Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by GRinCR, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Day two began very early. As I reported it was discovered that our tiny little tent was just way too small. After hours of tossing and turning I finally retired myself to the hammock. It was around 0300 or so. I passed in and out of consciousness as the stars slowly disappeared and the night made its transition to day.
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    It was so peaceful here, swinging almost in sync with the sound of the ocean. There was a cool sea breeze which made it necessary to nestle up inside a sweatshirt. Damn December winds. The monkeys would howl ever once in a while and everything was tranquil…
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    That Peaceful tranquility was shattered in an instant. I had to do some ninja shit to get out of the hammock and out of the way of that “leaf” :bmwrider. A tripping and diving, tuck and roll maneuver which landed me on my feet down on the beach.
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    All the commotion had rustled Anita from the tent. I threw down my best crouching tiger and we were now awake. No coming down from that buzz.
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    I jumped in the ocean and like always the Pacific here is the perfect temperature.
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    After my session with Mother Ocean I split a few coconuts for a tasty and sweet morning snack.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    We then decided to wander a bit. The beach to the right was being exposed to the sun…
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    so we went left out onto the rocks towards the point. Rumor has it there is a nice break out there. I would be drowned or end up smashed on the rocks if I tried, so someone share if it is true.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Wandering…
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    The snails were having a good time this morning :ricky.
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    Up ahead we could see something potentially dangerous and/or interesting.
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    It was like the weeping wall. The entire hillside was oozing cold, fresh water. The cave wasn’t much of a cave and no pirates left any gold there. Standing under the rocks we were showered by icy drops as we lined up for a “La conquisté” photo :rogue.
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    We walked a ways more to spy on some pelicans digesting the fish they had been diving for earlier.
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    Heading back to camp I noticed signs of the water pushing up from under us. We walked though little pools and streams which were like ice compared to the warmth of Costa Rica’s Pacific waters.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    We walked as slow as possible knowing that we had to leave this place.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    We were also getting hungry and you know, the road calls…
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    More to come... :bueller
  2. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    It grows on you.

    More beer :freakyfor this guy! Mil gracias compadre.

    Sell that f*cking behemoth BMW that keeps you from riding anything but HWY. Or stop being such a little :icy.
  3. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Best page for ferry info I know of:
    http://www.nicoyapeninsula.com/general/boat.php

    Drop a line when in the valley :beer. Nicoya has all the riding I've done here beat for sure. It is like a beginers baja, what I have found so far. Thanks for the sub, now I have another excuse for the next ride.
  4. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    It was around 0930 and we had managed to break camp, load the bike and go 200 meters to food and showers. While the wife dolled up I chowed down on gallo pinto, juevo tierno, carne en salsa, natilla, a splash of Tabasco and an ice cold Imperial. I topped it all off with a decent cup of coffee.
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    We had the place to ourselves. We rolled up and sprawled our things comfortably. The lights were out at first but eventually came back so we could charge out domestic electronics. The ladies also have a nice campground around the restaurant and back near their house. I didn’t ask if they charge, but with $1 showers I doubt it would be expensive.
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    We took our time and eventually got out of there. Just in time to ride through the hottest hours of the day.
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    We twisted through cattle country on the Costa Rican knock-off of the PCH. It is a great dirt road twisting through the hills. I just feel you don’t see the ocean enough, although it is never far away.
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    We stopped for a quick break at the intersection where we dumped the bike last year.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    We made it to Punta Islita which is the section that more reminiscent of the actual PCH with big ocean views. The grass was tall and the road was bumpy so I did not see very much. Here is a very amature video I kept below two minutes for good reason.
    VIDEO
    This is also where we ran out of daylight last year and continued on it the dark.
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    How awesome it was when we could see. The city of Islita has some real charm, I will have to make this a destination someday and not just pass through.
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    After Islita the road got better, only one lane in most parts.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Then out of nowhere the road became this dreamlike asphalt. Steep elevation changes and tight mountain twisties. Ana said she didn’t take any pics because she thought we were going to fall at any moment. I was riding pretty aggressive, there was no one around. Towards the end the breaks must have been getting hot because they got a little mushy. I thought about pulling over to cool everything off a bit but the road flattened out.
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    We soon arrived at Puerto Carillo where we grabbed a couple of granizados to cool us off. It was 1400 and smoking hot. They were just what the Dr. ordered.
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    This lady pushes her shaded cart around with a block of ice and sweetness.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    The road remained paved until we reached Samara where we stopped for a canned tuna and crackers lunch on the beach.
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    You don’t have to go to India for one of these; you only need go to Samara.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Outside of Samara the pavement ends and we were on our way to one of the obstacles I have wanted to see since traversing it last year.
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    The river we crossed in the dark. I still remember the terror as we aimed for the opening on the other side and just sunk right before the exit. This time though we were able to find the shallower route downstream and I powered through with my feet on the pegs. Ana was filming supposedly but we found only two small clips from the area; little blips before and after the crossing.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    We arrived to Olga’s Beachfront Bar in Playa Pelada. Here we met our friend of years, Gary, a retired tradesman from the Chicagoland area who is living the life. After a quick beer at Olga’s we headed back to his place. I was preparing for a shower when Gary advised I was going to miss sunset. It is a west coast beach rule; five o’clock you be on the beach.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Ana was beat and crashed on us shortly after her shower. Gary made one of the best cups of coffee I have had in my life and that was all I needed for a second wind. We took off to the town party at a hotel just up the beach a ways with a real swanky theme going on. Repetitive house music, but brought out the best in everyone. We sipped cold beers and watched the flesh walking around and eventually made it home just in time for the end of Day II.

