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Old 03-03-2013, 04:59 AM   #1216
Kedgi OP
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Location: Shediac NB
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Flattering

Thank you all for your kind and flattering words.

I have been a little lax in updating the RR since my arrival in Florida.

My bike was supposed to fly on Feb 28th. It didn't. I went to Lan Cargo in Miami, in a taxi, dressed in my bike gear to pick it up on the 1st. No bike. Not there. Rats! I had wanted to ride it to KW to show it to my many friends here.

Lan said the bike would likely arrive Friday night at 11PM, too late to clear Customs which closes at 8PM for the weekend. Then she said to me if i failed to pick up the bike in two days i would be charged storage.

I have worked for several years in the truck transport industry. So I immediately said to her, very kindly and calmly, that I will deduct her storage charges from the considerable costs I will incur, and of course be billing back to them, as a result of their complete service failure. She shut up. There was no more talk about storage.

In the meantime, It's all good. I am in KW, (rented a car) found a room, nearly dropped dead from sticker shock at the price of a room, but it's all good. I went to my favorite place, The Green Parrot, met my friends, Pat, Brig, Chicken, Dani, Kate, Buco, Gary, Lulu, Bobby, Kevin, Art, Bill and Lisa and many others.. Heard an awesome band two afternoons in a row. Got drunk, got sober, got drunk again. Met new friends Dave, Stacey and Valerie and absolutely reveled in being at my home away from home. I am so happy to be here! I love Key West.

Today I will try and find out if Trusty is waiting for me in Miami.

Oh! and I almost forgot to tell you I went to Harpoon Harry's ( a great spot for breakfast) and I had their Harry's Special. That's the one with two eggs, ham, and bacon, and sausages, toast and home fries and I devoured every morsel. First real breakfast since October. Man was it good!

Kedgi screwed with this post 03-03-2013 at 05:07 AM
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:17 AM   #1217
Kedgi OP
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Originally Posted by BeachGuy View Post
I have yet to figure out how it is that a man who hates the cold mountains of South America can be so happy to head north to Canada. Heck even your northern brothers have stated and I quote “that flat bladed item in the garage with a wooden handle” is waiting on you.

Must be something or someone very special, to endure more of that torture by heading north.

Thanks for the report, it kept me from working.

I do have to admit, I hate the cold, the snow, the ridiculously long Winters of NB, but for now at least it's home and I am dying to see Angele.

By the way, my snow shovel is a 28hp diesel Kubota No shoveling for Kedgi.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:19 AM   #1218
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Key West

We had more than our share at the Parrot and breakfast at Harry's - Key West is like coming home, all our friends are there! We found a nice little breakfast spot on Eaton called Sippin' has good coffee and low $$$ - our new favorite. You're there in high season - the only good deals are at the Parrot - tell everyone there we said hi!
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:06 AM   #1219
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Originally Posted by Kedgi View Post
By the way, my snow shovel is a 28hp diesel Kubota No shoveling for Kedgi.
Does this mean your going to make your next trip south on a Kubota. This one I want to see.

No road blocks, no bad roads, nobody in your lane. Hell if its raining you just flip the bucket and sleep under it.

This should really work out for you.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:04 AM   #1220
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Lobsters to Llamas Lessons Learned?

Kedgi - Have been an avid fan of your RR since October, it was my daily treat to find new posts, learn from your experiences and share your adventure. I'm heading south from NJ in April - Mexico via Baja, Guatemala, Panama and over to Colombia. One thing I have learned from you is the need to speak Spanish - I'm taking an immersion course locally and will take another one when I reach Oaxaca. But is there a list of recommendations or lessons learned - skills, equipment, communication devices, blogs, whatever - or generally things that you would do differently if you were to do it again? Would be of great value to me and I bet everyone on ADV Rider. And thanks again for all the effort you put into your report. Fantastic job.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:09 AM   #1221
Kedgi OP
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Originally Posted by Jumpster View Post
Kedgi - Have been an avid fan of your RR since October, it was my daily treat to find new posts, learn from your experiences and share your adventure. I'm heading south from NJ in April - Mexico via Baja, Guatemala, Panama and over to Colombia. One thing I have learned from you is the need to speak Spanish - I'm taking an immersion course locally and will take another one when I reach Oaxaca. But is there a list of recommendations or lessons learned - skills, equipment, communication devices, blogs, whatever - or generally things that you would do differently if you were to do it again? Would be of great value to me and I bet everyone on ADV Rider. And thanks again for all the effort you put into your report. Fantastic job.
I at Denny's in Homestead Florida this morning, having some lunch. Still no bike, now a six day delay. Frustrating.

