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Old 08-09-2011, 08:44 PM   #796
skibum69
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Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
It sounds like blast and I wish I could make it to party with lots of good people I know and don't know
I've got to really pick and choose where I go because it all comes down to where I want to spend the money traveling and right now SA is at the top of the list. One of these years I will make it back up that way for a lot more fun. Take care a drink one for me amigo!

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Just updated the previous post on the rr: 01/03/11 hopefully I'll get some more later today, I got to crawl the house and see what the hell is going on.
you know I will, have fun out there
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:12 PM   #797
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Great update Throttlemeister looking forward for the next wild part
I really wish it had more to do with women, I seem to remember none whatso ever being involved with the whole expereince
On the other hand I am really missing Colombia

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Originally Posted by MikeinSA View Post
Now I remember you. It was a pleasure meeting you and your sister at Leakey earlier this year. Fantastic stuff!!
Hello Mike
It's nice to be remembered but I hope I was in a little better form that that picture
You may need to help me remember. Are you the guy with truck camper who was parked out in front of the main party house?

Good times in THCMy sister even had a great time too and she dosen't even ride, her little cooper gets it pretty good thou

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Originally Posted by skibum69 View Post
you know I will, have fun out there
I felt like a real rat today climbing around in that confined space for an hour. Tell the soriee guys I said hello.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:13 PM   #798
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Jan 4th 2011

I was well rested enough from my early slumber yesterday that I woke from my little nap in time for the sunrise and still long before the buffet opened for the morning feed. I went around the resort during the peace and quiet of the early morning hours enjoying myself and taking some pictures of the place:


Saw a couple of older snow birds picking out their chairs for the day jockeying for the best seatSome things grow more important as you get older I guess or it's just something to do, whatever you like.


A parrot behind chicken wire, I think the parraot knew and felt degraded


Little tourist flags, not many Americans making the trip down here although one other from New York came and introduced himself to me when he'd overheard my English with a strange accent


Overlooking the beach area where I spent most of my time yesterday:


I went back down and walked around a bit, it was a really nice morning. As I headed for the stairs I spied my lonely bike loafing under a tree probably feeling neglected or happy for the rest:


The resort had them a little garden area and I took a stroll having a look around. Some interesting plant species:





An artist's rendering of anatomically correct painting


A bird and his symbiotic relationship with the mule enjoying the cool morning


The little cat boat with the busted up trampoline, could have been fun:


Calm seas in the morning today:


More of the plant life:


Lots of them:



The rental fleet in the morning getting ready for another day, I'm glad I brought my own


Damn mini golf, had I know yesterday I'd been all over that. Interesting note I never once remember seeing a golf course on the whole island but I typically wasn't in the area to spot such things. Some earlier morning tennis player too:


The morning feeding line was just about ready to open and I headed up. I almost fell over seeing all that food in such excess compared to what I'd been used to seeing on my time on island. They had one of the cool juicers that I made sure to put through its paces.



I thought I was getting fatter just by looking at all the stuff. I took a nice couple of plates stocking up for the lean times outside the front gate.

mmmmm bacon


More bacon and omelett with all the good stuff.


That said juicer, I like watching the wheels go round and round and it was very yummy juice coming from some suspect looking fruits


So much of everything when there is so little outside of those gates, tourism is a big part of the business down here. Interesting and fulfilling to be on this side of the gate for a change.


I had originally planned to stay until lunch time as checkout was around one o'clock but after filling up on so much food I thought what's the worth and decided to get loaded up. As I was heading up to my room that same snotting Canadian kids was trying to buy my necklace again, I told him a 100 bucks and he shut up and bickering with his old man about buying one. I got back up to my room and shot the layout:


During my resort time I'd just unloaded my bike at the entrance and just pulled it over the tree and left is as is, again no problems, never had anyone mess with my stuff when I left it out of sight


As I was preparing to leave a nice couple of older tourists came out to visit while I loaded up as they where interested in bike travel and we had a nice talk while I got things sorted. They took this one for me right before I gave up resort life for a while:


