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Old 02-07-2011, 02:10 PM   #61
beechum1
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......Oh well, choosing between a bunch of guys on bikes or a sexy chica wasn't a difficult choice to make!....
It's ok. We know....
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:26 PM   #62
Cal
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Cory
when you left Guatemala on the way south they let you keep the TVIP and it is good for the number of days stamped in your passport I always ask for 90 days or the TVIP will have the date hole punched out when it expires, usually if you dont ask it is good for 60 days. It appears that you did not cancell the permit on the way south and it expired while you were out of the country?
I would be tempted now to just go to your spanish lessons and deal with the permit later or just ride out of Guatemala with out stopping. I quess it pays to pay attention to your dates and paper work.
The problem lies in the future when you return you will be flagged for not taking the bike out and it seems I always want to go back to Guatemala!!!
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:24 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Cal View Post
Cory
when you left Guatemala on the way south they let you keep the TVIP and it is good for the number of days stamped in your passport I always ask for 90 days or the TVIP will have the date hole punched out when it expires, usually if you dont ask it is good for 60 days. It appears that you did not cancell the permit on the way south and it expired while you were out of the country?
I would be tempted now to just go to your spanish lessons and deal with the permit later or just ride out of Guatemala with out stopping. I quess it pays to pay attention to your dates and paper work.
The problem lies in the future when you return you will be flagged for not taking the bike out and it seems I always want to go back to Guatemala!!!
Cal
The details are not clear due to the language barrier but I suspect you are correct that it's related to TVIP dates. 60 or 90 days would still be in effect as we didn't enter Guatemala until late December

When we left Guatemala last time there was a 4hr wait to get TVIP paperwork done. There was a huge stack of paper on buddies desk and he was just stamping, signing and tossing. Who knows what may have happened.

I didn't make the border in the 24 hour period (2pm today). I got 60km from the border and there was a bunch of farmers that had blocked the road protesting something or other. Traffic was backed up for miles and miles. They picked a good spot for it as there's no good way around them before the border.

I lane split to the front of the line and hung out for a bit. Since the protesters had bbqs, coolers and hammock's strung up, it seemed obvious that they planned on staying a while. A group of drivers angrily made their way up to the front and I decided to bail rather than get caught in the middle of something unpleasant



Since the bike is in illegally now, I want to get it out asap. I can take school in San Cristobal, Mexico but I would have liked to see friends in Antigua.

I don't recall when we left Guatemala last time if there was a gated check point ensuring you had all your required paperwork. If not, then I'll roll in, get my passport stamped out of the country and ride into Mexico. If there is a check point and they ask for my bike exit papers then I'll have some explaining to do. I'll likely fall back on my "Lo siento, yo hablo muy poco español". It's served me well so far.

Based on what I've seen so far down here, even if I get called on it, they will likely tell me I need to pay a "fine" for which there will be no receipt and I'll be on my way.

Of course maybe my bike will be impounded and I'll be arrested for smuggling. Time will tell.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:40 PM   #64
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If I remember correctly at La Messilla it is a bit confusing, lots of vendor stalls on the Mexican side, if there is a gate which I am not sure of, you can say you are just going to visit one of the vendors in Mexico. I think that the Imigracion and aduana are in the same building so park your bike a block away and ask a guard with a machine gun to watch your helmet and bike, and walk up to the window......or get a translater and find out what the real problem is they are very pleasant at La Mesilla, as for huge stacks of paper the Guatemalan customs is run by conected computers and very efficient. You need..... to take some serious Spanish lessons, by the way we met at a Bragg Creek horizons breakfast, I think?
Do you still have your window hologram TVIP?
saludos Cal
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:41 PM   #65
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Transformer liquid?

So hopefully it only had mineral oil in it but older oils contain PCBs. This was banned many years ago in the US but who knows in Honduras. PCBs are highly carcenogenic and easily absorbed through the skin. I would take a shower and don't use your bare hands when cleaning the bike.
I'm hoping it was just oil and nothing more. No way to tell now

Where are you now John? FYI you would have had a blast riding the off-the-beaten-path Honduras stuff. I was thinking about you when I was there. Hmm, that sounds kinda creepy...

