Last minute change of plans... Heading to Costa Rica

A shot I took of the road and my bike just before the chicken incident.

My music blast in my iPod as I cruise down the perfect paved road. I see in the distance
3 chickens. When I approached the chickens, one turned back running in the ditch, the other
past the front wheel and was already on the other side of the road... but the stupid chicken,
Ran right into my surfboard! I felt a big bang and I see feathers fly by. I look back in my rear
view mirror and see only 2 chickens. Approaching a small town, I don't dare stopping so I continue to cruise along hoping no one saw the poor chicken wanting to surf.
I could write a whole chapter on how many things I've hit on the road... This was my first chicken!
I don't think he died... but he sure felt what a surfboard on the head feels like.

After spending a night again at Hostal Veraguas in Santiago. I had planned to return to Santa
Catalina for a few more days. Thinking it could be a cool place to spend Christmas and New Years. My camping set up was perfect... the food was great and not too crowed. But the only down side... waves were not so happening.
I decided to pack up and go back anyways, I was craving another shrimp coconut curry from Mama Ines ... so I got a few supplies, including a bottle a fine Panama Rum for $9 bucks!
Leaving mid morning. I cruised along the same road back to Santa Catalina when all
of a sudden, the chicken encounter flashback into my mind. I was just passing by the area where it happen. I looked around for a dead chicken but saw nothing. Maybe a dog got it.

A gut feeling came to me, telling me I should be heading north, not back to where I came from. Santa Catalina was great, but surf wasn't working. Tomorrow is Christmas... I could spend xmas
on the road to Costa Rica. On a new Adventure, a new country. I could also be in Santa Teresa for the New Year, a place I had long wanted to go back to. (one of my favorite spots to surf and still is after so many countries!)
When my gut feeling told me the 3rd time... after riding 90kms!!! only 20 more to go... I turned
around... and made my way back towards Santiago. I didn't mind the ride after all... the road was so much fun to ride.
I came back to the hostel late afternoon. The owner was surprised to see me back so soon - few hours later!
I told her the change of my plans, that I decided to ride to Costa Rica on Christmas day and visit some friends.
Giving myself my own present! perfect surf to come and good friends....

I sent off some emails to my friend Roguer in Dominical Costa Rica and told him I would be there for Xmas dinner with a bottle of Rum. Followed by a restless night trying to sleep from barking dogs. I was anxious to get back on the road.

I felt great about my spontaneous last minute decision and was happy to be back in the saddle to new adventures. I had a long day ahead... ride all the way to Dominical (almost 500 km) with a border crossing in between. To my surprise, the highway was completely dead.
Well after all it's Christmas day!
I was the only one on the road. When I got to the Panama / Costa Border. Everything
was closed, no one around. The only place open to eat was at Burger king on the Panama side. I was starving from a 2 1/2 hour ride so I broke down for a burger and fries... ( yes I felt like shit after)
Thinking I better eat now, the border might take a while.

I was the only one standing in the window to get my stamp out of Panama, the process took 30 seconds... 2 minutes later. I was on my way to Costa Rica border. Last time I was here in 2008. It took 2 hours to go through both borders...

I went to immigration first and got my entry stamp, when the guy asked me if I had a return ticket out of the country, I told him I had a motorbike. So I got my 3 months then told me to go to Aduana for the bike Import.

The cute little lady was nice, very helpful telling me to get millions of photocopies. So I went to get copies... nothing was open on the Costa side so I had to walk back to Panama to get my copies ( 300 meters away)
Waiting for my photocopies to be done in the blasting heat, I spent the last of my american change on a coconut water. I walked back to Costa Rica to find my cute lovely lady replaced by some unfriendly asshole dude...
Not even a "Hola", he immediately ask for my papers. I handed him all my beautiful fresh photocopies and my Passport.
He starts typing away at the keyboard. Then he takes a look at my bike registration papers.
He looks at the back of the page, then the front, several times. Then the computer screen, then the papers, the screen again... it goes on for 5 minutes.
He then gets up and groups around the rest of the office team. They stand there staring at me outside the window, sweat dripping from my dirty and dark tan face. Meanwhile they smile in the AC room, passing around my registration papers.
The "A" guy comes back to his chair, looks again at the screen, then my papers...
" Your paper here says expired in 2008" He explains to me in spanish.
"I know!" this is only for Canada! and I was here in 2009 also was expired... I had no trouble then and I rode around 19 countries! crossed borders over 60 times and never had a problem!"
I tried to explain myself in my best spanish possible that my registrations are only for north America.
" Aqui, Costa Rica, necessito papel - legal! "