    Nicoya Peninsula: Escaping the Grind. Day III/Part I<o:p></o:p>
    The party didn’t stop. We pushed on past 0100 with more beer and Tequila shots as a night cap.
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    I don’t consider myself an authority of any type but I like coffee. That box in the picture above is filled with the daily arrival of fresh toasted coffee. I shit you not, this stuff is the best I have seen. The aroma would come and go between shots of Tequila and when it hit you it was impossible not to pick up a bag and smother your face in it. I had the desire to pop open a bag of the ground coffee he had and Scarface it.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Gary is the founder of Beach Blend Coffee. www.beachblendcoffee.com He makes connections directly with the toasters and receives coffee from all the different regions of Costa Rica. If you are in the area, and have coffee fanatic friends back home, look him up. If they get a bag of his coffee, whole bean or ground, your friends will be asking for more with the persistence of a junkie.
    <o:p> </o:p>
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    Camping out front of Olga’s on the beach in the above pic is also prohibited. There are showers in the back and a watchy-man all night for security. Playa Pelada is a super chill beach with a ton of stuff to do nearby. I think it is the closest thing to being in California in the late 60’ without the hassle and expense of time travel.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The finale to come…
  5. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
  6. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    For some strange reason I was not hung over. We were up around relatively early for breakfast on the beach at Olga’s. Prices have been consistent throughout the entire trip about $20 for the both of us and I double up on drinks, order a lot of food and will generally choose beer if available. This morning I opted out on beer though. Just me being a pussy.
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    As we left Olga’s and I was pulling the DR out of the parking spot it felt as if this old bike had gained some weight while we were eating. I quickly discarded that hypothesis when I saw the flat, rear tire. F*ck. Ana now jumped on Gary’s quad and headed for the service station. They didn’t have anyone working the tire repair stand on Sunday so it was a kilometer further to the local Llanteria.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    They patched the tube but it didn’t hold air when filled so we tossed in the spare tube I had with me. Once that little side adventure was over we stopped quickly to fill up and then back to Gary’s to load up the bike.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    When everything was finally ready it was nearing 1300. A later departure than I would have like but there was plenty of time daylight left to explore some new routes. Unfortunately because of our late start I had to alter the route. It still included dirt but due to the lack of daylight we had to cut the distance. We were not actually on the road until after 1300
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    The maps showed only one dirt road out of the area, up into the mountains, that would dump us out on the main route just before Nicoya. We drove around, cut u-turn after u-turn looking for it. We asked locals who had no clue. They would give us directions that would lead to dead ends. We did find a road that I cheated and used my phone’s GPS to verify but it was guarded by a grand entrance gate to a residential community (I have since confirmed on GoogMaps it was the road). I figured the map was wrong and we carried on with our search.
    This story repeated itself:
    -Turn off the main road.
    -Drive a short distance and the road turns to this.
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    Some were super steep and others had not even risen yet. I guesstimated we had 70 kms of this before we hit pavement. If the road had turned to this within the first five hundred meters, we were going to die.
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    We finally found a promising road that seemed maintained. We followed it a ways and then :eek1…
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    The locals sitting in the bed of their pick-up on the riverbank said it was too deep and we couldn’t cross. I started asking about this road we were searching for and they said it was just on the other side. I decided we have wasted so much time looking for this road it would be real lame to puss out now that we found it. We drove down the river bank looking for any sings that we could cross. There was eventually a section where the river widened and there was the slight hint of a line across the river where the water roughened up a bit. This was the spot. We walked it first and it never got much higher than my knees. I returned to the other side for the DR.
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/em5PeRssI4I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em5PeRssI4I&feature=youtu.be
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We followed the directions of the people in the pick-up; follow the road to a “T”, go right to a “Y” where you go left and viola! The road was well maintained. We had finally found it!
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    There is a monkey hanging in the tree just above the road. I swear if I had reached up I could have touched him.
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    The road continued to climb into the mountains. It was fantastic.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Fan-f*cking-tastic…
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    “The Road” we had finally found was a dead end at the top of a mountain were only two houses existed. One was the caretaker’s and the other was an amazing home with an even better view. I didn’t take a pic because the first thing the caretaker said to me was “estan perdidos.” I already knew that. The second thing he informed me of, I did not know; my rear tire was again flat. The caretaker brought me up to the main house where he put his ass on the line filling me up with the boss’ air compressor. I doubt the owner would have minded though and wished he had been around to drool on his bike in front of him. There was a nice, new KTM 690 in the garage and go figure, the guy is from Austria.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The tire was holding air and we continued on. The caretaker said we were close to our destination and it is not long to Nicoya on this dirt road we were looking for. He told us at the “T” intersection we should have gone left. So Ana and I went back down the mountain, continued straight through that intersection and we were back on track.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Great road. I was so glad we had finally found it. Then only moments later we would find ourselves passing by the Llanteria from this morning, right back in the same god dammed place we started from. 24 kms in three hours, call me when you do that YBCAGED.
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    Since we were here, I replaced another tube.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    I continued inquiring about this route and the llanta changer guy said he knew where it was and spit another set of complicated directions at me. I thanked him but informed we were no longer attempting that route, at least on this trip.
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    It was nearing 1600 and we needed to bomb run back to the valley. There was no way possible it would be done before dark and I hate riding in the dark.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    At 1634 we had arrived to Nicoya.
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    By 1700 we were crossing the bridge back to the mainland, ever closer to reality of life and a job.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    We did the 270+ kms in one sitting, no stops and it took less than 4 hours. I was still a bit hungry after all the bugs I had eaten in route so we stopped for burritos and arrived home at 1940.
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    El Fin. Hasta la proxima aventureros.
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  7. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    406
    Location:
    Panama Highlands
    How do you get so many pictures, do you just stop often? I find it difficult to pull over when I am tooling along at a good clip, so most of my pics seem to be mental ones, which soon self destruct. Also many of the best views are when I am on a hill, and I don't like stopping in steep places.
  8. YBCAGED

