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Old 05-24-2010, 09:16 PM   #136
Jaw-Knee
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I don't think I can find a better adjective than Awesome! awesome report, pictures, and looks like its been an awesome trip so far. Keep it up!
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:26 AM   #137
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Does anyone have Garmin compatable GPS maps of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicuragua, costa rica or Panama?? or know where i could find some (very cheaply)? I could really use something that shows more than just the main couple roads in each country.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:08 PM   #138
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Awesome RR! I'm subscribed.

If your return trip puts you through Phoenix let me know. I have a bed and / or shower you can use. I'll tag along for the day and can make recommendations of things to see in AZ on your way North. We have a good group of ADV riders here.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:09 PM   #139
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You can try Ibycus, I'm not sure if he has added to his already complete Canadian topo maps (all free down loads) but its worth a try...I would try digging it up for you but I'm on my way out the door.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:07 PM   #140
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Day 30 – Border Day

A month in... I really have no concept of time now these days. Its either morning or evening, the day and date don't have lost all meaning, If we see kids in school uniforms its a weekday, if not chances are its a weekend, nothing is open on Sundays so that lets us know when a week has passed us by..

Amazingly enough there was no street party outside our hostel and the rain was light so the roof didn't leak on my foot all night... We slept well and when we woke we headed out to pickup our bikes from the secure parking lot where Rob had suggested we park them after the previous night's antics near where we had parked previously.

We load up, say goodbye to our new found friends at the Hostel and put some road behind us in our trek to Guatemala City and beyond.


Trying to work on my tan ;)


80Km later we find ourselves in the bustling metropolis that is Guat City. Like any other 1+ million person city Guat has everything you could ever need, unlike every other 1+ million person city I know, Guat doesn't seem to have a single building over 3 storeys tall...

We manage to get lost since the signage on the roads is so horrendous. With a little zigzag'ing through downtown, going the wrong way on one way streets and asking one very helpful Guatemalan we manage to find Highway 9 out of the city and out towards the El Florico frontera.


Some gorgeous countryside, farms wherever they can squeeze them in...




With some great info (from ADVRider Jdowns, thanks John!) we decide we will cross into Honduras at the El Florico / Copan Ruins crossing. The road out to El Florico is quiet and the locals stare at us like they've never seen a gringo on a motorcycle before.

The crossing itself is a tiny hole in the road, one store, a copy shop and the regular set of very laid back Guatemalan and Honduran border officials. When we roll in a quick consult of John's notes on this crossing reassure us as to the process and where to go get copy's and how many to got before we wasted our time in line.


El Florico, the Guatemalan side


Getting some copy's before we try our luck on the crossing...


With a stamp here, a fee there and couple stops to show our documentation we were through, even with our very limited Spanish we were through in less than half an hour, very friendly and helpful people! I would definitely recommend this crossing to anyone doing something similar.


The Honduran customs agent, slow and steady wins the race...

On the Honduran side we skoot up the road about 10KM where we see a sign for the turn towards the Copan Ruins. We pull in at 3pm and have an hour and a half before the park closes to see the sights. A lot of cool history and some great artifacts, though a very small site compared to some like Tikal or Chitzen Itza.


Off we go!





A model of the sit...


The Macaw's live free in the park, loud and large they are quite an attraction...


Our first glimpse of the ruins...


The Human sacrifice alter, you can see the indentation for the head and some channels to the blood to run down...


One of the 16(?) kings of Copan


A stone Macaw


The Royal residences


Sucky self portrait hahah


The "Old Mans Head"


View from the top of the observitory temple...

After our tour we decide to hit up a hotel in town. Its a great little multicultural town that feels very similar to Antigua, Guatemala. For $250L (about $14usd) we get a nice room before getting out on the town for some food at “Jim's Pizza” which was delicious and a nice change from meat and beans.
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IslandSpark screwed with this post 05-25-2010 at 05:16 PM
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:46 PM   #141
IslandSpark OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azshtr
Awesome RR! I'm subscribed.

If your return trip puts you through Phoenix let me know. I have a bed and / or shower you can use. I'll tag along for the day and can make recommendations of things to see in AZ on your way North. We have a good group of ADV riders here.
Thanks for the offer! may take you up on it... Always nice to meet fellow ADV'ers
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:36 PM   #142
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http://www.smellybiker.com/

bit torrent link that I have not tried yet but am downloading now

http://btjunkie.org/torrent/Garmin-w...35b82c7f8d2479

Not sure what Guaves are called in Guatemala. Those big beans have a large black seed inside surrounded by a cotton candy like flesh. Try one. Eat the flesh not the seed.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:11 PM   #143
kwight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns
Hi Patrick,

Enjoying your ride report . Keep up the good work! Nice pics. Fun to see the familiar places I have been through from a different riders perspective.

Best,
John Downs
I am guessing they are Tamarindo pods. They make a really great drink when you peel and boil them.

Oh great thread, makes me look forward to the day I can do that with my kids although it will have to be in my truck. Not enough bungee cords and don't think the wife would approve of taking them on the motorcycle anyways.

