ride reports sent me to Costa Rica

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by coug66, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    I just checked this thread and found all the pictures gone? The pictures on this thread were one of the reasons I have remained with Xfinity/ Comcast so long. I have often considered switching because I disliked them so so much but didn't want to lose this trip report.


    Now I find all my pictures are gone? I have no idea why but I am now unchained from Comcast,

    I don't think its possible for me to resurrect the pictures. Xfinity not a good choice for post pictures.

    Sorry about this,

    Ian




    Well it all started in December of 2007. I was knew to the trip reports and I loved being able to go on the trips without leaving my rainy cold house. I sat hour after hour reading the numerous reports. Then I read one that hit me like a brick up side the head.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=291584

    I forwarded it to my brother and he read it. I called him and he said " if its possible to do it we should make it happen".

    So I used the thread and excerpts from others included the various pictures and emailed it to a number of friends. We had a great initial repsonse Out of the original 9 committed participants we ended up with 6 guys on this trip.



    My Brother and two of my long time school friends had done an Annual trip every year labelled the Freedom Tour. It was the above thread that helped sell the other participants on the idea to do 2008's tour in Costa Rica. The 4 of us were in, now to throw the word out and see if we had any other participants. We ended up having two other folks join our ranks, Michael a WA State Patrolman and his friend Bill a local Chiropractor. Turned out Michael's training behind the wheel came in very handy navigating some of the challenging roads on the first day and Bills Chiropractic skills came in handy later after a bad fall.



    Bill and Mike at Seatac airport

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    My two buddies (Sean and Tom ) from High School and WSU.

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    My brother Pete

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    and last BUT certainly not least, Ian (AKA Coug66)

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    We left on August 12th on a red eye that landed in San Jose at 12:00 noon. We proceeded to take an Interbus http://www.interbusonline.com/ to the hotel $6.00 each in a large van. We stayed the first night at Hotel Cacts

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev..._San_Jose.html


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    Which is very close to WildRiders MC rental.

    http://www.wild-rider.com/.

    We went down that afternoon and filled out the paperwork with Thorsten.

    They had 2 ea DR650 and 3 XR250's. My DR650 was brand new as Thorsten had just returned from breaking the bike in. We also rented a very capable Daihatsu Terios afectionatly nicknamed "Little Pepe"


    The rain came down while we did the paperwork but went as fast as it came. When we left the next morning it was great weather!






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    Bikes above in the evening and sunny departure the next morning below!


    A side note we had anticipated rain as August is labelled the green season. The weather was awesome. We had sunny mornings and in the evening the rains would come and drop buckets of water. Then the next morning sun again. We rarely got caught in rain and it only lasted for a few minutes. We never had to put rain gear on.





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    Just outside of Colon
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    On Wednesday the 13th of August we had a plan to leave San Jose

    We had planned to head though Puriscal on the way to Nosara. I was happy about Puriscal as I wanted to stop by the cigar factory in town and buy a bunch of great low priced cigars.
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    finished goods!


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    Http://www.crcigars.com/aboutourcompany.htm

    If you head into Puriscal from Colon instead of turning right at the Cathedral go past it ,straight up the hill and its on the right hand side about 400 meters. They didn't speak much English but we took a tour. They showed all around and I had intended to buy a big purchase but since my favorite cigar only costs $1.50 from JR Cigars I was a little off put by the $3.00 a cigar they wanted. I purchased 25 Chaman Edicion Especials for $2.00 a piece. My favorites are JR's Ultimates No 1 but I buy these for half the price. https://www.jrcigars.com/index.cfm?page=itemDetails&itemcode=JRUL1 They are a great cigar, flavor ,ash draw and build quality really hard to beat at this price.


    Here I am at the Guilded Iguana on Playa Guiones with my JR Cigar. look at the ash!
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    The Costa Rican cigars from the factory are very good but my favorites are the JR brand.

    Here we are discussing what to buy.

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    Consulting the map like any well planned tour

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    Here is where we made our first big mistake. We went right instead of going left down the hill to the Cathedral. This road eventually took us to a road south of Jaco. We had intended to have most of the first day on paved roads now we were traversing muddy rut filled dirt and clay roads up into the mountains. We thought about turning around but what were we here for anyway?


    bikes with little PePe
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    We really felt alone except for the odd truck we were in a really remote part of the country. We drove for several hours and suddenly stumbled upon a great little cantina on a high corner. It had an expansive view and the owner and his wife lived in a room above the bar. They played American music and served up cold Imperials. What a great brake the setting was surreal. It was like someone had been given one wish. Or should I say the 6 of us were granted a free wish!




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    Eventually we saw the Ocean and headed down to the main road. Knowing that we were much farther south than we intended we had a long drive to get north to Highway One and then over the bridge to the back road to Samara. Once through Samara as it was getting dark we drove to Nosara.

    This road was filled with pot holes and large ponds. We did our best to avoid these obstacles in the dark but having drive 220 miles we were tired and looking to get to our hotel as quickly as possible.

    We had a standing joke on this trip which was wheres Bill? in Nosara we discovered that we had lost Bill. The last place we saw him was when he was when we filled our tanks in Samara. My brother jumped in the jeep with Mike and they drove back to find him. He was waiting at the gas station, He did not know the hotel name or our destination so he couldn't get there without our help. On another ride he was in back and he lost a bungied water bottle, he went back to get it and lost the rest of the riders. We had to set him straight,stay with the group if we go too fast then know where we are going and when we stop leave a few minutes early to try to subsidize a slower pace. Do not turn around unless its an emergency.
    We didn't have a problem with Bills pace after that he got after it and we never lost him in or on a "vehicle" again.

    So about an hour later bill shows up in Nosara escorted by Pete and Mike. Since they took the jeep we were unable to shower and change out of our dirty cloths and so we relaxed and drank a couple of cold Imperials till they returned. Tom was more prepared than the rest of us he had a backpack with a chnge of cloths and his flip flops. Tom grabed a shower and adjusted to vacation mode.

    http://www.casa-romantica.net/englisch/hotel.html http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re..._Romantica-Nicoya_Province_of_Guanacaste.html

    Casa Romantica was a wonderful hotel owned by a Swiss couple. Ray the owner is a motorcyclist him self and he gave us a map for a great ride the following day. It is not a partying hotel but a great spot to have a romantic couple of days with someone special. It has a nice pool and a short walk to a terrific beach Playa Guiones.

    Its a prestine beach but some rich "Greek" ass has built a crazy structure on the point. It probably didn't get a building permit but this is Costa Rica.

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/8876515 check this crazy structure out


    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2422444 google pics of beach

    I thought I had a brochure shot of the pool, grass roofed area and a sunbathing gal but my friend Sean decided to jump in the picture and ham it up completely eclipsed the gal in the background



    Hotel web site


    Live surf cam from beach out front! 60 yards in front of this hotel. grab surf board and head to the beach.




