Paradise Revisited!!

Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
Trip End Sep 03, 2008

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Guanacaste,
Friday, August 1, 2008

Costa Rica - here we come! I've heard so many great things about Costa Rica and I could not wait to get there.  Also, today is also our 3 year anniversary so Jess had done some research online and found a beautiful resort called Hotel Ocotal near Playa Del Coco for a little luxury and respite!  But wait...we still have Nicaraguan roads (worst so far), the border crossing (the one that takes the longest from what we've heard) and the Nicaraguan police checkpoints (also the most corrupt from what we've heard)... yes there were a few things that stood in between us and paradise this morning!
The roads are pretty bad here (in Nicaragua) and I am so glad we are on a motorcycle and not in a car! About every 60 feet the asphalt disappears and you are riding on dirt, mud and HUGE potholes, then asphalt for 60 feet and then the dirt and mud again. There is no centralized infrastructure, instead the people living in the villages by this road are out sweeping it and trying to stuff the potholes with sand or gravel but they don't have the right material or any tools for that matter. I guess they are doing what they can with what they have!
The police checkpoints were fine and the Nicaraguan police were the friendliest and the most respectful so far (believe or not!). Everyone shook Jess' hand and introduced themselves before asking for our papers etc. That has NOT happened in any other country.

The border crossing took a long time but I had a good time talking to all the truckers who were also waiting to cross into Costa Rica. They were mesmerized by the bike and I actually spoke to this one guy for almost 40 minutes, it was good practice for my poor Spanish!  Jess had a worse time just standing in line but I'll let him tell you about it...
So finally we are in Costa Rica!!  After riding for about an hour we rode into the first storm we've seen since arriving in Antigua, but we know this drill by now so we stopped to put on rain gear and continued until we reached our destination...happiness! This place is like a dream!
We had a delicious three-course dinner at the resort for our anniversary and it felt great to be pampered a little bit. We spent the next morning (or all day actually) by the pool hanging out with this really cool couple from Temecula, California. They were there on their anniversary/yearly vacation and gave us some great intel about Vulcan Arenal and the hot springs surrounding we have to change our plans and make that one of our destinations on the way back!
Hey, Jess here...Costa border crossing was organized but took nearly three hours, and yes we got fumigated for crotch-crickets (see the pictures) was just me and the truckers,  hanging out...mano y know, good guy-stuff.  Anyhow, Costa Rica is obviously a very prosperous country in these chicken buses, lots of private cars, banks, mini-malls, gas-stations...all of the stuff that beautiful Bakersfield has, but for us, it just seems like a dream!!
On the bad side, they should invest some of their prosperity into their roads...lots of traffic and pretty poor road conditions.  Anyhow, the resort was amazing, and we the wait-staff loved us because we were the only non-rich folks who were there...and we didn't fly, we rode from California!  They thought it was awesome and kept asking us a million was fun...and there were creatures everywhere!!!...I love reptiles!!! Bleep is back too and we've missed him!
Okay, so after a little respite, we had to get our butts to San Jose to pick up a new rear brake rotor and some brake pads.  The weather took a turn for the worse, and we were riding through a total downpour, when in my mirror, I see another BMW GS 1200 splitting lanes right behind us!!!  How cool!!!  I tuck in behind a big truck and wait for him to pull up beside me...he flips up his helmet, say his name is Jonas, and asks where we're going...I tell him we're going to Panama, but not until we stop into the BMW shop in San Jose...he says, follow me, I'll take you there!!
Hell yeah!! Now we have a fellow GS'er taking us to the shop...and what a wild ride it was!!...splitting lanes, riding the shoulder, I think he forgot I was 2-up with all of the gear!  But it was funny, I saw him get squirrely a couple of times and we never did...and we were always right on his back wheel...I think there was some mutual respect for one another when we finally got to the shop.
The guys at the BMW shop were awesome...we showed up, decked out head-to-toe in our BMW gear, bearded, and smelling like bums...just like moto-adventurers should be!  They were stoked, gave us a ton of advice, and $520 later, we left with all of the parts we needed (I scaled down my initial order).
Costa Rica is beautiful, built-up, and it's obvious why this is an international tourist destination...and it felt really safe...we need to do a little bit more digging around here on our way back...but in the meantime, we're on a mission...the Canal is beckoning...the bridge between North and South America...I can't stop thinking about it.
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schowe on

Hotel Ocotal...
No way you guys happened to stay at the same resort we stayed at when we were in Costa Rica this past Thanksgiving! The beach shot (with the note that it's right by the pool) is right where Ben and Carolyn got married! It's funny because we have almost the same set of pics (the iguanas have no fear)! Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much and thanks for taking us back for a bit....

schowe on

....the picture that is uploaded on this site associated with our username was taken on that very beach!

johnnyblackpint on

Big Bleeps...
...I like 'em, too.

johnnyblackpint on

Congratulations on number three! And thanks for having all of us along.

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