Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR

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

  1. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Yesterday’s little jaunt was a familiar one; the 60’ish mile Stress Reliever up and down the northern wall of the Central Valley.


    This was also my first time on the bike in nearly two months except for one run, the two miles into town last week. A small disaccord between balance and gravity had me casted for 20 days and rehabbing a Type II, radial head fracture. Last weekend I was able to push and maneuver the bike into the house solo for some hammock time on the Pacific.



    This display of strength combined with the uninspiring, document run into town days earlier sent the confidence through the roof. My return to The Office is rapidly approaching and given the going-on’s with local traffic (The CR1-Interamericana between San Jose and the rest of the Central Valley is reduced to 2 lanes from 6 until March) I need to be on the bike or start seeing a therapist to help cope with commute. Therefore, this ride to make sure the elbow is up to snuff.

    At 06:00 hell has not yet been unleashed.


    The departure should have been a bit earlier though. I found myself with the rising sun beaming directly in my eyes on the way to Heredia and the chaos factor on the roads changed with every passing minute as I entered the city. Heredia is where the route turns North seeking the pueblo of Barva.


    Outside of Barva the road is a solid 10 on the fun scale. It climbs and twits its way through a massive coffee farm. Motorcyclist are fortunate the owner of this farm must have some political clout thus providing a pristinely paved surface to rip on. Once the signature green and orange pillars witch marking this land baron’s property disappear, so does the fine asphalt. Back to the Costa Rica of old.



    The vistas were no less grand.

  2. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Getting towards the top perfect asphalt begins again where the road had been destroyed by the 2009 earthquake.





    Once at the top is the intersection/town of Vara Blanca. I had thought of turning north to go hang out at the “Salto del Angel” waterfall for a bit but the weather in that direction did not look too inviting.


    I continued on towards Poás.





    It was too early and I was met with closed gates. No matter, I was after the glowing patch of dirt to the left.
  3. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    The ‘gate’ was open so I assume this part of the park opens earlier and I also needed to see how the elbow behaved off piste.





    This road supposedly goes through but does a suicide dive off the side of the volcano. I knew the old body was not yet ready for that level of abuse so I turned around where the decent begins. Back to the pavement to find open gates.



    Had I not just been up there less than a week ago with the kids I’d have gone in for a look.
  4. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    From here, the southern pull grabbed hold and I headed home. Much like the ride up, the route down is curves, curves and more curves, with side of scenery.







    That is all she wrote for this virtual ride, folks. I’m still itching for some beach camping… :kumbaya

    :asta
  5. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Just the boring commute so no rides to report. Buuuuuuuut...
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    Time to see what all the hype is about. Surely I will have to test it too :deal.
  6. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,776
    Like an Aztec priest holding a freshly cut heart, offering it to a sun god.
  7. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    :lol3 There was something spiritual about holding it there. Just wish their Aliens would come and install it for me.

    Soon the practical application will be felt, but 'ye old man' is in town and when I am not contractually bound the priority has been:
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    GlennR and roadcapDen like this.
  8. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    The transplant is under way...
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    :drums
  9. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Testing out the Pumper Carbie

    At first it seemed as though Santa was not going to come through this year. His broken elbow on 05Dec and only earning 60% of his wage for two months while saving for the down payment on a house did not leave much room for luxuries. Then, with a stroke of luck and constant fishing on the interweb, he was able to swing it on a whim. Fast forward roughly a month and I finally found the time to do the install. The first run around the farm (around the block for me) had me thinking “Meh. Good thing I got a deal.” Today though, I had to give it a fair chance, a proper warm up, so after the weekly shop with the fam I was off for a fifty mile wander within the confines of the Central Valley. Heading to that lonely dirt road not so far away. Here we go…
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    15:12 just after the heat of the day passed I took off. I named this pic “Irony”
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    There was quite a bit of Sunday traffic getting out of town.
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    It dissipated quickly and soon I got into the twisties.
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    Cruising along, playing with my new throttle response, something to my left caught my eye. I was hard on the brakes to turn around and see what was down the road less traveled.
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    Answer: dead end.