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    When the jeep arrived we showered changed and really relaxed. I love the worn feeling from a good days ride. We had a first class meal (this place cooks 5 star meals) and then it was off to the local bars to kick it up a bit.


    Give you a reference to how small little Pepe was

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    It carried our gear just fine and was good on gas.

    We grabbed a few beers from the honor bar and headed to the guilded Iguana. http://www.gildediguana.com/hotel.html


    There was a mix of locals and tourists and English soccer was on the television. After a few drinks and finishing a couple of Costa Rican cigars a few of the guys wandered back and I and two others went to the 20 something Reggae bar happening cross the street. It was filled with surfers and rastafarians. There were hammocks and bartenders serving drink after drink. I sucked down a few libations and people watched for a while. Eventually I decided I had had a enough and we wandered back to our quite hotel.
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,769
    Great D-S riding in Costa Rica.. thanks for the report and pics.. looks like you had a good time :thumb
    #2
  3. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
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    Well we were pretty burned out but we were there to ride so after a little time on the beach after a great breakfast we headed out to follow a recomendation by Ray the owner.

    Bill and Michael decided to have a day at the beach relaxing and the Tom Sean, Pete and Myself decided to go for an adventurous day ride.

    It was going to take us over the mountains out of Nosara and over to Samara.

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    My brother Pete lookng down towards the coast near Playa Gioness

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    This route took us over the ridges where we had views on both sides of the trail


    Pete, Tom and Sean

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    Tom with a view inland away from the Ocean


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    Brother Pete taking in the view

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    Going down the hill


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    Tom, Myself and Pete

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    This is one of the reasons why you never wear a wet cotton T shirt on a ride because dust likes to stick to anything damp.

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    Small school near the end of our excursion

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    We had a great time and ended up at a little cantina down on the main road. La Roca, for $4.00 they had a large ceviche bowl which came with crackers and hot sauce it was fantastic. Mix it with a little Imperial and a large plate of Chicken and Rice and it made for a perfect day. We had a great time that day.

    good food, great prices and a view to boot


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    View from the back of La Roca
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    More pictures and details to follow.....
    #3
  4. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    At 44 its never to late to relearn lessons. I took a drive to pick up some beer at a Mini Mart in Nosara. I purchased two 6 packs of 16 oz Imperials. I placed them on my lap and proceeded to ride back to Casa Romantica. When I arrived near the hotel I took a wrong turn and ended up one street to far. Since there was a great deal of high vegetation I did not have visibility to my left so when I came to the end of the street to turn left I didn't stop and found an SUV bearing down on me. He had the rite of way and I hadn't wanted to stop due to being worried about my beer falling out of my lap. In the middle of my left turn I hit the front brake my front tire broke loose and I went down like a sack of potatoes. Turns out the SUV was turning into my street and he called out the window to offer assistance. I was concerned about the brand new DR 650 as I was in a puddle of fluid. I figured I done a bunch of damage and that it would cost me. I had mixed feelings since the liquid was due to 10 of the 12 tall cans were flattened. The clutch lever was bent. The hand grip guards were scratched but fortunately for me my body had taken most of the impact.

    After I picked the bike up and cleaned up the crushed wet cans I got back on the bike and drove to the nearby hotel. My arm and shoulder were scraped but most significantly my ribs had sustained a real injury. It was hard to do most things, breath, cough, and unfortunately laugh. My sternum and my back were the two hot spots and it generally ached below my armpit.

    Fortunately we brought Bill who worked on my neck and back. The sternum was too painful to crack but it did seem to help me .

    I was concerned that with my ribs messed up that it would be a good time to take a brake from riding and take my day in the jeep. So this time Bill and Michael went over the top of the mountains and I would spend some time at the beach and meet them at La Roca for a beer and appetizers.

    I sat had a cigar and water the locals surf fish!

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    Just the day before my Pete and I tore down this beach on our bikes. We were all alone and the tide was out. The sand was firm and smooth and we zoomed as fast as the bikes would go. We were careful not to get close to the salt water we promised Thorsten we wouldn't get salt water on the brand new bikes.


    This trip we worked out a system where we pooled the bill for accommodation, refreshments and dinners and simply divided by 6. It turns out that after enjoying some of the best food I have ever had, all the cold refreshments it worked out to be $40 per night accommodation and $30 per day for meals and refreshments. It was an all inclusive system and we lacked for nothing. ( this also brings up a point as to why I drove so far to pick up 12 beers which ultimately turned out to be my demise?

    $70 per day per head all inclusive!


    On to Samara, it had rained the night before and the roads were much more muddy than the previous days ride. A big part of the days ride was staying uprite. Both Michael and Sean went down in the slick red clay.
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    Michael traversing the mud

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    Tom

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    Sean with Tom in background

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    One Horsepower with traction vs XR250 with mud cacked tires.
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    What lay ahead for us is one of Costa Rica's jewels "Samara beach". I had emailed ahead and was able to get one night at the Tree House in Samara. What a treat this is. Rite on the beach and the ocean's waves lapping against the shore just a few meters from your room. The rest of the guys stayed in an apartment 75 yards south. They got an apartment that slept 5 for $80 a night.


    Apartment upper right

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    Heading towards the beach in Samara

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    bar on the beach apartment 30 yards behind
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    The Tree House was $105 including tax for Sean and I.
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    http://samarabeach.com/2008map.pdf Samara Business Map


    We arrived, unloaded our stuff and went down to walk on the beach. They had a couple of little bars playing the proverbial reggae tunes and various cold fruity drinks as well as cold imperials.

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    Why is my buddy so facinated by this one beer bottle, I just don't get it? I don't have the heart to tell him the lighting is all wrong!!

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    Police on swimsuit patrol. " Hey we saw you riding on the beach and we thought the DR650's would be OK too?"

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    We had a great time that day relaxing and went to Argentinean Pizza that night. For about 5 or 6 large pizzas with beers it cost us each about $12.00.


    Afterwards we staggered down the road back to the beach side bar to watch our first rain storm safely beneath the metal roof above.

    As we passed by this lowered Toyota a number of youths sitting in the car uttered hey 420!! I had to tell my friend later what the 420 meant he was a little confused as to why they would holler that out the window when we passed. I said they wanted to sell us some smoke. Funny the things that end up in other countries. They also had American rap music on the stereo.

    More to follow......
    #4
  5. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    The next day we decided to take it easy. We drove around town on the bikes and Tom and Peter took a ride to gage the rivers we were going to have to cross.

    They went near the Punta islita resort and then forward to see if the Bongo and Rio Frio was going to be crossable.

    We were going the following day to Mal Pais and our goal on this leg of the trip was to stick as close to the coast as possible only going inland to cross the rain swollen streams at a point that we could get the bikes across.

