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Old 12-25-2012, 10:53 AM   #166
skibum69
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Merry xmas, hope this finds you well and content
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:56 AM   #167
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After spending a few days in the States, Deb is back in Colombia. She got her bike fixed in Fonseca on the 29th -- forks rebuilt, new tires put on, other bits welded after the accident -- and is on her way to Medellin.

Meanwhile, I've booked tickets to Arequipa, Peru, where I'll rent a KLR and ride north to meet her, and we'll spend a couple of weeks riding in southern Peru
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:40 AM   #168
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Thats great news huzar.
Hope you have a lovely time down there.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:47 AM   #169
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Huzar, thanks for the update.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:26 PM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korukiwi View Post
We send you our love and best wishes from New Zealand.
May your bruises quickly fade and may the bike be readily repaired.
We were sorry to read of your tumble.

When you are back on the road in Colombia the toll roads are free for motor cycles - you just keep to the right side of the toll plaza and ride through the moto track which has yellow painted concrete barriers on each side. They wouldn't lift the barriers for us and insisted we use the moto track...it was a small challenge to ride over the yellow concrete ridge the first time.(according to my chofer) We found that ordinary roads were often toll roads.

Diana
Thanks Diana, back on the road again in hot, hot Columbia. And enjoying my riding right at the toll roads. Having to stop to pay for all of them would get tiring. Hope your new year is wonderful.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:27 PM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skibum69 View Post
Merry xmas, hope this finds you well and content
Thanks, and yes. It finds me tired after a long hot day but yes content. Especially with Huzars confirmation! ;)
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:57 AM   #172
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With my time constantly ticking down before the boat across the Darien, but the dislike of the pan American and border crossing fresh in my mind, I decide in the morning to head north through the mountains to skirt the northern coast of Costa Rica.
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This sloth was being taken across the road by a local! Bizarre!

After an early start I hit the border just before midday. I was told there was a rickety bridge that spanned the two countries but was happy to realize they had created a new bridge for traffic, and the old bridge was solely for foot passengers. I keep my eyes peeled for immigration and am waved on by officials. I keep going forward. Its then I realize that I have crossed this bridge without going through immigration to check out of Costa Rica and I am already in Panama. I try to find someone to talk to but there is a dearth of people on my side of the bridge, no sign of officials and really if I wanted too I could have easily kept going into the depths of Panama without a person seeming to care. Finally I worked out I had to go back across the bridge and conclude my paperwork for Costa Rica, before coming back across the bridge.
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On both sides of the border everyone was amazingly pleasant, engaging me in conversation and talking about my travels. They come outside and sit with me and help me sort out the paperwork- at one point I had to check if they were actually officials or ‘helpers’ because I never saw them in the official room! Frustratingly my insurance paper I purchased had my driver’s license number where my passport number should be. I needed to go back and get this changed before I could progress further with the paperwork, much to apologetic dismay of the officials. Then I discovered that the insurance lady had gone to lunch, and by the time I left the lovely little border, it was already 3pm.


I rode through the little border town and found myself going in circles due to road works. I asked a man sitting outside his house for directions and he ended up jumping on his motorbike and taking me on a crazy run through the backstreets of the city and out to the outskirts of the town. Typical Latin American style city driving that I was getting used to and actually beginning to like, but would not generally do of my own accord.
Saying our goodbye on the outskirts of town I headed into the northern hills of Panama. The road was beautiful up and down over rolling forested hills, then winding high into the mountains.
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On dusk I found a ‘jungle hostel’ in the mountains, but as I was trying to get up the steep small path to it, I dropped the bike in the fading light. I went to a house and asked for help, from some of the men standing outside. They told me the hostel could only be accessed by a steep hike through the forest, and there was no route for the motorcycle. He said he was happy to guard my bike overnight. As I moved towards the house I noted a shotgun learning up against the front door. They invited me in for dinner and introduced me to the family. It felt amazing to be welcomed by the older women. They didn’t talk much but I felt an incredible respect from them that I was a female completing this journey solo. It seemed in their eyes a sort of proud solidarity, and their small gestures and touches to my hand spoke volumes. Their home was simple and bare. They had “sweet water” on tap from the mountains which they assured me was safe to drink. The simple fare of rice, boiled pumpkin and a hot dog was gratefully received. It is such an overwhelming feeling at times when you are given so much by people that do not know you. A small television was on in the corner and the grandfather was glued to the screen. It seemed the older people in Panama had just been given a bonus payment from the government. They asked of my travels and warned me of the recent floods in northern Panama, that had in the past week killed 5 people and left many homeless. After a time I thanked them for their kindness and decided to take the 30 minute night hike up the hill behind and headed u the hill through the 30 min forest path in the darkness to find the jungle hostel.
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In the morning, I hiked back down through the forest and walked to my bike, but the guard dog of the house was having none of it. Yelping and nipping my well protected boots and telling me to keep my distance. Yep, my bike had been safe overnight! I walked back towards the house and was greeted by the men again. They invited me for breakfast, but I declined not wanting to take more from these lovely people. His mother come out of the house and placed a perfect orange in my hands, closed her hands around mine and wished me the best on my travels.
Panama overwhelmed me today with the kindness and generosity of the people. I felt an amazing sense of welcome. I am hit by my change in contentment with myself and almost want to turn around and head back to Mexico to see how my experience would change there now I feel I ‘know again how to travel’. Its funny how my mood reflects in those around me. I struggled so much in Mexico but I wonder now with improved Spanish, being more at ease with my long distance relationship, and my increased comfort with the bike what my experience would be. What would phase me, and what would simply flow over my back like water
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:32 AM   #173
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I ride through the mountains with the knowledge of multiple crashes in my inbox. Many fellow adv riders seem to have crashed over the last little bit. A fellow adventurer in Mexico came off her bike in a high speed crash and thinks while her body is recovering in her mind she can not get back on again, so looks to continue on two up with her husband.

