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Old 01-01-2013, 01:30 PM   #91
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Great Stuff

Along for the ride

Stay safe & Feliz 2013
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:08 PM   #92
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SJ and Zapote

So no pics of San Jose and I mean zero. Nothing really struck me there. Whim said he actually read somewhere that SJ is famous for its lack of character. I totally believe it. Not meant to be a negative it was just kinda blah. Day and night. I would have left on the 1st but I was moving a little slow and we had all decided to head to Zapote the next night. It is a town or suburb that pretty much blends right into SJ as far geographically. However not when the carnival is going on! New Years was fun b/c of the people I spent it with and we went to a salsa club which was different for me. But in reality most of SJ was dead and I mean dead!!! I asked people how is a city dead on New Years?!?! All I hear is Zapote Zapote Zapote. I ask my taxi driver on the way home if I missed the big New Years Party in SJ. He says "nope everyone is at Zapote" I say "Everyone? Seriously?" He says "yes everyone!!! EVERYONE!!!"

Ok Zapote it is!! I wished I had done a better job taking pics but we had fun. It is like a state fair with crazy bull fighting (no killing the bull) and great carni food!!

DCIM\100GOPRO

The arena.
DCIM\100GOPRO

DCIM\100GOPRO

I have some pretty good go pro video but it is taking a long time to upload. Sam and I were dead set on getting in there with the bull. I kept getting different answers if it was possible or not but all the answers were come back tomorrow. I tried to pay the guy who seemed to be keeping an eye on the people in with the bull but he seemed like he was more interested in doing his job. Shocker. Wish he was a cop Sam and I would have been in there!

We also met a local biker gang. Sam and Keri are not riding right now b/c they have several broken spokes on their Triumph. With the holiday they were in SJ just playing the waiting game. Sam carries a broken spoke in his pocket and goes up to almost every bike he sees to see if the spokes are close. He sees a group of Harley guys in leather vests and sees an opportunity. This starts a lot of great conversation between all of us. We don's always know what is being said but they respect what we are all doing weather it is on a Harley or not!

The bikers and us

DCIM\100GOPRO

They were so pumped on us and took tons of pics. A couple emails were swapped and I hope to hear from them at least to share photos. My go pro photos are not good b/c my lens on the case is toast. Lucky I have a replacement...somewhere!
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:26 PM   #93
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SJ to Puerto Viejo

Overcast so the pics are not what I had hopped, but shortly out of SJ the road goes through a National Park. Beautiful jungle mountains.

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So many picturesque mountain rivers in Costa. You could spend a lifetime just exploring them.

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Then as I was riding along the coast I saw a sign for a Sloth Rescue Center. The sign says it closes at 2 and it is about 2:03. What the heck maybe they will let me snap a few pics. I start talking to the lady that runs it and she is originally from Anchorage. She says why don't I just show you around. After talking for about 30 min she says just join the last tour for free(which is two people). I make a donation in their donation box to show my appreciation.



This guy is Toyota. He is missing an arm.












They are pretty damn cool and unique creatures. It is also really cool what the rescue center does for them.

One of the little guys not fully grown.



I learned a lot about sloths and had more generosity from great people.

Thanks Judy
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:49 PM   #94
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A day in Puerto Viejo-long post ALL Pics

Today I took a short ride to something tree animal rescue. I don't really like zoos and seeing animals caged but these places seem to care and are helping orphaned animals.

Took a wrong turn and ended up on this road.

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This monkey lived in a bar before this





This mini Jaguar thing was cool.



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Lots of animal pics deer monkeys etc. and these butterflies that were a cool but only when they would fly and their wings are open. It is very difficult to get a picture of a flying butterfly.







Then I did a short hike and finally saw some wild monkeys.











Angry monkey. I ran like Chris Griffin!



The monkey was mad at another guy videoing him.