I got out of there a little before the next buffet and just as happy to leave as I was to show up. Having clean socks and the best hot water shower I had on the island was worth the stop in alone, the food was just filler

I kept headed East along the same coast road but now it was much more potholed compared to farther West past the last sizable city. All the tourists that come to this resort our bused in on fairly lengthy and guaranteed bumpy ride After a few kilometers of dodging holes the garmin acted up and discovered it had lost external power. I pulled over and got ole fluke loose from its resting place and made quick work of finding the fault in the power cable. Turned out it had broke loose on my little soldered in SAE connector that I used to disconnect the unit from the GPS. I learned the little trick from reading through on of Gaspipe's ride reports IIRC. Thanks dude The main garmin multi-pin plug is one of the very few known weak spots on the 276 and other type garmin chartplotter gps where it is best to solder in a connector that you use to disconnect the gps from the bike instead of popping loose that factory plug which doesn't like it I got out the little iron and wire and fixed it right back up.


In no time it was fixed up again:


When I pulled the garmin loose from it mount the back of the antenna cover come as well so I stuck some used chewing gum inside for antivibe filler and stick and used some zip ties to secure it as well. GPS was fixed and ready to get powered off the bike once again.

I saw my old former Swedish Army breadbags where taking a beating so I zip tied them a little to help them out too.


I headed triumphantly into Santiago de Cuba with one thing on my mind, finding the marina where I meet the SteelRat.

When I last left Lulu in Cienfeugos he just said, "I'll meet you in Santiago in a few weeks" at that's all I had. I wanted to find the marina and make sure I planted a waypoint, I was gonna get picked up for sure!

I wondered through the busy city and tried to maintain a route along the waterfront the best I could. It was hard getting a good view and I started to get a little worried as I wasn't having much luck finding anything close to a pleasure boat marina, only idustrial sites for the big boats. I wanted to find some high ground so I could get a good survey of the bay and hopefully find what I was looking for. I saw a high point and steerred for it. It was somekind of monument area and I took a little backdoor access road into the place and parked up in the high spot and kinda spooked the numerous security guys working the site. They didn't have a problem as they were very interested to just check out of the bike while I had a look over the port area. I had an excellent vantage point of most of the harbour and could scope out the majority of it from this position.

The harbour was good sized and I wasn't seeing any sign of what I was looking for as one of the guards came by I asked him in my limited Spanish about the "marina for boats" and he must have know what I was looking for as he showed me around to the backside of the monument area where I had yet to look really not even thinking the marina would be back that direction. Turns out he knew exactly what I was after and showed me way I was happy to see the familiar site of the those twin masts in the distance, I'd made it, hell yeah!


It was a joyous moment to see the SteelRat laying in her berth at the marina and a huge relief was lifted, I had my way off the island. I wasn't sure if they where going to be in Santiago by the 4th, as I'd remembered thinking it was going to be the 6th and I was surprised and happy to see those masts today.


Oh yeah that monument up on the high ground was something to do with a soilder memorial commerating M 26-7:


I went flying back down off the hill and around the bend over to the marina where I got checked in with Jorge, one of the marina managers and went out to a nearly deserted ship save for Lulu repainting the deck. It was a nice reunion and I told him of all the crazy adventures and wonderful time I had on island. He talked about the trip along the South coast and lack of winds but overall they had a good trip and had just gotten into port late last night and dropped the hook and today was the first day tied up along side.


Lulu told me I had four more days to travel around the island so I consulted my maps and asked Jorge who spoke excellent English a little about the East end of the island. I decided to keep traveling along the South coast road from the East side of the harbour cut where the marina was. I dropped my flag to be able to easily find the SteelRat once more and took off for more adventure headed East wanted to find the island's eastern most point to hit all four compass points. I got a little turned around trying to find my route out of Santiago greater metropolitan area and ended up once out at the international airport before finding my road. I finally headed out away from Santiago in the growing shadows of the afternoon:


