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Old 04-14-2011, 02:34 AM   #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whizzerwheel View Post
Mike, you documented the "No Buena" road much better than I did. I was definitely at the upper limit on my "oh shit, what have I done" scale... Then it started to pour.


Had to do a little of this while I was there. After all, this is where it all started.


Three things.

First: 'bueno' vs. 'buena'. It's these little diferences that have me talking about cheese when I really want to know how much I owe for lunch.

Makes for fun conversations with the locals, though. My one regret in preparing for this trip was neglecting my Spanish lessons. Actually googled this subtle difference in spelling this morning. Decided I would neglect that lesson as well. Or at least not make an attempt to teach Spanish here. Talk about the blind leading the blind.

Thankfully, Dave was much better at this stuff than I. Most of the time I would sit on my bike and clap my hands so he knew where I was while he got directions or whatever it was we needed.

Second, "I was definitely at the upper limit on my "oh shit, what have I done" scale..."

You didn't let on to that very well. If it wasn't said it wouldn't have been known.

Again. Ya done good.

That was some hairy riding on that slide coming down. Not to mention several other sections.

Third. Now would be an excellent time to show us a bit of the zip line tour and other pics you've been holding out on us with.God knows how long it will be before I get another picture up.

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Old 04-19-2011, 04:07 PM   #137
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Zipping thru the jungle







Sorry about the over exposure



Those of you that have done this will recognize the tell tale hummmmmmm.

I was unfortunately very unimpressed with the results of my camera videos doing this. One thing, I needed both hands to actually keep myself from spinning uncontrollably, thus no action videos of the stuff that I saw.


This was the fearless crew of zip liners that were there with me that morning:



A father and his two kids...from Massachusetts I think.

It was fun and I would recommend doing it if you never have before. Motorcycling is more fun though.


...

These guys were just passing thru:



Lets get on with it, tourista....


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WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821

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Old 04-20-2011, 02:54 PM   #138
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We looked, and couldn't find any virgins to sacrifice to the Volcano Gods...so we made a small offering of dirt and stones to the Garden Gods...



And moved on





No more lolling around in the lap of luxury well maybe just a tiny bit longer





...to the southern side of Lake Arenal and the "Observatory" Cue back in Evil Clown:
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:23 PM   #139
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So good EC! That has been some fun reading so far. I just chuckled to mylself quite a few times. Keep it coming!
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:45 PM   #140
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deja vu




I've been there man!

Great report keep the pics coming!
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:57 PM   #141
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Día tres continues...

By now we've been practicing loading the bikes up for three days so we've got it down to a mere 3.27 hours.



We've both ditched the backpack idea by now so the pile is a bit taller but the riding irritations with the packs are gone.



Back on the bikes, the first order of the day is fuel...



...



Today's lesson, boys and girls, is you can not sit on the bike while they fuel it.



Sez so right here.



...



We check out some local talent before moving on...



...



...



Ahead it isn't looking too promising to see the top of the volcano today...



...but we head back in that direction anyway.

I have a thing for cemeteries. Up until now they seem to have been absent from the landscape - to the point where I'm beginning to wonder. They claim to have long life spans here and all - something about the 'blue zone' - but someone has to have been buried here.

We finally spot one.



More tombs than burials it seems.

Back past our hotel...



...



Spotting the chopper I can't help but think of all the touristy flights we hear about crashing.



Probably not all that many but those are the ones we hear about.



We finally hit some dirt...



...



It's a fairly decent dirt road but it has plenty of sections where I wonder how the occupants of the tour buses are holding up in there. Must be a painful ride for them. We're loving it!



...



Just after a bridge, we pull over for photo ops with the volcano in the background.



...



...



Further ahead, carefully avoiding being captured by the camera, the peak pokes through the clouds briefly.



We finally reach the entrance to the observatory.



I'm facinated by some of the road building/drainage methods...



Love the vertical cuts through the clay.



Reaching the top we find a place to park and check the place out.

Wandering through the restaurant to get to the deck I can smell fish. Spotting the whole fish laid out on a dinner plate I say to myself "Mmmmmm...that smells pretty darned good..." Too bad it's not time for lunch yet. Or is it?

We move out to the deck...



...where there's a crew of sorts...and this little guy.



Whizzer will be right back to tell us the name of him.

We hang out here awhile just taking it all in...



...



...



...



...



...



...



...



...



At some point we barely capture the top.



They say it's a rare sight. Almost as rare as me doing the 'metal horns'.



Had to give that 'stitch' feature a go before leaving.



