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Old 05-10-2011, 09:12 PM   #751
ow, my balls!
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Seriously though, John is actually a great communicator. People understand him perfectly no matter what language they speak.

But, the Spanish with the Okie accent is good stuff.
Riding the Americas: No Fumar Español

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Old 05-11-2011, 05:17 PM   #752
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Originally Posted by Patagonian Fox View Post
Hi John, There si amazing Colombia, don't think so, I was there working back in late 90"s early 2000 and I can se you have a good time.
I catch you up on this RR few days later and can wait for more
Very inspiring what you doing, keep post and look further for more pic's and histories.

Thanks for following along Omar Colombia has been one of my favorite places to hang out. More ride report coming up in the next few days I hope. Look forward to getting down to your neck of the wood later this year or next

Originally Posted by SmilinJoe View Post
Looks like the Ole girl attracts more senorita's than you do John! Hell you better leave Colombia now or you may never want to!!!! Be careful my friend!! Edit here. I would rather have her standing beside the Ole girl than Crash sitting on here any day!!!
The bike makes picking up the women 110% better. +1 on Julie, that's one I would like to talk into marrying, she's a very good one Fun times in Medellin hanging out out with Vincent

Originally Posted by SmilinJoe View Post
Hey, long lost friend...this is Mary. Just wanted to write and say, COME BACK PLEASE!!! Things getting pretty crazy around here. I guess they are going to make us pull call now, which means two weeks out of a month on call. I know that just really makes you want to come back! Ha Ha. Anyways, hope you're having a blast, sure looks like it!!! Stay safe. ~Mary
I didn't come back for this but I will gladly pick up some work for you from time to time

Originally Posted by sasper View Post
Where are you at brother? Made it out of Columbia and back to Central America yet? I´ll be in Panama within the next month or so.
Now I thought I had a relaxed trip but you have brought relaxation to a whole new level I was wondering if you are going across the GAP or not?? Looks like you have had a really nice adventure! Maybe she you around down South one day

Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
Enroll in some Spanish classes while you are home... You'll enjoy your trip a lot better....
I've got plans to use that Rosetta Stone a lot more, but you know how that goes...Oh if I where fluent it would be a whole different trip, I don't think I would got as far as I did

Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
Or just drink a bunch of Old Parr and smoke cigars and you will be speaking great Portuguese.
This seems like a reasonable plan to me VincentThanks for the tip dude!

Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
With Oklahoma accent
He DOES get by OK with his "Throttle-Span" though

^^ What's up with the little red X in the box here.

If you would have stayed a few more days translating for me with Ladie it could have been even more crazy I think I do love Medellin
There is no shortage of very good incentive to learn more Spanish

Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
Seriously though, John is actually a great communicator. People understand him perfectly no matter what language they speak.
But, the Spanish with the Okie accent is good stuff.
Thanks man! I have a lot of fun and a smile goes a very long way South of the border! Very good times Amigo
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:54 PM   #753
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:47 AM   #754
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Dude, this is unreal, amazing adventure, thanks for the effort of the RR and sharing the ride. Keep it going.


See you at Cancun's soon I hope.
2007 - Vintage TAT - Ok, NM, Co

2008 - Vintage TAT - Ut, Nv, Or

2009 - Vintage TAT - NC, Tn, Ms, Ar

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Old 06-23-2011, 05:04 PM   #755
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Dec 26, 2010

Got some time to work on this again here at home so here goes...

The day after Christmas, Albert and I dragged ourselves out of our beds sometime before noon stil feeling a little sluggish after the wild night of partying and loaded back up on the bike and stopped and got a bottle of rum for our little planned celebration later that day. We headed back out that same long boring section of road for the thrid time now going back out West to the National Park headquarters where he worked that was right across the street from his coworkers at the old weather/radar station where we'd planned to have a little barbque later that afternoon. Having got back at the park headquaters and having a little time to kill before the little event started I thought I be a nice friend and let Albert have a short little ride on the bike to show my thanks for the nice evening yesterday. He'd ridden bikes before and it was mostly unloaded save for the rear panniers with the rest of my gear stored in the NP headquarters building where he worked so I offered him the chance and he gladly accepted. I talked to him about a short little test ride and he took of down the road and was quickly out of site. I figured he'd be gone for about 10 min or so and hung out at the deserted park headquaters while I waited. After about 30 min I began to really get worried and thought he might have had a problem, maybe a flat or something at the worst. I went walking down the road a half mile or so listening for the bike or seeing what I could find having no luck. I started to get pretty concerned but their was not much I could do and there was very little traffic out this side of the island because it was more less a gateway for the pennisular traffic going out to Cabo San Antonio where I'd went the other day and there was not much going on out there anyway. I had nothing better to do than go back to the headquarters and try and take a nap to pass some time.
I only got a little bit of rest as I began to think of all the horrible things that could have happened; he hadn't even taken a helmet because I thought he was only going on a really short test ride, maybe he was lying in a ditch after a bad crash, or the cops had stopped him, I knew he wasn't going to steal the bike but I was getting more worried and getting more pissed at myself for letting my poor bike out into the hands of another. I kept thinking about the possibilites that could have happened while I waited watching the time slowly pass. I tried to rest but could only lay down with my eyes shut and my mind racing over all the bad thoughts
After a couple of hours, which seemed like an eternity, I just couldn't lay down anymore and went across the street and tried to find any of Albert's friends that I'd met the day before and try to get across my concerns and show my dissappointment of Albert having taken off on the bike for so long now. I explained how it was a really big problem and only got the assurance from his coworkers that everything was fine and he would be back shortly. I was almost going nuts at this point, part or me was hoping he was okay and not lying in the ditch with a bone sticking out of his leg and the other part was furious and wanted to take his head of for abusing my good gesture of allowing him to take a "test ride" of my beloved bike.
Well after close to 4 hours I hear the famaliar sound of my bike coming down the road to my relief It was one of those moments when you are very happy and extremely pissed at the same time. As he came nearer I could see that he had some company with him. He came rolling up to the park hq with two others along with himself on my bike and as they came to a stop at the gate they promptly fell over to the leftside and now I was just sure an ankle would be broken but amazingly they got out from underneath the side of the bike unscathed. I quickly went over to help them out and got the bike righted back up and found a majorly bent side stand hoop that wouldn't allow the stand to fold back to it's normal position. As I tried to straighten it out it snapped off at the weld. Now even more pissed I told Albert I was so upset with him I couldn't even talk to him right now. He told me he'd went back to his hometown and got his friend and brought this women for me I didn't even care I was so happy to get my baby back. I just quietly went about trying to find a easy solution to rig up the side stand so I could get it out easily but after finding no easy fix I just started loading my gear up readying to leave this place that left me with such a bad experience. I got all my stuff loaded up by mid to late afternoon and Albert came over asking where I was headed and all I could say "was the fuck out of here" I hated leaving on a bad note but I thought he'd severly abused my friendship and I just had to get the hell out of there after all the thoughts that'd gone through my head that day waiting around. I took these pictures right as I was getting ready to take off:

She wasn't that hot of a girl anyway

The old weather/radar station near the West end of the island. It was also the compound where Albert and the other workers stayed when they where on their shifts:

I just had to leave and after having a quick look at my little paper map and seeing a road along the South coast I took off away from my little place of hell for a few hours. It felt so good to be back on my bike

I headed on down the coast road for a little ways and like so many roads shown on my dinky little map they where blocked off by gates and off limits to the general public or crazy motorcycle tourist like myself. This particular road along the coast ended up being a good road for quite a ways along the shore until it got to a nice resort style hotel out in the middle of nowhere I skirted along the the back of the resort and found some smaller roads and one led to a gate a little further on by a small house. I met one of the house's occupants and discovered that it was not possible to continue on down the road and had to return the same way I'd come down to the hotel. I eneded up headed back toward the hotel and came across one more possible road on and as I headed down that small track came across two English speaking German diving tourist who where out having a small walk as they where staying at the nearby resort trying to do some diving but not having much luck with the weather. I went down to the end of the track that petered out and headed back to the resort area. I met back up with the two walking back to the hotel and we visited a bit more, they even took my photo for me:

and I of them, real nice people having a good holiday:

Funny thing is I had to come right back by the park hq and the radar station once more and Albert and his girl where about in the same location they where just a hour or so earlier, I gave a weak little wave as I headed back down the most well traveled road my bike had traversed in all the island. As I was nearer Albert's home town, the low fuel light had finally come on and I was relieved to be out of this end of the island finally for the last time!

In the early evening hours I headed back out the same known roads I'd come into the Western tip of the island getting back to a place I knew had gasoline back in Sandino. I pulled up to a 24 hr station run by a nice little dude named Pirrie or something spelled like that (that's what my waypoint says). He runs the gas station part of the store that includes one of the common state owned markets that has a little food and other handy items for sale. Pirrie was very into bikes and what I could tell once sometime of mx racer or was very big into dirtbikes. I gave him a sticker and he quickly christened the station:

A real nice fellow, I wish my Spanish was better and we could have had a great time talking about bikes. Notice the shirt

He has one of the good jobs.

He could see my newest trouble with my broken kick stand hoop and was thinking of who could help me out in town with a welder but I was not in the mood to start working on the bike this evening. I'd questioned some of the locals about a local place to stay and it was mentioned there was a hotel or something nearby but it would be 20+ something CUC and I was wanting to stay on the cheap. Pirrie said it would be no problem sleeping at the station as he had two service bay areas that would work, one closed off and had the gas station office stuff and the other a pass through bay. He said I could sleep in the same bay as the office as he was going to be there all night. I unloaded the cot and sleeping bag and set about boiling up some water for a hot meal.

In the meantime many of the locals where coming into the station to check things out, sort of a little gas station get together with lots of the local bikers. We all had a fun time hanging out with our limited language skills we still got along great. One of the local main guru motorcycle mechanics brought his bike up and wanted me to have a ride, I was happy with a picture and gave him a sticker and lots of the others too.

Check out the cooling fins on that head:

And yours truely, everybody having a good laugh. All the guys want to trade bikes everytime

Some Eastern Bloc Brand IIRC:

I can't remember so many people ever watching me go to sleep and feeling so safe. I just closed my eys and drifted off to a good night's sleep. I could just hear them say to one another, "What's he doing now?" the other "Oh, he's still sleeping" A strange new feeling compared to what I'm used to but its all good and I feel safe. I like it here at this spot
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:10 PM   #756
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He's back!!! Man you are getting to the good stuff now.....

hope all is well with you amigo, I miss hanging out, telling stories and drinking beer with you.
Riding the Americas: No Fumar Español

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Old 06-24-2011, 07:25 AM   #757
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Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
He's back!!! Man you are getting to the good stuff now.....

hope all is well with you amigo, I miss hanging out, telling stories and drinking beer with you.
Hola Senor Vincent

Those days hanging out in Medellin with you where some of the most relaxing days of the whole trip so far. That is one primo spot to hole up for a while! I will be returning for sure

Needing to get this caught up finally before I lose track of too many of the small details

I've been working on all types of projects up here and basically have stopped riding since June but am looking forward to the return South once again
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:29 PM   #758
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Dec 27, 2010

Got up that morning to another small crowd, some had familiar faces and of course Pirrie who'd worked the night shift looked like he made it through the night well enough. Nice to have a friend watching over you while you sleep in a mostly public place

I loaded up my cot and sleeping bag and got ready to head more to the East and see if I could still find a ferry ticket to the Isle of Pines. I'd had a limited conversation with a guy, while I was waiting those four painful hours while Albert was out joyriding, about a ferry to the island and had found out from him that he was pretty sure I could go over to the coastal town of La Coloma and find a boat ride over to the island and have a look around. So with a destination in mind and said goodbye to my new friends, but no before a few more photos:

Nice to meet this guy, I only wish I could have spoken more with him:

I rolled out a decent hour and heading back previously known road to the tee at an old military airbase called San Julian and then got on some different roads once again and headed towards the larger city of San Juan y Martinez where I managed to get throughly lost and wandered aimlessly around the town until I determine I'd found the road I wanted heading out of town. It was always amazing how it was so hard to find the main roads, you thought you where making the best choice and then wham, that main road you thought you had just petered out. I made my way onto one of the larger towns in the West and I believe state capitol of Pinar del Rio. Once I got on the outskirts of the large city I skirted the outskirts and found HW 192 that led me down towards the short ride down to the coastal town of La Coloma. Along the way:

I got into the small town of La Coloma and went down to the harbour front and tried to inquire about any boats to the Isle of Pines with no luck. I milled around the dirty boat yards and decided I should follow the best known bet that showed on my little paper map the ferry route that went out of the port right South of the town of Batabano.
On the way into La Coloma I spotted this large lobster on the side of the road and pulled over for a photo op:

Pretty impressive metal work:

I headed back up the same road that took me down from the coast and wanting to stay off the same traveled roads as much as I could I turned off to the East just before the town of Trece de La Coloma on some smaller less traveled roads trying to ask people near the turnoff if it was a through passage but not having much luck getting good answers so I was off on another adventure.