    On Pete and Toms test ride they came around the corner to discover a herd of bulls in the road. Fortunately they were able to stop in time as the bulls would have been a very abrupt stop. The handler was able to separate the bulls to allow them safe passage between these formidable beasts.
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    A little later we thought we would take a drive to the north end of Samara beach and see if we could take the road to Nosara. When we got to the river we discovered a group of bicyclists having to carry their bikes across. You can see that this stretch of river was too deep for our bikes.

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    The rest of us did some trinket shopping in Samara and I rested my ribs in anticipation of the most challenging leg of our trip.

    I would have to say that the map my wife Lynn bought me and subsequently everyone else purchased was indispensable. It is waterproof and gave accurate depictions of the trails and muddy roads we needed to navigate.

    http://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-Travel-Map-Costa-Rica/dp/0976373327/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219944952&sr=8-1

    I would highly recommend this map.

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    We relaxed recharged the batteries and again had a great night enjoying the beach and cold beverages from a bar on the beach. The rain came down in buckets and we hoped that it would not cause the next days river crossings to be impassable.

    We had a date with the Bongo River and we hoping that the morning would reveal its typical pleasant sunny start.

    Till the next post......
    #5
  6. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    A short video to the music of Tom Petty's Wild One Forever.

    This was posted by my brother Pete.







    Starts with some of the great food and then goes into the bike video.
    #6
  7. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,669
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    Hi coug66,
    I went to C.R. in '05 and rented a Xt 600 from WildRider for five days. I covered some of the same ground. I stayed in Quepos the first couple of nights then went north.
    I left a hotel in Estrillos rode to Puntarenas got the ferry to the penninsula, rode to Montezuma for lunch then north to Samara by sunset. As it was Feb.[ dry season] I didn't have to turn back at any rivers.
    I'd go back in a heart-beat! Great time. I'm enjoying your report.:ear
    #7
  8. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    The night before they celebrated mothers day. It appears to be a much bigger deal in Costa Rica. The churches were packed and many people were out as a family. They dressed up and it seemed like a great way to recognize the mothers importance to their families.

    Today was the big adventure. We woke up early figuring we might need extra time should we encounter a significant obstacle.

    We were up and out by about 6:30 AM. Funny thing about Costa Rica, with it getting dark by 6:30 PM we ended up getting to bed much earlier than we would at home. By the time 10:00PM came around we were looking for our beds.
    This made mornings much easier. We had the breakfast of champions " left over pizza" and emptied the contents of the fridge into our cooler bag, packed up "Pepe" and away we drove.
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    It was a great morning the air was a little cooler and you could smell the Flowers.

    The roads were relatively empty and we zoomed off. It was Sunday and things were a little quit.

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    We headed off to Malpais with a sense of excitement.First beach we went by was Playa Carrillo. Its a picture perfect beach with palm trees planted in rows. There were a couple of families enjoying the morning setting up their towels when we went by.
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    Pete getting "Ponched"

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    Next we headed up the hill on a brand new paved highway. It was an American road, with blacktop, well marked with guard rails perfectly windy for a sportbike. I would venture to guess that this was the best road in all of Costa Rica. A Canadian contractor we met down there told us that this road led to the Presidents farm. We figured it had to be something like this since it ends just up the hill.

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    While driving up the hill we came upon a pickup truck. My brother not wanting to putt up the hill passed the guy aggressively since he had enough of a straight away to make the pass. The driver tried to speed up but he was outgunned. Next Michael tried to pass but this time the pickup driver had warning he sped up to try and prevent the pass. Well Michael was having non of this seeing Pete speed up the windy roads. Michael made and completed the pass. Well now it was my turn and I had a windy stretch that I saw I had enough room and passed. All was good but this truck was faster than our little Pepe and we knew we would not all be able to get by. When we got to the turn we pulled over to let Pepe catch up. Turns out the truck was making the same turn. Once Pepe made the turn we raced off to pass the truck again. Being motorcycles we were easily able to outpace the truck since he couldn't avoid the pot holes.

    Map of Punta Islita

    Resort pic of beach from their web site. ( below)

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    We drove along following the signs to Punta Islita ( sounds like a naughty Spanish name?) It was hard to believe with the nice resort that high end customers would traverse these roads to get to the nice resort. It must be a shock for the first time guest. http://www.hotelpuntaislita.com/ofertas.html In the resort Ad they make it look like they have their own private beach? I knew there was a resort close by but they hid it so well I felt like I was on a deserted beach. Good thing we didn't decide to break free and try a little nudist beach games. They did an excellent job blending the resort with the local surroundings.

    We stopped by the beach and enjoyed the view but quickly reminded everyone we were on a bike trip not a romantic beach adventure. With that we hit the road and motored south.

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    Funny thing we drove along and suddenly the speed of the group slowed. I looked ahead to see a motorcyclist up ahead. Normally we would have blown rite by but this motorcyclist had a blue flashing light. I think he turned it on to signal a Quad with no helmet that he noticed and then he left it on. He was dressed in his police uniform zooming around the deep water filled potholes. He seemed to have a vast experience with these situation going in to the small water troughs and lifting his boots just above the water. I wondered what would happen if a local decided to play a trick and dig a 2 foot hole in the larger water filled hole? He would zoom into it and suddenly his front wheel would drop. I guess the locals like the nice policeman with his clean uniform.

    It was funny to watch Peter and Michael play behind the policeman. The policeman was going much slower than we had wanted but we weren't sure what the penalty was for passing a policeman doing twice the speed on these unmarked roads while he had his blue light flashing. We pulled over in San Francisco and he kept motoring his same steady pace.

    Next we headed into the first town of any size San Francisco. We stopped at the mini mart. The locals thought we were a spectacle. Where ever we went most Tico's seemed to be most curious about the DR650's. It was like they looked at the numbers with disbelief. Most local bikes were 125's. Having any vehicle is a status symbol and makes you life much easier. 650 CC they just seemed to look at it with disbelief.

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    Pete holding up an ADV rider sticker
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    There were scores of people throughout the country walking on the side of the road with two plastic grocery bags in both hands.

    From there after stocking up on ice cream bars and water some fresh fruit and even an enormous carrot ( Bill) we headed out. I don't know why I was so alarmed by the carrot I had to say I was relieved when I saw him munching on it like bugs bunny. I was worried it was going to be part of some practical joke or something,

    A little farther we reached the Bongo river. We saw a 2 stroke Yamaha frantically being kicked on the opposite side of the river. The driver had probably tipped it over and was trying to restart it. He seemed to be very frustrated and not making much progress. I decided we needed to walk the river to see how deep it went. The approach and exit was really rutted and there would be a question if you forded the river weather you could make it out on either side. I waded the river and the water came up to the top of my thighs. It would be Ok for the bikes but not for little Pepe.

