Monday morning, warm and clear, a great day for riding. And Ricardo and I were on the road early headed north towards the Costa Rican border. A brisk one hour ride found us sitting at the Panamanian Aduana quickly clearing Customs and Immigration. Then we were off about 100 meters to the Costa Rican Immigration and Customs. Within 90 minutes all was in order and we were free to ride north. Up the Pacific coast, past beautiful beachfront villages such as Tortuga Abajo, Quebrada Grande, Playa Uvita, occasionally seeing and hearing the furious Pacific Ocean crash into the beautiful rock formations only a short distance to our left. A surfers paradise, if only there were a sandy beach.
Lunch beckoned, I was hungry. And suddenly Ricardo swung to the left, darting down a broken pavement road towards a beachfront village. Beautiful banana, palm and mangrove trees dotting a quaint but beautiful beach. Raging waves, the roaring sounds of a furious sea, all sweeping up on the beach. Young people, older people, some Ticos, others gringos from both the USA and Europe. All surfers seeking total freedom and happiness. And they had found it right here in Playa Domenical! I immediately fell in love with it.
A beachfront restaurant beckoned. Delightful staff and a menu that was tasty, healthy but not inexpensive. Frijoles, rice, salad and grilled fish. All washed down with fresh pineapple juice. And of course a fresh baked brownie topped with coffee ice cream. I clearly am enjoying this healthy eating.
Back on the bikes, we were only about 180 miles from San Jose. Normally an easy three to four hour ride but the clouds had darkened, Thunder was making itself heard above the surf. Yes, rain, sometimes light and sometimes heavy. While I am experienced at riding in the rain, I still get nervous combining rain, a Costa Rican road, Latin drivers all together with me on a motorcycle. Wet, cold, tense but still riding northeast to San Jose.
Finally reaching the new toll road near dark, I relaxed a bit. But no! Darkness, hard driven rain and we suddenly were in the midst of early evening San Jose traffic. Cars change lanes in all directions, busses trying to run me over, motorcycle drivers who must have been Kamikaze pilots in another life. My life quickly ran before my eyes. Fifteen miles to Ricardos home. How can I possibly make it? Perseverence, a newfound belief in prayer and finally we were at Ricardos gate.
We are planning to ride to Limon Tuesday or Wednesday but first the rain must stop. And this evening? A warm shower. dry cloths and early to bed.