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Old 11-04-2008, 08:55 AM   #331
WeeBee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VampyreMP
I've never seen a sprocket even remotely worn as yours.
No Shit! Jeff, hope you saved that sprocket - would make a great conversation piece for your coffee table . Sad to see you headed home - have been subscribed to your RR for months and have thoroughly enjoyed your writing style and all the awesome pics .
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:05 AM   #332
stickfigure OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalDave
No Shit! Jeff, hope you saved that sprocket - would make a great conversation piece for your coffee table . Sad to see you headed home - have been subscribed to your RR for months and have thoroughly enjoyed your writing style and all the awesome pics .
I kept it - it's going straight up on my wall as soon as I get home

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:55 PM   #333
bmh
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Thank's for the RR you are one heluva ADV fella im inspired.
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:45 AM   #334
RockiesTwin
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** Counting the Days **

19 ..... and counting

Awesome Report - thanks for keeping after it!!!
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:42 AM   #335
pdedse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure
[I forgot to add this earlier]
Speaking of restaurants... it seemed that the fancier the restaurant, the more bland the food. It was generally hard to find spicy food in Costa Rica. I don't know if this is a Tico preference or merely pandering to the tourists. Most restaurants offered only two hot sauces, both fairly tasty but neither actually spicy. My palate rebelled.
I'd definetly say the food blandness is Tico preference (my wife is Tica and I've lived there 3 plus years). Way back I made the assumption that the food in CR would be similar to that of Mexico. Not. Bland was the first word that came to mind. Rice and beans every single day if not 9 out of 10 meals. There are some incredibly hot sauces, but they don't add it to the food. It comes in bottles that have pickled looking pepppers inside, at least that's what I've seen when we stay with my in-laws.
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:26 PM   #336
sp4ce
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Experienced my first of these yesterday in Antigua. It wasn't delivering shocks yet, but that wasn't far down the road. When running, it produced the distinct smell of burning electrics. Upon inspection it was hooked up with what appeared to be 12ga wire and most of the insulation was burned off. There were millimeters between the scorched wire and the metal water pipe. Clearly printed on the front of the head was "6GA connect".

-sp4ce
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:38 PM   #337
Charles Seguin
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That´s one sorry sprocket.

We went from El Salvador to Nicaragua in one day, and that was too long to spend in Honduras. Way too corrupt imho.

keep er coming
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:47 PM   #338
dwj - Donnie
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Thanks for your report! I'm sad that you are headed home.
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:53 PM   #339
RockiesTwin
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Any chances (or anyone know of) a ferry from El salvador to Nicaragua just to avoid Honduras all together ??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Seguin
That´s one sorry sprocket.

We went from El Salvador to Nicaragua in one day, and that was too long to spend in Honduras. Way too corrupt imho.

keep er coming
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:43 PM   #340
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockiesTwin
Any chances (or anyone know of) a ferry from El salvador to Nicaragua just to avoid Honduras all together ??
That really does seem like a good business opportunity. Sigh.
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:59 PM   #341
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San Pedro Sula



Nir and I met up with Gavin in San Pedro Sula. Remember how I decided not to bother getting a new tire in Costa Rica, figuring I would find something in Nicaragua or Honduras? The situation became desperate:



Unlike Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula has a significant riding community and a few motorcycle shops that cater to large bikes. We stopped by the KTM dealer (which is tiny and still in construction) where Nir test rode a new KTM:





Unfortunately they could not procure a 140/80R18 dualsport tire. Nor could any of the other tire stores in town, although I did find a MX tire in that size. Just as I was about to consider mounting a 130/80 (like a KLR! oh the shame!), we found a used tire shop with a single Pirelli MT21 knobby in my size. With about 25% of its tread left. $25.





I've had MT21s on this bike before. The rear lasts about 2500 miles. Given the remaining tread, I figured it would just barely get me to Guatemala City.

By the way, if you think changing motorcycle tires is tough, try this out:



Next stop: Roatan!
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:02 AM   #342
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Island Paradise



Roatan really is an island paradise, covered with jungle and surrounded by placid, crystal-clear water. Or maybe I just hallucinated it that way because the prophylactic antimalarial drugs gave me really strange, vivid dreams. Nope, the pictures confirm it.

We left our bikes in La Ceiba at the ferry departure:



Wrecked ships litter the harbor:



We went straight to the West End and found a cool suite with three beds, kitchen, balcony with hammock, and view of the ocean. $50/night was a bargain.



