La Estrella de Guarco y de la Ese a Quebradas (Day #1 Southern Zone)

My plan for last year was to go down to the Southern zone of Costa Rica for three/four nights to explore the area. But the pandemic happened. What a wonderful gift of the universe that Alex, Jose Alonzo, and I spent three nights, four days exploring this gorgeous area, from Thursday February 18th to the 24th. The word that captures this spectacular trip is: INTENSE!!! All kinds of experiences packed into each day. I am going to publish four or five separate posts, so please bear with me. It will take me several days to do justice to this adventure. And, each post will be long, because there is so much fun, joy, camaraderie, and adventure to share!

We met at Denny’s and congratulated Alex for getting his Costa Rican driver’s license. Yay for Alex! Then, we headed off to La Estrella de Guarco. Every time I ride route #2, I feel great curiosity about “What’s down there?” when I pass roads on the left. What a delight to finally GO LEFT! And down! Yay!

The road in to La Estrella is mostly paved, then turns to easy gravel. Same going back up. Lovely views! Quaint little town. SWEET!!

We left La Estrella and Jose Alonzo took us on a short detour off route #2. Loved it!

We stopped for drinks at TapantĂ­ restaurant before visiting a tiny lake off Route 2. We hit some rain and fog — common for this route.

We then went to “the antennas, which my friend Adrian Acuna said is “the highest point in the whole Pan-American road from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.” A shame it was fogged over! But, now I know where it is to go check out the views on a clear day.

Then off we headed toward La Ese for what was to be the most ADRENALINE-PACKED part of our journey! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!

The road down from La Ese to Quebradas is pretty gnarly, loose gravel…and steep! Since one never stops on the worst parts, the photos show the easiest parts. 🙂

Alex and I were trembling with adrenaline when we hit our first rest stop! Hahaha! But neither he nor I took a spill. Yay!! We made it!

We continued on this picturesque country route towards Quebradas, not knowing we still had another extremely-difficult challenge ahead of us. Difficult is an understatement. For me it was more like terrifying! Hahahaha! Sorry I am laughing so much. It’s just truly amusing! (In retrospect! Hahaha!)

Then Jose led us up to Alto de Santa Marta, following Waze. I lost control of Sahara about four times on this rocky, rutted, steep uphill nightmare. Hahaha! Yet, I somehow managed to keep going without taking a spill. A true miracle! When we reached the top, the first thing Alex said was “That was hard. REALLY HARD!” Hahaha! But we had made it!

Trembling, I looked into Jose Alonzo’s eyes and said, “Jose, PLEASE don’t take us on roads you don’t know.” Hahaha. Coming from the one that often takes wrong turns!

At the top.

Alex and I were both too shaken up to trust ourselves going DOWN. So Jose Alonzo was our hero and took our bikes down for us. I think we could have done it, but we were too scared to try.

Jose A. was our hero! Here’s to camaraderie and togetherness! (And, for me, I admit I truly appreciate having male help all along this trip. It was so welcome to have someone help me turn my motorcycle or move it when for me alone it would take a lot of work. A gift of companionship.)

We then wound our way over to San Gerardo de Rivas. Such a breathtakingly beautiful area! I can’t believe I have never been there. We decided to spend the night there, at the Pelicano Hotel.

MISSION COMPLETED! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Thanks to Alonzo for a fun and adrenaline packed first day! Such a gift!! The three of us are now like family — super bonded!


Thursday, February 18, 2021.

3 thoughts on “La Estrella de Guarco y de la Ese a Quebradas (Day #1 Southern Zone)

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  1. Great recap! – I’ve been to Las Antennas before, I didn’t know the fact about the highest point in the Pan-American – Las Eses and Santa Marta don’t look like fun to me!

    Liked by 1 person

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