|05-07-2010, 09:47 AM||#16|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Washington DC
The next day we made our way into Nicaragua. Just before the border Nate and Lindsey split off and entered a bit further east. They wanted some custom made leather boots, which they heard were quite cheap to have made in Nicaragua. We’d meet up randomly on the island of Ometepe. We never really made plans to meet somewhere, it would just happen.
Cindy and I pushed on to Leon where we stayed at a cool little hotel that had turtles walking around its courtyard. Cindy’s flight was two days out and we spent a peaceful couple days walking around Leon before making a break for Managua so she could catch her flight. We didn’t really get ourselves much time to get her to the airport so it was a mad dash. I got pulled over at a speed trap the local cops had setup. About four of them sitting around radar gunning, I passed in a no passing zone. Which I did, but there was a plane to catch. With so many of them together, it made it difficult for me to bribe. Basically I just told them I have to catch a flight that leaves in an hour, threw down a $20 on their trunk and said I’m paying my ticket now! They wanted more; I told them it’s all I had. It was the most expensive bribe of the trip. We barely made it to the airport. Say our goodbyes and away she goes. I’m on my own again.
Just inside Nicaragua
Nice courtyard at the hotel
My next destination was Granada for a few days then I wanted to catch the ferry to Ometepe. I proceeded to get pulled over three more times going to Granada. It was ridiculous, the first time I didn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign, the second time I didn’t use my turn signal while making a turn, the last time I didn’t even let him tell me what I did wrong. I was so pissed off at this point I just pulled out 5 bucks held it up, told the guy that I didn’t care what infraction he was going to make up, this was the third time being stopped in 2 hours, and told him to take the money ladrón. He did, I sped off. It was almost refreshing just cutting through the bullshit story and saving myself 10 minutes of pissing around.
Granada was alright, the nice colonial part of town seemed a bit sterile for me in a way. One big tourist strip, I got the picture of the yellow cathedral and continued on.
Pain in the ass getting the bike on this little boat heading for Ometepe. The ferry was done running so this was it. I love the sense of adventure of pushing a bike onto a boat with a 2x8x12 one mishap and my bike is on the bottom of the lake.
It was a pleasant ride across.
Here is the island. I really grew attached to it after a few days. The locals are much more laid back than the rest of Nicaragua.
Its night by the time we make the trip, upon lifting the bike down the workers sheer off the gear shift lever. Great. I end up searching around for someone that can weld in town. Yes, on the BMW its aluminum, no one has the ability to weld it, which I kind of figured. Eventually find a mechanic that knows the owner of the local motorcycle shop. It's late, I'm beat. We take a Kawasaki shifter, widen the opening and make it work. I roll into a hostel, drink a liter of beer and pass out.
Next day I decide to do a bit of riding around the island. I need to get out of the town where the ferry docks and decide to ride to the other volcano. These two separate volcanoes are joined by a strip of land that created one large island. I found this great place to stay right on the lake front, the sound of the waves was great in the evenings.
Remember that tropical depression? It dumped here as well, the lake was really high.
I did a bit of swimming, it was a hell of a lot of fun. There are actually sharks in the lake. Bull sharks can swim up river like a salmon to enter the lake. I thought the locals were just messing with me but I later checked it out to be true...
The hotel was on the north side of the east island. The owner was this nice middle aged man that enjoyed talking to me about the German girls that also were staying there. The best part about this was the fact that I was the only guest that spoke Spanish and we would be having this daily conversation with everyone around, including the German girls. The conversation normally turned to how white their skin was, the color of their eyes, their breasts, ass and legs. I encouraged this behavior of course, and told him that the shorter one would sometimes look at him while he was working. I told him that German girls were very strong and powerful, he agreed and his mind wandered.
There were three Irish guys staying there as well from Wexford, Ireland. I grew up in Wexford, PA outside of Pittsburgh. Much drinking ensued. These boys could drink; luckily I had been prepping for this moment since beginning this trip. In the end everyone either passed out or went to bed and it was just me sitting outside. I took a last shot of whiskey just because and went to bed.
A sloppy night, here they are singing "The Boys of Wexford" everyone got a bit choked up as it was a bit emotional. It commemorates the Irish Rebellion of 1798. It was quite amazing bringing together Wexford boys from two different continents.
