Barranca! (Bajo Caliente and a flat tire.)

The white clouds feathering along and behind the mountains were beautiful as Robert and I headed over to the Pacific coast under gray skies. I wanted to stop for a photo, but didn’t want to irritate Robert, who was in a grouchy mood due to the weather. This of course changed after a bit of riding. 🙂

After breakfast in Caldera, we headed up to Palmital, Puntarenas, to the area above Miramar, riding through what I affectionately called Cloud Nine in my mind (i.e. fog). Robert said it was like a ghost town. Not a soul in sight. We found out the road to Cedral is paved. I hope to return when the skies are clear. From there we went down to Bajo Caliente.

The road down to Bajo Caliente is loose gravel. It’s an easy descent with drop offs to the left, and with easy curves. Bajo Caliente itself is a tiny community built near a river. The views at the top and riding down there are awesome.

We did not continue on to Sardinal because parts of the route are red clay. We turned around and returned to Miramar, via La Union, another lovely route (again, with fantastic views when with clear skies, which we did not have).

On our way home, we stopped by Donde Jenny restaurant, where we discovered Robert’s GS 800 (Q2, is her name) had a flat rear tire.

Route 1

We called a tow truck, but it would not be available for several hours. Fortunately, we were close to a tire changing place. Wonderful news!! (FYI, it is behind the URSA gas station about 500 meters from the main entrance to Puntarenas (R 27).) Our tire-changing adventure began.

Robert went to get a wrench. Turned out the socket was the wrong size. LOL I went back to the tire-changing place to bring the correct one. Steve, the worker there, was very nice and offered to come help if I would take him on Sahara. Not being experienced in carrying people and not having an extra helmet, I declined his generous offer.

Robert took off the tire, loaded it on my Honda CB 500X, Sahara, and went to fix it. Mounting it back on was quite challenging.

A nice man offered to help Robert. He probably thought it would be for a few minutes, but it ended up being about an hour of working under the hot sun. For some reason, I found this amusing. I had several cold drinks while waiting. A woman also came over to evaluate the situation with Robert. I love it how help arrives on its own in Costa Rica!

The tire was eventually mounted. However, the rear brake pad had broken. We rode slowly to Barranca to return the wrench and socket, and then we went in search of a parts store and mechanic.

There are several parts and tire-changing stores along this strip. I enjoyed all the activity of it, and the motorcyclists with whom I spoke while the new brake pads were being installed (in 20 minutes, as Robert had predicted!). I felt as if I was immersed in another culture, that of Barranca. I liked it all.

I took off all my gear and enjoyed my view and interacting with the guys there.

Several hours after discovering the flat, we rode home in the soft rain, happy to have had another riding adventure. Though it certainly was not exactly what we would have chosen, we nevertheless had an enjoyable time.

Small accidents, falls, flat tires, and other misshaps are all part of this wonderful lifestyle.

RIDING IN COSTA RICA: FEEL THE BEAUTY. KNOW THE LOVE. LIVE THE POWER.

May 5, 2022

Song: With a little help from my friends.

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