South America Blog

   This is the journey I have always dreamed of,  to ride my motorcycle across the Americas. 

   Follow me as I travel south from Texas to the tip of South America on my BMW GS.   

    Here's a view of the  Map 

Getting to Costa Rica

After an overnight stay in Ometepe I decided to get an early start and try to reach the ferry port to secure a spot on the first ferry of the day.  I had spent the night in the small village of Altagracia, located on the east side of Ometepe Island.  I had an amazing view of the Ometepe volcano in the morning (see picture).  There were clouds around the top of the volcano that created steam caused by the volcano heat.  It was an incredible feeling to know that this was a live volcano.

I arrived at the ferry port in time to get a boarding ticket for the first ferry ride to the mainland.  Other cars, trucks, and motorcycles behind me were told that they would have to wait for the next ferry which was scheduled four hours later.  The loading process had all passengers boarded first, large trucks next, and cars motorbikes, etc. were last.  It was interesting to watch two large trucks loaded with bananas board the ferry.  The trucks boarded the ferry backwards. Once the first truck was on the ferry, the ferry leaned heavy to the side of the loaded truck.  This meant that the second truck could not board, therefore, the truck on the ferry had to reposition to the middle of the ferry to level the ferry with the loading ramps.  Next, the second truck positioned its rear wheels onto the loading ramps. At that point the first truck could reposition itself a second time on one side of the ferry and then the second truck boarded on the opposite side.  However, on this trip the second truck slid over towards the first truck causing the ferry crew to jump into action.  They tied a huge rope to the second truck and pulled the entire truck over towards its side of the ferry.  Talk about man power!!.  It was impressive to see.

My concern boarding the ferry on the GS was that I had to ride through water onto a very wet and slippery steel deck that was swaying side to side and rocking up and down in the water.  Wet tires onto a wet steel deck could equal disaster.  I managed to get on board; however, I did come very close to dropping the GS.While on the ferry I met Janet who asked me if I was traveling all the way down to the tip of South America.  I answered – that was the plan.  I had a feeling that she was a motorcyclist, and after a bit of conversation I discovered that I was correct.

Upon arriving on the mainland it was time to move on toward the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  Once I arrived, getting out of Nicaragua took some effort.  I had to go to the national police to get my release approved.  A kid with a gun wanted to inspect every inch of the bike so I had to completely unpack every item that I had with me.  In an hour or so I was out of the country.  I would think that the concern for Nicaragua should be with what is brought into the country and not what goes out.  Oh well.

On the Costa Rican side it took approximately two hours to be processed through.  There were many other tourist and the lines were long.  As soon as l left the border I was pulled over by the Costa Rican version of the State Police for traveling at 60HPH in a 50 MPZ zone.

I was let go with a warning since I didn't have any money to offer...

Janet