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Old 03-12-2013, 08:47 AM   #196
Romanousky OP
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Originally Posted by Shibby! View Post
Woah. How big was that guy?
This guy was only about 4" long. The centipedes, crickets, spider, and flying beetles that were in our rooms were close to the same size.

Greg here is costa rica was just explaining how painful the scorpion sting is. I don't want to get involved with that. I think I have only seen one snake on the trip so far....but that is fine with me.

Sounds like you saw a lot more down here than we have thus far. Maybe things will change when we head over to the Carribean side today.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:29 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by Romanousky View Post
This guy was only about 4" long. The centipedes, crickets, spider, and flying beetles that were in our rooms were close to the same size.

Greg here is costa rica was just explaining how painful the scorpion sting is. I don't want to get involved with that. I think I have only seen one snake on the trip so far....but that is fine with me.

Sounds like you saw a lot more down here than we have thus far. Maybe things will change when we head over to the Carribean side today.

I only made it as far south as Antigua, but I was earlier (Nov-Feb). Most of the snakes were smears on the highway in tropical areas are Pelenque and Belize.

Bumped into some Aussie's who said they had a scorpian under their tent one morning while packing up in Baja. I always kept all my gear inside for this reason.

Spiders were at open air hostels. Lots of gecko's too but they do their own thing.

I wouldn't want 4" long things crawling around. haha. When you aren't used to them you don't like them! I only seen two cockroaches the whole time. That leaf looking grass hopper thing is fine since he looks pretty cool and harmless though.
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Tour of Idaho T1 Challenge - https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...551f1642711d75
Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...4#post19193704
Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095

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Old 03-12-2013, 04:14 PM   #198
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adventure reading

Thank you , Ive enjoyed your stories so far.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:47 AM   #199
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Thank you , Ive enjoyed your stories so far.
Thanks buddy! Glad to have another reader aboard. I got a couple good ones on the way.....stay tuned.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:03 PM   #200
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Today was fantastic. Gorgeous ride around the lake. Even saw some wildlife on the side of the road.











A bit further south I was going for a photo of Volcan Arenal and I bumbled my camera and dropped it. Shit! It is destroyed but I did manage to locate the memory card elsewhere on the street and it is still in good condition. And because of how anal I am I brought an identical twin. I’m still nervous though now that I only have one camera left.







As many of you know I have been in contact with a gentleman named Greg in Alajuela, Costa Rica (GRinCR). So the plan today is to crash at his pad. He also gave us some good routes of off-road to get to his place from the lake.

Some of the off-road was intense slippery rocks with an added bonus of a sheer cliff and no guardrail. Shot some good video which hopefully I can put together in the next few days but no photos because the other camera was buried in my bag. Here is one of Al's after reaching the end of the treacherous trail.



Made it to Greg’s place just in time to meet him coming home from work. Greg and his wife made us a superb meal of steak, fried fish, broccoli, rice, and rum & coke. I can’t thank them enough for the hospitality. Greg is truly a stand-up guy and if you have a chance to pay him a visit I’m sure he’d love to have you (sorry Greg if you don’t want to cook for strangers anymore ).

Greg and his cool red crowned bird (Layla):

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Old 03-14-2013, 12:17 PM   #201
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Again, Greg and his wife went above and beyond with a great morning start (BOLD coffee, eggs, gallo pinto, plantains, & watermelon).



Greg's sweet ass Suzuki RS (Greg, let me know how those websites looked that I wrote on your white board).



Then time for a family photo. Great to meet you guys and thanks a ton!!



Then hit the road and head for the Caribbean.

Once we made it through San Jose the surrounding forest enclosed us with dark green vegetation with mist in the air. Unfortunately, much of the ride had limited visibility due to the thick forestry making it somewhat dull. Then we dropped into banana country where Del Monte and Chiquita both have large operations near Limon. The best part of this ride was probably the half a dozen or so bridges that we crossed. I now have my camera tethered closely to my body so the pictures aren’t great.





















It is bloody hot on this coastline.

Al heard about the “Sloth Sanctuary” from our Dutch riding compatriots so we had to make a pitstop before arriving in Cahuita.









Another 10 miles down the road we made a B-line for the hostel that we are going to meet Marnix and Lisan at. At first glance it seemed reasonable. An eccentric Dutch woman shows us around and mentions that she highly recommends we lock our door prior to going to sleep…….oooooooooooook.

This town (and coastline) appears to be quite “Rastafarian” in nature. Lots of drums, dreadlocks, and dope. Not exactly my style but I can sit easy with it.
Al picks up some rum & coke and by the time it is half gone and when we are thinking about the worst for M&L they finally roll up shortly before dark. They had bike trouble (electric start not working) and more KM’s than anticipated.

