Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
Playa Doņa Ana to Home, Puntarenas. 03Mar13
Sorry about the delay, #1 goal after this trip was a motorcycle endorsement. I have made off like a bandit too many times and my bullsh*tting abilities are being stretched thin.
So as you will see in the maps below our route of return was redirected.
We depart at 1600 with big fat drops of rain sporadically falling and clouds hovering overhead, thicker to the East.
As we leave the park we head on the main costal route SSE towards Puerto Caldera. In Caldera we were supposed to exit the main drag and head NE to Esparza on a road less traveled, one we do not know. Mother Nature had another plan. All we could see to our left were heavy dark clouds. The hills off in the distance were also being faded out with that huge of grey which can only be rain.
Ana and I start discussing what to do. We are thinking the main highway will be jammed packed with all the weekend beach goers. We knew this because I was passing them in the Latin American “motorcycle” lane, or what the cops were soon to tell me is the shoulder . As we round a sweeping lefthander I saw them. No, problem, they didn’t see me, and I will tuck in behind this semi and squeak by without them knowing … Boy I was wrong. The Transit cop stopped the truck and his buddy made sure I didn’t escape out the other side. They had me in a gringo sandwich… F*ck! The "X" on the map is where they got me.
My first plan was to play tough guy . I hand him my residency card and my MN driver’s License. He asked me for my visa/passport. I tell him that residency card is a visa, a permanent one. He then explains that my MN license is only good for the first 90 days of a tourist visa in a passport. This guy is good, so I then hand him my Costa Rica B1 License. He tells me this is for cars only. I tell him I saw on the news once that with this I could ride a motorcycle. The copper tells me, although true, I am limited only to bikes of 125cc or smaller on secondary roads. Tough guy plan failed, this cop knows his shit. I was then instructed to dismount and follow him .
Second phase and plan B; befriend the enemy . As we walk back to his bike I make mention of the beautiful Glock 9 he was carrying. Asked if it was one of the hundreds that were stolen and recovered ealier in the past year. I also started inquiring about epic routes in the area and all the places I have been on my Moto, with that very same license. He was on to my game and quickly brought the conversation back to the topic of “Gringo passing on shoulder without a valid motorcycle endorsement.”
I then continued to push the “tough guy” routine, pointing out every infraction I could see passing by. "Theres one, and another, etc..." He was not amused and got upset. His tone changed. At this point I turned to begging because he was telling me I now was the winner of almost $500 in fines without mentioning the fees of getting my plates/bike back from impound.
Now, I tried to use logic and more begging. I know his ballpark salary, and asked what he would do with a fine like that. How long does it take you to save $500? I ask also if there were a smaller fine I could pay. I am happy to pay for what I have done wrong, but not an amount the average Tico would need to save months/years to accumulate. I also pointed out the fact all my registration is up to date and I do have a license, just not valid for some small technicality . Also, they had stopped and released two other bikers, free of charge, for the same passing infraction while dealing with me. At this point I could smell a bribe coming, but nothing materialized. He handed my documents back to me and said, “Dos cosas: no adelantar a la derecha y saque su licencia para moto.” Noted. And we were off, on the moto!
I’d like to tell you all there are pictures coming, but we hit the new-ish, #27 toll-way home. The heavy clouds were still to our left and everything ahead looked nice a clear. Also, we had almost gotten sent home on the bus and didn’t think much of getting wet. So, no left turn North into ADV, just a bomb run home on the Highway.
This is where the Spanish lesson from above will help. There was “demasiado viento”. On Sundays the entire highway becomes a one direction vein of traffic into San Jose. Once you hit the one way section, all rules of the road are gone. No lanes, no respect for other's space, nothing. So as Ana and I were trying to keep up, we were getting blown all over the road. Finally as a bus pulled alongside of us at 110km/hr a gust of wind nearly put us into his side . At that point I took it down a gear and hovered at 80km/hr with both of us tucked down as aerodynamically as possible.
At 1750 we pull into the La Garita area of Alajuela to buy some flowers.
Then ride into the sunset to arrive home at 1808.
Now today (08MAR13), as a result of this little altercation, I spent six hours in lines to be granted my A3 motorcycle endorsement. Good up to 2000cc. Now you need not worry if you stop by and I steal your bike!
Sorry about the lack of pics, but I don't think the copper would have posed with me.
Cheers everybody and hasta la proxima!
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 03-08-2013 at 07:13 PM