Relaxing in the rain: Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica

Sometimes warning signs say “no” but they really mean “go”. Sometimes they really mean “no” though. There’s only one way to find out.

Loosely translated: “water and dirt make mud. your balding tire won’t do, Phil.”

Just remember, it gets worse before it gets worse. I made it 100 meters.

yes, that balding tire

We had heard many great things about Santa Rosa. Sadly the road into the beach was in quite a state from recent rain storms when cricket and Jugs rolled up. Santa Rosa national park has much history and the coast is reportedly beautiful, but was not passable and not worth the 20$ parks fees to go backstroking in the mud. Instead we turned tail and rode back down the highway through Liberia and onwards to Cañas. As typical nowdays, noting we were surrounded by storm clouds the whole way.

Everything is raining to the left, to the left

Among other things (i.e. seeing water falling from the sky) we’ve learned to watch for the windshield wipers working furriously on cars coming towards us as our cue for when it’s time to pull over and put on the rain gear. Too soon and you overheat, sweat and get soaked. Too late and the rain drenches, drips through and you get soaked. It’s a razor thin line. Toeing the line until the skies opened, we spent the night in a comparatively-cheap-for-Costa Rica 20$ hotel.

Next up was Neuvo Arenal, a town set in the beautiful lakeside surroundings and not far from the Arenal Volcano.

Even the clouds and power lines were scenic in these parts!

We had barely rolled into town before being invited around to the “German Bakery” for a coffee. Ladies first however, so we started by going to meet our beautiful hosts.

Kim, Aubrey and Taylor: CS hosts extraordinaire

Once we got settled in with our host Kim and her daughters Aubrey and Taylor, we formed a street gang and set off for ze Germans.

We weren’t the only bikers there at the German Bakery…

…nor were we the first.

Our time with Kim and the girls was very relaxing. Jayne hadn’t been feeling well so took the few days to rest up…

…and get caught up on multiple seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.

In the time between drinking healthy oreo smoothies and eating some great meals prepped by the ladies, I took advantage of the relaxed time to work on my buns.

My Hot, Sugary Buns.

I also got a lot of work done on the bike. Have had a bit of hesitating at times recently at idle, so new spark plug and cleaned air filter were in order. Also rear tire change, and a good cleaning. Slight oil leak at the valve cover bolts noted. Will  keep an eye on that.

Hate dirt and stones falling into your engine with every spark plug change? No Vacuum/compressed air handy? Empty peanut butter jar and siphon hose to the rescue!

And I thought I was having trouble getting the tire off without Crickets kickstand handy.

While in a gas station parking lot to swap tires, Josue came over from the nearby garage to offer a hand with my tire. The bead was so tight it even took multiple attempts using the hydraulic press! Putting the new TKC 80’s on was also significantly easier with his machine I must say. He wouldn’t accept a dime. As we’ve found to be the norm, fantastic folks wanting to lend a hand are simply everywhere.

Muchas gracias un otros vez Josue!

Costa Rica often reminded us in the afternoons that we were indeed experiencing central americas rainy season.

After a spectacular stormy night, we were left to say our goodbyes and head to La Fortuna.

Goodbye jumping shot. watch you head please.

Toad hall: the obligatory stop. If you ride through their smear campaign to get you to stop at their restaurant. As in they smear signs onto every tree they possibly can for miles and miles in all directions. We stopped because the lake had evaporated and decided to refill all at once. Splash! The food was average at best and pricey. But they have a roof that kept us dry, so we’ll take it.

Taken looking out from “toad hall”. New sign idea for the : ‘Our roof is rain resistant! Come take advantage!’

We rode past Arenal Volcano on our way into La Fortuna,which was pretty, but really found La Fortuna to be just another town lined with tour agencies and not much more. We would stay quite happily in a hostel rather than with William, but Perhaps we simply missed what he loved about the place so much.  I guess the warning signs were right for this one too. I’ll never forget La Fortuna though, because we waited out the morning drizzle watching Andy Murray win Wimbledon. Good on ya son!

Not erupting, no Lava show…again. But they are pretty aren’t they?

Final notes:

Jayne’s sheep has also died. WE are both now sporting sheep-less seats, and feeling it.

My beard is now succulent enough that I no longer have any use for the chin curtain from my helmet.