The roads started off well enough and match somewhat what the GPS showed compared to the paper map so off I continued. It was a nice scenic route:

Big ass termite homes I think:

The road got smaller and smaller and the tracks going off in the woods became more numerous and I did my best deadreckoning to follow what I thought was an old road that corresponded with my GPS, I was relieved to find this bridge in the middle of nowhere, at least at one time this was sometype of used roadway

More cattle path than traffic use now days but I did see a set of tractor tires in the mix. Here's what the GPS is showing at this point:

I'm pretty sure the Garmin Base Map for this place was based off some 1957 Russian maps of the island back in the hey day of cold war appsLots of old roadways that used to be...but not any more, at least not for normal people.

I started dropping more waypoints as I didn't want to get too confused at this mess of little tracks in the boonies. I started riding along the edge of old fallow rough assed farm ground and then came upon this pissing looking thing, an ox I think, but thought it a water buffalo at firstHe didn't look too happy to see me:

I got a little closer with the zoom instead of getting closer myself

He quickly lost intrest in me and headed back into the woods and I continued on my way following along what I thought was the road following a small river that the last bridge got me across. The little track I was following led me back to a bad river crossing that I declined and I decided to at least back track to the little bridge in the middle of no where to get to the North side of this river and see what I could find. I got on a mostly straight shot through the country side and followed a single bicycle track of all things that evently dumped me out onto a super nice gravel road beside a large irrigation canal

I was impressed and set about some nice higher speed dirt riding along the canal side of a ways. After a good clip of riding the canal it had a crossing with 3 water level control gates where I decided to have a little canalside lunch.
On the downstream side of the valves the canal was now a normal ditch unimproved waterway that I thought might be a decent spot to do a little fishing Wasn't a damn thing biting! I did have a nice meal and I think I kinda surprised a old lady and her daughter in their horse and buggy when they discovered me eating my lunch down on the bank

Couple of little poser shots:

It was a little warm and I contemplated going for a quick swim to cool off but it wasn't that warm, the water or the temp

The unimproved side where I tried my hand at fishing:

Little shore lunch was nice, in a strange new country is always nice to be sufficient enough to be able to have your meals away from everyone and take care of one's self while traveling.

The old pound cake was pounded to say the least of crossing many borders and sailing the seas. I ate most of my MREs while in this country as they where easy to carry and simple to heat up while I was camping in the bush.

Still worked good enough, it'll make a poopI'm not here for the good food anyway, and that's something they seemed a little short on anyhow.

As I was leaving my little lunch spot I was sent off by three large vultures perched atop the valves, hope it's not a bad omen or something

I continued my way on down along the irrigation ditch and soon the majority of the tracks led me off to some muddier side tracks. Most of the bad spots had go arounds for the worst of it, but it was sometimes hard jumping and bumping through the ruts to get to the safe ground, like here where I didn't use enough throttle to bust through to the other side:

Costly errors in calculation, I did my best to not repeat
I followed along the used track and soon came upon some kinda unfriendly looking fellows having a little chat on the side of the trail. I slowed up as I passed by and gave my best friendly wave but even that didn't seem to go to well being recieved. I pushed on ahead and came to a mess of a muddy crossing. Its the kind that looks dry on top but you know from previous muddy pits you've recently encountered that its a muddy mess from hell underneath that top firm looking crust of temptation that you really want to be on the other side of. I got off the bike for closer inspection and it didn't look good down the maintrack that the local users had keep going around the worst of it farther to the good side until that had encroached on an old rice field on the edge of the track. This should have been a warning sign that I failed to take heed School of hard knocks can put you in good shape

I chose what seemed to be the best. There was a sliver of a track where the old fence used to be before the local traffic pushed the path back into the farmer's harvested rice field. I intended to hug the ridge of this rough bit of ground and hope for the best. Off I went with poor results.

My first result ended up with the back end falling through and stopping me in my tracks here:

Knowing what was at hand, I unloaded some of my gear and carried over to the hard on the other side all the while kinda hoping and kinda not hoping the two unfriendly fellows would come on up the track after surely hearing me stick it in the mud. They never showed, but I'm almost sure they where watching me wallow in the mud from a concealed vantage point in the distance. This is another prime examplewhen hard panniers come in handy as you can use them as levers and support to sit your bike on them without squezzing the piss out of all your gear like you would in a soft bag
In sticky mud like this the only way I could get the bike's ass end freed from the death grip of the mud's suction was to pry the bike over onto its side and wiggle it to a fresh spot for the rear tire to try again on firmer ground. This shit sucked, stupid rice field:

About this time the only passersby in a horse and buggy where a mother and daughter who like all the other local seems to think this was the best side to cross this muddy obstacle was the same side I was working on. I got out of the way best I could and smiled as the horse timidly approached the mess and worked hard pulling the rocking coil sprung buggy across the rutted up rice paddy crossing. They didn't offer help nor did I expect it as I was still thinking the previously mentioned two gentlemen where getting their bellyfulls of laugh at my ongoing struggles.

I had pried the bike loose once and forcefully yanked at my poor bike using the front and rear boxes to kinda crabwalk the bike over to better traction. I righted the bike once more and started up moving forward only gaining few precious inches on the soft soil before getting locked down in the muck again. I knew at this point I was going to need some serious floatation help to get loose from this trap. I set about gathering up all the loose sticks I could find, surprisely only few where availiable without me digging loose my hacket to chop more, I then positioned what I had to form a floatation road on sticks that could help support the weight of the bike on the firmer surface this hole. After man handleling the bike to this decent spot to attack the situation:

The view from farther back as I readied myself for the big push to freedom:

I got the sticks laid out in short road that would only allow me to get the bike forward a couple feet before having to leap frog my sticks to make the next push forward. I had good luck doing this walking and pushing from along side the bike and after a few cycles of moving the pieces I got free to the other side much to my relief and rewarded myself with a bunch of waterWhat a relief and a real SOB but I won again and was even a little more pround in the end thinking I could have been having a small audience watching the outcome from afar taking bets on wether or not I'd make it out

I continued on down the little track and came to a good little creek crossing from the damned up irrigation ditch that I'd come around:

Doesn't look like much but had a nice deep spot in the middle and had some good volume flowing through coming from the damn

I had worked pretty hard and was ready for some easier roads to work my way over to Batabano on the faster roads. After I crossed the creek I was in some prime cohiba land and took a photos of the little babies

Notice no freaking side stand hoop made it a PITA to reach down and extract the stand everytime I stopped

I was beating on those poor pannier, got a little muddy and filled up my last big dent on the side:

I started making good time on the faster roads and wanted to get on over to see about the ferry down to that other island. As I was heading up to the National autopista A4 I passed this nice looking little railway station along my route and snapped a photo as I passed. I was very impressed with the amount of passenger rail traffic that the country used, they had rail lines all over the place and the track infastructure didn't look to be in very good shape for the most part, maybe they just take it nice and slow.

