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Old 02-12-2006, 11:23 AM   #1
Jeff Munn OP
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Location: Petersburg, Virginia
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Finding PANAMA

Should be pretty easy, right? From the East Coast, head to Texas and turn left. In the mornings make sure the sun is on your left, and in the evenings, make sure the sun sets on your right. Keep the bike pointed south and eventually you are there. Piece of cake.

Everything else that happens in between is the joy of life on the road. The intoxication of new experiences, stressful situations, dealing with the unexpected and discovering the life of people I had only read about in books. Everyday has come to put a perpetual smile on my face. I do love to travel, and a motorcycle is the perfect vehicle for finding instant friends and breaking the ice.



My lovely wife Teresa was the inspiration for this trip. She needed a break after the holiday season. As a small business owner who makes the majority of her income between October and Christmas, she had been pushing herself pretty hard. She has also always wanted to see Costa Rica. Thus a plan was born. She would fly into Costa Rica for a vacation, and I, the ever-loving husband, would meet her at the airport in San Jose, on my trusty GS. Any excuse for a ride, right?

The next month of planning was a blur. Emailing a fellow rider, he immediately jumped at the idea of doing Central America. Chick, aka Carlos, is a lifelong adventurer, combat wounded veteran, fantastic storyteller, and a former ex-pat who has spent the majority of his life outside the USA. Oh, he also is fluent in Spanish. Posting to ADVrider and Trail Pilgrim I then discovered that pilot was on his way south too, departing two weeks ahead of us. We made contact and determined we were to meet up somewhere along the way.

Departure was from Richmond, Virginia, early on the morning of the 2nd of February, in 28F temps. Our initial plan had been modified slightly when we heard that pilot had suffered a trip delaying injury in Guatemala. So the first goal was simply to get to Guatemala as fast as possible to link up with him. He was taking a week of R&R near Lake Atitlan to allow his ankle to heal up, and to take a week of full immersion Spanish. Good man that pilot.



The next 6 days were a blur. True hardcore riding. 730 miles to Montgomery on day one. 720 miles to Houston on day two. Dinner and a warm bed at the Trailace residence in Houston, then 320 miles to Brownsville the next morning. Day four (Superbowl Sunday) began with the Matamoros border crossing and ended 530 miles later just north of Veracruz. We were flying low and fast, but still had time for a few pictures. This statue just stunned me with its size.



Then as we were blasting thru Naranja, be came upon a long row of vendors. The lighting was perfect and the air was heavy with the smell from the orange groves.



Day five we were attempting to make the border with Guatemala along the Pacific Coast, but fell short by 100 miles, even with riding over an hour after dark. (I know, I know.….. don’t do that. Wait until you see the pictures why.) But pilot was waiting and we were focused on getting to Guatemala by the next day. Unfortunately we hadn’t anticipated the border crossing at Talisman. Oh what an experience that was. Quite the topping after 1100 miles in two days across Mexico, north to south.

Oops. Gotta go. Low battery light and no electricity this early in the morning. Will post more as we can find an internet connection. Right now we are in a small beach town just south of Managua, Nicaragua. Stay tuned because this will be quite a story, I promise.



Hasta Luego from Masachapa. It is 86F, breezy, and a beautifully sunshiny day.
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2004 ADVRider Mileage Champion 48,350 miles

Riding Central America Feb 2006

England to China Apr-Aug 2007

Central America Ride Planning and Road Wisdom

Jeff Munn screwed with this post 02-13-2006 at 05:06 PM
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:31 AM   #2
rokklym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Munn



Hasta Luego from Masachapa. It is 86F, breezy, and a beautifully sunshiny day.
Looks like paradise to me
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:53 AM   #3
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:01 PM   #4
CMWoody
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I'm leaving NC and heading that way too.
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:03 PM   #5
Steverino
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:13 PM   #6
gts
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Great start. What's with the extra toes?
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:08 PM   #7
Dirtysouth
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Originally Posted by Jeff Munn





Uhh, something isn't right here?
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Old 02-12-2006, 05:57 PM   #8
Fat Toney
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Panama looks very cool and sorry for being rude, wont happen again.
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Fat Toney screwed with this post 02-12-2006 at 06:51 PM
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:11 PM   #9
CMWoody
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Originally Posted by gts
Great start. What's with the extra toes?
Not cool, Pilot was born that way and is kinda sensitive to it, recommend you guys edit your posts.
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Old 02-12-2006, 07:03 PM   #10
gts
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Not a chance! I think if he was insecure about it he wouldn't have posted the pic. Besides, I was more interested than making fun, and wondering about the context of that shot - it's cooler than any photoshop I've seen. Any vet has my full respect, just check my homepage.

Looking forward to the rest of the thread
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Old 02-12-2006, 07:30 PM   #11
Trailace
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Jeff
Great story so far keep it coming.
Chick and Jeff

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Old 02-12-2006, 07:36 PM   #12
CMWoody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gts
Not a chance! I think if he was insecure about it he wouldn't have posted the pic. Besides, I was more interested than making fun, and wondering about the context of that shot - it's cooler than any photoshop I've seen. Any vet has my full respect, just check my homepage.

Looking forward to the rest of the thread
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Old 02-12-2006, 07:46 PM   #13
kennyanc
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Originally Posted by cmwoodys
I'm leaving NC and heading that way too.
FYYFF

I'm jealous in case you can't tell.

Let's see some pic's when you get back.

Kenny
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Old 02-12-2006, 07:57 PM   #14
pilot
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Hey, now, I thought everyone had dew claws, just that most of you got them clipped at a young age. I get extra traction this way.

And by the way, I'm in Costa Rica and you're not.
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:05 PM   #15
Deano955
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86F and breezy huh?

It was 18F when I rode out of my garage this morning. I think I'm in the wrong place.

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