates. The exchange when we were there was roughly 490 colons to the dollar which makes it easy to figure your cost 1mil is $2.00, 10 mil is $20.00.
Think Iíve covered most of it but any questions just ask. I also have some nice shots and stories from when we were at the resort. Iíll post them later
I'd rather be knee deep in a creek pulling a rock out from underneath your bike. : My wife