January 27, 2019
From Tamarindo to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
It was a day of caution.
It’s been a very bad habit, however, I continue to have a hard time waking up early and getting ready on time. I was hoping that this journey would end that issue. But it hasn’t… yet.
Consequent to the late preparations, I left Tamarindo at 10:30, much later than I wanted. The GPS indicated that I had a six hour ride to my next destination. So, I was already concerned that it may get dark by the end of the ride. (This is my attempt at foreshadowing.) I said my good-byes to my new friends and off I went.
About 10 minutes out of the town, I saw an eerie site. About a dozen vultures were pecking away at what seemed to be a large road kill. Unfortunately, as I neared it, I saw that it was a dead horse the vultures were feeding on.
About three hours into the ride I needed to stop because I was feeling tired. I parked on a gravel clearing near a river where several people were dunking themselves in to cool off. I ate a few pistachios I had with me, but really wished I could just lay down for a while. Because I was concerned about arriving in the dark, I didn’t have time to do it. After starting the motorcycle up and rolling off the centre stand, my front wheel sank in the gravel and the motorcycle slowly fell onto its side. Since it was on a decline and people were standing about 10 feet away, I asked for help to lift the elephant (a description of the R1150GS motorcycle by a Venezuelan Adventure Rider I met in Albuquerque in September during the first phase of this journey). It was odd, but it looked like no one was going to help until I asked. Once back upright, I thanked them and headed out.
It’s strange how I really don’t care how it looked. I didn’t feel embarrassed at all. I was just a little upset because the fatigue was very likely the cause for my error in judgement.
I had another craving for coconut, so I stopped at one of the side stands. An older man seemed to be having a great time with Latino music blaring from a speaker in his truck as he occasionally showed off some dance moves. I bought a coconut and we chatted for about five minutes as I drank and ate pieces of the “coconut meat.”
Later on, I had to pull over again because I could not adjust a mirror that was moved when I dropped the motorcycle. I was hoping to be able to adjust it with the Leatherman tool I had in my pocket, however, I needed to take the time to remove the bags from the rear seat area so that I could access the required Allen key. Once that was done, I set off again.
Approaching the City of San Jose, I was surprised at its size. I recorded some of the entry into the city until the battery power died out. Riding through the downtown part, I thought that this would definitely be a city I would like to visit one day. I rode through city park areas, streets with many stores, and then through an outdoor market.
About 30 minutes outside of San Jose, the highway roads went up into the mountains, waaaay up into the clouds, just like I did on my rides in Mexico. These mountains were also very lush, but in a very different way. High up in the mountain, maybe at 1800 metres, it seemed as if the jungle could hide anything that purposely or accidentally made its way into it. I could not see more than a few feet or so into the jungle. It looked as if the jungle could easily take back the land the road is on if the plants are not frequently trimmed back. I saw leaves so large that I could hide myself and maybe even the motorcycle behind a single leaf. That’s not an exaggeration!
Leaving that mountain range behind, it was a little past 5 PM. I knew I’d be doing at least an hour of the ride in the dark. It turned out not being that bad since I reached the Caribbean coast soon enough and it was mostly coastal riding until I reached Puerto Viejo. I didn’t see the coast while riding, however, I could definitely smell and feel the refreshing sea breeze.
I arrived at around 7:45, settled in to a hostel, ate at a nice Italian restaurant run by a lady who immigrated to Costa Rica from Bologna, Italy, and took a break at a pub on the beachside.
Although I am enjoying all the rides, it felt nice to end it and relax at the end of the day.