'We are the boys of Wexford,
Who fought with heart and hand
To burst in twain the galling chain
And free our native land.'
This version is pretty close. It really takes me back.
All of us did an 8 hour volcanic hike the next morning, god knows why. We didn't realize that they weren't going to serve us breakfast as part of the deal and found ourselves with no food the entire day. Made for an interesting day, someone had a can of coke which we split amongst all 8 of us. The taller German girl bitched the entire time.
On the way up
Amazing view before going into the clouds
No doubt it was a tough hike. Here is the truck on the way back
The tall one, always so pleasant.
Nate and Lindsey showed up the following day having spotted my bike from the road. Everyone else was headed toward San Juan Del Sur. Nate, Lindsey and I would catch up with them down there but first we discovered a yearly festival on the island with a rodeo. Next post, a raging bull nearly destroyed both of our bikes and we accidentally ate horse.
lukeman screwed with this post 05-11-2010 at 09:06 AM
|05-07-2010, 01:40 PM||#17|
Joined: Nov 2008
Looking forward to the rest. I remember you telling us some of these stories. It's great to see the pictures :)
2up to TDF (San Francisco to Ushuaia): http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=404564
Nina screwed with this post 05-07-2010 at 01:47 PM
|05-07-2010, 02:01 PM||#19|
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: nw1/4 ne1/4 Section 11
Nice ride. I am looking hard at the old K's right now, nice to see one out doing its thing. Enjoy the ride!
|05-07-2010, 02:37 PM||#20|
Joined: Nov 2001
Location: in The Cloud
What a great read! I wish I was on the road and visiting the places you've described so well.
Thanks for taking the time to write, download photos and post. We love it!
"Converting oxygen to carbon dioxide since 1951."
|05-11-2010, 08:37 AM||#21|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Washington DC
Nate, Lindsie and I decided to try to ride around the east island. The road conditions where terrible. When we were nearly at the point of calling it a day we turned a corner and found a ton of people mingling around. Jackpot.
Large tented areas had been setup, girls were all wearing their finest, and the men were all drunk. Not realizing at first what was going on we pulled off and decided to partake in the festivities. Beers were promptly ordered from the typical Rubbermaid outdoor chairs which had years of dirt and grime built up. A rodeo area had been setup in the center of the action, couldn't wait to see what would be going down. The amount of drunks around was pretty intense, it was early in the afternoon and the locals were drinking what appeared to be homemade hard alcohol. Apparently this happens on the weekends one month out of the year, it celebrates a patron saint so we were lucky to have seen this.
Nate and I were particularly hungry, the waitress said that the only thing they had left was something that sounded like mabeyo. Some of the locals had a thick accent which made understanding them nearly impossible for any of us. "Sure whatever we'll take that, two plates."
Later the plates come back with meat that I didn't recognize, it was particularly pungent and not looking all that appetizing. After having a couple bites, I couldn't get any more down, nor could Nate. It dawned on me that she was saying Caballo. Horse. I imagine it must have been some ancient work horse recently (or not so recently) deceased and now sitting on my plate.
About this same time, a random guy came up and told us something about our motorcycle. I couldn't understand a damn thing he was saying. We responded yeah those were our bikes parked on the side of the road on the edge of a gully. He came back about 5 minutes later excitedly saying something about our motorcycles again. "Yeah, they are fine."
The entire trip people would always talk about the bikes so we just brushed it off as that. A few minutes after that an American girl who was volunteering on the island told us that the locals kept saying that we had to move our bikes, there was a crowd gathering around the street and the excitement level was growing. People were yelling, shouting, and generally carrying on. We decided that it was a good time to move them after all the insistence.
There was a massive amount of people gathered now all of whom were completely wasted. We were a bit tipsy ourselves and weren't planning on getting on the bikes for a while. We fired them up, moved them off by an open area where some other cars were parked. As we are dismounting, cowboys were trotting around the road, whistling and yelling. The crowd roared, it was hitting a crescendo. There must have been around 500 people lined up on both sides of the road. The three of us weren't sure what the hell was going down, and we were starting to get a bit worried.
