Posted 6/2/2007 7:30 PM (#25825) Subject: travel happy as a cow .. but don't ask the cowboy!
Location: San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica
Dear fellows up in the North,
in Costa Rica we have only a dozen side-cars and you nearly never meet any other when you are on the road. But what is horrible for tourists and normal drivers, is great fun for somebody like us....
Who passes through Costa Rica is welcome and may contact me under cel. ++506-88329087 or tel.++506-22688785.
I might tell where to get what... (our Jawa-importer is a great help ++506-22414014 and fitted more then one rig to other brands)... or where to have what nice special roads...
Sorry but I never finished the following report of the whole trip,
Anyhow this was fun and I think its fun to read too.
Here a report from the first real ride of my tiny "Jolly Roger 2" nearly two years ago....(meanwhile 7 Years ago)
travel happy like a cow, but don't ask a cowboy!
> Hello friends, for to make you jealous!.
> Air India's announcement: Travel happy like a cow.
> But beware, don't ask a cowboy for the way!!!!!
> Thursday 3AM: My brother in law Raul and I left home with the Jawa
350 with sidecar.
> Zurquí pass, close to San José Costa Rica.
> Meteorological investigation. Uphill until 2400m and look. North gray,
> West lightning, south grey, above and east stars.
> There we go, through the rainforest towards Limon.
> Reaching the plains. Ouch, BIG STORM CLOUDS coming from south
> (later it became hurricane Dennis)
> Still dark. Lets go north north east. Until the Nicaraguan border
> (Los Chiles) and still the storm behind. (Short visit to the wife of
a colleague of all of us, they handed their machine shop over to a
> son and run now a bakery. Haven't seen her for 8 years).
> Lets go west over gravel roads: Caño Negro flood lands and lake
> with thousands of birds. "Fishing season will start on August first -
> will be back then"
It took until 2013 I was able to fish there once agian!
> Upala (east side of Cordillera)" Madam, how are the roads to the
> west?""Close to the border destroyed and the asphalt direct to
> Cañas badly washed. But Sunday we passed through the middle, its
> What a beauty! Reasonable gravel up and down through pasture,
> forests and former coral reefs (that are now like a desert) between 2
huge volcanoes. Beautiful view to Lake Nicaragua! Nice to put your feet
> into a hot river.
> Bagaces, West side of cordillera. Hunger - I remember an excellent
> restaurant in Liberia 50 km north. full throttle. ---I know here
> be the restaurant, lets ask.- "Yes, Jose´s kitchen closed 3 month
> ago and we have no idea where he is now.---AGAIN RICE AND BEANS. Well
> at least lets get decent desert in the German bakery.
> Murphy's law. after a few hundred yards. Tropical rainstorm and
> the raincoats must have got dropped in the mountains!!!!
> Wet as poodles. We enjoyed first class German bee stitch and coffee.
> Look in the map. North natural reservation-no pass trough.
> North west- typical and too well known tourist area. West to
> I hadn't been there 10 or more years. Now its Sodom and Gomorrah
> and a labyrinth.
> Excuse me friends the expression, but it looks like US exported
> there all imaginable human JUNK that mixes with European and
Costarrican low culture. (hores of all "4" sexes).....lets leave.
But I remember a short cut south. (later it turned out to be that the
place I remembered came 120km 4 wheel track further on!)
> The track becomes narrow, the first mud poored over us and it starts
to become dark. When I inspected the slope I asked a cowboy for the
-" After this hill 3 miles with minor slopes and little mud. You will
pass and come out by the college of Villareal!"
> OK. If I pass that tree half way up the hill then we continue. If not
we go back, although I don't like it.
> First try. -"Get out I have to try alone!". Pass the tree with 3"
space to the ditch. Throw mud until I am up. Ok, let's continue. The sun
> Typical in the tropics, no dawn. The track becomes narrower and
> turns into mud. There is no change of return. We get trough or we
pass here the night in a unknown rain forest. - The track is....See next post!
Posted 9/19/2009 8:14 PM (#46366 - in reply to #25825) Subject: Re: travel happy as a cow .. but don't ask the cowboy!