When I have more time I will post some tips like you're asking about.

Kedgi
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:11 AM   #1222
Kedgi OP
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Originally Posted by shirtman View Post
We had more than our share at the Parrot and breakfast at Harry's - Key West is like coming home, all our friends are there! We found a nice little breakfast spot on Eaton called Sippin' has good coffee and low $$$ - our new favorite. You're there in high season - the only good deals are at the Parrot - tell everyone there we said hi!

I was in Sippin a few times. Nice little place.
I'm in Homestead on my way to visit R&L today

Had too much fun in KW as always.

Dwight
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:16 AM   #1223
Kedgi OP
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Originally Posted by BeachGuy View Post
Does this mean your going to make your next trip south on a Kubota. This one I want to see.

No road blocks, no bad roads, nobody in your lane. Hell if its raining you just flip the bucket and sleep under it.

This should really work out for you.
The Kubota would have been nice in Honduras. I could have fixed a few potholes.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:07 PM   #1224
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Welcome back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kedgi View Post
I was in Sippin a few times. Nice little place.
I'm in Homestead on my way to visit R&L today

Had too much fun in KW as always.

Dwight
Welcome back to the USA! I hope your bike shows up soon. Are you going to swing through Bike Week on your way north?
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:24 PM   #1225
Stan Dalone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kedgi View Post
Had too much fun in KW as always.

Dwight
I aint NEVER had to much FUN in Key West!

Welcome back to the US of A. That was an epic ride for sure.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:32 AM   #1226
Kedgi OP
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Laugh Good to be back

Quote:
Originally Posted by motor-ray View Post
Welcome back to the USA! I hope your bike shows up soon. Are you going to swing through Bike Week on your way north?
Hey Ray!

Thanks

It does feel good to be back in the USA. I am up in Zephyrhills Florida this morning visiting Angele's Mom and Dad who spend the Winter here in their 5th wheel. I'm eating the great home cooking I missed so much. I gotta put thos 20 pounds back on. I had a wonderful French dish called Fricot last night. It is a cross between a chicken soup and chicken stew. Really really good!

Looks like the bike will finally arrive in Miami today but not until noon, so, I'm going to go to Miami again tomorrow and try and pick it up once I see it's arrived.

I'm going to have to pass on Bike Week, Angele has a big Welcome Home Party planned for me on Saturday and I'd really like to be there. hehe Angele's Mom and Dad know a guy here in the trailer park that will haul my bike back to Canada on his flat deck for only $200. Good Deal! He is hauling a car he bought back and has extra room for the bike.

I'd love to see some photos of that Super Tenere when you can. I want to show your bike to Angele.

Dwight
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:32 AM   #1227
Kedgi OP
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Lessons learned, equipment used etc

In answer to questions about equipment, lesson learned etc.

My biggest regret is that I didn't learn more Spanish before I left. I didn't have to have it, I got by without, but getting by is quite different than being able to converse even on a basic level with those you meet. I met so many nice pople that I wish I could have spoken to more, Andreas at Zipolite beach springs to mind and Marduly in Lima, and Lucas in Buenos Aires. These people were kind, willing to try their best to communicate and I just wish I could have done more to hold up my end of the conversation.

My recommendation, learn as much Spanish as you can before you go. I will be following my own advice this year in preparation for next Winter when I hope to ride Mexico again.

Take several ways to access money. I had so many bank card and credit card problems it was a real distraction. It is not fun to ride all day on a dwindling supply of gas, hungry, wondering when you can find a bank machine that will work with your card or if you will find a bank machine that will work with your card.

On that note, these problems continue to present themselves. I have a Canadian Tire Mastercard. I reached my limit on it in Key West, at least my cash withdrawl limit. I have been living on that card since the end of January when my bank card expired. (Check you bank card and credit card expiry dates before you go) Also check you expiry dates on your insurance, bike registration, drivers license etc.
If you bike is registered an your name and your wifes name get it changed to your name alone. This is important at borders. Many borders asked if I was the sole owner of the bike. Make sure your passport expires at least 6 months after you intend to get home. It is a requirment in some countries.