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Originally Posted by PlasticSun View Post
Rock on Cory! Glad to hear you're loving Honduras! We're in Puerto Viejo per your advice and plan to chill for a day or two and spend some time in the waves before heading into Panama.

We had a great time hanging with you in San Juan del Sur hope to see you again on the road sometime!

Eric + Sabrina
I've noticed that you tend to run in to the same people over and over when on the road. I have no doubt we'll cross paths in the future.

Are you at Rockin' J's in PV? Check out Tasty Waves yet?

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thats the talk I like ... ride on Oso, ride on
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Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
I can see from your writing and your attitude that you are fully in the groove. It takes some time on the road for your head to get into that mode but once you are there the enjoyment factor increases exponentially. This is what it is all about.
Mundo and Vinny, yeah, things have been really good the last couple weeks. The ridings been great, the places amazing and I've met some wonderful people too. I feel like I'm in the groove for sure. Add some road blocks, botched TVIPs, some border drama, a road romance or 2 and all the sudden it's feeling like a proper adventure rather than just a bike ride
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:50 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Cal View Post
If I remember correctly at La Messilla it is a bit confusing, lots of vendor stalls on the Mexican side, if there is a gate which I am not sure of, you can say you are just going to visit one of the vendors in Mexico. I think that the Imigracion and aduana are in the same building so park your bike a block away and ask a guard with a machine gun to watch your helmet and bike, and walk up to the window......or get a translater and find out what the real problem is they are very pleasant at La Mesilla, as for huge stacks of paper the Guatemalan customs is run by conected computers and very efficient. You need..... to take some serious Spanish lessons, by the way we met at a Bragg Creek horizons breakfast, I think?
Do you still have your window hologram TVIP?
saludos Cal
I'll have to figure it out when I get there. Passport stamp and ride off is my plan A. Getting a translator is plan B.

I've got 7 weeks till I need to be home. At least a couple of weeks will be used for Spanish School. Although this trip is winding down, South America will happen in the near future so the skills will serve me well there.

Bragg Creek HUBB breakfast, that was probably Tim. I was sick that day and didn't make it. I need to get a bit more plugged into the local scene when I get back. It seems there are lots of us in Calgary and area

I don't have the TVIP with the window on it. I have the pink one and a couple photo copies of another. It will sort itself out, it always does.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:11 PM   #67
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Oso - crazy day on 3 fronts it seems. Sounds like you were wise to pull a U-ey (is that how you spell that??) and get outta there...

Another 6 inches of frigging snow up here last night... F word x 10, but spent the last few days re-doing all of the farkle wiring on my bike. After adding things one by one it needed to be cleaned up and consolidated. New springs for front forks have shipped - maybe do those next weekend.

Hope you get out okay and don't have problems at the border. Nothing ventured, nothing gained eh!

Well, ride safe, d
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:36 PM   #68
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Great report !!!! Keep em coming !!! Pics,pics !!!


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Old 02-07-2011, 07:10 PM   #69
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Honduras stuff:

Fabiola.


A huge landslide had wiped out the road (Hwy 7W). A temp road was put in but isn't in very good shape.



Lots of surprises on/in the road today.



Ah, the town of Chicaman. If Chica means girl then the name of their town is girl man? So that's kinda like a ladyboy
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:29 PM   #70
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Airhawk

I just got this PM, thought it was pretty cool:

"Cory,
My name is Danielle Boenisch and I am with AIRHAWK Comfort Seating Systems. I recently read a comment posted by AdvRider user masukomi on a forum (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...php?p=15096245). He said that the front strap ripped out of the cover of your AIRHAWK. Will you call our Warranty Service Department at 800-851-3449 ext. 7391 or e-mail them at warranty@therohogroup.com? They will be able to help you determine your best options. Let me know if you have any questions.

Danielle"

It's not often that a company is pro-active with with issues. I wanted to give them a big public thumbs up for it
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:52 PM   #71
beechum1
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Fabiola.
I'm pretty sure we could've figured out how to ship your stuff down there.....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dread Pendragon View Post
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 02-08-2011, 03:22 AM   #72
510ebl
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Originally Posted by Oso Blanco View Post
Fabiola.
Now you're just showing off!

Great ride report! I've been reading/following along for a week or so, adding this to my daily dose of vicarious living. Thanks for keeping up the daily updates!

