Sunday, 15 July 2012

Costa Rica - West coast to East coast and Volcan Irazu

New day,  new plan.  Time to criss-cross Costa Rica again!  It's kind of fun to wake up in the morning on the Pacific coast and ask "Hey, wanna ride to the east coast today?"  Sure, why not!?!

One last quick look at the west coast... 



Crossing to the other side means going over the mountains again.  Beauty!!  A good part of this ride is looking DOWN at the clouds.  Smooth curvy mountain roads, the beaches, animals...this country has is all.





We spotted this restaurant for lunch.. No matter what it is, we didn't care because there were so many cars out the front, and with the view, it's gotta be good. 

Nice photo of me fixing my helmet hair, Kev ;-)  

We're heading up the hill to see Volcan Irazu.



We made it to the gate entrance of the park.  There was only about 45 minutes left until it closes.  I guess we hung out at our lunch spot a bit long... Kevin tried to organize we get in for free, or at least at local rates since we can't stay long.  No luck.

It looks really foggy and we are trying to decide if we want to pay full price for this.  In an instant the sun came out again.. We paid them quickly and rode straight up the hill as fast as we could!!  Might as well, we drove this far to see it. Volcan Irazu is the highest ACTIVE volcano in Costa Rica.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraz%C3%BA_Volcano

We jumped off the bikes, locked the helmets and hiked to the crater.  The last eruption was in 1994. 



Really enjoying the view, however I couldn't see down as far as I wanted.  And then this super fog rolled in so fast we couldn't believe it.  I guess there was a song in my head when Kevin took this photo.


The fog was cool, but then this heavy mist came in with it.  Quite mystical really.  And then proper rain made it easy for us to conclude the short visit we had and get out before the gates close.


After leaving the park in the fog and misty rain, we came in to the good weather again.  Still high above the clouds, it makes for some extra gorgeous riding.





Once we got further down the volcano the weather went bad again and started raining.. and then the rain turned into super heavy rain for the rest of the ride.  It got dark, I have a rear tire that is bald now and sliding around quite a bit in the curves.

We didn't make it to the east coast as we planned.  But once we did make it to a small town, it took forever in the rain to find a place to stay. Once we did, it was a fight to see who got the warm shower first..!!!  Unfortunately when you're cold and want a warm or even hot shower in Central America, it's not likely to happen!  (At least in the places we stay).  More than likely you will get a shower with one knob for water.. that one knob means cold.  Usually that's okay as long as you time the shower during a time of day that is hot.  Otherwise, they have these seriously dodgey after market things to produce warm/hot water and they scare me.  In order to get the warm to work you have to let the pressure be on the lowest possible. So you might get a dribble and it be warm, or you can have a full size cold shower.. take your pick!!  These are the times, I wish I had my own shower at home.. ;-//


Not sure why they still have a Christmas tree up at this hostel, but it puts Kevin in a good mood!!  He's modeling the Mexican wrestling mask he and James bought in Guanajuato Mexico a while back.  And I've got to live with this guy?? ;-)


The rain cleared... it's another beautiful day to ride a motorcycle in Costa Rica.  So.... this is the east coast!!


Kevin decides to give the machete another try on the next coconut victim..


Neither of us know which coconut to pick... he's asking me like I can tell which has the best juice!  I grew up in Indiana.. I can tell you which ear of corn to pick, but not which coconut.. ;-)  There are brown ones that appear to have been on the ground for a while and there are green ones.  I've never had to survive off of coconuts, but usually in the movies they tend to climb a tree and get a fresh one!  Kevin says I am crazy that I suggest he climb a palm tree and decides to attack one on the ground.

He's really quite proud of this... he offers me the first drink.


I decline and say that he should have the first drink since he worked so hard for it.  With a very big smile he took a very big gulp.... and then a very BIG spit it all out!!!  Ha!!!! Ha ha ha.. I am laughing so hard.  So... the assumption that a coconut on the ground, even though it is still green, is not necessarily a good coconut! ;-)

This was the local's reaction to Kevin's coconut choice.... ha ha ha!!!!!!!



The whole time we were there, this man was sitting on his little bench watching us..and we didn't know it.

Further on down the coast we stop along the beautiful beach.  While enjoying the view, we watch a local woman come close to us, she picks up a fallen coconut and walks away.  We both stare at her and try to figure out why she picked the one she did.

So Kevin pulls the machete off his bike and makes another coconut drink attempt.



This is a more brown coconut.  I knew from our last experience to let Kevin try first again.  Bluuuck!!!!!!!



The good news is that he is getting better and faster with the machete.  The bad news, we are hopeless at finding a coconut with fresh cool tasty juice inside!! "I'm telling you Kevin, you need to climb the dag gone tree and get one....!" ;-)))

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