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Old 03-09-2013, 06:36 AM   #46
johnsonal OP
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Location: here today, gone tomorrow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkey Cat View Post
I climbed Ometempe to basically the top, that was scary & I was suprized at how hot the rock was when you basically climbing almost straight up and down, it was more scary climbing down.

nice ride report.
Thanks man. I couldn't imagine standing at the top of that volcano with how windy it is there. Seems like you'd blow right off.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:37 AM   #47
johnsonal OP
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bad internet but we have made it to costa rica and I'll have an update as soon as I can upload some photos. having a blast see you all soon
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:13 AM   #48
johnsonal OP
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Day fifty two: 3-7-13
Took a ride the rest of the way around the island before heading back to pack our things and catch a ferry back to the mainland. The road around the smaller volcano was all rock and dirt and actually a little sketchy in places.


When we got to the ferry they informed us that they didn’t know where the ferry was and that it either ran aground or it was too windy. People here know nothing. So we went to the other ferry about ten miles down the road. It was in port but no one was on it and another English speaking guy informed us it had been there all day and he wasn’t sure if it was leaving today.

So we waited and waited and had a few beers with a cop who told us he was there on the island investigating a shark attack. There are bull sharks in lake Nicaragua and they killed three fisherman yesterday. Glad I didn’t go swimming. Andy was starting to get a massive case of food poisoning from the hamburger he had for lunch. Around 4 we finally were able to load up. By the time we arrived back in san juan del sur Andrew was fully sick. So I got him some water and went out front to sit around and drink rum. Outside I met the neighbors, a bunch of Nicaraguans who also liked rum. One of them spoke English as he used to live in DC and we hit the town REALLY hard. Tons of fun.
Day fifty three: 3-8-13
Didn’t really leave the hostel today except to get Gatorade and pizza. Andy is still sick so being the good friend I am I decided to make it so Id be hanging out with him all day. That is the only reason I went out so hard last night. For andy.

Day fifty four: 3-9-13
I slept most of the day today. And watched internet movies in between the power going out about 20 times. The power to the entire city is out right now and only a few places with generators are open. I haven’t had a super lazy day in a while and caught up on some sleep. Maybe I’ll go see what the Nicaraguans are up to tonight, but we are waking up really early tomorrow to deal with what has been described to us as the worst border crossing in Central America. This should be fun.
Day fifty five: 3-10-13
The border crossing wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but it was still shit. You have to go back and forth between three or four places getting things stamped and showing it to someone else. Andy still wasn’t feeling great and neither was I due to meeting back up with Barry and having a few drinks last night.

The ride was hot and I was thirsty. Then when we got close to Lake Arenal we dipped off the main road for a few miles of decent off road.

Got to the lake and it was beautiful.

The greens here are more vibrant and different flowers are blooming everywhere. Stopped at a few places that were way out of our budget. Costa Rica is going to be an expensive country. Finally found a place called the toad hall that was also way out of our budget but the guy was a fellow motorcycle enthusiast and gave us our own three bedroom house for 30 bucks. Awesome.


The place is really nice and there is tons of nature here, and also giant bugs that look like they are from Jurassic Park. Oh well there are screens on the windows in the bedroom at least.





Day fifty six: 3-11-13
Hit the road along Lake Arenal toward Alajuela where Greg, GRinCR was nice enough to offer to put us up for the night. The ride round the lake and after through the jungle was amazing.

We saw some weird animals, and lots of green jungle.

Andy dropped his camera trying to get it out of his pocket at 60 to take a photo of the volcano.

About half way there we turned off for some pretty good sketchy muddy rocky off road for about 40 miles.

The roads were once again beautiful, winding through the clouds before dropping below them to reveal a panoramic view of Alajuela tucked in the valley between the mountians. Greg was awesome. I hopped on a bus with him, his wife, and his 2 year old son into downtown Alejuela to do some shopping. Got some great steaks, and his wife made us some surf and turf with rice and broccli. It was a delicious meal! Then we sat around drinking rum and trading stories for the rest of the evening.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:42 PM   #49
johnsonal OP
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Day fifty seven: 3-12-13

Said goodbye to Greg and his family and headed toward the Caribbean to meet back up with Marnix and Lisan at some place they found. The ride was amazing.


Winding through the jungle for 100 miles before getting to Limon, which was rather shitty, and then following the coastline for 30 more miles to our destination, Cahuita. Along the way we stopped at a sloth sanctuary, for injured sloths or something I guess, and although they were closed the woman let me go up and take some pictures.