I got back up to the main road and started eating some miles moving to the East as quick as I could. I got on the A4 and blasted to Taco Taco just to the West of Los Pinos where I crossed my track coming out to the West end of the island finishing off a big loop.
Lots of this going on after my battle in the mud:
I continued on for a long ways until I came into the far outskirts of Havana's West side near La Lisa before finally pulling over at one of the national roadside eateries for some well deserved hot food.
I'll have some of that:

Plus a little rice for filler and some TuCola and I was good, had some interesting conversation with somelocals while I had my dinner.

Near Havanna a person is on the narrow part of the island, so I headed South down towards the coast and then turned East along a main road towards my goal of Batabano for the night to check on the boat. In the late afternoon hours on that road I took to the East I came upon a deserted looking military training grounds and a lone tank sittting in the field a short ways off the road behind a fence with an open gate, looked to good to pass up but from what I've learned here their is almost always someone around when you least expect them to be there so I declined the bike+tank photo and just shot the tank from the roadside:

Maybe should have sneaked out there to put a sticker on it

I pushed on and finally made it down to the port town where the ferry disembarks for the Isle of Pines and find the security station and tried to gain some information about the next boat. Coming through the dirty and tough looking little port town of Surgidero de Batabano I picked up a follower on a bike who spoke a little English as he dad was a CubanAmerican and obviously had some connections in this small town. I took a photo with the security guards and my new friend:

I discovered with his help from the security guards that this was infact the place to get a ticket for the boat and that one would be leaving in the morning sometime and that I should come back by 8:30am to arrange a ticket. With my new biker pal I went looking for a place to camp and he convinced me he had a cheap room where I could stay and part the bike inside. I agreed and went back into the dodgy looking town and came to one of his places, as he seemed to be quite well connected in town and had some money. I was drawing quite the crowd of locals as I had to strip the pannier to get the bike wedge in the house from the main street.

I had two options for a bed, took one and used both sets of covers to keep warm, later I even got out the sleeping bag to really keep nice and cozy, funny thing no pillows, maybe his gf keeps them with her but leaves the stuffed animals

He got me set up at one of his girl friends places, who was out of town for a few days, at a reasonable rate and then set about trying to offer me a cheap cooked meal. I declined but asked him about exchanging some euros for cuc at the normal rate and he was happy to exchange. I watched him count out he money from his big roll of cash and I exchanged a single 100 euro bill and it was good. Somehow after we exchanged money and I payed him for the place to stay I thought I was short 20 cuc, this I can't be positive of but I think he could have used the slight of hand trick; when counting out lots of money in front of a person is easy for both to see and then when the hand slide comes into play where the pass of bills is made, the tricky person can fool you easy if they are good with their hands. Best to lay the money out onto the table and keep it out of their hands I paid attention and thought it was good but after paying him back the money and recounting what I just exchanged for all it didn't add up. I can't be for sure but I think it was possible he shorted me 20 cuc, I confronted him with my findings and he assured me it was all good, but as I didn't have solid proof and in my other pocket where some crumpled up bills of the same value that made it confusing to tell for sure and made it difficult for me to be certain, anyway it didn't set well with me that evening and I declined going "out on the town" with my new friend, it could have been worse and I've pissed away more money on dumber things but just the thought kinda got me upset. I think many of the people who watched me come into the house where sad I didn't come back out and play but I was a little more than ready for a bed. I set about boiling me up some hot water so I could get go and cleaned up after my busy day in the mud.

Getting cleaned up with warm water was real nice and I was more than happy to get a good night's rest and get ready for the big boat ride in the morning to the new island.

Interesting times, hardly ever a dull moment
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:01 PM   #759
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Hey John,

My boss thinks you owe 1 week of work to the company (for keeping me away from my duties with your KICK ASS RR. Vince doesn't get off easy either, he also owes about a week). If you guys keep up with the adventures, ADV will get BLOCKED at work!!

Thanks for making cube life bearable.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:48 PM   #760
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Originally Posted by npberry View Post
Hey John,

My boss thinks you owe 1 week of work to the company (for keeping me away from my duties with your KICK ASS RR. Vince doesn't get off easy either, he also owes about a week). If you guys keep up with the adventures, ADV will get BLOCKED at work!!

Thanks for making cube life bearable.

Thanks for following along man, I tell you this adventure riding is like a disease, it keeps growing on you like some kind of sick cancer and its very hard to stop. Glad you are liking the report and I could help out-not so much on making up for lost time at work thou, it's fun to share the stories with others and see your kind comments Lots more to come...
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:12 PM   #761
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Location: Okie near Muskogee
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I got up in the morning ready to catch the ferry and head over to the Island of Pines for a day or so and find some nice beaches. I got up and at em early and repacked my stuff after snaking my bike back through the front door and loaded up the boxes for the short trip back to the port.

I got back down the harbour area a little before half past eight with a good lineup already formed and immediately drew a large amount of attention as I attempted to find out about about getting me and the bike over to the island. Appartently the el heffe or in the this case the la heffe or lady boss who would be the one to let me know what the cost was for me and the bike since no of the other people working at the place knew what to charge me, seeing how its not to common to have tourists show up with their town motorbikes. I settled into the queue and went about fielding the usually questions the best I could about the bike and heard the different estimates from the locals about what I could expect it to cost for me and the bike to make the boat trip over. I got many offers from different people for a places to stay while on island, just amazing how friendly the people here can be to a total stranger even with my little bad money changing expereince the other day it was wiped clean by the welcomeness of of the people They where all very nice guys and I had a good time joking around with them and showing them stuff on the gps and such. After waiting around for awhile not seeing the boss lady come in I'd had enough and started trying to get an ETD for the ferry today. I found out that it should be running about 3:30 to 5:30 this afternoon seeing how they don't have a very tight schedule and all. I resigned to head back up to La Habana to have a look at the sites instead of hanging out in the lineup with the truckers. It was a short ride up and I made sure to take a little different route up that when I came down the other day when I was so near the western edge of the large city. I said adios to my new friends and went to town to take in the sights.

I wondered more less aimlessly aorund the big city with no real plan other than killing some time. I stopped first at one of the numerous monuments in the city where I found some easy parking:

They really go all out with their scluptures and the architecture in the city Very anatomically correct I might add

This monument was the center of a roundabout:

Easy parking for me here:

One of the numerous streets lined with old stone faced buildings.

Went back by the capital building one more for better shot this time:

This little dudes where all over the place, they had some blind spots and had to watch out for them, overall traffic was pretty easy getting around as long as you knew where you wanted to go

Numerous old churches with impressive stone and glass works:

And of course going to Havana, or La Habana as it is call there, is not complete without a stop to the Havana Club

You could almost miss it if you didn't pay attention to the small signage.