Making our way back to the bikes we run into a member of another film crew. They're here in Costa Rica filming a new reality show - Love in the Wild, if I recall correctly. Apparently he drew the short straw as he's not on the crew that's chasing the female stars around the country.



...



Volcanoed out we hit the road...







...to be continued.
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:38 AM   #142
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Decompression ensues...

It normally takes me a day or two to decompress or start to get into or is it out of? the groove when on vacation. This trip is no different in that regard. Having touched down around noon, we've been in CR for about two days at this point. With the various preparation anxieties leading up to a trip like this, the actual sleep deprived travel day, time change, and general getting accustomed to new surroundings I'm liking the relaxed pace of the day so far. As long as we get these bikes back to Thorston by next Thursday we're ok. "What day is it, anyway?"

Who cares?



We start making our way towards Laguna de Arenal. Lake Arenal. Specifically, the road following the southern shore.



Entering a small village, we decide it may not be a bad idea to grab some lunch before venturing too far around the less traveled back side of the lake.



As luck would have it, just beyond the classic Rover is a soda.



Parking the bikes, we give the place a look around...



...



...



Settling in, we meet a family from Colorado.



We chat a while after we order. Having a hankering for fish after that last stop, and possibly a death wish, I order the calamari.

This isn't their first time coming to Costa Rica. If memory serves, they've been here several times over the years. He mentions a museum right up the 'street'. I try to picture a museum surviving in this little village but have learned so far that the strangest things crop up in the strangest places around here.

There's talk of routes...ours...



...theirs...



Eventually, lunch arrives...



Mr. Colorado comments on our preconsumption ritual. Something about the shape of the rice mound and males.



Obviously, he's not accustomed to the 'food shot' obsession but, then, maybe he's onto something with this particular dish.

Carefully surveying the calamari and rice, I dig in - knowing the Imodium is close at hand.

Regardless of how this may end, it is delicious.

While eating we're entertained with the activity in the village. For some reason this young lad runs down the middle of the street screaming...



...with presumably mommy in tow. My guess is he was trying to keep up with bigger brother who may have been trying to ditch him as only big brothers can do. Mommy eventually reins him in.

Tummies full with no immediate 'volcanic action' we say our good-byes, mount up and take a ride up the hill to check out the museum.



Along the way I'm facisnated with the enormous size of a lone tree perched next to a house across the valley.



Looks almost like a NH cell tower. Ironically, here in paradise, they accept towers for what they are and don't try lame attempts to disguise them.

Looking at the museum and back at the road we choose the road.



It's time to ride.

First stop, Costa Rican traffic jam.



Not much else you're gonna do but watch as the Mitsubishi tries to yank out the truck. He does. Still not quite sure how the truck ended up like that.

Motoring along, the skies darken...



...we may be in for some weather.

Being smahter than the average bears we pass on the hitch hiker.



Little do we know what lies ahead...





...to be continued.
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:23 AM   #143
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:37 AM   #144
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Flashback to the "Observatory"...Mustering up my best Ranger Rick voice....That right there boys and girls, is what's known as a "coatimundi"....

At least that's what I've been telling anybody that asks, and since I'm holding the clipboard right now, it must be true.




Related to the raccoon I'm told. Seemed like a friendly kinda guy...as long as you don't piss him off.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:18 AM   #145
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Another view of the nice little Soda we stumbled upon at just the right time...





These Costa Rican dogs aint dumb...they know all the right posturing and expressions that might get them a handout from some unsuspecting tourista...survival of the fittest at its best:




....

Schools everywhere





Based on our photo documentation of our plates, you'd think we hadn't seen food in days...





Our entertainment whilst we dined...mom was not too pleased. I kept thinking about how my feet would have felt had I been running around on that street with no shoes. Tenderfoot, I am. It didn't phase him in the least. Mom quickly brought things into control though.





Inside the little church across the street...simple, clean and no frills. Not much of a church goer myself, but I liked this.




The outside, as EC previously shared




We continued on....oh, oh





EC to the courtesy phone
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:14 PM   #146
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Quick little video of the road to the Arenal Observatory...

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Old 04-22-2011, 02:54 AM   #147
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Looking good boys...keep it coming
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:57 PM   #148
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Lunch now behind us we continue...



Not too much further up the road is our first water crossing...and car wash...



We talk to a couple sitting there in a car wondering if they had just been across the river. They told us the lady there to the right was knowlegeable about the river.

We stop, take our helmets off and see what's what. This is the place Morten, back at the rental shop, told us not to cross. That's code for "The best riding is..."