Photo of the week!
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Lots more monkey pics etc on smugmug
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:27 PM   #95
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Puerto Viejo

Had a nice lazy day around PV. A little swimming and beach time. Was bumming around my hotel when the Canadians rolled in about 4:30. I knew that I might see them. Told them I was headed to Bocas in the am and they said they might join me. I am all loaded up, sweating and ready to go and they give my the hard sell to just stay for half the day and we will just get across the CR Panama border in the afternoon. Pawel does some bike maintenance and Mihai and I head to the beach.

Good day at the beach when these Brazilian girls showed up.

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These are not just pervy guy pics from the beach. I went and talked to them and asked if I could take their pic b/c of the two little boys sitting behind them just staring. It was hilarious and pretty adorable. I mean there were lots of old dudes staring but that is not funny.



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I did not get the exact picture I wanted of the two little boys just fixed in a trance but it is enough to capture the moment. The girls were good sports and thought it was funny. The two little boys figured out what I was up to and started just looking around.

The beach and rough life of Puerto Viejo



It is surprising the lack of pics I took at PV. I must have gotten all pic-ed out on the animals.

Ended up just staying another night which was the Canadians plan all along. Off to Bocas del Toro tomorrow.

We get the border crossing from hell!!!
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:44 PM   #96
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i knew i would get my hands on those pics somehow!
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:35 PM   #97
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CR to Panama

Started the day off with some rad pics. Slightly photo shopped. Growing up in Maine a lot of French Canadians woud come to Maine for vacation during the summer. The common term for them was Queb. Not a totally affectionate term but also not totally a slam just what I always heard growing up. My two Queb friends had never heard it. I had been seeing these signs when riding without them and boy was I excited to get these shots!

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Unedited



So the Canadians and I are on the road about 930 and thinking we will get to Bocas del Toro in time to enjoy the afternoon. We process out of CR no problem. About 20 min and we we think things are looking good. I had heard a lot about crossing the sketchy bridge into Panama and was looking forward to it. Well there is a new bridge and the old really isn't that sketchy so now we are really on a roll. Hit the Panama side and the power is out. Hmmmm. Huge line to get into Panama and an even bigger line to get into CR. What you gonna do except sit and wait with everyone else in the sweltering heat. Mihai watched the bikes because of some not so friendly little kids and Pawel and I got the paper work for us handled after about 2 hours. Oh well it is what it is.

Time for the bikes. The dude that processes the bikes says we need insurance first. OK, no problem it is right across the street. No insurance guy. He is on lunch. Ok we will wait about an hour and then 2 and... We then start asking questions and find out he disappeared yesterday for several hours and people had the same issue. We also confirm he is the only gig in town. After a total of over 5 hours at the Panama border 2 unhappy Quebs and one grumpy Alaskan are finally on there way south. We are rewarded with really fun section of twisty road. We need to keep on move in hopes of still catching a boat to Bocas.

Pull into the Fire Station in Almirante (tipped off by another biker to store our bikes there) at 5:15. Last boat is at six!!! Mad dash re-pack and jump in a taxi to the water taxi. Made it with 15 min to spare. Side note Almirante is one of the ugliest places I have driven through. Lots of trash piled on the side of the road and just really dirty everywhere. Bocas was a nice change from that.

DCIM\100GOPRO

DCIM\100GOPRO

The bomberos were cool and we felt really safe leaving our bikes there. They were pretty interested in our trip and wanted to know how we could all afford it. We said work work work! He still had a look of "that is not enough on his face" so I said "no esposa and no ninos" He the went "OHHHHH!!!" and we just started laughing. It all clicked for him.

Rolling into Bocas at sunset.

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Old 01-12-2013, 04:58 PM   #98
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Bocas del Toro

Almost forgot to mention that my bike hit a milestone yesterday.

DCIM\100GOPRO

Not a milestone for me b/c I bought the bike with about 1800 miles on it so my 20,000 mile mark will be here in about 2 weeks. So in about 14 months I will have personally done over 20K miles on the bike while maintaining a job. The majority of the miles out of the US. I have put less than 5000 miles on my truck (now sold) in that same time. I would said that my friend is a damn fine past 14 months.


