Monday, May 16, 2011
Leaving Nicaragua was very confusing. At all the other borders that we had crossed there was a progression that you had to go through that was quite easy to follow. Immigration followed by customs, to leave then immigration, customs, get photocopies done, back to customs and your through. Nicaragua however, on trying to get the bike out, sent you all over the place, first to see a men in a hat (that was how he was described to me) who had to sign your import customs form follow by another signature of the tourist police. I was told this only after I had queued for half and hour at customs. Having got the signatures and queued for another half an hour the paper work was completed in about 10 minutes and we were free to cross into Costa Rica. Immigration was straight forward, but then I had to get insurance for the bike costing 6870 colones about $14USD for 3 months, get photocopies of my passport and entrance stamp into Costa Rica, copy of insurance, my driving licence, and Log book and present the copies along with the originals at customs, who checked them all and filled in a form that I then had to take to another customs building. I arrived 3rd in line and sunk into a chair in the cool of the air-con to wait my turn. 20 minutes later I was called and 10 minutes of computer bashing had the form filled in that I had to sign and we were free to enter. By this time there were about 20 people waiting. We drove of into the very different world of Costa Rica, where grass was trimmed and hedges were cut and you could eat things other than beans and rice. I chose the Plato del Dia, octopus with chips and salad. Yum The sky was looking rather overcast as we set off and before long it was pouring, with flashes of lightning and thunder that made the bike move across the flooded road. We were soaked to the skin, but as the temperature was in the 90's it didn't seem to matter much. After about half and hour we had started to dry out when it all happened again. I couldn't see the car in front which I think was about 20 metres away and the road was more like a river than a road. We don't travel at night because you are never too sure what you are going to meet on the road, but this was even worse. It was like driving on a new moon night without any lights on, I couldn't see a thing, but luckily it passed quickly leaving us both wrinkly with wetness and vowing not to ride through storms like that again.