Costa Rica Solo - Earthquakes, Beaches, Monkeys and Crocodiles

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by poolman, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    did you have the GPS plot your whole ride and keep tracks? or did you just plot it on google for lurkers to see a route when you got back?

    looking at some of the places you have been i think i will spend more time there on the way south
    #41
  2. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Hi Paul,

    I've been following your ride report and you are certainly racking up the miles! Good question about the GPS. I downloaded a free Costa Rica map set for my Nuvi, but it was not very detailed and did not include any POIs. I basically navigated using the waterproof map from Amazon and referred to the GPS to make sure I was headed in the right general direction.

    The route maps I have been posting are from Google and don't include a lot of the secondary tracks I followed. Normally I post my Spot tracks, but for some reason my Spot didn't communicate well in Costa Rica and only logged a few locations on most days.

    I highly recommend traveling through the Nicoya peninsula on your way south. The people are friendly, the beaches are great, and the riding is spectacular.

    Ride Safe,
    #42
  3. busdriver803

    busdriver803 Adventurer

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    Great report - Costa Rica is on my short list of places that I need to spend some time. This just confirms it :clap Thanks for taking the time to share.
    #43
  4. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    can you send me a PM with a few must NOT miss locations, on the road again tomorrow but at least i know i will have it on file for reference, as you seem to have found some great places off the beaten track...only send me the budget places big resort areas are not for me
    #44
  5. Mongle

    Mongle Knuckle dragger

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    Great Report! The pics are wonderful!

    I have been to CR twice- both times watching people ride around on bikes thinking "I should ditch the wife and rent a bike". Wanting to stay married I haven't.

    I was just in CR the first week of Sept. when they had the 7.6 earthquake. It was a shaker for sure. But, I know what you were talking about with the volcanos. That was the first thing I thought when I jumped up and ran out of the building- Oh shit- a mountain just blew up! :lol3
    #45
  6. YAHBO

    YAHBO Grip and rip since 1983

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    Great report, poolman. I just finished the TAT and was browsing Ride Reports for ideas for my next ride and saw yours. Taking the time to shoot the terrain, the food, the creatures and people is what makes a good report. CR looks like a place that has it all.

    Thanks.

    YAHBO
    #46
  7. farrell caesar

    farrell caesar Seezer

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    Thanks for the report. My wife and I stayed there 5 yrs ago in beach house near Flamingo. House sat 7 cats for 18 days. Liz Taylor had a house in Flamingo along with that long bearded guy from Asleep at the Wheel band. We stayed at the Arenal hotel across the road one night. We had to rent a car after getting tired of the beach. LOts of under tow where we stayed. We did not see the monkeys so close like you did. Bark like dogs. We flew into Liberia...airport built by us for the Iran-Contra war. We took the monkey trail several times...a short cut east of Liberia down to near Flamingo. Rough road in a car. Oh yeah..we stayed in Potreo bay area. I recognized the bridge donated by China. It brings back memories to see your pics. Thanks again :clap
    #47
  8. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    bushdriver803,

    One of the best aspects of posting a ride report is the opportunity to sort through the pictures and fondly remember the trip. I hope you do get the chance to spend some quality time in Costa Rica!

    Thanks,
    #48
  9. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Paul,

    I'm currently traveling but will send you some suggestions when I return.

    Good luck with your trip!
    #49
  10. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    YAHBO,

    Congratulations on completing the TAT! I look forward to reading your thread.



    farrell ceasar,

    Eighteen days in Flamingo sounds awesome, even with seven cats to care for. Costa Rica is certainly a popular real estate investment choice for wealthy Americans and Europeans. I passed Mel Gibson's estate wile riding on the beach north of Samara.

    Interesting point that the new bridge is a gift from China. China seems to be investing heavily in conspicuous infrastructure improvement projects throughout Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

    While riding through a remote tribal area of Peru last year I encountered the bridge below, complete with a plaque indicating it is a "gift" from China. Oddly, to reach the bridge from either direction requires traveling hundreds of kilometers on a one lane dirt track.

    [​IMG]

    Best to All,
    #50
  11. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Another gorgeous Costa Rican morning dawned, and I made my way to a gluttonous breakfast of fresh fruit, bacon, and too many trips to the omelet bar. I set about the familiar morning routine of swimming in the warm Pacific, packing my Giant Loop bag, re-inflating the rear tire, and gearing up for the ride. Once on the bike I turned the key, pressed start, and heard click, click, click. Crap!

    The battery connections were clean and tight, but I noticed the positive cable was loose and corroded inside the terminal lug crimp connector. The cable easily pulled out, so I cleaned it with my knife, scraped the inside of the terminal down to clean metal, and re-crimped the connector. I tried to start the bike again and click, click, click. The headlight was also quite dim. I hoped the battery was serviceable but just couldn't charge sufficiently through the corroded connection.

    The parking lot was level, and I managed to bump start the bike, reload my gear, and hit the road.