I wound my way out along to the shore and stopped for fuel again. This time a group of young people heading out for a little mid week R&R took interest in the bike and myself and acted like they wanted to invite me along for their fun. I was more interested in doing a little bit of riding and finding a nice place to camp as these young people seemed just a little suspicious although they looked like a lot of fun, couple hot girls in the mix as well. I spent my time at the station and even found a really nice and useable souvenir , a nice little 3 cup percolator, a minature version of the ones of the SteelRat that I'd liked so much. The young people in the car where waiting around for me and took off behind me once I finally left the station/Panamerican store. I passed up a really nice look car muesum along the way and had thoughts of turning back around for it but continued on in the late afternoon light. I made my way back to the coast and continued on my way enjoying the ride.


The last village I passed heading back down towards the coast was the small community of El Verraco with my young friends in their car still in tow. As I got back to the coast and continued on the East route I came up on a major police check point about an hour and half before sunset. This was unlike any other that I got stopped at before as usually is was just a quick glace of the papers and my license and I was on my way. This one was much longer, the young people in their car had got finished up already and waited a good bit before finally resigning and taking off leaving me waiting on the officiers who had lots of business to take care of in the office with my documents. Finally what I thought was the head boss of the place came out to try and ask where I was headed in broken English mixed with Spanish. I understood what he was after and told him I was eventually headed to Baracoa over on the East end of the island to give him some information as even I didn't really know where I was going, I was on an adventure and part of an adventure is often not knowing where your're going anyway. The official recommended that to get to Baracoa I would need to head back towards Santiago and get on the main autopista to head over to Baracoa. All this was much appreaciated information and I thanked him for his direction but seeing how I'd spent a wonderful amount of time waiting at the checkpoint I mentioned I was also interested in looking for a place to stay for the night before headed over to Baracoa tomorrow as it was not possible for me to make it to that city today. I was released shortly thereafter right near the end of the hot afternoon as the mosquitos along the coast where just beginning their main biting session.

I took off out of the check point area off the side of the road where I'd been patiently waiting for a good 30 mins or more waiting in my sweaty gear nice and hot and getting pestered by the mosquitos I was a little more anxious to take leave of the place and making the steeper than appearing transistion from the road shoulder to main road almost got me over steering the switch in surfaces and just nearly loosing it as I was carrying more speed than need be. It was dramatic feeling save a probably looked quite impressive as well as the back end got pretty slid out

I continued on the short stretch of road passing one or two resorts on the shore and then literally ran out of beach road as it took a sharp left back inland across a small bridge where another official vehicle was waiting to check my papers again This little check was nearly as long as the last but seemed worse as the heat and mosquitos seemed to increase exponentially from the previous stop. Once again I was free to continue only a couple more kms until I came to a military gate with the 'No Passe" sign across it and quickly informed by a military guard that I'm not allowed further and must turn back. Well that explains the 2nd checkpoint a little better seeing how I was out at the outermost part of the Cuban military's restricted zone around the Guantanamo Bay installation.

I posted a waypoint right near the guarded gate to the restricted zone and it was at 16:57 CST or just about dark thirty in other words. It was hot and I was getting jumped by the mosquitos and no way in hell was I camping down on the beach tonight, I needed to get some elevation between me and the heat and the mosquitos I headed back away from the military area and back the same way I'd come in. As I approached the area right around a large lagoon called Bacanoa Lagoon I turned off on the first road headed along the western shore of the lagoon headed towards the mountains to find me a nice spot to camp. I was riding slow and methodically enjoying the somewhat technical riding along two track paths in the early part of a nice night that was growing better and better as I gained altitude. I was enjoying it so much I just kept on riding. I ended up in one dead end to a little rancho and passed through a livestock gate at a marked time of 17:53 CST. I kept on going having reached a most excellent camping temperature by this time and seemly like I crossed over the highside of the mountainous track I was on I came around a lazy swithback and saw the lights of a town in the distance and thought it would be an great place for the morning sunrise with an excellent vantage point. I tried to capture the lights with my feeable attempt here:

It was a really nice spot and the temperature was perfect for sleeping having gain considerably elevation (2105') over sea level and high above nearly all the mosquitos from the coast.

