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 My two buddies (Sean and Tom ) from High School and WSU. My brother Pete and last BUT certainly not least, Ian (AKA Coug66) 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 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! 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. Just outside of Colon 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. finished goods! 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! The Costa Rican cigars from the factory are very good but my favorites are the JR brand. Here we are discussing what to buy. Consulting the map like any well planned tour 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 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! 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. 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 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.