Costa Rica, 10 Jan '03
March 28, 2003 GMT
Tierra del Ticas (and potholes)

Settled into the campsite and crossed my fingers against theiving bastards...what else can you do?

$11 for the bike and 200 Colones for photocopies. A free spray thrown in as well!
The hwy started out as a smooth, multicoloured patchwork. That didn't last, quite surprisingly Costa Rica's roads are littered with potholes!
Got to Liberia by dusk and took an airless box of a room; but the moto had good parking. The sacrifices i make!!
Out for a walk to find an atm. Nearly back to the hwy for a Cirrus machine. Visa/plus is much more common in C.America.
Pop into a "soda" for cerveza and hamburgesa. Everything seems so mod after Nica, lots of trendy boutiques etc..
El Coco beach on the Nicoya Penninsula for a Tica weekend. Youths from San Jose wandering the beach in packs of 5 or 6; comments and cat calls at all the young girls.
The main campsite was under construction so i was directed up the hill. Oscar's little yard was quite dusty and full with campers from San Jose. We suffered through a lounge lizard session friday evening. Oscar wheeled out a 4ft speaker, organ and bongos. He played for over an hour. He did a version of New York, New York for me...?
The beach was ok but the wind whipped up and sand blasted most of the day. I took refuge in a beach restaurant and had a wonderful bowl of crema de mariscos -lobster, shrimp, octypus and scallops...mmmmm!
Moved onto gringolandia -Tamarindo. Settled into the campsite and crossed my fingers against theiving bastards...what else can you do?
My thigh muscle was stiff and sore from the slide saving 'slap down' shock wave! A lovely long beach to 'walk it out' collecting shells.
I could write volumes about campsite life: the four 18yr olds from Prince Albert; the jewellery sellers, Quique from Bogota and Martin from San Jose; the Tica family on school holiday and the young 'hippies' from northern California, warts and hair; and the Brazilian surfers -spaced out and hairy too.
RTW m/c travellers Chris & Erin Ratay had mailed me after my run-in w/ the Nica police appeared in the Horizon e-zine...it was looking like we would always just miss one another. So i made the big decision to abort the Nicoya beach crawl and go to the cloud forest to meet them.
Up to Sta. Elena on friday and did a 12km walk saturday morning...i saw one new bird. A Black Guan. Creepy turkey looking thing, w/ a blue beak and evil red-orange eyes. It was way up in the tree tops, too high for such a turkey.
Chris and Erin arrived saturday and spotted me as i returned from my walk; we chatted the day away. They rode up with members of the BMW Club of San Jose; mostly F650Gs riders and a couple of 1150Gs'. Chris and Erin are both riding Funduros. (www.ultimatejourney.com) Chris' was back in SJ with a busted shock, so they were 2up on Erin's.
Sunday morning they all did a forest walk in the misty rain. It's not funny how my body-clock likes to repeat what it did the previous morning...5:30am!
I was ready at 10am and was sorely tempted to hit the road, but decided to wait and be part of the group. We got away late -1pm- with more than 20km of lumpy gravel road to cover.
We regrouped and hit the hwy to San Jose...do you know the way?... whoa whao whoa whao whoa whao whoa whao whoa whaaaooooo. (I don't know which is worse that one or Summer Holiday!?)
Mario, on his yellow 650, way out in front. When we saw him pull out we would follow blindly. Long lines of traffic winding up two lane mtn roads -dodging potholes and mean car drivers not letting us in! A long stressful ride.
The Club have the habit of putting a foot out to tell of potholes...leave it out!!
Made it to the hotel in the dieing light. The hotel didn't have a single for me, so i crashed with Chris and Erin for the night...easy riders.
Merv and Ruth, a couple from England RTW on an 1150Gs, were there. Beers and a meal.
Chris and i had a 'get to know your f650' session. Valves good, carbs a bit sandy but good. Couldn't get one side open. Casa de tornillo for a replacement screw and then Jose's machine shop to impactdriver it open. (Jose was making a cruise control for Chris). Air filter and battery had to wait for the next day.
Another 1150Gs rider appeared. Mark, a Canadian, is on his way to Africa via Chile and Argentina!
Good bye to Erin and Chris, too bad we are going opposite directions. Can't have too much fun i guess.
Gave the Atlantic coast a miss and headed south, over the 3400m pass. Heated grips are go! Met a guy from Panama, on a R1, he hit a monster pothole after crossing the border...big dent in the rim.
I opened one of the boxes in the mtns, when i came down i couldn't open it. Pressure lock! "oh pressure, oh ya pressure got a lock on you....."
The coast road from Dominical is the newest and best in CR. No potholes!
Camped at a French Cdn run place near Playa Tortuga. I arrived with a weird rash all over.
In the morning i was swollen. Everything -eyes, hands, feet, ears, nose!! What the...? 26km to the farmacia where Felix, an retired doctor, sits at the till and dispences from a bag under the counter.
Took antihistamine, then over to the beach thinking the salt water would smarten things up. Two river crossings to the beach. Not too good for swimming, a very wild, driftwood coast. Lots of 'sand dollars'.
Still a bit swollen so another pill and a pilsen!
Lounged by the pool for a couple of days spotting Toucan, 3-toed sloth and scarlet rumped trogan. Lots of flycatchers too- dive bombing the pool. Even saw a tree frog one evening!
Rode past customs building again! They just don't make it obvious and always on the left....

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith at 11:06 PM GMT
 
 

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