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    We were going to have to cross up stream. As we were turning around a group of people waded through the water to their waiting family or friends on our side of the river. There were two people with motorcycles that would take 2 woman with their grocery bags I assume into San Francisco. I couldn't help but wonder where they came from. A quick run to the store around here must take one to two days of walking.
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    We then went up river to find a higher crossing of this river. We took the next right and followed the road till it began to get incredibly muddy. The bikes almost went over as the clay seemd slicker than ice. We went down the road for a while and the clay became worse and worse.

    Finally we decided to try the other way at the fork in the road. It was even worse. So we knew that this was probably not going to work out we headed back to the main dirt road. None of us wanted to take a spill and sooner or later we knew we were going to go down.


    raw video of the trip, sorry for the language :huh


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    We headed up the road till we saw a sign to Malpais. This road had a big bridge that crossed the Bongo. Wow that was too easy perhaps we should have gone back and taken a run at the river? It was funny we should have noticed there were no cars coming the other way.


    We came around a corner to discover an Spanish Argentian couple stranded with their front wheel completely suspended in mid air. They had come across an impassable stretch and went to turn around and and drove into this little washout. Lucky for them we showed up 5 minutes later. Based on the impassable road there wouldn't be any locals in vehicles coming by there any time soon.
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    Neither of us had a tow rope and so it was up to brute force to get the vehicle free. We heaved an pushed and just barely managed to free the vehicle. Mission one accomplished. Next came the impassable road. The ruts had been deepened by all the rain and they were now about 2.5 feet deep. Then there was a mud pit half way up where the water pooled causing a mud pit. The bikes were able to pick their way up on the center humps but if our Pepe tires fell into the ruts it would high center or even tip over. We figured we have Michael drive ( he proved his driving abilities the first day) and he would attach the hill on the right side trying not get his left tire stuck in the right rut. Then at a certain point he would cut over diagonally and ride up the left side just above the mud pit. Since the transition was going to require a tire in the rut we all foraged for logs and branches to fill in the rut to help spring the tire out of the rut and prevent a roll over.

    Unfortunately I did not have my video camera ready Michael assumed it was ready to go and with great enthusiasm he gunned the little SUV up the hill bouncing in and out of the ruts and shoulders like a pinball bouncing off everything these ruts had to offer. Several times I thought he was going to falter but he kept his speed up and shot up the hill.
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    Well we had the couple behind us and we had hoped they were going to go around and not attempt this area but soon afterwards they gave it even more enthusiastic attempt and with more tire scraping and banging around they made the top. We weren't out of trouble yet there were a number of rutted sections up the hill.
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    I was a little concerned about or new found friends, They seemed to think that we would help them get unstuck again if they had a problem and we were pretty tired after the last go around wanting to save the energy for if our PePe got stuck. We had to wonder if we were in for even more trouble. We had several river crossing and challenging areas but we made it through just fine.
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    Turns out they took every river crossing with great enthusiasm and as luck would have it they managed to make it all the way to Cobano where we said goodbye at the gas station. They wanted to buy us all a beer but since there wasn't a convenient opportunity we thanked them for their offer and they drove away.


    at this point in the trip Malpais is only a few miles away I will add more very soon......
    #8
  9. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    Communication technology excerpt.

    I purchased a ASUS EEC PC 900, two things this computer would allow us to do, http://www.tigerdirect.com/include/AddCartfromGallery.asp?EdpNo=3939925&csid=ITD&Sku=A455-9504&imgcart=1

    1. Built in wireless access enabled access the Internet to book shuttles and check hotels on line for rates.( never used to book hotels after we left the US) It was also nice to see the weather & news back home. We were able to email friends and family, sent loads of pictures taken from the previous days ride. The other real plus was the ability to connect with friends and family through the use of SKYPE. I was able in most locations to call home just like I was next door. There was temptation to call and check my work messages but I resisted which made it the exceptional vacation it was. We could also using the video camera record private messages to our spouses and email them home.


    Example of an internet coffee shop. It was comfortable, air conditioned and for the price of a blackberry Italian soda I was able to email and call the family. It made for a great break during the day. They had sandwiches and plates of food available which looked very delicious. There were a number of people on line and or reading books and newspapers, winding away the time very relaxed.

    See EEEPC laptop on counter next to my open wallet for scale!


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    The computer also allowed us the ability to download the many pictures we had taken to its hard drive. With my brother taking 10 MB pictures and my camera taking 1.3 MB pictures our cards filled up fairly quickly. The 20+ GB capacity came in handy as the master repository. I was able to download everyone's cards and return them clean ready for the next batch of pictures. My brother had managed to fill his numerous cards so we copied and cleaned his 4 GB card.

    They reason I chose this type of laptop was due to the SSD memory ( can handle the off road shaking that traditional hard drives can't) and it is conveniently small. ( fit in most hotel room safes)

    <TABLE class=viss id=header_specs11 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD width="5%"></TD><TD class=techspec width="45%">[​IMG] Width: </TD><TD class=techvalue align=left width="60%">8.86"</TD></TR><TR><TD height=1>[​IMG]</TD><TD bgColor=#f5f5f5 colSpan=2 height=1>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD width="5%"></TD><TD class=techspec width="45%">[​IMG] Height: </TD><TD class=techvalue align=left width="60%">0.79" - 1.33"</TD></TR><TR><TD height=1>[​IMG]</TD><TD bgColor=#f5f5f5 colSpan=2 height=1>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD width="5%"></TD><TD class=techspec width="45%">[​IMG] Depth: </TD><TD class=techvalue align=left width="60%">6.69"</TD></TR><TR><TD height=1>[​IMG]</TD><TD bgColor=#f5f5f5 colSpan=2 height=1>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3>[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD width="5%"></TD><TD class=techspec width="45%">[​IMG] Weight: </TD><TD class=techvalue align=left width="60%">2.18 lbs</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    Action shot recording.

    My brother attached a Ram mount to the back of his bike, he increased the photo speed setting and had a trigger on the handlebars to take pictures when the rite shot appeared. His camera took all the pictures facing backwards.

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    I had my Canon HD video camera with a strap around my neck and then took action shots facing forwards with the 1.3 MP camera feature.

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    The trick for me was taking the hand off the clutch side and grabbing the camera, pointing it at the action and then focussing and snapping using the button on the right side of the camera with my left hand.

    Action shot as I pulled up next to a Tom.
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    At first this was difficult but after several years of practice it has become relatively easy. There were several times where I wanted the shot and was waiting for the focus beep, clicked the picture and dropped the camera on my belly in haste to grab both bars as I navigated deep mud or a patch of deep potholes. Two tricks in good action photo taking is patience, since I have to wait for the camera to focus and after the picture is taken I have to wait between shots for the camera to process the previous image.