If you intend to visit Argentina, pay your reciprocity fee online in advance. It is mandatory.

In any case, back to Canadian Tire. I called home to have Angele put some money on my Canadian Tire Card to free up some cash. She, wise as she is, suggested that she should call Canadian Tire first to make sure a payment would free up some cash. Canadian Tire assured her it would as long as the payment was made in cash. Dutifully she did that. Made a substantial payment in cash at our local Canadian Tire. The card will still not work. Subsequent calls to Canadian Tire lead to an explanation that is quite simply different than what she was told. Now they say that payment was applied against purchases I made and not cash withdrawls so I still cannot access any cash. WAPITA. If CDN Tire's first rep had his info staright Angele would have paid the entire balance to free up cash, now she can't she is out of town on busines for a couple days. I may have to borrow cash from her Mom and Dad as a result. Nice! Cannot say I would recommend Canadian Tire. Repeated calls to them have not met with anything but stunned insistance that the first rep would not have said that. WTF? I don't know how they could possibly think Angele would make a cash payment on a Sunday afternoon, immediately after talking to their rep, I would call the next day to find out why the card would still not work, if it wasn't to access cash. I can still make purchases but I cant get cash? DON'T UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE A CANADIAN TIRE CARD. Completely useless customer service. I'm glad this snafu happened here in Florida and not in SA. Yikes!

Bring two or three credit cards and two or three bank cards and some American Express travelers cheques (checks if you're American) in case of absolute emergency and do not under any circumstance keep them all in one place. Do not ever carry your wallet with you when you are out walking around. Just keep a few bucks in your pocket. Get pants that have a pocket that zips. In short do not keep all your eggs in one basket.

Clothes.

I have a pair of lightweight North Face long pants that are quick dry. I love them.
I have Stanfields Long underwear, their very best model. Used them all the time in the mountains. Love them.
I have a couple quick dry Nike shirts, you can wash them in the sink, they are dry the next morning. Love them.
Quick Dry Columbia Shorts 1 pair, love them.
I wear a Alpinestar jacket an Capetown Drystar. Love it. Cool when it's hot but also fairly warm with the liner in and long underwear on along with one of those waffle shirts like LL Bean sells. It's also dry. I never got wet in days of pouring rain.

I have two pairs of Alpinstar Pants a rain pant and a vented tropical weight pair. Love them

I wear a pair of Alpinestar Scout boots. Love them. Feet have got a bit wet twice but only after hours of pouring rain. Typically they keep you very dry and provide good protection.

I wear Darn Tough , lightweight wool socks on the bike. Love them

I carry a couple pairs of Nike sport socks for when I am walking around in my hiking boots.

Phone

I have a Tracfone I use in the USA. It's very cheap to use and you can buy cards for it anywhere or add time online. Very convenient. I've used it for years. I understand you can buy a sim card in SA countries to have it work there but I never used it in Latin America.

Seat

I put a Sargent seat on my bike. Money well spent in my opinion. My butt's tired after 26000kms but I can still ride and walk. Love it.

Bags. I used Trax Paniers on SW Motech racks. The racks are weak. I spent $150 having a local welder gusset all the joints after breaking a joint on each Labrador trip. Money well spent. Never had a problem with the racks even after dropping the bike twice on this trip. I threw away the quick lock fixtures these use and installed the racks using high strength bolts and those nuts that have the plastic locks in them. Great, no troubles.

Bring lots of baggies for documents, passport, wallet etc and use them.

I would not bring a tent again. A waste of time. Accommodation is so cheap in Central and SA I wouldn't waste time with a tent.

Bring a good down filled jacket. You will need it. Bring a walk around light jacket, mines a North Face and it served me well.

I lugged a water purifier 26000 kms and never used it once. Bottled water is cheap and available everywhere. I would have thrown it away but the damn thing was expensive

A little knapsack for airports and when you are just walking around is handy. I bought one enroute and used it a lot. Just a small one. It's all you need.

A Camel Back or something similar is a very valuable piece of equipment. I used mine so much on hot days and even at night in hotel rooms etc. It is an essential piece of gear.

I carry a small laptop. I use Skype to stay in touch with home and even skyped my bank to get me out of one of their distracting jams. Most McDonalds etc have free wifi in big cities and almost every hostel, motel, hotel does too.

