Tag Archives: San Juan del Sur

Balgue to San Juan Del Sur, Wednesday, 28 November 2012, Day 148

Wrong ferry wrong Quay wrong queue oops

maybe this one ?

Not going to far today either but it does involve another ferry crossing which I do enjoy. It had rained quite a lot during the night so I was worried about the dirt track down to the main road as this may have turned muddy and me and muddy roads are not a great combination. I Packed the bike and I am down the hill with only a few brown trouser moments then a nice run to the ferry which was leaving at 11am so I had loads of time. I waved to the cop and the toll collector who recognised me from last time and they waved me through and onto the harbour where I tried to buy a ticket or at least find out how much the trip back would be no joy very unclear I need to pay on the boat so I went to get some breakfast and a coffee. Then I  join a very empty queue for the boat only me but it turns out I am at the wrong quay so redirected to the right one and another boat which is chockablock oops and there is me trying to be there early to ensure a place. I am approached by a guy who wants 10 Córdoba’s for road maintenance I refuse as I paid 30 2 days ago so they refuse to let me on the ferry I pull forward so I am blocking the road so if I am not getting on then no one else is getting on. Matey boy with the clipboard comes back with some uniformed chap who informs me that this is a departure tax and I have to pay or will not be let of the Island. We are only talking about 30 cents here but I have principles and the receipt is identical to the one I have already except a different town name on it, so after a bit of clowning for the crowds (unamused sailors and lorry drivers) I cough up then matey boy does usual trick with the change i.e. not have any and they want me on the boat which is about to leave but I am waiting for me change and then I will go. So I finally get on the boat bike tied down calmer and less wind than the journey here.

Do not remember this one in my highway code book!

Chatting to a Quebecker French girl who is travelling with a tour group of 16 people and she hates it and she does not like anyone in the group and or the tosser of the tour lead. Made me giggle as I have very similar views on group travel this is not my cup of tea especially if you get lumbered with a group of dickheads. Quite glad I am travelling on my own when you hear tales like this. The bloke comes around for the tickets and I do not have one and I ask him how much expecting another random figure and huge debate as I am certainly was not going to pay more than on the way here. Well it was another totally random number half the price of the journey on the way here! Go figure.

I got of the ferry slowly and cautionary as I did not want to end up on me arse like I nearly did last time and a short run to San Juan Del Sur. On the Pacific Coast again seaside town I did a tour of the town looking for somewhere to stay. Lots of places, but none that looked like they had a place for parking.

Chubby hot chap looking for a bed for the night

Finally find a place called Ola Italian run by an Italian Chap so another language to throw into the mix. A 4 bed dorm all to myself cheap enough and crisp white sheets and fluffy crisp white towels so I was sold and they had Wi-Fi but this turned out to be crap, slow and intermittent. I went for a long walk along the beach so from one end of the bay and back to the other dull and overcast but still pretty warm.

It is supposed to be a surf beach but not much evidence of that and when I got to the far end of the beach it started to rain so sheltered under a tree then in a café where I got chatting to a Canadian Couple who recommended a Chicken Place down the road for dinner.

It had stopped raining so back to the hostels where I spent some time cleaning up my computer as I have 120GB of memory but this is nearly full so freeing up some space by moving stuff to memory sticks and deleting loads of duplicate photos I have so hopefully that should keep me going for while.

I headed out again to the chicken place and the Canadian couple where there along with a German girl so I joined them but they had already eaten and the Canadian couple headed of as they where leaving very early the next day so that left me with the German girl called Katje (well I think it was that was her name as you all know how good I am at names and at this point I would like to apologise to anyone who’s name I have forgotten and or I have got wrong as its awfully wrong and rude of me so if anyone has any tricks for remembering names please let me know as I would really like to get them right but I am either not listening when I am  told the name or it goes in one ear and out the other) I spent a short but pleasant meal with Katje and walked her back to her hotel then back to the hostel fighting with the Internet which was not cooperating and I do need some info on the border crossing. It took ages got enough info but other things I needed to do would just have to wait.

Turned out quite a late night in the end beddy byes 4 beds to choose from all with clean crisp white sheets.

I had accident with my toilet bag the shampoo had leaked everywhere so I cleaned that  and then trimmed me beard which was getting a bit wild and had a shower and crawled into bed for a good night sleep.

San Juan Del Sur to Arenal, Thursday, 29 November 2012, Day 149

The man from Del Monte he says yes!

Day did not start out to well as remember I had the shampoo leak in my toilet bag well there was some still left on my toothbrush so ended up shampooing my teeth yuk I was tasting shampoo all day double yuk.

I headed out of San Juan Del Sur after hitting the cashpoint and getting some breakfast I had a bit of a small ruck with a rent a cop at the cashpoint as he would not let me park me bike in front of it the road was empty no one around but he had his rules and I have mine so screw you mate I will take my business else where and I went to find another cashpoint.