Nice little patron out front, main tourist spot but still worth a stop:

I parked across the street at a little cheap pay lot and went if for a look around. They hand a neat old hand-cranked cane press and a pretty impressive juice machine for the mixers:

I went into their little gift shop area for a little HC swag, very pretty older Cuban lady running the register I got me a sticker for the bike since I'm a little limited on what I can take with me.

The headed over to the bar and listen to the nice band. The dark stuff is the best the 8 and 12 year I think IIRC

Your author having a nice time at the Club

The previously mentioned nice band, they had a funny choice of attire it seemed to me, wear what you got:

My ride across the street, the lot guy keep a good eye on her for me:

They fly their flag a bunch as I saw it on many building of all types, patriotism seems hight to me here:

I drove along most of the malecon and on the eastern end where the harbour channel comes into the city the old fort is quite impressive from across the cut. On an interesting note I found out that the reason why when I first tried coming into Havana from the East and was waved down by the cop at the toll booth is because there was a large traffic tunnel that past underneath this cut and they don't allow motorbikes in the tunnel, at least I understand why I got turned back the first time:

As I drove along the route I was impressive with the amount of pounding the seawall had by the relentless oceans waves, many times splashing well over and onto the road surface high above the water level:

Took me a bit to time a big waves crashing over:

I drove back past Revolutionary Square and took pictures on the fly of Che and Cienfeugos once more:

I screwed about driving around just enjoying seeing the town and as my belly told me it was time for some food having skipped out on breakfast I headed back to a Chinese place I'd seen on my way this morning entering the town where I'd smartly dropped a way point to make finding it much easier. Bit tricky ordering Chinese off a Spanish menu but I came out all right plus a tu cola for refreshement.

They had some very attractive counter help that I somehow didn't get a photo of. Nice ice cream bar for dessert.
The onwner of the place came out and spoke to me in perfect English and brought me around to the side of the resturant and showed me his little scooter and offered to trade straight across. We had a good laugh and talk about the country and some of his experiences while I peppered him with questions. He had a daughter that had just gotten back from the Island of Pines and told me how nice a place it was and even got me looking forward to getting there even more. We said our goodbyes and it was time to start heading back South to the port. Another nice Cuban here:

I headed back down another road leading me back to the South coast to head to the ferry. I got following a nice tree lined road as I worked my way South:

I cam up on this interesting looking sign and just have to have a look, maybe this is Cuba's spy school Funny little spook character on the sign

I was kinda heading out in the general direction of La Habana's International Airport Jose Marti as I noticed this sign just across from the spy school entrance.

This was right before a gaint roundabout with a large, what I thought at the time was a parking area so I pulled in to have a look around and get some pics here:

Turned out to be an honest mistake that got me into my first bit of trouble as the lady who was walking down to me advised me as best I could tell that I wasn't supposed to be in the area and that it was sacred area off limits to vehicles, was a little hard for me to tell and I quickly moved out of the area and parked across the way outside of the center of the roundabout. The woman seemed pretty pissed but calmed down after I moved the bike.I I felt about it and did my best to apologize to the woman in my poor Spanish. This turned out to be the monument and burial site of some famous Cubans. Had an informative map only in Spanish talking about the Cuba's Independance maybe?? Invasion routes/battles?? Here are maps and some dates and such from the site away from the tomb where I'd parked for a moment.

Looking here down where I was parked, I can see why she was a little pissed now, oops

Around back they had one of the most ragged out Husqvarna riders I've seen, maybe pull the steering well to keep it from wondering off along with being a pain in the ass to drive too, the grounds where all in great shape, maybe this thing still earns it's keep.

Where I parked the bike the second time across the roundabout I saw some of the most bizarre trees of all the island. They had been wrapped in carpet, some wierd parasitic plant had surrounded them totally and had a chokehold on the tree, don't know if it was some kind of symbiotic relationship but the tree sure looked like it was getting the short end of the stick. Very interesting, don't remeber ever seeing trees wrapped up like this before:

Mummyfied trees

The large memorial site from my new parking spot right before I took off:

It was getting closer to ferry time so I quick loafing around and headed back to the port town not stopping for anything else until I got back into town. I ended up taking a little different route back to the port and ended up following the railroad tracks to their end and saw a neat old cannon with a really thick barrel that had broken up a bit. I was impressed:

Seeing how it was around 3pm I was heading over to the ferry terminal area along the shore front and low and behold what did I see, the fast looking ferry boat heading away

I'd spent just a little too much time aimlessly looking around and missed the boat but oh well after looking at the map and checking what day it was I realized that I'd covered alot of the western part of the island but the eastern part from the line I bisected the island from Cienfegous was a heck of a lot bigger than I'd thought. I'd used close to half on my island time on the western part and I wanted to see as much of the eastern side as I could so I decided to work my way over to the East side and get as close to my orginal North South route where I crossed on my first day riding. I got fueled up and got moving to the East quickly using up the rest of my day but as soon as I saw a nice looking back road I was tempted to make a 'shortcut' over to the big highway heading East. With having any real accurate maps it was always a bit of a crap shoot on how these roads would turn out and it seemed I spent quite a bit of time just on old farm roads going from small town to town which was really quite nice. Even out in the middle of the country side I would come across these large Soviet looking buildings that I assume housed most of the workers for that area??

They could be far from any sizeable town and often all by themselves but there almost always seemed to be a few people milling about even if they looked totally abandoned. I went on down some nice farm roads skirting the fields.

Easy to tell they would be a lot more challenging in wetter conditions.

Famers down here still like to use alot of skeleton wheels to farm with:

I was also amazed at the temperatures on the island, this day in particular was in the beginnings of a cold front coming across the island and I was impressed but the cooler temps, I'd always thought of Cuba as mainly tropical setting and never dreamed it would get this cold here. A I continued on I started to see lots of fires in the fields as I guess they where burning off the harvest remains, it appeared most of these were old cane fields but I'm not positive.

Little farming operation with a broken down articulated four wheel drive tractor waiting to be repaired. This was one of the first times I'd seen that heavy of a tractor on island.

I was headed in the general direction of Northeast toward the town of Guines and when I got nearer the road led me a little South of this town and continued East until I got to one of the main East/West interior routes where I started to make time and cross my North/South track that got me on my yet to be explored East side of the island. It was getting late by this point and I started looking for a nice camp spot close to the main road so I could get farther into unchartered territory tomorrow. I ended up finding me a spot right off the highway a few hundred yards down an overgrown lane near some far fields to hide out. No one was around that evening and I wanted to make sure it would be hard to see me down the lane so I put up a little extra to hide a little better

My spot before setting up camp, the big green bushes on the right side and past the bike were of the thorny variety and the stuff I set up in was like a jumbo johnsen grass that made for a soft sleeping pad not even needed my little cot.

