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mcrider
03-06-2007, 07:31 PM
The Moto Tours Costa Rica Style
February 10 – 17, 2007
The riders:

Chris Hardy (mcrider on TWT, TON & KTMTalk) Chris’ Pictures ( http://new.photos.yahoo.com/mcrider625sxc/album/576460762390848301)
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-056.jpg

Bill Chedsey (Bill on TON, Rocky Bill on TWT) Bill’s Pictures (http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/wchedsey@swbell.net/album?.dir=/9fbcscd&.src=ph&.tok=phJeHVGBXOie9W45)
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-136.jpg

Chuck Blair (CeeBee on TWT) Chuck’s Pictures (http://s48.photobucket.com/albums/f209/cpbtx72/?start=0)
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f209/cpbtx72/020_20-1.jpg

Joe Zmarzly
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/IMG_0039.JPG

Randy & Barbara Nemitz
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_3_018.JPG

Paul Furlong, our guide (fluent in Spanish)
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_6_048.JPG

RJ Faddis, sweep rider & flat fixer. (center)
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CostaRicaDay5_076.JPG

Willy, mechanic & support truck driver.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/cmhCostaRicaDay-7-017.JPG

Costa Rica is a very green mountainous tropical rain forest country with very few major highways. The native language is Spanish and the currency is colons, but many speak English and they all take US dollars. The roads vary from two lane asphalt to un-maintained rocky two tracks. All good for dual sport riding; you are either going up, down, twisty turny, switch backs or all at the same time.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/aCostaRicaTripMap.jpg

Paul described CR as a toon town; we might see a piano fall out of the sky on to the road. We did see a lot of walkers, bikers, horse riders, small cars, small trucks, large trucks & of course loose cows, dogs, horses, monkeys, coatamundi, etc.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-015.jpg

http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-163.jpg

Also as Paul noted, the roads conform to the mountains not the mountains to the road; there were plenty of switch backs & decreasing radius curves. http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f209/cpbtx72/013_13.jpg
The temperatures range from the low 80s & 50s at night in the mountains to mid 90s & 60s at night on the coast. The highs on the coast did not feel like the humid Houston 90s.

Day Zero

We all arrived on the same flight to San Jose Costa Rica (CR) from Houston at 12:40 pm. Clearing immigration and customs was painless and we emerged from the terminal to be met by a lot of young Costa Ricans wanting to help with luggage. Soon Moto Tours Costa Rica’s (http://www.mototourscostarica.com/home.php) owner Wayne Faddis picked us up and we were off to the Hotel Cafetal (http://www.cafetal.com) in Atenas where we would stay the first & last nights in CR. The hotel is completely open air; we even needed a light blanket at night.
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After we settled in to our rooms and sampled the local cervasa,
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/cmhCostaRicaDay-1-009.JPG

Wayne and his wife Ann
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/cmhCostaRicaDay-1-005.JPG
came by to take us to the La Treus for our first taste of CR food, which was quite good. This open air restaurant had one long table for the thirteen of us & two smaller tables. Wayne & Ann normally reside in Roanoke Virginia. They and his brother RJ & wife just happened to be in CR the previous weeks. RJ rode with us on the tour.

Day One – 77 miles.
Atenas, Palmares, Sam Ramon, La Tigra, La Fortuna, Linda Vista

Starts with a good breakfast outside at hotel. http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f209/cpbtx72/012_12.jpg

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f209/cpbtx72/011_11.jpg

The MTCR support truck & a taxi arrived at 8:15 am to carry us the short distance to get our bikes for the next six days. Bill, Joe and Randy rode ’07 KTM 450 EXCs; Paul, RJ, Chuck & I rode KTM 640 Super Enduros (not available in the US). Barbara rode a Honda 250 and kept up easily because the power disadvantage was overcome by the tightness of the roads and her lower weight advantage. As Super Hunky said: 10 pounds equals one horsepower.
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The roads in CR are what the 640 is made for, course the 450 rider are going to disagree.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-186.jpg

We started out on pavement to get out of Atenas, and eventually up and over the mountains to Palmares. The first dirt road was a very rough rocky up hill. I think that was a test to see how everyone kept up; it was short and hooked back to pavement in a mile or so. When I got on pavement my bike started cutting out. At the next dirt section it died on an up hill. After draining the float bowl for water, we checked the gas tank & sure enough it was low. Turned on reserve & it was fine.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-011.jpg

