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Old 01-05-2011, 07:30 PM   #91
Cabbagehead
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Looks like maybe you had some more border crossing hell getting into Panama this afternoon.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:49 PM   #92
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Total chaos at the Nicaraguan side of the border. About 20 buses and tourists everywhere. The process for getting the bikes out is either very unorganized or it was a total scam. We paid a fixer $10 to get the 4 bikes out. I wandered around the customs compound with the guy while he looked for and got signatures from what seemed like 6 random officials scattered through out the area. After that we headed to Customs booth for a signature and then the Police office for another. At no point did anyone actually look at our bikes to ensure they were the same ones we brought in to the country or that we were even on bikes at all.

The procedures all seem to be in place because they always have been. No one knows why they do what they do and no one will ever look at the mountains of paper work after the fact. It's system just for the sake of having a system.

I was not at all prepared for what we saw when we rolled up to the Costa Rica side of the border. There were at least 1500 people in line for passport stamps. The line twisted and wound around stanchions and ropes for several hundred metres.

Two fixers appeared and told us we could skip the line for $20 each. We laughed and told them to go away. There were 2 Super Teneres in the parking lot with Swedish plates. We saw the owners at the Customs office doing paper work. They had arrived at 10am and just got through the passport stamping line, it was now after 5pm. 7hrs in line for a stamp. They said the line had almost doubled in size since they arrived.

The passport office closes at 9pm so that meant we'd have to wait in line until 9pm then sleep in line, where every we made it to, get up in the morning and continue to wait until we eventually made it into the passport office when it re-open. Not going to happen.

We tracked down the fixer that had made us the $20 offer and now that some more insight, we quickly agreed to sum. The deal was that we had to say we were just running into the Xerox office (which was next to the Passport office) for some copies (which we did need) then when the moment was right we had to duck into the line of people being admitted for stamps. The $80 went to the police manning the door, another $5 each the fixer for setting it up and $15 total to the copy lady who expedited the bike import process.

I felt bad doing it. The people in line had been there all day and we were in and out in less than an hour. The prospect of sleeping in line over night while our bikes sat unwatched didn't appeal to us. Since we had already stamped out of Nicaragua, we couldn't go back and grab a hotel on that side of the border either. Shitty place to be.

Apparently the normal wait at the crossing is only about 30mins but there are so many Nicaraguans that now live in Costa Rica going home from Christmas and New Years that the Nic border on December 23rd and 24th is totally insane and the CR side is crazy on January 1st, 2nd and 3rd as people head back to work. If you're riding down here over that period, avoid this crossing like the plague over that time period!

It seems that all I've posted about lately is border crossing. There has been a few other things going on but nothing too interesting.

We left Neal behind in Antigua as he was sick and not able to ride. He insisted we ride ahead and he'd catch up. Troy's Aussie friend Zane was also sick in Antigua and so the two of them have been riding to catch up.

While coming through Nicaragua, a pig ran out and Zane hit it at 50mph. Some minor damage to the bike, Zane is banged up a bit and the pig has a broken leg which of course means it was slaughtered shortly after.

Email from Zane to Troy:

"Neal and I are in Granada Nicaragua. Honduras was every bit the bitch i had read about. What a shit hole!

On some shitty road between Leon and Granada I hit a pig at 50mph... Bike's a little smashed here and there and I f^&ked the corner of my left pannier. I have a grazed hip and elbow and I can't lift my left arm, shoulder and neck are stiff, but i'm mostly ok. Really hurt though. I was rolling around on the side of the road in pain and the pig was a few meters away on its back, legs kicking in the air. Was pretty funny. About 100 locals gathered round, all quite concerned. You missed a great filming opportunity!

I think they were going to butcher the pig tonight... broken leg.

Zane"







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Old 01-05-2011, 08:24 PM   #93
desmodab
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I'm sure you guys are looking forward to some more riding and less paperwork...

Have you had any more thoughts on your plans? Are you still thinking of heading all the way down to TDF or staying in Central America for a while and coming back up? Looks like you're through the more tedious crossings through. If you do proceed south what are you thinking for the Darien Gap crossing?

Anyway, ride safe - try to avoid the pigs!
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:15 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by SnowStrom View Post
I'm sure you guys are looking forward to some more riding and less paperwork...

Have you had any more thoughts on your plans? Are you still thinking of heading all the way down to TDF or staying in Central America for a while and coming back up? Looks like you're through the more tedious crossings through. If you do proceed south what are you thinking for the Darien Gap crossing?

