For 15 years Shawn Thomas has traveled the world as an official BMW tour guide and off-road riding instructor. His daughter Hailey has always been in love with motorcycles and inspired Thomas to combine his passion for riding with the joys of parenting. Father and daughter have shared several motorcycle adventures throughout the US, Central and South America.

Here’s Part 5 of their latest adventure into the villages, beaches, and rain forests of Costa Rica.

Haileys motorcycle gear
Day 5 and Hailey has stopped removing gear unless absolutely necessary. The girl wants to ride. Who am I to argue?Shawn Thomas

Adventure Log Day 5: Injury!

Location: Tamarindo to Arenal Volcano.
Weather: Sunny and a bit hot, then clouds and pleasantly windy.

I thought our best day of riding was on the beach. I was wrong. Today was epic! We rode inland through a few small villages, then turned onto a trail leading along the edge of a canyon. Everything about the views were amazing. The winds blew green trees and grass in a random dance. The trails were an impossibly high-traction, alabaster white. The riding was challenging at places, made more so by the luggage and passenger. But we managed, and Hailey agreed it was the best riding so far.

motorcycle group
Our small ride group stops to relax and photograph/video the incredible landscape.Shawn Thomas

We stopped at a hot-springs resort for lunch. All of the water was heated from nearby volcanoes, the pools each mixed with cooler water to create a selection of ideal temperatures. I took a nap in one of the nearby lawn chairs and could have stayed there all day.

adventure
The adventure goes on forever and starts right here.Shawn Thomas

We continued onto forest asphalt, riding along epic twisties and making it to our hotel just after sunset. Our guide Chris had a surprise for us and ushered the whole group into a transport van. At the far end of the resort was a huge hot springs and waterslide park! I’m a big fan of these sort of places and made it a point to ride every waterslide at the park. Hailey had fun too. She became instant BFFs with two girls about her age, both of whom live in the US only 80 miles from us. Small world!

patient motorcyclist
I am a patient man. More so when bikes are moving.Shawn Thomas

I found a slide that was nothing short of insane. It was very long, and without sunlight it was impossible to know which direction each twist and turn would take you. I was instantly in love and went on it several times. Unfortunately, this didn’t end so well. While walking safely (read: running) up the stairs to the slide, I slipped and slammed my foot into one of the steps. It hurt like hell and I bellowed several choice words. But I kept on climbing the stairs, now with a limp. I got to the top and promptly slid down, but the fun was lost in the throbbing that was my injured foot. I got out of the water, and to my horror discovered a bloody mess where my toenail used to be. I hobbled to an attendant, who took one look at my bloody stump and rushed off to find first aid. He returned with several Band-Aids and a spray bottle.

intense costa rican tundra
Riders play on the intense Costa Rican tundra. I decided against it, as crashing in front of Hailey would lead to interminable heckling.Shawn Thomas

“What’s in the bottle?” I asked.

“Alcohol,” he said.

Then he proceeded to spray several hundred gallons onto my foot. I’m not much for pain, and now the entire resort knows this. I have never hollered so loud in my life. Man, oh man, did that hurt.

So now I’m on the gimp and my waterslide days are over, at least for the remainder of this trip. Tomorrow is our last day of riding and I’m feeling a little melancholy at the imminent end. I am also wondering what it will feel like to slip a riding boot over my injured foot. We’ll see!