A guy in el Salvador goes down in an intersection and into surgery with compound fractures This is what I fear. Falling off. I get nervous. I just want to make this boat without falling.

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Winding down through the hills, I turn back onto the Pan American. Its straight and uninspiring, and for the first time ever I see its filled with police with speed traps everywhere. Multitudes of golden arches lined the road and American chains set up everywhere.

On dusk looking for a place to rest I pulled into a restaurant to ask directions to a camp ground or similar. I met a group of Canadians who stated they knew a place I could camp in a local rv place with a pool, and invited me for dinner with them before they take me there. A very pleasant way to spend the evening.
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Hewby screwed with this post 01-01-2013 at 11:26 AM
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:22 AM   #174
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A man, a plan, a canal, Panama

In the morning I head to the famous Panama canal. I first heard of this as a child in grade three when my teacher taught us about Palindromes. A man a plan a canal panama. It was interesting to finally see first hand the inspiration for this play on words. Learning about the incredible engineering was awesome and watching the huge ships pass through the narrow locks was amazing but the heat was stifling.



In the evening pulling up to a hostel recommended to me by a man on the road, I meet up with Alison. Another solo female rider who I had occasionally conversed with on the Internet. We talked bikes and boys as she is also riding with her boyfriend at home.



Walking through Panama city is amazing. For the last of central America for me it feels like I have actually been transported into the USA. Crazy skyscrapers and over passes. Beautiful in its own way but a world away from where I have been.

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I have bought a ticket to fly from Bogotá to the states for Christmas to see Marcin, and the pressure of having a deadline to catch the boat has been building up over days as I pushed too the timeline. We head off in the morning, not wanting to get up crazily early we compromise on time. Then Alison’s bike doesn’t want to start! After some failed attempts to push start it on the flat streets of Panama city rush hour, I pull apart my bike and give her a jump start.




I stole this image from Alison’s website – so go there to check out her ride! Thanks Alison!


I am feeling rushed. So much of my time directed to making this boat. I don't want to miss it. I ride like Mario taught me blazing the way through the traffic. Then we get caught in long line ups for toll ways and protests. Alison cant stop as her bike will overheat so we push our way past all the cars, we get to the end of a road block and they let us through. Finally we are on a clear road heading through the forest toward the dock. But we are at least an hour and a half late. I am stressed. Then we round the corner to 5 other bikes, ahhh. I physically breathe a sigh of relief. They wont go without us all….
But we arrive, bikes gathering and wait in the hot sun for another few hours. Latin American time. I feel stupid for getting so stressed about missing the boat.

We load the bikes by crane and head off to an island to stay for dinner and the evening.
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I am not going to write too much about the crossing as I am so far behind, my camera decided to pack it in, and it has been written up so well by many of the other riders on the same crossing.

But in a quick overview it was lovely at times, nauseous at times with rolling seas and at one point a broken engine half way to Columbia, and very strange to be with so many english speakers again after so long- I think Phil's report might mirror to a slight degree a little of my feelings. We talked a little about the hermit sitting on your shoulder during solo travel. I think I build up an amour of being solo to cope with the isolation, become more reflective and quiet. And so to be part of a group for so long, while with amazing people, who I still keep in contact with, it is a huge change.

So, instead of repeating others I will leave you with links to their great blogs and reports

Paul Stewart http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=809883
Dylan http://vagrantbraam.com/2012/11/30/back-to-it/
Ryan http://roameoriding.blogspot.com
Alison http://alisonswanderland.wordpress.com
Alex and Andrea - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...810189&page=17 - they also have a lovely video about being on the boat so check that out!
Phil- http://phillysbigtrip.wordpress.com/
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:51 AM   #175
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Phew- Sorry to be so far behind- but at least now I am behind in the same country (for now)!

Slow New Years in Medellin taking a little break as it seems the city has shut down, and it looks like i will have some hard days riding ahead of me to get to met Huzar in 2 weeks! Did I say two weeks!


Happy New Year to you all. Hoping it brings wonderful adventures both big and small!
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:43 PM   #176
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A perfect orange... Thank you.

You deliver the goods Hewby.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:31 PM   #177
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If you don't mind me asking, how much was the crossing?

Thanks for doing this report, I find it really inspiring and I hope to following in your tire tracks later this year.

Dave
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:49 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by UtahFox View Post
If you don't mind me asking, how much was the crossing?

Thanks for doing this report, I find it really inspiring and I hope to following in your tire tracks later this year.

Dave
Thanks Dave. Glad you are enjoying the report, I know at times I find it hard to keep up, but its lovely to have you all along for the ride with me....

The crossing was $900 US. $400 for me $500 for the bike. People in a hurry fly for a few hundred more, with it seems less tiring paperwork. But if you are not in a hurry, and want a boat cruise and dont get sea sick - or take tablets in advance take the boat is great!
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:54 PM   #179
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A perfect orange... Thank you.

You deliver the goods Hewby.
Thanks Old Pete. Nice to have you along. Happy New Year!
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:30 PM   #180
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A Christmas gift for Huzar I thought I might share... A slideshow of my trip so far to the song Heartlines by Florence and the machine, who's album Ceremonials has been one of the soundtracks to my trip.
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