We got up the morning and took a boat out to the national reserve and to go snorkeling. $35 US so a little pricey but I am here only once so what ya gonna do. Bocas is very touristy but it is what you can get to from Bocas that is cool.

Literally a boat load of Chile girls that we kept running into.

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Fun nice girls that told us a lot about Chile. Made Mihai and Pawel excited and me a little jealous.


Protected undeveloped island




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Prolly need to photo shop in some hot chics. It appears that I am still almost as white as the sand. It is really that Mihai just doesn't know how to use his fancy camera. I actually very bronzy!

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Lunch spot





On the boat snorkeling. We hung out with Ryan, a non-Queb Canadian, that we had run into several times on our trip.

DCIM\100GOPRO

Me in action. The snorkeling was only ok but still fun



Finishing up the day. Saw a couple of wild sloths. They lay around as much as the captive ones.

DCIM\100GOPRO

DCIM\100GOPRO

Pullling back into Bocas. It is a unique place but as with many other places it seems to be getting over-developed with no rules.





Closing the gap on Panama City tomorrow.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:09 PM   #99
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Bocas del Toro to Santiago

The first half to 3/4 of this ride was amazing. Great twisty roads over the mountains. Some good pics.



More Quebs

















A good day and we will hit Panama tomorrow for a few days. Santiago is just a highway town and served our purpose of a place to sleep and eat.

And also to see La Bamba in Spanish. Pawel couldn't watch. It brought back harsh memories from Grenada. Mihai and couldn't stop laughing.



I am now in Colombia with no bike!!! Yes that was unplanned and is a problem. I will get to a Central America wrap and including the obligatory Panama Canal pics(very cool) hopefully in the next day or two. Right now I need to focus on the moto and then having a beer to de-compress.

We have done a great job of avoiding the PanAm but there are very few ways to avoid it form where we connected to it all the way to Panama. The PanAm is boring and lots of trucks. I am glad I have ridden it very little.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:48 PM   #100
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Panama City

Not a lot to see from Santiago to Panama City so I didn't take any pics. Lots of cops in Panama so speeding is a very bad idea. Got into Panama city and my GPS was sending us the most complicated way to the first place we wanted to look at to stay. We drove right though the hood and I mean the hood. We went with plan B and headed to a hotel we knew there were some other riders at.

My second day in Panama CIty I took the bus tour of the city and the canal. Whim and Pete took it the day before and thought it was great. I strongly disliked it and would have been money ahead to just take a cab to the canal and old city. Not much else worth seeing and the things that were are a walk from any central hotel.

The Old City and Canal are worth seeing no matter how you do it.

The Old City pics

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This dude discovered Panama and apparently liked to be surrounded by naked dudes.





Panama skyline





The Canal. I have lots of pics and thought it was pretty damn cool. It is truly an engineering marvel. A big cargo ship and a cruise ship went through at the same time while I was there.



Cruise ship setting up.







Both boats





These little trains help guide the ship and are close to half a mill each.





It was a good day and glad I got to see a little of Panama. Off to the airport tomorrow to get the bike shipped to Colombia.

The whole deal is quite the process.

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Old 01-13-2013, 08:24 PM   #101
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Air freight

I got to the Intl Airport just outside of Panama City. Head around the back side of the airport to the cargo area of the airport. Find Girag without too much trouble. Roll up to the office and they yell to another guy that there is another moto. At this point I am thinking that this is going to be easy. He tells me to sit tight for a bit and that he will get things going with the documents I give him.