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    No loss, back on the pavement I continued on the planed route to the intersection where the pavement ends.
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    There had been some maintenance since last running through here and the road was in good shape.
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    So awesome to be less than 20 miles from home but truly out in the country.
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    With the condition of the road it was not long before I found myself crossing Rio Virilla.
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    Last time through they had some heavy machinery working on this part of the road and it was very muddy. Not so much anymore; they semi-paved it.
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    Now I have tried three times to take this route. First time the wife and I made a wrong turn, sprung an oil leak, then bailed and headed for home. The second time I reached this crossroads and decided on the ‘very long way’ to the right. This time though, I stuck to the plan.
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    This very well may be my new ‘stress reliever’ route. The first part of this road is flat and straight; vroom vroom :ricky! The second portion starts to twist and turn a bit so I could slow down and smell the [flowers] roses.
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    Took some time to take in the vistas as well.
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    The third section of this stretch the road started changing elevation, the turns got tighter and the going got rocky.
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    It was all heavenly but I was starting to notice the old elbow still was not up to snuff. It lacks strength still, endurance surely does not exist and the rocky section was certainly finding some sore spots. All good reasons to make another stop to soak up my surroundings. Some aspects less attractive than others when taking a closer look.
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    Soon after I was reunited with asphalt.
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    Only an hour had passed so I decided in place of turning for home I turned into the mountains to do some recon (the blue line on the map above).
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    The above dirt road is another way at the death hill I have failed to ascend twice.
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    The route got steep real quick and I stopped and turned around at the first relatively flat spot I found. Today, it just didn’t feel right to push on.
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    On my way out I stopped to chat up a local before getting back on the pavement. His experience was on foot but said the road was pretty good all the way to the top. I wanted to, but think this best be left for a few more teeth on the rear sprocket and a more aggressive rear tire.
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    From here it was back on the tarmac. First the twisties, then the always traffic riddled Lindora route, through Alajuela and lastly home sweet home. Landed at 17:25 and clocked an entire 50 miles.
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    After thoughts on the TM40: Without doubt I feel the pull on the low end, the throttle is way more responsive and WOT feels a lot more fun from start to red line. I did not have any problem keeping the front wheel down which is just fine by me. It also appears the MPGs have improved too (something was up with the original – only getting 28 MPG). The complaint: good God the throttle is STIFF.

    Hope you enjoyed the virtual ride! Hasta la proxima.

    :asta
    GlennR likes this.
  10. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Cartago to Orosi the Loooooooong way.

    As part of the process for dual citizenship one has to accumulate a shitload of important papers which then have to be officially translated, stamped, signed and stickered. Well, that is all done now and I have to go pick up all these important pieces of paper which are destined for a lifetime on some dusty old shelf. Of course all these papers will not come to me and the official translator is in San Jose. Why do I tell you this? Because Cartago is kinda near San Jose and Orosi is kinda near Cartago. I have never been to Orosi. When I got to wandering in the virtual world I liked what I saw.

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    The wife gave an unenthusiastic “hmmmm” when she saw me plotting around on Google Earth. Buuuuuut she did not say “no”. Plus, I HAVE to go pick up these docs.

    I just emailed myself the following:

    Cartago to Paraiso to Dam
    9°50'19.30"N, 83°48'7.31"W (Left after Dam)
    9°50'34.94"N, 83°47'41.60"W (Right @ Fork, UP)
    Keep Straight
    9°52'16.06"N, 83°45'32.21"W (Plan B: Right @ Fork, UP)
    9°51'38.91"N, 83°45'39.15"W (Go Right, past San Miguel)
    9°49'53.67"N, 83°44'59.37"W (Left)
    Keep Straight (down)
    9°49'53.11"N, 83°42'24.06"W (Go Right to Vueltas)
    9°49'6.62"N, 83°42'1.16"W (Go Right to Humo)
    Through Humo and Left @ ‘T’
    Next 10 Miles should be EPIC!
    9°46'14.97"N, 83°47'49.49"W (Left for MORE fun)
    10 Miles in (one way) Tapantí Natl. Park
    Continue to Orosi

    Tomorrow will be a good day regardless of the fact I full well expect, upon my return, my wife will be like :dirtdog.


    :asta
    GlennR likes this.
  11. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,863
    Location:
    Boone,NC
    Life is all about getting the paperwork done, and squeezing in a ride whenever you can. :thumb

