Morning came early in Rivas, Nicaragua and Art, Gary and I were on our way by 7:00 AM headed to the border with Costa Rica. Arriving at the border by 7:30 AM, Gary stood guard over the motorcycles while Art and I went to process our exit from Nicaragua. We were surprised to find several lines with at least 30 people in each line but we got in one line and after about one hour we were at the front. And just as suddenly the official closed his window, motioning Art to another line. After another hour, we finally received our exit papers and now had only to process our entry into Costa Rica.
The Costa Rican officials were much more efficient however we had to move our motorcycles to three different buildings to process papers. Finally at the last post, the official reviewed both Gary and my papers and quickly gave us permission to ride our motorcycles into Costa Rica, however when he reviewed Artís papers, the process came to a quick Art.
Remember, Art had purchased the Suzuki Boulevard M50 in Savannah, GA and was riding it back to Costa Rica. Being a resident of Costa Rica, Art is required to pay a rather steep import duty, which he was willing and prepared to do. However, he had been informed he could process and pay the import duty here in San Jose but,not so, at least in this officials mind.
Making inquiries, Art learned it would take about six hours for them to prepare the paperwork and he could not proceed further until the paperwork was completed and he paid the duties (over $2000). So we proceeded to wait but the wait was actually very pleasant. One boot shine, three ice cream drumsticks and some fried chicken and French fries. All under the beautiful shade trees of Costa Rica. Not a bad way to wait several hours.
Also, while we were waiting in rode a young couple on a Kawasaki KLR650. I learned they were from New Mexico and were off on an adventure. Riding to Tierra Del Fuego. What a coincidence. Soon, they were on their way south while we waited.
Earlier Art and Gary had received a call from friends in San Jose, members of M14 a motorcycle riding club. Several were going to ride north to meet Art and Gary, and now me, to welcome us home. Only in Costa Rica! About 3:00 P.M. in rode five on beautiful large displacement cruisers. By 4:30 pm Art had completed the paperwork, paid the duties and we were on our way south. However, darkness would soon come.
Gary Pitts and one of the group, Ricardo, suggested that we spend the night in a small town, La Cruz, and soon we arrived in La Cruz. Gary led us into the town, up a steep hill and suddenly we were in awe over the most magnificent view, Bahia Salinas, a Pacific bay surrounded by volcanos. What an amazing sight. We set there enjoying the view for about twenty minutes and the Ricardo led us to a very nice local hotel where we spent the evening.
Gary and I enjoyed a cigar to relax and about 8:00 PM, Art and I walked toward the center of town where we found a local bakery and bought freshly baked sweet rolls that we ate for a light dinner. Up early November 4, we were on our way to Liberia by 7:30 AM. Beautiful mountains, amazing herds of cattle and horses, coffee plantations, what a ride!
In Liberia, I enjoyed a rather typical Costa Rican breakfast, Gallo Pinto, eggs, orange juice and coffee. And my friends often ask if I am eating enough!
Earlier Art invited me to spend a few days at his home in San Jose with him and his wife, Elieth. Having come to like and respect Art, I accepted and by noon, we were riding into San Jose, with Art and me peeling off to make our way to the suburb of Escazu, where Art and Elieth have a lovely home up a mountain about 5400 feet above sea level. Actually hanging off the mountain and overlooking three volcanos, the large and picturesque city of San Jose and the entire central valley this is a beautiful home.
Elieth, Art had talked about her with such love. But I was hardly prepared for such beauty, graciousness and charm. Elieth and Art have been married for six years and are devoted to each other. Such a perfect couple! And both are great cooks, shall I stay here?
Art and Gary were just returning from a 6000 mile trip, from Springfield, Ma and Savannah, GA through SC, NC, TN, MS, LA and Texas and then on through Mexico and Central America to Costa Rica. Few men would even consider such a trip. Arriving home yesterday at noon, this morning Art awakened me at 6:00 AM for a brisk walk up the mountainside and then we left on a motorcycle ride to Volcan Irazu, near Cartago, where we met Elieth and a group from Germany. Next Art took me for a brish 90 mile ride through the beautiful countryside, up mountains, over rivers, past plantations and the most beautiful villages and then back into the frenzy of the San Jose traffic.
As I type this, Art is actually upstairs preparing dinner and talking with Elieth and a guest from Germany.
I plan to stay here through the weekend. I actually must have some work done on the BMW and then will be on my way south. Leaving these wonderful people, Art, Gary, Ricardo, Miguel and a dozen other Costa Rican friends will be difficult.
The adventure continues and it is all I expected.