Well……. today was a very mixed bag. First, Gaila and I left Gary Clegg at Angel Valley B&B, just north of San Ramon Costa Rica. What a great stay and super interesting guy. Hope we can go back soon. Angel Valley B&B Not only did we have a super comfortable stay with great food and conversation, but Gary (fellow BMW GS rider) was able to hook me up with a local mechanic/welder who repaired my breaking pannier. Yeah!
The rest of the day was a cross between pure riding bliss and relationship stress. Our ride out of San Ramon was pleasant. I had found some super twisty backroads that were giving me lots of jollies and both of us a clutch and braking workout. Sadly, as we got within a mile of our hook up to the Pan-America Highway the road came to an abrupt and definite end. The bridge was out. Normally, I we would have crossed this water obstacle but we could see and we were told the river was quite deep and moving very swiftly. Dangerously so. As such, we were stuck trying to find a fun way south without going through construction riddled and traffic laden San Jose. I elected to backtrack on a toll road (yuck) to make Gaila happy and follow the guidance of locals. Fortunately, we were able to find another twisty bit that was meandering up the mountains that stood between us and the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately we got behind a local Policia on a little 125cc bike that was moving at the pace of a dying turtle. It took all my will power not to pass him. Eventually, after having a headset debate with Gaila I found a moment to do so. By then, we were on twisty loose gravel that was beginning to ascend the hills in earnest.
Unfortunately , I had pissed Gaila off just enough that we weren’t speaking in our headsets at this point. Some distance got between us – in more ways then one – so we each were busy riding our own pace. Dust, rocks, and construction truck traffic separated our paths. After about 50 miles and some key stops for good pictures we reconnected near the bottom on the other side. Some stunning views we had. Wish I could have captured them all plus the smells and sounds we experienced today. Once we made it to the paved coast road we started hauling some serious miles. Again our paces were on separate wavelengths today so we met up down the road. A good bit more talking, then we were finally off towards some place to sleep near the Panama border. Unfortunately, our timing was off and we first got hammered by a quick tropical down pour. Yes we got wet and yes it was dangerous. The good news it let up for us to find a hotel 11 miles from the border right as the evenings full darkness had settled in.
A quick check of email during dinner has given us a little insight into the traffic officer hassles we might be in for tomorrow on the Panama side. Yes, tickets and bribes were mentioned by the MotoRaid II crew a day or so ahead of us. Today, the hammer was down, tomorrow it won’t be. Today was a brilliant riding day. We hit WAY MORE curves and switchbacks then Deal’s Gap / Tail of the Dragon or most any other roads we did in the US or Canada. Both the dirt and the pavement were of quality so it was a pure joy. This days ride in Costa Rica had The Good, The Bad and Everything In Between.
(Pictures to be added later.). iPad issues!!! Really is a POS for content creation.