Monday, April 11, 2011

4/4/11: Samara, CR – Playa Santa Teresa. 100 miles 8 hours(!)

Hell of a day today, little did I know how much worse for Gabe until later. Waking up and seeing the beach in Samara was nice, but between the crappy hotel, touristy vibe ( yet syill managing to have limited services), I am ready to get out of there. I plan on taking the coast road (more like a trail) for 40 miles or so to Playa Santa Teresa, at the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula. Gabe is taking public transportation to the same place to continue the buddy hang. We hwad out and pretty soon I am into some bad dirt roads, which is cool with me. 5 miles out of town, I see a kid who has run out of gas on his bike, and I help him out, going to the gas station, getting gas, bringing it back. I have to, after all the help I have received from folks when I was in the same bind. I leave the kid and his buddy, and proceed to climb up into the mountains and see some amazing vistas, coffee and banana farms, and a big ass monkey on the side of the road who soon joins his family in the tree above me when I stop for a picture. I’m feeling pretty good about this whole dirt bike thing, knowing I am seeing parts of Costa Rica that almost no visitors ever get to witness. The road is getting exceptionally bad, and I am crawling slowly along in first gear for most of the ride so far. The bike stalls out and I realize the engine has overheated when I try to start it. I figure Ill just let it cool off some and I watch 10 minutes of Bruno on my Ipod before firing up the bike and heading back up the dirt hill. I see a church in the distance and a small town, but something doesn’t seem right. I ask some local kids when I am, and it’s a town the is inland, the complete opposite direction I need to go. The dirt trails had some signs, but they petered out after a while and I just kept on going. I try another short cut and end up finally at Playa Coyote, after many people saying “ just 10 more kms, just 20 more kms, etc.” Playa Coyote should be just 10 miles from Playa Santa Teresa, but after 2 pretty deep river crossings, I realize that there aren’t really any discernable roads to where I need to go. It got really sketchy when a guy waved me across the river and pointed to a sandy foot path leading into the forest. I told him there was no way that was going to help me out but he said to trust him. Luckily, after a few hundred meters, I connected to a dirt road. Which led to the beach. Ended on the beach. Completely. No other paths visible. So I head out onto the beach and tdo te first real beach-riding of my life. The tide is high but I stay on the moist, hard-packed sand and a woman tells me I am only 5 kms away from Santa Teresa. I ride for 10 and make my way up into a little town off the side of the beach. It’s the wrong town, and for the 10th time today, I am told “ just 10 more kms). Follow and ATV down a really rocky road paralleling the beach, which has amazing views, especially because the sun is now setting. I get into town and as I am rolling to the hostel me and Gabe agreed to meet at, I see him walking down the road. I am about to launch into a story about how frustrating and long my ride was, yet still amazing, when Gabe says “ I just paid $175 bucks for a taxi here.” OK, you win man. Being Sunday, no shuttle buses were running between beaches, so Gabe took a cheap bus to Nicoya, the main town in these parts to catch a bus here. No buses running on Sunday though, so rather than spend the night in crappy Nicoya, he hired a 4 wheel drive truck to take him here. Although it’s a touristy spot, its really hard to get to. We head back to the hostel and get an empty dorm room to ourselves, which the Spanish owner Caesar generously hooks us up with. Off to the local soda (Costa Rican café) and order up my favorite thing a casado ( means marriage, a marriage of rice, beans, plantains, salad, and meat) and a quick check out of the beach at night before I hop on the internet for a minute and turn in early. I am going to spend at least a couple of days just chilling out. Supposedly this is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and I am looking forwards to seeing and swimming it in the daylight.

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