March 17, 2010 GMT
Montana Ranch(Costa Rica) Mar 2010

Iím in Costa Rica as I had to leave and re-enter the USA to renew my B2 visa having already had a visa extension application turned down. I left my bike and most of my possessions in Montana where I was waiting out the winter until it was warm enough to travel again.

005 San Jose Main Street 26th Feb.jpg
San Jose, Costa Rica

In 1949 Costa Rica decided to scrap their armed forces and spend the money saved on health, education and infrastructure. Are there any downsides if all the other countries followed suite? I guess they would all have to do it at the same time and some RELIABLE means of ensuring no one had WMD (weapons of mass destruction) hidden away would need to be put in place. It would free up an awful lot of money for useful stuff.

010 San Jose Statue 27th Feb.jpg
Pedestrian Avenida Central, San Jose

I spent a few days in San Jose before heading to Manuel Antonio and Quepos on the Pacific coast. A pedestrian main street, the Avenida Central and the Plaza De La Cultura (Square Of Culture) form the heart of the city. Most of the roads go to and from San Jose making it a hub for getting around Costa Rica.

023 Manuel Antonio NP Beach 3rd Mar.jpg
Manuel Antonio National Park

On a visit to Manuel Antonio National Park I saw two different kinds of monkey, Capuchin monkeys were plentiful and I got a glimpse of some squirrel monkeys. A rabbit sized mammal I saw was later identified as an Agouti. A five inch freshwater turtle was spotted in a pool that remained from an almost dry creek bed. An assortment of lizards from the very small to two metre long Iguanas were everywhere. The highlight was a tiny hummingbird. It looked far too small to have all the bits of a bird inside it. I had hoped to see a sloth thinking it would be one animal slow enough to photograph but they were obviously too fast and/or cunning for me. It comes to something when you canít find the slowest moving creature known to mankind!

031 Monkey Manuel Antonio NP 3rd Mar.jpg
Capuchin Monkey, Manuel Antonio National Park

There was a path in the National Park fringed with coconut palms with a fair number of coconuts imbedded deep into the sandy path. It reminded me of an obscure fact I read somewhere that more people are killed by falling coconuts than by shark attacks. So if anybody asks coconuts are more dangerous than sharks. And a health and safety tip, look up into the trees before choosing that shady spot. Later I spoke to someone who had been sitting on the beach under the shade of trees and a coconut had thudded into the sand missing him by three feet.

030 Manuel Antonio NP Clifftop View 3rd Mar.jpg
Metallic Green Humming Bird In Front Of Flower Is Almost Too Small To See

I had my birthday whilst on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. I got close to the international date line to delay it as long as possible but it eventually caught up with me!

042 Manuel Antonio Beach 5th Mar.jpg
Manuel Antonio Beach

Tope Quepos 2010, A horse carnival was held one afternoon. Traffic was stopped while horses and riders paraded around town. There was Latino music and some kind of horse dancing competition that I never got to fully understand.

044 Quepos Tope 6th Mar 2010.jpg
Tope Quepos 2010

Before I arrived I had read about how bad the Costa Rican traffic was. It doesnít seem too bad to me. The traffic pretty much obeys the traffic signs, They give way on the single lane bridges. Motorcycles filter through the traffic as they do in the UK. My assessment is that it is worse than the USA and Canada but better than Italy!

049 Quepos Tope Parade 6th Mar.jpg
Tope Quepos Street Parade

I had to be up at 4am for my flight back to the USA. Naturally I woke at 2:30am and couldnít get back to sleep! On arrival at Denver International Airport I was diverted off to a Department Of Homeland Security area reserved for suspect aliens. After much grilling and questioning I managed to convince them that I was a bona fide tourist and a fine upstanding citizen to boot and they gave me another six month stay in the USA.

056 Quepos Tope Sunset 6th Mar.jpg
Quepos Sunset

Iím now back in Montana where most of the snow has melted and it is getting warmer. As soon as it is warm enough to travel and camp without freezing to death I will be heading off. There are a number of western national parks I want to visit, I would like to get up to Alaska and travel on the Pacific Highway. Iíll probably dash south during a warm spell then slowly travel north as the weather improves then journey south again for Mexico and my exit from the USA in September.

164 I90 Rest Stop Rattlesnake sign 11th Mar 2010.jpg
Visa Crisis Over, It's Back To Risking Life And Limb In Montana!

Posted by at March 17, 2010 10:21 PM GMT

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!