"What are you guys collecting?" She goes on to explain she's having a shower built and the builder is going to line it with little river rocks. Neat. That's going to take about a million of those.

She also tells us about the river. The young lad helping her tells us it's only about knee deep at the worse. Once past this crossing the others are fairly tame.

She happens to run (own?) a place down the road a bit.



After some thought we decide to shed the riding boots and don the Tevas for a looksie before we go blasting into the current..



All the while, the guy with the last Yugo on earth contiues to wash it in the river.



There's actually two streams to cross. The first one is a bit narrower. Second one may be a bit swifter.

I hike across both of them trying to find a line that doesn't involve large direction changing bones then come back to report. Right about now it also became a good idea to go check out Rancho Margot a bit further. Mainly to see what kind of plumbing they have.

Upon my return I find Dave has all his gear stripped off his bike and he's been wading around out in the river. Oh. And it's beginning to rain.

He's got an idea. He's going to walk his bike across.

Thinking about it it's not a bad idea. No hero points, maybe, but the idea of possibly spending our quickly dwindling afternoon trying to dry out a bike to get it to run isn't doing much to persuade me otherwise. With day uno's ride still clear in my mind and the fact that these are not the best offroad tires manufactured, a mishap isn't too far out of the realm of possible endings.

I struggle to remember the phrase that includes 'discretion' and 'valor' before we both grab hold of Dave's bike and take it across.

One down we come back to grab mine.



Wanting some kind of hero status or just being too danged lazy to unload it, we take mine with the pile on top.



It's a good plan. No need finishing out the day with a drowned bike. This isn't a race or competition. We're here to enjoy the ride.

Once again the Tevas prove themselves.



Boots back on we move ahead.





Interestingly enough, crossing the river takes us into almost another demension. A turning point of sorts. We're now 'out there'. And it is good.

Riding along we take it all in...



...



...this is the stuff we came to find...



...



We eventually stop and take a breather...



...



Looking around, Dave spots a trail across the road...



...



Like a parrot I start to repeat what the self-appointed guide had said about these ants this morning while on the flora and fauna tour.



After watching the last ant march into the hole carrying the last leaf of the tree, we head back to the bikes.



In this new demension the riding is magical.

We stop a few more times here and there...



...



...



...



I'd have more pics but instead have a bunch of unintentional video. In other words, it's even worse than the intentional video which I may post later.



...



These don't even begin to capture it.



...



...



...



After crossing this bridge we stop and check it out.



Those are ginormous logs spanning the river. Love the fact that are no railings or anything telling us how hazardous it may be if we don't use our heads.



Just past the bridge we stop at a soda and try to figger out where we are. Like it matters.



Actually, we're starting our search for a place to stay for the night.

After another round of fun interaction we get some shots of our new friends.



The guy on the right spoke a little bit of English. By now I'm able to get 'left' out of part of the conversation. No major break through for me. He just had good hand signals.



With a general idea of where we're headed we continue...



...



Despite the poor quality, the picture shows their priorities in this village.



Those that live here travel mostly on foot so the sidewalks are paved. I'm guessing in the rainy season those sidewalks become rather critical.

We climb higher...



...



...



More attempts to try and capture the moment...



The phone has a great little camera but it has its limitations.



...



...



...



The artsy fence post shots...



Watching the change in road surface this doesn't surprise us.



Ok. That fact that it is a near new piece of iron does.

Dogs and cows have taken over...



...



...



...



...



Just because I like this shot...



It's getting late...



...we finally roll into Monte Verde where we get a room with a view.

After lugging our stuff up and stashing the bikes we kick back for a bit...



...before heading out and finding some dinner.

We check out a couple of places. Some too foo-foo for us.

Along the way this little guy can barely keep his eyes open.



Finally finding a place we check the menu before heading in...



Since my glasses are back in the room and reading meat is out of the question, once inside I order fish.

We're joined by a guest for dinner.



Completely spacing it we only get a shot of the salad...



...but we do manage to revel in what was a spectacular day...



We make a quick, yet unsuccessful stop at an ATM before calling it a night.
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:38 AM   #149
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Got the video of the ants uploaded. These guys could be right out of a scene from Indiana Jones if they were carnivorous.



Click the little button right about..........................^^ here ^^ for a larger version.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:21 AM   #150
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Rickety Bridge

Here's that log bridge. Loaded this one up with zero editing. Chugged up to it as it was a bit blind at the crest. Stall, complete with camera 'drop' is included.

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