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Old 12-10-2012, 07:26 AM   #841
The Toad
Let There Be Light
 
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Location: Location, Location.
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Great RR.

Looking forward to more



-Brian
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:34 AM   #842
Thorne
Sherpa-ing around
 
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Location: Lone Pine, ON, Canada
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I am enjoying your ride report. It is very informative of relative information such as expenses, interests and routing. It is also great to see how the sherpa is holding up as my buddy and I both have one. We are going to be using them in our up coming adventure.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:11 PM   #843
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Left Antigua late this morning. On my way out of town I stopped to take a picture of cobblestone road repair. They remove the loose cobbles, set them in mortar, slather mortar over the top and let the cars wear off the coat on the stones. Stick some rebar upright with red flags so traffic goes around while it sets up. I might try that in my alley when I get home. Stone is cheap.



Rode a short way out of Antigua for some macadamia nut pancakes at the place Guaterider told me about. Called Valhalla. Here is where you park:



Walk through the mac nut orchard to this garden patio:



And soon you have this:



Pictures do it no justice. These are the best pancakes I've ever had. Made with organic macadamia flour, topped with drizzled macadamia butter and macadamia honey. And topped with blueberries that they grow at their other farm near Coban.
mmmm mmmm good.

After I finished, I chatted with the delightful Emilia:



She and her husband Lorenzo started this organic orchard years ago and are promoting sustainable ag. If you are interested in this kind of thing you can check out what they do:

http://www.exvalhalla.net/visitthefarm.htm

I know a lot about growing coffee and mac nuts from my landscaping years in Hawaii, so Emilia and I had plenty to talk about. She wanted my opinion on how their nuts compare to Hawaii, and I have to say they are richer and slightly nuttier. She is such a wonderful person. Invited me to stay the night and come camp in the orchard anytime.

Alas, it was still morning and I'd only made it down the road a few miles so far. Headed out and passed through the sleeping giant volcanoes smoking in the distance:



I noticed I had passed 29000 miles a while ago and it is time to change the oil, so stopped and bought a couple quarts from Enrique.




Castrol 20/50 motorcycle oil for 120 quetzals ($15.60) for two quarts. Oil is pricey down here. Enrique came back out and gave me a regalo (gift). A keychain tire pressure gauge. I tried it out and it works great. Gold with a bright SLIME logo. I love it. My regular sized one that I carry in my right jacket pocket is always getting stuck in the pocket lining when I try to get it out. This one doesn't. So the other one is history. I had Enrique sign my tank as my latest sponsor. He put some Latin graffiti pizzazz in it so you can't miss it.

The road from Antigua to Xela is nothing but sweeping curves and horseshoe bends as it winds up into the mountains. Really fun road. It is 4 lane divided. It was getting cold so I stopped to put on my down jacket. Took a GPS reading and the elevation was already 9800 feet. The buses wail around these bends.

The cars really squeal their tires on this road. I couldn't figure out what the noise was at first. RRRRRRRRRRRRch.

The buses hate slowing down on the downhill sections and will really lean into the corners. This guy isn't really trying:



This guy is a little better. He almost has the front wheel off the ground but not as much lean as some I've seen coming at me out on the two lane twisty back roads:



I just remembered that I forgot to pay for my pancakes this morning. I got so caught up talking to Emilia that I totally spaced it out. I'll have to head down there on the way to Honduras and pay up. Plus eat another couple platefuls. It's a good cause and they are really nice people. I highly recommend you stop by and give them some business if you're in the Antigua area.

I spent 120 q on oil 200 q on a room and 70 q on gas plus 33 for groceries tonight plus whatever the pancakes will cost. So say 450 quetzals today mas o menos.

Not sure where I'm heading after the dentist tomorrow.

Adios mi amigos de aventura,
Juanito
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JDowns screwed with this post 12-10-2012 at 07:47 PM
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:25 PM   #844
GuateRider
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Location: Antigua , Guatemala
Oddometer: 1,380
Wink

Good to see that you liked Valhalla and Emilia; y assume you didn't meet Lorenzo?
Breakfast there is one of the things I'm looking forward to
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:37 PM   #845
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuateRider View Post
Good to see that you liked Valhalla and Emilia; y assume you didn't meet Lorenzo?
Breakfast there is one of the things I'm looking forward to
Hi Julio,

Lorenzo was out but Emilia was such a delight to talk to. She was so happy to learn that you and Luisa will be coming soon. I will be stopping in on my way back down the hill for more panqueques and hopefully will get to meet Lorenzo. Thanks so much for the excellent sugerencia.