Quickly make them a drink and start to catch up since our separation in Antigua.



Had dinner at a Pizzaria/Hot Sandwich shop owned by a French couple that was superb. Also snagged a CR sticker next door….not what I wanted at all but at least I got one before our departure tomorrow. While sitting at a pizza shop and sloth comes swinging down the power lines moving quite quickly. Surprised to say the least.











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Old 03-14-2013, 04:33 PM   #202
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A short clip riding near Volcan Arenal before heading to Greg's place.

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Old 03-14-2013, 04:45 PM   #203
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Miserable sleeping conditions. Waking up every hour in a puddle of sweaty stench. But hey, I’m in Costa Rica on the carribean coast with my dirt bike about to ride into Panama. Hell Yes!!

Up early and walked down to a national park where there is a trail that supposedly hosts a lot of wildlife including sloths, monkeys, caymans, snakes, and a variety of birds. Our mile hike produced a lot of ants, a raccoon, one Guinea looking thing, a couple caymans, some birds, and this cool looking mini-dinosaur lizard thing.











Back at the room I find tiny almost invisible ants invading my luggage even though all there is is stinky cloths. Get packed up and ready to go I see Marnix starting to take apart the bike and ask if he needs a hand….”sure if you know anything”.

Basically you push the start button and nothing happens. I grabbed his multmeter and checked the kill switch….good contacts….checked starter button….good contact….listen to starter relay…nothing. I say I can check it if you have a wiring diagram and sure enough he busts out the Hayes pdf and I go to work. Wiring to and from ignition/starter buttons checks out okay….I jumper over the relay and the bike starts….bad relay. We could rig a switch to start the bike manually at which point Alex jumps for the opportunity to install a door bell as he has done on automobiles back home.



Al returns from town 5 minutes later with a nice plastic doorbell and I grab my wire and a few crimp connectors I brought along and VIOLA! Door Bell starter button!!





Now it is time for us to get on the road. All geared up and sweating fiercely Al hits the button with no go. Dead battery…crap. M&L get busy and push him down the road to no avail.



I jump off mine and join the crowd and we get it running. Haul ass out of town and hit the highway where my auto air-conditioning kicks in.

A short ride to the border and the Costa Rican exit is conveniently located right in front of the border bridge and we are stamped and exported out in no time (didn’t cost a dime).



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Old 03-14-2013, 11:09 PM   #204
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I'm so jealous
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:53 AM   #205
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This is some riding we did traveling from Lake Arenal to Alajuela.

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Old 03-15-2013, 09:01 AM   #206
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The DRZ looks like the PERFECT travel bike to me! Looks like you guys are having a blast and I for one am WAY jealous!
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:02 AM   #207
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I'm so jealous
You should be

If it makes you feel any better I got creamed by a car the other night!

How is the Spanish going? I assume your still in Antigua.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:08 AM   #208
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HOLY CRAP BATMAN! You OK? Were you on the bike?
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:12 AM   #209
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HOLY CRAP BATMAN! You OK? Were you on the bike?
I was until I got smacked at which point I exited the vehicle quite quickly....RAPIDO!
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:30 AM   #210
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As you know they have since closed the rickety Sixoula bridge so we have to take the fancy military bridge over into Panama.







The old bridge and on the right you can see the immigration office/window:



American Dollars!



There are 3 things we have to do. Buy Insurance, get passport stamped, and import bikes and it must be done in this order….supposedly.

Insurance lady is on lunch so we wait in the rain. Thirty minutes later she shows up and spends another thirty minutes to get our policies completed ($15/each for insurance).

Off to the passport stamping booth we are second in line and it still takes 30 minutes to complete the both of our passports by two grumpy individuals (no charge). However, the police office next door will gladly accept $3 to let you cut in front of the line and have them stamp your passport. I found this out from a tour bus driver who brings his “guests” here so he can depart quickly.

Then import the bikes. Again we are 2nd in line. Give them all required paperwork and wait about an hour as we walk from the window to the edge of the building to keep an eye on the bikes. This is without a doubt an impoverished area. People aren’t “glaring” too much but you can tell life is hard.

Back on the bikes it is now 2:00 PM. We have 140 miles to ride to Boquete. So we tear out of there on a mission.





I few miles later we are stopped by the police. SLOW DOWN!! No ticket, nice and friendly, just slow it down.

Slow for a few miles and then get through the next little town and we have to pick up this pace to make it before nightfall. Flying across a bridge we get stopped again. SLOW DOWN!! No ticket, nice and friendly, just slow it down. The fact that it was a bike cop probably didn’t hurt.





