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Old 11-14-2008, 09:09 AM   #346
pdedse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure
...Honduras is...a reasonably pretty country by world standards and makes a better vacation destination than, say, Kansas.
You have GOT to be kidding me!!! That hurts. I'm a NATIVE--Topeka rocks!!

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Originally Posted by stickfigure
It may be that I have been soured by my frequent interaction with the bureaucracies of Honduras.
I think becoming soured by circumstances simply happens from time to time. It's not like you flew from the States to a resort area and hung out for a week at the beach, where you would be catered to. Had you done so, Honduras maybe rates 5 stars, who knows. But the motorcycle parking in the back does seem ridiculous!

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...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
These are the folks I try to remember and not the unpleasant ones, but it's so hard to forget when you get ripped off or taken advantage of!

Still, I'll bet there's a couple hundred folk reading who wouldn't mind trading places with you. Remember where you are and what you're doing...you could be in Kansas!!!!
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:04 AM   #347
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Still, I'll bet there's a couple hundred folk reading who wouldn't mind trading places with you. Remember where you are and what you're doing...you could be in Kansas!!!!
I hope that didn't come across as too sour, a lot if it was tongue-in-cheek! I did have a good time, despite the annoyances, and Roatan was great. I met some wonderful people, including the guy at the KTM shop in San Pedro Sula that led me across town to a tire shop looking for something that would fit.

However, compared to neighboring countries (especially Guatemala), I don't see much reason to go back to Honduras!

In all seriousness, my only memory of driving across Kansas is... CORN
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:43 PM   #348
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Originally Posted by stickfigure
However, compared to neighboring countries (especially Guatemala), I don't see much reason to go back to Honduras!

In all seriousness, my only memory of driving across Kansas is... CORN
I can't talk, I visited Copan and then drove to Tegu, stayed one night and was in Costa Rica the next day. Must spend more time there. Corn? That was Iowa. Wheat is what we have in Kansas! It's so much prettier.
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:34 AM   #349
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdedse
You have GOT to be kidding me!!! That hurts. I'm a NATIVE--Topeka rocks!!


Remember where you are and what you're doing...you could be in Kansas!!!!
There was an RR awhile back that inspired me to go search Kansas more closely. Pony Express Trail and lots of old west history. Though it was pretty neat. And western Kansas is not without it's fine roads. ;-)
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:40 AM   #350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickfigure
However, compared to neighboring countries (especially Guatemala), I don't see much reason to go back to Honduras!
i completely agree with you!

btw, not that this helps now, but just over in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala you can find any size tires you're looking for. cheap!
plus riding into PB on an adventure bike, you're an instant hero!! and it's exactly the feeling you need after the headache that is Honduras.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:51 AM   #351
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Changing The Cast

After a night in Chiquimula, we arrived in Guatemala City. The roads were quite exciting; heavy rainfall created many landslides so we were dodging both large rocks and heavy earthmoving equipment in the road.

Guatemala Provided us a desperately-needed KTM/Ducati shop. Both my KTM and Gavin's Multistrada went in for service and I got a new MT90 rear tire. The shop itself was hard to find, having recently moved and changed its name. The shop is now called Motomania and located at N 14°35'31.8" W 90°30'29.5". If you plan on getting service in Guatemala, remember these GPS coordinates - you will not find a reliable address anywhere online. Even their website is nothing but a header and lorem ipsum.

In Guatemala City, Gavin made the decision to suspend his motorcycle trip indefinitely. He left his bike at Motomania for repairs and flew back to the US. The reasons are myriad; work responsibilities were pressing and greencard-related issues complicated the situation, but most of all he just wasn't enjoying the riding. Before we parted ways in Tabasco we were already arguing over routes; Gavin has started at least one description of our travels with "Of course, Jeff needed to take the worst possible route..." I do not argue with this characterization. It's what I love.

In truth, what is fun on a KTM or a KLR may not be so much fun on a Ducati. I think also that Gavin's emotional ability to enjoy the trip was damaged significantly by his accident. In any case, it was probably best for our mutual long-term sanity to part ways. I will look forward to riding again with Gavin back in the US, but for now I am fortunate that Nir shares my enthusiasm for crumbling pavement and came shod for the adventure.

The story picks up a couple new characters here. Scott, my close friend and business partner who briefly visited us in Guanajuato, has started a year of backpacking in an erratic pattern that will ultimately end in Argentina. He met us in Antigua and spent some time traveling with us by bus, catching up at various points. Also, my dear friend and roommate Jenny flew in to Guatemala for a week.
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Old 11-15-2008, 01:48 PM   #352
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Antigua



I skipped Antigua on the way down so I'm glad I visited on the way back. Antigua may be the prettiest city in Central America. It's like a living museum, chock-full of well-preserved colonial buildings, decaying old churches, nice restaurants, and (naturally) tourists. Strangely, I took very few pictures.

Public washbasins from time past:



Decaying monastery:





The monastery includes a basement into which we could almost lock Scott and Jenny:



We stayed at the Jungle Party Hostel. One night was "ladies night", which involved sharply discounted drinks for ladies or at least people dressed like ladies:



Antigua also marked the beginning of the Israeli Invasion. Somehow I failed to notice this before. If you owned a hotel or a restaurant in Guatemala and had never seen a globe, you would be absolutely convinced that:

1. Israel is the biggest nation on the planet.

2. Israelis only live to the age of 30, at which point they presumably vanish in some sort of dark ceremony like Logan's Run.