    YBCAGED Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica
    :rofl
    24kms in 3 hours........ya, 8km/h is about how I remember you driving....slowwwww
  9. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    We/I stop often. The wife starts getting perturbed sometimes but then I just blame it on being lost.

    40 below zero... now that is :rofl. Good job picking when to go home and visit.

    8km/h is beter than not riding at all :deal, says me.
  10. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    I have live in the central valley nearly a decade. My wife has lived in Costa Rica all her life. Volcan Irazu towers over the central valley shaping its eastern wall. The crater is just 45 kilometers from my house and the volcano’s cone dominates the horizon. Neither of us had ever been and most intriguing of all (at least to me) is the fact it sits over 11,000 feet in elevation. It sounded like a valid excuse so we went.
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    By 1300 we were driving right through the heart of San Jose and out into the eastern burbs. We stopped at a Carl’s Jr at one of the many strip malls in the area.
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    Civilization stretches on and on out here. Eventually it starts getting less dense.
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    Until finally we leave it all behind.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    The weather changed rapidly as we passed through little mountain towns. It was noticeably cooler than when we had started, but there was much more still to climb. A strong wind was blowing little weather systems in and out of the valleys around us. Luckily none came our way.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    The pavement ended which was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting pavement the entire way. This set off an almost two hour session of being absolutely disoriented and lost. The volcano was right above us. We could see the communication antennas. There was one sign for Irazu and shortly after there was another intersection. Logically we chose the road going up, and it eventually petered out into nothing. We started asking directions and they were basically always the same. “Turn around and go straight. You can’t get lost. There is only one route.” We kept hitting intersection after intersection and finally ended up at the same one, only from another direction.
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    We had been here before…
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    The adventure was fun but I was getting a bit bored of cutting U-turns of mountain gravel roads. A woman who owned a small supermarket that she ran out of here garage finally gave us some directions that functioned and we made it into the city of Tiera Blanca.
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    From here the climb was on! Spectacular mountain riding on some pristine pavement. Then we saw a rainbow and things started getting sh*tty.
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    We drove into darkness. It got colder and colder as we twisted through the mist. My dash read 16 Celsius when we saw a sign saying the crater was 6 kms more. Add the wind and the dampness and we had had enough. Plus it was passed 1500 and the park was closed. I have since traced the road back 6 kms from the top and we still had nearly 2,000 feet in elevation to go.
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    Once turned around and down out of the clouds, the ride back into Tiera Blanca was fantastic.
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    There was quite a bit of traffic coming off the mountain so it must be popular with locals and it is Sunday.
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Our overall target was missed but an Adventure took place none the less. We just have to try again! A total of nearly 150 kms and we were cruising through Alajuela for sunset.
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    :asta
  11. hellboy7