    If we wanted our wives to be happy all the time, we wouldn't have married them. :scratch
  12. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    :lol3 I figure too, although the process would suck, I would sign with an ear to ear smile on my face if the reason for divorce read, "He rides his motorcycle too much."
  13. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    What a day it was. My initial thoughts were to pick up the papers and return on the ‘Northern Stress Reliever’ route. Fun, yes, but due to some recent changes at Volcan Poás, there are cops everywhere, blocking access roads, not allowing one to explore.
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    So this plan was hatched. The Orosi Valley is an area I had yet to know and in a crazy, roundabout manner it was ‘on the way’. I was shoving off at 06:00 with the first stop being fuel, the second stop at a buddy’s house to pick-up some snacks and the third stop being the translator’s house. By 07:30 I had arrived at the translators house, called, sent messages and nothing. Not wanting to return home empty handed, I waited and ate breakfast.
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    A short time passes and I got a response to ring the bell and the cleaning lady will pass me the docs. Done! Now the real fun can begin. There are other routes, but due to time constraints I chose to drop back into San Jose and head out through traffic to eventually hook up with the highway to Cartago.
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    After Cartago things opened up but had this odd feeling that maybe it was not the best idea to crack the throttle.
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    By 08:40 I had arrived in Paradise (Paraiso) where I wandered the local farmer’s market, grabbed and few apples and enjoyed life. As I sat there though I started thinking… eating apples in paradise… at least they didn’t come from a snake.
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    After Paradise the route continues on to the Dam at Cachí. On this starch I learned I was lied to on my very first visit to CR, many years ago. I was once told on a tour through the Zurquí pass that we were going through CR’s longest tunnel; longest because it was their only. Well, feast your eyes on this Mr. TourGuide.
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    Too bad I had left the camera settings for florescent light and not realized all day. That did not combine well with the very hazy conditions.
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    Cerca 09:15 I was rolling up to the Cahchí Dam.
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    This was ‘Point A’ on the plotted route and it was not long before I was faced with the first roadblock and subsequent changes to the route which followed.
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    More later... wife has a large 'honey do" list today.
    :whip
    roadcapDen likes this.
  14. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    As I reached the first right turn off pavement and into the hills the game changed at a locked gate. I pushed on to ‘Plan B’. I also realized at this spot my GPS workaround was failing. I had planned on searching the coords. in the Google Maps App, but every time I did it told me nothing existed there and It wanted me to create a spot. I had no time for such business and when zooming around I could not find a connecting set of lines in the direction I wanted to go. I stuck to the main drag until it reunited with the original route. One stretch I had thought to be dirt was not and I found myself in ‘Smoke’ around 10:15.
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    As expected the slab was no more past the town of Humo. I also began to think I was on a fool’s errand, given my last few attempts at routes spotted on Google Earth. This one was even worse… who is going to maintain a route through a mountainous National Park? The road was getting ugly fast and I stopped to contemplate how much further I wanted to go.
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    (damn you thing in front of the lens!!)

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    I soon realized something was wrong.
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    Back to where I made the mistake, corrected and carried on no more confident things were going to get ugly the deeper and deeper I got into the mountains.
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    Continued...
    FishHunt likes this.
  15. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
  16. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    This should fit in a standard piece of luggage, right?
    [​IMG]
  17. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    This, I imagine, is a fun and interesting road.
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    Hopefully my wife sees how important it is I ride this weekend given #3 child will likely be joining us on the outside, sometime this Tuesday. :amazon
  18. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Tampantí Road

    Welcomed a fellow Inmate from far, far away…
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    The guy responsible for “the best camp spot ever” pic:
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    Current Thread:
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/moto-phil-a-journey-across-the-globe-currently-costa-rica.1202350/
    Webpage: www.motophil.ch

    After a handful of beers and so many stories, the wanderlust was triggered hard. With wee man #3 inevitably to join us, the ride time is likely to plummet to near nothing in exchange for diaper changes, puke clean up and all the joys of a newborn. Given this, I threw out the lure and the wife bit, hook line and sinker. It is only a little more than 100 miles… how long could it take? Saturday’s departure was rained out but today mother nature was on my side. By 06:30 I was on the road, leaving Poás huffing and puffing behind me.
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    My plan of making good time was foiled early. In place of a quick bomb run on the CR1 to Cartago I found myself running into multiple road blocks.

    First the Highway was closed; the eternal fix of la famosa “Platina” bridge.
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    Second, Paseo Colon was closed; a marathon had the main drag through Capital City off limits.
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    Third, the detour had an event planned on it… closed also.
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    After many, many zig zags and various U-turns I was able to find the alternate path through downtown, to the rotundas and out to the highway again, onward to Cartago.
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    Once in Cartago my route took me directly to the City of Orosí. Grand vistas over the valley will keep the spirits high as the road winds its way into the center of the city.
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    Orosí’s famous landmark; Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi which was built in 1743.
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    It was an eerie place on this day… so many buses but no people.
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    After a wander I carried on a ways out of town. Come 09:00 I could no longer resist and stopped at the first Soda which was open. Gallo Pinto, huevo frito, carne en salsa, queso frito y natilla; the breakfast of champions.
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    Continued...
    FishHunt likes this.
  19. grcamna1

    grcamna1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    35
    Great looking rides in Costa Rica :-) Greg, subscribed.
  20. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.

    Hey there GR. Thanks for riding along. There are definitely a few good roads in these parts. It helps to keep one’s sanity when navigating cluster fucks like this daily; La Radial (Five marked lanes, which fits seven wide with shoulder space. It all crams into two lanes, 50 meters before a stoplight).
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    That goes for all viewers out there; thanks and :beerfor stopping by. Hope to see ya’ll on the adventure trail someday.

    The current ride will be continued soon enough… still playing catch up after a…

    Newborn

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    Painting a crib and Leveling Up on my Garage Game
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    :asta