We continued on to fuel up in San Ramon.
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We did about 50/50 pavement and dirt the first day. We topped of the tanks and had lunch in La Fortuna in the shadow of volcano Arenal which was covered with clouds.
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After we gear back up
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there is more pavement and dodging in & out of local traffic, a short dirt ride (5k), we arrived at our remote hotel Linda Vista (http://www.hotellindavista.com/index.html).
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The hotel is on the lava flow side of Volcan Arenal.
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Chuck, Joe, Randy & Barb went to ride the zip lines through the rain forest canopy and got wet when the rain started.
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Bill and I sat on the porch with a cool cervasa listening to the rain and the Howler monkeys up in the hollow.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-031.jpg

The vulture kept buzzing Bill before he took a shower.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-046.jpg

After an excellent dinner in the hotel restaurant,
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Randy0031.JPG
we went back to libation on the porch for some bench racing. Paul & I discovered we both were flat tracking & road racing 250 cc Ducati in the early 60’s, small world.


Check back for the next five days. :rider: :eat: :sun:

mcrider
03-06-2007, 07:38 PM
I have a new respect for y'all that do ride reports all the time. I do not know how you do it and keep a job. Lucky I do not have one.

It took five days to get all the words put together in a Word document. As I worked I kept the photos in mind. Then I started on the pictures, Bill had sent me a link to his pictures on Yahoo, and since I had never used a photo server I used Yahoo. I got carried away & put all my photos online. Over 3,000 and it took all day. I started through the photos to select which went with the words. Next was TWT. Started to work on the post, but the from photos Yahoo would not display. Tourmeister got me straight on Yahoo. The only thing to do was move all the photos I wanted to use to TWT. I started downloading Bill's photos from Yahoo, all 175+. Took all day. Then Joe (415) & Randy's (120) photos came on a CD. Working from the CD was to slow, so I moved those to my hard drive. Then I discovered they were to large, resized all 710. Another day. Then another two days putting the name of the photo, from four locations, with the words. Uploaded only the photos I need for the report, another day.

Fast forward to this morning. TWT I'm ready. Cut & paste, some photos display some do not. BAD WORD, BAD WORD, BAD WORD! :argh: :angryfire :angryfire :miffed:

Discover it matters whether it is .jpg or .JPG. Since the photos are from four different sources they are not the same. All day today sorting that out.

I have new respect for you prolific reporters! :clap:

jhansen
03-06-2007, 08:45 PM
sounds like fun. a question. Did you bring your own gear (helmets etc) or was that part of the bargin?

Duke
03-06-2007, 09:04 PM
:popcorn:

XR650Rocketman
03-06-2007, 10:12 PM
Chris.....did you have to start your report with all the pics?....My wife told me that I needed to go in this ride....She was right!!!!!

ta2240
03-06-2007, 10:55 PM
In Freaking Credible.

No wonder you had a smile on your face all last weekend.



NEXT POST PLEASE:eat:

thumper
03-06-2007, 11:48 PM
Lucky Dogs:drool: Great pics and report.:clap:

mcrider
03-07-2007, 02:10 AM
Did you bring your own gear (helmets etc) or was that part of the bargin?

We took our own gear. Moto Tours Costa Rica (http://www.mototourscostarica.com/home.php) supplied the bikes, gas, the hotels, breakfast, lunch and a couple of snacks per day.

Chris.....did you have to start your report with all the pics?....My wife told me that I needed to go in this ride....She was right!!!!!

The pictures are just getting started.

mcrider
03-07-2007, 02:40 AM
Day Two – 133 miles
Linda Vista, Union, San Bernardo, Liberia, Tamarinda

We got up around 6 am, had breakfast at 7, and were on the dirt road away from the hotel by 8:00. The night’s rain had made the pavement wet as we turned north crossing the lake Arenal dam. The nice curvy road followed the lake shore northwest; this would be a nice swoopy road in the dry. At breakfast Paul told us to take some toast, but no one did. As we rounded one curve Paul stopped, and there at the road’s edge was a coatamundi waiting for us. It looks like a cross between an ant eater and raccoon with a tail in the meerkat position. When it hears the bikes it comes to the road for breakfast. It traveled down the line of bikes to be sure none of us had any toast, stopping for pictures along the way.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Randy0033.JPG

