Costa Rica, finally

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by riderddonald, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Stromius

    Stromius Adventurer

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    Pura Vida! Costa Rica is great. Did zipline tours in La Fortuna last I was there in 08. $30 or so included all day horseback riding. Heading to Manuel Antonio Park? How about the coast (Tamarindo etc)?
    #41
  2. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    Woke up to a fine but steady rain this morning but since it should be a short day no big hurry. We did get loaded up fairly early in case we got a break in the weather.

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    It's starting to let up. We head for Tiliran and at first the roads were wet but not too bad.

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    The farther we went the worse they got and the rains came and went all the way.

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    Then they reallt got nasty.

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    On hills like this one coming up momentum is your friend. But watch for the work vehicles, trucks, grader, and roller. Wasn't fun meeting them on an uphill, close quarters.

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    Tammy took all the road shots. She was braver than me not holding on. During the worse parts I had her put away the camera.

    There was a few times we stopped for pictures, heres some shots.

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    In Tiliran we had trouble finding the route to La Fortuna but the firts guy I asked got us there. It had stopped raining and things were looking up. Found a place to stop for coffee and a smoothie.

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    The guy who waited on us had the book store in here and was fron Pennsylvania and had been here 4 years. Only been back to the states once.

    A shot of the lake.

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    While we were here it rained pretty hard and then let up. Just after we got on our way it started again and rained pretty much all the way to our hotel. A shot of the lane to our cottage. Cool place.

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    A couple shots of Arenal Volcano.

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    Don't think I'll get a better shot since it's been pissing down the rain for the last few hours. Don't even want to go outside to go to dinner. Room Service. Hoping for better weather tomorrow for the ride back to San Jose. If the weather sucks I don't think you'll get any pictures but I'll let you know how or ride was.
    #42
  3. anjin

    anjin painted side up

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    Read the whole thread, but couldn't find name of your rental outfit. Sounds like a great trip, was in CR last march (not by bike) and went to some of the same areas. Wonderful country and people. Love to do it again by bike. Ride safe
    #43
  4. junglemototours

    junglemototours trailplug

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    What's the name?
    #44
  5. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    Costa Rican Tours.
    #45
  6. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    Sorry I been off line for awhile. Long day yesterday and didn't get to resort until late. Anyway back to yesterday. Got on the road to San Ramon and San Jose in cloudy conditions and never really hit any rain just some mist but not as bad as the first day..

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    Some nicer homes in this area.

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    Here's some road pictures on the way to San Ramon. Tammy says it's not easy taking pictures while going 100 kph but I think she's done fine.

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    There were a lot of bridges today and the road was extremely windy with no where to pass. Got stuck behind a bus for a long time.

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    Got to San Ramon and as usual there are signs when you get in town saying which route you want but as you get in the middle of town there aren't any. Stopped at a gas station and found I was about two blocks from my road and headed in the right direction. Great thing down here is everyone wants to help you.

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    On the Pan American again.

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    Again traffic wasn't to bad coming into San Jose but where there was construction there were no signs so you have to be ready to change lanes quick. Found our exit with no problem and dropped Tammy at hotel while I returned bike. Had a couple hours to kill waiting for shuttle bus so we had lunch and hung around. Finally on road to Playa Conchal and a 5 hour trip. Enjoyed the bike a hell of a lot better than the shuttle.

    Anyway I guess we'll be lazy for a few days and maybe rent some bikes, bicycles that is. I'll check in every once in awhile in case of questions.

    Pura Vida
    #46
  7. junglemototours

    junglemototours trailplug

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    The name of the cottages? They look nice, assume the inside was nice too?
    #47
  8. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    Correction on the tour company name, it is Costa Rican Trails not Tours and David was my contact. They have a form to fill out on line and they will send you an email with an itenerary then you can make changes from there. I rented the 800GS just because we were 2 up. If I would have been solo I may have rented a smaller 200 - 250 cc bike or maybe a 650GS. It depends on what kind of riding you want to do and how many kilometers a day. I spent a couple months reading Ride Reports to get ideas of where I might like to go. If I came back alone I would probibly try to hit 2 of the areas I did this time and maybe one other in the southern part and do more back roads.

    The roads on the southern part of the Nicoya Pennisila were great and there were alot I didn't get to ride. Up around Monteverde looks like there are some good back roads but a good chance of rain there anytime, it is the Cloud Forest. Maybe the OSO Pennisla also just to see the southern part of the country.

    Maybe we need to start a CR Roads database from people who have traveled there and maybe a few of our local Tico friends on the forum. Also I ordered a map from CRMapas.com which was great and showed all the roads I was on, I think. When I just lgged on tho I didn't see where to get the map I have, they had maps of individual ares which may be helpful also. I'll check my map in the room when I get back down there and if it's different I'll let you know. Also when I get home I'll mark the route I took and post it.