Location: San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica
Hello Folks for some reason the story got cut off. so here is the rest of the story:
"travel happy as a cow, but don't ask the cowboy."
>We get trough or we
pass here the night in a unknown rain forest. - The track is now just
wide enough for a horse and has steep slippery sides. Several mud pools
are no problem.
> 3 mud pools we handle by pure muscles and motocross style until the
> border of the forest to abandoned pasture...(2.5meter above us)Last
distance of 50 yards until the track widens up to normal size.
> CLAY just ready for moulding pottery, knee deep!!!!!!
> and we stick in it. The front wheel doesn't turn at all and wipes
> out our efforts. 15 yards muscle work 2 1/2 hours. I vanish, the
> motor too + carburettor cable gets hooked. We see at the horizon
> Raul, walks with the torch to inspect and get help.
> 1/2 hour sitting on the bike trying not to touch the plants
> because of snakes with a can of peeper gas in hand. Who knows if the
cowboy sent us into a trap?
> Raul: "After those 25 yards everything is ok and the village is in
> sight!" one further try - no hope.
we have to walk and leave the bike behind
> First houses dark. a bar "Watch these people aren't locals and are
> looking very strange." To the pulperia (granny's store) strange
> tattooed personnel from outside. A beer, water and lets open the last
drop of 18 year old rum. (I reserved it for to celebrate the first real
journey of the bike) The jar is broken and pours over Raul, he just was
able to weten his lips.
> Two guys completely spoiled with clay and mud. Clothes soaked with
> rum and unable to walk straight because of the hard work. That was
the manner how we got to the police delegation.
> What would you think about our story we told the police officers?
> ON ON, but a short break, its coffee time.
Villareal: middle of nothing, no cellular service. a hardware store
2 "Sodas", a soccer field, 1 public telephone, a church and AA.
Typical rural police delegation. Too few people, no equipment and the
village full of strangers, local disputes for love affairs and domestic
One of the youngest officers believes us and gets his own jeep and 30
yard of rope with lots of delay. Close to 10 o'clock we leave for the
dark. Not without having heard from other officers the serious
warnings. (2 cases of murder, lots of thefts and drugs. "GET THAT BIKE
OUT THERE FAST:IT MAY NOT BE THERE ANY MORE TOMORROW!"
The jeep gets as close as 45 yards, 2 deep holes and the slippery mud
don't permit more. The gas cable catches again, but after a few seconds
the motor dies completely and will not start until next day.
GOD LISTENS TO YOUR PRAYER!
Well, lets try it from the pasture. No gate, but I touch a foot thick
post. It ceeds and 5 more break too. > no cutting pliers! Raul finds
that right where we need an opening somebody did cut and close the
fence before. The rest to get out of the clay was easy. We just hoped
that there weren't any cattle on the pasture.
The front wheel didn't break free. The engine stayed dead. 2 miles I
got pulled with a barely turning front wheel and Raul who stood on the
bumper, advised about the rocks and holes.
When we entered into the village everything was dark. Only the last
drunken guys stayed in the bar. So our dinner at midnight turned out to
become a few beer, rum and peanuts.
Our hotel more than 5 stars:
The PORCH of the polices delegation. All the stars you could count.
The shower a garden hose. Blanket not necessary. Too warm.
The two officers who attended us turned out to be as crazy as I for
motorcycles, so we had a very nice discussion until 2:30 AM.
That is life as I missed it during the last 16 years. (With few minor
escapes, that are stories of their own)
Fellows, if You like I tell tomorrow how Jolly Roger got washed away in
The hole journey turned out to be 900km with 500km gravel track in all
kind of landscapes. This was the story of the first 530km.
The best of all wifes had to wait 3 3/4 days instead of 1 or 2.
Might be that's the reason for her attitude: "Don't touch me!"
May God bless everybody with health who decides to enjoy every day as
it would be his last!
Lets have a pint on this in a future ocasion.
PS in 2009: After this trip at only 4440km the engine needed a full overhaul and new 2nd over size pistons and conecting rods and a new indignition/generator coil. Means Costa Rican coastal mountains "Nandayure" are in deed TOUGH STUFF!
As nobody in these years asked for to the rest of the story I will stop it here.
Wish you enjoyed it!