One of these days I will take pictures of hotel rooms *before* we mess them up.





Of course, our second order of business was FOOD. We kept going back to this restaurant. The pictures will explain why.





Here Nir discovers that you're supposed to take the shell off of the shrimp before eating it!



Some restaurants had nonpaying customers:





Of course, what we were there for was the diving. Nir got his open water cert while Gavin and I explored the reefs. There is a coral-covered wall just a stone's throw away from shore; none of the boat rides were longer than 5 minutes.



One of the people diving with us had a good underwater camera rig:













Checking out a turtle:







This spotted eagle ray hung out around the docks a lot:



We did a night dive and saw many foraging octopi. This was during a huge lightning storm. At one point we turned off the lights, sat on the sea floor, and watched the lightning flashes illuminate the whole seafloor. It was surreal.



I love diving, but I have to admit that I wasn't really impressed by the reefs of Roatan. I saw turtles and octopi and lots of coral but there wasn't as much fish life as I have seen diving in other tropical places. Maybe I am just spoiled. On the plus side visibility was great and the water was nice and warm.

The best dive was on a wreck called the Aguila. It was inhabited by several gigantic groupers (each probably outmassing me) that showed a surprising amount of curiosity. Plus I was able to swim through the engine room and one of the cargo holds, which was a first for me. There are several pictures of the Aguila and the Odyssey (which I also dove) on this page.

I gotta post another picture of the king crab. I did find one of these things underwater during the night dive, it was kinda cute. But not so cute that I won't eat them. Too delicious.

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Old 11-13-2008, 09:25 AM   #343
pdedse
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Great diving photos! Must include diving as something I need to take up at some point.

I put a pirelli mt21 on before my trip to Puerto Vallarta (from Portland, OR) and yup, at 3000 miles, the rear tire looking like it's on its way out.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:19 PM   #344
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And Now... More Ruins!



I need to slow down on the ruins... "I went to Copan, I took these pictures, no I didn't buy a tshirt". It's not fair, Copan is beautiful! But after Monte Albán, Mitla, Teotihuacán, the Templo Mayor, Malinalco... I don't know if I ever need to see another ball court.

A flock of wild Macaws lives there:







Compare the picture on the one-lempira note:



With this scene:



The most remarkable feature of Copan is a tall staircase whose steps have all been carved with pictographs. Nothing else like this has been discovered in the Mayan world. Unfortunately most steps are no longer legible.



My favorite piece, a sacrifice stone. Human blood once dripped down the curved channels.



Copan was built right next to a bend in a river, which over the centuries has been eroding the ancient city. Before the government of Honduras rerouted the river, it had destroyed nearly half of the remains. What's left is still impressive.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:13 AM   #345
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Honduras: Closing Thoughts

I was *elated* to return to Guatemala.

Honduras is, hands down, my least favorite country in Central America. It is a reasonably pretty country by world standards and makes a better vacation destination than, say, Kansas. However, the only parts that I found remarkable were the well-touristed bay islands. There are no pretty colonial cities and few trees left near any of the populated areas.

It may be that I have been soured by my frequent interaction with the bureaucracies of Honduras. Entering twice, exiting twice, ferry parking, and receiving a shipped part is enough to make me wish for a new civil war down there. The customs process is a nightmare that makes every story you've heard about the Interamericana border crossing look as simple as ordering pizza. If a professional delivery guy had not taken pity and raced me all over town in the final few minutes before closing, your humble narrator would have been stuck in Tegucigalpa - my least favorite city in my least favorite country - for yet another weekend. Of course they like to pile on storage charges while they're jerking you around, so it should not surprise anyone that it took them a couple days to return my repeated phone calls and get the process started at nearly the last possible moment.

While individual Hondurans are pretty nice, the culture of bureaucracy manifests every so often to ruin your impression. All malls and shopping centers have separate parking for motorcycles, far in the back. The lot can be *completely empty* but if you pull your big shiny motorcycle into one of the convenient spots, five guards will immediately pounce on you and tell you that you need to move. Once, upon discovering that the motorcycle area was a dark, unwatched recess in the back of an underground garage, I got in a shouting match with the manager. He acquiesced only after making sure I was just running into a fast-food joint to get some breakfast to go.

In civilized countries, special motorcycle parking is in front.

If this lack of proper respect for the two-wheeled altar does not put you off the country, consider this: Honduras is the only country in Central America where American-style fast-food chains dominate over mom-and-pop comedores.
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stickfigure screwed with this post 11-14-2008 at 12:57 AM
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