Out of nowhere, running down the street a group of really pissed off bulls! WTF. The cowboys have been provoking them all morning it seemed and they were in a state of blood lust. Right where our motorcycles previously were, the biggest of the bulls goes apeshit. A small vendor stand is absolutely gored. Potato chips and plastic bottles go flying as the entire stand is flipped over and rolls down into the gully. I have visions of the motorcycles being tossed into the ditch. The bull snorts and kicks into the soil looking for more. The three of us look at each other.
The crowd cheers and the cowboys lasso the bull and begin getting in under control. Eventually the mini running of the bulls ends and the rodeo starts. We buy tickets and take our spot in the crowd, not really sure what we paid money to see. The local men proceeded to ride the bulls, the macho young men of the community are showing off for the young ladies.
The thing is, the bulls are just field animals, thrown into the ring once a year, much to their own dismay I'm sure. Once on top the men would cattleprod the bulls into a fury so they would be more entertaining. This went on for quite some time. All the riders were shitfaced, and I hoped that a bull would get a piece of one or two of the dumb asses that kept provoking them.
A good day to ride.
This is the dominant bull, the one that thrashed the cart.
The crowd. I nearly expected the stands to fall into the ring and all hell break loose.
Beers and bull riding.
Might be fitting to put in what my Che shirt says.
"Muchos me dirán aventurero, y lo soy,
sólo que de un tipo diferente:
De los que ponen el pellejo
para demostrar sus verdades"
"Many will call me an adventurer, and I am,
only in a different type:
Of those who risk their skins
to demonstrate your truths"
Here is a video of the rodeo ring. Link to my picasa page, will embed it shortly.
The next day we decided to head back to the mainland. Nate and Lindsie had their boots to pick up and I decided to reconvene with the Irish in San Juan del Sur. This time the big ferry was running and it was going to make life a lot easier getting the bikes across the lake. Turns out we had another adventure before getting onto the ferry. The lake was so high that it flooded the entryway onto the ferry. It had been high for a few days now and the normally clean cement now had a layer of algae slime. The locals weren't sure we could make it across as the water was fairly deep in some parts.
Soon enough we had an audience building to see the riding of the gringos through the lake. Always a spectacle. We talked to a truck driver who was also boarding and thought it best for him to go first so we could see how high the water came up on his truck. It was deep, but we thought we could do it. By this point there was no turning back, I'm not one to let down a crowd and i liked the thought of the badassness of riding through two and a half feet of water to get on a ferry. The muffler on our bikes were quiet low and really didn't want to stop and get it stalled in front of the crowd.
Wait we have to ride through that to get on the ferry?
I got a bit carried away and gave a lot of throttle at the end, you can hear the exhaust and can see the back end come out as I showboated. Glad I got it back under control...
lukeman screwed with this post 05-11-2010 at 09:10 AM
|05-12-2010, 08:57 AM||#22|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Washington DC
I spent about a week or so in San Juan del Sur. Spent Halloween there as well, which was really insane. Nate and I decided to dress in Drag while Lindsie was dressed as a male trucker. I though I got a lot of attention driving a big bmw motorcycle through central america. I was wrong.
I got a lot more attention as a 6'5" woman wearing a bright yellow sarong. The whistles that Nate and I got were pretty ridiculous. I was grouped multiple times by Nicaraguan men... I did get a fair amount of attention from the ladies as well. A sexually repressed society? I didn't care to delve any deeper into the matter. Debated about putting up a picture. What the hell I have very little shame.
No PMs please.
The next day I made my way into Costa Rica, crossing the border wasn't too bad. I realized later that I still had mascara and eyeliner on. Maybe it expedited my crossing, don't F with the goth motorcycle guy. A bit of a hungover border crossing which is always bad news.
I made my way down to Liberia which is the first city coming from Nicaragua. Found a random cheap hotel where I was looking to detox, it was like 10-15 a night or so I believe. Detoxing didn't last long as some people I met from Granada were staying there as well. Be sure to drink as much Flor de Cana as you can get in Nicaragua. It is dirt cheap and is actually really tasty. The 7 year is the bottle to be had. Normally the transition was the Flor to the floor. Shortly there after the Seguin boys rolled into the hotel. From the thread South America: Until our Luck or Money Runs Out, new motorcycles friends, I had left Nate and Lindsie as they were doing some romantic camping around the beaches of Nicaragua. We had dinner, the next day they were off to Monteverde, I had my sights set on the beaches not more jungle.
