Originally Posted by Ceri JC
[*]Things specific to the area that might catch a foreigner out (I've ridden a lot in Europe and North America, but have never ridden mid/south america. I'm talking how to avoid heat from the police, any unusual conventions at gas stations, etc.
Topes are speed bumps. You'll see them at the start and finish of every town and often at other random times. Just when you realize that you can hit them at speed, you'll come across one of the size of a mountain and you won't notice until it's too late
The phantom lane is the unwritten lane that appears to allow 3 (or more) vehicles to ride abreast on a two lane road. Trucks will often ride on the shoulder and let you pass - just be aware of the car passing the bus passing the truck coming the other way.
When you see a vehicle with a left blinker it can mean a variety of things... I'm turning left. It's safe for you to pass. it's not safe for you to pass but you can still go for it if you want to. I'm turning right. I turned left a while ago but forgot to turn my blinker off. I'm turning left sometime in the next 10 kilometers. My brake lights don't work so I'll leave my hazard lights on but the right light is broken. I'm about to pull over to the right lane to make a left turn. Watch out for the huge pothole/rock/tree/cow in the road ahead.
An sign with an "E" in the middle with a line through it means no parking.
Don't ride at night. Not because of banditos but because the cows/potholes/rocks/donkeys/cars-without-headlights/oil-slicks are hard enough to see in the day light.
Lastly, ENJOY! It's a wonderful place to ride and if you go there with a big smile you will surely meet some amazing people.