Border Run to Panama at Paso Canoas

With my time at Puerto Viejo finished 🙁 it was time to make the border run to Panama at the Paso Canoas border.

San Jose

Of course all roads in Costa Rica lead through San Jose. Since I was just staying a night there, I picked a cheap, but really nice, hotel on the outskirts of San Jose – Hotel Posada Canal Grande.




The people hear were really nice and they actually had a nice restaurant in the hotel.


My next stop on the way to the Panama border was Jaco. I had heard about Jaco, the beaches, and night-life. Unfortunately, it rained or threatened rain most of my time there.

The beaches were a bit disappointing to me. But still not too bad 🙂





There were a couple people with motorized kites flying about. I am sure there is an official name for them that I’m not aware of.



I stayed at a cool hostel in Jaco called Hotel Buddha House. Like all hostels it seems, the people there were very friendly and informal.

I ended up with a private room in the corner. So relaxing just sitting outside.



Coming back from a walk at night. My motorcycle was sleeping 🙂



My last stop before hitting the Panama border was the town of Neily.

It was a bit of a long ride to the town but with some nice views.


At one point I was looking for a coffee place to rest a bit. There was nothing until out of the blue I saw a coffee shop called Sibu. It was strange in that this was a extremely nice coffee place in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t see anything like it on my ride.

Of course I had to stop.



My hotel in Neily, Hotel Fortuna Verde, was basic for sure. And there was anything around within an easy walking distance. However, the people got some beer for me ha ha ha to add to some snacks I had stached …. and there was a place to park my motorcycle under a shelter. I guess those are the 2 most important things ha ha ha.

Panama Border at Paso Canoas

The day was finally here. Another border crossing. I actually don’t mind them too much, except for the fixers and heat. Otherwise, it is fun for me being able to talk to people and solve the problem of getting through it. It is a stretching exercise for me as I have to push myself through all the steps to finally find the answers and get through them. The Panama Border was no different.

Here is the border and steps that I will explain.

Free Zone (4)

I had done some studying beforehand. It turned out a lot of what I studied was dated. So I was confused at first as I attempted to exit Costa Rica.

#1 on the map was paying the Costa Rica Exit fee at the bank located across the street from Immigration.


Next at #2 was going through immigration on the right in the photo.


The last step to exit Costa Rica was Customs at #3. It is located just past Immigration around the corner and through the glass doors.

The whole process of exiting Costa Rica was really simple and quick! It was now time to ride a short distance to the Panama Border to enter Panama.


Under the canopy at the Panama border I parked my motorcycle in a line of other vehicles.


I first went to immigration that you can see just ahead of my motorcycle. There I was approached by an older gentleman wearing an official looking name badge. He told me I had to get insurance first. Oh great … thanks. I thought that would be the end of it … but no. Turned out he was a fixer who now hung onto me. I wasn’t in the mood to fight him so I just let him drag me around through the process.

#4 was getting insurance. The insurance booth on my side of the road was closed so we went to the one on the other side of the complex.

After purchasing one month worth of insurance, it was to immigration.


This was the usual basic stuff, except that they took fingerprints.

Next was Customs at #5 just down from Immigration.


There I handed in all my motorcycle documentation while they took their time adding it on a computer and printing out another form.

#6 was the difficult part of the crossing. The Customs agent at the window said to find another Customs agent out there somewhere to inspect my bike and sign the document. So off my fixer and I went to find this guy.

After searching for a while, we found him but he was busy on a bus. To save some time we went to the Fumigation booth and paid for fumigation. Then it was back to finding the Customs Agent again.

We finally corralled the agent and guided him to my motorcycle. The agent made me open my panniers and top case. It touched a few of the contents but that was it. Then signed my temporary import permit for my motorcycle.

It was onto my last stop, #8, to get my motorcycle fumigated.


After that was done I paid my fixer $10 US. He didn’t look too happy with the amount, but I didn’t care at this stage. I was through the border and now about to explore Panama!

My Route on September 21, 2017

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My Route on September 22, 2017

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My Location on September 23, 2017

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My Route on September 24, 2017

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My Route on September 25, 2017 into Panama

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Costa Rica Caribbean Style Pura Vida

Now that Costa Rica’s Independence Day was over, it was time to do Costa Rica Caribbean style :-). I was really looking forward to going to the Caribbean side of the country. For much of my trip I have been along the Pacific coast.