Just a little bit of camo coverage for good measure, looking back I never really needed it but I perfer to be sneaking about it

I got the tent set up in the cooler early evening hours and then set about making my special tuna surprise cuban special dinner that worked so well:
First start of with some canned tuna in oil

Then take a little special mayo and thrown in the pot:

Add some special spices to the mix:

And the ever important semi sodas and you have a nice little meal:

A nice bottle of orange soda to wash it down. I still had some of my little mini pinas for dessert

A happy camper here:

Did I mention it was pretty darn cold in Cuba that night

My little site later that evening before I turned in for bed.

I checked the mileage since I'd arrived on island and I ridden 1355 miles on the western loop of the island and still hadn't crossed to the East of the Port of Cienfegous where I landed. There's a whole lot more of Cuba to cover on the East side and I still have the southern and eastern most points to hit. Its been a great time so far!

Throttlemeister screwed with this post 07-31-2011 at 07:57 AM
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:03 AM   #762
Throttlemeister OP
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Okie near Muskogee
Oddometer: 3,894

Slept very well last night in the cool weather over my bed of fluffy Johnson-like grass that worked nice and expecially my big ole tent. I hated bringing such a big 4 season tent but sleeping out in the bush is by far the simpliest way to save lots of money on an extended trip, its one of the very few things that are free and you can save quite a bit of money even if its only $5 a night, I would rather spend it on other things I enjoy more than sleeping My tent is my castle, roomy enough for me to spend nights on end and tough enough to withstand almost any condition- I love my tent and its been a good home on the road for me. Find one you like and start saving your money night after night

This morning was by far the coldest I experienced so far on my time on island, it was so nice to be so comfortable in my little castle, I could even see my breath

Happy Camper here:

My tent has plenty of room for myself and all my gear if I want to store it inside with me, its got good enough ventilation for warm climate beach camping away from the biting insects and is stout enough for cold climates as well, I love it! And its green to blend a little better than a day glow orange one.

I had the battery on my old trusty Casio crap out last night finally and was a little dissappointed as I relyed not so much on the clock itself but on the digital display of what day and date it was. Now the only thing I had in my kit left was the gps but to tell the day was more scrolling through the menus, I missed not having my time piece working

I finally drag myself out of my bag still in the somewhat early morning hours and set about getting the tent dried out a little and shake the fresh morning dew loose. Yesterday in the late afternoon I discovered my heated jacket on/off switch for my gerbings had foul again, that's like the 3 one I've had stop working, these are some of the biggest POS switches I've ever messed with- maybe I'm the only one destroying them

I bypassed it and made it hot fulltime using my nifty little butane soldering iron to make quick work of the junky switch.

My nice little camp spot the morning after still with bike camo

I set about getting the tent out in the morning sun to dry a little more and mess around with the switch and getting my gear sorted as I was going to run the heated jacket as it was oh so nice, like riding in a warm bath with the heat on It was getting late enough that I thought I'd be better off to heat up a meal to start the day straight out of camp with a full stomach and be ready to eat some miles for the day.

About the time I got finished with my cooking the morning work gang finally came by to start in the fields and I think I surprised them a little being where I was at. They where all nice enough and with my limited Spanish I just explaned that I had a tire failure and needed a place to camp for the night and they where happy enough with that story. One of the guys was some time of enviornmental control or something as he showed me his 1920's looking revolver and his radio and from what I could tell was wondering if I needed any assisatance called in. I got him to understand that I was fine and taken care of before they took off down the track to their fields for the day. These were some nice fellows, very interested in the bike and what I was doing camping in the bush, the fellow in the green fatigue was the heffe:

I ended up hiding my old busted up plastic mud guard pieces in the johnson grass so maybe one day I can come back and find my old bush camping spot

Or somebody can read about the story of them if they ever get any cheap internet there

I got back on the main E/W highway and passed through Cartagena of all places which was basically due North of my landing in Cienfeugos, I finally got over into the larger western half of the island now and ready to get to exploring. After looking at the map earlier in the morning I decided to make for Erneto's final home of Santa Clara and go see his resting place. I made good time on the big road straight on to Santa Clara a little afternoon time since most of the morning was occupied with taking care of stuff in camp. On the way I would see interesting billboards that I could only guess the meaning of and took photos on the the fly so I could get them translated later, still have yet to look this one up. Terrorism has landed even in Cuba I guess

When I first saw the sign I thought that was Fidel's smoke from his Cohiba

I headed on into Santa Clara and drove around until I found Che's memorial and mueseum and found what I thought was good parking, doesn't this look like good parking to you?? Well it was not appartly as a security guy came and asked me to move and from what I distinguished he was wanted me to move because of theft

I got to work on this Spanish thing, who knows, I moved around the corner nearer a taxi cab and talked to the driver and he said he would keep an eye on things for me.

Before I moved I got that said guard to take a photo of me in this memorial garden on the backside of Che's place. I think this is a garden dedicated to the men and women involved in Fidel's revolution?? Their eternal flame:

I liked the grass trimmed steps, stone of the step part and grass on the toe kick area. Was a very nicely taken care of area

Some more translation for you in that part of the garden with all the headstones:

I then moved the bike per guards orders and came around to the main Che memorial area, it was a very large impressive sight, talk about being put on a pedestal:

My proof:

There is a rather large open area in front of the complex and across the road that looks like demonstrations could be held. I heard the design in the concrete was to replicated people holding hands:

The actual mueseum along with another section that I guess what you would call an internment/mausoleum for Ernesto along with some of the other notable revolutionists where underneath the statue and the area to the right of the statue.

Here's the writing on that large mural's corner:

Another little script:

These two signs where out in the larger paved field area across the street from the memorial:

Both of the areas below where free to enter but no photographs where allowed in either part. I'd checked my jacket earlier at the coat check provided but left my camera in my cargo pocket as I entered the internment side first with more eternal flame and then entered the other side with many of Ernesto's personal effects from different parts of his life from childhood on. I don't know what called attention to me but one of the caretakers came over and started asking me in Spanish about photos of which I had taken none and showed her my camera and I was instructed to take the camera and check it with the coat check, I guess I looked like I was taking secret photos or something Being a little perplexed about the whole deal I just got my jacket and took leave of the place as I'd seen enough.
I headed back out to my bike parked near the taxi man and we had some nice conversation about the old American cars and travel around Cuba. He showed me the secret to the longevity of the old America cars; Hyundai 4 cylinder diesels

They have to change out the original gasoline engines since there is almost no way easy to get parts to keep the original motors going and is far easier and more durable to swap in the diesel and heavier running gear. It's amazing how long and how many miles these old cars have on the bodies. He as a little torked as I joked about the foreign engines in the old American cars and then he aked why I was riding a German bike instead of a Harley He was a nice guy and I shared some water with him as we talked about other nice places to go and he gave me some good ideas as I showed him my map. I give him a sticker for his old Chevy and he proudly put it on the back glass:

As we stook there talking a big busload of Cuban military type looking students came up and half of them come over asking questions about the bike, I just directed them to my new friend as we'd been in conversation for the last 15 mins and he could explain much better than myself. They where very curious about the GPS and I thought I might get into trouble with their superiors about the thing so I took off quick after that bit.