    Heading to Tamarindo today with another couple to check it out.

    Pura Vida
    #48
  9. Jean in Ohio

    Jean in Ohio n00b

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    WOW....your trip looks amazing. Love the pixs. I would love to be with you enjoying the ride and the FOOD!! Have a wonderful adventure and don't forget about those special souvenirs for your thoughtful sister who drove you to the airport at 4:00AM.
    #49
  10. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    :photog

    Welcome, 'Sis'. (Just a guess.)

    :lol3
    #50
  11. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    #51
  12. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    Love to bring you back some souvenirs but limited space in luggage religated to Payton and Cash. Maybe we can squeeze something in for you.
    #52
  13. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    Our accomidations while on the bike were, Manaul Antonio - Villa Lirio. Very nice place on the road from Quepos to Manual Antonio. Not much to see around it and we didn't actually make it to Manual Antonio. Santa Teresa - Hotel Esencia. Very nice with cottages and a building with 8 rooms, one of which where we were, no resteraunt at this one but a great Soda close and a bakery not far away.. Monteverde - Montana Monteverde. Nice hotel with cattages availible but we stayed in the hotel part. Only place without a pool but since it was cooler we really didn't miss it. Arenal - Arenal Springs. Great place and best grounds and view. Two rooms to each cottage all with view of Arenal Volcano.

    Before I said we were in about the middle price range of accomidations but may hav been middle or little higher, but nothing like resort we're in now. Glad I'm not footing this bill, All inclusive and over the top ameneties. Even have Nissan trucks with beds like a yachts deck all over the place just to haul a bunch of lazy Americans around.
    #53
  14. DoubleWoffroaD

    DoubleWoffroaD n00b

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    Don't forget about their dad!! :evil
    And enjoy the rest of your trip!! :1drink
    #54
  15. DRfonz

    DRfonz n00b

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    I tell you, this family just wants, wants, wants. I just hope you had a good time. That's the most important thing (I'll take a t-shirt, or just something small, no need to go crazy). :rofl

    The pictures look pretty amazing. Little different then the riding out here so I'll let the "best views I've ever seen" slide. Hope you guys are enjoying the rest of the trip and getting a little relaxation in.
    #55
  16. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    Have to admit the views out there are pretty spectacular too. Just different. Have fun in Baja. By the way we're already back in the states so you're to late.
    #56
  17. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    Back to reality. Getting caught up at work right now. Hope to do a wrap up on the report soon.
    #57
  18. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    Sorry I’ve been off so long. Getting caught up at work and I’ve been on call since I got back. Anyway a quick wrap up of the trip and I’ll post a few extra pix later (I’m in my office now and don’t 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 don’t 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 it’s bad when a bike can’t 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 don’t 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 you’re traveling on a bike in 90 plus temps don’t 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 I’ve covered most of it but any questions just ask. I also have some nice shots and stories from when we were at the resort. I’ll post them later
    Pura Vida
    #58
  19. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    A few more pix.

    This is the look of "nervous anticipation"

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    This was definately out of her comfort zone but she adapted well. Couldn't ask for a better pillion.

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    This is pulling out of Puntarenas.

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    This is my favorite iquana picture. Looks like the little ones got a joint hangin outta his mouth.

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    Howler monkey.

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    This was at Palo Verde NP. This river flows into the Golfo de Nicoya. Took a boat ride one day when we were at the resort. Lots of cool critters along the river.

    Short story from when we were at the resort. Wanted to take another couple to a Soda for lunch one day so we headed down the beach towards a little town. When we got near some shacks an older guy was sitting by a tree with an orange vest with yellow stripes on it. Didn't look real official but I figured he could point us to a soda. When I asked "soda" he didn't understand and seeing how it's pronounced the same in spanish I thought it was strange. So I start imitating putting something in my mouth to relay we wanted food. He then proceeded to shake his head yes and put his thumb under his nose and snort. I said no no no while shaking my head no. I then repeated the eating motion to which he responded with a smoking motion. Again I said no no no and shook my head no even more. We were walking this whole time and when I saw a couple tables by the beach with people eating I pointed at them and rubbed my belly. He shook his head yes and we proceeded but I still didn't know if he was taking us to a soda or his local supplier. I was relieved when he pointed to a soda and I thanked him and gave him a tip. He probibly wished I wanted the other because he probibly would get a cut of the deal.

    So just FYI on a beach in Playa Conchal there's a little guy waiting to hook you up with whatever you need. "Pura Vida" indeed.
    #59