Short run and before I knew it I was passing a huge line of trucks signifying that I had probably hit the border. I am not going to bore you all to death with the details this time but here is a link for those that may be interested http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=809883&highlight=RTWPaul&page=34

I plagiarised this from someone else blog. Even after reading this the night before it still was very confusing and the whole exercise took about 2 hours with a lot of walking from one place to another place and lot of time trying to find folks in a huge crowded area to sign certain documents so looking for a policeman then a custom officers.

Large queue at immigration into Costa Rica but got through all of this without a problem made a few friends on the way and no real hassle from the money changers or folks trying to offer there services I decline politely and they leave you alone and there are other folks there willing to help you if needed I got some great help from the lady mopping the floor as I was in the wrong building 🙂

So through the border no problem this time, and into another new country with new challenges. I pass a never ending queue of lorries on the other side which where hogging my half the road with buses and cars coming straight at me also on my side of the road trying to push me off into the dirt no way Jose.

Heading for a place that Sjoerd Bakker had recommended the only problems was as I was having problems with the Internet again last night and I had not been on line for a couple of days so I did not really have the address and only a vague recollection on where the place was and I couldn’t remember the name. So as usual up to pretty standard Philly planning. When I hit the turnoff for Upala I decided to check with the cops at the side of the road as to the condition of the road as I recall that it may be a dirt track so I pulled over and ask the police officer in my best Spanish how the road is to Upala was and he demands to see my passport. Cor Blimey Governor I respond also in Spanish I only asked directions and the state of the road and he is demanding documents. We have a bit of a laugh about this as this is a routine check point so the demands for my documents is not for my bastardising of the Spanish language and after his mate has taken my details he required he tells me the road is excellent for motorcyclist so with a cheery wave and I am on my way again. Well excellent is not how I would have described the road it was dirt track for about 30km but fortunately seriously compacted dirt and old tarmac I was rattled to death but it was rideable and this got me away from the Pan America and into the mountains.

Excellent road allegedly

I could not find the place that Sjoerd had mentioned as I thought is was further down a particular road than it actually was and I think I may have stopped outside of the place but it did not match what I could recall being described but this is due to my crap memory. So still some daylight and I like the roads when they did turn back into Tarmac so I am heading for a place called Arenal which I had heard about and I knew there should be places to stay there. As I had crossed the border into Costa Rica I expected my Garmin GPS to start showing more detail as allegedly I had detail maps in it for Costa Rica but it was not much better than it had been for the last couple of countries so I never seemed to know where I was and it kept on telling me I was on the wrong road or driving in a lake! In short one piece of crap equipment maybe its me expecting to much but I would expect it to be functioning a lot better than it is I kept resorting to a paper map that I have and I should not have to do that. So I am running the Garmin South America Maps which is supposed to include Costa Rica so does anyone out there have any ideas why it may not working that well here?

Gorgeous run around the lake Arenal when I finally found the right road that seemed to go on for ever and then I was in Arenal which was a sleepy village so looked around for somewhere to stay and could not find anywhere obvious so asked a couple of girls are there any hotels in the area and they most have thought I was a mad old purvey guy as they both pointed across the road to a hotel right where I had stopped. (I must improve my chat up lines)  I must be tired, as I never noticed it.  I went inside and they show me to a lovely room with gorgeous views over the lake and valley but a tad more than my budget so I asked if they had anything cheaper as It was getting dark so the view will be gone in 30 minutes and I only need somewhere to kip. This worked and I had another nice lot cheaper room without the view. I went for a walk and it was dark so I need to remember it gets dark at 17.30pm here so need to get of the road earlier I had pushed my luck again today but it worked out fine but that may not always be the case. Not much to see in this one street town the entertainment this evening was watching two huge high lorries trying to negotiate the small streets without pulling down all of the low lying electricity cables.

Watch those cables

Back to the hotel for me tea as they had a pizza restaurant attached to it and I was the only one in that night so I sat there on me own with a nice Pizza and a Fanta with again bad Wi-Fi trying to get this up to date. Oh there was someone else in the restaurant my old trusty traveling companion Daisy. For security I was allowed to drive and park me bike in the Restaurant so there she was blocking the telly. Now that’s what I call service.

Oi Daisy you are blocking the bleeding telly

I am not sure if I have actually called my bike Daisy in this blog before but that’s what she has been christened and what I call her and this is how she got the name. So Dave Emmett (http://motomatters.com) if you think this is references to your nickname well think again its not but it could be how you became to be called Daisy as well.

My grandmother name was Daisy and my father used to have an old Zundapp Scooter with a Daisy on the front of it. It’s a DL650A so theirs a D and A in the type of the name and its bright yellow so that is how its become to be known as Daisy. And to top it all I really like the name. So me and Daisy  are in an empty restaurant with another dodgy Internet connection who says life on the road is boring not me 🙂