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Old 12-06-2012, 07:35 PM   #511
Kedgi OP
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Safe and sound in Panama

Santiago Panama was a far as I could make it today thanks to the good people at the Panamanian border. I maet another advrider in Tulco a few days ago, and we just happened to arrive at the Panama border at the same time today. His name is Boris. Nice guy! We rode all afternoon and into the night together and stopped here in Santiago in the interst of safety. Crazy ride until about 8:30PM trying to make Panama City. Stopped when we could ride no longer.

Adventure is what we wanted, we got it today

More later

Kedgi

Kedgi screwed with this post 12-06-2012 at 08:31 PM
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:35 PM   #512
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Thanks

Whoever threw the stars on my report....Thanks

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Old 12-06-2012, 08:52 PM   #513
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Borders

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmex View Post
WTF is wrong with those people?
I really hope I don't come across as sounding that way. The Central American Countries can do as they please.

having said that. I can't fathom the waste of resources and money that going on. Riding through Gautemala on my way to El Salvador's border there were at least 12 kms of trucks waiting in line. The drivers sleep in hammocks under their trailers.

I used to dispatch trucks. That wasted time costs money, big money to the shipper and ultimately to the consumer. It drives up prices. It discourages companies from doing business here and it in the end costs these countries economies millions and millions of dollars. It lowers their standard of living.

Honduras is a perfect example of an economy almost on the rocks. It's a shame, and yet it continues and according to experienced border crossers I spoke it gets worse and worse.

There must be a reason for it. I don't know what it is. The process is absolutely mystifying! How it can take hours on end to process two motorcyclists who only want to come to your country, visit and spend hard foreign capital the country desperately needs is amazing. Monty Python could not dream up what you go through. I know enough to keep smiling all the way through, but it astounds me that such a cluster exists.

I hope they will all learn the Costa Rica has seen the light and is getting rich off tourists as a result. From what I've seen I think El Salvador will be the next to bloom. Costa Rica has not streamlined the road crossings like they have the airports. It was one of the toughest borders at least for me.

I love riding down here but the borders would discourage me from doing it again.

I would stick to Mexico on another trip.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:06 PM   #514
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachGuy View Post
As the Tico's use the phrase "Pura Vida" for everything, you need to learn and live the word "tranquilo" which means to be tranquil, relax, go with the flow. This is how they operate, they will never change. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

Are you going to exit Costa Rica using the Sabalito exit again. It's still fast and easy. Just remember that it's closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Continued safe riding,
I believe in that and I normally say "It's all good" I will point out however that I rode the wheels off the bike for three long days to make it 1500k to Panama City to meet the Steel Rat and inspite of a 15.5 hour day today and over a 12 hour ride yesterday and the day before, could not make it in time for my reservation. Hours and hours and hours of what amounts to wasted time at borders when I could have been riding, spending money these countries need, telling people how wonderful it is, but instead, they succeeded in frustrating me to the point I just won't likely come back. Who wins?

Boris and I met a couple today on a bike starting north. They asked us how we liked Costa Rica. Our honest answer was, "Never Saw it" had to absolutely blast through at warp speed to try and make up for time we wasted at the border. (please note we were travelling separably and both had the same experience)

In the end It's all good. Doesn't matter to me. I'm here. I'm safe and sound and I am going to find a way to SA inspite of a missed reservation.

Just my humble opinion
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:19 PM   #515
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Awesome read! Sorry about your pops.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:31 PM   #516
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Too bad the border delays caused you to rush. Getting from Santiago to the dock by loading time tomorrow would be quite a feat. At least now the trip can get back to a more enjoyable pace. I feel for you man.
Thanks for sharing the highs and lows of your trip (I'm soaking it all in prepping for my turn next year)

Keep it between the lines
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:32 AM   #517
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Finally catching up. Sorry to hear about your dad.

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Old 12-07-2012, 04:40 AM   #518
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Hey Kedgi,

Still following along in Nova Scotia! Sorry that you missed your reservation with the Stahlratte, but as I was told, its not an adventure until something goes wrong. Maybe take some time while searching for a new way across the Darien to check out some of the local riding and sights.

My only question is about your timeline. Other than making the reservation for the boat - are you on a limited timeline? It seems like you're rushing through some of the most amazing scenery in Central America. (At least to me). Do you have to be back home in a certain amount of time?

Keep the rubber side down, and the dirty side up. Have fun.

C
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:59 AM   #519
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Flights

Thanks Guys.

I am relieved not to be under time pressure now. No worries, Boris and I will work it out. We lost an hour, time zone wise last night too so were just getting ready to boogie and check flights and a place to stay. I'll talk more later but thanks for your thoughtful words.

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Old 12-07-2012, 07:51 AM   #520
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Dwight:

I'm also sorry you missed your boat. I also don't understand how complicated border crossings should be. It does seem like they don't realize that they should be welcoming you to spend your money, rather than put all these hoops and hurdles to make it more difficult.

Can you imagine if they did this on our own CDN/US border, having to obtain a TVIP for your vehicle, and then having to cancel it when you exit, and also not having their own photocopy machine. I just don't understand it either.

I would be frustrated too . . .

I hope you can relax now and go your own pace

bob
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:14 PM   #521
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No Motto Manana

Boris and I did it. We accomplished a lot today! We dropped the bikes at the Panama Airport, they fly to Bogata on Sunday and we follow on Monday. We found a stunning hostel in the old historic part of Panama City for $15/night. It is a very classy luxury place for $15/night!!!!

I'll post pictures tomorrow. My first impression of Panama City is I like it a lot. It is about the size of Vancouver and Seattle combined with a little Vegas thrown in.

