Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR

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

  1. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    592
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Decisions, decisiones.

    :jkam
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    Or hit the road?
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    :hmmmmm
    Combatscoot likes this.
  2. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    We chose to :ricky to the '?'.
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    :wave
  3. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    592
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Skies are looking good so far.
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  4. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    592
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Things change so quickly :devildog.
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    More later.

    Yo = :drink+ :snore
  5. Dicktator

    Dicktator Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
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    89
    Looks like a great place to spend some time GR.......:clap
  6. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    I thought so too... then 10 years later.
  7. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio y Rio Celeste

    It all begins at the crack of dawn readying for an 06:00 start time at the office. An 11:00 escape time had been secured with the hopes of beating the rain. On the way home it was not looking good even with the early departure.

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    There were some loose ends to tie up at the homestead prior to the trip. He was late. Then my wife added a few stops that needed to be made…

    +Downtown
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    + Sister's house
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    + Friend’s house
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    16:00: We are finally in the trip. We had made it to Sarchí, the town with the big painted ox cart. I was starving so we pulled off at the local bakery for some grub. While we were there the rain set in.
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    We took the “Yellow Bull” route and what an experience. It was raining with apocalyptic force. The road was a small river. Trickling streams were now converted into rushing waterfalls pouring off the cliff side. At one point the Mrs. was frantically urging we turn back when we topped a crest and it looked as if one of these waterfalls was spilling right into our path. It took us an hour just to clear the pass. We needed to stretch. Wet gear is heavy.
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    The fun did not stop here. As darkness fell we drove right into another thunderstorm. Wish I had video because I would have tons of great lightning shots. One in particular; big, fat single bolt that just hung in the sky. This one got the Mrs. calling for mommy. We arrived in the rain, just in time. A few minutes later and the chef would have been gone and kitchen closed. I took the remaining Imperials, ordered some food and parked the moto. By the time I had everything offloaded the security guard was bringing the food to the room. After a four and a half hour ride in torrential rains, it was just what we needed.
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    By morning the plan was as uncertain as the weather. 08:54: raining.
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    09:02: the rain had stopped and off to breakfast in the fog.
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    09:29: Sun was coming out as we ate poolside.
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    09:42: We had finished eating and I jumped in the pool. As soon as I did, the rain started, again.
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    We headed back to the room and mulled around for a while contemplating what to do. I was not in the mood for four more hours of rain to go hike in the rain. The other options where a day pass to one of the local hot springs or another hiking attraction much closer and hot springs after. The wife started talking about just staying at the hotel so I started packing. An hour passed and it was go time. The skies had cleared and remained so for this past hour so we went with the gamble and stuck to the original plan. Rio Celeste or bust.
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    There was a bicycle race going on in the area.
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    The rivers were all very swollen from the days of rain.
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    Aside from that, there were no complaints otherwise.
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    Continued...
  8. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Eventually we turned off the pavement and meandered into the mountain towards the park.
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    Upon arrival we parked at the restaurant out front the park entrance. They were nice enough to let us store the helmets and my boots behind the bar. We bought some drinks and snacks for the hike and walked over to get our tickets.
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    We were offered a $20 guided tour and they wanted to rent me boots when we declined the tour. I was told it was “casi imposible” to complete the hike in my choice of footwear. I was up for the challenge. The trail was six kms. round trip. It was pretty rough and muddy. More folks walking in the opposite direction also took the time to stop and warn me of my footwear choice. I bet they all got a laugh at the gringo.
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    The main attraction is only one km. from the Ranger’s station. It is a pretty sweet spot to just sit and chill for a while.
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    Hope you like stairs though :knary.
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    With thick jungle all around, the trail continued to the mirador. The Volcano was off in the clouds someplace so we quickly moved along.
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    From the mirador the smell of sulfur became present in the air. We walked past this natural Jacuzzi; so tempting.
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    The muddy walk continued on to the laguna.
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    Then over a rickety bridge.
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    I almost bucked her off.
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    Finally, against the odds and all the warnings, we had made it to the end of the trail where all the magic happens. I had done the ‘nearly impossible’ and hiked it in flip flops.
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    On the way out I caught my wife in the act of... At the advice of counsel I respectfully decline to comment further and assert my Fifth Amendment privilege.
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    The wife and I did the hike in under three hours. After this, we returned to the restaurant which was holding our stuff, ordered up a meal and waited for it to arrive. The fajitas were excellent!
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    Continued...
  9. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    The run back to the hotel was much the same. Lots of 5th gear cruising and long, high speed sweepers. In these times, the roads in this zone are motorbike bliss. After our return to the hotel we lounged around until about 20:00 and took off for the hot springs. Our first choice was Los Laureles. They were closing at 21:00 and by the time we finished the beer run it was close to 20:30. The guard was nice enough to tell us to head to another set of springs called Termalitos; they closed at 22:00. Both of these are lesser known, budget options which charge about $8 per head. I did not recall seeing a special “tourist” rate.
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    Day three saw a late start. The Costa Rica national Soccer team was laying an ass whoopin’ on Russia. It was quarter of eleven by the time I started wandering the grounds to settle the bill.
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    Readying to leave, Wifey found this funny. I was not keen on the idea of wet feet right out the gate.
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    @ 11:27 it was all systems go. Onward :pynd!
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    We backtracked a bit back through La Fortuna to see if we could catch a glimpse of the monster which casts an oppressive shadow over the town.
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    There is a view point I knew of a ways out of town, down a little dirt road. It is easy to find. From either direction, turn at the Police depot.
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    Go three miles to this bridge. I did not remember there being as much foliage the last time I was there.
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    On the way back to La Fortuna there in another nice viewing point. We were lucky, lady Arenal had her head out of the clouds this morning.
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    With our final bit of wandering out of the way we set the dial to HOME. We pounded asphalt until hunger struck and a decent looking place appeared off the side of the road.
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    It was more than decent.
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    Continued...
  10. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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  11. Nice Goat

