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Old 12-17-2012, 07:23 PM   #586
rtwpaul OP
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i was sent this...a mexican cop leading a parade, he sees a speed bump (topes) to late and hits his front brake perfectly to push his front wheel in the the bump and not go over it, talk about perfect (bad) timing, guess we are not the only ones who hate topes, hey officer???...will this slow down the building of new ones????

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Old 12-17-2012, 07:49 PM   #587
DRRambler
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Thanks for the great report

Just getting caught up and enjoying following along. I really like the real time reports like yours It's one of my "must look and see what's new" ride reports along with Radioman, Mobius, Kedgi and Jammin Jay.

I gotta say you had me worried when you mentioned the possibility of Stahlratte not doing the San Blas -> Cartagena run next year. For those interested I found that she has a schedule up to July 2013 including:

leaving San Blas 29.mar13 -> ending Cartagena 01.apr13
leaving San Blas 14.jun13 -> ending Cartagena 17.jun13
leaving Cartagena 02.jul13 -> ending San Blas 05.jul13
leaving San Blas 15.jul13 -> ending Cartagena 18.jul13

Independence looks like a good alternative but I want to sail on Stahlratte if I can next year in November.

Keep up the great reporting!
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:03 PM   #588
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Originally Posted by rtwpaul View Post
merida is a plan, but not angel falls isn't, time and budget is killing me here, small delays change plans dramatically as you well know! Silviu and i may have a chance to meet up in Ecuador as he's trying to get a ride in before heading back to work, if that pans out then i may ride back with him from EC to VZ...now that could be interesting

I heard he had a little off in Barinas, I wonder if you got to visit him Wild times down South, sounds like you've got a posse in VZ with you.

Take care and stay safe, I had a near miss myself in Valencia and it caught up to me later in VZ when I was paying attention.

Looking forward to the rest of your VZ report...
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:47 PM   #589
Adv Grifter
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Thanks for the great reporting. Happy to see some boots on the ground feedback on VZ. So many false negatives around from Gusanos.

Sorry to hear about so many riders having bad luck. I'm hearing about quite a few crashes on various reports lately.

I can't believe so many bikes all stayed in that one Hotel in Cartagena! Must have been a really good deal. I always get nervous around that many other Gringos. Looks like prices will have likely tripled by the time I get there. Oh well.

You are providing a great service with your detailed account of every border crossing from the USA on down. Fantastic ... should be REQUIRED READING for anyone undertaking such a ride.

I'm planning on shipping (or Air shipping) out of Florida .. to Colombia.
Any reliable and recent sources of information on doing that?

Eyes UP ...Rubber Side Down ... May Good Vibes and Fairy Dust Go With You!
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:22 AM   #590
rtwpaul OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertaStrom View Post
Just getting caught up and enjoying following along. I really like the real time reports like yours It's one of my "must look and see what's new" ride reports along with Radioman, Mobius, Kedgi and Jammin Jay.

I gotta say you had me worried when you mentioned the possibility of Stahlratte not doing the San Blas -> Cartagena run next year. For those interested I found that she has a schedule up to July 2013 including:

leaving San Blas 29.mar13 -> ending Cartagena 01.apr13
leaving San Blas 14.jun13 -> ending Cartagena 17.jun13
leaving Cartagena 02.jul13 -> ending San Blas 05.jul13
leaving San Blas 15.jul13 -> ending Cartagena 18.jul13

Independence looks like a good alternative but I want to sail on Stahlratte if I can next year in November.

Keep up the great reporting!
i know they show sailing dates but the guys who were on the ship with me, Fifi (captain) and Bobo (Engineer) really want to move the boat somewhere else, they said Lulu (captain who everyone knows as Ludwig) wants to stay as he has a wife in Columbia, so it will go up for a vote with the committee (the rest of the 150 German owner/ members), but they also said all votes are not even, certain people have higher standing, so just wanted to let everyone know...the did say of they did a change it may take a year or so

if you can get on it is good, hopefully you don't have crazy seas like i did. I will be on there twice more (cuba and back) so getting quite intimate with it, its a adventure all in itself
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:27 AM   #591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
I heard he had a little off in Barinas, I wonder if you got to visit him Wild times down South, sounds like you've got a posse in VZ with you.

Take care and stay safe, I had a near miss myself in Valencia and it caught up to me later in VZ when I was paying attention.

Looking forward to the rest of your VZ report...
i'll send him an email this morning and see where he is now and how he's doing, we are heading down that way in a few day or so, VZ drivers are foot to the floor nut jobs, guess when you don't care about the price of gas you just drive fast which adds risk for us riders...
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:50 AM   #592
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Thanks for the great reporting. Happy to see some boots on the ground feedback on VZ. So many false negatives around from Gusanos.

Sorry to hear about so many riders having bad luck. I'm hearing about quite a few crashes on various reports lately.

I can't believe so many bikes all stayed in that one Hotel in Cartagena! Must have been a really good deal. I always get nervous around that many other Gringos. Looks like prices will have likely tripled by the time I get there. Oh well.

You are providing a great service with your detailed account of every border crossing from the USA on down. Fantastic ... should be REQUIRED READING for anyone undertaking such a ride.

I'm planning on shipping (or Air shipping) out of Florida .. to Colombia.
Any reliable and recent sources of information on doing that?

