Day 4, Thursday, January 4
At 08:00 sharp in the morning, which goes to say round nine, the riders get underway, Panamericana bound, headed for the pass of Death, the Cerro de la Muerte. But just as quick the first unplanned stop imposes itself in the form of the local Policía, doing routine traffic control as a measure against vehicle theft.
The encounter with these officers proves again that a derby cover sized wrist watch can never be too large, especially if the commandante has the same on his wrist. After a few minutes we are on the way again. The Cerro de la Muerte is one big mutha, and as we crawl up its imposing slopes, the temperature drops from tropical in town to some 0 centigrades @3,451 m (11,322 ft) above sea level. Which poses some interesting questions concerning rider wear and gives a good excuse for a change of riders.
Gerardo and Darius take the second stint and roar off, and before the suppoprt truck can catch up with them, they have time for a truckin' encounter of the unwelcome kind. Coming out of a downhill switchback they are faced with two trucks, occupying all the road there is. Luckily the ditch is wide and well padded, and the quick reaction of the two riders avoids worse. One of the trucks gives Gerardo a good shove, and by the time Wolfgang and Klaus arrive, the camionero is busy distributing pineapples among the casualties.
The biggest dents on the bikes get undented, the riders change again, and off they are, Darius and Wolfgang driving the big Pans to San Isidro de El General - right across the Rio Macho nature reserve.Behind San Isidro the number of hair raising turns drops considerably, but this area seems to be a reserve for especially treacherous potholes. But who's to complain, and to whom anyway? No one in the border town of Paso Canoas, where the Pan-tastic Four leave Costa Rica and lay their well shaken tail bones to rest in a cosy 4-bed shoe box. The bikes get parked in the lobby...