“When you’re a good person, life has a way of placing good people along your path.” – Anonymous Me
If you don’t yet realize, this motorcycle riding adventure in Costa Rica is not a vacation for me; rather it’s part of my retirement lifestyle plan. When you’re retired you should change your mindset to my way of thinking.
If you don’t like the current weather up here on Quaker Mountain just wait a little while longer, said Yoda Heiner from Ultimate Rides CR. Last night our eleven person ride group ‘s lodging was at nearly the top of a mountain and definitely rated as a five star resort.
This morning before six a.m. I dialed the reception desk and ordered up a hotel shuttle to drive Roberto and I to the resorts restaurant where a buffet of local foods awaited us. We could’ve walked if we were built like burros or goats but, we chose to ride. And besides it was cold and windy outside. I was more looking forward to that delicious Costa Rica coffee than anything else.
Roberto and I entered the hotel shuttle that transports guests throughout the resort area; Roberto sat up front and I in the middle area by the vans sliding side door. The shuttle van was near full of Spaniards on their very own Costa Rica adventure. Only “theirs” was a credit card adventure by tour bus couch.
Roberto and I are fluent Spanish speakers so you should’ve seen the faces of the Spaniard men and women when we first greeted them. They thought we were a godsend as they seemed half starved for any news about Costa Rica, adventure travel or what awaited them. As the van drove away I immediately pointed to our parked motorcycles. Almost immediately the questions of where are you from, where have you been and where are you going started flying.
I began with my reader’s digest condensed version of recounting our past five days of enduro riding adventures and then expanded from there; I could hear Roberto doing something similar up front. I intentionally left my iPhone so, a picture is worth a 1,000 words before morning coffee wasn’t yet an option, and besides I am known to be “chatty” on occasions. I get this part from my mom.
My story continues……….we manly men rode those enduro motorcycles across Costa Rican roads so unbearable at times that even these purpose built machines from as far away as Italy, France and Austria were barely enough to hold us on the technical trails. And did you see any animals, an inquisitive fellow now asked; No I quickly replied, we scared them away for miles and miles and then continued my story.
Oh, and I now added that three are not capable; the ones called KLR’s and made in Japan. (Sorry to say that unless you ride; you won’t be easily getting this pun).
We were like senior matadors back in your home country of Spain; after going six rounds and only killing two bulls. Everything I said to them in Spanish came across as the ultimate adventure gospel.
Once, I embellished the partly true story about when Yoda Mike, Josh and I got lost together. Some of it was true, like me dropping that KLR bastard down a waterfall and almost into crocodile infested waters. Were it not for Iron Mikes strength and leadership skills while all three of us pulled the motorcycle in different ways; we never would’ve made it out alive. The middle aged dirty blonde attractive Spaniard seated to my left and attentive at my every words now smiled at me, and without any provocation began to undress herself; as she was doing so, she asked if she could bear my bebe!
That’s about the time when the driver arrived at the restaurant. I ran for the Costa Rica coffee and could see out of the corner of my eyes, her husband picking up her clothing. I asked Roberto if he his story had a similar effect on the men? He laughed. I laughed. We both laughed.
This morning the weather was a little windy but, sunny and somewhat cold. Yoda Luis gave the ten riders his “spill” for the red route that he was leading; we ride down some twisties with water crossings and see the local countryside while we make our way up a technical single track, or words to that effect. All but two signalled their desire to be on the red route.
Next up was Yoda Heiner talking about all the twisties around Aranal lake, the perfect cone volcano the delicious Argentinan style delicious cuts of beef that awaited us for lunch. Enough said; the majority of the group now favored the green route. I guess you could say we all had our priorities and eating Costa Rica bbq was one of them. We started the morning all riding in jackets and cold weather gear. Back home Josh from Colorado recently told me that he had a foot of snow on the ground to look forward to. My wife told me that it would be raining when I arrived.
The white-nosed coatimundi, or coati, is one of Costa Rica ‘s 200 mammal species. On the road up ahead were several cars now stopped with their four way signals on. The sight of nearly thirty of these little monkey looking creatures, crawling on the roadside around our motorcycles brought me such a smile, tears flowed gently down my eyes.
It had the same effect as when we rode through a neighborhood full of parents riding their young children to school on single cylinder motorcycles. Once I saw three on a motorbike. The father held a youngster about three while the other rode behind. The father tried to show his riding skills to us when suddenly up ahead was a tope. The kid went flying up into the air about two feet before the father reached out grabbed him and pulled him back into his seat. And to top it all off he offered me a hang-loose sign at the end. Almost no children we encountered wear helmets so their only protection is possibly their school uniforms.
I could go in and on but, I think I’ll now end this story with the following. Each day it totally felt like an adventure. Wearing our riding gear made us feel like we were beamed down from outer space.
Our ride ended as we rode through miles and miles of commuter typical traffic, increasingly punctuated by trucks and buses spewing noxious fumes into the warming air as we sweltered in our riding gear. By the time I reached the Studio hotel I was totally exhausted and needed a nap from that earlier delicious bbq meal.
I began this trip knowing extremely little about the parts of Costa Rica that we visited even though in June of 2016, I walked across Costa Rica. True. From the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean yet walking is an entirely different experience than riding.
Growing up in North America schools rarely if ever mention Central America, let along Costa Rica. Our maps only show Europe or the Americas as the center of the known world. This little adventure had about a $5,000 price tag on it including airfare, food and my very own first Costa Rican driving ticket. Thank you Costa Rica for your people are not only beautiful but, happy, healthy and rarely believe that they are poor. We were told that the Nicaraguans are now the ones doing the work that the Costa Rican won’t or have no desire to do and that the Venezuelans are not far behind them.
I am now safe in Southern California watching the rain outside. A rare sight for us to see. A Costa Rican proverb says that “Some people work, others merely daydream.”
Pura Vida My Friends,