ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-23-2012, 04:41 PM   #16
enduroranger175 OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Oddometer: 36
Will do.

Waiting in Lapaz for some repairs.
enduroranger175 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 10:26 AM   #17
enduroranger175 OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Oddometer: 36
KLR down

My little brothers KLR seems to be done for. So now we are faced with a lot of options... Not sure what course to take.
enduroranger175 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 01:51 PM   #18
enduroranger175 OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Oddometer: 36
a fund site. need a push start.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/212197?a=1090001
enduroranger175 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 11:29 AM   #19
enduroranger175 OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Oddometer: 36
sorry

i have been doing a horrible job of keeping this site updated, the klr has been up and running for many miles now, we are looking to cross into panama in the next few days. we will do a good job of posting info on the gap and how we decide to go.
enduroranger175 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 11:50 AM   #20
Rensen
Adventurer
 
Rensen's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Munich
Oddometer: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by enduroranger175 View Post
My little brother and I are getting ready to head south from our home in Chicago. I know many of you have taken this trip and would love feedback and advice.
HTML Code:
http://cooperstour.blogspot.com/
This is a blog we are going to keep updated on our journey.
Nice! @ follow
Rensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 02:33 AM   #21
enduroranger175 OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Oddometer: 36
Gap C rossed

Despite showing up in person to cross the gap without prior arrangements we successfully crossed the gap in less than 5 days. As we got closer to Panama City stories of large sailboats with $900 dollar (bike and rider) price tags became more and more available. People would tell us, " this is the only way" or "you will not find anything cheaper:". I do not know about the experience, compared to our ride it sounded very arranged. If you do not want to haggle with the operators of multiple small boats, large boats, and be without your bike for a night, the for-mentioned advice might be true for you.

There is a hostal named Mamallena in Panama city and a man works there who keeps track of the boats (for riders and backpackers). He also would tell us we had very few options and that they would cost near 1000 dollars and were booked for at least a week. He is a good source, if you are going to use one of his contacts make sure to phone ahead so you do not find yourself wandering around Panama City losing days of your adventure. Upon receiving this information we decided to head to Portobelo.

We had heard that Portobelo has less tourist traffic and this was, for us promising as far as the price issue was concerned. We got to the city and within a few hours made contact with two fellows transporting some bicyclist and backpackers to Colombia. We heard of many other options once in Portobelo and went to check on them the next day, It became apparent that it was not "high season" and many of these other options (some cheaper) would not be available for some time. Knowing we were on a tight schedule and this 38' metal hull sailboat was leaving the next day,,, we acted fast and negotiated a price. After a few minutes of bartering the price of $950 for both bikes and ourselves was agreed upon.

Now the fun began. Make sure to grab plenty of cash on your way into Portobelo. You see, there is a cash machine in town. Due to a thwarted theft attempt the machine has not run for months and no one seems to care to fix it, We would have to make two hour long round trip runs for cash due to withdrawal limits. We then would hire the Launcha to take the bikes to the boat out in the harbor. We have not perfected our dealing with these shifty fellows. You will have to come to an agreement on price before the start (they would love if you didn't as it would give them more room to wiggle later). The price would be 25$ TO 50$, this was the best we could negotiate with them before the work started. We would load the bikes (we did a lot of the work and this was ok) by essentially handing them down to a large row boat where one of us would sit on the bike while the operator took us to the sailboat. In the end this round of Launcha would cost 40$. It seemed a lot for the short work we made of it but, it was also seemed to be the only launcha available at the time.

More to come later, many miles to make today.
enduroranger175 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 07:47 PM   #22
enduroranger175 OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Oddometer: 36
the rest

Another source to help find a ride once you are already in Portebelo is Captain Jack's (a hostel). We would leave the bikes on the boat until later that evening. As dark fell we made our way out to the Amigo. She would carry us til dawn when we came to land on the San Blas Islands. Here the crew of the Amigo would anchor the vessel and we would be free to swim, fish, and adventure onto one of the 365 islands that makes up the chain.