And being I was the only one running these roads out in the mountains, I set up my camp right on the edge of the road and logged in my 14th night on the island running around with the bike. The time was 18:28 CST local time 7:28pm when I stopped for the night at 19*58'36.50"N / 75*32'58.09"W

I heated up a nice little meal, not having eaten since the super buffet of the morning, while I set up the taj mahal and later enjoyed some nice music on the phones and looking over my little paper map before turning in for the night well before midnight feeling smug in my warm bag falling off to sleep.


Then at some point between the hours of midnight and 1am local time, all hell broke loose in a Special Place
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:29 PM   #799
skibum69
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Quote:
I felt like a real rat today climbing around in that confined space for an hour. Tell the soriee guys I said hello.
didn't I tell you I missed my own Soiree? I got sent offshore to work instead. Apparently they still had fun & ron made it back for 3 in a row. Don't you just love confined spaces?
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:21 AM   #800
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Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post

Then at some point between the hours of midnight and 1am local time, all hell broke loose in a Special Place

This is gonna be great! I'm laughing my ass off just thinking about it.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:59 PM   #801
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The moment I've been waiting for

Glad to see the ride report coming together John! This is some funny stuff!
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:21 PM   #802
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This is gonna be great! I'm laughing my ass off just thinking about it.

All hell breaking loose aint' FUNNY Vincent That was a very difficult time in my life! But, I suppose it could have been a little worse, but not much



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Glad to see the ride report coming together John! This is some funny stuff!
It's getting a whole lot more serious, now moving into defcon 4 status.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:51 PM   #803
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All hell breaking loose aint' FUNNY Vincent That was a very difficult time in my life! But, I suppose it could have been a little worse, but not much





It's getting a whole lot more serious, now moving into defcon 4 status.
And Now For the Rest of the Story!
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:19 PM   #804
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This is gonna be great! I'm laughing my ass off just thinking about it.
Ditto

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All hell breaking loose aint' FUNNY Vincent That was a very difficult time in my life! But, I suppose it could have been a little worse,
Yeah, you really sounded traumatized when you told us the story....

It sure sounded funny over beers and cigars
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:31 PM   #805
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And Now For the Rest of the Story!

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Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
Ditto



Yeah, you really sounded traumatized when you told us the story....

It sure sounded funny over beers and cigars
Yeah I'm jacking around with Vincent

I've got to work this evening so I will get to writing this all down once I finish up. I was scared shitless there for a good while
It does make for a really good drinking story doesn't it This one time, in Cuba...

Story coming soon I promise.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:19 PM   #806
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Hello Mike
It's nice to be remembered but I hope I was in a little better form that that picture
You may need to help me remember. Are you the guy with truck camper who was parked out in front of the main party house?
Hey John, yea that was me. Glad you're finishing up the report - probably the closest I'll ever get to Cuba. Wish I had your cojones (um, figuratively speaking of course ).
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:03 AM   #807
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Yeah I'm jacking around with Vincent

I've got to work this evening so I will get to writing this all down once I finish up. I was scared shitless there for a good while
It does make for a really good drinking story doesn't it This one time, in Cuba...

Story coming soon I promise.
I gotta tell ya man, when you told that story I was on the edge of my seat and some of your one liners almost made me piss my pants I was laughing so hard. If it had happened to me I would have been crapping in my Carharts. Dont leave anything out here OK?
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:07 PM   #808
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Hola, Johnny.

Blue Tilapia Oreochromis aureus, AFAIK

Odd that you caught it on that artificial lure, as they are typically vegetarian. It's an introduced / invasive species.

Regardless, these are interesting fish... they are mouth-brooders and one of very few fish species that reproduce via oral sex.

No, I'm not joking.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:41 PM   #809
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Hey Throttlemiester did you get any of that rain yesterday?
No I don't know why it is underlining




How bout an update. I'm on pins and needles here!
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:17 PM   #810
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No you may not take time off the RR to tend the cattle, so get to it
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