We arrived at the hostel and went out for some lunch. Later the dutch duo arrived and we went out for pizza and saw this little guy

They use the power lines as their own little highway and they really are quite quick. Had some drinks, exchanged stories with Marnix and Lison, chased some sloths, went to bed.
Day fifty eight: 3-13-13
Today was a day for the books. Highs and lows and everything in between. We started the day going on a little nature hike with Marnix and Lisan.



then spent a little time trying to help Marnix fix his motorcycle. Andy had the wiring diagram (foreign language to me) out and narrowed it down to the starter relay.

I suggested a hotwire switch involving a doorbell, something that I have done regularly to my friends shitty cars, and before long Andy had it wired in.

I left my lights on all night so Marnix quickly returned the favor with a push start. 30 miles later we were at the border in Sixola.

The border was shit. The lady selling insurance was off to lunch and we had to wait an hour for her. Only then could we go get our passports stamped and our motorcycles imported. We waited another two hours for this process then snuck around the police officer that was trying to check our shit, at an additional charge to us of course. I am very adgitated at this point. Into panama! We got pulled over twice in the first 20 minutes, both times for going 90 in a 40 (KPH) they let us go both times…. Things are looking better. We hit the highway, not sure if it would be dark by the time we arrived in Boquete. The weather when we left the Caribbean was unbearably hot and humid. At the border it started pouring rain and as we continued it got much worse. We would go through five minutes of heavy downpour followed by five of sun.

Then as we reached the summit it got rainy, windy, and so foggy you couldn’t see fifteen feet in front of you. All this rain made the many waterfalls that we passed flow in full force. It was a great experience. After we crested the mountians and began decending the pacific side the rain let up and the fog cleared into what I could best describe as a tropical eastern Oregon.

The last hour of our ride was through a warm, but not hot, high desert dotted with tropical flowers.

When we finally arrived at 6pm it was getting dark. We had no idea of where to stay so we started making rounds at different hostels. After leaving one we pulled out, me right behind Andrew on to the main road and BOOM, Andy got hit by a truck. The truck swerved into our lane for some reason unknown and andy caught the side of it, luckily not the front, and I slammed on my brakes and dumped the bike into the ditch. This truck sideswiped andy hard enough to brake his handlebar stop, bend his wheel, and smash everything in his saddle bag but andy was fine besides a sprained wrist thank god!
(andy with his smashed REI pot)

Knowing the local court system usually doesn’t take the gringo side we told the guy, who stopped and was concerned, no worries, everyone is fine, and left. We went straight back to the closest hostel and had a nerve settling beer. a coors light even!

Way too close! What a day!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:03 AM   #50
GRinCR
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Yikes!

Very happy to hear the damage was minimal and you will be able to continue on.

Thank you for stoppin' by. Not much better than contributing to an epic ADV. Hope you enjoyed my "eco" workshop. Nothing like the great outdoors.

Carry on.

To the reader: These guys are awesome!
__________________
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'90 DR650RS
Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR , The Bike Teardown
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:27 AM   #51
johnsonal OP
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Joined: Jan 2013
Location: here today, gone tomorrow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRinCR View Post
Yikes!

Very happy to hear the damage was minimal and you will be able to continue on.

Thank you for stoppin' by. Not much better than contributing to an epic ADV. Hope you enjoyed my "eco" workshop. Nothing like the great outdoors.

Carry on.

To the reader: These guys are awesome!
Had a great time with you. Cant thank you enough for your hospitality and local CR wisdom. keep in touch
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:01 PM   #52
johnsonal OP
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Made it to Panama City. Update to come.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:57 PM   #53
johnsonal OP
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Days fifty nine through sixty four, 3-14- 3-19-13

We woke up and moved to a different hostel. One that was much nicer and much cheaper.



Then we went for a little ride around Boquete. The town itself is quite beautiful. Very upper class and nice. It was really a nice change from the third world that we had been in for so long. The next day we went for a ride to some waterfalls.




One you could ride right up to but the others you had to hike straight up a muddy path for a few miles. On the way back we stopped at a botanical garden.




Then we cooked diner to celebrate Marnix and Lisons one year on the road anniversary.



