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Old 12-17-2012, 07:18 PM   #91
alison's wanderland OP
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Location: How did I end up in Panama?
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Originally Posted by oalvarez View Post
Gotta support the locals....subscribed!

Safe and fun travels,

ps: is it too late to become a "backer?"
Yes, It's too late to back the project, but I will put something up on my website for options. (Once I have some time off the road) Thanks for the interest!
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:50 AM   #92
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Lost in Paradise

I had pulled into Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica an hour shy of sunset, and 45 miles from my destination, but there was something I couldnít pass up. A visit to a German bakery that felt a little too much like a slice of home. Then, I just didnít want to leave. The delicious coffee, a fresh slice of apple strudel and cats that warmed my lap all kept me there Luckily, the friendly owner, Tom, has a place I could stay in the back.

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The next morning I stayed too long at the lake, got (really) lost on the way to my intended destination of Playa Dominical for the night and needed to find a place again as the sun was setting and ended up paying more than I wanted for a room on the beach. Overheated from riding, being agitated with my inability to ready maps and my choice to not carry a GPS with me, and in a rush so not stopping for needed meals during the day, I dropped everything in the room, stripped off my gear and headed straight for the Pacific Ocean. The warm waves melted away the stress of the day. I swam in reflected rivers of gold until the bright pink sun returned the water to a purple night.

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Old 12-18-2012, 04:12 AM   #93
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Speed traps in Panama



I was warned by a motorcyclist ahead of me to pay attention to the speed limits in Panama. I was watching the speedometer, knowing there were Policia with radar guns lurking in the shadows of overpasses and trees next to the road. The freeways in Panama are 4 lanes wide with pull off shoulders again, and keep going in a straight line for miles. I saw the signs drop from 100kph to 80 kph, but my speed didnít drop quickly enough. There was an officer under the walkway splitting the difference between traffic directions. He pointed to his eyes, pointed to me on my motorcycle and pointed to the shoulder, motioning for me to pull over. I wasnít going that fast, he canít be pointing at me, I thought, I am just going to keep riding and pretended like I didnít see him. I looked at my speedometer and made sure I was going 80kph (about 50mph) along the highway. I am not speeding, whatís he really going to do? Minutes went by and I thought I had evaded being pulled over since, me not going very fast, wasnít getting very far away from him. I guess he was bored because in my rearview, I saw the white motorcycle pull up behind me flashing his headlights. So I finally pulled over. First thing I do was remove my helmet, and put it (with camera) pointed at me and his motorcycle. Even though it was not on, he stood in front of the motorcycle, away from the lens. I flashed a smile, waiting for him to tell me what I did wrong. He was not happy I was going 94kph in a 80kph zone. I smiled and said in broken Spanish I was slowing down. He asked for my licencia, I gave him a copy. He said he motioned for me to pull over, I pretended I didnít see him. He asked for my passport. I pouted. He asked again pretended my Spanish than it really was. He asked again. I handed it over. He said I was going to have to go to Panama City to pay the ticket. I said I didnít have time. I was catching a boat to Colombia tomorrow. He said pay it when I get back. I said I am not coming back; I am headed to Argentina. He said I would have to pay it today. It was only $50. I explained that is an entire days budget and pouted some more. He asked how expensive a ticket in California is. I lied and said I donít know because I have never gotten one. He asked how long it would take me to get to Argentina. I said I would be 6 months on the road. He asked if I was traveling sola. I said yes. He asked how big my motorcycle was. I pointed, it was the same as his, 650cc. He said policia will give no ticket. Consider it a regalo navidad. I got my translation book out to look at what that was. A Christmas present. I said thank you and shook his hand. I started my engine and rode a painfully slow 80kph all the to the Panama city.

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Old 12-18-2012, 05:56 AM   #94
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Friend us on Facebook to learn about up coming 2014 DARC Adventure rides Vermont, MA and RI.