    Steep downhill and beautiful view!
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    Over time I am able to aim the camera pretty well without looking through the viewfinder or side screen but it helps some times just to check your aim and subject framing. Since you mentally are distracted by the photo taking you also have to look way ahead and drive from memory because if you forget you find yourself going in the ditch or on the wrong ( rutted )side of the trail.

    I was really nervous having only one hand on the bars for this shot.
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    On board video I have a Gopro mounted to my helmet.

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    http://www.goprocamera.com/index5.htm. The Camera and footage is great. There are two problems which we needed to overcome. Camera aiming ( first videos were all to low and showed nothing but the road 6 feet in front of the bike). The other was battery power. It seemed to use up a set of regular batteries in 20 minutes. A set of recharged rechargeable batteries lasted an hour ( length of 2GB recording on SD card). Several times I thought I had recharged batteries and they were dead. Also the regular batteries died early and so I thought I was recording when the camera was off. Http://www.goprocamera.com/


    The reason I don't use the HD camera I have around my neck is that when you try and record video 1080i the vibration and hand movement is just too hard on the camera. Its anti shake mechanism just can't overcome the vibration when it is processing so much information.



    Back to the trip!!!!
    #9
  10. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    Back to the trip........


    We felt a sense of accomplishment , river crossing safely navigated, international relations were improved by the 100% funded and backed US rescue mission of the Spanish /Argentinean couple.

    [​IMG]

    We had tempted the crocodiles but fortunately they had turned down the all white meat feast.

    On this trip a number of us did not bring watches. We were so used to using our cell phones as time keeping devices ( which were safely at home) we fully enjoyed vacation time ( is it still light out?)

    When we did manage to determine our time we found that it was only 1:00PM. The adventure which we allowed 8 hours for only took a little over 4. We were in Malpais at around 1:30 PM. We stayed at the playa Carmen beach hotel http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g309273-d1013800-Reviews-Playa_Carmen_Hotel-Mal_Pais_Province_of_Puntarenas.HTML


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    It is a relatively new hotel. They had 3 rooms for us rite next to the pool. We booked 3 nights and they had a special of $76 a night for 2 including breakfast. The staff was very friendly and as most hotels, breakfast was complimentary. I particularly like the breakfasts we had here as they had Espresso coffee to order. There was a buffet of fresh fruit, beans and rice, sausage, bacon and eggs cooked to order. It was about 100 yards off the beach and was right on the main road in town very close to the restaurants and shops.

    When we checked into the hotel we were dirty from the flying dust we all smelled pretty bad and looked like we had been having a great deal of fun in the dirt.

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    The hotel had a pool , bar ( in background) and a hot tub ( CalSpa ). They had one room open so we loaded our gear into the one room, changed into my swimsuit, showered and swam in the pool.[​IMG]

    Later after a beer or two in the pool we changed and went down to the beach 100 yards away. The beach was beautiful and 200 yards north there was an incredible bar. It was called the D&N ( Day and Night).

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    It seemed amazing to me that you could have a bar this size that was never populated to its potential. I kept thinking this would be a great competition prize ( Bacardi Rum will fly you and 99 friends down to the D&N for the ultimate party!!!) There were never more than 15 or so people in there. It had a great view and atmosphere. We hung out on the beach relaxed watched the surfers and smoked cigars.

    The top floor is a living quarters and Sean took a tour up top and snapped this photo.

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    Michael worried the "Chorizo Gigante" got out?
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    The day was young we relaxed at the beach and hotel.

    In the evening went out to a place with the best chicken I have ever eaten! I have to tell you about this place they advertise outside that their chicken is "the shit" and with a statement that bold we had to try it. Well I am here to say that it was "THE SHIT"!
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    It is cooked over an open flame on a bed spring grill. They serve it on your table on plates in a half order or a full chicken plate. They also served a delicious cold Quilmes beer from Argentina.
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    We were starting to see a trend here Argentinean pizza ( Samara), chicken and now beer, all very good. We all agreed based on the food and service we have had that Argentina would certainly be a place we would like to visit.

    The smoke from the restaurant vented out the open end of the opposite side. The smoke was 4 feet deep at the top of the restaurant. Can't have that in the states.

    [​IMG]

    When we got there it was relatively empty but after we sat down the place started to fill up. The reason why is the chicken was absolutely to die for. It was delicious. The roasting over the fire and then partitioned into chunks with a large blade served with a heaping helping of rice and salad. If this wasn't enough they provided fresh lime slices and a bowl of Pesto to add as a topping. I have to tell you I lost all dignity and went Roman style on it. I devoured it barely pausing to chew. The whole chicken ( designed to feed about 4 people was $16.
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    The half chicken was about $8. With the beers and desert it ran approximately $24 each. While this was one of the more expensive meals we had it was also one of the best meals I have eveeer eaten.

    Afterwards we wandered down the street and stopped into a sweet shop. It had ice cream, chocolates, drinks and candy. Each of exercised the sweet tooth with various US candies ( M&M almond & peanuts, snickers and Reece's Peanut butter cups wash it all down with a 1.5 lt water and life is good. Back to our air conditioned room with cable TV and no set time to get up. Savor the challenges the people we met the chicken and wonder if the trip had peaked or could we take it even higher tomorrow?


    To be continued... The next day we relax then head the back road to Montezuma for a day excursion.
    #10
  11. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    We start the next day with a good breakfast. We will wander around town and check the place out.

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    We stopped in a store or two looking for things to bring home.

    Then we head back to the hotel to get the bikes. We originally had a plan to rent a quad and that way one of us wouldn't have to drive "little PePe".
    We would all chip in and ride as a group to Mazatlan. Bill opted to take it easy that day. He wanted to hang close to the hotel and try his luck at some boogie boarding. We wished him the best and we told him we would be back later.

    [​IMG]


    raw video of the ride to Montezuma
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5AVXRja_Fbo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



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    We are going to go the back way to Montezuma. There is a back road that we need to find that will take us east in Montezuma. We will have lunch and then head back the same way.

    [​IMG]
    When we got there we went looking for souvenirs for the family. I was looking for Costa Rica T shirts but they didn't seem to have anything .

    [​IMG]
    There were vendors selling handcrafted items.

    The bikes looked great parked rite in front of the bar. We had a beer and then headed to the pizza place where they had seating that looked onto the beach.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]We had Pizza! any way there is no such thing as bad pizza. Pizza ,a really nice fruit smoothy and big bottle of water.:clap




    Guacamole and chips, it had a strong lime flavor, at first it was a surprise then it grew on me.

    [​IMG]


    We did stop at Montezuma falls and see the falls. For some reason the humidity was intense by the falls. We all began sweating profusely.




    Sean and Michael found a tarzan like vine to swing on we watched them for a while and headed back to the bikes so we could cool down with a soft breeze on the bikes.

    later wes stopped at this river and took a swim. It was funny the current was pretty steady then suddenly it picked up speed. We thought we should get out in case it was a sign that the current could pick up enough to take us out down past the beach?

