Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
Northern Caribe: Sardinas 26-28sep09
Day I: Alajauela to Sardinas
I had just met my future wife and she was taking me around the country introducing me to her family, 10 siblings. This trip was to meet brother-in-law Lango and his family and a few others.
They live in the Northern Caribbean region, Banana and Pineapple country.
Our original destination is Esperanza, but by the end of the day, we are in Sardinas (near the “X”).
Departure from Alajuela is around 0830.
We are taking the main highway 32. Also called the Zurqui or the route through Braulio Carillo National Park. It generally takes about two to two and a half hours to reach Esperanza, but of course, I got lost and turned around in San Jose.
If you find yourself looking for Route 32, lost in San Jose, and come to a “T” faced with this:
You take a left and soon you will be here; the longest (only) tunnel in Costa Rica.
We make it to Lango’s house and the getting to know everyone proceeds. During this process my girlfriend is telling them how much I like ADV. A plan is born. Phone calls are made and we are off to the middle of nowhere.
I have no off-road experience at all. Maybe the few, well maintained, gravel kms it took to get to Lango’s house. What the hell? I will go on the bike and another brother-in-law, Jose, wants to ride his too.
The host (non family) packs his tuck with people and we are off to his farm. I end up riding two up with another of my brothers (forgetting the name), and off we go. The roads slowly turn to this:
The route was dry and hard packed with the exception of a few rather large mud bogs. The bike was dropped a handful of times and around 1630 we arrive to our destino final.
Rancho Lujoso in Sardinas, Limon.
With some daylight left we explore a bit. Climb to the top of the nearest hill for a better view.
And watch the sunset over the jungle canopy.
Time for dinner, go get the horses!
If you want something other than white rice and beans you must go find it.
No lights this far out, so candle light fish fry is the standard. Shortly after
Day II. Exploring. Sardias to Esperanza.
Wake up call 0530
Didn’t get much sleep. Note to self: bring the mosquito net next time . By the time my body became numb to mosquito bites, the jungle came alive. Being only a few kms from Tortuguerro National Park, sleep was impossible once the sun began lighting up the morning sky. Toucans, parrots and God only knows how many other species of bird singing to welcome a new day. Monkeys, beetles and any number of critters all beginning their daily routine with being as loud as possible. It was a peaceful loud, but not one which encourages sleep.
Within an hour the daily human routine begins. 0615 gathering milk…(Meet Brother Jose)
and water to make coffee.
0730 bellies full, it is time for more exploration.
One group geared up and trekked into the jungle. Later found out they got quite lost. I chose to go with the women and children fishing.
We made it back from fishing around 1300, cleaned the morning’s catch and fried up some lunch. Then we waited, and waited and waited for the jungle crew to arrive. 1500 came and went and still nothing. Shortly before 1600 they arrive with great tales of wading through marsh and muck up to their chests, not having a clue where they were and starving since they didn’t think to pack any snacks.
Now since arriving yesterday, there has been on and off rain. Nothing near a downpour but regulary raining, and almost always a drizzle. This changed the consistency of the roads and my bald Dunlap wasn’t going to cut the mustard this evening.
Local, improvised bikes mods: Rope Knobby
Remember I have no dirt experience to speak of? Remember I had just met this girl? Is she trying to kill me? Are my future in-laws trying to kill me? Are they hiding some deep down hatred for white people I am not recognizing? Ropes? Really? F-it, let’s go.
Ana said “smile!” She captured another emotion; fear.
1700 and we are off.
Now earlier I promised bent forks, rims and a cracked crank case. The little Yami riding with me had recently been involved in a near head-on, deflection, off the bridge into the riverbed type accident. The passenger was nearly killed and my brother-in-law Jose somehow “walked” away with a few days in the hospital, a concussion and some deep bruises. The bike was being held together by green rope, zip ties, twine and bailing wire.
-Forks: one wouldn’t compress.
-Front rim: Not round and very not straight. So dented and bent it couldn’t hold the bead, thus the need for twine. We stopped a few times to stuff the half flat tube back in the tire and wrap more twine around the rim and tire to hold everything in place.
-The engine: not sure how this thing was running. There was a large gaping hole in the clutch cover and a very large, horizontal crack along the bottom of the entire engine. A white, foamy/jelly like substance spewed everywhere and it leaked gas to boot!
Not too long after departure my “chains” came loose and my pit crew got to work.
Now I feel better.
Me slipping and sliding all over the place while the bike that shouldn’t be running has no problem.
Needed a bit of help getting up this hill and likely dropped the bike too.
Almost made it to the top.
Finally the little guy has problems too. Some dip sh*t dropped his bike and a got in his way.
What the hell, one more time before dark and before we can't get any more pictures. Time: 1730.
There was about half hour more of this muck to ride in, in the dark. Then another hour of gravel and puddles.
1905 – Back at Lango’s
The dirty DR the following day for the ride back over the mountain to civilization. At least the front fender is clean.
This concludes the first of many trips to Lango’s neighborhood.
Thanks to the 3,5xx readers and all to come!
Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR
, The Bike Teardown
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"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." -Abraham Lincoln
GRinCR screwed with this post 02-16-2013 at 10:20 PM