Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR

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

  1. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Quite jealous you got to ride it. I only got to walk it.
    DaveCR likes this.
  2. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Having only been through Limon a time or two, inevitably we ended up at the main tourist walk. We found a soda, parked right out front and settled in for a feast.
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    There was no time wasted. Within an hour of first seeing the cruise ships in the distance we were back on the road.
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    Not much to brag about running on this leg of the CR32. Lots of flat.
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    Lots of leap frog.
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    This guy was in a hurry!
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    As we got closer to entering the mountains the weather took a turn for the normal, being the rainforest and all.
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    Right before the turn up into the clouds we made a quick stop to rain gear. Time 15:28
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    It was a pleasant, but very rainy ride through the Braulio Carillo Natl. Park and took us just under an hour to clear the pass. At the exit of the park it is not too far before I fist bumped David and peeled off the CR32 onto my decent path into Heredia. David continued on aimed at San Jose. We were greeted with clear skies and I stopped at the first town to remove the rain gear for the final stretch of dodging and weaving traffic through urban sprawl.
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    I rolled into the homestead around 17:30, 5 days and just past 1,400 miles of the longest sustained, consecutive days of riding in my life.
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    As much as I liked the smell of travel I carried, this shit had to be washed.
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    Thanks for sticking around y hasta la proxima!
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  3. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Dang it has been some time, eh? Suppose it is somewhat of a trade off... RR'ing about past rides or squeezing in as much seat time as possible. There has surprisingly been more seat time than expected given all the rain, work, kids, life, etc... The annual "big ride" is only weeks away too... I will have some catching up to do.

    In the meantime, here's to all those "Last Ride of the Year" posts for those the the great white north:
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    Ciao for now!
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  4. DaveCR

    DaveCR Been here awhile

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Costa Rica -
    It’s almost unfair that we are just starting the best riding season in CR


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  5. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Unfair they are to themselves... Latitude changes are a choice.
  6. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    This year's multi-day moto free for all is shaping up quite nicely. Since Thursday we've put on a little under 400kms ranging from Caribbean, jungle mud-baths at only a few hundred meter altitude to sandy beaches at 3,200 meters.
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    Home now for a pit stop (gap in sitter coverage while mamí is at school) before saddling up tomorrow to head for the Guanacaste Penninsula for some beach camping and then some pampering.

    Ciao for now y'all!!
    :asta
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  7. johnnywheels

    johnnywheels Been here awhile Supporter

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    Is that Manual Antonio, 3rd beach?
  8. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Hey there Johnny, this one is Herradura. Nice, swimming/family friendly beach less than an hour from the concrete jungle.
  9. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    ♫♪“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”



    Which for here means windy, followed by clear skies and sunshine with temps averaging in the mid 80’s for the next five to six months.



    Since we’re getting into the Holiday spirit… 25Dec17. It was sometime past noon when the buzz of Santa’s visit wore off and things started to normalize again. Ana inspired by the clear blue skies turned to me and suggested we take a ride. I only wish life be so kind as to grant me the ability to always accept such an offer but do when said opportunity is tangible. On this day, it looked like Santa had one last item to take care of.



    It took a few hours for the logistical tasks of three children to be sorted, and with them safely tucked away at tia’s, we were off!

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    We pointed the mighty DR at the top of Poas Volcano and left the big city behind us.

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    This is the main drag up the mountain and today was full of activity.

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    I wish it had been all livestock, wild-life intrusions, etc… but y’all likely know about the wishing in one hand, shitting in the other scenario. Apparently, we had the same plan as nearly every family who stuck around the Central Valley vs. heading to the beach. With this, the roads were changed from generally tame and therapeutic twisties to an intense game of Leap-Frogger. It’s a real life, hybrid cross of Leap-Frog and Frogger. I pass like Leap-Frog with hazards moving in all directions on all sides. The twist? The flows are not linear nor constant. Everyone is allowed to accelerate, stop, turn left or right, all on a dime, no notice, no look, just go!

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    Alive, chilling!

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    Near the top we veered East and followed the ridge to Vara Blanca “Centro” which is essentially a gas station and a Soda. Here is where we again turned North towards the Caribbean flats. It was clear sailing…

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    … at least for a little while.

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    Our destino final was the same as everyone else; el Salto del Angel waterfall. On any other day, this place is serene. On this day though, it was a zoo!

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    We did the touristy thing…

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    … and hung out a bit before jumping back on the bike to battle our way out of gridlock.

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    Then follow the leader up the switchbacks.

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    We backtracked down the same path we arrived on. Getting late in the day, things had calmed down a bit and the throw of asphalt from Vara Blanca to Poasito was pretty much all ours!

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    In Poasito the chaos had not yet worn off.

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    Still though, the overall congestion had dissipated. We had a pleasant little race with some strangers on the way down followed by ridding off, into the sunset.

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    Happy New Year ADVers! :asta
  10. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    :wave y'all! Got a huge dose this Sunday which has only sparked a deeper urge. Mr. Wallace joined the asylum and we had a good old time.
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    We got in a little over our heads.
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    The kph on the 700 meters which followed was pathetic.

