October 19, 2014
... Man, it still takes me 1.5 hrs to get on the road. Unbelievable. That luggage thing doesn't cut it. Have to get a better set-up for my South America leg. This is ridic. I should be able to have everything packed and ready to go in 45 minutes or less. I only brought 2.5 pairs of shoes....
Two panniers, a top box and maybe an extra bag for the small stuff. That should do it. I'll look in to it...Most definitely.
The ride is scenic. The morning air is cool. Blue sky, sun smiling at me (or laughing, not sure). No off-roading this time. Heh, I had enough of that for a few days! I'm crossing a mountain range, passing water falls, rivers and a reservoir without boaters. Dropping down to sea level on the other side. The Carribean. Sweet. It's much warmer here. At a coffee stop, I am chatting with two Dutch guys, who are on their way to Bocas del Toro.
I am aiming for Limon, a coastal town in Costa Rica. "Let's get there, see how you feel and either continue or stay", is what my brain is telling me. Ok then....
Border crossing in to Costa Rica is easy, but not fast. Checking out with Aduana (Customs), then over to Immigration. Damn, there is a line of about 20 students from a bible class. Only two officers at the window. I engage in conversation with some of the students, which makes the line move faster. At least, it seems that way.
My turn. Stamp in the passport. I am done. I walk back to my bike. Some dude with badge approaches me. "Bad news', he tells me. What?!?! "Your papers show, you came in through a different border. You have to exit at the same border." You must be kidding me? I remain calm. He's probably pulling a fast one on a gringo on a bike. Pretty soon, he's gonna say "Ha. Just joking. Have a good trip."
Nope, joke's on me. He whispers" For $ 20, I'll let you through," Ahhh, that's the deal". I already know, that's how it works down here. But, this mf caught me off guard. Ok, I bargain down to 10 bux. If he doesn't let me pass, I have to ride a looong way to the other border. Do I really wanna do that? Nope. So, I figure, 10 bux is a fair deal. Karma is a bitch, amigo. I strongly believe it! I wish him "Hasta Luego" and ride over the bridge in to Costa Rica.
The road takes me along the Carribean Sea to Limon. I stop briefly, inspect the beach and water, and drive on not very impressed by the dark sand and even darker sea.
Limon is just as I pictured it, traffic, crowded, a port, small airport, nothing special. I stop at a place that advertises "Carribean Food". I hadn't really eaten today. A place with rice, chicken, slaw, some stuff, I can't identify and a coke, do the trick. I still need a place for the night. A lady at the neighboring table suggests a place in a town called Siquirres, about 50 km from Limon along my way of travel.
I head for it, and off course, get caught in heavy rain. By the time, I reach Siquirres, I look and feel like I went for a swim. I can't find the stupid hotel and settle for a "resort" like place at the outskirts of town. For $30/night, it's an ok deal plus, I can park Big B. right in front of my room. Covered. No hot shower, though. 3 beds in the room. Large enough for me and my luggage.
I am sitting here right now, enjoying a Whiskey and Coke with Ceviche. How bad can it be?
Hey, sometimes, you just have to grab what is thrown in front of you and make the best of it.
Let's see, what tomorrow brings. It only can get better...