Sunday, Feb 1 2004 -- San Jose to Turrialba

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Sunday morning we were notified that we'd be picked up later than expected, since one of the bikes had a flat tire that needed to be fixed before we could take off. So we had a few hours to kill in the morning. We took another walk about another part of San Jose.

Around 11AM, we were met at the Brittannia by Wilhelm of Costa Rica Motorcycle Tours and Rentals, who transported us back to his facility, where we strapped our luggage on the bikes and got instructions from Wilhelm on how our tour would proceed, directions in and out of San Jose, etc.

We headed out of town. About 10 miles out, the KTM rear tire flatted. Kate and I waited on the shoulder with the dead KTM while G & J rode back to Costa Rica Tours to get the BMW. Wilhelm came out in his car and rode (!) the KTM back on the shoulder towards his facility, and we took off again.

We rode up the mountain to Irazu Volcano. The road was marvelous, complete with mountain views, roaming cattle, and many slow vehicles and breakdowns to be passed. As we approached the top of the volcano, there was an enormous queue of cars lined up to get into the park. We cheated and passed many of them so that we would get in before we aged significantly. We walked around the volcano, snapped some pics, and managed to get fairly sunburned in just 30 minutes due to the high elevation.

The ride back down the volcano included a stop at a lunch spot for casado ("married person"), the national lunch consisting of black beans, rice, meat, salad, yuca, and plantains. Then more riding to the town of Turrialba, and on to the Hotel Casa Turire.

The Hotel Casa Turire was beautiful. After unpacking, we decided to try out the swimming pool and spa. After a soak and a swim, we had dinner by the pool.

We retired early.

San Jose building near our hotel
preparing to leave Hotel Brittania on our first day
mostly ready to leave on our rental bikes (Aprilia Pegaso 650's and a KTM LC640) from Costa Rica Motorcycle Tours and Rentals office.
Irazu volcano panorama
Irazu crater closeup
Irazu volcano crater
Irazu crater
B looking nonchalont at 11080 ft. Sunburn shows up later.
Cafe Rey -- lunch stop on the way down from the Irazu
entrance to Hotel Casa Turire
closer . . .
gently -- it's a dirt road, after all
entrance to Hotel Casa Turire
entrance to Hotel Casa Turire
entrance to Hotel Casa Turire
bikes in repose in front of Hotel Casa Turire
B & K w/bikes in front of Hotel Casa Turire