Actually, Israel has mandatory military service for all men (3 years) and women (2 years). They get out of the army around age 21 with a small cache of savings and a lot of time to contemplate what next to do with their lives. Most grow their hair out and travel. This sometimes leads to a bad rep among other tourists because they tend to travel in large groups, party hard, and speak Hebrew to each other; however, nearly all Israelis speak good English and all the ones I met were quite personable.

Nir has taught me some essential Hebrew phrases:




PhraseTranslation
Ma'amitzov!What's up!?
SababaOK
Effo ha 'hatooleya?Where is the street food?*

* Literally, "where is the place they sell cat meat?"

You would be surprised how useful this is to know.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:36 PM   #353
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Back To Lago Atitlan

Scott and Jenny took a bus to Panajachel while Nir and I found a backroad that cut more or less directly from Antigua to Pana. It was wet.





We spent a couple nights each in Pana and San Pedro. Surprise surprise, San Pedro has several great Israeli restaurants. I recommend the eggplant in sweet soya sauce at Zoola, or the hummus anywhere!

We also kayaked from San Pedro to San Marcos:







San Marcos is a famous hippie haven. This sign advertises classes in Meditation, Tarot, Kabalah, Astral Travelling, and "Esoteric Studies"... uh, yeah. I'll stick with the motorcycle.



As if the day had not been quite exciting enough, we crossed back directly across the lake despite choppy water and a threatening storm:



In keeping with my strict policy of "Every 10 months whether it needs it or not" I finally washed my ride suit!



This was the end of Jenny's trip; she took a shuttle back to Guate and flew back home, where she is hopefully preventing my friends from burning down my apartment in one last great raging party before I get back.
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:54 PM   #354
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Originally Posted by stickfigure
In keeping with my strict policy of "Every 10 months whether it needs it or not" I finally washed my ride suit!
Wow. I've been on the road a little over three weeks and I'm (thankfully) having my jacket washed tomorrow. It smells like wild animals have been birthed in it. Several generations.
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:23 AM   #355
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Wow. I've been on the road a little over three weeks and I'm (thankfully) having my jacket washed tomorrow. It smells like wild animals have been birthed in it. Several generations.
A few major downpours will fix that right up for ya

Jeff
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:08 AM   #356
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hi jeff,

thanks for the ride report---I find myself checking it every 3 or 4 days. it's addictive.

I'm planning a trip for myself similar to yours for next year. I'll be using my husqvarna sm610...can't wait and I'm learning so much by reading your RR.

do you actually use the GPS? I was planning on not taking one...or do you find yourself asking the locals more than using the GPS?

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Old 11-17-2008, 01:37 AM   #357
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thanks for the ride report---I find myself checking it every 3 or 4 days. it's addictive.

I'm planning a trip for myself similar to yours for next year. I'll be using my husqvarna sm610...can't wait and I'm learning so much by reading your RR.

do you actually use the GPS? I was planning on not taking one...or do you find yourself asking the locals more than using the GPS?
Thanks man... you're going to have one hell of a great time. People are going to come out of nowhere all the time asking what that pretty bike is. I haven't seen a single husky on this trip!

Aside from bike and armor, the GPS is the single most important piece of kit I brought. I cannot imagine what this trip would be like without it... actually I can, because the Zumo is unfortunately not a very durable piece of equipment and I spent several weeks with it only partially operable. It was hell. Even with imperfect or nonexistant maps, a GPS lets you get off the main highways and still be confident you're heading in roughly the right direction.

Seriously, if you are like me and prefer the most obscure route possible between point A and point B, bring a GPS and load it with as many map sets as you can find. I'm quite happy with the Bicimapas, it has a *lot* of little dirt roads in Mexico. I wish I had discovered smellybiker.com maps before I got to Panama rather than after. Neither map set is perfect but combined with paper maps (get the Guia Roji book for Mex/Guate/Belize) you can usually find a pretty good adventure and still make progress towards your eventual destination.

I found that the better my maps, the more adventure I had. Wandering around and backtracking gets old after a while so when my maps were terrible I tended to stick to bigger roads. You can ask people too but (like the maps) they often have no idea what they're talking about but speak with absolute authority, so this is certainly no substitute for maps.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Zumo and I'm not sure I would buy it again. I love the feature set and I am reasonably happy with the user interface but the construction quality is very poor. I've already replaced one cradle, the 2nd is on its way out, and the main unit is rapidly self-destructing - two buttons have already popped out. It cannot handle a year on the road. Very disappointing for a $700 piece of equipment.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:23 AM   #358
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If you need anything while in Guatemala, let me know.... 5701-1658.


Ride safe!
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:35 AM   #359
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If you need anything while in Guatemala, let me know.... 5701-1658.
Thanks! But I'm actually catching up the story from a hostel in Mexico City. Sad to say but within two weeks I will be home

Jeff
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:11 PM   #360
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Jeff,

Thanks a lot for the feedback on the GPS idea. You've pretty much sold me on it, that the better my mapping situation is, the more adventure I'll have. I definitely want to be traveling off the beaten track as much as possible. And I can also just picture the situation of relying on people for directions---how that could end up being a big Debbie Downer. Everyone would have different opinions and think they are right, because they are trying to help and just want to be the one that is your navigational hero.

I checked out that smellybiker site too and that looks great. Nothing better than a product made by someone who's sick of the most well known GPS provider. It seems to have a bit of an "open source" vibe about it too which always appeals to me...(why I got the google g1 instead of the iphone)

About the Husky...I bought it a few months ago with street riding only in mind and had been thinking a DR650 would be the steed for the Latin American trip...however the more I ride the Husky the more I feel it'd do just find on a big trip.

Thanks again for your advice on the GPS and hope you have a safe finale to your amazing trip.

Luck,

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