Why did this asshole come to the window??? why not this cute little girl that was so friendly!
she would of just giving me my temporary permit with a little flirty gringo look!
This guy wasn't going let me go easy. " No legal, no go"
After 20 minutes trying to convince him there was no way for me to get new papers, only in Canada. He still refused and handed me back my passport with my million of fresh photocopies.
"Get new papers, not expired and come back another time" he says to me.
"Gracias Asshole" merry fuck'n xmas to you too! giving him the finger in my mind...
I went back to my bike hidden around the corner. Two security police and some local kids are checking it out... surfboard to the side, loaded with my bags... Bottle of Rum in my front bag on
top of my headlight.
"Abuelo!" Bueno Rum! The best in Panama" officers says as I sit on my bike searching for my keys.
"Uruguay??? " (they always think I'm from Uruguay, because of the big flag sticker on my tank)
"No - Canada"
"Surf - Surf!!??" making a paddling motion with his harms.
"Pavones! mui bueno Olas..." explaining to me with excitement about this classic surf break near, one of the world's longest left.
Nice moto! Suzuki!!! DR 350!!! bueno Moto...."
I push the start button, it fires like a dream. The 2 police man give me a thumbs up.
"Pura Vida" they say.
"Pura Vida Mae! Feliz Navidad" I reply.
Now a bus was blocking most of the entrance of the Aduana, so I took my chance, Shift in gear and left a dust mark while saluting my 2 officer friends... I wanted to finger the Aduana guy behind the little cage window (but I didn't - incase the cute lady was watching)
and rode away into Costa Rica....

No papers, no problem. After so many miles and border experiences. I rather deal with the
Police; if they stop me... they see my bike and we have bike/surf talk!
Much better then try to deal with the paper work bullshit needed at the
border Aduana Office that takes an hour at least. It sure made the process faster.
It turned out to be a nice Christmas present... now I could leave my bike in the country if I wanted too.
No one will know.

I arrived in Dominical just in time for dinner and see the sunset. Found my friend Roguer's sweet home higher up in the mountains.
It was good to see good friends on Christmas day, it had been years since we had last seen each other.
We opened the Rum and salut a toast to all our friends and family.
Stuffed our appetite over a fat chicken and mash potatoes...
Then more Rum was poured... and I stared telling my wanna surf chicken story...

Pura Vida! - Welcome back to Costa Rica

Got the Rum, iPod, sunscreen, ready for Costa Rica...
Don't need AC up there...
Long ride ahead, fueled up my bike and myself.

At the Panama Border.
My ride... with crazy surfboard, the pimp BMW GS1200 behind was a bit impressed that
I could ride with that thing. When I told him I'de been riding with my board since Uruguay,
he called me Crazy Canadian... then he took my photo.
mmmm... Are we really crazy up there?

I love how you can sometimes get things done for dirt cheap. Here the mechanic took the muffler
right off welding a patch on a hole. All for a 5 bucks! Beats buying a tube of epoxy, which I did several times before... at $3 bucks a tube! Doesn't make sense...
Tire change... $5 bucks, yap... everything is $5 bucks in this shop. Also Oil change.
La Casa de Roguer and Chantelle... home sweet home, For now they rent this beautiful home
300 meters from their property. Slowly building their home from a container. Building green as
possible. Their land has a river, killer mountain views, quiet, fresh air and Ocean views! from far away...
Internet cat...I guess electronics fry yur Brain!

Cracking open the Abuelo Rum from Panama, one of the countries best. I saved it for Xmas
Unfortunately Roguer doesn't drink...( he had a toast), Thanks to him... there was more shots for us.

Thumbs up! check out my new Xmas present Santa brought me... a new blue bike!

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