    More for Memory Ln. and more on the dance card too. This coming weekend has some potential with a few clicks up a riverbed to camp :super.
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    :asta
  11. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Belmont, NH
    Greetings from the Frozen North. I was in San Jose a few years ago for dental work and need to return. Your reports are very inspirational. I might just ride down next time. Keep up the good work !
  12. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    We will jump out of the time line here to poke at those with OCD and go back only about a quincena to what (IMHO) is a must ride well off the Gringo Trail.

    Anyone here remember Hawaiano? The dude who rides @ 11,000+ft in boardshorts?

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    Well, he started some rumor about camping up a river I had once plotted on Earth thinking it might be possible to ride.

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    Not wanting to pass an opportunity to wander into the unknown negotiations were made and I was free to leave the homestead on Saturday morning.

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    The initial plan was to get out way before 07:22 and bomb run the Tollway to the “start point” of dirt roat paradise. Given reality was not playing along with the early start plan I forgot fuel is a necessary part of keeping a motor running. I hit reserve and knew I was properly f’ed when traffic slowed to a crawl, I hit the toll and the booth tenant said it was 20 more mins to fuel.

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    At this point I decided I was in no hurry and stayed off the super slap and opted for the Aguacate route through Atenas. Smooth, uninterrupted ripping on nonstop mountain twisties!

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    At the town of San Mateo things flatten out and I followed the signs to tropical places.

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    In Jacó I hit up my go to Soda, La Choza Mia for the standard tipíco breakfast. It was quality, per usual. [​IMG]


    After this it is a short stint more on the Costal Hwy. to the turn off onto Adv Lane.

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    We are well into summer by now and it hasn’t rained for months. I was sucking dust off a delivery truck right out the gate. At first it had its novelty, but it wore off quickly. Fortunately, to my surprise, tarmac reappeared and I was able to see again and get by him. It wasn’t dirt, but surely couldn’t complain.

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    It did not last long, then it was back to that which holds a special place in the hearts of all of us.

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    As I neared the “end” waypoint the nerves were on the rise. It is legitimate fear of the what if everything goes horribly wrong. The point marked where the road met the Rio Tulin.

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    This point also marked where the road became Rio Tulin.

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    It was loose, and it was deep. The total run is 12 kms and I was on the lookout for los Tenorios (Hawaiano’s family name). There were lots of wobbles. It was mind practice to ignore the urge to let off the gas in panic. Stayed calm, kept the weight back, revs up and just wobbled along. Tulin Rd. also runs right through the zigs and zags of the river. From end to end the throw is twelve 12ms and I found camp just three from the bridge. In those three clicks I crossed the river no less than a half dozen times with a stiff current and averaging mid femur in depth (for a 5’9” person). Safely at camp, it pushed onto high noon and the show began.

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    Continued... :jkam
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  13. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Hold on! I hear that groundhog was full of shit this year. The past few weeks and seems the next few to come would have been/would be great timing for a return trip.
  14. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
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    The rumor of camping was started by a 4x4 CR group. Word must have spread because groups accumulated and it was a parade of 200-300 off piste vehicles. Groups of 5, groups of 15, pairs… Three bikes ran by at one point, a Katoom, a DR and a big GS.

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    It was the who’s who of the 4x4 communities out and there was some serious hardware playing around.

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    Before dark we made a run up to the river’s exit were there is a small hotel and this is were the party was.

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    We were on another mission though.

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    That fire outlasted nearly everyone and having not slept but a few hours the night before, I could not make the ‘last man standing’ list. Only a select few carried on into the wee morning hours. I rested well because I did not start rustling around in the AM until after 06:00.

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    And day two began.

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    It was said many times, one almost hates to come on trips like these because eventually (for most) they must end. Reality called and we settled on a 14:00 departure stretching the day as much as possible.

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    In good local fashion, we were wheels “up” 14 mins behind schedule and back on the road.

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    I took no pics until off the riverbed sticking with the caravan as they were familiar with the many, many river crossings heading up (camp = X).
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    It was awesome, just what the DR Rx’ed. For me, riding through rivers really ups the ADVfeel of things. Certainly not a route for winter riding but when conditions permit, this will be a future destination and should be for you if you find yourself in CR ‘buscando peligro’ as my wife puts it. Much of the same wobbling took place and while there were nerves again getting started, it was not but a few meters and I was embracing the wobbles.


    At the exit I parted ways with the cadgers and got to twisting the throttle. I wanted to get home before dark.

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    I :viking my therapist.

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    All too soon the first signs of modern man appeared.

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    Then monuments to their conquests.

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    I made a quick stop for Chinese, rode off once more into the sunset to arrive home @ppx 18:00.

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    That's all for now folks!

    :asta
  15. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    I am fairly certain I have found yet another favorite “spot” and one, like so many others, is a must. It is to date relatively unknown and way better than the typical bomb run down the Pan-Am stopping at busy beach towns. We will be returning for a longer stay for sure. I will eventually get around to the tale as well. For now enjoy a tease showing the theme of the day; waterfalls.

