January 1st, 2019 – Monteverde, Costa Rica to Brasilito, Costa Rica: ~175 miles
Did you miss Day 2? Vy and I get settled in and hit the road.
One of my favorite things about international travel is getting to see bikes that aren’t available in the US. One such example is the Honda CTX200, which is known in some markets as the Bushlander. Designed for agricultural use, it features front and rear racks, a super short first gear, clutch lockout (allows you to get off the bike while it’s still in gear), steel lever guards, large side stands (on both sides!), and a wider seat.
The only reason I got the above photo was because Vy had asked me to pull over just a moment prior. Before the trip started, I replaced Vy’s old Shoei RF-1100 with a RF-1200. I had always suspected that her old helmet (a Medium) was a size too large, so I took her my favorite local gear shop (Beach Moto) for a second opinion. Kate at Beach suggested that Vy should actually be wearing a Small. Problem is, I didn’t have her break in the helmet before the trip so Vy was finding it tight and uncomfortable after about an hour. We were both hoping that the helmet would break in soon so that Vy wouldn’t be miserable over the next few days.
We stopped in the town of Limonal and found something decidedly American.
We rode by a group of vultures feeding so I turned around to see what the fuss was. Vy and I tried to remember what the collective noun is for this scavenger, and our research was surprising. Turns out the term differs based on what the vultures are doing:
Kettle = a group of vultures in flight
Committee = a group of vultures resting in trees
Wake = a group of vultures that are feeding, like so:
I felt obligated to get a closer look and spooked the wake in the process.
Part of my plan with this trip was to test some gear that REV’IT sent me to review for ADV Pulse – specifically the Ridge GTX jacket and the Globe GTX pants. As the GTX implies, both pieces are waterproof due to Gore-Tex. Only “problem” was, the weather was sunny and hot so we weren’t getting any precipitation to test how the gear held up in rain. Luckily for me, Chris organized a route for Vy and I that included several stream crossings, so we were able to improvise a waterproofing test.
Chris White (the gentleman behind Elephant Moto Costa Rica and the reason Vy and I were in the country in the first place) gave us multiple options for routes today, and we tried to find one that kept us off the main road but didn’t beat up Vy as a passenger too much. We didn’t really succeed with the latter, as she understandably didn’t care much for the hours we spent on the dirt. With that said, she sure enjoyed the stops!
One of the main reasons we took this specific route is because Chris said that there was a possibility of us seeing howler monkeys. Turns out “possibility” was an understatement. Chris actually said that we would probably hear the monkeys before we saw them, and he was right. The monkeys seem to be triggered by the noise of large diesel motors in trucks/buses and…BMW boxer engines! As we were riding along the road, I heard a noise I couldn’t place. At first I thought something was very wrong with the GS. Then I remembered what Chris had said, and quickly turned around to see if we could find monkeys.
Take a quick listen!
This happened fairly regularly for a couple of hours. We’d hear the telltale howling and pull over for a closer look. Soon we were so spoiled that we didn’t even bother stopping unless we thought the photo could be cool.
Just before the sun came down, Vy and I arrived at the destination that Chris had previously arranged. There’s a Canadian ex-pat (just like Chris) named Tim in Brasilito who runs a company called Mojo Surf Adventures. He also rents out a couple of rooms in his house, and that’s what Vy and I took advantage of. Vy and I had a conversation with Tim once we got settled in – once he heard what Vy was interested in, he offered us a choice of private surf lessons or a tour of a sloth sanctuary the next day. We went with the latter, but if we had an extra day with Tim we would have done the surf lessons, too. A few months later, my buddy Brenden Anders (Managing Partner at MotoQuest) asked me for some recommendations in Costa Rica. He and his girlfriend took a private surf lesson with Tim and highly recommended it.
There were two main options for dinner – a resort less than 5 minutes away with a built-in restaurant or a 15 minute ride into Brasilito Beach for some touristy options. Having spent enough time on the road today, we went with the shorter option. The restaurant was empty, which made me think that it was closed. But after a couple of minutes, a bartender showed up so I was happy, and then a chef showed up so Vy was happy.
As tempting as the surf lesson was (I’ve never gone surfing before, but Vy is passable with it), I knew that Vy would have more fun at the sloth sanctuary because she’s obsessed with slots. The last time we went to Costa Rica, Vy and I went to a different sloth sanctuary and she fell in love with a baby:
Part of our hesitation was that we were also planning on visiting a sloth sanctuary on the penultimate day of the trip, but I figured it’d be best to make sure we had at least one visit just in case something happened later on. That would end up being a good call.
On our way back to the AirBnB, we saw a motorcycle with not-very-classy sticker on it.
Tomorrow, we see some sloths – continue to Day 4!