Be safe...
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:30 PM   #73
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I left the hotel at 10:00am. I rode down the highway toward the border crossing of La Mesilla. As I rounded the corner I had been stopped at the day before due to the protest I was seriously annoyed to see that they were still there. The line was much smaller than yesterday and the truck blocking the road was different so it was apparent that the road had opened at some point since I was there last.

I asked a local what time the blockade would be removed and he said 5pm. FUCK. I was cursing myself for not getting up earlier and beating them down here.

I looked over the map and decided to try a crossing further south. It was only an hour and a half drive which would put me several hours ahead of sitting and waiting until 5pm.

I punched the crossing into the GPS and made a U-turn. As I rode back toward the city I noticed several small trails beside the road. Surely one of them would bypass the road block. I stopped on the side of the road to ponder and have a look at the map. A local walked over and as if he had read my mind he said, "Even if you get around this road block there are 10-12 more between here and the border." I thanked him for the info, started the bike and headed down the road toward the other crossing.

As I rode past a small restaurant I saw a couple R1200GSs in the parking lot. I thought I'd stop and give them a heads up in case they didn't know about the obstruction ahead. I parked the bike and as I walked in I was greeted by Carlos, Gilbert and their wives Doris and Esperanza. I had met the 2 Mexican couples at the Los Manos border between Nicaragua and Honduras a little over a week before.



They knew about the road block from the day before. A friend had called to warn them so they were up at 4:30am to beat the protestors but that hadn't been early enough. Instantly I didn't feel so bad about leaving the hotel at 10am.

I explained my customs TVIP issue with Carlos who spoke excellent english. He cringed when I told him my bike was here illegally. Not a good sign. Getting out of Guatemala maybe easy enough but Mexico may require the exit paperwork before they let me in there. This was going to be more difficult than I had hoped.

Carlos offered to help out with whatever he could if I wanted to wait with them until the road opened. I decided that having a local translator with lots of experience with TVIPs would be the best.

It was now 11am, we had 6hrs to kill until the border opened at 5pm. They had been at the coffee shop since 6:30am. Between naps on the sidewalk and restaurant floor, I entertained (or maybe bored) everyone with pics and videos of my trip so far.

Carlos and Doris sleeping in the parking lot.


Time went surprising quickly. At 3:30 we decided to go to a different restaurant for chicken. We ran into a local cop who said the blockade would likely last until 6:00 or 7pm. Err!



The goodluck Goat:


5pm, after our chicken dinner, we headed down the highway toward the border hoping the blockade was no longer up. As we crested the hill and saw the road was clear, there were thumbs-up from all 5 of us.

The next 70km can only be described as terrifying. With Carlos/Doris in the lead followed by Gilbert/Esperanza and me last, we weaved and raced down the road. The highway is twisty and winds through many towns along the way. There was fallen rock all over the road as well as debris from other road blocks which included rocks, logs and burnt tires (?!). None of this stopped the 2 couples from riding like crazy people.

I have never seen a fully loaded bike, 2 up being ridden like that, ever.

Gilbert's panniers were literally dragging through the corners. They were passing on blind corners, as they crested hills, on the shoulder and a couple times on the sidewalk. We blasted through towns where the speed limit was 40kph at over 110kph, past Guatemalan Police who didn't seem to care. On a couple of straights we were approaching 150kph. I, on cupped, worn out knobbies was extremely uncomfortable to say the least. I think that even on a crotch rocket I would have been uncomfortable riding with them. The only reason I kept up was they had to slow right down for the speed bumps and I was able to hit them at 80kph. Of course this is all happening at dusk with limited visibility. Oh, did I mention that the four of them are all in their 50s?!

I usually reach border crossing with some anxiety but I was glad to be stopped and off the bike this time. First thing out of my mouth when we stopped, "Are you fucking crazy?!" Carlos and Gil laughed hard, Doris and Esperanza agreed that they were crazy.

The soldier waved us into the Aduana office to stamp our bikes out. The moment of truth. Carlos and Gil slap down there Guatemalan TVIPs, the guy says they are good. Gil and Carlos head to the immigration office to get stamped out. The guy looks at me. I lay down all 4 (expired) photo copies of the original permit. He says no, the one he needs isn't there. He doesn't seem to notice they are stamped canceled with a date of December 28th, 2010. I say that's all they gave me on the way in. He swears under his breath and waves me away. REALLY? That's it? That was easy.