The ride there was through the mountains. It was misty or raining through a lot of it until I reached Limon on the Caribbean coast.


Originally I thought about staying in Limon but couldn’t find a hotel I liked. Good thing I didn’t as it is a dirty port town. The roads were congested with container trucks coming and going to storage facilities filed with Chiquita and Dole containers. I was anxious to get out of there and to Puerto Viejo where I booked a hotel.

Afro-Costa Ricans

One thing was evident as I rode through Limon and into Puerto Viejo, there were far more Afro-Costa Ricans than in any other part of the country. Being curious as to why, I looked it up.

As expected, their descendants were initially slaves who worked on plantations and ranches. Later on, blacks came freely to fish and work on the railroad. By the 1930’s the economic situation was bad and employers were pressured to only hire Costa Ricans and not blacks. Huuuummm seems to be a re-occuring theme in the world. In 1936, the government passed a law that blacks could not go past the White highlands. When that law was finally rescinded, the Afro-Costa Ricans were settled along the Caribbean coast and mostly stayed there.

Caribbean Comfort

I arrived in Puerto Viejo too early to check into the hotel I booked, Caribbean Comfort. As I rode through town I noticed a cool restaurant by the water that had a parking spot where I could watch my motorcycle. It wasn’t much of a decision to stop and get a hamburger and sneak in a beer as my hotel was just a couple blocks away. Of course, in Puerto Viejo everything is just a couple blocks away. There I sat enjoying the view.


I think I’m going to like this place.

Eventually I checked into the the hotel. It was so nice. Nice big room with a King size bed and kitchen. Wow! there was even a nice patio with hammock and chairs.



Did I say I think I’m going to like this place?!

Puerto Viejo

It was hot here! So my routine consisted of going for coffee in the morning, walking around, and then staying inside during the heat of the day until the evening.

There were a couple cool coffee places. Because I paid for my hotel in cash, the owner gave me a couple gift certificates for a place across the street that was only open a few hours a day. But the food was awesome.


And it looked onto a funky restaurant I never did try.


Another place I loved was Cafe Rico.


Amazing food and the people were so nice.

After coffee were my morning walks around town.



















Do you think I took enough pictures? ha ha

In the evening I would go out again after the heat and rain.







Playa Cocles

One day I did venture out to a beach not too far away – Playa Cocles.

So amazing. Once again, I’ll let the photos do the talking for me.











Pura Vida

I hope the pictures did Puerto Viejo justice. If you are looking to relax in a quirky, basic, small, beach paradise, then Puerto Viejo is the place. There isn’t much to do but chill out Caribbean style. I really need to learn how to do that 🙁 Just sitting and relaxing for long periods is something I’m not good at. Perhaps it would have been good for me to stay a lot longer than I did to learn this.

Such a cool place.

As the signs say on the tree in the feature image for this post:

One Love
Pura Vida (Pure Life)
Never Give Up

My Route on September 18, 2017

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My Location September 19 and 20, 2017

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Costa Rican Independence Day in San Jose

I left La Fortuna for San Jose where I happened to catch the Costa Rican Independence Day. The original plan was to ride to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. However, the cost of accommodation was really high on the weekend. The people at my hostel in La Fortuna said it was because lots of people go there for Independence Day to party. So instead of riding east, I chose to ride to Punta Arenas on the west coast and then to San Jose to spend the weekend.

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas wasn’t that far from La Fortuna so I road around Lake Arenal first. It was a relaxing ride with great views of the lake. No pictures though 🙁 Sometimes I just get wrapped up in enjoying the ride that I just forget to take photos.

As I arrived in Punta Arenas and searched for my hotel, I began to wonder what I got myself into. The area wasn’t that nice. Lots of dilapidated houses and businesses. Luckily, the hotel I booked, Hotel Mar y Mar, was an oasis amongst all this. My corner room was small but with a nice balcony I relaxed on.


Across the street was a beach with not a soul on it.




Hotel Adversity

The next day I left early to hit San Jose before the afternoon rains started. A common occurrence now, and I’m getting tired of it.

In San Jose I booked a hostel near the park I enjoyed the last time I was in the city. Plus it was near a Starbucks ha ha.

