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Old 10-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #106
Slowphil OP
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Costa Rica is a bit of a blur, just another country we had to hurry through to make a certain date, it was extremely pretty and a really nice country

When you arrive at the border they herd everybody into the fumigation area and spray the wheels down



because we got out of customs late in the afternoon we ended up in a small town of La Cruz, found a large hotel with a restaurant and a pool for a reasonable price. The guys ended up in a dormitory and Jean and Chantel stayed in a double room

there are military and police checkpoints all over Central America and it's a crap shoot whether or not you get stopped to have your papers checked. It's a real joy standing in the blazing sun in all your gear with the sweat running down the inside while they slowly check your papers



I had to head into downtown San Jose to see some people but as we were riding the torrential downpour started again, we rode for about 2 hours in the rain before getting into San Jose, there's nothing quite like standing talking to people while the water pours off your gear onto a beautiful highly polished hardwood floor to break the ice.

We left San Jose and ran late again, finally found a hotel at San Isidro, the Dos Pinos. Since the hotel is located at the edge of the town we decided to call a taxi and head into town so asked the manager to call for us. He said that his Dad would be glad to pick us up so we had visions of a beat up wreck showing up to give us a ride, about 15 minutes later in pulls this beautiful mercedes benz, his Dad owns 2 hotels and had come to take us to the other one downtown where he was going to feed us. It turns out he owned a BMW R1200R and was a real BMW fanatic, I guess after all that hanging around with a bunch of dweebs who own BMW's does have it's good points, so far it had been nothing but listening to the Dweebs talk about their bikes. So we had some excellent food, a great, great highly entertaining evening and in the morning he came back on his bike to lead us into town for breakfast

hit the Panamanian border on the 7th October and it was another doozie, we arrived early to avoid all the heavy traffic but there was 3 tour buses in ahead of us, the office where we had to get a stamp and signature closed down at noon with a sign saying open at 1, at 1:55 it finally opened up again, so all in all it was a very long process.

Ed and Guillarmo (nickname Sweet William) conversing with one of the officials while waiting



there were some interesting sights at the Migration office, this guy was nicknamed Jesus



Before I give the wrong impression, aside from the length of the process we had quite an enjoyable time, talking to people in line, wandering off for food, watching all the interesting things going on. It all depends on what you make of it!

In Panama, got to the little town of David and stayed at the Hostal Bambu, can't say enough about this place, nice rooms, wifi, pool, nice people, laundry and kitchen facilities




kitchen with Chantel cooking



and our last 2 days in Panama we decided to get some rest, everybody being tired from hard riding, stopped at Santa Clara in a nice little hotel
on the beach. Because it is still off season we got a great 2 room place with a kitchen and slowed down for 2 days

Guillarmo doing what he did best



From here we had to go through Panama City where we stopped so I could finally get myself a nice camera. YEAH!!!!!

Next up: Off to the Stalhratte
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:17 AM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowphil View Post
I guess after all that hanging around with a bunch of dweebs who own BMW's does have it's good points,
Yeah...you end up getting fed, good coffee and shit like that.... Can't be much worse than dweebs on KLRs or V-Stroms? Can it?

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Old 10-21-2012, 08:54 AM   #108
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Well I'm really glad you're having a good time in Mexico .I checked on your place in Kingsport we're having fantastic weather the leaves are beautiful and the it's really nice weather. Well enjoy your trip.

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Old 10-22-2012, 03:05 PM   #109
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Pissed

Well this is my second try at this, the last 1 1/2 hours I spent doing this report just got wiped out for some reason, I'm afraid the second attempt will not be as good

We had to travel through a Kuna Indian Independent Territory where they stop you and demand $9 to pass through



Gabby donning rain gear for the much dreaded torrential downpour



but we finally arrived at the dock where we were to load, Chantel celebrating




me just as glad to be there



lined up to be loaded



we couldn't stay on board the first night because they were working on the engine



stayed on a Kuna Island at the Kuna Hilton, 3 persons at $25US a night each





some guys were lucky and got the condo that is until the middle of the night in another torrential downpour they all got soaked



hand carved canoe





breadfruit tree



next day we boarded and headed out to a deserted island to stay the night



good times swimming barbequing and drying clothes and everything else that was going mouldy














but what would a tropical cruise be without good friends and lobster to feed everybody






have to admit there wasn't too much privacy on board



first full meal aboard



the President of Panama was supposedly anchored off the shore



sunblock and bandana were de rigueur on the voyage



but it wasn't all good time charlie, there were a lot of duties to carry out, here's Guillarmo and Taka standing watch



here's a one spot indication of where we were



bad weather looming off the port bow



Jean imagining he's Captain Bligh



Next We cruise the Carribbean and arrive at CARTAGENA

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Old 10-22-2012, 04:16 PM   #110
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CARTAGENA: another big step in the journey south

