|12-30-2009, 10:54 PM||#18|
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Spokane County, Wa.
" The main thing is to avoid the Talisman Bridge crossing south of Tapachula, Mexico. There you’ll be harangued by a mass of people with fake government ID’s"
That place is consistent if nothing else....
Everybody's on the run
|12-31-2009, 11:33 AM||#19|
Joined: Jan 2009
pick pocket! no other way to get cash except expensive Western Union! Think they do cash back at the grocery stores in Nicaragua? Shit!
2008 DRZ 400SM
|01-04-2010, 06:15 PM||#22|
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Alaska, Costa Rica
For everyone following this thread. Don't worry, these two, bad hombres are still going strong. Atleast they were when I met them in San Jose, Costa Rica today.
They were performing a fresh synthetic oil change and heading south.
Tiernan, if you check into this site while in Panama, I wanted to give you a heads-up that you can buy a cell phone with SIM card and phoneline in Panama for dirtcheap. No contract, just pre-pay. You can buy them at the border or kiosks in bus stations and malls, etc.
I highly recommend picking one up to help coordinate your air freight plans.
On that note, I will do some internet snooping and see if I can't locate additional info on cargo to Chile. If I locate some contact info, I will list it here for you guys.
Contact: Marcus Jornot (Business Manager)
Phone +507 2801111
Phone +507 2737066
Good to meet you and ride safe. If you get jammed up in CR, then give me a call at that number I gave you.
ArcticRider screwed with this post 01-08-2010 at 04:15 PM
|01-04-2010, 06:21 PM||#23|
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Alaska, Costa Rica
Its much better to use PAYPAL and it is much cheaper.
ArcticRider screwed with this post 01-06-2010 at 12:24 PM
|01-09-2010, 07:50 AM||#24|
Joined: Jan 2009
shipping the bikes
It seems like the entire city is shut down for some holiday today that prompted fireworks at daybreak. We were told by a company I'd found on Horizons Unlimited that I should just go to the airport and start pricing around. Through emails I got this info for potentials:
Trans World Shipping
300 Water St.
410 727 7930
410 727 7933
23 South Street
410 685 0955
410 685 3892
Balto. MD 21202
2200 Broening Hwy.
410 633 0033
410 633 0036
Balto. MD 21224
I'll let the world know what works out best. Right now we're thinking we'd like to ship to Lima... Whatever works though, we're not glued to any itinerary. We just want to cut some time out of the trip at this point so we're not always racing to Rio; we want to relax the journey now.
Nice to meet you too! Thanks for taking us to your shop. Dan I believe, right?
2008 DRZ 400SM
|01-13-2010, 10:34 AM||#25|
Joined: Jan 2009
Leaving Mexico we’d really hoped to stop hitting “topes”, or speedbumps. What we found going into Guatemala was that indeed there are topes, only now the signs for them are fewer and farther in between. Couple that with a nighttime arrival and the electricity being out in the bordertown, and you’ll get the picture of a rough arrival. We pull off to a gas station to get a map since the border was all out, and find that here the gas stations have armed guards with shotguns. They don’t have maps at the gas stations, but it really doesn’t matter because there’s hardly any road signs anyway, and nobody knows how to give directions.
We ride most of the way across Antigua to find Mateo had left his wallet at the first gas station near the border. I get a shot of him going back with an active volcano in the background, and try to catch up until I realize I’d made at least one wrong turn, and two hours later I’m in the mountains looking at beautiful landscapes and women dressed in colorful homemade clothing.
I take a step back and decide that Matt will probably follow the same logic, which is that he’d have seen me on the road and therefore would be better off going on to Antigua instead of waiting around for me near the border. On the way I stop for a quick lunch… I really like the mandarin limes here.
I get to Antigua at dusk, and its really crowded. Finally I get some internet and find a hostel, which luckily has one open bed, internet, and a Christmas eve party with a nice dinner and drinks!
I remember the SPOT tracker, and get online to find Mateo is in Antigua, although his phone is off so I can’t call him but I’m resting easy knowing he made it and I can go out drinking.
That night I wound up at a bar that had all white guy travelers for the first time since starting the trip 3 weeks earlier. I wasn’t too into it… Christmas day I woke up and called Mateo. We met up and I brought him back to my hostel, where we stayed two more nights. Turns out he was staying and drinking right near the bar where I had been the night before. We were able to bring the bikes inside and Matt grabbed a spot on a mattress on the floor for half price.
We finally silicon sealed his exhaust, and left it to dry for a day. Taking a day off riding finally got my gestion crackin on both ends too J. After much debate, we head out for the Copan ruins in Honduras, following video we have of an adventure riders map we’d recorded on Christmas.