    [​IMG]
    we headed out and drove back to Malpais. Cool refreshed and relaxed.

    [​IMG]




    When we came back to the Hotel Bill was relaxed, he apparently had a relaxing day and played on the beach and hung by the pool.

    He had made a new friend.


    [​IMG]

    Not the prettiest thing in Costa Rica but certainly memorable


    We showered changed and met up at the bar for a slide show on the laptop of the days ride. We made a friend at the bar a really nice guy ( bartender ) and his wife worked at the hotel as well. They were all very friendly. There was a newspaper at the bar and for sale ads were interesting ( vehicles have a huge import tax so they are very expensive even used ones).

    That night we thought "hey lets go back for more chicken" but unfortunately they are closed on Mondays. We went to a sports bar and they had Monday night football on the big screen. They had OK food but it wasn't the chicken we had been craving. The waitress said that the exchange was 500 colones to the dollar which was a rip off, so we paid her in Colones for the meal and tipped her in dollars. ( our normal exchange seemed to be about 550 to the $'s)

    We wandered back to our hotel, another great day accomplished we are having a great time.
    #11
  12. Pockethead

    Pockethead Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    197
    Awesome! Those hotels are nice!
    #12
  13. cyrilgrey

    cyrilgrey Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    360
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Great photos. Makes me want to go back. Then again, what doesn't?
    #13
  14. TwistySV650

    TwistySV650 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Montgomery Village, MD
    Great ride report. I really look forward to reports about CR. My best friend just got back from there, where he just finishing having a house built. His house is in Brasilito, that is about 15 minutes east of Liberia. I'm hoping to get down there either this winter or next and rent a bike in Liberia. Other folks have posted RR after renting bikes in Liberia.

    I've seen more pictures of the country from your RR then my friend has shown me from 4 or 5 trips. I really like how you have included links to a number of places you went. It's cool that you were able to get so many people to make the trip with you. It seems that you all got along good and being with the group added to the enjoyment of the trip.Mal Pais is kind of the end of the road so I guess it's no surprise that the bar wasn't very full.

    Waiting patiently for the rest!!
    #14
  15. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    The next day was all about relaxing, We had riden every day and we needed a day to recharge and relax.
    [​IMG]


    We walked the beach looking for shells for the kids.
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    We wandered around town, I called and emailed the family at the local coffee shop.

    my guess is this bus is occupied during peak periods, grab a drink as you wander down the street or a outdoor party in December and January.

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    We went down to the Playa Santa Teresa to play in the surf and watch the surfers. I had lost my sun glasses so I only had goggles. I opted drive to playa Santa Teresa with my hat smoking a cigar and no goggles. I went down the road trying to shield my eyes from the dust. We never saw a police man the entire time we were in Malpais. The weather was warm and we looked forward to watching the sunset after playing around in the water.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    My chest was still in some pretty good pain and when I took a boogie board and headed out for deeper water as I wadded out about mid tummy deep I turned the board straight into the breaking wave. Well the full power of the wave slammed the boogie board which in turn slammed into my chest. Next thing I know I am reeling from the pain. Boogy boarding is out, I don't know what I was thinking.
    [​IMG]
    Tom sat with our gear, his living in Kauai for so many years conditioned him to be a world class beach relaxer. Give him a couple of cold beers and he is set ( at least till the beers gone) Tom reported he saw the longest green flash he has ever seen on Santa Teressa that sunset.

    Took turns swimming and wandering the beach. Had a really relaxing day.

    Pete got some great sunset shots and then we jumped on the bikes and wandered back.



    [​IMG]

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    We went back to the hotel and showered up we had another date with the D&N and then off to worlds best chicken and after that there was a Reggae party at the D&N which we thought would be fun for our last night.

    While we were at the D&N Sean met this German guy who he offered being friendly a beer. The German guy said he would prefer the money. Sean said its a beer or nothing the German guy explained that for 2000 colones he could get a whole bottle of Vodka. Anyway I thought that my version of Sally Strothers giving to the less fortunate, I would adopt a German for two days. I gave him 4000 colones for two days Vodka. ( $7.25 ). I gave up drinking about 2 years ago and decided since alcohol has taken a lesser place in my life that I would drink while with long time friends on this trip. Everyone has to decide what they are going to do with these situations. I have not had a drink since the last day in Costa Rica and probably won't drink till I go back or out of the country again. I certainly care a lot less about drinking than I used to. Now cigars they to me are much more habit forming and I will have a harder time giving them up. I enjoy relaxing with a cigar ( well for now its someday).



    The light is low so here I am handing the money to the German ( blur as he gets the money) you can see the beer Sean bought him on the right.
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    We went off at the chicken restaurant again ordering steak and ribs but to our dismay there was no other equal to the chicken.

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    The owner brings our first round of Quilmes

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    Our overconsumption and gregarish eating style probably did a great deal of damage to international relations. There were a few foreigners in there that were a little sppoked by our sizeable consumption.




    There also was a disparity of woman to men., there seemed to be a lot more woman that night
    [​IMG][​IMG]

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    Later we ventured back to the D&N which was a bust there was hardly anyone there. Which was OK for us we all wanted to get a good night sleep as we had plans on leaving early for the 9:00AM Ferry back to Punteranas.

    We had a few drinks wandered back to the hotel. We did a partial pack and set up the alarms to get up early.

    Another great day.....
    #15
  16. Beerslayer

    Beerslayer Journeyman Bike Knocker

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,830
    Location:
    "Looking For Beer"
    Yep. That's the tourist price. Compared to what they want in the tourist cigar stores in Puerto Vallarta [$20] though, those guys look like charity! I wouldn't buy any from those thieves.

    I pass a lot of time in Nicaragua, and a friend of mine has a cigar factory there. He gets $2 each which is still tourist price. They could roll them for a buck and still make money. I get them free :D

    Great ride report! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. Good idea to be there in the rainy season, I would rather have the mud than the clouds of dust.
    #16
  17. sandiegoland

    sandiegoland Adventure Boy®

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,743
    Location:
    4 8 15 16 23 42
    Well done guys. Been many times and your photos capture it well!


    Thanks for taking us along... :ricky
    #17
  18. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    We got word from one of the people at the hotel that the Punteranus ferry was departing at 9:00AM. So we left Malpais just before 7:00 AM, filled up with gas and headed for the ferry.

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    It was a scenic drive through small towns ( children going to school, and parents waiting with their children on the street for I assume a school bus) The drive was uneventful and a little deceptive since it hugged the coast and I kept thinking we were just there.

    We made it to the ferry terminal in plenty of time (8:00AM for 9:00 AM departure) only to see the gate locked and the ferry departing.