A few minutes later he comes back with his laptop and shows me an email, in Spanish. I tell him that I don't understand it and ask if he can put it in google translate. The email says that Girag Bogota is on vacation off and on from Jan 11 to Jan 26. My stomach just sinks. Over the past few weeks I have exhausted every boat option and know that I wouldn't be able to get one until Feb. My head is spinning and I leave there visibly bummed out. As I am standing at my bike staring off into space trying to figure it out the guy comes running out with Tabosa written on a piece of paper. He said go give them a shot and they can probably handle it. Wooo hooo! There is hope. Girag is about $900 and Tabosa is $1075. Both only take cash and luckily right before I left the hotel I grabbed some extra cash. The shipping cleaned me out but I am going to Colombia!!!!! And the bike will fly out this afternoon. I had to wait on a guy to get it handle because they had a plane coming in. Had I not had to wait for him I bet the entire process would have been less than an hour.



I go back to the hotel and book a flight for the next day. Even though they said the bike would be there that day I wanted to give it a day just to be sure.

I land in Colombia on a Sat about 8am. Perfect because I know the shipping office is only open until 2. After about an hour and a half of trying to find the place and getting different directions from everyone I ask I finally get there. I walk in and ask the 3 guys in there about my moto and they all look at me like I just asked them to do quantum physics! Oh shit here we go!!

We talk and supposedly the plane had mechanical issues but they promise it will be there tonight. Then I say but you will be closed tonight and tomorrow. They say yes. 2 days in Bogota is not the end of the world but at this point I am not sure I will see my bike. We talk for a bit more and I convince one of the guys to come in tomorrow b/c he told me the aduana was 24/7 so I know I can get this done on a sun. They call my hostel the next morning after I try to call the 2 guys contact information that I have. They let me know the bike is there but they cant get it out today. He blames customs and I say but if the aduana is 24/7 why isnt customs? I was pretty blunt at this point and said I will be at their office in an hour I hope someone is there. I am irritated and so was the guy that came in on Sun. We chat for a bit and get where we are both coming from. About an hour and a half later I am sitting on my whip!!!

Tabosa in Colombia ended up stepping and making it happen. They are a little more expensive than Girag but in they end they are very viable option. I tipped David for his extra effort and all in all it was a good experience.

I had a fun night in Bogota and I am looking forward to ending my trip there and spending some time there.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:58 PM   #102
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Central America

Thoughts on CA.

I had a blast and could have done all my 3.5 to 4 months there. It is something I considered b/c I felt like I was passing a lot of stuff by but my desire to see Colombia was always going to win out.

Bad things that happen in CA.
-Guatemala Crash
-2 pick pocket attempts. I chose not to write about then b/c those types of acts are not isolated to CA. And were only attempts b/c in the end I either stopped them or got my stuff back(long story).
-Honduras Roads and drivers.

Good things that happen in CA.

Everything else and the Guatemala crash. The crash had some intense moments but in all reality it just made my faith in humanity stronger and made my anxiety about Guatemala dissolve. From the guys that helped me on the side of the road in the pouring rain to a new good friend in Guat City. It is all an experience and how I handle those experiences is a measure of me. Handle them well and almost always something good can be taken away.

There are some great on and off road rides especially in Guat Nica and Rica. The paved roads in Nica were a nice treat after the roads of death in Honduras. Nica was one of my favorite places overall but Rica may win out for overall scenic rides. The main drawback as everyone knows is the cost.

I could have easily spent more time in all of the countries I saw. I do feel i got a flavor for each and will return to many of the places someday.

Part of the idea of this trip was to cross some things of my life list or bucket list. Here is the problem: I find the exact opposite happening. I see great places and either want to return or hear of more great places. Cross one item off add two is the theme. It is a good dilemma to have.

Some random pics that I found that did not make the RR.

Had lunch in Rica with this little guy.

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There are some days where I go pretty introverted. A function of my weak spanish and traveling alone. It is not very often but it happens. I have noticed cool little dogs like the one above provide for good conversation and to pass time. Hard to not smile with that cocked head goofy look. However I do know that dogs think my spanish is as bad as the locals think it is.


Cool KTM I saw in San Jose. Talked with the guy for a bit. He spoke no English but didn't matter we both rode so enough said.





Went big in Puerto Viejo on lobster



Husband wife couple I met in PV that are traveling around the world. First year in the Americas by moto, other years other methods.