We make it off the shoreline and start into the jungle. Just incredible!! About 500 feet off the sea and maybe ½ mile inland you can see the island of Boca Del Toro on the left just on the horizon. The aqua blew sea is very inviting but I know the temperature and humidity levels down there so I’m good with the current position.

Looks like rain up ahead:



We are deep in the rainforest with any significant towns for miles around. Just machete yielding men working in the farms down below their small wooden huts with thatched roofs on the hillsides. The road is of decent condition, low traffic, but it is raining.





We climb high into the cloud forest where the temperature drops significantly and the rain continues to beat down relentlessly. Soon every corner you complete there is a waterfall where once it was just an inclined stream. The water is rushing down the mountain and it seems like a landslide could happen at any time. As we climb higher the road deteriorates with sunken reliefs that you jump off of and then crush your front rim on the other side. I am loving every single minute of this. It is truly what I came here for.





At some point we made it over the mountain pass and dropped down into high desert, sunshine, rainbows, and distant cloud cover. Only 40 miles to go. Exorbitant winds almost remove us from our bikes and off the road but we manage to quickly drop roughly 3,000 feet and then head west to Boquette. Back on a main highway we turn north for the last 10 miles and roll into Boquette unscathed.





The town appears nice and safe down in this mountain bowl and we stop at our first hostel on the list. I’m loving the Triumph and Royal Enfield in the driveway of the house but the price is just too steep @ $32. Pension Topes was the name of the place....



We move up the road to another where the price is even higher….Well maybe this is just a higher priced town and we have to suck it up. But first we must try one more.

Jump on the bike, down the little street that T’s into main. I briefly glance up the street to my right (into town)...clear, look left; there are cars but I can easily make it as can Al. I take a sweeping right turn and end up about 3 feet from the centerline of the road. Right in front of me is a Truck, he is moving fast and ¾ of the way in my lane, All I can do is lean right and hope he sees me because I can’t correct this much. He pulls hard on the wheel and the trucks suspension dips hard as he cuts back to his lane. It is not enough, not in time, and I brace for impact.

KAF*CKING BOOM!!! I miss the front grill but I nail the rear quarter of the truck, fly over the handlebars and the end of his tailgate. Holy son-of-a-bitch I’m still kicking and glad to be here. I hop right up full of adrenaline with no idea what to do next.

A kid who is at the same intersection facing me on the other side jumps out of his car and runs over to help….he asks me if I’m okay. “I think so”. I check my body over, fingers and my wrist are quite sore but that seems to be it. Right behind me Al slammed on his brakes, skidded, and dropped his bike.

We’ve got too men and two bikes down and a 4-door Toyota Hilux with a ridiculously large dent in the rear quarter panel on main street in the middle of Panama.

I ask the kid if he speaks Spanish. Yep, perfectly bilingual. I am in some great luck here because the truck driver doesn’t speak a lick of English. Al tells me that the truck driver said something about get the bike out of the street or the cops are going to come. I am very hesitant to move a vehicle that was in an accident in this country because I just heard that it is automatic jail time if this is done in Nicaragua. I’m rather dazed and just say screw it and get the bike out of the street.

The kid tells me to look over my bike and my body and see if there are any major problems. The truck driver seems a little nervous and I can tell he is thinking that it is his fault. I honestly didn’t know, he might have been passing a car and I just pulled out in front of him. What I do know is that I have little chance of winning a case as a foreigner and I’d prefer to stay out of the court system and/or jail. I check the bike over and found a small piece of cast aluminum on the pavement. Don’t know what it is but my bike isn’t leaking fluid and it seems to roll okay. I also pick up the Sena Headset that flew off when my melon made contact with the concrete as well as some paperwork that flew out of my backpack upon impact. I say everything is good let’s just part ways. I want to get the hell out of here. The dude was quite pleased with that answer and with a big smile on his face he waved Audios.

I am really feeling on top of the world right now. This was a serious impact (he was going probably +35mph) and I seem to be completely unscathed. We immediately ride 2 blocks back to the hostel with the Triumph motorcycle and gladly pay $32 to get the bikes off the street and a place to sleep.

I did find that the REI pots in my left saddle bag took a large portion of the impact. Then it dawned on me what the small cast aluminum part was. My steering stop. I can now turn the bars a long ways to the left….not sure how I’m going to fix this one. My leather gloves are also in tatters but hands are completely unscathed....hope panama city has a good leathers store.





What a day!!! A border crossing, hot humid jungle, fierce rain at 4,000ft, waterfalls, reservoirs, pine trees in the high dry desert, 2 traffic stops, and one serious collision. I’m pooped I’ll see y’all in the morning.....but first a cold beer!

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