I make my way over to the immigration office where the others are surprised to see me so soon. Gil doesn't realize there is a soldier standing right behind him when he says in Spanish to Carlos "Cory's good? They didn't figure out his bike was here illegally?" The soldier steps in and says what was that about an illegal bike? Oh, err, nothing sir. He storms away.

I know when the soldier tells the customs official what heard and he types my VIN in the computer he'll realize something is in fact wrong, then I'm screwed.

I'm nervously waiting to get my stamp so I can get the bike across the line into Mexico which is literally 80ft from where it's parked. The immigration officer is the slowest mofo on the planet. He's half watching football highlights on the TV, greeting everyone who walks in the office with a big hand shake and asks how they are doing. I sweating and pacing. Doris comes in and tells me my bike is leaking gas. WTF. I go out, realize I parked on too much of a slope and the vent from my aux tank is leaking fuel. I go to move the bike (parked right in front of the Customs office) and the soldier points to the office and say "Big problem with moto", motioning my to go to the window. I pause then say, "Uno momento, yo no tengo passport.." pointing at the other office. I dash to back to the immigration office. What do I now?

After 5mins my passport is stamped, I'm clear. I duck out the side door of the office looking to see where the soldier is. He is distracted about 50ft away at the gate. I do my best Mission Impossible impression sneaking as close to the bike as I can. His back is turned so with key in hand I run over the to bike, jump on. Before get it started the Customs guy sees me and yells which gets the attention of the guard who stops what he's doing and starts running toward me but it's too late. The bike and I cross the border into Mexico.

I don't really know what the border relations are between these two countries. If there had been soldiers on the Mexican side maybe they would have stopped me and sent me back. As it turns out, there is no Immigration or Aduana right at the border on the Mexican side and more importantly, no soldiers or police. The offices are 4km down the road at Ciudad Cuauhemoc. I had to stop 100meters from the Guatemala border for fumigation. No one followed. I was (safe?) in Mexico.

I wait for the others, who were arguing with the slow ass immigration officer about something. In a few minutes they arrived at the fumigation station. We made our way to Cuauhemoc and get officially stamped into Mexico.

I had planned on heading to San Cristobal for a couple weeks. As it turns out that's were the others were from. It was 8pm, if it were me riding alone, I would have grabbed the first hotel I came across but since they were only 200km from home they were going to keep riding. They asked if I was going to follow. I said based on the trip to the border I'm not sure that I could keep up! They all laughed but assured me they were going that fast to make the border before dark. Since it was now night and there are many animals on the road so they will be riding slowly.

As I followed them into the darkness, it became apparent that their idea of slow and mine are not even close to the same. 120kph, in the dark, topes, police and animals everywhere. Yikes. We climbed higher and higher in the mountains. As we climbed the temperature dropped steadily. My outside-air-temp gauge flirted with sub-zero several times over a 30min period before climbing to a balmy 8C.

We rode into San Cristobal just after 10pm and found a coffee shop. After a hot chocolate, I thanked everyone for their help and asked if they knew of a decent hotel close. Carlos and Doris said they wouldn't help me with that and insisted I stay with them at their house. Normally I would have declined as I'm usually uncomfortable around people I don't really know, especially in their homes. For some reason it felt totally natural and normal so I accepted their invite.

The coffee shop in San Cristobal.


All smiles after making it across the border.


More new road friends.

Side note, once I arrived at the house, their riding style made more sense. The walls of Carlos's office are covered with pictures of him racing with his track bike. I don't feel quite as bad about getting my ass handed to me by guys in their 50's riding 2-up with 3 piece luggage.

Tearing their bike apart in an attempt to find the house keys. Never did find them, ended up breaking in with a machete.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:41 PM   #74
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I do my best Mission Impossible impression sneaking as close to the bike as I can....... I was (safe?) in Mexico.


You need some Camouflage riding gear!




Awesome.







Welcome to Mexico.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:19 PM   #75
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missed ya mate I´m on Atitlan lake but we were both in San Cristobal on the same day the 8th Feb oh well

Ride on!!
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