Nightmare in Paso Canoas
"You are not allowed to enter Costa Rica at this border," he said, and shoved my papers back at me. "And why is that,?" I asked. He replied, "In 1998 you entered here with a different bike, but the computer does not show that the bike left the country. Therefore you cannot enter with this bike. But I can do one more thing for you, I'll phone Penas Blancas and see if they have a record of your bike. That'll take about two hours." Predictably nothing happened.
How can I prove that the bike left the country? My expired passport? I always carry one with me. But this was two passports ago. No good. Ah... my last chance, my Canadian bike insurance, my pink slip from Allstate that had come in handy many times on this trip. On it both of my bikes are listed to be insured from 2005 to 2006. Their chassis numbers are given. I tried to explain this to that dummy. But got nowhere. I asked to see his superior, a lady, and explained again. She verified the number of the 1991 R100GSPD with the number in the computer, a perfect match. Now she went to her boss. They finally decided to let me in, three hours later.
But this was not the end of my problems. Riding away in pouring rain, I was stopped by a roadblock 25 minutes later. A head-on collision. It took three tow trucks with welding equipment to separate the software from the hardware in the two wrecks. Three hours later, still in pouring rain, I found a hotel in the little town of Neily. At least that came through, Hotel Andrea, a classy place.
But what are my petty troubles compared with the people on their ultimate journey in the two cars? One ought to keep things in perspective.
Wonder what's going to happen at Penas Blancas? Anybody know about the condition of Costa Rican jails? Stay tuned.