Page 48: - No Return Ticket - Just a Ride Report /w Pics - From the beginning
Heidi mentioned that our Central America guide book lists Pavones Costa Rica as being one of the four ‘highlight beaches’ in Central America. She said we haven’t been to any highlight beaches yet and Pavones is not far out of our way. Sounds good.
We hoped to make Pavones the same day we crossed the border but our two delays put us behind. Its 4:00PM and raining, now we need to find somewhere to stay the night, soon.
We tool through ciudad Neily, the first city after the border and found a nice hotel. Although it’s 50% more expensive than our guide book quoted it’s still within our budget. The next morning we woke up to steady rain. We pack up the bike then ‘hang out’ at the open air hotel restaurant. An hour later it’s still raining. We decide to suck it up and head out. We were hoping the rain wouldn’t last so we put on our rain jackets only, bad move.
The rain continued. We pull off the Pan American highway and start riding toward the Pacific coast. I knew I needed to turn left some miles before the village Golfito. I missed the turnoff and we find ourselves in Golfito. It’s a nice looking village but we wanted Pavones. Heidi sees an information booth while riding through town. There we get a detailed map of the area that shows exactly where the turn off is that I missed. Heidi spots a river crossing on the map with a note saying ‘ ferry’ This concerned her but I said we should have no problem crossing on a ferry with the bike. It’s raining hard, our leather pants are soaked. I pull over on the side of the road to talk. Heidi says she doesn’t like where I parked. Next we get ‘splashed good’ by a passing car. I apologized, she was right. We admit to each other how foolish we are for not putting on our rain pants. We ride on.
I backtrack out of town and find the turn off I missed. A sign says ‘39 kilometers to Pavones’, about 25 miles. The road is dirt with baseball and softball sized rock everywhere. The potholes were easy to spot because they were filled with water. This is going to be a long 25 miles. We figured we would be in Pavones in an hour and a half when we left Neily, it’s already been longer than that. The bike is handling the rough stony road better than I expected. I’m thinking that maybe it’s because the steady rain has softened the road surface. Or maybe because I moved a lot of heavy gear to the front tank panniers, probably a little of both.
About half way to Pavones we reach the river. A bus full of people pulls in next to us and starts to park. Heidi’s yelling for me to move the bike. I move it a little. She is always telling me that I don’t pay enough attention to where I park the bike. The bus driver motions to me that I’m good where I am now. We can see the ferry start up from across the river. Heidi looks concerned.
I wait and board last.
Heidi tells me to ‘quite goofing off and hold onto the bike!’
The bus driver helps fire up the diesel while the capitan tries to ‘shove off’.
Now the bus driver goes to the rear and helps the capitan shove off. I move the bike forward to try and help also.
We make it across the river and are back on the road. Soon we get teased with a few short sections of pavement, the longest was barely a kilometer but we were glad for any relief from the bumpy road.
We finally pull into the beach village Pavones. Everything is wet, lush and tropical here.
The buildings are all primitive and rustic, very quant. We continue riding through town and down another dirt road. We saw a hotel sign before town and were looking for that place. About a mile down the coast past town we pull in, La Ponderosa. It’s a tropical hotel with duplex cabins set between a tropical jungle and a beach. The room rates were over our budget but it was raining hard, we were soaked and ready to call it quits. I pay for two nights.
After we got settled in I had to confess to Heidi. “I just enjoyed that way too much” I’ve talked about this before with her. I like riding in the cold, the rain, the heat. It’s fun getting out the electric gloves, the scarf, the down vest, or rain suit. I don’t know. The colder or wetter or hotter it is the better it is, during and after. I say to Heidi with passion “I can’t be the only one that feels this way” She gives me a smirk and says “Yeah Tom, I’m sure”
The new mud on the bike looks good. I like to sit and stare after I’m done. I admire her sleek lines and bare cover. I had my fun. I don’t think she minds being a little ‘dirty’ sometimes.
After reading a brochure we discover the jungle behind the hotel is filled with hiking trails, waterfalls and exotic plants and trees. The next day we grab a camera, a trail map and head out.
Another Day in Pavones:
It’s been raining every afternoon for too many days now. We saw a little sun and blue sky and head out. Pavones is a 3K walk along the beach.
Local beach front home:
The clouds look darker than normal today. We carried our rain jackets in a backpack just in case.
The color of the beach sand is mostly black or dark brown here.
While walking into town the tide was high. We needed to go onto the road part way into town.
The best surfing break is right in town, Pavones. There’s a huge soccer field defining the end of town. Just before the field is a rustic open air restaurant/bar. The beach is filled with Vans and trucks with surf boards. The entire town is set up for surfers. The roads are dirt coming in and going out. That adds to the unique feel, the charm of being isolated from the ‘Main World’
The waves weren’t huge today but good. The big thing about this beach is the length of the ride. It’s said that on a good day you can ride for 3 minutes. Today we saw longer rides then we’ve seen in months.
There were some good waves coming in.
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