I have established a new album, The Beaches and Turtles of Guanacaste which contains all of the photos I took Monday and Tuesday in the Northern Pacific Province of Guanacaste. The weather was perfect, mostly dry and warm.
Leaving Siquirres Sunday, we were headed to Liberia, the capital of Guanacaste. The route we selected took us past Volcan Arenal and then around Lake Arenal, a beautiful long ride around the still largely undeveloped alpine lake. By 4:00PM we were in Liberia, stopping by the new Walmart. Slightly after sunset we arrived at the farm of Patricia. Over the next two days we visited most of the towns and beaches in the area. Monday we visited the Junquillal Beach to discovered a group of volunteers digging up newly hatched baby turtles and releasing them into the ocean. These baby turtles were only about the size of a lemon but in years to come will reach three feet in length.
I urge you to visit my photos and see the amazing pictures of the turtles making their first rub toward the Pacific. This afternoon we arrived back in San Jose and tonight Ricardo treated us to a fabulous steak dinner at an Argentinian steak house.
Tomorrow we will have lunch with our friend, Art Smiley, and begin preparing for my return to Baffin Bay. First thing, the bikes need be washed. My flight does not depart until Saturday morning but we have a lot to do.
This will be my last posting for Costa Rica, Fall 2017.
The entire morning has been spent preparing for the Feast. Yesterday, Luis slaughtered three young Cordero's (lamb) and today some specialists have been cooking them (six hours near open fire pit). You really must look at the photos to appreciate this culinary art. Ricardo and I traveled to the store and bought 150 cervazas, some water and soft drinks. Later today I will post several photos of the actual party but for now visit the album and look at the preparation.
It is now evening and it has been a great day and evening. Many of my M-14 friends made the three hour trip to Luis Diego's great BBQ. The food was simply great and the company, even better. We capped the night off with a Halloween party and I have included several Halloween photos.
Tomorrow will be a long day. Pray for dry weather and sunshine. We are headed for the northwestern part of Guanacaste. Why? To visit Patricia's farm and the Pacific coast. I don't expect to have internet so this may be my last post for several days.
i have established a separate photo album for our visit with Luis Diego. It consists of a ride around the farm today and tomorrow's party with M-14. I might also include a couple of photos from tomorrow nights halloween party. I suggest you review the album Luis Diego BBQ, Fall 2017.
Leaving San Jose at 7:00 AM, the ride to the farm was beautiful, not a drop of rain. At 4:30PM we made our way back to Hotel Pecuare Lodge in Suquirres and within five minutes of our arrival, the skies opened up and it has been pouring for the past two hours. The M-14 riders are due here at lunch tomorrow. I hope they have a dry ride like we did. Today was spent at the farm. Luis Diego butchered two young Cordero for our Barbecue tomorrow. And we took a tour of the ranch and made a trip over to Puerto Limon. A great day, made all the better by the company of Luis Diego, Patricia and Ricardo.rrow.
With the pouring rain, I think we will have dinner in the hotel. Luis Diego will join us and we meant to do some shopping but that may have to wait until tomorrow. I think an early night to bed is in order!
Early morning was relatively clear so Vivian, Roberto and I were on the bikes headed toward the mountains. The roads were busy but at least it wasn't raining (yet). I am not sure of the mountain we first rode but I could look to my left and see much of San Jose (check the photos).
Leading the way was Vivian on a 300cc Vespa, Chuck on a BMW F650GS, and bringing up the rear was Ricardo on his Yamaha Silverado 1100. Rain threatened but seemed to be holding off. Soon Vivian took a turn and headed up Cerro De La Muerte (the Mountain of Death). This is the highest peak in Costa Rica and recently has sustained several massive mud slides. Crews and machinery were at work trying to make the road safe.
Half way up the mountain it began to get colder, so we stopped at a restaurant for a snack and then headed back down the mountain. Suddenly light rain hit us and we hightailed it back to San Jose. Luckily we made it home before the rains hit but it has now been raining steadily for six hours.
Tomorrow we will head out early for the farm of Luis Diego. The ride will be about four hours with a stop for breakfast. Saturday Luis Diego is hosting a party for M-14. This will be the third one that I have attended. The festivities will actually go on for a couple of days. Then Ricardo, Patricia and I are going to explore much of northern Costa Rica.
Sunday morning found Ricardo and me attending the meeting with M-14. It is always good to be back among this group of riders. But we only attended the meeting, we did not go on the ride. We both wanted to attend Volcho Fest 2017, the vintage Volkswagen show being held in San Jose. Ricardo's brother, Arturo, is a leading member of this club and it was great to be among his friends.
Monday was spent in San Jose traveling with Ricardo to attend to business. I just tagged along from bank to bank. Then in the early afternoon my riding friend Vivian Avila picked me up and we traveled to his home in another part of San Jose. Vivian is married to my friend Nuria and it was good to see her again. Vivian was going to prepare us an Italian dinner and I was hungry.
First we visited Vician's immaculate garage to look at his toys. A beautiful 300 cc Vespa motor scooter, a Harley Road King, a Suzuki V Storm 650, a Harley V Rod and of course, another motor scooter. And of course a Ford Edge and a Mazda sedan. A man has to have a mode of transportation.
Ricardo joined us for dinner. Simply the best dinner of this trip. Later in the evening Ricardo and I returned to Apartment Tortuga. Tuesday I have to attend to some personal business so my next posting will be later in the week.
To view the photographs we took the past three days just punch the tab "Pictures" on the left and open the album "Costa Rica, Fall 2017".