Kevin

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Old 05-25-2010, 10:11 PM   #144
DallasMadMan
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This all I found while I was in Panama searching for the same thing last month. I did not buy them because I found them the day I was leaving, so I don't know how much detail they have. My Worldmap was useless in both Costa Rica and Panama. I rented a gps from a car rental agency in Costa Rica that saved my rear since they have opened up so many new roads in the past 12 months.

http://www.ptygps.com/Store/tabid/17...me,ProductName

http://www.travelbygps.com/maps/panama.php

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandSpark
Does anyone have Garmin compatable GPS maps of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicuragua, costa rica or Panama?? or know where i could find some (very cheaply)? I could really use something that shows more than just the main couple roads in each country.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:01 PM   #145
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Great write up and pictures. I really enjoyed reading the whole post. I will follow along (the whole time wishing I was riding with you)!!!

Stay safe and have fun!!!
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:23 PM   #146
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flashing lights at you mexico

I believe the reason those people in Mexico flash their lights ,they use that as a warning that they are about to to take the passing lane..When you have your lights on ,they think you have inadvertly left them on. This confusses them.. Just my idea.
I am really enjoying your trip.

las vegas
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:46 PM   #147
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Thumb

Love the write up! Safe Trip!
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:00 PM   #148
Meatn'taters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandSpark
Does anyone have Garmin compatable GPS maps of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicuragua, costa rica or Panama?? or know where i could find some (very cheaply)? I could really use something that shows more than just the main couple roads in each country.
PM Igorshen or Antontrax - they'll probably help you out. Igor is down there now, and Anton is back in Canada. Both had/have exceptional RR on lots of off the beaten path roads.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:57 PM   #149
SchizzMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perrogordo
I believe the reason those people in Mexico flash their lights ,they use that as a warning that they are about to to take the passing lane..When you have your lights on ,they think you have inadvertly left them on. This confusses them.. Just my idea.
I am really enjoying your trip.

las vegas
It's common on a two-lane for drivers to keep to the right and leave the
center line as a suicide lane (3rd lane for passing only). "Proper" use of
this split lane is to check for overtaking or oncoming traffic in the split
lane, signal left and move to the left side of your lane. As other traffic
moves to their right you proceed to pass down the center line. Drivers
traveling in the center of their lane (normal in the US) are often flashed
the hi-beam warning. Just do as you see the locals doing - their system
works well.

It works like this is Jamaica, too, but the roads are essentially a single
lane with a strip down the middle!
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:36 PM   #150
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Day 31

I was up late last night talking to some friends from home, so its fair to say Rob got a better nights rest than I managed too. None the less we are up and at it early and after a cup of coffee on the road.

We make the decision to leave the Caribbean coast of Honduras for the return trip when it would be more in line with our intended route towards Tikal,Guatemala and Belize. Instead we will cut straight through the heart of the country. Small towns and gravel “roads” await us today.



The roads south from Copan start out as good as could be, great surface, some fun curves and nice scenery, we ride with the GPS pointed towards the little town of Gracious, Guatemala where the map shows there to be a road that can easily cut 150Km of today's ride.


Just keeps on rolling on...

With only a few wrong turns we end up in Gracious where we stop at a roadside stand after seeing some excellent looking Kabobs sizzling on a roadside grill. One of the best lunches yet! The lady cooking our food was very interested in our trip and with our broken Spanish we have a half decent conversion with her.


Mmmmm Meaty

We head out of Gracious and into the mountains where my paper map shows a “Secondary Highway” connecting through to the CA-1 near the capital city. The GPS shows nothing, I should have invested in some quality maps for these countries before I left home. The Garmin basemap shows only a few of the major highways and nothing else!


Before the rain starts I catch Rob watering the tree's...


Not bad,
yet...

So much for a secondary highway! The road that was unexpectedly gravel but in good condition soon becomes a clay monster and to top it off the heavens open with an unwelcome downpour. Riding becomes tricky at times and takes all of our focus to keep the bikes upright.


We stayed upright, this guy... not so lucky...

We twist and turn up into the mountains before descending on the other side, finding a small village where the locals look at us like they've seen aliens and repeating the process. The landscape here is quite different than we had seen at lower altitudes. A very bare pine forest has emerged and has quite a somber feeling to it when enveloped in the low cloud and rain we were experiencing.



Soon we emerge from the seldom used gravel road and head for the Capital.





Tegucigalpa is a city full of smokey buses, lane splitting taxi's and motorcycles who zip in and out of traffic like a scene from a discovery channel show about China. The only hotels we can seem to find are of the $160usd/night variety.

We spend nearly two hours driving around town looking for hotels without luck before Rob's bike puts us out of commission again... The charging issue is still tagging along with us. With a bump start in the middle of a crowded downtown street we continue our search before the V-Strom decides its had enough and quits for good.

By now its getting late, we push the bike over to the Popeye's chicken parking lot down the street and get some 'food' in us. There's no way we can fix Rob's bike tonight so we ask the shotgun toting guard if we can leave the bike overnight and come back for it in the morning, he's okay with the idea and rob give's him a little cash for his troubles.



A flagged down taxi will take Rob and his gear to a local hotel where we can get some rest before trying to fix the bike in the AM. We stop at a few hotels in what seems to be the ghetto's before finding a nice (but expensive) place close to the bike.

While I relax in the room, Rob and the taxi driver go looking for a battery charger and a motorcycle shop so we'll be able to diagnose the problem easily in the morning...
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