I remain in San Jose, Costa Rica, enjoying the tremendous hospitality of Art and Elieth Smiley and their large group of both gringo and Tico friends. Not only have the Smiley's loaned me an apartment but they continue to provide me with the best in meals and entertainment. How did I get so lucky?
Art and Elieth belong to an international travel group called The Friendship Force and they are currently hosts to Erika, a visitor from Germany who is here visiting with about a dozen other German folks. Friendship Force is made up of members who agree to host travelers from other countries when those folks are visiting. Thursday one ofthe Tico members of Friendship Force hosted a dinner for all of the guests and their hosts and also invited me. It was a great time to visit with folks from Germany, Switzerland, the USA and of course, Costa Rica. Tonight Art is having a small group to his house to savor his Barbequed Ribs and other specialities. I am sure that will be a great time.
The last two days have primarily been spent having maintenance done on the Blue Goose. Art introduced me to an absolutely great BMW Motorcycle mechanic who did everything the Beemer needed at very low cost. Also, yesterday I got to spend some time with Gary Pitts, a most interesting and knowledgeable fellow motorcyclist.
This city is vibrant and very enjoyable. The Costa Rican people are very used to us Gringoes and are very friendly. This is a very modern city with everything you could possibly want. I am not sure why everyone does not retire to Costa Rica. The way of life, the quality of life, the people and the beauty of the country are unparalled.
Tomorrow morning Art and I will meet with M14, the local motorcycle club and will go on a ride. Tomorrow afternoon, I am going to a party and dinner with the Friendship Force. They will soon be leaving also.
Sunday night will find me making preparations to depart. If all goes well, I expect to be on the road Monday morning by 8:00 AM, headed to Panama. I think Art is going to guide me through this busy city and then over the Mountain of Death so that I at least get on the right road for Panama.
How will I cross the Darien Gap? Time will tell. Art has given me information on a Panamanian pilot who makes the flight often and I hope to call him Monday night, when I hope to be in David, Panama.