January 4th, 2019 – Liberia, Costa Rica to La Fortuna, Costa Rica: ~90 miles
Did you miss Day 5? Vy and I get some hiking in.
One thing I forgot to mention yesterday about our lodging at Hacienda Guachipelin – we arrived before our rooms were ready, but the front desk was kind enough to hold all of our gear and luggage while Vy and I went on our 10km hike. It’s a resort that’s remote enough where you probably won’t leave during the day, but there’s enough going on that you won’t feel the need to. Yet another excellent recommendation by Chris at Elephant Moto!
One of the nice things about not having to cover many miles in a day is that I wasn’t concerned about burning time with stops whenever we saw something interesting. A group of cows want to say hi? Sure, let’s pull over.
Nuevo Arenal seemed like a good place to stop for a drink. We slowly rode through town, looking for a shop to get some juice at. I liked the “worst restaurant in the world” sign and asked Vy to take a photo. By the time she got her camera out, the couple (with a guy wearing a Honda hat) decided to say hi!
I usually try to get a Wheelie Wednesday photo when I’m on a trip, and Vy is kind enough to humor me. Problem was, I picked an area where the scenic view was blocked by the massive bike when one wheel was up in the air, so we scrapped the idea. We decided this pose and angle made a bit more sense for now, and saved the wheelie shot for tomorrow…
Speaking of signs – though we saw a coati sign yesterday, today was our first live sighting. As you can imagine, Vy loved it. But she even loves possums, so I feel like something is wrong with her. Then I reflect on what it means about my look if she likes me…
In fact, it was so light that I completely forgot about it when it came to the review I did on ADVPulse of the REV’IT gear that I was wearing on this trip – the Ridge GTX jacket and Globe GTX pants.
As we chugged east along an excellent piece of pavement surrounded by all sorts of colors, it was impossible to miss a tour bus that had pulled over to let a bunch of passengers stare at something in the trees. Vy and I figured we should see what all the fuss was about. I dropped her off to get a closer look and then rode across the street to find some parking.
By the time I had parked, everyone had the chance to peek through the guide’s telescope. The object of everyone’s attention ended up being a sloth, but it was so obscured by the trees that I don’t know how anyone saw it from the road. Vy and I felt spoiled from our sloth viewing experience at the sanctuary on Day 4.
While we didn’t get much rain, the dreary sky stayed with us for the rest of the day. That, combined with the sheer amount of people that were trying to get into Tabacon Hot Springs, led us to decide that it wasn’t worth the visit on this trip. (Sorry, Glen!) We only came to this decision because Vy and I had already been there on a previous trip – it’s definitely worth a stop if it’s your first time, and we hope you’re blessed with better weather.
One thing I couldn’t help but notice about every Range Rover and Land Rover in Costa Rica is that it had a British flag decal on each of the front fenders. I assume it’s something the local importer does, if you needed a reminder about where the SUVs are built. It also seems like the least they can do considering the Costa Rican government charges serious import taxes (at least 50%) and the cheapest Range Rover model STARTS at $90,000. That’s an expensive Union Jack sticker!
As I mention in just about every trip Vy and I take on the bike, we swear by the Lonely Planet books she always brings along. In La Fortuna, it recommended a Peruvian-Chinese fusion restaurant called Chifa La Familia Feliz for dinner, but the wait was over 90 minutes when we stopped by. So we put our names down and then walked around the neighborhood to see if we could find anything interesting. This Raptor qualified as interesting to me – the speedblock livery apparently looks good on anything!
I decided that I didn’t want to have to explain to Chris that his bike had been stolen because I left it parked overnight on the street in a city, so I asked the hotel if they had a parking area that was a bit more secure. The receptionist suggested that I just park in the hallway to the lobby in front of a service door. Works for me.
Eventually, our dinner table was ready. I was amused by a few poor translations in the menu, such as “sweat and sour sauce” and having “lupus” added into my beer. “Lupulo” in Spanish means “hop”, which explains that line. I hope.
We went for one last walk around the block before heading back to the hotel, and a touristy shop caught Vy’s eye. Last time we were in Costa Rica, Vy seriously considered buying a towel of the 10,000 colones note because it has a sloth on the back. She passed on it back then, but she had to get it this time.
By the time we got back to the hotel, the security door on the main entrance had been shut, and the GS looked pretty safe to me. Vy and I entered through the separate door for guests, and we called it a night.
Tomorrow we’d have to deal with a change of plans that would cut the trip short (don’t worry, no one got hurt)…