Early the next morning we would set sail again. We would journey through the dark to Sapzurro, Panama arriving early in the morning. From a bay in Sapzurro we were only another launcha ride away from Colombia, Capurgana to be precise. This ride would be much longer, exciting, and the cause of much bickering. Once we anchored in the bay there was no wait, a launcha was out to meet us immediately. Our captain bartered the price of thirty five dollars to get the bikes ashore. We lowered one of the motos into his little boat. We had several ideas on how to stabilize the bike, this did not matter as the captain has his own terrible plan to accomplish the same task. It went something like this, center that thing on one of the seats, get in an awkward position, and hold on to it. He then took off faster than I appreciated (yes, in certain circumstances there is a speed I do not appreciate). We would crash through some fairly rough waves while the captain would yell at us for being in a posture far too efficient, normal and comfortable to be balancing a motorcycle on a dingy in the middle of the ocean. As we finished the first trip the rain (yes of course it was raining) began to increase and soak us and on the return it would sting the face. In just another 20 minutes we would sigh a sigh of relief as the second moto made it to the dock.

Now that we already had used his service the launcha pilot would reveal his new price. 35 dollars transformed to 80. For his short term of employment he had decided to more than double his fair. It is important to note that this man did no manual labor at all during the up or downloading of the bikes. It may seem like 80 dollars is not much, in comparison to prices of other services in the region it was. When I told him I was not willing to pay this increase and handed him $40, adding $5 to the deal. He chuckled and told us to wait until we the captain of our sail boat arrived and we would sort this whole thing out. We would end up meeting again before our vessels captain would arrive. I offered even more than the $40 and he did not take it. I left the money on the table and walked away, he for the time being did the same. Friends near by told me once he realized I was gone he grabbed the cash. He came and found me and tossed the cash back my way with an attitude. I chuckled put the money in my pocket and thanked the man for his free launcha service and walked on.

This ordeal was far from over. The town of Capurgana is very small, a few blocks really. There is no escaping anyone who has any sort of motivation to find you. The next man who found me was a police officer and behind him lurked the shifty launcha man. The officer asked me what had happened and I told him my side of the story. Upon hearing what I had to say the officer seemed to say with his expression and posture, "sounds about right". He turned to the beedy eyed launcha said a few words, turned to me, smiled, and walked away. The launcha now scowled at me and again I could tell that this was not the end of fight. For the time being Nathan (my little brother) and I had some peace and used the opportunity to grab the first land cooked meal we had had in a few days.

The wait for our food was short and on about my third bite in I was "found' by another individual. This man was not in any sort of uniform and lacked the calm discerning demeanor of my new friend, the police officer. This new fellow in a nike polo shirt was accompanied by our launcha buddy, a short angry bald man, and in the back of them was the friendly officer. This man would tell us he was the customs official of the port town and demanded we hand him our passports... there... in the middle of this hostel restaurant. Being a bit of an experienced traveler there is NO scenario that leads to me handing my passport to a man in a Nike polo yelling so loud that his spit is landing in my food in a bar. This humor of this ludicrous request was not lost on me and I began to laugh out loud. This obviously hurt the ego of the Nike customs official. Seeing that we knew his jurisdiction did not follow him out from behind his desk his temper rose and he stomped of back to his small kingdom. The short stump of a man who had been backing him up turned out to be the port manager (sells fairy and launcha tickets, and knows the coming and going of ships). This man decided to take a short turn at us and hurled a few choice curses at us and also stormed off like a mad hobbit. After the enemy cleared the officer came to our table and again we would have a pleasant conversation as we finished our brunch.

A short while later we were "found" yet again, this time a familiar face. Our captain was now involved in this issue. He was concerned that somehow our unwillingness to be taken advantage of would fall back onto him and did not want this scenario to play out any further.
enduroranger175 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 11:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014