    Nice Goat higher is better

    Joined:
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    816
    Location:
    Alabama
    Awesome photos! I was able to visit CR in 2014 for work, and as a bonus, I was able to take my wife (who is Chilena) with me. What a beautiful country and a friendly people. We stopped for lunch at Don Rufino in La Fortuna on the day that we drove the long way around the Arenal. Saw monkeys and tons of other wildlife. It was a great trip. I'm jealous that you live there!
  12. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Hello Nice Goat,

    Thanks for stoppin' by. All of what you said are reasons I have been here for so long. The long way round, lakeside is a top notch ride, car or moto. We nearly used it on this last trip but I was still in :topesfor taking the long way in the night before.

    The awesomeness in the pics is in my surroundings, you know, you saw it. Even with nine years and eleven months as a permanent fixture in CR completed just past 00:00 this morning, I have only scratched the surface of the awesomeness.

    For any tuned in, here is what's next: Beach Camping under an almost full moon.
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    :dllama:
  13. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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  14. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
  15. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    592
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Clouds had been accumulating against the mountains but I could still see it was clear where I wanted to be.
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    I turned off this road looking for the city of Corralar. The road goes to dirt, then to slabs of concrete through downtown.
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    At the local mini super, the game changes. I stopped to chat up the gentleman running the shop. As I pulled in a few dudes on much smaller MX bikes had taken off up the route I was aiming to tackle.

    A little background: back in early 2014 inmate TheDudeHimself turned me on to this route.

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    We were completing an epic run back to the valley from Manuel Antonio. When we took on this monster, it was dark. Darkness combined with a throttle issue on Dude’s bike were our points of failure and we were turned back.
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    This time was no less thrilling; to date the hardest riding I have ever done. The shop keeper had told me of one particular portion referred to as “El Codo”. It is where I got stopped.

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    I’m getting ahead of myself. So, back at the supermarket, chatting. I made the decision to give it another go. Just past the store the pavement ends and things are manageable. Then all hell breaks loose. I managed to plow through the switchback where Dude and I stopped. The road just got worse, and no less grade, just straight up. If it wasn’t slick, red clay it was rocks. Big rocks and big, rocky step-ups. One portion somehow got steeper and the rocky incline was like riding up stairs. The pig bucked and kicked and in one particularly rocky incline La Chancha nearly got away from me. Shit got real. I continued on until seeing one of the MX dudes stopped. I stopped; this may have been my error or a saving grace.

    This was “El Codo”. The gent on his little 2 stroke bounced off up the hill wailing on the throttle. It was now my turn. The bush pig was spent, no forward movement. Maybe a quarter meter, then the rear end just kicked out, momentum stopped, clutch in, breaks on and oh shit!!! Sliding backwards!!! Nearly went down and proceeded to park.
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    The guys on the dirt bikes were actually taking multiple runs at “El Codo” and began returning to where I was. I could not see what was beyond the bend, but they informed me it just gets worse. Bigger ruts, bigger rocks and more muddy. They had offered to stick with me and help me to the top if needed but I passed. Once I reconfirmed it really is worse moving forward I thanked them but had to admit, I had pushed my limits already. I am not ruling out a third attempt, but only with a knobbier tire and lower gearing. It will also be wise to wait for the winter/rainy season to pass.

    I relaxed a while and watched these guys ride circles around me.
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    Then I began my decent. Benefit of practically walking a DR down a mountainside? The ability to take pics. When going up with the throttle on to stay alive, pics are not an option.
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    This is the step which nearly got me. Goes from steep, to partially vertical. I’ve never ridden up a steep staircase but imagine it would be similar.
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    The route, in very short order, gained some altitude too.
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  16. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
  17. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    592
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    All I want for Christmas is a time machine... rewind and not fall. Cast comes off Wednesday. After a bit of PT some much needed seat time is in store.
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    Happy HolyDaze everyone!
  18. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    592
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Pre-flight maintenance and checks complete.


    Seven weeks is too long; the elbow is ready.

    All systems go for an early departure!

    :asta
  19. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    441
    Location:
    Panama Highlands
    You make me sick! I sit here at home looking at your pics and dream about touring in CR! I can't take it anymore!
    I make it to SJ about twice a year on my XT250. Perhaps I could drop by to say hello on my next trip?
  20. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    :rofl
    The cure to this illness is :ricky. There has to be some good stuff around you, especially with a 'lil 250, no? Exploring a bit in your area is definitely on my bucket list.

    You are welcome here any time. That goes for anyone else reading this and riding in the area. I would post in tent space, but the internet is a bit too big and scary for me yet, to offer coords to my house and an open invite. With kids and all, not sure I want a random stranger showing up unexpectedly at 03:00 either. If your in route or doing future planing shoot a PM. If the beds are full there is a patch of grass out front and all the amenities a road weary biker could want: secure parking, beer, shower and speedy internet for story telling!