When he was a child Ricardo's abuela owned a beachfront home in Puntarenas so he spent most vacations in this quaint beachfront city. It brings back fond memories. And it was here we spent all of Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Dinner was on the malecon and of course consisted of seafood.
This morning, after a nice complimentary breakfast, we were lucky to meet Antonio (Tony) Tsay, the manager of Hotel Puntarenas Beach. A most delightful Tico, of Asian descent, Tony's family owns the hotel. Tony is a lifelong resident of Puntarenas and boy does he know the city. A friendly and generous man, he hosted us to a ninety minute tour in a the hotel golf cart. A great tour, showing us places that Ricardo did not know existed. How can I not love and admire the great people of Costa Rica.
By noon, the skies were darkening, the wind was up and thunder was in the distance. So we donned our rain gear and headed out for what we thought would be a wet two hour ride to San Jose. Arriving in San Jose, we stopped by the home of Carolina and Ricky Collado. It was just two years ago that I was a guest st their wedding. By mid afternoon we arrived back at Apartment Tortuga. And guess what. It never did rain.
And tomorrow it will be a Sunday so we will be meeting our friends with our moto club, M-14. But if it is raining, I might just go to Vintage VW car show.
Thursday we decided to visit Upala. Upala, a very remote farming supply community sitting on the River Rio Las Haciendas was visited by a strong hurricane just over a year ago and Ricardo wanted to see the resulting destruction. And the destruction was significant, totally destroying the elementary and high schools. Government buildings were destroyed by flooding. Many downtown businesses suffered severe damage by water often ceiling high. Small, basic houses were destroyed. Yet, the local people merely accepted their fate and are rebuilding.
I visited this town three years ago with Luis Diego and we stopped in a nice and good panderia. We decided to once again visit it for a fresh snack. While there, the nice young lady waiting on us told Ricardo that I was there a couple of years ago. I doubt she remembered me for any reason other than I am probably the only Gringo to drop in her shop.
We spent the night in a Wilson's Hotel, the nicest local chain that I have seen. A good, if quiet dinner brought an end to a good day. Morning came early and so did the rains. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of fruit, omelettes and coffee. By mid morning the rains passed and the sun was out. On the bikes, Ricardo and Patricia, riding the blue three wheel "semi" led the way. Four hours later and we were riding up the beachfront of Puntarenas. This is our home for tonight. We are actually in a casino/hotel even though none of us gamble.
This is a port city I have visited several times. It is the only Costa Rican Pacific port hosting large ocean going cruise ships. Tomorrow I will take a few photographs and post them. But tonight? Maybe a seafood dinner.
Wednesday morning at 6:40AM we departed for the Los Chiles border crossing into Nicaragua. Even at that early hour traffic was terrible. Cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles all fighting for the slightest gap in traffic. Ninety minutes later I was tense, rattled but we were at least in the countryside, climbing up into one of two mountain ranges we had to cross.
Large diesel trucks, belching black exhaust fumes,were everywhere. Within an hour my face was black from diesel exhaust. At 9:30 we stopped for breakfast and when we came out to depart, the rain began. Quickly we donned the hot rain suits and were off up the mountain. Rain, never hard, remained with us until early afternoon and then it was hot and humid.
Finally, at 1:30PM, we pulled up to the remote and new border crossing with Nicaragua. Eager to clear immigration, we stood in line to exit Costa Rica.....finally we were at the head of the line. Quickly clearing my passport the officer began examining my riding partners and found a technical error. Despite much discussion he was adamant, Patricia would not be allowed to leave Costa Rica until she returned to San Jose and had her passport corrected.
We certainly were not going to Nicaragua without her so we decided to revise our travel plans. Night time found us in the beautiful and touristy city of La Fortuna. La Fortuna, the gateway to Volcano Arenal is a favorite of ours and we are in a nice and friendly hostel for the night. Tomorrow we will decide on our revised travels but tonight we are relaxing and enjoying a great seafood dinner.
It has been a full day and we are still not ready to depart. But by 7:00AM in the morning we will be on the road headed north, towards Los Chiles and the somewhat remote border crossing into Nicaragua. Rain? Probably but by leaving early we hope to get many kilometers up the road before we get wet.
Wednesday night? The southern Nicaraguan village of San Carlos. San Carlos, sitting right on the southern tip of Lago Cocibolca, should offer great fresh water fish. Lago Cocibola, often referred to as Lake Nicaragua, is the largest fresh water lake in Central America. Our time in Nicaragua will last four or five days and I will be exploring new mountains, volcanoes and cities. With Ricardo, life is always and adventure.
Ricardo and Patricia will be riding their new Goldwing trike. And Chuck? Of courseI will I be on the trusted BMW that Ricardo recently acquired. The weather will be in the high 70s and rain is predicted every day. What an adventure.....
Ricardo, Vivian and I completed our Baja Adventure in May 2016. Little did I realize that it would be seventeen months before we explored new roads. Seventeen months away from the motorcycle adventures....much too long. But in the next few days I will fly into San Jose, Costa Rica, meet Ricardo, mount the BMW waiting for me and head north for the mountain roads of Nicaragua. Maybe the rain will stop. It has now rained over thirty straight days in Nicaragua and much of Costa Rica.
At my age I hated will riding in the rainy mountains....but the resulting mud slides bring even greater challenges. So Monday evening Ricardo will me me at the San Jose airport and Tuesday we will complete all the legal paperwork required to take the bikes out of Costa Rica.