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Old 11-12-2012, 01:30 PM   #196
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Today was a day off to enjoy Copan. First some coffee and banana muffins at the cafe on the main square. Then finding a bank to get a few more lempiras. Changed enough at the border for a day or two, but I needed a few more.

Next was to find a motorcycle shop to buy a turn signal (pide vias). Unfortunately, Lico broke off one of my nice LED ones helping me get my bike out of his patio. He very sheepishly told me sorry. What are you going to do? I am sure it would not be a problem in Honduras and most of Central America, but I don't need to give a cop any extra excuses.

In that vein, I ended up buying two to not draw attention to the one. Now I have a spare LED. They were only $9.00 for the pair. They actually look more stock.

After that repair was finished, it was time to visit the ruins. For $1.00 (L20) a tuk-tuk gave me a ride. It was $15 (L300) to get in. Not only do they have Mayan ruins, but macaws. They were very pretty.





One in the tree looking towards the ruins.



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Old 11-12-2012, 01:34 PM   #197
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The ruins were also cool.





These had a lot more carvings than Palenque or Monte Alban.




Including some scary faces.







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Old 11-12-2012, 05:40 PM   #198
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My dinner spot. It rained so everything was wet.



The empty chair kept making me think of my wife and wishing she was here.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:59 PM   #199
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Yesterday I left Copan. And I earned my adventure riding badge for the trip.

The road out of Copan is pretty and relatively easy to at least Santa Rosa.

Unfortunately, I did not listen when my GPS originally said to turn onto CA11. My paper map did not show a turn, but I realized it was wrong about 1km later. Instead of flipping around, I told it to recalculate, which it did with another turn onto CA11 about 18km later. Not that unusual here. I figured I would just get to see a different road.

The road was great for about 5km then changed to graded dirt. Fantastic, I thought. I'll get my dirt riding in after all. Plus I could see less seen villages, etc. It climbed up into the hills with pine trees. It went like that for 20km and I was riding about 50km on some fun dirt.

Then the road deadended at a village. I took a few tries, but could not find the road my GPS said was there. So I asked a couple locals and they told me it was possible to get to the town I was headed toward, but did not sound optimistic about the time. I asked another local, a motorcyclist, but he did not know that route and said I had to go back to where I missed the turn. Not encouraging. But the original gentleman I spoke to wandered over and then they conferred and agreed that the road did exist. And gave me directions out of town to find it. They were very nice and even offered to write it all down, but I declined.

Unfortunately, the road was much tougher than before. If I had been in the mountains of Colorado, it would have been the perfect road for the DR650. Certainly not impossible, but I was glad I packed light and was not taking a GS. There were lots of ruts, loose rocks, steep climbs and a good half dozen water crossings. I think there are also bonus adventure points for being in Honduras and taking a road you don't know.





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Old 11-14-2012, 02:32 PM   #200
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It was like that for about another 20km. Unfortunately, that was about my speed too, so I took an hour to do those 20. Finally, I hit some more graded dirt and started to climb toward the next "city"



And origami Yoda is still here.

Another 20km of graded dirt and I hit Gracias. The town. Tarmac again and it was about 2:30. I figured I could make up some time.

Alas, it was not to be.

The pavement quickly turned into craters. Potholes would be underselling it. 80% were about 12-24 inches in diameter and 4-6 inches deep. About 5% were 12-18 inches deep and up to the width of the road. Needless to say, you had to watch it. Of course, that included the oncoming traffic that was serving all over to miss them too. Throw in fog with visibility of 100-150 feet and it made for interesting riding. Especially when my face shield fogged up.

Then when I was down to 36 km from the next town, another fun surprise. Apparently, some one decided to take the White Rim Trail out of Moab and put it in Honduras and calk it Central America Highway 11A. That's right another section of rough rutted roads, but this time telling me it is a highway. The constant drizzle made it more fun.

It was 5:00 by the time I made it to town. By then its name was ironic :LA Esperanza (The Hope). Not much to the town, but it was getting dark, and I was exhausted. I drove around trying to find a hotel. The first was closed, the second was full, the third no parking and FILTHY. Finally, after about 10 circuits and 45 minutes in the drizzling rain, I found an one. Secure parking, and reasonably presentable. No Internet, but the bonus of being the cheapest lodging of the trip $7.50 for a private room, bath and cable TV. Cheaper than the dorm rooms I had stayed in.