There’s no maps here, which isn’t a big deal since the road signs are worthless anyway. We miss a turn and wind up in El Salvador. Oh well, we heard the beach road is nice. It’s dark and we get through the border quickly. Again we stop at a gas station and speak with the shotgun guard about some directions or a hotel. Apparently we shouldn’t go on because there’s a series of tunnels which have no lights, and people are generally robbed if they try to pass through at night. Matt had heard of this before as well, which makes us wonder: why don’t the police do anything if they know about it? It’s like the robbers that hang out at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, what the fuck? El Salvador is on the American dollar, so for once we’re really sure we pay too much for the hotel and food. The next day is a nice day of riding some nice roads overlooking the beach.
We pass through most of the country in a few hours, and wind up staying at the Monte Carlo in San Miguel for $8 per room. We ask the cabbie to take us to a good bar where we can meet some chicas, and they like Americans. He says he’s not sure about Americans, but they like dollars. I tell him I want to be clear, I don’t want to pay for women, no strip clubs, how about a college bar? He looks at me funny and stops talking. Five minutes later we’re at Safire’s strip club, where the beer is only $2! Okay, let’s see what these girls are made of. A couple of them approach Mateo and myself, and start talking. Ugh, swear to god, the one talking to me had the breath of a cheap hooker who’d just earned a quick $10. Not kidding. We got the hell outta there and called it a night.
We wake up and head for the border, which is tough because the road we take only has signs from one direction, so we have to double back to find it. Anyway, getting into Honduras sucked. We ran into an American couple riding KLR’s whom I’d met in Antigua on Christmas eve when I was stressed out worried about Mateo.
Anywho, they’re the only ones ahead of us at 9:30am. They get finished with customs at noon, when everyone takes an hour for lunch break.
Okay, at 1pm we’re making progress. They don’t use computers for much, so hand written paperwork and many copies take us through to 3:30pm, at which point I rip a nice wheelie and then find out she didn’t give us everything. We head back, and a copper takes Mateo’s license for cutting through a divider. I’m worried we’ll have to spend money and another day there so I recommend we just take the loss since he’s got another one. One wheelie later and I find out now I need two copies of this new paperwork. This time the copper stops me for turning around, so I just leave my bike parked in the street and walk back to get copies. At this point I’m out of money so ask the nice looking 16 year old girl working at the copy center for pity copies and she obliges. Last wheelie.
Honduras is nice! It looks like they have the same amount of money as Mexico, Guatemala, but they seem to take more pride in their properties. There’s colorful paint, some basic landscaping… It seems like they have some pride and maybe even zest for life over there. We drop by a gas station for a quick beer and snack, which turns into a photo shoot with some locals who really like us.
Then, we get the first decent directions we’ve gotten the whole trip from the local coppers, who don’t mind speaking slowly for us either. Wish we’d stayed longer really, but we’re pushing to get to Nicaragua for New Year’s and relax for a few days.
Into Nicaragua is a nice change of pace. After ripping a wheelie on the bridge there, we pull into Migracion and Aduana to find… nobody begging, bothering, or trying to help us. Only three young ladies who want to sell us insurance, but they don’t seem to care if we want it or not. Or they were trying to play hard to get, either way I wanted to talk to them. Apparently they don’t allow the “helpers” there… And, they use carbon copies when you sign so there’s no need for copies. We’re out of that border entrance in 45 minutes. We ride to Leon, where the American couple had said they would be. By the way there website is sapoyrana.net if you want to check them out, they’ve been all over. We find a hostel that has $4 beds, and pay a security guard a dollar to watch our bikes on the street overnight after comparing his club to Mateo’s quickstick.
Not sure exactly what we paid for, since after unloading them I come outside to find him taking the sheepskin and bungees off because they’re not safe even with his guard.
The next day we do some laundry and head to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. The main road there from Leon is awful, full of potholes, gravel, dirt sometimes. I think it did make good video though… We get stopped about 40 minutes outside of Managua and the cops go over our bikes until they find a problem: the headlights are on, which is illegal during the daytime here. They tell us we’ll get tickets, go to Managua, and return with the receipt to get out licenses back. But, they leave in 45 minutes, so even if we were able to find the bank in record time, the task is impossible. Fortunately we can just pay them cash!
(For the record these are not the coppers that we dealt with. These guys stopped to check us out when we were doing some video action immediately after the shakedown, somehow they must have made it through the checkpoint themselves.)
Forty dollars and a half hour later we’re back on the move and finally arrive in San Juan del Sur a few hours afterwards.