Buy good maps of each country. There is no substitute for planning purposes. I mean a real folding map, not a book of maps. Carry them in baggies in a binder or folder. There is a map company in Vancouver that sells them. Just google Broadway Maps Vancouver and I'm sure you'll find them, I just don't remember their name. I also have a Garmin GPS. It is what it is and overall I love it inspite of it's limitations.

I would buy auxiliary lighting before I went again. Those little halogen things. I know you shouldn't ride at night but I will almost guarantee you you will at some point on an extended trip.

Bring a towel, buy some toilet paper and keep it in a baggie.

I don't listen to music or wear earphones. I like to hear what is going on around me.

Ask for directions two or three times when you ask. Ask someone, go a few miles, blocks, what ever the case may be and ask again because if people don't know they will tell you something anyway. It is what they do. You need a consensus. Direction became so unreliable I would only ask to see the person's reaction to gauge how lost I was.

I bring a little magnifying glass that folds in it's own travel case. Excellent for reading details on maps with old eyes like mine.

I have a wear on your head headlamp I used from time to time. It's handy.

I brought spare brake pads and used them. Mountain riding is tough on brakes.

I love my Metzler Tourance tires. Awesome, they stick like glue, but last forever.

Camera

I used an Olympus waterproof point and shoot. Excellent.

I have GoPro. Don't use it much. It takes too long to edit and post video and I just don't find it that satisfying.
.

Lessons learned.

One of the best pieces of advice I got came from John Downs. "When you cross into Northern Mexico, It's not like there is anyone there waiting to kill you but don't hang around" Cross the border early in the day with a full tank of gas and ride south. My first day from Reynosa to Linares worked for me. Mexico gets better as you get south.

Never ride after about 3PM. Start early, stop early, always find secure parking for your bike. "Estationment Seguro" is the Spanish term. It is a must!

Above all. Have fun!


Cant think of anything else off the top of my head but I hope this helps. If anything else comes to mind I'll add it


Kedgi

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Old 03-05-2013, 08:57 AM   #1228
Reaver
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Thanks so much for putting this list together. What I love about this site, and travellers in general is that you're never truly alone unless you want to be. Every traveller will need some sort of assistance at some point so you give what you can and take what you need. Awesome.

I think your card problems are more Mastercard than Canadian Tire. I had nothing but problems with Mastercard and gave up on them years ago. At one point, an employee at MC was changing customer's addresses so my new replacement card went to his buddies place who was quick to max it out. I'm with Scotiabank now and they seem to be taking over Central and South America. Maybe that's one solution. We call them ahead and say "We're travelling to X and will be charging everything so don't freeze our card!"

Muchas Gracias Amigo.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:06 AM   #1229
Kedgi OP
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Thanks so much for putting this list together. What I love about this site, and travellers in general is that you're never truly alone unless you want to be. Every traveller will need some sort of assistance at some point so you give what you can and take what you need. Awesome.

I think your card problems are more Mastercard than Canadian Tire. I had nothing but problems with Mastercard and gave up on them years ago. At one point, an employee at MC was changing customer's addresses so my new replacement card went to his buddies place who was quick to max it out. I'm with Scotiabank now and they seem to be taking over Central and South America. Maybe that's one solution. We call them ahead and say "We're travelling to X and will be charging everything so don't freeze our card!"

Muchas Gracias Amigo.

Just so you know. I had problems where my Scotiabank Card would not work in Scotiabank machines. Bring several cards from different banks and yes, tell them all you will be on an extended trip is SA. Also bump up your daily limit if necessary.

It is Canadian Tire's Customer service that was so bad and who provided incorrect unreliable information and caused a real problem. They are clueless. We will be closing our account with them as soon as we are both home. You do NOT want to deal with these people when you are on the road. You cannot depend on them.

Suarte

Kedgi

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:35 AM   #1230
bESS
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Dwight:

glad to see you acclimatizing to NA life. Having a good breakfast of bacon & eggs and being able to converse with others.

thank you for all this credit card into which may come in handy one day

Hope you get re-united with your bike sooner than later

have a good welcome home party. sorry we can't be there. You've got too much snow for us

I know it must have been embarrassing to ask to borrow money from Angele's Parents . . . (and no I'm not grinning), okay, I am grinning a bit . . .

bob
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