I got there early and popped into McDonalds for something to eat before going to the hostel. It wasn’t long before I saw some rain falling. I quickly got on my bike and rode to the hostel. By the time I arrived it was now raining.

It wasn’t check in time yet so no one was around at first. Finally a guy came out and looked for my reservation. He couldn’t find it! I looked at the confirmation I had and it turned out I had inadvertently booked it for a different date. No problem though as he said they did have a room for me. The only problem was that they didn’t have secure parking and the owner of the hostel didn’t feel comfortable with having my motorcycle just parked in their parking lot. Great! If the owner didn’t feel comfortable then I wasn’t going to feel comfortable either. So there I sat in the lobby of the hostel, looking at the rain outside, cancelling my reservation at the hostel, and searching for another hotel in San Jose.

After some searching on Expedia and I found a hotel downtown that was a bit over my budget but a good deal considering the location. Plus it should be good for any Independence Day celebrations. Off I headed in the rain. By the time I got to where the hotel was located it was raining hard. As luck would have it, I couldn’t find the hotel. Finally I parked under an overhang at a parking garage so I could get off and search for it on foot. I didn’t feel terribly safe leaving my motorcycle there, but I needed to get out of the rain.

Walking around but still didn’t see the hotel. I asked a person at a store and they had never heard of it. Not a good omen. As I expanded my search in the area I finally found it tucked away.


Back to my motorcycle I went and rode it into their underground parking lot.

The hotel itself was different for sure. I had a windowless room. I guess that is why it was a good deal.


Outside on each floor was a lounge.


Independence Day

The next day was Costa Rica’s Independence Day and I was looking forward to seeing the celebrations in the Capital City.

As I walked around the city I found the parade route and got a good spot to watch it.









Now, it was nice, but it seemed to be one school group after another. I walked to the start of the parade route to see if there was something else besides school kids.






Nope … it was all school groups. I thought it was a bit strange for an Independence Day celebration in the Capital. It was still nice though.

As the afternoon approached, so did the rain.


San Jose

The day after Independence Day I just walked around looking at the sites.









My Route on September 13, 2017

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My Route on September 14, 2017

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My Location from September 15 to 17, 2017

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La Fortuna – Adventureland Costa Rica

I was soooo happy to be back on my motorcycle again heading to La Fortuna after a month in Alajuela Costa Rica. It had been a month since I was last on the road.

Nahua Chocolate

Before getting too far, my first stop was Nahua Chocolate. Why there, you might be saying 🙂 Well, my oldest son Mike did his Masters of Business Administration at Cambridge University in England. Part of his coursework was a group project to attend San Jose Costa Rica and do a consulting project with Nahua Chocolate.

I was excited to go to the coffee shop and have my morning coffee and share in my son’s experience.

I saw the store from the freeway and it took a few drive bys before I broke the law and exited the freeway off of a entrance ramp. It seems to me that motorcycles are allowed to do anything here so I was taking advantage of that.

The entrance to the small mall where the store was located had a gate across it and a security guard. The guard wouldn’t let me cross to take a picture.

Back on the freeway I went and found a place to pull off. Risking my life ha ha I ran across 6 lanes of freeway to get this picture.


Arenal Hostel Resort

The road to La Fortuna was awesome. It was full of curves and little villages. Too bad it was a short 2 hour ride. I really do need to take more photos of my rides. Sorry.

The place I booked in La Fortuna was the Arenal Resort Hostel. At the reception I met Jenny. She was so friendly. I am finding that about hostels. I like it. People are friendly, both the staff and the people staying there. Perfect for a solo traveler, even if it is a younger crowd.

The hostel was like a little resort. I got a free drink upon signing in and went to the poolside bar.

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Because I reserved a room with a private bathroom, my room was across the street. But all the action was in the bar area of course. People hung out at the bar and on the hammocks. Well …. the few people there were that is. It is the off season right now.


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My motorcycle had secure parking as well. Perfect location!

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La Fortuna

La Fortuna as a town was not very charming. It mainly consists of adventure companies trying to sell tours. It seemed like every second business was a tour operator. Just not a place to walk around. The focal point of the town is the Arenal Volcano.

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The one exception to the unremarkable town was the central park. It was well manicured and beautiful flowers were blooming.

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Basically though, La Fortuna is a home base for adventure tour companies.