Awesome place, and I loved the vibe the minute I arrived. The camera mount on my handlebars came apart in the street, and I picked up one part and missed another. No more camera mount until we find an internal Manfrotto part L. Anyhow, we ride around for a bit and find Hostel Esperanza, where we score a private room for $20/night until after New Year’s, which is great since it’s hard to find anything there this time of year; this town really packs in!
My man Carlos had given me two wife-beaters and a t shirt in Antigua, which have been great. The wife beater is hands down the best shirt under the jacket in the hot weather! Plus, it really compliments my creepy mustache.
That night we warm up to the night life with $7 bottles of Flor de Cana at a really cool bar called The Pier, which is a hub for travelers in town.
The woman who works at the hostel tells me I don’t need a helmet to ride around town (well the locals don’t seem to), and I get pulled over two blocks out. The girl from the hostel I’m with talks them out of giving me a ticket, then takes me 15 miles in the wrong direction looking for the famous Playa Madera. At one point we were about five miles in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road, when an ice cream guy rolls up, which turns my frown upside down right away. I go out that night, and get pick pocketed for my wallet, which has my debit card, Nevada driver’s license, and around $75 cash. I’m a little drunk, but after seeing someone on the floor below looking through a wallet like for the first time, I rush downstairs then realize I didn’t get a good look at them. I see two guys whom I suspect, and wind up following them around for an hour until a female friend from the hostel flirts and feels them up to tell me they don’t have the wallet on them. The card was later used that night for around $140. Got to love the locals, that card was a business card from Wells Fargo with my custom company logo on it. Somehow I don’t think the guy using it looked the part… For the record I don’t think Wells Fargo is giving me that money back either.
The next day I make good friends with Lilly and Dia, the two girls at the hostel that I’d been eyeing since I got there, and ride 3-up to Playa Madera.
I get some surfing done, some beach timelapse, and we end the day with a Matt’s rear tire flat in the darkness miles from civilization. We ride back with the tire and decide to deal with it in the morning- this is New Year’s eve. We also happen to run into Sapo y Rana!
That day the hostel informed us they needed to take the extra mattress from our room, so Mateo and I would need to share a bed in our private room. There’s got to be another way! I strike a deal with the two girls from the beach that since they’re sharing a bed, we should trade up partners so Matt and I don’t accidentally touch one another while sleeping. Holy shit it worked. New Year’s eve is amazing, other than the fact I got pick pocketed, again, this time for $25 loose in my pocket, and Mateo found someone’s hand in his pocket. Time to get on the horn with the bank, on the internet, which cuts out sporadically and I have to start these calls over, and over, and over...
This brings me to a rant- many authorities down here have a policy of don’t ask don’t tell, or see no evil here no evil, or something that makes common crimes happen. In Antigua, everyone knows that people get robbed at Lake Atitlan. Why can’t they arrest these people or put a guard up there? In El Salvador, everyone knows you get robbed in the tunnels at night, why can’t they put some lights in the tunnels, or again, police them? The pick pockets are so numerous in San Juan, I bet the bouncers must know who they are by now, I doubt pick pocketing is something people only do a few times then move on. And I keep hearing about the corrupt police in Argentina on the way to Iguazu Falls… I’m just bothered by this common knowledge crime that gets ignored by people in a position to do something about it, especially when that is their position- their job- their freakin duty!
New Year’s day we change Matt’s tube and finally get the heavy duty Fly in there. The locals who are still partying on the beach from the night before are duly impressed with our skills, and we change it in about a half hour (after setting up the timelapse camera). A bus driver lets us use his air.
I take the girls 3up again to the Jesus statue above the city, then have a nice dinner with the four of us.
We finally get out the next day after getting an interview from our new friend Dia, and head for Costa Rica. While in San Juan del Sur we decided our movie should be about the travelers we meet along the way, including hostel peeps, adventure riders, and Gringo immigrants. This takes a big stress off our shoulders, because properly covering our trip, which is what we were originally thinking the movie would be, is next to impossible. We finally get across Costa Rica, after waiting in line behind five busloads of people at immigration getting stamped out of Nicaragua.
It's funny, this guy in the grey and red t shirt had asked me for a tip. Of course I refused and had no clue why he'd even asked, since I hadn't even noticed he was there while I handled all my own business. Then, weeks later I see this picture and realize he must have been following me the whole way through, probably repeating the words of the Migra and Aduana, LOL! I'm pretty sick of the helpers, and often talk down to them with little respect. Does that make me a bad person? I don't give a shit, those people go out of their way to make my life a little harder, so I'm not going out of my way to worry about their esteem. Also at this border a kid of about 12 asked me for a tip for guarding the bike, while Mateo was there the whole time!