Our cab driver back from the airport was so polite and helpful I couldn't believe it!

I promise a lot more detail tomorrow but were dying to go eat
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:15 PM   #522
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertaStrom View Post
Too bad the border delays caused you to rush. Getting from Santiago to the dock by loading time tomorrow would be quite a feat. At least now the trip can get back to a more enjoyable pace. I feel for you man.
Thanks for sharing the highs and lows of your trip (I'm soaking it all in prepping for my turn next year)

Keep it between the lines
I believe in really telling what I feel at the time stuff's happening. I try and keep it current. It's not always the easiest thing to post from the road but I'm in the habit now. Boris and I just came back from having one of the best pizzas I ever had and he found it in Lonely Planet. Cafe Per Du. Awesome, good food, good service, friendly waiter. Makes up for Orange Juice and Cashews for supper in Guatemala or no supper in Honduras.

Today was a long day. Not nearly as long as yesterday but long. We arrived in town following my GPS to the airport. It took us right through downtown in heavy traffic and incredibly humid heat. I was melting. But the ride over Panama City's huge bridge and through the gleaming downtown core was amazing. It's like Miami, very tropical and very bright. Lots of cool new buildings.

We got to the airport and amazingly found Girag Air Transport and they agreed to take our motos right away. It was an all afternoon process but we were so pleased we didn't have to ride back into town and find a place to store the bikes and then ride back to the airport another day we were stoked. $900 for each bike and we had just enough cash for that, a cab to town and a room and supper. Yay! I wish I had though to raise my daily withdrawl limit on my card before leaving home!!!


Anyway it's done were booked and set for South America. Bogata here we come.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:19 PM   #523
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Thank you

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Originally Posted by Team Longriders View Post
Awesome read! Sorry about your pops.
Glad you're along for the ride

Kedgi
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:36 PM   #524
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My timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertaStrom View Post
Too bad the border delays caused you to rush. Getting from Santiago to the dock by loading time tomorrow would be quite a feat. At least now the trip can get back to a more enjoyable pace. I feel for you man.
Thanks for sharing the highs and lows of your trip (I'm soaking it all in prepping for my turn next year)

Keep it between the lines
Part of missing the boat is my fault. I could have arranged to be in Panama weeks ago but what I really wanted to do was exactly what I did. Chill in Zipolite after my Fathers passing, ride, my own ride. See the beach at El Tunco, especially after Chris at the Moto Cafe in Antigua recommended it and I'm so grateful he did. and I just never imagined 1500 k in three days would be a problem. As a Canadian who hates snow with a passion and I mean it, with an absolute passion, any day I can spend away from the cold is a good day. It is sweltering here in Panama tonight at 11:30 PM, really hot! At Miday it was an oven. I'm getting so used to being hot it's beginning not to matter. It's just a fact down here. It's hot!

If you come down next year you need a mesh bike jacket. I'm wearing an Alpinestar Cape Town Drystar and when you're moving it's excellent.

The Central American borders are behind me now. I have an exit stamp for Panama and it's done. Boris and I both are glad that's behind us.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:49 PM   #525
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PICTURES Lots of pictures

Honduras side of El Salvador Honduras border. This is where I lost my cool with the cheating helpers. That worked.



Helpers on Honduras side of Nicaraguan border







Helpers, always lots of helpers




Honduras looking at Nicaragua





Volcano, in Northern Nicaragua



Trusty and the Volcano



Stopped at a gas station just north of Leon Nicaragua and spoke with Frank, who was born in Gainesville Florida, he went to University there and now runs his own business in Nicaragua. Very friendly guy! Nice chat and a nice break in the shade.




Stopped for a Coca at this nice tienda on a cratered road on my way to San Juan del Sur




Met this nice young man who really tried his best to give me directions, which turned out to be very accurate. ( I'm not always sure what people are saying or If I should believe what they are saying but this guy was spot on. He was riding a small Honda and he sure liked my KLR.




Got to San Juan del Sur Nicaragua just in time to see this sunset.





The beach at San Juan del Sur







Had a private room on the beach in SJDS for $20 bucks a night




My room was in this cool little hostel





The beach at san Juan del sur looking the other way. There is a huge lighted statue of Christ on the top of the hill at night







It's a great beach with a lot of really nice waterfront restaurants



Architecture in SJDS



A cactus decorated for Christmas




It's so hard to believe Christmas is here. I was riding in the cab tonight with the window down in 90 degree heat and saw a pickup truck pass with a Christmas tree in the back and saw many cars going with trees on their roofs.

Lots of cool little restaurants on the road from Cosat Rica leading into Panma



I stopped for a Coke here




Meet Boris. Awesome guy!




Some of the crowd waiting on paperwork at the Panama border




Boris at the Panama Border




Welcome to Panama




This little girl waited patiently with her Mom



It poured while we waited





Because we were hours at the border, we rode into the night to try and make Panama City in time for the boat. We stopped at a tiny Tienda (store) somewhere in the jungle and a guy was putting on a fire baton show for the locals entertainment





Bike parked outside Girag Air Transport today


g

I shot this picture of Boris unhooking his battery and a couple other ADVbikes from Germany and BC also flying to Bogata





Boris waiting on paperwork in the Girag office




The German BMW had every farkle imaginable including this scrolling map




The posh living room at our hostel where I'm posting tonight.




can't wait to take some pictures of Old Panama City tomorrow. What a cool vibe this place has.

The view tonight of Panama reminds me of Miami

Good Night

No Moto Manana

Kedgi screwed with this post 12-08-2012 at 03:37 AM
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