After diner we all drank a lot. I don’t remember some of the little details but I remember having fun! We went to a pool hall that was strictly local and they were nice enough to let us stay. Then we proceded to get wasted and make asses of ourselves. Oh well we were celebrating. I felt so bad the next day I didn’t leave my bed. The day after we went to Coranado where Andy’s dads friends friends friend lived.



He was a very nice guy to just let two people he had never met stay at his home. Awesome. Didn’t get to play golf but his lady friend cooked us an amazing meal and we talked fishing and life all night.. Next stop was panama city.


There is a lot of construction in panama city. I guess they are trying to make nicer sidewalks for the crackheads to sleep on. The traffic is horrible and you get detoured every quarter mile for construction. This is a shitty shitty town. You have to be very aggressive driving here. We drove around for hours looking for a hostel. They were all booked up so we settled on a hotel in the ghetto. The next day we went shopping to get all the stuff for the boat; mostly beer and liquor. And we went to the panama canal.





The people here are literally fighting to get on busses. There are too many people and not enough busses so they scream and hit each other to secure their spot. We met back up with marnix and lison who informed us that they would be flying their bike to Columbia rather than joining us on the boat. We had some drinks and went to sleep.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:38 AM   #54
benwiggin2
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Glad to hear from you Johnsonal. Keep us updated with the boat, canal, etc.....

Don't forget female, nightlife, and liquor reviews are still required as well as the awesome pictures that you have us accustomed to!
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:59 AM   #55
johnsonal OP
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Day sixty five, 3-20-13

After getting all our gear and all our groceries secured to the motorcycles we took off toward Carti. We had no idea where exactly we were going but just east down the Pan Am it was very well marked. The road is also very fun and only washed out in a couple very avoidable spots.



If you go fast enough there are a lot of roller coaster style stomach in throat moments. You have to pay the local Guni Indian tribe to go onto their land at a checkpoint and then right after a military checkpoint you turn right down the dirt road to get to the launcha.


The boat we had to load the bikes on wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected.



And neither was the loading onto the sailboat.


Very easy. After we tied down the bikes we were shuttled back on the boat to an island that was inhabited by the Guni indians, one of whom runs a homestay.




We are plus one now with another biker from LA named Micha.


Every square inch of the island had a house built on it. We were the only three white people here for sure. The waters surrounding this beautiful little overpopulated island were filled with garbage. You could see the bottom through the crystal clear water but no rocks, no coral, only garbage. It was very sad. But the homestay was sufficient and the people were nice so…..

oh yeah and this was the bathroom. it drops straight into the ocean.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:53 AM   #56
johnsonal OP
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The sailboat

First off let me say that before taking this trip i had read alot of negative reviews. the food was bad, the captain was rude, everyone was sick, the loading of the bikes was sketchy, etc... This WAS NOT my experience. I had a great time. All the passengers were so much fun. the captain and crew were very friendly. The captian had some strange views about politics and the government conspiracies but I'd expect anyone that has been out to sea for 28 years to be a little off. In fact I trust crazy over saine in this situation. The food was great! Three hearty meals a day. And we may have lucked out but the seas were fairly calm and it was only the last day anyone even got a little woozy. No worries loading and unloading the bike either. I never once felt like my bike was going to fall in the ocean and the captain supplied tarps to help reduce ocean spray, which there was none of. From MY experience I recommend this trip to anyone.


Day sixty six, 3-21-13

The first leg of our sea journey had us moving only about ten miles down the coast. After shuttling back out to the boat we waited for the rest of the passengers, backpackers crossing the darien gap. I was a little nervous as to what kind of people I would be stuck with. But it was clear when they arrived that everyone was on the same page, and that page was party. We started early drinking as the captian sailed us to our first island.




We partied and swam around before having an amazing lobster diner and headed to the island for a bonfire.


Then back to the boat for a long night. We partied so loud a boat on the other side of the bay complained to our captain and forced us to shut off the music.
Day sixty seven, 3-22-13
I woke up on the deck of the boat to the sun beating down on me. No idea what time it is but a beer and some fishing sounds good. No fish, lots of beer. We somehow went through seven half gallons of rum last night between fifteen people. Good times I think. Everyone slowly started appearing from different parts of the boat and the party got started again as the captain motored us to our next stop. Here their was another island with a bar and a volleyball net, and some other people. After an epic volleyball battle we had another huge meal and drank the bar dry until returning to the boat for more late night partying.