There is lots to do in La Fortuna. Everything from rafting, horsebacking riding, hiking, ecological cruises, swinging bridges, and zip lines. The one catch is that they are ALL very expensive! If I were on vacation I would have done several of them.

As I have mentioned several times before, on a vacation you save up and then when you go you have a great time doing all sorts of things and eating at nice places. When it is your daily life like it is for me, you can’t afford to do all these things. So I need to pick and choose just like I would if I was living at home.

La Fortuna is also famous for their hot springs. I decided to do that. Even that was expensive. It cost $45 US to get into the hot spring and have a dinner.

Baldi Hot Spring

Jenny said Baldi Hot Springs had the most pools and was the busiest. That is what I chose.

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The pools were on a hill and the further up the hotter they were.

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At the top was a kids area.

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I would love to take my grandkids there!

Most of my time was spent in the jacuzzi afterwhich I went to the poolside bar for a coke before dinner.

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So how much did the can of coke cost? Well ….. over $6 Canadian!! For a can!

My “cheap” Hot Springs ended up costing me over $80 Canadian including the taxi to get there.

La Fortuna is a place to spend money on adventures. I enjoyed it there but I would have enjoyed it more if I had the money to go on all the adventures available.

My Route to La Fortuna on September 10, 2017

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My Location on September 11 and 12, 2017

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Out of Sorts in Alajuela Costa Rica

After arriving back in Alajuela Costa Rica from my 2 week vacation in Vancouver to see my kids, I was feeling a bit out of sorts. My head felt like my brain had turned into cement. I’m not sure why. But these are some of the reasons I came up with:

  • I was suffering from another sinus infection.
  • After 2 weeks of being around my kids and grandkids almost 24/7 it was lonely back at my airbnb and not having people to talk to and play with.
  • I miss my kids and grandkids.
  • Vancouver Canada is beautiful and things are clean and orderly, whereas Alajuela lacks the charm and character of other places I have visited like Oaxaca Mexico, Antigua Guatemala, or Leon Nicaragua.
  • In Vancouver it was daylight until 9 pm. In Alajuela it gets dark at 6 pm.
  • I am getting tired of the rainy season.
  • 14 months of being a transient takes its toll.
  • Just a normal cycle.

I’m not really sure. Perhaps all of the above.


My Airbnb in Alajuela was pretty nice. It was also under my budget as I had booked it for a month.

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I definitely got some exercise though. It was a 2 km walk up and down hills to get to Starbucks where I spent most of my days working on blogs. For the first few days I felt it in my calfs.


Yes I know …Starbucks Starbucks Starbucks ha ha. I fell in love with the chain back in 1993 when I was working in Vancouver. There was a Starbucks right below my office. A group of us would go there each morning for coffee. Back then it was a novelty and not the ubiquitous entity it is now. It was cool then. Now people like to put it down because it is a chain. But I don’t care. It is my home away from home. And free Wifi to do my blogs 🙂

The one in Alajuela is particularly nice, both the building and the staff.



Ever since the first day I arrived in Alajuela they remembered my name and greeted me with it as I walked in each day. It is the small things like that that make a solo traveler feel good.


I spent 2 weeks in Alajuela and developed a bit of a routine. First thing in the morning it was off to Starbucks for my morning coffee. I couldn’t leave too early though. Unlike Canada where Starbucks opens at 5 or 6 am to catch all those commuters needing their morning coffee on their way to work, here Starbucks didn’t open until 8:30 am on weekdays and 9:30 am on weekends.

I would work on my blogs until lunch time. Then I would head to a fast food place. Everything is soooooo expensive here and so to stay within budget, fast food is all I could afford. For example, a Starbucks Grande coffee and a blueberry muffin cost me $7:30 Canadian. A Big Mac Combo was $8.50.

After lunch I headed back to Starbucks to work some more. Then came the tricky part. Everyday, starting in the afternoon, there is a thunderstorm and torrential rains.

rain alajuela

The trick was to figure out if I should wait it out or head home before it started. I had to judge just how quickly the storm was developing.

Before walking back home I would stop at Subway to pick up a meal for dinner.


Another cheap eat for here anyways.

