Once we entered Costa Rica, the clouds opened up and unleashed rainstorm after rainstorm. We thought we had missed the rainy season in Central America, but we were wrong. This was the kind of consistent rain that turns streets into rivers, dirt roads into mud, and finds the weak points in any kind of riding gear. Costa Rica was one of the countries in Central America we were looking forward to the most due to its vast jungles, beautiful beaches, mountains, and volcanoes.
The border crossing from Nicaragua to Costa Rica was the first one where we had to hire a "fixer" to help us through. While the fixers work for "tips," their service really isn't optional. In our case, the fixers we hired were very good, and got us through the thick lines of tourists quickly by pulling a few strings. They ended up costing about $20 USD, but we didn't mind paying after seeing how quickly they got us through. The Costa Rica side was another story. While we made decent time getting through immigration and customs for our motorcycles, we had to wait a couple hours while getting the mandatory insurance for our motorcycles. The process was so slow due to the handwritten forms, lunch breaks, and long line of truckers needing the same thing. Overall, the total crossing took about 4 hours, the longest one yet.
Our first stop in Costa Rica was Lake Arenal and its nearby volcano. We decided to splurge on a room at a mountaintop lodge that night because you could see the volcano, and even its lava flows at night. This would be one of the highlights of the trip. The first night at the lodge was too cloudy to see anything beyond about 20 feet, so we figured we'd take in the view in the morning.
|We were greeted in the lobby by gigantic butterflies
In the morning, it was still clouds, and torrential downpours. Rather than waste the opportunity of a great view like this, we decide to stay another night and give the weather a chance to clear up. We spent the day waiting out the weather inside the lodge, watching rainstorm after rainstorm come and go, drinking beers, and watching the wildlife out the window.