We continued on around the lake to a German bakery in Union for a snack. Here we encountered our first bus load of American tourist, who questioned our adventure.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/cmhCostaRicaDay-3-001.JPG

We were soon off to a little more pavement, and then the dirt. The rain had not gotten this far north, so the dust became more intense as the day wore on. The roads in CR are of several types; maintained gravel through the farm land, “maintained” with large embedded rocks exposed several inches above the surface, ones with small to large loose rocks, and all types with fine volcanic silt with no traction. We took a short break at a wind mill farm.
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We soon turned on one of the rough loose rock road & I lost my camera case. It has a loop with velcro to make it easy to put across a belt. Lucky I saw it fall, stopped to pick it up and twice luck, none of the other six ran over it. RJ stopped to wait for me, by the time we caught up the others were taking a break at the bar in San Bernardo.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_2_028.JPG

The town had a bar, polica station with several houses. No matter how small, all communities have a bar/store. This one was so small that the bano was a banana tree.
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On the way out of town to the main road we encountered the conditions the locals had to travel. This was the good road.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Randy0039.JPG

The remainder of the road was dirt with little or no gravel full of large holes left from the rainy season. On one of these roads (they run together) I gave Chuck a show with a mini tank slapper. I was too hot going into a rocky turn down hill, locked up the rear brake, hit a rock & oh… look out. Thanks to the 640’s desire to go straight it recovered.

We soon hit the pavement up to Guayabo for fuel. Before lunch we took a moon ride on a road that was bright white along with the surrounding area. It was compacted volcanic ash that reminded me of riding across solid rock. At regular intervals were pockets of one foot deep power that sprayed up against your boots. If you made the mistake of being to close behind a fellow rider it was a total white out.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/WhiteRoad.jpg

Now, on to the large city of Liberia on the Pan-American highway for lunch. This would be our first encounter with Casados a CR dish of rice, beans, and another vegetable with chicken, fish or pork.

As we left on highway 21 toward the airport Randy had a flat. He and RJ were the last to leave, so the rest of us did not know. Later by the airport Joe also had a flat.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Randy0044.JPG

When the other five turned north at Guardia 19k later; they all were missed. Paul went back to see what happened. Bill, Chuck & I went a very short distance to some trees at houses.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-058.jpg

Barb stayed at the corner, because of rule #1, with the diesel bus & truck fumes. We three could not see her from our shad, because of a bus stop and assumed she went with Paul. Did I mention it was very hot? She finally abandons her post for the shad after almost passing out. After about an hour & a half, we were all back on the road to the monkey trail.

The monkey trail was a two track through the mountains along the coast where we got our first look at the Pacific.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-091.jpg

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At the numerous creek crossing we could hear the howler monkeys hootin' & hollering. Seems the 450 sound drives them up a tree (pun intended). The further south we got the rockier and steeper the two track got with up & down switch backs. At some point along this trail Barb needed a closer look the monkey’s ground.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_2_035.JPG

Joe also had a reaction with the ground, but it was not recorded. The knee and forearm were the only evidence it happened.
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f209/cpbtx72/001_1-1.jpg

It was getting late in the day and my new Bell street helmet with flip shield that had been doing so well in the dust did not do good in the sun, shadows & dust with out a visor. Soon after arriving at our town for the night, Tamarindo, we fought dust from a bus, road construction, a detour, but the Best Western could not hide. RJ and Willy.
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After a dip in the pool & cleaning up Chuck & I were off to help Bill find a surfer bar. Mission accomplished, only after a stop for blackened red snapper and cervasa. Both were excellent.
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Photojojo
03-07-2007, 07:45 AM
I have a new respect for y'all that do ride reports all the time. I do not know how you do it and keep a job. Lucky I do not have one.



Chris,

First let me say :clap:.

I use www.smugmug.com to host all of my photos. It's not a free site (see my signature) but you can upload all of your full size photos to the site and then they provide you with links that automatically resizes them in small, medium, and large sizes ready made to post in forums and e-mails. If I have lots of photos I'll start it at night then go to bed. When I wake up it's ready to go.