Yes, the mall where the Subway and Starbucks is is modern. A lot of cities in Mexico and Central America have a North American style mall somewhere to cater to the more well to do people. It certainly doesn’t represent the rest of Alajuela. Although, Costa Rica in general is a wealthy country compared to the other Central American countries I have visited so far.


There were a few things to take care of while I was here. I wanted to get my teeth cleaned. I made an appointment online. However, when I arrived I was met with a closed door.


Turned out they had moved from that location. They hadn’t updated their website or confirmation response.

My motorcycle needed cleaning too. Some people take pride in a bike covered in mud. I like to ride a clean motorcycle 🙂

car wash

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It just seems to perform better when clean ha ha.

With that I was ready to leave Alajuela. Too long here.

My Location from August 14 to 16 and September 1 to 9, 2017

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There Is No Place Like Home

From San Jose I rode a short distance to Alajuela, Costa Rica, so I could catch a flight home from the nearby San Jose airport. It turned out that the flight back home to Vancouver, Canada, and the flight back, were not as routine as I thought they would be.

Alajuela Airbnb

In Alajuela I rented an Airbnb for a month, including the 2 weeks I would be at home. The cost was under my accommodation budget and had a secure place to store my motorcycle. Perhaps I could have found secure parking at a cheaper cost, but this was a place I could stay for a few days before leaving and a known place to come back to without have to move everything a couple of times.

Flight Home

For the first time, I used the Uber app to get an Uber ride to the airport. Unlike most things in Costa Rica, it was cheap! Although the driver was preoccupied with sex. I guess when he found out I was traveling alone he thought that was what I would be interested in talking about.

I got to the airport and my gate on time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same thing about my flight 🙁 It was late. I was taking a flight from San Jose to Houston and then Houston to Vancouver.

Soon I heard my name called on the intercom. Yup … My flight was so late I would miss my flight to Houston. I had two choices, catch a flight tomorrow from San Jose, or go to Houston and catch a flight home tomorrow from there. I decided just to start all over again tomorrow.

Copa Airlines was pretty good in their response. They escorted me past immigration to get my luggage, then past Customs. I then met with a ticket agent to reserve my flights for tomorrow. The best deal was a 4 am flight to Panama City, then to Houston and finally Vancouver. The first 2 flights were in First Class.

With that settled they got me a taxi to a nearby Best Western where they gave me a $12 meal voucher.

By 6 pm I closed my blinds, set the alarm for 1 a.m., and went to sleep.

1 a.m. came early 🙁

The first 2 flights were good. But by the time I got to Houston I just didn’t want to go any further.

I arrived in Vancouver at 10:30 and was so glad to be met by my daughter. A long day!

Kids and Grandkids

The main reason for going home now was to be with my kids and grandkids while it was still summer in Vancouver. By far the hardest part of my adventure is being away from them for extended periods of time.

So I REALLY enjoyed spending time with them. Going to English Bay, Ambleside Park, White Rock, Langley, Stanley Park, bowling, picnics, patios … Of course there was a lot of swinging, see-sawing and digging in the sand with the grandkids. So much fun.

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Here we were watching kids jump off of the pier at White Rock along with watching crabbers bring up their catch.

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White Rock

I went once with my grandkids to White Rock, but I also managed to sneak off to enjoy it on my own. It is definitely one of my favorite places in the world.

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Surreal Experience

One thing I made time for was to see friends who I hadn’t seen since high school over 40 years ago! A very surreal experience. My high school experiences are a bit of a blur now. I don’t remember a lot. But seeing Ralph, Colette and Eileen brought back memories, as did looking through old school yearbooks. I haven’t been in touch with many from high school since those days, but they had been. It was fun hearing about people from years ago and where they are now. Amazing how far we have all come and the experiences we have had. Hard to believe. I think time and experiences tend to mellow us from those crazy high school days. There seemed to be all these group statuses back then. At least that was my perception. But not anymore.

Anyways … thanks Ralph, Colette and Eileen for the good time and for your support. The nicest people ever.

Flying Home

My 2 weeks at home went by fast. Thanks Mike, Amy, Mia, Ben, Car, Ian and Nick for such an enjoyable time and your hospitality.