Muchas gracias,
John
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:50 PM   #846
Ulyses
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Portland, OR
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Motorcycle Shops in Panama City

Tio Juanito,

Do you know of any good motorcycle shops around here (Panama City)? I'm about done wearing that damn jacket in the tropics. Anythign below 2,000 feet around here is miserable. I'm trying to find a pressure suit or something similiar. Any ideas?
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:22 PM   #847
gordjones
RAT
 
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Sent you a couple of tankfuls.
Keep up the good work.

Gord Jones (Rat)
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:30 PM   #848
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Tio Juanito,

Do you know of any good motorcycle shops around here (Panama City)? I'm about done wearing that damn jacket in the tropics. Anythign below 2,000 feet around here is miserable. I'm trying to find a pressure suit or something similiar. Any ideas?
Hi Bryce,

You don't need it on a sailboat. You'll be hangin' with the wastoids in shorts and flip flops. You're better off getting tires and gear in Colombia. Bogota or better yet Medellin. Prices are better. Selection is waaaay better. Panama is a small country with fewer people and limited selection.

Plus, if your boat sinks you won't be out a lot of money if you wait. Just kidding.

Buena suerte,
Tio Juanito
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

JDowns screwed with this post 12-10-2012 at 07:35 PM
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:16 PM   #849
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordjones View Post
Sent you a couple of tankfuls.
Keep up the good work.

Gord Jones (Rat)
Thanks!

Gord Jones RAT looks nice on the gas tank.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:52 PM   #850
ratbikemike
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Antigua, Guatemala

Hey, Thanks for dropping by cruising the city with me. Learned a lot and it is appreciated. Will hang hear for a while longer. I still have a few days left on my gym membership..... ratbikemike
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:54 AM   #851
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
I don't spend too much time in the future or the distant past on these rides. Right here, right now is where I live most of the time. That's part of what I like about writing these live ride reports on ADVrider. By keeping this up on a regular basis I can focus on taking pictures and writing about what I see today. An added benefit has been all the great suggestions you guys have provided. You get to have a more interactive and interesting ride if you report live from the road. A lot of the cool things I have seen weren't my idea.

Life is coming at you so fast out here you tend to forget what happened yesterday and lose track of time and space. In fact time expands. It seems like weeks ago that I was in El Salvador, and I could swear I left Mexico months ago. I can barely remember where I went. I'd have to look back a few pages to see how much fun I was having back then. Which is another benefit of writing a ride report.

Just a few thoughts from the road less traveled while I wait for the dentist's office to open this morning in Xela.

More later....
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:03 AM   #852
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratbikemike View Post
Hey, Thanks for dropping by cruising the city with me. Learned a lot and it is appreciated. Will hang hear for a while longer. I still have a few days left on my gym membership..... ratbikemike
Hi ratbikemike,

I learned just as much from you. I aspire to be a social security vagabond when I grow up.

Antigua is an easy place to hang out. The prices are higher than rural Guatemala, but the living is easy. I can see why so many people stop for a spell to learn Spanish there.

Su hermano de aventura,
Juan
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:43 AM   #853
Cousteau
...seeking adventure
 
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Location: Guatemala City / Washington, DC
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Aguas Georginas near Xela

John, there are some great hotsprings near Xela called Aguas Georginas, about 30 min out of Xela heading towards Reu near Cantel - they are posted on Google Maps, but wasn't able to get the GPS location. Inexpensive and a cool little track up the side of the volcano across all sorts of farms and orchards. Let me know when you're heading through Guate City... can't promise we can match those pancakes, but we'll figure something out.

Cheers,

David
aka Cousteau
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #854
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cousteau View Post
John, there are some great hotsprings near Xela called Aguas Georginas, about 30 min out of Xela heading towards Reu near Cantel - they are posted on Google Maps, but wasn't able to get the GPS location. Inexpensive and a cool little track up the side of the volcano across all sorts of farms and orchards. Let me know when you're heading through Guate City... can't promise we can match those pancakes, but we'll figure something out.

Cheers,

David
aka Cousteau
Hi David,

Thanks for the suggestion. Aguas Georginas sounds nice. I'll head up there tomorrow and report back.

And yes, I will definitely stop in Guate and pay you a visit on my way through. Probably not for a few days. I'll PM you to set up a time and place. Look forward to meeting you.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:03 PM   #855
GuateRider
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Antigua , Guatemala
Oddometer: 1,380
Tacana

Hola John,
since you are up in Xela you should ride out to San Marcos, than go on to Tacana and keep on going until you come out to the CA1 again . You will be riding between Tajumulco and Tacana, our two highest mountains and you will have a great view on the Cuchumatanes with the highest non volcanic elevation in Central America (3350 m)
Perfect time of the year for this ride .

Saludos desde San Cristobal,
Julio
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