Costa Rica is a pretty easy border, but it’s night by the time we get into the country and we stop at the first hotel we find after having dinner. You had to see it to believe it. There’s a bar with rooms above in a town with all dirt roads. When I tell the jefe that we’ve got bikes he orders the entire bar to make way from the front door to the back where our bikes will sit inside. Every table in the place has to get up and watch their table pushed aside (if they don’t help) as we push our bikes past their captivated faces and drinks now in hand. The place looks to me like a whorehouse from the old west, built with all wood, and the visible stairs from the bar leading to rooms where you can see through the wooden walls and shared bathroom. I hang out for a while downstairs and learn the life story of several townspeople, and they force me to sing “Lady in Red” on karaoke, which I’ve never heard so I of course butcher the song. They really look disappointed when they hear me sing, but hey, I told them I’d never heard the song what the hell did they expect?
We do some good offroading in the rain and make it to Volcan Tenorio, only to find there’s a four and a half hour hike involved at the top. Er, nevermind. Let’s keep moving.
We head towards the beach, make a wrong turn, and wind up in San Jose and hook up with a pretty eventless hostel, other than an American we meet who tells us how he was sliced and hacked up by a crackhead in Quepos.
The next day we decide to change our oil, and luckily meet Alaskan Dan, who approaches us and takes us to his local shop where we can buy some decent oil. No silkolene 100% ester, but at least semi-synthetic 20W50. We do the change right there on the sidewalk and head to Quepos to stay at Casa de Rasta.
Rasta’s proprietor, Ben, comes and meets us at the coffee shop with internet, then we follow him back to the island with a quick stop at his guy’s place and a semi crazy motorcycle load onto a small ferry across the water. When we get there we run into a Finnish couple I’d been waiting in line with at the Costa Rican border two days earlier.
This small island off Quepos was very relaxing, and this place had no internet so we were forced to really take a load off for a couple of days. Other than that, there was surfing, ziplining, a 420 daze, an interview with Ben, and a flat tire.
Thank you, Del Amo Motorsports of Redondo Beach, for giving us the wrong tube. I did appreciate the cocky attitude and proving to me that your social life at work was more important than my purchase, but giving me a 21 incher for my Supermoto which I’ve carried for 5,000 miles on my front fender is really what sealed the deal for me. What a dick, now we’re stuck with the crap they sell down here and will probably have to change it again…
Out of Quepos Matt gets stopped for speeding, but the Costa Rican police don’t waste our time trying to act like they want to give us a ticket. $20 and three minutes later we’re on the move to Peninsula de Osa, National Geographic’s most geographically intense place on earth. The ride in is awesome with some really stunning views, and scary potholes in the road.
We stay in this town Puerto Jimenez, which is really a dump.
My Central American peeps all know the Suicide Shower.
2008 DRZ 400SM
tiernan screwed with this post 01-18-2010 at 11:30 AM Reason: photobucket went over had to switch to google
|01-13-2010, 04:55 PM||#26|
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Camp Snoopy
lol @ del amo motorsports. the place sucks and is expensive.
If people annoy you on the Internet, how do you handle real life?
|01-14-2010, 06:20 PM||#27|
Joined: Oct 2009
Very cool RR so far.
Nice work on the chicas too.
|01-14-2010, 09:04 PM||#28|
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
you lucky bastages!
If your wife is pissed off about your moto trip, you are doing it right
|01-15-2010, 06:30 AM||#29|
When in doubt gas it!
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Glen Rose TX, Northern Hill Country
Whats the Title of Movie
Nice report but I'm starting to wonder what the movie will be about?
Is it how to ruch through Central America while picking up Chicks?
Or wih your last post I guess it might be.... How to Skip the ENTIRE Heart of the ANdes while touring Central and South America....What are you thinking?
Have you ever heard the term stop and smell the roses?
Seems to me that what you ought to be doing is figuring out how to come up with an extra month and another $3000 so you can do this properly.
Steaks Medium Rare, Red Wine, V-Twin Road-Bikes, 4-Stroke Dirbikes, V8 RWD Cars, American 4X4 Trucks...Endless Roads with Motoing Amigos
Un Moto Abrazo
Keep the Shiny Side Up
|01-15-2010, 06:48 AM||#30|
ow, my balls!
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Girdweed, AK
Hey that was Mike and Karen you met at the border. I havent seen them since Puerto Escondido. Cool folks!
Riding the Americas:
No Fumar Español - Terminado.
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