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Old 12-21-2012, 07:09 AM   #95
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The Darien Gap, part 2: when the motorcycle takes a ride at sea

Day 1: (Dec. 7) We were supposed to meet at 9am at the Carti loading docks, about 1-1/2 hours east of Panama City. We (met another solo female rider Deb at the hostal) intended to leave at 7am, but my KLR decided to have starting issues (i.e. didnít have the juice to want to start in the morning). With the aid of a jogger passing by, we tried to gain enough speed on flat ground to bump start it. That didnít work. Unfortunately, we were in a business district and no one was interested in helping. So Deb, dug into the plastics around her GS650 to get to the battery. A jump start worked and off we went an hour late. There was no stopping until we got there, not even for fuel which I would be running really close to empty by the time we got there.

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We hurried on the road, watching for Panamanian police. We canít miss the boat! Passing miles of traffic due to a protest blocking the road, we finally turned off on the twisty asphalt road through jungle terrain to Carti and caught up with 4 other motorcycles. Relief set in, they were going to leave without all of us.



At the dock we all lined up and waited our turn to have our bikes hoisted aboard:



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Then loaded our selves for an evening stay with Kuna Yala locals on a nearby island.





Day 2: After a not so relaxing nightís sleep sprinkled with singing, snoring and roosters, we all headed to the dock for transport back to the Stahlratte. The boat took us to another island for a day to swim in the crystal blue waters of the Carribbean.



Day 3: Off to yet another island for more swimming and snorkeling and a BBQ on the beach later that evening.



Day 4: Breakfast (which has been plentiful and delicious) started off by warning, enjoy what could be your last meal for a while since we are heading to open waters. In about an hour, weíll see how many people are sick. And they were right.



Sometime mid-morning, the ship stopped. Even though the 1903 vessel has sails, it usually motors along at 10 knots per hour when there is no wind. We sat adrift 10ft waves that rocked the boat worse than most of the crew had seen. There was something wrong in the engine room and with a bag full of tools, the crew asked, is there a welder on the ship? Luckily, one passenger, Paul, who happens to be one of two guys on board riding around the world, had a custom motorcycle shop for 17 years and could weld anything. This time it happened to be a boat engine. Several ship swayed hours later, the boat was back in action at half speed for the remaining 60 miles (about 10 more hours) to Colombia.



Day 5: We all seemed to stir awake as the sun rose over Cartegena. The waters calmed as we neared the port and watched the slow sail to the dock. We loaded the dingy to shore and made our way to customs to import ourselves and find a room for the night.

Day 6: Back to the ship to offload the bikes by dingy and head to customs for our motorcycles which took all day, seeing as how the officer decided lunch would be from 10-2.



Then, we were set loose on the colonial city of Cartegena...
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:20 AM   #96
Ulyses
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Originally Posted by bubbletron View Post





I'm so envious that you got on the Stahlratte. Your loading process looks so much more legit than what we had to do on the independence.

Did you make it out of Venezuela yet?
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:48 AM   #97
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Awesome! Congratulations on making it to South America Allison!
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:08 AM   #98
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Just discovered your report. nice photos .:
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:29 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by bubbletron View Post