Coolest bike I saw. In Puerto Viejo. I had tell the hippy with it that it burned gas and he was destroying the environment. I didn't but I wanted to.



This guy using the cross walk in Bocas del Toro.





The biggest highlight was me getting my bike in South America.

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Old 01-17-2013, 08:20 PM   #103
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Colombia first few days

My first day of riding didn't start until after noon due to getting the bike processed. Just wanted to get out of Bogota b/c I will be coming back and I wanted to start to see the Colombian country side.

Didn't really take any pics on the ride. Was just getting away from traffic. Here is Tunja where I spent my first night of riding in Colombia. A nice town and the right size for me. Not too big or small.

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Then in the morning on my insurance mission I saw this!!!





Policia everywhere!!! Too many for my comfort level. Some cop convention going here!!! Time to get out of Dodge, well Tunja. Most insurance places want to sell you insurance for a year. For my bike(based off cc) it is over $200 US. No way. Just when I am about to give up after 4 insurance offices, a guy offers to walk me around. He is an insurance guy and he cant do less than a year but is convinced someone will. 2 more offices later and 3 months for less than $50

I am leagal and off to Giron.

I have ofund it hard to take pics in Colombia b/c the roads are crazy and so are the drivers! Also Colombia is vast and hard to capture in a photo. Last excuse is that there has been a haze off in the distance over the mountains so the pics have no detail.

But I did get a few








There is a town down there. Amazing landscape!






The ride down from these mountains was amazing! Switchbacks stacked on top of each other and crazy views. I didn't get as many pics as pics as I would like b/c I wanted to be sure to be to Giron before dark.



Giron Plaza at night.



From my hotel





After 2 days of late starts because of shipping and insurance, looking to get on it tomorrow and put down some miles!!
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:39 PM   #104
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Giron to highway town 200K from Santa Marta

On the road at 830. Took sometime to get across Bucaramanga. It is a damn big city. The ride has lots of trucks but is twisty and scenic enough to keep a rider occupied.





Then lots of this



I ended up doing over 250 miles which is a pretty big day here. They town I ended up in was simple a place to sleep with secure parking. Lots of trucks! Tomorrow lunch in Santa Marta then head northeast up the coast.

Felt damn good in the am. Close to the coast and most of the straight flats behind me. Some good pics on the way to Santa Marta. That really good feeling was ripped away from me in a split second. Time to re-evaluate and adjust!!

Why?

CRASH NUMERO DOS NEAR Santa Marta!!! Bike for sale?!?! Not really a crash, I was hit. No where to go!!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:11 AM   #105
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good lordy,sh-- just keeps on happening,,,

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Originally Posted by AK Smitty View Post
On the road at 830. Took sometime to get across Bucaramanga. It is a damn big city. The ride has lots of trucks but is twisty and scenic enough to keep a rider occupied.



.......I ended up doing over 250 miles which is a pretty big day here. They town I ended up in was simple a place to sleep with secure parking. Lots of trucks! Tomorrow lunch in Santa Marta then head northeast up the coast.

Felt damn good in the am. Close to the coast and most of the straight flats behind me. Some good pics on the way to Santa Marta. That really good feeling was ripped away from me in a split second. Time to re-evaluate and adjust!!

Why?

CRASH NUMERO DOS NEAR Santa Marta!!! Bike for sale?!?! Not really a crash, I was hit. No where to go!!
oh my oh my,,hope n pray ya be OK and get to ride another day...holler if ya need help with anything n keep us posted

FYI,,,on another note..just south of you at this very moment another one of our inmates is on his last leg of the Dakar-2013...heading toward the finish line in Santiago,Chile after 14 grueling days of some pretty tough terrain

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=777301

http://www.lyndonposkittracing.com/

in case ya need some reference points,,,wonder if all our adventures need some 'pain' tossed in??/ like 'no pain ,no gain' sorta thing,,me i'm done with the pain business,,,and wouldn't wish it on anyone
bottom line ,,hope n pray you get to finish your journey

woody
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