    Turns out the ferry leaves at 8:00 AM. This ferry was on time and the next one was in several hours. Perhaps the ferry varies its schedule based on time of year? Anyway we were a little upset that we had it wrong since we could have left 30 minutes earlier had we know it left at 8:00 AM. We took the opportunity to get some breakfast and proceeded to relax.

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    not my favorite breakfast but it was OK! The yellowish mass is chicken
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    There were several vendors at the dock selling fruit, souvenirs and beverages. There was a guy selling coconut milk in plastic bags tied up top. I took the opportunity to buy some wood crafts and beach towel for the kids.
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    We tried to stay out of the sun as it was hot.

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    The ticket window was closed. We hung out and when the ferry came I realized that the SUV needed a pass to get a ticket at the window. They hand out passes to determine if you make the ferry. Once the passes are gone it doesn't matter if you are in the front of the line you aren't getting on. I ran back to the end of the line to find a guy sitting in the shade with a hand full of passes. Good thing the line wasn't long. Also car drivers get to walk to the front of the line so they can get their ticket and not delay loading the ferry.

    When Pete was with his wife on his trip out to Malpais the guy who handed out the passes on the Punteranus side wanted a huge tip. He said that he normally gets $20 for offering this service. I don't know what my brother did but had we encountered something like that on the way back feeling more comfortable with the system we would have given him a really Hard Time.

    The pass guy was the only person I had heard of that tried to rip people off (& gas station attendants in San Jose) the rest of the time people couldn't have been more friendly.

    The ferry ride was uneventful.They have a kitchen snack bar on board and we had a drink and snack on the boat.
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    breakfast sandwich
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    "Little Pepe" between his bigger brothers
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    I wondered at what point Evil Knievel would go for the jump? If only the ramp had a little steeper angle!

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    When we got to the other side Punteranus I figured that Spanish words aren't far from English. I just don't know what the Spanish meaning was for Punter? Punter "Anus"!

    It reminded me a little of an area of Long Beach CA ( sorry for you LB residents) We quickly drove out of "P Anus" and headed for San Jose.

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    We were going to take a detour and considered going over the road south of Jaco back to Puriscal but being that we wanted to return the bikes to Thorsten at a reasonable time we headed straight there.

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    I was driving "little Pepe" and with the roads being so crowded it was tough to keep up. The bikes did much better weaving through traffic. The thing that struck me so strange was why SanJose had only a two lane road as the main entry into the area. When a bus or a car broke down it caused havoc with the one lane each direction traffic.

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    The bikes made use of their imaginary middle lane and I had to wait in my not so imaginary real lane. I sat in my long line waiting to see if it would clear up once we passed the broken down car, or road construction or loose horse?

    Saw a road construction site where they were tossing the stones to move them? Guess it keep people employed!
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    There were coffee beans on the side of the hills. If you went off the road it would have been sure suicide as there were no real guard rails and the drop almost vertical.

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    I figured I would meet the group back at Wildriders but on a decent I saw the bikes parked at a roadside soda/ grocery. We had a cold beverage and with the help of the roadside assistant ( guy helping people park and exit for tips) merged back in traffic. We were a group again and we headed down the hill towards San Jose.
    [​IMG]
    We ran into trouble when we came up behind a truck carrying an oversized earth mover. Pete impatient to pass managed to use the "Bike lane" on a blind corner and while I could barely watch the pass he made it OK.

    truck seen below, Pete is just about to make his move!!!!!!??????
    [​IMG]

    The truck actually moved over into my brothers passing line and honked as he passed. There weren't opportunities to pass for a while and when Michael saw his opportunity to pass he did and took the wrong road. The others followed. I figured that I couldn't catch up to them with the earth mover in between and took the road to San Jose. Up ahead I found my brother waiting for us and we decided to head back to return the bikes and find a good hotel for the night.

    We drove in and went to fill the jeep and the bike up at the local gas station but it was closed (temporarily under repair). We decided that we would head to Wild Rider and ask Thorsten for a place to get gas. After we weaved back we found the other guys had made it and we drove all the vehicles into the gate.

    Turns out everyone needed gas so Thorsten took the group following his SUV to a local gas station. He warned us that they would try and rip us off and they did but he was not going to let that happen! Thorsten made sure they charged the correct amount gave them a little smack down in Spanish and back to Wild Rider we went.

    Thorsten checked out the bikes and I told him about the broken clutch lever and the scraped up hand guard and bar end weight.


    This is a picture just after it happened. The clutch lever was bowed back and would not allow for the clutch to be fully engaged. I bent it forward and it busted the end off. I also reinserted the bar end weight.
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    He told me that $20 would take care of it and I was so happy! I wasprepared for any price. having rented bikes before a scratch on a $250 part they want you to pay for a new one! V-rod clutch assembly scratched in Vegas. Thorsten more than treated me fairly I was very happy, he really earned a satisfied customer on that one.




    What a contrast this was. He secured a great rate and gave us a map of all the local attractions like "Indian market and shopping district" as some of us needed to pick up a few things to bring home for the family.

    I can't say enough about our experience with Wildrider. They took our reservation without a deposit, we changed it several times and he was gracious each time. Thorsten went out of his way to help us with our overall Costa Rica experience.

    prepping us.
    [​IMG]


    This isn't just a motorcycle rental place they really try and help you with every aspect to make sure you get exactly the type of trip you are after. Thorsten went over the map and helped us find the best riding and gave us tips as to what to see and do in each area.


    here we are getting info for our trip
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    Tomas Thorsten's business partner reminded us of Q on James bond. He kept appearing out of no where . We were walking out of our hotel and suddenly he appeared with our replacement SUV he had a new CD /radio installed. He was Q for our adventure making sure our equipment was in top function.

    just returned the rental
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    I sure hope enough people rent motorcycles and jeeps from WildRiders. Without them this whole trip wouldn't have been possible. I believe they offer a complete experience for their customers and I want them to be around for our next Costa Rican adventure.


    The Cacts our first hotel was very convenient, but Thorsten found a much better hotel on the last night. I chose quite and close to WildRiders and thats what the Cacts is.. He filled my request exactly so next time I will ask him what he recommends first.

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    I also said that since we didn't need to stay near the Wild riders tonight we wanted to stay in a better hotel. I thought about using Hotwire but Thorsten got on it and called around and set us up at the Presidente hotel in down town. Http://www.hotel-presidente.com/main.cfm

    Thorsten helped us hail two cabs and took all our luggage in the loaded little Pepe to the hotel. When we got their the hotel staff kicked in with first class service check in was easy and the bell hops delivered our pungent luggage to our rooms.

    I gave Thorsten an ADV sticker for his office, figured this site has been good to him. look for the sticker on your next visit!

    The Presidente is in the heart of San Jose. They have a pedestrian thoroughfare in front which is great for shopping and people watching.

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    Pete and Tom were room mates for the night and due to a little mix up they put them in a master suite.




