The End of Costa Rica: Heredia and Puerto Viejo

The End of Costa Rica: Heredia and Puerto Viejo

Returning to San Jose, or more accurately Heredia, we were fortunate to have yet another couch to stay on. We had met Rolo while playing Ultimate a week earlier, and he had a couple couches for us to stay on. Plus we got to play ulti again. Post-game, we crashed a birthday party and had a great time until Rolo broke the foosball table by snapping a man in half. We have no photos of these events happening. But they did. And they were good times. Rolo suggested a great day ride out to a little hidden lake. The road was apparently part dirt and gravel, so I did this trip solo while Jayne stayed behind to meet Heather for lunch. Heather and Oliver: fellow motorcyclists who were delivering our GoPro battery.

Smooth ride to falling water

Started out with a great narrow twisted road up towards Poas Volcano National Park. I’m not running a GPS at the moment, just running on memory of the google map I looked at before hopping on the bike. So after multiple construction detours I didn’t really know if I was going the right way or not, but it was a nice ride and that was the point.

Ominous clouds threaten to dampen my spirits. and my clothes.

Eventually a gas station attendant pointed me in the right direction. I then encountered a phenomenal freshly paved road that I would follow for the rest of the ride. Sadly the rain came soon after this encounter, and I couldn’t push as hard as I might have liked. First nice surprise was the waterfall that appeared just around a bend. The clouds really opened up after that, so I abandoned my bike under cover of another gas station and took the opportunity for lunch.

Rainy season is well named

The nice thing about really hard rain is that it doesn’t last long, and I was soon able to find the dirt road to the hidden lake. I also found this fallen tree.

Must be 2pm, EVERYthing is taking a siesta.

We had heard that sometimes fallen trees are used as roadblocks to rob cars that have to stop. Fotunatley this was not such a tree. Unfortunately I knew this because it had a massive wasp nest that had smashed open when it landed.

No robbery here, just assaults from stingers

The wasps were now swarming around guarding the thin strip of passable space. I closed my visor, zipped my jacket and blew through as fast as I could. I didn’t get stung, but unfortunately that would be my only passable obstacle this trip. Soon the road turned to mud.

I’ll take the high road. I won’t be in Scotland before you though.

The mud was thick, and passing on the “high” ground off to the side proved not to be any better. I found myself spinning my wheel, and walking up the road proved it wasn’t going to get any better. I got a nice view of the lake before it clouded over and started raining again though, so I’ll count that as a win.

Rain is landing on that tongue

The only option was to turn around, which proved near impossible since I was now firmly sunk in the mud and a 9-point turn wasn’t working on this “high ground” path I had chosen. I escaped after remembering the moto drag racers back in Cozumel. When they returned up the track for their second race, they turned their bikes around by balancing them on their kickstand and spinning the bike 180 in place. Like this. To stop my kickstand sinking, I shoved my handy board of wood under it. Had I not learned that trick, I’d still be stuck on that path.

90 degrees, photo op before I spun it the rest of the way.

Made it back to the waterfall, only now heavier with rain, mud and sweat.

Worse than dim fog? Dim fog with no headlights. In future I’ll try just turning them on first, BEFORE pulling over and replacing the fuse…

I rode back, in the rain and fog, to meet up with Jayne, Rolo and Emma for a beer. I’d missed the free art shows for the evening. Jayne had a good time though.

San Jose has lots of cultural events, such as “free museum night”.

Pretty sure Jayne wasn’t meant to be taking photos of this. Way to sneak one in Jayne!

Nothing goes with mud and art quite like beer. with Emma and Rolo.

From San Jose, we headed to Puerto Viejo. We stayed with David, a US expat musician living in Costa Rica. We were gifted the experience of observing and listening to him make music with his music machine for our whole stay. It was great to watch him create! David had lost his computer, so when he finished composing a new song, he had no way to save it. He could only hang on to his creation until the next power outage. Only for a moment, then the moment’s gone.

Where we spent most of our time, listening to David’s latest creation.

On our ride into town, a girl shouted at me from the side of the road. This happens so often I wouldn’t normally pay attention, but this girl shouted my name! It was Alicia, our friend from back in San Cristobal, Mexico! We met again the next day and, along with her friend Natalie, we all went exploring the Cahuita National Park. Snakes, crabs and sloths, oh my!

Hermit crabs are incredibly fun to play with.

My favorite beach activity: Hermit crab races! Everyone finds their own crab and puts them in the middle. First one out of the ring wins!

My second favorite beach activity: trying to convince hermit crabs that I have found them a bigger, better home and they need to move immediately!

Taking photos of these crabby guys was tough, they keep running away at the last second.

We adopted a park guide to help us hunt for sloths

The excitement in a “Sloth hunt” is really the hunt, the wonder, the unseen treasures of nature you might happen upon. Because once you spot that motionless, lazy ball of fur dangling off a tree limb, you remember “oh right, it’s a sloth”.

We got to see a little more of the nature of things Costa rica has to offer with David, some coming out of his own yard!

Caution: Exposure to poison dart frogs may make photos appear to be poorly taken and blurry.

Some of the edible wonders that grow wild in David’s yard

When we weren’t snacking on the treats from Davids yard, we ate at the local hole-in-the-walls for lunches and explored a couple local bars in the evenings. It was a nice relaxed time in Puerto Viejo and it was a great last stop for Costa Rica. As we find with most everywhere, it’s the people, not just the place, that makes it memorable.

Good people. Thanks David!

Panama awaits.

Motorcycle Minute:I’ve noticed a clunking noise from my boxes when going over speedbumps too fast. I also noticed my rear rack now pivots concernedly.

So I took Jugs rear end all apart…

Jugs stripped down. speaking of stripped…

This photo very clearly shows the two sheared off bolts that should be holding down my rear rack and top-box. Can’t see it? Too many poison dart frogs for you…

An ant found some candy in my tank bag, told his friends and thousands moved in.