10. Costa Rica, - Look , the ice-cream man is here !
Crossing the border into Costa Rica was truly a slow and sweaty process, taking nearly two hours thanks to hopeless beauracracy and the damn bank being unattended.
My target destination had been Alejua, just north of San Jose, but I was intercepted by a yellow 1150 GS rider in the form of Francisco Brenes, who believe it or not was the Vice President of the BMW Motoclub de Costa Rica. Next thing I knew he was helping me find a bed for the night, and treating me to a great meal at his restaurant , El Farolito.
On Francisco's advice I visited the local BMW dealership to get an oil and filter change, new rear brake pads and a brake light lens which had fallen off god knows where. The resident bike expert Christian was bend-over-backwards helpful, and even slipped me a used fuel filter just in case the present one died before hitting the US.
Christian ( on right ) , the San Jose BMW wizard
While we were doing the oil change, Christian and I were both surprised to find an egg sized rock wedged against the front sprocket, complete with train tracks where the chain had been rubbing against it , I can only imagine it was there since Brasil, some 6,000 kmīs previous...
The rock, guess I was lucky there wasn't some serious damage....
That evening I was invited to the BMW Motoclub dinner at one of San Jose's most exclusive restaurants, Le Chandelier. I was politely informed a main meal there can cost 80 USD, and I must admit I felt a little strange wearing my bright orange chaingang t/shirt. The club has only 36 members, but they are varied bunch of bike enthusiasts who adhere to the BMW slogan : BMW's are made to be washed, not polished.......
Getting rid of the gaunt biker look courtesy of the BMW Motoclub de Costa Rica, click for larger view
Next day I made an overnight trip to the cloud forests Santa Elena and Monteverde. Did the touristy thing at Monteverde flying through the canopy on a zip wire, but I can honestly say it's not a patch on the Ben Nevis bungy in Queenstown....
The Monteverde Canopy tour, click here to see if I was having fun or not...
At my Hotel in Santa Elena I met the Nilsson family from the states, we were the only guests there apart from the Scorpion they found in their bed....
Julie admitted that when she saw me roll up on the bike with the country stickers all over my panniers, she thought I was the ice-cream man !, you have to laugh...
On the morning of the Korea - Turkey 3rd place match I was up at 5 am to join the BMW guys for a ride to Laguna Caņa Negro. It was nice to see so many F650īs gathered at the Shell station prior to take off, and man, did we take off. After 5 months of touring around with all my luggage, suddenly I was trying to keep up with some very quick riding. The Pirelli MT 21 rear can hold itīs own at normal speeds, but I found itīs limits very quickly, the back end doing little skips to remind me it was a motocross tyre...
Pre-race bike inspections at the shell station...
At our breakfast stop Francisco gave everyone a dressing down for the aggressive riding, and I was quietly thankful as it increased my chances of keeping up. At our destination we made a tour in a thoughtfully covered boat, coasting amongst the fantastic wildlife and vegetation that makes up the seasonal laguna. This was the first time Iīd seen so much wildlife on the trip, Caiman crocīs, Tiger Herons, Anhingas, Turtles, Iguanas, Kingfishers - it was great viewing.
Cruising on the Laguna, BMW style....
One very large Iguana keeping an eye on us, photo courtesy of Mario Guzman
A real big thankyou to the BMW Motoclub de Costa Rica, you guys really know the meaning of hospitality ! Special thanks to Norval, Francisco and Mario, I look forward to returning the favour if you come to New Zealand....
Posted by Jeremy Andrews at July 13, 2002 02:18 AM GMT
Its such a pleasure to follow your journey through America! I just wish I was there, right behind ya in my Humvee! We are all looking forward to seing you here in Munich (where life seems so boring compared to the one you currently live) in due time for the Oktoberfest!
All the best! Miss you! Henrik
Hey Jeremy, great to here from you so frequently, keeping the good old kiwi spirit of adventure going.
emmm here I am at the office on a Sunday, (only the second day of what anyone could call a summers day, even by London standards), now asking myself, "What the hell am I doing here?, what's wrong with me?"
And having just read your latest, I'm now feeling like a disgrace, hahaha
let me know what you think of Costa Rica
the ABs had a good win over the wallabies 12-6 at Lancaster Park. Springboks up next this weekend
Jeremy, you are making it sound easy now! Just because you have got used to it, don't stop the hardship stories! You want to sell the book, don't you? Make sure you beat that cold in Alaska.
England is great at present, have had many a pint on my tales, but am envious of the good bits in your tales. Cheers.
PS. Am volunteering at the Commonwealth Games at present, intend making sure Jonah Lomu doesn't get off my bus at the stadium! Fat chance!
Hey Ice Cream Man!!
Finally got to your web site. What adventures you continue to have. I guess the BMW club in san jose is the way to go. We look forward to hearing from you in Chico. Here's our cell phone # 530-899-8692. Hope to be toasting to you soon!!
Julie, Eric, Taylor & Georgia