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    That was just this past Sunday. The story right now however takes us back again to 2018. It was the 14th of January, fresh off the week of back to back days ridding David and I were feeling the effects of withdraw and needed to get back on the road. Since hammock time on the beach was a missed objective on our previous ride, we made this our plan. A couple hours of back roads to the beach, then chilling most of the day, or so we thought.



    07:00: out the door for rendezvous at Fiesta Casino in front of the SJO International.

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    We topped off in Alajuela and continued through Turrúcares. Heading north out of town, once you cross those rail road tracks, the scenery turns rural.

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    A bummer was finding new stretches of pavement on this route.

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    At the Río Virilla there was a quick pit stop and while wasting time there an interesting looking caravan rolled by.

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    It is not paved the whole way just yet but there was no dilly-dallying as we could feel hunger nagging and knew Puriscal would have grub.

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    It was here, as we ate, our plan took an unexpected turn. We got to bullshitting with our waiter, a young kid, about bikes and where we were going. Originally we were going to take some dirt road options we have run before to get seaside in relatively decent time. This kid gave our bikes the one over and suggested we take another route. So, with full bellies and a set of new directions in our minds, we took off into the unknown.

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  16. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    It was not but a few kilometers on the gravel before I noted David was no longer following. I whipped back around to find him stalled. :fpalm

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    Luckily it was nothing catastrophic. He had thrown his chain and in short order we had it reseated and snugged up to continue on our journey.

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    There is always some random patch of slab…

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    Checking on things, all was in order, then onwards! :pynd

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    As we pushed further and further into the mountains the road got steeper, showed signs it was not exactly on the municipality’s priority list.

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    Eventually, after one particularly memorable steep section, we found ourselves at a river. It was hot, it was noon. We put the road show on pause and jumped in.

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    ...
  17. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    It finally got some attention! I've posted a Pic or two of this, the missing manhole cover in the chicane, on the back road to Walmart, Alajuela.

    Strange she'd be walking there though :scratch.
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  18. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Now, getting back to the story, David and I hung about for nearly an hour before saddling up again.

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    Right out the gate we were faced with steep, which is almost always accompanied with beauty. :ricky

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    Climbing would turn out to be a trend after the river stop. Another trend became the increasingly deteriorated state of the road.

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    David was leading most of the day and on the curve in the below pic I passed him as he was waist deep in the rut in the background :flug.

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    When I finally reached a place where I could stop and park, three other motos were heading downhill. I let them know there was another bike either stuck or heading up. As I hiked back down the trail I came upon a scene I wish I had recorded for the masses.

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    The three bikers had stopped and one was helping flog David up the hill. In the process of them getting stopped, one of them dropped their moto and busted off the front brake leaver. We were luckily able to return some help with a fist full of zip ties which got him sorted out at least enough to get home. Then, after airing down some, we continued on.

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    The road continued in what started feeling to us like a near vertical climb. At one point we were riding through a dried up mudslide. Needless to say we had our struggles with keeping the bikes moving forwards/upwards.

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    :becca...
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  19. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    At this mud slide section we bumped into another motorcyclist, an older guy from the region and got to chatting. We were concerned with how much further and does it get worse. He told us it was not much worse, and there was one more decent climb ahead. We also got a little background on the route; it was build to service high tension lines running through the mountains. Once the lines were up, no more road maintenance. At one point repairs had to be made so the road did get a little rework. Per our local contact this was three years prior. We were in too deep by this point, there was no turning back.

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    For some reason David’s bike on this day just did not want to hook up, EVER. All day long, whenever it got remotely inclined he would find himself sideways.

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    On this final accent David ended up pushing alongside his moto more than he rode it seemed. Eventually he got the point of ‘fuck it’ and shoved the bike away on a solo trip into the ground :p3rry. He was at a limit, I was feeling bad because the DR was just tractoring through without issue and we had NO water.

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    Thankfully though, the particular moment captured above marked a turn in momentum for us. While we were still in the mountains the route flattened out some and going got easier.

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    The always present random patch of slab.

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    :ricky.

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    Sent from heaven above, as we reached civilization again, the first thing to greet our eyes was an Imperial sign. This little cantina in the middle of nowhere was hoppin’ and we couldn’t have been happier for its placement. :drink

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    ...
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  20. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Once we destroyed an uncounted number of frosties and let them settle it was time move on. After all, the goal for the day was to waste away in hammocks, seaside. It was getting past 17:00 by this time and we would be lucky to catch sunset on any beach.

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    Eventually we gave into the fact there would be no Pacific sunset. We had missed it by the time we arrived back at the asphalt.

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    There would be no depriving us of our initial goal though; :jkam+ :beer.

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    It sure was not as we planned but I suppose there is never a bad time to hang at the beach.

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    There was a nap shortly after the beers and food were gone, to the tune of a few hours. We were annihilated. Once out of our comatose state, the hammocks came down and we bee-lined it home via la pista. We had had enough ADV for one day, and by the time we got to our homesteads, it had spilled into a second day.

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    That’s all for this one and now you know how to spend the better half of the day getting to a beach which is via conventional routes, only about an hour away :-).

    :asta
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