My flight back to Costa Rica was Vancouver to Los Angeles to Panama City to San Jose. As I checked into my Air Canada flight to LA there was a problem already. Their screen said I needed to show a ticket onward out of Costa Rica. I explained to them that my motorcycle was in Costa Rica and I would be riding it out of the country. I was just away for 2 weeks to visit my kids. They were good about it and let me through, but warned I could be sent back to Panama by Costa Rican immigration.

As a precaution I booked a hotel in Panama to show immigration that I was planning to leave the country.

In LA I had to walk to a different terminal to catch my Copa Airlines flight to Panama City. LA is my least favorite airport in the world. The walk seemed to take forever as I went through tunnels, and up and down escalators. But I finally made it to the gate.

As they started to board the plane I heard my name called on the intercom. I went to the desk. The clerk said I needed to show a ticket out of Costa Rica before I could board the plane. Once again I explained my circumstances. Unlike Air Canada, they didn’t care. I HAD to show a ticket out of the country or I couldn’t board the plane. A hotel reservation was not good enough. It had to be a ticket proving I was going to be leaving the country! I continued to argue that they never cared about this when I entered the country on my motorbike. The clerk said I was just wasting time and advised me that even a bus ticket out of the country would work.

The pressure was now on. The plane was boarding as I scrambled on line to purchase any bus ticket out of Costa Rica.

I heard them directing people to take my luggage off of the plane!

I found a bus ticket on line! They would send me an invoice and I would have to pay it and then they would send me a ticket via email. That all takes time. I begged them to hurry. The invoice came, however, when I tried to pay it I couldn’t. It wanted a Paypal account, even though I was paying by credit card, and for some reason I couldn’t access my account.

By this time everyone had boarded the plane. The last call was made. It looked like I would miss my flight and be stuck in LA. I let out a huge sigh cuasing everyone to look at me. The clerk came over to me and said, “show me what you have.” I showed her my invoice.


September 10, to Nicaragua, that’s all she needed to see. She didn’t need to see how I paid for it. Of course I hadn’t and never would. So all I needed was an invoice of a ticket leaving the country that I never plan on using to PROVE I was leaving the country. It all made no sense. But at that point I didn’t care. I rushed onto the plane.

In Panama City no one asked me the same question.

In Costa Rica as approached customs I felt like I was a criminal and could be sent to jail ha ha. I got up to the booth and the agent only wanted to know how long I would be there. That was it. He gave me 90 days and I was off!

The whole thing was stupid. The world is not made for long term motorcycle travellers. It is only made for vacationers or immigrants.

Now the big question was whether or not my luggage would arrive since I heard them taking it off. It did! When I saw it I was so relieved. I made it back.

My Route on August 13 2017

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My Location from August 14 to 16, 2017


My Location August 17 to 31, 2017


San Jose Costa Rica

After 3 days of enjoying the beach life, I rode to the big city of San Jose Costa Rica. The main purpose of going here was that I had booked a flight home for 2 weeks. Also, unlike a lot of adventure motorcyclists, I enjoy looking around the big cities.

TRYP Hotel

The one thing beach resorts and big cities have in common is that accommodation is expensive. San Jose was no different. I decided I would find a hotel deal on Expedia, and use the Expedia points I had accumulated to even get a better deal on my hotel. The result was a nice hotel far below my budget.

As usual, I arrived at the TRYP Hotel early. As a result my room wasn’t ready yet. When it was I discovered they put me in a Premium Suite!

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It had been a LONG time since I had accommodation this nice. I really didn’t want to leave the room so I could enjoy it as much as possible.

So as to not to venture too far away the first night, I went to the bar in the lobby for happy hour. What happened next I’ve had various opinions about.

OK …. it was 2 for one beer and appies in the bar. They even had a happy hour menu with the 2 for 1 stuff. So I ordered a beer and meatballs. Not long after they came. When I finished my beer the second one came. But for some reason when I finished my meatballs the second one never came. I patiently waited for them. They never arrived. Finally I asked my server about my second dish of meatballs. She said I never specifically requested a second one. What?! It was 2 for 1 appies. A debate ensued. Both of us stuck to our positions. She said I never ordered a second one and I said it was 2 for 1 and I ordered off of the 2 for 1 menu and I got my 2 for 1 beer so why wouldn’t I get the second appie. And why would I just order one when it was 2 for 1. She replied that Happy Hour was now over anyways. I HATE confrontation but I did it anyways here. Finally she said she would check with the chef. I got my second dish of meatballs. I ate them quickly though. I just wanted to get out of there. And “classic Dad” as my kids would say, I would never return to the bar because of the experience.