Anyway, ride safe - try to avoid the pigs!
The others are headed south. I can't justify the spending the money to get to SA only to race around trying to beat the clock before spending a ton more money to get the bike and I back home for April 1st. The others quit their jobs prior to leaving and have no definitive return date.

I'll head back north and try to take a different route than we took on the way South and see things we didn't the first time through.

I've got some Couch Surfing lined up as well as meeting up with a few other riders from here. I'll miss the crew but am looking forward to traveling on my own for an extended period as I've never done it before.

Should be interesting.


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Old 01-07-2011, 07:51 AM   #95
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Understandable given you've got a business to run.

If you're looking for some company on the last leg(s) home let me know and I'll ride out and meet you somewhere - Montana/Wyoming or ???

On another note I may have some work for you when you get back - I'll PM you later with some details.

db
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:05 PM   #96
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Understandable given you've got a business to run.

If you're looking for some company on the last leg(s) home let me know and I'll ride out and meet you somewhere - Montana/Wyoming or ???

On another note I may have some work for you when you get back - I'll PM you later with some details.

db
Dave, I'm not sure when I'll be back through but I'll likely stick to the west coast to get the best weather as long as I can and I have friends in Portland I'll likely stop to see. Montana or Wyoming in March seems like a bit of a gamble! Either way, if you're up for a ride that'd be cool.

More business is alway appreciated. Send it my way!
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:52 AM   #97
desmodab
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That sounds like a good ride back Cory.

Whatever route you choose have fun and if a ride in works, great, if not that's cool too. I'm sure we'll debrief over a beer when you're back either way.

Went to the Motorcycle show yesterday with my friend Ian (Mr. Canoehead). It was pretty much the same as previous years. I saw Rene Cormier and met Jordan Szoke, so that was kinda cool. Nice guy. Mostly checked out suspension stuff for the front end. Going to get redline t do my shock rebuild. They are nice guys and close to home, and they use RaceTech parts so that should be good.

Do you have a spot or did that split with Tim and the guys? I see the spot is in Panama city today.

As always, ride safe.

db
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:29 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by SnowStrom View Post
That sounds like a good ride back Cory.

Whatever route you choose have fun and if a ride in works, great, if not that's cool too. I'm sure we'll debrief over a beer when you're back either way.

Went to the Motorcycle show yesterday with my friend Ian (Mr. Canoehead). It was pretty much the same as previous years. I saw Rene Cormier and met Jordan Szoke, so that was kinda cool. Nice guy. Mostly checked out suspension stuff for the front end. Going to get redline t do my shock rebuild. They are nice guys and close to home, and they use RaceTech parts so that should be good.

Do you have a spot or did that split with Tim and the guys? I see the spot is in Panama city today.

As always, ride safe.

db
Yeah I saw the show was this weekend. I know Rene but have no idea who Jordan Szoke is?

The SPOT is mine, Tim has one too though so he'll post that up on the the TNE site shortly I'd guess.

My SPOT direct link

In Panama City today. I'll be riding south to end of the road at Yaviza (beginning of the Darien Gap). I need to kill sometime here as I have a DHL package from home that should be here mid next week. After that I'll be riding where the road happens to take me...but generally North
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:32 AM   #99
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Before we split up, we were at the Canadian Hotel in Chame, Panama. There was a court yard we needed to store the bikes in. The problem was that there were 3 large steps to ride up, then through the gate.

Darren had a rough time with the stairs...

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:06 AM   #100
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yikes...
glad he wasn't hurt
an unfortunate big grab of throttle
was the bike ok?

he won't soon forget that
thanks for sharing (not sure Darren is)
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:03 AM   #101
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.....
Darren had a rough time with the stairs...
Are you OK? Yup. Tell me you got that on video. Yeah, I got that on video.
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Mention to HogWild which way the wind is blowing where you're at, wait 20 minutes, and he'll post a picture of the intersection your at and a Google Earth route of how to get there.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:26 AM   #102
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Yeah Darren was OK, with the exception of a bruised ego! He took it like a champ. It seems like you always miss those moments on video so it was great to actually capture it!

Bike was good with the exception of a tweaked pannier rack.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:42 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Oso Blanco View Post
Yeah Darren was OK, with the exception of a bruised ego! He took it like a champ. It seems like you always miss those moments on video so it was great to actually capture it!

Bike was good with the exception of a tweaked pannier rack.
glad to hear that
i'm sure THAT particular video will be played at least once a week for the remainder of his days on this earth
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:28 PM   #104
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I've decided that the return trip is a completely different adventure and think it needs it's own RR. I'm going to scuttle this ship and start fresh here: Oso Blanco Darien to Canada

Cory
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