    They had two separate bathrooms a big living room and a bar. They quickly went out and stocked the bar with beverages.

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    It had a hot tub that was the size of a small pool. You could look out at the city while relaxing.




    We decided to go out shopping allowing each person to go out and find the items needed to bring back to the family. Pete needed a clean shirt to be able to get on the airplane and not be acused of trying to kill the passengers with biological weapons. He ended up borrowing one of mine as they don't have a big selection of XXL shirts down there.:D

    I wandered around people watching and taking in the sights and sounds of San Jose. This is definitely the area you want to be for getting the feel of San Jose.





    Bar overlooking pedestrian area on street.
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    We agreed that at about 7:00PM we would meet and find dinner. I had high hopes of finishing my dining adventure on a crescendo but the mood of the group was relax enjoy the suite. We had beverages, a great suite and the only thing missing to return us to our roots of our college years ( Tom and Sean and I were college room mates) was pizza. We pooled our money and Sean and Michael ran down the road to fetch the Pizza Hut pizzas.

    We ended up having an early night, Pete had to be at the airport early for his 8:00 AM flight and the rest of us were actually looking forward to going home ( not because of work but because of our families).

    The hotel had a great buffet breakfast
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    and we sat next to the pedestrian area watching the passers by.




    After a full breakfast we went on a walk around the city to buy a few more items.
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    I bought two great pairs of sunglasses for $10. ( $6.00 for one and $4.00 for the other) I also bought T shirts for my daughters.

    cross street to the pedestrian thoroughfare, notice the sunglass booth on left. We saw a few bikes with these double head lights, exactly what you would need if driving outside the city at night.

    Guy on right needs glasses?

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    See the copper patina colored building in the background. The roof is a teal colored tarp. It moves in the wind.
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    There are also a number of street vendors selling Rolex watches ( mens and womans $80 for 2) and with those fake Rolexs genuine Cuban Cigars!

    I just can't believe those Cigars to be fakes, just because they can make a fake Rolex doesn't mean they have figured out how to make fake cigar bands to be glued on $0.25 cigars.

    They had large boxes of these counterfeits but I wasn't wasting $140 on these unknown origin fakes. I had wanted to buy just one for under $10 to try a fake but the individual cigars they had were too banged up.

    We all met in the lobby and the hotel had a diesel Hyundai van waiting for us. It cost $22 dollars for the five of us. It was a very comfortable van with a DVD screen and leather seats. It was a very comfortable ride.

    When we got to the airport we used the services of a baggage handler who helped get our exit stamp and helped us fill out our paperwork. For the few dollars we gave him it worked out to be a useful service.

    We went to the duty free and picked and a few more items. One thing I will say is the prices at the airport felt like my last prostate exam. :eek1 What a rip off! A whopper cost I think $9.50 just for the sandwich or something like that. My advice is don't plan on eating or drinking in the San Jose airport.

    They did things a little different, you could not bring liquids on to the airplane with you and they checked you on the gangway. You got your duty free rite by the airplane door.




    landing in San Jose
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    When you return to Houston you go through metal detectors after custom's to maintain the integrity of the US airways.

    There was a problem with weather in Houston so we landed in San Antonio topped up the fuel and then flew to Houston

    Customs was a breeze in Houston but this is where things became very interesting. When we got through customs we discovered that we had missed our scheduled flight and that other arrangements had been made for us by Continental.

    I was the lucky one I had a middle seat :huh on the next flight leaving at 9:45 PM. Everyone else had flights scheduled for Saturday night ( today was Thursday) They offered us a free nights hotel and food.

    Tom and Sean said screw it lets go to the hotel as quickly as possible and get dinner. Bill found a first class trip to Portland ( he was on his own to Seattle). Michael used a little of that Georgia charm and secured a first class seat on my 9:45 flight. Sean and Tom relaxed at the hotel.

    I was dreading the middle seat but when I got on board there were about 15 seats available and I secured a window seat with no one in the middle.

    One has to wonder with so many empty seats why they screwed the group up and had all the extra stress and hassle? Don't they know the difference between when a plane is full or has 15 empty seats?


    Michaels and my flight was delayed till Friday 12:45AM and had me at my house at 5:30AM on Friday. Instead of sleeping I just started working since I have an office in my home. Sean and Tom kicked back at the hotel and when they showed up the next morning they waited in line to see if they could get on a different flight that day. Tom was just ahead of Sean and when they showed up to the customer service desk Tom's gal was faster so she secured Tom in First class on the 8:00AM flight to Seattle in time to catch Tom's pre scheduled flight back to Spokane. We were originally scheduled to be back in Seattle after the last flight to Spokane had left. So this was perfect for Tom. He had a free nights hotel,dinner, and now flying in first class back to catch his original flight what could be better?

    Well Sean had a different experience his gal gave him a 5:45 PM flight in the middle seat. When he went to voice his displeasure at having this completely different schedule than Tom who was helped at the same time she gave him the "you are so ungrateful and you should be happy you are leaving one day earlier than your Saturday departure".

    Sean went to the gate and even though they told him he probably wouldn't make the 8:00AM he made a middle seat and said goodbye to Tom in Seatac.

    Sean and Tom in Malpais

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    Overall I think this trip was a total success! Combining longtime friends, great riding, awesome food and this wonderful country was sure to be a great trip. The common theme while on this trip was that it kept exceeding my expectations in every way. Costa Rica is an amazing place. I feel a relationship that I hope will be a long one with this country. I am already trying to plan a return in 2009. I will go with the wife but hopefully I will be able to bring the family.

    Costa Rica marked us all, our lives are better just knowing that it is waiting for us to return. We have discovered what I now wish we had discovered many years ago.

    Pete put together a DVD and he always does of our trips. This one I view with mixed feelings, on one level I love the memories that come flowing back but on the other hand it just makes me miss it.



    Where's Bill??????


    He's Here!

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    Pete saying goodbye with the "double Big Shaka" stance

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    I will finish this thread with my new computer screen saver taken in Samara at the Tree house!

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. coug66

    coug66 Coug66

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    WA State
    Todays illustration outlines the term " rite side of the board"

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    The guy in the background is on the wrong side of the board!
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    To give an example of this expressions use.....

    Hows your day been going?

    Today seems to be the rite side of the board!


    surfer vacation speak for "its been a good day".
    #19
  20. Finger Mullet

    Finger Mullet Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    80
    Hey Coug66, here I am surfing pics, pics, pics for the first time in a few months and I come across your post and you linked to my lil working mans ride report......I'm flattered..but not worthy.

    Awesome ride report... how long was the whole trip? You saw a lot of stuff.....of which a lot I recognized...especially the girl to guy ratio in Montezuma...lol

    Hey Thorston you owe me a discount on a bike rental next time I come down....:rofl I know you are watching. :D
    #20