However, I did enjoy two awesome nights in my room on what seemed to be the most confortable bed I have ever slept on.

Exploring San Jose City

I had one day to explore the city. First, I walked downtown down a pedestrian mall.

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There really wasn’t much to see so I walked around looking for things of interest. Huuuummm a museum with Mickey and Minnie Mouse outside. That was interesting!

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I did find the main plaza which is generally the hub activity.

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The church on the plaza didn’t look like much from the outside. But sure nice on the inside.

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I continued to wander around looking at the buildings and street art.

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While walking back to my hotel I found the main market.

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Not sure if these were for eating or for pets huuuummm

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As I approached my hotel I saw this store. Now I’m not sure if it was a misspelling or perhaps a clever double meaning.

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La Sabana Park

By the time I got back to my hotel there was still time left in the day to do more exploring. So I headed the other direction to La Sabana Park.

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I thought it would be just a leisurely stroll through a park. But it turned out to be the highlight of the day.

As soon as I entered I saw lots of soccer fields. On one of them a goalkeeping school was taking place.

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Funny watching the younger one learn the skills. This guy had a few problems.

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I continued walking in the park past the police station where their horses were feeding.

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In another open area there was a band playing with kids dancing. It looked like it was going to be a Girls Scouts jamboree.

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On the other side of the field was the National Sports Stadium.

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It was then I saw something I’d never seen before. Truly amazing and shows anyone can play the “beautiful game.” There were a group of amputees playing soccer! I just stood and watched.

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Loved it! So cool.

With that I headed back to my hotel to enjoy my last night in luxury ha ha.

My Route on for August 11, 2017

Tamarindo San Jose

My Location on August 12, 2017

San Jose Map

Tamarindo – Surf Town Costa Rica

Relieved to have gotten through the border at Penas Blancas into Costa Rica, I rode to the surf town of Tamarindo.

One of the first things I noticed on entering Costa Rica was that pretty much all the houses were actual structures. Up until now it was common to see houses made from scraps of wood, metal and plastic. Very sad.

Hotel Mahayana

In Tamarindo I was staying at the Hotel Mahayana. Well … so I thought. When I arrived no one was there, except for a few guests. Strange.

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I checked my email and I had a message from the Manager asking when I was going to arrive. I said I am here now. A little while later he showed up and said I wasn’t suppose to be there until tomorrow! He was right. This was the second time on this trip I’ve done that.

Luckily, there was a room and I could pay for the extra night. So instead of 2 nights at the hotel I would be there for 3 nights.

The hotel itself was different from others I have experience. It is a few blocks from the beach along a dirt road.

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There was no front desk and the Manager only shows up once or twice a day. Other than that there is just the cleaning woman from 9 until 2. The rest of the time the inmates are left to fend for themselves in a locked compound.

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It is very relaxing though with a small pool and kitchen.

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Something very peculiar at the hotel, and all over Tamarindo was the disposal of used toilet paper. It was not to be flushed down the toilet but put in a trash can beside it!!!

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OK …I am sorry Hotel Mahayana and Tamarindo, but I don’t care how small your septic tanks are or limited your sewer system is, there was no way I was going to put used toilet paper in a trash can. So gross to me. So I became an outlaw that day. 🙂


This was the third surf town I had been to in Central America. El Tunco, El Salvador was a grubby little hippie town and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua was mostly a college party town. Tamarindo had lots of college aged kids but also lots of families enjoying the beach. The town was a mixture of everything. There were a few expensive resorts and restaurants in town for the rich. I have to admit I went to one each day just to relax with an expensive beer.

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But also hostels, dirt roads and grocery stores for those on a budget.

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The best part about Tamarindo though was the beach.

Tamarindo Beach

I have to admit I took a lot of pictures at the beach. I wasn’t the only one though.

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Sooooo … I will just let my photos do the talking here. There are a lot. Hard to choose which ones to include. It was a lot of fun just walking up and down the beach watching the surfers and the kids play.

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Tamarindo was a great place to some some beach time. Like many places I’ve visited I could have stayed longer.

My Route on August 8, 2017


My Location for August 9 and 10, 2017


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