Little trouble finding the road out of town I was looking for and roamed around town trying to find something that matched the direction I was looking for. Adios Ernesto:

Narrow street's with lots of one ways and blind corners, it was sometimes very hard to see the arrows for the street's direction most of the times and it worked best to just look for the parked car's direction or even better to follow one.

I finally snaked my way out of the main part of the city but ended up getting sucked back out on the main autopista going the wrong direction that I wanted to be, interesting in that it had 3 lanes for one side and just a single for the other and it wasn't even in the hills hardly

I got turned around and doubled back and found a little tienda and stopped for a cool treat and some fuel at one of the national stations:

I met a couple German guys who had rented a small car and where on a little island tour. They where amazed I got my bike imported to the country and one of them even had a 650 at home. I told them of this senic route that the taxi cab driver told me about as we where both headed down in the direction of Trinidad those guys decided to follow the route I'd told them about in there little rental car, we agreed to try and meet up in Trinidad to do a little partying and took off on our own ways. These ended up being the type of roads easy enough to hole the oil pan in a little car but they kept at it and I saw them a couple of times as I stopped to soak up the amazing scenery as I worked my way down to the South coast cutting through the beautiful mountains.
Heading into the mountains:

The ride only got better and better:

This was the type of road perfect for motorbikes as it had lots of curves and lots of potholes to thread your way along and easy to pass the slower vehicles as they had to negociate each obstacle carefully.
I was really enjoying the ride and loved the scenery but didn't stop much to take many pictures but when I came across this unguarded tower, of which there are very few of, I just had to climb up the old nearly rusted out structure for some pictures.

The floor was nearly gone in most places as well as many of the stairs but it provided an excellent view and was worth the climb:

Another larger pull out areas with a group of clustered lakes in the valley that you can just barely see through the trees as I didn't even work to get a better shot while just staying in the saddle:

I was nearing the peak and crossing over into the downward side to the coast. The road was paved and very narrow and had some amazing curves that wouldn't be considered even being considered a reasonable road due to the tightness of the curves and how it is nearly impossible for a vehicle any larger than a compact car to fit into a curve and stay somewhat on their side of the lane through a turn with lots of up and down as the road cut its way down to the sea, I loved it. I believe they called it the Topes Rd or something like that. It had some kind of hospital at the top, I couldn't figure out if this was some type of asylum:

Seemed very out of place and amazing they went to the trouble to build it way up at the top, must be for the nice fresh air and amazing views. My poor camera battery was crapping out as the sun went down as I finished the last of the Topes Road down to the outskirts of Trinidad.

A great ride down the road on a great evening. It had been a long day and I decided to write off meeting up with the lads and having a party anyway as it was going to be a little tricky to meet up I choose to head on out to the pennisula and see what I could come up with. As I road out along the beach road I saw a resturant and went to have a look at the menu but found the prices not to my liking so I continued on nearer the end in the early dark hours of the evening. I contemplated staying in one of the nice beach resorts and even stopped into one all inclusive place and baulked at the one hundred and something price and resigned to just go out farther on the pennisula and find a spot to camp. I found one near the beach and ended up getting too close to the sand and wasn't able to turn around so I went on forward onto the beach through the loose stuff and blasted down to the firm sand near the water and got turned around and tried to blast back up to the little outlet road to the beach but didn't carrry enough speed so I had to get off and kinda crab-walk the bike getting unstuck. I continued on down the track all the way to the very temp in the darkness scraping past enough bushes where someone would have to be insane to walk that far and find me. I set up came in the dark and fixed up some nice pasta in the moonlight, wasn't until the morning after that I realized there where a good lot of sand burs in my spot but the ground cloth did fine a fine job. The camera was dead so I waited until the morning to charge it up from the bike. This place had an amazing amount of nice quality shells, first time in my life I found a near perfect sand dollar.

My campsite not more than 50 feet from the Caribbean Sea, I slept well here:

Plenty of nice shells all about:

Today was one of my favorite mostly paved rides in all the country, the Topes road was a blast Great riding and scenery!
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:49 AM   #763
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:40 PM   #764
Throttlemeister OP
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Okie near Muskogee
Oddometer: 3,894
Thursday 12/30/2010

After sleeping nice again in the cooler temperatures right next to the tranquil sounds of the ocean waves rolling in I got geared up and went on back up the pennisula and into the historic town of Trinidad. I drove all around the narrow streets of the town and came up to an area where some locals wanted me to pay to park to see some old relic of a building where I declined and just took a good look from the seat and found my way out of town to the East. As I headed out of town I saw one of those little senic overlook pictures on a sign and headed up for a look over a grand valley view. As I pulled into a parking area I first pulled headlong into a normal car space and the lot attendant comes trotting over telling me something and pointed to rearrange the moto the opposite direction and moved over to the side 1 foot Whatever I do as he says and dismount leaving my helmet with the bike and walking over to the overlook while that same attendant seems to be asking me for a bike wash or something which I was not interested in and waved him off as I went to the overlook area to get some pictures. It turned into a little scene as the guy was a little pissy about the whole thing so I got the few pictures and decided to just get the hell out of there and take some more pictures from the side of the road. I still don't know that the hell the problem was with that guy, my lack of Spanish understanding didn't help things but I did as he said getting parked and all but that just wasn't good enough and I just got out of there before anything else could happen. This was the overlook for the "El Valle de los ingenios" here from my hurried overlook proper:

My bad parking spot

I left the main viewing area and got back on the highway and promptly pulled over on the shoulder and got a couple more, the pictures just don't do this area justice:

No one bitching about my parking spot here

I continued on my way headed towards the town of Manacas Iznaga a few km up the road and then kept on until right after Caracusey where the mountains in the distance called my name again for more exploring trying to see if I could find a nice dirt route across the range to the other side. I was almost sure from what the GPS had and the paper maps it looked like is was possible so I went for it and turning to the northeast right after passing Caracusey and headed in for the mountains on small roads. I followed this route on into Pitajones where it petered out and I back tracked up to the last turnoff and headed to the very small village of La Ceiba and continued on the nice out of the way track onto the next even smaller no named community just up the road and as I looked for an option to turn towards the mountains I came up empty handed but was I did see was I sign that seemed so out of place for the size of the village where it was posted. I kinda of interupted a couple of kids local baseball game but was quickly forgiving after handing out some stickers. That said sign corresponded well with information on the maps and GPS but didn't cross of the mountains but the little loop I did off the main road was absolutely perfect, the kind of small road riding I love doing The sign that seemed so out of place:

Great roads getting here and even better roads completing the loop back to the main paved road. I come back out to the labeled HW, or rather road 12 and continue East to Sancti Spiritus where I kinda of skirted the South side of the large town. I got onto HW 10 and continued my way and when I started coming across some rivers, the first one looked good and the second even better and made me want to pull over and see if I could catch a shore lunch since it was about that time. I had good luck this time and caugt one after the first few casts My first fish caught in Cuba:

Not too big but I knew if I caught a few more that would suffice with a little work on the cooker.