Eyes UP ...Rubber Side Down ... May Good Vibes and Fairy Dust Go With You!
the hostal was $12 so a good deal in the old city and its season so virtually every other place was booked solid, to be honest we could have fit another ten bikes in there if we needed to. Most people went off with there owns groups but it was a good place to say goodbye to riders before they all went on their own routes southbound

VZ isn't on the gringo trail to much but it should be, we (the four riders) are doing a reasonable size loop and going to come into Columbia at Cucuta, so we still have loads of Columbia to ride as well. The ride in from the frontera, honestly not to many options for places to stay until Maricaibo and like riding on a race track surrounded by stock cars on a 3/8 oval trying to take each other out

typical line of cars around the border, no lights, beat up, trunk lid lifting up when they drive off, but its a big V8 and it still moves pretty quick, but blows loads of emissions out of the back and it flys by you at 120 kph when the speed limiti is 40...so as Andy Dufrain said in the Shawshank Redemtion "get busy living or get busy dying"




then after that nothing until Carora, not even camping options, so if you come here you need to plan you timing right as we arrived in the dark, in hindsight a hotel in Maricaibo would have been an better option...besides that all good so far

i know a few people who have flown bikes from columbia to florida but not the other way and they said it was great service super efficient way of doing it, having spent a lot of time in CA myself over the last 20 years if i was doing SA again i would use the option for sure, but if you haven't done CA then i think it should be required riding for everyone, not to get scared about the borders as i've shown they are doable if you have a little intel and then are easy. on the riding side there are so many must see places, not sure why anyone would avoid them


just as point of interest to other that still say no i think i'll skip the place

the current official exchange rate is approx. 4 bolivianos to 1 dollar, the black market rate for locals is 16 or 18 to 1...we got 15 to 1 which is good, so we are basically paying about 25 cents on the dollar for everything and getting free gas....so why do so many people skip the place as its the cheapest place to travel in SA...not sure
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:26 AM   #593
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Amazing photos as always, but a couple on the previous page really stand out and should probably get entered in a photo contest. National Geo, etc. The thatched hut at the tip of the island/peninsula or the sunset canoe with the bird overhead. If you put that one on Smugmug for sale I'll be your first customer.
i have sent the full size photo to you this morning, instead of the smugmug route i am going to leave it up to you to determine the value and have put a donate button on my website...any amount from a penny upwards is greatly appreciated, thank you in advance

if anyone else is interested in full size copies of any of my photos let me know and i can do the same via email

this is the image that Patrol chose (sent without the copyright)...san blas island of Cartu Sugdug looking west

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Old 12-18-2012, 09:14 AM   #594
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Just a short note to let you know that while I truly enjoy your excellent
photography, I'm sure there are many of us out here that also enjoy
your excellent word pictures. As to the difficulty of candid shots, some of
the best I've seen were by a friend who used to use an old EXA with the
waist level viewfinder. She'ld be looking away while photographing
surreptitiously.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:39 AM   #595
poolman
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Great Trip Report and Photography

Paul,

Thank you for taking the time to write up and post this informative and enjoyable ride report! I'm really enjoying your photography as well as your traveling perspective.

Ride safe and enjoy your journey!


Cheers,
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #596
gerardoviavia
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gerardo viavia copan

hi paul

looks like you are having a hard time
grtz from copan
by the way how's the end of the year reservacions working out?

gerardo
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:32 PM   #597
rtwpaul OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
I heard he had a little off in Barinas, I wonder if you got to visit him Wild times down South, sounds like you've got a posse in VZ with you.

Take care and stay safe, I had a near miss myself in Valencia and it caught up to me later in VZ when I was paying attention.

Looking forward to the rest of your VZ report...
spoke with SS today...wow he is lucky is all i'm saying

and went thru Valencia today, talk about crazy roads, all i can say about that is WTF
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:39 PM   #598
rtwpaul OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prsdrat View Post
Just a short note to let you know that while I truly enjoy your excellent
photography, I'm sure there are many of us out here that also enjoy
your excellent word pictures. As to the difficulty of candid shots, some of
the best I've seen were by a friend who used to use an old EXA with the
waist level viewfinder. She'ld be looking away while photographing
surreptitiously.
funny thats how i take a lot of the shots i post on here of people, most of the ones in San Blas because the people were so close, but the only problem is with my big DSLR it does make a noise when i shoot and people hear it so i only get one try,

but one other trick i use is to put it on multiple shot mode, i get 7 shots per second that way so better chance of getting a good one...but it sounds like quiet machine gun fire
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:40 PM   #599
rtwpaul OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
Paul,

Thank you for taking the time to write up and post this informative and enjoyable ride report! I'm really enjoying your photography as well as your traveling perspective.

Ride safe and enjoy your journey!


Cheers,

thanks for that, good to have you along for the crazy ride
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #600
rtwpaul OP
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Originally Posted by gerardoviavia View Post
hi paul

looks like you are having a hard time
grtz from copan
by the way how's the end of the year reservacions working out?

gerardo
its all good, just part of the crazy adventure, you know how that goes...new year reservations are still on for the equator, but not sure if we'll make it, so throw any suggestion you may have in that area as alternatives

are you still getting people riding bikes in this time of year?
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