Next I'll start the report in an e-mail and send it to myself, that way I can work on it from any computer with internet access. This works best if you have internet e-mail like Gmail or Yahoo. What I'm going to say is usually already formulated while I'm riding, sometimes you might see me takling notes. I usually do tie everything to pictures like you did.

The next step is to get everything ready to go to Clayton, OK (http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15949) with me the end of this month so you can practice doing another trip report. :rider:



Now get to work and finish up this report.

mcrider
03-07-2007, 07:54 AM
Day Three – 102 miles.
Tamarindo, Samara, Santa Teresa

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Bill and I got up to discover our things on the patio had been guarded that night by a peacock.
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Then the resident feline invited itself in to patrol the room for critters.
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We all had coffee on the patio watching the sun rise on the Pacific.
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A quick ride through town and we are soon on a very rough cow trail. It always amazes me, like Mexico, no matter how rough or impassable a pathway seems there is always a local in a small truck. This was true this morning on the “cow trail”. We soon popped out on pavement. This would be the theme for the day, long stretches of dirt connected with short pavement sections.

We soon stopped at a small costal village for a break.
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As we headed south down the coast it started getting dustier.
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Bill likes the locals.
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At one river crossing there was an alternative to the normal ford.
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Today we would encounter a common method of dust control. Twice we came across workers with a hose watering and others tossing pans of molasses on the road. They had a large tank of molasses, but were spreading it by hand with pans. Other encounters of the day were; the loose bull that wanted to run with Barb, the two Suzuki Sámi type cagers that were rallying and did not want us to pass.

Then there was the store/tire repair shed/ bike shop/ gas out of drums place.
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There was a nice looking Yamaha leaning against the wall of the tire shed.
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A local “rider” fixing a flat on his 125 throw-a-way bike (his words). He proceeded to tell us how to ride the 640s, because he had one that did not last a year. When we left he had to race by everyone. He passed me at a fork in the road, passing me from the left to take the right fork, almost taking out my front wheel.

Today was my turn to have a flat. There were a series of hard studder bumps before a bridge, so I stood up and rode through then, pssss…. I found a shady spot and RJ put a new tube in the rear tire.
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Note the jack stand.
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A few miles later we had lunch at a pizza place just up the road from the beach.
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At one of the river crossings we came across a pickup stuck on the large rocks.
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We followed the cost road all day that varied low by the beach to mountainous with lots of picture opportunities.
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Afternoon break with ice cream.
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At the end of the day we rode on the beach about 5k and got these pictures.
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We soon discovered that Santa Teresa was a beach resort and surfing town.
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After exiting the beach we dogged tourist walking, on bicycles and with surf boards for the short ride to cabins for the night at
Luz da Vida ( http://www.luzdevida-resort.com/index.htm) in Playa Santa Teresa.
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After we got the bikes bedded down for the night,
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we were shown to our cabins to cool off and relax.
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The dining that night was outstanding at the numerous restaurants along the beach road.
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Sunset in the Pacific.
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irondawg
03-07-2007, 11:12 AM
:clap: :popcorn: :drool:

Nice pics of the sunset...:trust:

fallendown
03-07-2007, 11:44 AM
You are my hero.......I read about this trip in the magazine, yours is much better, can I just cancel my subscription and send you the money?

mcrider
03-07-2007, 04:08 PM
Day 4 – 99 miles
Santa Teresa, Paquera, Puntarenas, Tarcolitos River, Jaco