Day sixty eight, 3-23-13
The days of partying and sunshine are catching up to everyone. We are all sun burnt and hung over but a few more beers might help one or both of these complaints. We hung out around our island all day protected from the heavy seas by the coral reef. More swimming, fishing and partying. I decided to take it a little easy today knowing that tonight we would be entering the open sea on our 30 hour trek against the wind through rough ocean to Columbia. Not the ideal time for a hangover.


Day sixty nine, 3-24-13
Most everyone is in some form a little sea sick. A few of us are completely fine. I am surprisingly doing fine. I remember as a little kid my dad taking me deep sea fishing for my 14th birthday and puking for 5 of the 6 hour journey. This memory has haunted me since I signed up for this sailboat trip. But no puking or even much uneasiness. Everyone is just kind of scattered around the boat sleeping so not much going on today. I guess I’ll just sit in the sun and watch the dolphins swim next to our boat. Life is hard. Tonight is I guess when the seas get really rough near Cartagena so I will tell you about that in tomorrows posting. Oh and in case you have been wondering 9 girls 7 guys. All very beautiful.




Day seventy, 3-25-13
The ride across the sea was smooth. A little bumpy but nothing outrageous. We pulled into Cartagena in the evening and spent one last night partying on the boat.


The columbians were so excited for our arrival that they shot off some fireworks right as we entered the harbor.


Today was a holiday so they informed us we would not be able to get our bikes from customs until tomorrow. So we left them on the boat and went into town in search of a hostel. Micha, Andrew and myself decided to go in together on a hotel room to save some money and have a nice hot shower. Everyone else went to a hostel about a block away. We walked around the city to take in the views. The old town section has a really nice market surrounded by historical buildings.


We eventually met up with the rest of the crew and had a few beers before bailing out early to get some rest. We had to be at the boat at 6:30 to unload the bikes and head to the customs building. It was a nice goodbye to everyone and hopefully not the last time I will see some of them. Being on a boat in the middle of nowhere with other people you make good friends quickly.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:48 AM   #57
johnsonal OP
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Day seventy one, 3-26-13
We got up and headed to the boat where the captain took us out to offload the motorcycles one by one. Very easy process. Crane them out onto a small boat, take them to land and manhandle them on to shore. It took only about an hour and a half before we had everything on land.


Huge milestone today as the bikes were (unofficially) in South America!


Now to customs. We were told to go to a building, that wasn’t that easy to find, and meet with a german guy named Manfred would be waiting to help us with the customs process. Well apparently the customs inspector just didn’t feel like coming into work today… so after two hours or waiting we got insurance taken care of, check. Then more waiting for the inspector… around noon Manfred suggested we go get lunch and come back at two as they take two hour lunch breaks here. Knowing that we wouldn’t be able to ride toward Medillan today as we had planned we went back to our hotel and booked another night. We arrived back at two where Manfred had some papers for us to sign. Progress…. We waited around for another two hours before a really pleasant looking girl, who was not supposed to and had never before, came out to inspect our bikes (read the vin) then headed back in to do paperwork, which she had never done and of course fucked up. It was about four when the Columbia vs. Venezuela soccer match started. No one was working now. Instead everyone was sitting in the lobby with us, who had been there since they opened, watching the game. I figured it was now hopeless. I got yelled at by a security guard for laying down and got fairly pissed. He didn’t like me much. After another hour and a half Manfred saved the day and came through with the last of the papers needed to be in Columbia! Only 8 ˝ hours in customs! We headed to the hotel and went to bed early with the thought of 400 miles to Medallin lingering.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:58 AM   #58
benwiggin2
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unfkngblvble. Keep it coming. Most incredible adventure.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:50 AM   #59
johnsonal OP
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Met the legendary JDowns the other night. More to come...
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:39 AM   #60
johnsonal OP
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Day seventy two, 3-27-13

We woke up early and set out toward Medellin the first half of the ride was fairly uneventful as far as scenery goes. After about 250 miles we started our ascent into the mountains. The roads turned shitty quickly. They got narrow, the middle lines disappeared, and the pavement became bumpy. Not that I am complaining I love this kind of road. It was also very twisty and was wet for a portion. My front tire is now showing its steel belts. It is BALD! I’ve been meaning to take care of it but I’m too busy having fun. Well now it is a problem. It slips out at the slightest hint of moisture. So I had to got (a little) slower. We arrived in Medellin just before dark. It was a full 10 hour ride today. We then paid a taxi to follow him to the waypoint hostel. We have five nights to kill before Robert gets here to visit us for a week.





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