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Day 337 – 10th November 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 10, 2009

Tuesday – Playas Del Sol, Cost Rica

Life’s a beach! 🙂

I got an early start to packing, then woke Jimmy up as he had promised a cup of tea, which we did have and it was great 🙂 I headed off south around 8.30 or so after saying farewell. It was a great few days here, but my liver and kidneys need a rest and told me to leave!

It was only a short ride down the lake, past the windmills before arriving at the border to Costa Rica. This border is a bit complicated and the signs and directions are a bit unclear. Vincent had been through here a day or two ago and sent me some info which was very helpful, thanks m8 🙂 The first step is ignore the ’helpers’ and stop at the yellow building and go to the window and pay $1US for exit tax, get a receipt.

After that, on the left hand side of the road is an arch, go under that and head down past the duty free shops, turn left at the corner and left again and arrive at a big blue building where you can park.

Behind me in the last shot above is another building, go right through to the other side of the building outside and turn right and go to the last window, here you will pick up a form to fill out

When you have filled this out, you may also be asked some questions by a government worker about your stay in Nicaragua, take this form to a window to the right, they look the same, but a different process apparently 😕 When they have stamped it, take it across the road to where you parked and go into the customs building where the exit stamp for the bike is done. This step is complete.

Now for the Costa Rica entry, this is confusing, don’t do what I did and end up at the exit post. When you leave the car park you pass the trucks, where you now find the other customs shed, the customs is on the right, but you enter the building on the left and start the vehicle import process. You go in the building to the end and start the ball rolling, when they have stamped your passport and you have bought insurance, on the way out of the building, there is a chap with a photocopier on the right, you will need a copy of the passport stamp and insurance.

Outside across the road is the customs, give the paperwork to them and they will issue an import certificate application. This is where my brand new copy of my title caused a bit of drama 😦

He said it was a copy, but when I explained to him that this is what they gave me, after a few minutes he was unhappy, but signed the paperwork and let me through, whew this is hard work without the proper papers!

I am now good to go, but the paperwork trail is not over yet, this is all a lead up to the actual VIP 😕 This is where it is easy to get lost, just ask me, there are no bloody signs! When you leave here, you have a choice, follow the road where that white car is going(of course you think), but no, you take a right turn, through the truck parking lot and find a blue and white bus where you hand your papers through the window and they will issue the VIP. I cannot fathom the reasoning behind this, it is weird!!!

That little bit of white paper is stamped and signed by everyone, that is your paper trail, do not lose it!

When they have done their bit of the process you now have your VIP(vehicle import permit) and are good to head towards the exit, in my case for the 2nd time 😉 You go past all the trucks and hand over the little stamped paper at the exit. This is where I should have paid attention at the white bus, because there was an error on the form, he had added an extra number to my licence plate number, but the exit chap said it is not a problem, he checked the plate on the bike and could see it was a typo. I hope I did the right thing by riding away in the rain, because I sure hope by not going back for a new one, I do not cause dramas on my exit 😦 All up the exit/entry took about one and a half hours.

There was only the one police checkpoint on the way to the first major town called Liberia. Here I spotted a food hall and had some chicken and chips for lunch, a well earned dinner break 🙂

Here was where I was to turn right anyway and a short way down the road I spotted a bike shop. He had moto oil but it was not cheap and he sent me back to the place across from where I had lunch where I could get cheaper oil. This was a bonus and by the time I had got the bike set up for an oil change the oil chap had returned and in no time I was back on the road with some ‘wet clutch’ specific oil, happy times 🙂

I did not get far after this before I stopped yet again, this time by a tourist shop where I bought some stickers of Costa Rica for the panniers 🙂 It was only a short ride to the beach(playa) after this and it looked very touristy, but quite nice as well in a way 🙂

I looked around and found this nice villa place called Toro Blanco, quite cheap at $25/night, with aircon, a full kitchenette, internet and a pool etc. I was soon settled in, email answered and heading up the road for a look and to find a bar.

To get to the bar, head to the beach, cross the creek and it is right there, about 200 meters.

The first beer I tried was nice, it looked very Germanish in design.

There was a sand competition here a while back, Jimbo the bar owner liked one so much he got a concrete copy of one made.

I did not have a big night, I was looking at taking a fishing charter, but the local chap next door was charging too much, he wanted $400 for a half day, not for this little black duck! But, another m8 of Jimbo’s called Gary, has his own boat and was willing to go out if we fuelled the boat, a cost of around $40 each. Another chap was willing to go as well, so we made arrangements to sort it out tomorrow arvo and go fishing Thursday morning. I met a few other chaps, Raymond an oilman from Canada was a top bloke, we got on OK and Shaun, a big bloke who had some character and in no time we were paying eachother out 🙂

Day – 143 miles and 230 km
Trip – 42,668 miles and 68,667 km



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2 Responses to “Day 337 – 10th November 09”

  1. Franklin said

    Richard, thanks for documenting the border crossing. Awesome info to have on hand when I begin my solo travels south in a couple of weeks. If are paths ever cross beers are on me.


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