Only about the size of a closet though.

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Old 11-14-2012, 04:29 PM   #201
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Of course, tonight's accommodations helped averaged it out. Both because I was tired and it was the place in town that had internet, I found what is essentially a brand new hotel in Danli. The rooms are huge.



Flat screen TVs.



The secure parking lot for the bike is an unused office.



They had a feature or two that still reminds you it is Honduras. Notice the telephone outlet and nonGFI electrical outlet in the shower stall on the left.



All I will say about the riding today is that it was drastically better. All paved and two lanes between Siguatepec and Tegucigalpa. Great pavement. Made much better time.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:09 PM   #202
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So this is why they put those warnings on hair dryers!
What on earth would they use in the shower?
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:23 AM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sbirkey View Post
So this is why they put those warnings on hair dryers!
What on earth would they use in the shower?
It is a crazy place, for sure.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:41 AM   #204
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The room included free breakfast, but they don't have a kitchen so it was ordered in. Not bad typical food.



After breakfast it was off to the border. Relatively painless. This one had the swarm of helpers, that I really riding need, but they get in the way. Ended up tipping e each side about $2.00 in the local currency. By 10:30, I was on my way.

The roads were in decent condition and fun on a motorcycle. The only real problem was right when I joined up with the panamerican highway which I had avoided since Guatemala. The local traffic cops waived me over and wanted to go through all of my paperwork again. They were the least friendly cops of my trip and seemed determined to find something amiss. Unlike my other stops. They even tried to tell me that my license was expired, but after I showed them it was not they seemed convinced that I did not have any reason to bribe them, so they lost interest in me. More of a hassle than anything else, but it put a negative spin on Nicaragua for me.

It also gets a lot hotter here. Dropping out of the mountains of Honduras into the plains.


Stopped under this tree for a break.



Some kind of fruit. Guyuaba?


Made it to Grenada about 4:00. Finding the road to detour around Managua was a bit tricky. I am not sure I would have found it without GPS.

Parking was the problem for lodging. I ended up in another more expensive place just because they had a narrow spot to park the bike. Admittedly, I was a little lazy in looking after three days of riding and it getting late. Plus I have been good enough I don't mind spoiling myself a little now and again.

Today was a day to get some laundry done and take a day off the bike. Grenada is right by lake Nicaragua, so I wanted to see that. Pretty big lake. Not real busy though.




You can see OK he of the volcanoes in the back if you look closely.

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Old 11-16-2012, 08:47 AM   #205
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Everyone takes a picture of the cathedral, so I will too, big from further away. The big yellow building.


Looking from the main square.


They love their baseball in Nicaragua.

Look closely to see the 10 year olds playing.

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:10 PM   #206
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The line of carriages at the parque central.

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:12 PM   #207
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The pool in front of my room.

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Old 11-17-2012, 03:50 PM   #208
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After a day of rest in Granada, it was time to make tracks for yet another border. This was the longest crossing yet, but all in all, not too bad. Plus I managed to meet some other overlanders.

First it was about an hour and a half ride to the border. A bit flat and windy. Hence the wind farms. I missed some nice pictures of the volcanoes, but you can't stop for everything.



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Old 11-17-2012, 04:04 PM   #209
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I will skip the explanation of the crossing process. It would take too much time. Just think it was a lot of back and forth, plus some extra steps that are not at some others. But there are not a lot of options between these two countries.

If you care here is a nice write up by john downs. A few things are different, such as they do not spray the bikes, but it is reasonably similar.

As I was approaching the border, though, a pair of KLRs, came up behind me with Aussie plates. It was Adam and Mackenzie from Tasmania. Doing the whole trip from Prudoe bay to Ushuaia. There blog is here.



There was also a couple from Colorado driving their car to Panama and back on almost my same time frame so maybe I will see them again too. Sometimes it seems like a very tiny world. There was also a group of Brazilian bikers heading north song a trip in 50 days that seemed very impressive.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:24 PM   #210
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Had a nice night in the Hotel La Siesta. 17,500 colones or about $32.00. Costa Rica is the nicest country so far, but it comes at a higher price.



Liberia is a quiet,but pleasant town. A nice place for the border jump.
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