This is part of the eighth section of our around the
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Nicaragua
14/3/02 Costa Rica no charge for immigration and with the assistance of a young helper managed the motorcycle papers in well under an hour with just the compulsory insurance charge of $US 10.50 and photocopying. The roads however did not improve and I almost thought I would have preferred a road tax and better roads but one doesn't always lead to the other. This section of the Pan Americana needing resurfacing with all the trucks having chopped up the old tar. The roads even worse as we headed up into the mountains to Monteverde, a cloud forest area along the mountain divide.
15/3/02 Monteverde is the eco-tourism, adventure tourism area in Costa Rica drawing the younger fly in, fly out one week holidayers. The original draw was the cloud forest, nestled in the mountains, surrounded by small cattle or dairy farms. A cool climate in peaceful surroundings. But with the "Medicine Man" sky rope canopy ride, suspension bridge canopy walk, horse, jeep and boat transport along with the trail bike taxi's buzzing through the dusty town it has lost some of the quiet appeal. However the Santa Elena Reserve with its km's of walking trails at 7 am is as peaceful as it gets. Alone in the dense moss covered forest with just bird sounds, a light breeze and light fog clouds rolling through. Each tree branch was covered in epiphytes, some delicate fern like, others enormous bromeliads.
16/3/02 A different morning with the breeze blowing the wet clouds over the mountain and the town, patchy drizzle as we left for Tilaran. Along another bad dirt road, now wet with the misty rain, in and out of sunshine with magnificent rainbows between the two. All the way to La Fortuna around the lake the hilly terrain going from dense rain forest to lush farmland. Some begging coatimundi were waiting by the roadside where people have provided an easy meal from the window of cars. Tame, friendly and non aggressive these cute animals stand on their back legs patiently waiting for a hand out. The mist continued into La Fortuna where on a better day we could have seen Costa Rica's most active volcano, the main reason for visiting the town. Still the local fair on a damp Saturday night drew out the teeny bopper locals along with some tourists and even some older ones who attempted to ride the mechanical bull.
17/3/02 With the rain clearing and the mountain still in mist we left for San Jose, the road gradually improving as the traffic increased. Sunday sightseers out to enjoy the cool mountains at roadside view restaurants.
18/3/02 The visa rounds. After phone calls it seems we don't need visas for Columbia and Venezuela. Panama issued a visa on the spot and Brazil's we can pick up tomorrow morning for a 90 day multi-entry and $US 35.00. We used the cheap taxi's, faster and easier to find a place than on our own motorcycle. Also had to visit the USA embassy as we had forgotten to hand in our immigration cards on leaving that country and thought it could jeopardize our re-entry. Jim had been to Costa Rica before and he had decided to miss the rough road to Monte Verde and has been resting in his luxury apartment and getting some work done on his bike and trailer. My how the other half live when you're not around.
19/3/02 Off after 10.00 am with our 2 yr multi-entry Brazilian visa as a consular official likes Harley-Davidsons. Straight up into the mountains of fog and drizzle, the early wet season still dumping on us, over the Interamericana's highest pass at about 3000 metres to the coast at Dominical and along an unmapped highway following beautiful coastal scenery to Palmar Norte and Neily for the night.
20/3/02 Across the border this morning, leaving Costa Rica
paying just $US 0.60 each for a tax stamp and nothing for the motorcycle.
Move with us to Panama
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