    hellboy7 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    71
    Nice. I didn't know that costa rica was that accessible... looks like a blast too. Do most of the people there speak english ?
  12. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    You can find someone who speaks English just about anywhere. Tourism is a huge industry here. Out in the sticks and among the elderly not so much. Some of the best conversations though are the ones no one verbally understands. It is amazing what one can convey with simple hand gestures and a little bit of mumbling.
  13. davidbrundage

    davidbrundage Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    171
    Location:
    costa mesa, ca
    "Necessity is the mother of invention" as they say. If you're lost and need directions, you'll figure out how to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world! And it's awesome!

    What happened with that road that connects Ostional to Santa Cruz? Did you end up riding it? I read through the report but was a little unclear if it worked out.
  14. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,381
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    I'm early into this RR but the rope on the wheel made me nervous! Looks like a way to kill oneself on a MC-bad idea to say the least! :deal:deal:deal
  15. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    I couldn't agree more. If given the choice between a knobby or winding rope through my spokes... the right choice is obvious. Unfortunately no knobs were available and after the rain there was no way the racing slick I had on would have gotten me out of there. One risk in life I can say I have taken and once again, lucky to be alive :deal.

    Thanks for stopping by to take a peek.
  16. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    There is a ride coming soon. Destination: Manuel Antonio. Route: TBA

    There have been a few recent changes to the bike.

    My prototype dash has been slowly self destructing over the past year.
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    So I removed all the loose pieces rattling around and will have to redesign.
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    I tinted the windscreen with some black paint. ADVrider stickers will look better on an all black background when they arrive.
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    I had to remount my cheap-o top case. Who knows how long it will hold.
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    Then today I had the opportunity of yet another rear flat :puke1.
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    So off came both and tomorrow the Dr. gets a new pair of shoes. Sad, there is still some tread left.
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    I am dropping the width of the rear from 140 to 120 in hopes of making roadside repairs possible. I still cannot break the bead on that SOB to save my life.

    The up coming ride takes place 07Feb-09Feb. A fellow inmate is in town, has rented a bike and we have some of the same morals; wife and children on the bus. We will meet them there on the bikes.

    Stay tuned...
  17. alejandro_gp200

    alejandro_gp200 Two wheeled rocket

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Costa Rica!!!
    It´s funny how you can see pictures of the same country you live and always be amazed!

    I like this topis very much, I live in CR and this topic pretty much shows the best rides in CR.

    I saw you rode near Nosara, but you didn´t go to the north part exiting in Santa Cruz, gravel roads but wonderful views and places.

    There are so many places to go in Costa Rica, that vacations are not enough!!

    If you want, I can give many new rides or places to go.

    Ride on!
  18. junglemototours

    junglemototours trailplug

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,694
    Location:
    Idaho to Costa Rica
    I'll be just down the road, but I'm not sure about the morals :1drinkpart....

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  19. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    0700 --> Manuel Antonio.
    -Two ADVriders + Fam
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    Ale: Send all the routes you can. I then have more rides to go on.

    Jungla: If we had no morals at all we'd ditch them on Sat too and ride with you. In or around Manuel Anthony on Sat, we got the day off.

    :asta
  20. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="&#45;-"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> I saw this other day...
    [​IMG]

    This is where I was:

    In brief it was one of the best rides to date. But I think I say that just about every time I ride…

    Day One: first beer before noon and 170 kms of mostly dirt.:beer
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Day Two: The National Park and lots of R&R.:jkam
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Day Three: An Epic Ride:ricky
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The details forthcoming…
    :asta
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