    My route for the morning would take me to Paquera, where I would catch the ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya:

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    Easter weekend in Costa Rica:
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    The ferry schedule I received from the hotel was outdated, so I arrived at the dock with two hours to spare and did some sight-seeing:

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    I was to cross on the Tambor III. Hopefully this is not the Tambor I and II sunken in the harbor:
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    The ticket booth was located in a soda by the dock and opened an hour before departure. The fare for a moto with rider was $6.80, and upon payment a voucher was provided. Only with this voucher can the moto be placed in the loading queue.

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    The temperature was already 105 F at 11:00 AM, and the animals were feeling the heat:

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    This dog was giving me his toughest "don't even think about it" look:
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    Is it just me, or has the dog mastered Metaljockey's "keeping the crocs at bay" look?
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    (Photo credit Metaljockey, from http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=517112&highlight=metaljockey


    It was finally time to board the ferry, and I was relieved my overloaded bike was taking a charge and started without having to be bumped:

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    The derelict vessels from a different perspective:

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    I stocked up on water and enjoyed a calm crossing of the Gulf of Nicoya:
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    Approaching Puntarenas (others have sufficiently exploited this town's name, so it is not necessary for me to do so):
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    I disembarked and enjoyed some street food in the port town:
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    After lunch I geared up for the final leg of my journey. My route for the afternoon:
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    I am curious about what is on top of this car:
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    Someone finally marked one of the hundreds of missing man hole covers:
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    I rode down the coast through Jaco (a little too touristic for my taste) and turned east when I reached Pueblo Nuevo, and finally made my way back into San Jose:

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    Back at Wild Rider Thorsten thanked me for my business and presented me with a gift:
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    I spent the final night of the trip in downtown San Jose walking the city and taking in the sights. Riding solo was somehow more fulfilling than I expected, thoroughly surpassing my expectations. I am certain to remember the friendly people and amazing scenery for years to come.

    So, where should I explore next year?


    Thanks for riding along...
    #51
  12. booger1

    booger1 Been here awhile

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    Well done, great pics.
    Thorston is a class act guy and the Tico's, well there's really no way to describe there hospitality. I've thought often about going back to explore some of the other area's, but for now I have read your RR to keep my gut at bay.
    #52
  13. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    BG1,

    Im glad you enjoyed the pictures, and I agree Thorsten (proprietor of Wild Rider) is a great guy. By all means I should have been furious with him; he didn't have the bike I reserved, a significant portion of my trip was spent repairing his old high-mileage DRZ, and I rode over 2,000 kilometers with no rear brake! But this is Latin America; stuff happens, and we all made the best of the situation with the resources at hand. I will definitely consider Wild Rider next time I rent in Costa Rica.

    All the Best,
    #53
  14. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

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    Thanks again for sharing this, looks like a great place to ride! Keep us updated on next year, maybe Asia???
    #54
  15. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Thanks Matt,

    Asia next year sounds like a great idea! But then there is Africa, India, and even the TAT to consider as well...

    All the Best,
    #55
  16. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap

    Not sure how I missed this fine CR report. Well done!

    Love this: "I made the hike in Sidi motorcycle boots, carefully avoiding the fashion police"

    :lol3

    Great photos.:thumb Thanks for taking the time to post your adventure.
    #56
  17. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Hi EC,

    Thank you for the kind remarks. I had high expectations for Costa Rica after enjoying your excellent ride report, and CR didn't disappoint!!!

    Cheers,
    #57
  18. riderddonald

    riderddonald Lost rider

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    poolman, I finally got caught up enough to read your ride report at lunch today. Wish I was still there. Sounds like you enjoyed the roads on the Nicoya Peninsila as much as we did. I could have spent a couple extra days exploring that area. Also looks like there could be some nice roads around Monteverde if you could catch the weather right. Kind of iffy in the cloud forest. Enjoyed your RR.
    #58
  19. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

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    Pat, I almost feel like I am beginning to chase you! My wife purchased tickets to Honduras for me, but due to the lack of reliable motorcycle rental, and pretty heavy violent crime, I've decided to transfer them elsewhere. I almost choose Costa Rica, but have decided to go to NYC with her for a week instead.

    What's on the plate for next year??? Hope it's good, I have a feeling I may there the year after you! haha
    #59
  20. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    riderdonald,

    I enjoyed your ride report, great job keeping the bike upright while riding two-up on an F800GS through the Costa Rican countryside! I hope you two enjoyed your resort time and the end of the trip.

    When I stopped in Monte Verde I was told it would probably not be possible to complete the remainder of the circumnavigation around Lake Arenal due to deep water crossings. I tried anyway, and the deepest river crossing was only about 18" deep. The sandy river crossings on the Nicoya Penninsula were far more challenging.

    It is amazing to be able to ride through cloud forest, desert, and beach all in one day; Costa Rica has it all.

    Thanks,
    #60