Costa Rica does have some amazing beaches.
These are west of Liberia, along the coast all the way down to Tamarindo.
I made my base in Liberia for a few nights and hit the beaches to the west, it was only a 45 minute drive and the place was so much cheaper than hotels on the coast.
This one for instance, the Four Seasons in Costa Rica. I didn't stay here but wound up here exploring. I did talk the guards into giving me a walking pass to check out the grounds. It was $75 bucks to get a drink wristband that allowed me the privilege of buying 15 dollar drinks. It was deserted, extremely yuppie, and a nice big wall surrounding it from the real Costa Rica. No thanks.
I did like the idea of a pool bar. Why make the effort to get out of the pool to order a new drink?
Eventually I got back on the road again. I didn't really have a set goal in mind. Costa Rica is pretty expensive compared to Nicaragua, and wanted to continue moving down getting close to Panama. Nothing major until hitting San Jose, which is a bit of a pain in the ass. It seemed as though every time I wanted to zip through a city I found myself at the city center without fail. So i did end up driving past the El Centro, then it took quite a while to make my way to the road that would take me to Panama. I asked lots of cops, everyone gave a different answer, eventually I found where I needed to go.
Lost again, missed a turn that was unmarked. I know someone else made it to this church by accident on advrider.
I was a bit unprepared for the high altitude of the next section of road. I should have gotten off and geared up into every cold weather clothing I had (wasn't much). When I did decide to pull off and put on some warmer gloves and more layers, I was probably pretty close to hypothermia. It was raining, the air temperature was in the low 40s I suspect and I reached the point where my brain wasn't functioning correctly. I've been cold before, i was at the stage of a numb euphoria where you are pleasantly numb and logical decision making goes out the window.
Finally I decide to pull off the road and warm up. I go to put the bike on the center stand, which was how i normally stood it up, and in my numbness the bike just falls over opposite of me. I'm half frozen, don't have the energy to lift the damn thing up. Shit. I don't want to take everything off of it, I can't feel my fingers enough to work the BMW bag latches or my tie-downs.
I flag down a guy on a motorcycle to help me lift it up. He is really scared for me because he things I laid it down, I leisurely tell him that it fell over. No wreak, just fell over.
We get it up and he pulls away. I'm putting on my thicker gloves but can't feel if my fingers are going into the correct places. Out of nowhere I hear a a "Hey, whats going on!" It the Seguin boys again coming to my rescue. I tell them I just pushed the bike over and smile, I'm obviously not thinking straight. It was a real life saver having them show up, Joe led the way and it is so much easier to ride just following someone's line. The fog was extremely thick, the road wet and slick, we just kept going up high and higher. I knew at some point we'd have to hit the pass and start going downhill, I just focused on that.
We made it down, it was the most dangerous part of the trip for me by far. Night was approaching, it was again 80 degrees at lower altitude and it breathed new life into me. The coldness washed away. We made it Domincal in complete darkness after a grueling 11-12 hour day riding. For some reason we didn't get a picture together, but I do have proof.
Shot of the accommodation
The next morning
I did some boogie boarding the next day or two in the extremely high surf, not for the faint of heart. Almost drown after a particularly rough spill. Anyway Joe and Charles left for Panama and I chilled out for another day in Costa Rica. Another storm came and it was a day long wet ride to David, Panama.
|05-12-2010, 09:28 AM||#23|
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Central VA- right on the way
if this is the Matrix why can't I at least ride a wheelie -Pork Butt
Be seated on the porch at Yokum's store and after a while a friend will ride in. - Old Lion
What is wrong with you guys? -RapidWife
|05-12-2010, 02:26 PM||#24|
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Hanford CA
I clicked on this because my next purchase (hopefully) is going to be a K75/K100, but am THOROUGHLY enjoying this! Thanks for eventually finishing it, do you think you'll do a write-up of the latest trip to purchase a vehicle? :)
You never did mention what you do down in south America, do/did you live/work there?
|05-12-2010, 08:37 PM||#25|
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: The State of Misery
Excellent ride report! You know how to travel in style...lots of beer, hawt womens, and good bikes.
2003 Suzuki SV650s
EX: 1986 BMW K100
EX: 1989 Yamaha YX600 Radian
****On the prowl for a low-budget Ural.****
|05-12-2010, 09:00 PM||#26|
Go BaBy Go...