we motored all night and woke up to the sound of the anchor chains rattling in the hawsepipes, got up and went up top and there it was, a whole new continent at our doorstep





today was Monday when aduana and migration are always open but of course this is Colombia and today was a holiday, migration was open but the aduana had taken the day off. We could get off the boat but the bikes couldn't be landed until tomorrow so the crew ran us ashore and pointed us in the direction of a nice hostal



first things first, we had to arrange a bed for the night




since we had some time we made a fast trip around the old section of town which was fascinating for it's colonial buildings

gates in the wall of the old city



In each of the cities I've found something different that makes it interesting and in Cartagena it was the different styles of balconies







of course the city doesn't just consist of balconies







and here I am trying to do the Romancing The Stone pose



the next day-time to rescue our bikes, the Captain had made it quite plain unloading would start at 0630hrs so we had better be there

SweetWilliam trying to organize a water taxi at 0620hrs



and sure enough 0630 the dinghy approaches and everybody wonders who's is coming first, son of a gun it's mine



safe on shore



we were also told in no uncertain terms as soon as your bike was ashore you get on it and get your ass over to the aduana building so after this I was gone

This was great because it meant I got out of the heavy lifting of getting the boats ashore, that is until I got over to the aduana and found that they didn't open until 0900hrs and it was pissing down rain, luckily there was another government building open and they let us in and use their seats

0900 hrs rolls around. we're all there with our bikes but where is our broker with our documents?
Perhaps these next pictures will show the high drama taking place



The Japanese know how to cope, Taka showing us patience



which the Kiwi's were quick to emulate



I have to say this was the nicest Aduana building we had been in on the whole trip but all good things must end and the aduana agent came out in the pouring rain to inspect our bikes.sign us off and wave goodbye

We headed back to the Hostal, put the bikes inside using the huge ramp the hostal supplied


We jammed the whole street up blocking traffic for about 10 minutes getting the bikes inside, 2 motorcycle cops came riding down the wrong way on our one way road to see what the problem was
of course we all figured we were in it now, all they did was stand around and watch and ask questions, they were really interested in who we were and what we were doing and didn't give a hoot about the huge traffic problem we were creating

a few more pictures of the grittier side of Cartagena







and last but not least another fancy door knocker I saw



As much as I liked Cartagena it's now time to move down the line, next stop Medellin

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Old 10-22-2012, 05:29 PM   #111
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Great photos Phil!
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:27 PM   #112
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Excellent !
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:57 PM   #113
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COLOMBIA is famous for it's beauty and there is no exageration in that statement, it is a beautiful country

but when we packed up and left the hostal the first thing we had to do was head for the big Suzuki dealer and try and get a new front turnsignal since mine got broken being loaded into the dinghy coming ashore. Arrived at the dealer, explained what I needed and he said come with me, went next door unlocked the storage building and lo and behold there was a room full of broken dl650 National police bikes, he then proceeded to take a signal off one of the bikes and put it on mine

bikes bikes bikes



installing on mine



in case your wondering the blur on the camera is a water drop I never noticed

anyway I'll let the pictures try and show you Colombia










got stopped at a construction site



when I noticed in a small river across the road











and last lunch at a small barbeque stand, you had what he had to cook and was it delicious



that's it for now but wait until you see the next batch of pictures
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:29 AM   #114
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you're the coolest guy I know Phil
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:12 AM   #115
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Now you are fixing to get in the really good stuff

Here's wishing I was there right now!

Keep up the great report
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:49 AM   #116
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Great chatting with you Phil. The smile on your face and the energy in your words lets me know there are some great reports coming soon. Have fun.

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Old 10-30-2012, 02:10 PM   #117
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There are things you notice about every place you visit, Salento was the most photogenic town I have ever seen, the buildings are well maintained and decorated the town clean as a whistle

first were we parked the bikes for our stay



now I'll let the town of Salento speak for itself, the most noticeable parts being the doorways
















a picture I almost forgot to add which would have been a shame because even the dogs were photogenic

people meet Bruno



the view from the restaurant where we had lunch was tremendous





and where would the report be without a fancy door knocker
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:12 PM   #118
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:57 PM   #119
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #120
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had nice weather for the trip to Popayon so tried to get more pictures of the countryside so everybody can appreciate Colombia







but you also have to watch for these beasts moving slowly down the highways, the only thing limiting the length of the train seems to be the amount of power the towing vehicles have

sugar cane on the move



stopped to have a coffee at a very modern cafe, it was beautiful



but what was amazing was the fact that the washrooms were jawdropping gorgeous



they almost made it worthwhile to camp out in them



but we pushed on down the modern highway system to Popayon, a nice little colonial town but it seemed a little bland with all the buildings being painted white with black trim







unloading the bikes at the hostal, blocking traffic as usual



and into the TrailHostal where we arrived and were ensconced comfortably before the usual daily torrential downpour

sitting area


next up: on the road to Pasto

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