This morning breakfast was served on the veranda of our cabin.
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After breakfast we woke up the bikes, geared up and we were off.
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We left Santa Teresa through town and very soon hit the dirt with a fair amount of up and downs parallel to the coast eventually dropping to the beach. We were on a beach road for a while as we passed a true surfer camp with several palm leaf shacks.
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Leaving the coast on two lane asphalt road we headed up hill again, the pavement soon turned into gravel thorough farm land ever traveling upward. As we settled down and headed toward the ferry the asphalt road became a road riders dream. It stretched on and on with a lot of curves; I think we crossed two mountains as we tried to make the 10:30 ferry at Paquera.
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There was a long line waiting to board, but of course we went to the head of the line and parked next to the gate.
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Soon after arriving Paul learned there was only one ferry operating, and they were having trouble with it. We had a lot of time for pictures.
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We waited a couple of hours to board while lounging in the cafeteria and outside.
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Waiting to board.
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Once on board it took about one and a half hours to cross the Gulfo de Nicoya.
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We had a lot of time to set around with other passengers.
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There was a group of ladies from Canada, hey, that had to know all about our trip.
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We disembarked the ferry in Puntarenas for a late lunch at a sidewalk café.
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The locals were in the process of setting up a festival on the beach across the street.
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After lunch we were off to Jaco by pavement with a quick stop at the crocodile bridge on the Tarcolitos River for pictures.
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In Jaco we stayed at the Hotel Cocal & Casino (http://www.hotelcocalandcasino.com/). They use the term casino very loosely, 20 slot machines, and maybe seven card tables. I could not find the tables open. Soon after arrival we were joined by Philip Doyle from Virginia, a friend of RJ. Jaco is a very lively town with just about anything to do or see you can imagine. We had a fine sea food diner in down town Jaco; I ordered lobster tails, there were three large tails that were very good. Paul had told us the day before we would go to a bar that was a cultural experience. So, after diner, some of us were off to see the culture in Jaco at the Beetle Bar. There was a VW beetle cut in half with a half on each side of the entrance. The Beetle Bar could be a report all by itself, so, let’s just say what happens in Costa Rica stays in Costa Rica. **** picture deleted ****

Tx Rider
03-07-2007, 04:39 PM
I've never seen that many LC4 KTM's in one place before. :)

phillip doyle
03-08-2007, 08:43 AM
Chris, what an excellent job of reporting your trip. It is so hard to explain to others what the Moto Tours Costa Rica trip is like. Thanks for doing it for me.

mcrider
03-08-2007, 10:03 AM
I've never seen that many LC4 KTM's in one place before. :)

and they did a great job. The 640 Super Enduro is a model we do not get in the US. They are just your & my 625 SXC.

Chris, what an excellent job of reporting your trip. It is so hard to explain to others what the Moto Tours Costa Rica trip is like. Thanks for doing it for me.

Thanks, Phillip. No one got a picture of you, so you are the mystery rider.

Check back I hope to get the last two days posted today.

mcrider
03-08-2007, 06:10 PM
Day 5 – 86 miles
Jaco, Quebrada Amarilla, La Gloria, Parrita, Quepos

The next morning
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the nine of us were off after breakfast on a patio over looking the beach.
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With two turns in Jaco we were on dirt riding toward the mountains on the same roads that Dirt Rider used to review the Yamaha WR in a recent issue.
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An aside ... (Teeds taught me that)

You are my hero.......I read about this trip in the magazine, yours is much better, can I just cancel my subscription and send you the money?

Jason is that your magazine? You can pay me Sunday!

Back to the story ...

The newly dozed road through the mountains had long step curvy climbs on the smooth red dirt.
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Once on top we had a great view of the mountains and the ocean later. Just two weeks ago these roads were two tracks not used by many.
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The road followed the crest of the mountain for a long while giving us many vistas to stop at for pictures.
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At one point we encountered the developer’s dozer making the road passable. Everyone needs to get to Costa Rica as soon as possible, because, the developers are taking over. There are many cleared hill tops for houses with a wonderful view.
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After stopping on one of the mountain top house sites we are off for more dirt roads.
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After about an hour we turned down a single track through the jungle for 1½ miles to the pavement and a Texaco station. After fuel a pavement coast road took us the seven miles to Quebrada Amarills where the dirt turned north. Along the coast a flock of fifteen to twenty pelicans flew in formation reminding me of a seen in Jurassic Park.

The dirt stretched through flat farm land, but as other days the road soon became elevated with steep curves and switch backs through the coffee plantations. Even though the road was elevated on and off most of the day, it has scattered with houses.
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There were a several stream crossings.
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Then there was the Tuiln River, or should we call it Barb’s river? That’s is not Barbara picking up the bike, it’s RJ, she is hidden by Randy. She and the Honda did go completely under water, and the strong current was taking them down stream.
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That’s Phillip on the right; no one got a picture of his face.