I was warned by a motorcyclist ahead of me to pay attention to the speed limits in Panama. I was watching the speedometer, knowing there were Policia with radar guns lurking in the shadows of overpasses and trees next to the road. The freeways in Panama are 4 lanes wide with pull off shoulders again, and keep going in a straight line for miles. I saw the signs drop from 100kph to 80 kph, but my speed didnít drop quickly enough. There was an officer under the walkway splitting the difference between traffic directions. He pointed to his eyes, pointed to me on my motorcycle and pointed to the shoulder, motioning for me to pull over. I wasnít going that fast, he canít be pointing at me, I thought, I am just going to keep riding and pretended like I didnít see him. I looked at my speedometer and made sure I was going 80kph (about 50mph) along the highway. I am not speeding, whatís he really going to do? Minutes went by and I thought I had evaded being pulled over since, me not going very fast, wasnít getting very far away from him. I guess he was bored because in my rearview, I saw the white motorcycle pull up behind me flashing his headlights. So I finally pulled over. First thing I do was remove my helmet, and put it (with camera) pointed at me and his motorcycle. Even though it was not on, he stood in front of the motorcycle, away from the lens. I flashed a smile, waiting for him to tell me what I did wrong. He was not happy I was going 94kph in a 80kph zone. I smiled and said in broken Spanish I was slowing down. He asked for my licencia, I gave him a copy. He said he motioned for me to pull over, I pretended I didnít see him. He asked for my passport. I pouted. He asked again pretended my Spanish than it really was. He asked again. I handed it over. He said I was going to have to go to Panama City to pay the ticket. I said I didnít have time. I was catching a boat to Colombia tomorrow. He said pay it when I get back. I said I am not coming back; I am headed to Argentina. He said I would have to pay it today. It was only $50. I explained that is an entire days budget and pouted some more. He asked how expensive a ticket in California is. I lied and said I donít know because I have never gotten one. He asked how long it would take me to get to Argentina. I said I would be 6 months on the road. He asked if I was traveling sola. I said yes. He asked how big my motorcycle was. I pointed, it was the same as his, 650cc. He said policia will give no ticket. Consider it a regalo navidad. I got my translation book out to look at what that was. A Christmas present. I said thank you and shook his hand. I started my engine and rode a painfully slow 80kph all the to the Panama city.

Funny.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:24 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
I'm so envious that you got on the Stahlratte. Your loading process looks so much more legit than what we had to do on the independence.

Did you make it out of Venezuela yet?
The crew was pretty versed in what to do. I imagine with a smaller boat made sea sickness worse too.

I am heading to the border tomorrow in hopes of making it to Medellin for Christmas! Where are in Colombia are you?
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:31 PM   #101
Ulyses
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Originally Posted by bubbletron View Post
The crew was pretty versed in what to do. I imagine with a smaller boat made sea sickness worse too.

I am heading to the border tomorrow in hopes of making it to Medellin for Christmas! Where are in Colombia are you?
I'm actually in Medellin right now. It's pretty damn cool. If you get here, you should try and stay at the Shamrock Irish Pub. It's where I'm at right now. Rooms are $25,000 a night. The owner rides a KTM 950 Adventure and a Norton 850 Commando. He'll let you park your bike in the back of the bar too. There's only three rooms though, so you should probably reserve ahead of time. If you tell me when you are going to be here, I'll ask him if he'll hold a spot for you.

I'm heading for Cali in a few days. Rexbuck (Steve) is going to be there and we were planning on staying at the Casa Blanca Hostel which is owned by the Motolombia people. You should come on down! It's only a day past medellin!

Bryce
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:51 PM   #102
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Nice RR and pictures
If you re going to Argentina, may be this is of your interest .

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=838653

Keep going and ride safe
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:23 AM   #103
rtwpaul
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:44 AM   #104
HappyCRNA
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Late to the party, but I'm in now!
Subscribed!
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:45 AM   #105
alison's wanderland OP
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I'm actually in Medellin right now. It's pretty damn cool. If you get here, you should try and stay at the Shamrock Irish Pub. It's where I'm at right now. Rooms are $25,000 a night. The owner rides a KTM 950 Adventure and a Norton 850 Commando. He'll let you park your bike in the back of the bar too. There's only three rooms though, so you should probably reserve ahead of time. If you tell me when you are going to be here, I'll ask him if he'll hold a spot for you.

I'm heading for Cali in a few days. Rexbuck (Steve) is going to be there and we were planning on staying at the Casa Blanca Hostel which is owned by the Motolombia people. You should come on down! It's only a day past medellin!

Bryce

Nice!...I messaged the guy yesterday...but might as well ask him in person :) I am planning for to be there on the 24th/25th. Christmas is Colombia is still on! Then heading to Cali/motolombia as well for some bike maintenance.

See you soon!!
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