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Bikini Bottom
"Our Journey Is Still Far Away..."
"The Road May End... But Brotherhood Is Never End..."
|05-14-2010, 06:30 AM||#27|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Washington DC
Go to Bocas!
After riding all day in the pouring rain made it into Panama, the last hurrah. The feeling of traversing continents on motorcycle was amazing and would reach the pinnacle further down in Panama City. Until then I still had some time to explore Panama.
I made it into David (damn that doesn’t sound good , and after the Halloween picture… ), randomly found a cheap business hotel. Sometimes it’s a bit rough staying in hostel dorms after a hard day of riding, just want to crash, and people are loud and drunk. I was cold, wet, exhausted and splurged $40 on a decent room, hot water, and a TV. I did all laundry in the sink, ended up getting blisters wringing it out (dumb), and turned on the AC to rid the room of humidity.
From there it was up to Boquete. Or at least a bit north of David at the river hostel. I’m not sure if it’s still around; two guys had bought the place, fixed it up some and opened it. I’ve heard they have some crazy parties there; it was pretty empty during my time.
View of Boquete
The waterfall hostel. The pipe there feeds into swimming pools (fugly, but functional), constantly refreshing the water.
Being an avid Cribbage player, I was excited about what is the largest board i've ever seen.
Next it was up and over to Bocas del Toro. Which was probably one of the highlights of the trip. I left the bike on the mainland, parked at a lot for a few bucks a day. You can also park it at the local fire department for even less. It was hard leaving the bike, I hadn't been away from her for a few months or so.
Had amazing weather, on the ride over the continental divide.
Could have spent all day up here.
While taking pictures a man that lived on the mountain invited me onto his property to take pictures from off his back porch. He owned little but had very much as far as I was concerned.
The other side was not as scenic. It was cold and poured on me. All down hill on a crazy road, switchback after switchback. Eventually I parked the bike and caught a speed boat to Bocas. Bocas is awesome! The water is immaculate, the party scene is superb. I stayed at Mondo Taitu. My road weariness was gone upon hitting the island. I proceed to swim, sail, drink the next 5 or 6 nights. As a health warning, stay away from the local girls , a guy I met got his jaw broken from a group of 5 locals after he was hitting on one of their girlfriends. Stick to the tourist, which is probably true in most places.
I'm not sure if others have had the same experience but I tended to meet up with the same people that were going the same direction as I was. I had met a group guys and girls at Granada. I ran into the same group in Liberia randomly at the hotel i stayed at. There was nothing like pulling the bike in, seeing people that I knew having a tall rum and coke waiting for me.
It was really the perfect storm in Bocas. Almost everyone I met during the entire trip had randomly showed up in Bocas together. In the mornings I would pretty much groan to the crew making pancakes "What the hell happened last night?"
Getting to the island
Stopping for gas
Bocas was more beautiful than I expected
The ocean looked like shimmering waves of glass.
Some of the girls made some sand art.
You have to catch a water taxi to get to the better beaches around Bocas.
Once again Nate and Lindsie and I bumped into each other randomly on Bocas. Was having dinner outside and they walked right by.
We found a nice cliff diving spot on Red Frog Beach
We went sailing on a trimaran one of the days. It was awesome. The owner of Mondo Taitu recommended this trip. We stopped at the best snorkeling i've ever experienced, amongst mangroves. Highly recommended.
Saw dolphins. The captain remarked that everyone always wants to see the damn dolphins. The poor guy had nightmares of failing in his quest for dolphins and everyone on board being sad.
Local indigenous boy, the indigenous people are highly discriminated against. No one will hire them, are considered less than people. The captain gave him some food and water and he was much appreciative. The captain was really a great guy. He was raising his daughter alone and doing these trips to help raise a little extra cash. Much unlike the asshole who took me over to Colombia.
This is the life!
This as well
A few more nights here and it was time to make the last push towards Panama City
On the ride back over the continental divide. Low clouds. It was great to see the atlantic, drive 10 minutes and then see the pacific.
The shitshow was back in effect, now with a sweet tail. Onward to Panama City.
|05-14-2010, 08:47 AM||#28|
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Hanford CA
God I love this report. Makes me want to do something similar, if I can ever get enough money together.
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