With the help from two local boys watching
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RJ, Paul & Philip soon had the Honda kinda dry.
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Phillip is riding the Honda (in the distance) to dry it out with Barb watching.
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The local kids knew to cross further up stream. Other shots at the river.
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Because the Honda was not running well RJ rode the Honda, leaving Barb to ride the big KTM.
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We made one stop on the way to La Gloria while Barb was on the KTM.
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She rode the four or five miles to La Gloria for a snack at the general store.
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While setting on the porch we saw Juan Valdez.
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We left La Gloria on a wide maintained road down the mountain.
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Soon we found the road crew with graders and truck loads of rock making the road wider. On the way down the mountain Philip had our fourth flat, the six Texas riders waited in the shade while Paul went back to find Philip & RJ.
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This sign tells us why the all road work.
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And then we were gone.
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Before long we were on a very rocky two track not used often. There was a right turn down a neat looking hill, and I forgot rule #1. Joe, Barb and Randy went left and RJ had to run them down. I heard about that. The fine trail went for about five miles to come out in a banana plantation, and no one took pictures. Each banana plant had one stalk with a Dole blue plastic bag over the stalk. Dole’s dirt road through the plantation ended at the pavement that was lined with a palm tree forest and no pictures again. The Palm trees are grown for the oil to use in soap, make-up, etc. The palm plantations lead us to Parrita for fuel.
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The remainder of the day was spent on pavement all the way to Quepos. This section of highway had three one lane bridges with traffic backed up on both sided for miles. Of course we went to the head of the line to wait for the other side to clear.
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The banner hanging on the bridge is advertising an upcoming big motocross.
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There were no signals or LEO directing traffic; when one direction captured the bridge that line cleared and the other direction started to backup.

We were soon in Quepos for lunch.
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They have a over weight Labrador with a sign around its neck “Please don’t feed me. I’m on a diet. Thank you”.
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We left the restaurant in a light rain out of town the back way up very steep twisty asphalt street behind a bus and six cars going about ½ mph. It’s interesting trying to ride that slow uphill on an asphalt street that has just started to receive rain. It was only a couple of miles to the hotel right on the beach.
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Paul detoured down the road to let us see the bazaar.
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Paul and Willy getting us checked into the hotel.
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While the other set in the lobby.
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Most headed to the pool with a cervasa, but Phil & I went to the ocean to do battle with the Pacific waves. The water was warmer than the 90º pool.
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That night we had dinner under the wing of a Fairchild C-123 at El Avion Restaurant (http://www.costaverde.com/avion01.htm). This plane was left at the San Jose airport after its sister ship crashed in Nicaragua during the Contra affair. No one would claim it, so it was sold for $3,000 and barged to this hill top in Quepos. It is interesting reading, click the El Avion link.
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And another day is in our memory bank.
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Final day posted tomorrow 3-9-07.

Goat Trail Green
03-09-2007, 10:54 AM
Thanks Chris

Excellent ride report thanks for sharing

I am sorry I backed out, but there will always be another chance.

Mike Green

mcrider
03-09-2007, 03:08 PM
Day 6 – 103 miles
Quepos, San Isidro, San Andres, San Gabriel, Atenas

Day six was started with breakfast on the beach.
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We get ready to leave on a long but fun day.
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After fueling in the out skirts of Quepos, we leave the coast, and start up over several mountain ranges. It rained the night before, so we would not have dust until the afternoon.
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We cross the pavement to a wide straight dirt road with a lot of traffic. They use dredged round river rocks to surface dirt roads in CR. This was one of those roads that had a three foot crown about one foot wide in the center. If you rode off center you were on off camber compacted river rocks, the camber was so bad the locals drove with one wheel in the ditch. The wide road became a normal gravel road, and then a dirt red clay road. The over night rain had turned yesterdays dust into a thin coat of red clay slim. About that time we started to climb and had to use light throttle control. As we climbed the slim turned to granite chips and eventually a two track with grass.
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We soon realized the road had not been maintained in many years when we came to a complete wash out. There was a narrow land bridge across the crevasse, only wide enough for a motorcycle. In another twenty yards a short rocky (no dirt) embankment crossed the road. The locals use some very bad roads, but I’m guessing only motorcycles can traverse this area.
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Once on top was another photo opportunity where you could see forever.
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The vista from the top of the mountain; I had to add them all.
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On the downward side a herd of cows blocked the way, and the calves wanted to run with us. While stopping to regroup Chuck’s radiator hose blew off; he had that 640 hot! Camel backs have several uses.
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As we started back up and crested a hill, a mud slid had left two slick wheel ruts that took three of us out. Bill was the first to go down; I was to close to avoid him, hit the brakes and did a 180 on the way down. Chuck was behind me, and also went down. I stood up in time to get the others stopped.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_6_020.JPG

