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Old 02-14-2008, 12:47 PM   #151
LaOutbackTrail
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Omar being your helper? "Tramitadore", is that what the helpers are called?

Might write his number down

I Hate the American celebrity crisis(amon other things), when there is alot of real world out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman
Eventually we hired Omar Cardenas. If anyone is crossing at El Amatillo, you can call him at 0050423979435.

We finished the day in Chuluteca, Honduras, the "Hotel Paradise." Totally non-descript, clean, not-too-expensive, with A/C and Satelite TV. This is where we heard the tragic news of another movie star's death. I'm not morbid or anything, but we'd spent the afternoon riding through a heat-wave that was killing cows (dead cows next to the road with vultures, or maybe the carcasses were desicated, dried like beef jerky. So many dead cows that the vultures were full. Dead cows meant people would go hungry- and the people were hungry to begin with. And on the news, back in The States, people were crying on account of a dead actor? We had a few more of those $1 beers.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:56 PM   #152
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Good Reports and keep the pictures coming !!!!!! Less than one month
I will be back down there.



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Old 02-14-2008, 11:58 PM   #153
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missed el salvador

two years ago i drove a car from oregon to costa rica and the only country i didn't visit was el salvador. never again will i listen too carefully to guide books speaking of dangers. glad to hear of your experiences in el salvador and am looking forward to reading more. loved the picture of the old man's hands...
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:32 AM   #154
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Location: San Salvador, El Salvador
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El Salvador

Just as you said El Salvador is the smallest of Central American countries, and with some issues on personal security for travellers.
I have read lots of threads about adv riders avoiding El Salvador on their way up or down in Central America and I cannot blame them. But fortunately some do take the chance and ride through it, sometimes they just literally ride through it (in about 4 hours you go from Guatemalan border to Honduran border easily) without even spending one night here.
If youre and adv rider coming this way I would advice you not to go into San Salvador (unless you have a friend/guide wich I would be more than willing for any adv rider). Its in some areas in San Salvador where you could most likely get to know where all of those country warnings come from .
Most other cities in El Salvador are as safe or dangerous as any other Central American country.
Going in through La Hachadura border from Guatemala and riding through the CA2 (calle Litoral) wich is the road Bananaman took and then going through San Miguel to El Amatillo border with Honduras will give you a chance to ride some nice coast side roads with 5 tunnels, good views of the Pacific Ocean, great curves, and good seafood restaurants along the way.
If you like surfing you could stay in any of Puerto de La Libertad small hotels (around $35 for a room and yes $1 beers) or you could continue east and after crossing Rio Lempa on the Litoral Road you could stay in Bahia de Jiquilisco, El Espino, El Cuco or El Tamarindo wich are the prettiest and safest beaches on EL Salvador's coast.
Ill be waiting for you on your ride up Bananaman, dont hesitate to give me a call.
Great report and thanks for encouraging adv riders on El Salvador !!
Take care and ride safe.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:35 AM   #155
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The Hotel Leones Marinos in El Salvador was $30/night, for accomodations with air conditioning, two bedrooms, private bath with one-temperature shower, swimming pool, restaurant, gift shop, secure parking right in front of the room, and beach access. To get there, ride south from Texas about two thousand miles. Turn left when you come to the T and it'll be on your right.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:15 AM   #156
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I've still got tons and tons to report, and a few favorites to dwell on (San Blas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Lake Atitlan...) but the thing that's bothering me most today is what I saw at Father Kasubuski's.

My skin started to crawl the minute I realized what was going on. Have you read Conrad's Heart of Darkness? Maybe seen Apocolypse Now? Padre Pablo had become my Kurtz.

Barb wanted to talk to the missionaries. I tried to explain to Barb about the "Hand of God" mentality. I have a photo of a "Hand of God" farm sign, deep in the Darien. This mission isn't so much a church and school- it's mainly a construction company and machine shop.

Ripon, Wisconsin, is about 7 miles south of the farm my parents owned, near the middle of Wisconsin.













Ok, enough about Father K. To leave a smile on your face, how about if we go back to earlier that day, breakfast, with the rice-loving Parrot? Here's Barb asking the parrot to share some rice. The parrot wasn't happy! This parrot didn't want to share his rice!



While we were eating our breakfast, a man started hacking at something in the back of his pickup. Whatever it was, a dog was very interested. By the time I got my camera out, the man was done hacking, and the dog was chomping on a cow-tail.


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Old 02-15-2008, 11:39 AM   #157
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I'm not in a very good mood today. It's about 5 degrees outside (minus 15 C) and we're supposed to get another foot of snow on Sunday.

I had promised a photo of the delicious chicken in Yavisa. Here's the cook. You better smile like you like it!