I caught another one about the same size but after thinking about the time for preparation and effort I decided to eat the fish I had with me and out came another tuna surprise:

I was right off the main road at a boat ramp area for river access but was kinda hiding the bike in the weeds as not to draw too much attention, who knows what kinda of fishing license is required, I was just going to claim Native American status if anyone asked

I heard the distintive sound of an old radial engine and sure enough cruising by slowly was an old overwing plane with a big ole noisy engine chugging along at low alititude. Soviet built I would venture to guess??

I kept on the advance and got out of the mountains mostly and started heading in the general direction of northeast to see another of the taxi man's recommendations since the last was so good.

I was turning some decent revs with the 14 tooth on front but it was the perfect fit with a 47 for Cuba if you want to stay off the autopistas which is where all the real fun stuff is anyway. I could have used a 49 for the back had I had one and gotten by just as well, the speeds stayed around 45mph for the most part and very enjoyable velocity per the country

The paved roads where good and the lack of traffic was even better, it amazing how little there was, seemed to be more animal traffic in most of the spots I was hanging out.

I was happy to cross over the main East/West autopista near the town of Jatibonico and continue on my way NE. I went along the farming plains and headed to the town of Tamarindo just to the South of Lake Florencia and on up to Falla where I stopped when I saw some very interesting and old American??(company changed hands a few times?) single cylinder bikes called Whizzers from the mid 1940's as I found out later from one of the bike's owners who speaks fluent Spanish and became my next new best Cuban friend His name was very similar to the word "Marina' but without the 'a' at the end I guess it would just be Marin. Super nice guy who was out on a little ride with one of his pals named Iran. I saw the two bikes parked along side the road heading West as I approched they drew my attention for a picture and Marin was quick to say hello. Here's his bike:

His bike was a bit more modified than his friend Iran's here with the older front end:

Marin intorduced me to the famous woman he was talking to and gave me a bottle of Club to pass around as we all visisted beside the road and took pictures.

Turns out the lady above is somewhat famous in the area and named Mirella Morales as her son Yander Guevara Morales is one of the best professional baseball players for the province of Ciego de Avila and is very competitive in the Cuban professional league series. Marin told me I should be honored to meet her and I made sure to take down her and her son's names
After asking me what my plans where and discovering I really had none Marin insisted that I stay with him at his family's home and go to a diver's dinner with him that evening. What could I say but "sure why not" He was more than happy to take me in and he stopped his ride with Iran and the two of us headed back to Moron where his family's home is located. The little single cylider bikes are short on power but they have got them dialed in pretty good with their very ignition systems that they run. We took off for Moron (funny named towns in Cuba too)

Notice his helmet and yes a bicycle could go faster but we where in no real big hurry and we played with drafting trying to get the top speed out of the old Whizzer and avoid the day's gusty wind conditions.:

We got him maxed out at 46.3 kph with me cutting the headwind:

Soon enough he started to half mechanical problems and we pulled over so he could adjust the slipper type clutch that used some rubber or leather fricition pads. I like his little tool pannier bag:

Got that sqaured away for a bit and had to stop at least once more to adjust it again on the way in to town. We where drawing a small crowd as our little posse pulled into town. He was proud to show me off and we met up with another one of his Whizzer buddies on a higher performance machine. I think this ones even running a magneto ignition system??

A small group checks out the bike near one of the Moron's squares:

Marin practically dies to wash my bike but it wasn't so dirty that I couldn't keep it mechanically going in good shape so I perferred to keep my cover dirt and wear it like tatoo He told me to get cleaned up as we where going out tonight I got shaved with one of his razors and warmed up some water on the stove for a hot shower and got fixed up:

The first part of the plan tonight entailed me playing a Canadian biker as we where going to one of his group's dive parties that his co-workers put on ever so often. Marin works out on Cayo Coco as a dive instructor and lots of his diving buddies are big Che fans with tatoos of the guy and me being an American may be a little frown upon with some of the more political members of his group
I hauled over his wife on back of my bike and he took his daughter over and I began my role as a Canadian to start the evening, its kinda bad since I might be there new favorite American Everything went wells as we had dinner and as always the Ron de Cuba starts to flow and you then have to watch yourself a little closer as the hours go on. Had no trouble but was a little uncomfortable and I let Marin know as some of the guests got tanked up. The food was not bad, I think it was dirty rice and chicken and pork or just chicken, was a little dry and I was craving some Head Country sauce that night, but it was much better than what I could have whipped up with my little kit:

Marin and Me at the party:

We got out of there and got everyone hauled back over to his family's place and I waited around for Marin to run some errands before he came back to the house for me to go out on the townI spent some time with Marin's step father and had limited conversation and finally settled on some Cubavision programing on the tube:

Was some interesting programing, one was like a how its made type show that talk about how bearing where made or used or something like that. I can tell you that they aren't picking up any stations from Florida. Soon enough he got all his stuff sorted and we took off two up on my bike for a little eveing town tour and then stop off at Iran's casa.
They gave me one of my favorite beers in all of Cuba, seemed I'd been drinking far more ron and was glad to have some regular old beer

Since my sidestand hoop was still busted up I was using the leaning technique and sometimes just laying over depending on the angle, Marin got a big kick out of this as I would find a ditch or curb or whatever could keep the bike upright like the curb here:

Me and some of Iran's relatives, the little boy just loved the bike and was really happy to sit on it and play with the GPS.

All I can say is it was a wild night and I remember coming home riding at least 3up and there might possibly also been a midget back there too idk. I ended up in the neighbors house next door as the party kept going and the space was needed. It was good but not for the camera

The bike did great! This from the morning after parked in front of Marin's family house in the courtyard, the neighbors just kept showing up to see this oddity:

I think she looks just fine the way she is, Marin never could understand why I didn't want a very clean bike. Amazing to ride into a town being a complete stranger and within minutes you've got great new friends and being shown a new town and it's people in a way that wouldn't have happened otherwise. I'm just lucky I suppose; I find English speakers or they find me Still working on the Spanish stuff
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:18 AM   #765
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