Bill and Chuck managed to get up before the picture, so I guess they did not fall.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_6_021.JPG

My wheel stopped hanging at the edge pointing back the way we came. It does not look the step in the picture, but Philip & I drug it back & around before standing it up.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_6_022.JPG

Barb used the ditch with bars on the mountain side trick to stop. http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_6_023.JPG

http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_6_024.JPG

We continued on going up a little then down a little all on local roads.
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When we started down for real it was very very steep.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_6_033.JPG

It was a local use road, but probably the steepest and longest down hill road I have ever seen. I’m guessing it had 60º inclines with numerous switch backs. It had not rained on the side of the mountain, so the dirt was coated with volcanic dust for little traction. In the village at the bottom we grouped at the school to the delight of the children hanging on the fence.

As we started out of town on pavement I realized I had no rear brake for the next set of asphalt switch backs.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Randy0114.JPG

At one point we crossed a new bridge that I remember thinking was awfully narrow for vehicles.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_6_037.JPG

We continued on the asphalt to another mountain top village for break.
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Shortly afterward Bill had a front pinch flat that Philip fixed in short order.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-196.jpg

http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-197.jpg

While some watched,
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and others took another break in the shade.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Costa_Rica_Day_6_044.JPG

We were off to lunch at a small café in San Gabriel. The shade of a church school was available for the bikes.
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Throughout the trip the local proprietors welcomed Paul and us as his guests, this was true for lunch. Before we could order the owner had cut up a fresh pineapple, and was passing it around. He then sent an amigo up the street for a fresh watermelon. They both were excellent along with lunch.
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http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-201.jpg

Bill took one of the best pictures of the trip at lunch.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/CR-Ride-feb-07-202.jpg

After lunch it was more steep mountain climbs through a village. As we got closer to the top, the houses started to disappear before the last down hill of the day. This was a very strange down hill with concrete (no rebar) pored on top of a very rocky road with no prep. This several mile long road had rocks protruding up in the concrete; the once rain ruts across to road were now concrete ditches.

Several more dirt roads, another flat for Bill (nail in rear),
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more pavement, and we were back at MTCR garage. A little dirty, tired, but all with a smile on our face.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/cmhCostaRicaDay-7-016.JPG

That night we finished of the trip with a dinner at Hotel Cafetal.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/Randy0117.JPG

The owner & RJ.
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The next morning after the large breakfast Cafetal serves we were off to the airport.
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Conclusion:

If you have not ridden Costa Rica you owe it to yourself to go. It is a great way to spend a week. Moto Tours Costa Rica (http://www.mototourscostarica.com/home.php) was an excellent host and are highly recommended. Paul is constantly looking for more/different/bad dirt roads to replace the pavement.


The End:

In true TWT fashion here is the last picture. Note the green pull string.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/cmhCostaRicaDay-7-019.JPG
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/cmhCostaRicaDay-7-020.JPG

dbdolan
03-09-2007, 06:27 PM
Awesome stuff, I was lost for an hour here at work while I enjoyed the report. I bet OLDBMW will love the last pic.:lol2:

fallendown
03-09-2007, 09:42 PM
I am sure he will, apparently, Mr Hardy has been paying attention! Excellent work, and the pictures were amazing. As good as some magazine shots for sure.

Teeds
03-10-2007, 08:23 AM
In true TWT fashion here is the last picture. Note the green pull string.
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/cmhCostaRicaDay-7-019.JPG
http://www.twtex.com/photopost/data/524/cmhCostaRicaDay-7-020.JPG

So I wander into TWT and what do I find? Great report!!!

I taught you an aside? :rofl:

You taught me and Rocketman not say no the next time you ask us to go on a ride.

5 stars my friend ... :thumb:

Is the "brown" ring torista blowback or simply a wore out seat? :uhoh:

DANNYROTH
03-10-2007, 02:47 PM
Having spent 15 years in Latin America, three in Costa Rica, this thread is making me "homesick". Great pictures and a true adventure, I'm sure.

woodsrider
04-08-2007, 03:22 PM
Wow....I've been away from TWT for some time, and just came across this. Great pics and report, Chris -- looks like a great trip!

I'll need to put this one on my list of rides to do.