Here's tomorow's dinner:



These boys were staring at us as we were saddling up to leave Yavisa. The Indian boy had covered his arms and face with a black paste. I asked him to show me his scary-face. Then I told them to hit each other as hard as they could.

I'm not sure how much they understood. Spanish probably isn't their native language, and I do not speak Cuna or Embarra.






bananaman screwed with this post 02-16-2008 at 10:16 AM
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:45 PM   #158
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Really superb report Bananaman. Thanks for posting.

Same storm is aiming at us here Sunday and Monday - yet another potential hit of snow, but the RR keeps the spirits up until riding weather breaks through.

The last pics are ringers for farm and street scenes in Zambia - had to backtrack page by page through the report to find and reread your description of the African contribution to Yavisa's settlement.

Keep up the great posts.

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Old 02-16-2008, 05:17 AM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahuite
Really superb report Bananaman. Thanks for posting.

Same storm is aiming at us here Sunday and Monday - yet another potential hit of snow, but the RR keeps the spirits up until riding weather breaks through.

The last pics are ringers for farm and street scenes in Zambia - had to backtrack page by page through the report to find and reread your description of the African contribution to Yavisa's settlement.

Keep up the great posts.

Barb and I- we had quite a few conversations of nature vs nuture. I'm still asking questions like this. If these people were separated from their homeland 500 years ago, what about their culture was so strong that the culture survived rather than assimillated? How did they manage to get to the same place- culturally- as their fellows in the homelands? Some of the answers are obvious, for example, the costumes and revelry during Carnival. Some are more subtle, like boiled chicken soup. I bet it would be interesting to study children's games and songs, and compare them to the same in West Africa.
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Old 02-16-2008, 05:43 AM   #160
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Awesome pics and report update
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:54 AM   #161
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Cocuye, San Blas, and Yavisa. San Blas didn't belong in this list. I thought the end-of-the-road on the Atlantic was Cocuye. I knew the end of the road on the Pacific was Yavisa. If you saw the picture on Page 1- the one of me trying to get up that stupid hill-of-mud- then you know I made a poor decision and almost destroyed my bike. (But it was a helluva adventure that day!) We made it to Yavisa and back almost without incident. Neither of us was going to try to ride to San Blas.

The road from El Llano to Carti wasn't supposed to be there. In Panama City everyone said it wasn't passable. On-line we read that the road had fallen into disrepair and couldn't be driven. But a waiter in a bar in Torti said the road was fine. A few cops on the road-blocks between Chepo and Yavisa said it was tough, but that a good 4x4 (and don't forget the winch!) could do it. Nobody mentioned the river (there used to be a bridge but now it's gone swept into the Atlantic).

The road doesn't start out impossible.

Yesterday I had a very long conversation with one of my American uncles. He wants to go "save" the Indians near Yavisa. I almost had to tell him to f-off. There are places in the world that need help but the Indians in Panama in San Blas and the Darien are doing better than the rest of the world. They could help us.

You can't photograph the people without paying them. Most of the Cuna and Embarra will take a dollar, but once in a while you have to pay more. The most I spent was $10. It's worth it.

Only leave footprints and only take photographs.

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Old 02-17-2008, 10:45 AM   #162
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From Panama City go towards Colombia for about 90 minutes. Cross a one-lane steel bridge. The road curves first right, then left. Just before you get to El Llano there's a stretch of gravel off to the right. That's the road.











The good gravel doesn't last very long. After my experience the week before, I know I can not ride my 1100GS on this stuff. A 250ish would be great. A Defender with a winch and air conditioning is better.





This is the end of the road. (Or the beginning, depending on how you look at it...) This is as far as anyone can drive on the Atlantic side of Panama. The road to Carti ends on a semi-abandoned landing strip. I landed here in the mid-70s when it was still grass. The road wasn't here then.

The terminal- can we call it that? is now used byt the Cuna as their own version of customs. You have to pay $2 per person and vehicle. From here you can get a boat (dug-out canoe) to the island of Carti. The Cuna award boating concessions to different islands and clans. The boat from the airport to Carti can't go on from Carti. Only certain boats can go on to certain islands. Corruption, Cuna-style. Note the lack of metal detectors. No drug-sniffing dogs (the dogs would go crazy from over-stimulation).





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Old 02-17-2008, 10:52 AM   #163
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San Blas.













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Old 02-17-2008, 10:56 AM   #164
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More San Blas









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Old 02-17-2008, 11:01 AM   #165
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Can anyone get enough San Blas?

Night 1: Hotel. Lobster supper prepared by beautiful Cuna women. Breakfast. For two people, total bill: $40.
Night 2: Hotel. 45 minute boat ride to really cool little island. Lunch. Fresh-fish supper. Breakfast the next day. Total for two people: $60.





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