Day 64, Mile 3840: Crossing into Costa Rica, Kiteboarding Salinas Bay, and being attacked by insects.
The day leaving Ometepe was a sad one but the day had to come. The ferry back was super quick and the ride through the last of Nicaragua was gorgeous. I really want to explore more of the southern part of the country after that ride. And Blue Fields. Really Ometepe turned my view of the country around; I’m happy about that.
The crossing into Costa Rica was one of the longer ones but mostly just due to the lines. Leaving Nicaragua was sort of a puzzle especially with checking the motorcycle out of the country. Stop at the blue building to your right. I almost passed it lol. The immigration side is pretty straight forward; the guides are good on that. The vehicle part, the guides did lack. First you need to get a form from a guy in a blue shirt. Fill it out and then find the police officer in the corner. He stamps it after a little bit of time and then you need to go through the ENTRANCE TO NICARAGUA side and walk through the booths to the back to give to ladies for final stage of check out.
The Costa Rican side is much easier.
The guides are pretty decent, here’s my input. There’s an ATM around the corner, to the left of the entrance to immigration. If you are bringing a vehicle in, you are going to need it. Also get, fill, and return a form to a person in a small metal shack across the road from immigration. After she does her stuff, DRIVE down the main road and take the first right into a small parking lot of long building. There you do the rest of the vehicle check in and get your insurance there. All in all, took about 2.5 hours to cross both with most of the time just waiting in line.
The drive in Costa Rica was short since I was only going 61 miles, basically the most northwestern part of the country. The area’s name is Salinas Bay and is well known for being the best spot in Costa Rica to kiteboard so I had to check it out. I ended up picking Blue Dream hotel for its reputation as a good kite hotel and had no problem finding it.
I spent the next couple days kiteboarding and here are some of my views on the spot. First off it is not really beginner friendly. The do have good kite schools, Blue Dream being one, but the location just really isn’t that great to learn. The water was surprisingly cold, especially after the bath water temps of Lake Nicaragua. Also the gusty wind and erratic small water chop made kiting more difficult. I’m sure given time I would learn it’s quicks but in full disclosure, I would have enjoyed kiting more if I stayed at Ometepe.
What the kite spot lacked, the people I met helped make up the difference. It’s more common than not that I find myself kiteboarding alone. Ometepe was really the first place I kiteboarded on this trip where there were a group of kiters but at the end of the day, everyone went the separate ways. At Salinas, there is nowhere else to go, so who you kite with during the day, you hang with at night at the hotel. I met kiters from all around the world and I really enjoyed at aspect of the sport I’ve been missing.
There has been quite the array of insects here at Blue Dream. My first night I found a very very large spider right above my door. I woke the next day and discovered two scorpins in my socks. Later a cool preying mantis on my door screen. I always wonder what I’ll find next.
Tonight is my last night here and we all just came back from some barbeque at the only other restaurant in the area. The food was fantastic as well as the Tonas (of course). We even cracked open some of the Famous Flor de Caña rum. It was a great way to end my stay here and I look forward to my next stop.
Best Part: Kiteboarding of course
Worst Part: Discovering that Salinas wasn’t what I thought it would be.