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Old 06-15-2013, 08:04 AM   #31
NCK OP
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We've booked the Stahlratte for July 20th. Anyone else taking it then?

Also, any ideas of cheap places to stay in Panama on our way to the Stahlratte? Would love some suggestions!

Nate
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:23 AM   #32
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I'm crowdsourcing ideas where to go on my trip. Check that out here.

Below is the picture and direct link to my spreadsheet for those of you who don't dig the FB.

Full List Click Here

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Old 06-26-2013, 04:37 PM   #33
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I hadn't checked in on this ride report in awhile. Wow. Sounds like you had some excitement already! Glad to hear that you're okay and your bike is reasonably okay. That could have easily ended your trip right there!
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:47 PM   #34
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I hadn't checked in on this ride report in awhile. Wow. Sounds like you had some excitement already! Glad to hear that you're okay and your bike is reasonably okay. That could have easily ended your trip right there!
Thanks for hanging around! I hope I'm not boring everyone. I think I need to post more pics and stop blabbing. Anyway yawhoo! More coming soon.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:36 PM   #35
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Thanks for hanging around! I hope I'm not boring everyone. I think I need to post more pics and stop blabbing. Anyway yawhoo! More coming soon.
Haha. Yep. I think this ride report definitely needs more pics. No need to stop blabbling. Some of us like to read others' blabbing... Just needs a bunch of pics interspersed. Most of us here seem to have short attention spans! Ooh look. A squirrel.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:04 PM   #36
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Goodbye El Salvador. Good: Bye.

Q: “What is your trip log?”
A: It’s the story of my trip, but in a lot more detail – the sort of which I spare from these emails. It’s written in a relatively similar voice, but just describes a lot more of the experience and adds a mix of historical and geographical context to orient the reader. When there are moments that I don’t think my quick email update really can explain, I just copy paste from the relevant passage of the log.

--

Limping into San Salvador was fitting. My motorcycle was damaged, and so was I. How could I let this accident happen? In what world would I be so careless? I sunk into Ligia’s couch, and watched CSI Miami for three straight days.

This was the first moment of literal stop I’d had since… well about 3 weeks before I left D.C. Leaving my whole life, and job, and immediately on this adventure had given me not a moment of respite it was hard through and all the way through until, well… until that couch. TV? Yeah. I hadn’t watched television in years. I haven’t ever actually owned a TV in my life. It’s kinda fun to watch, it turns out. I know what you’re thinking. Yep: I needed to get off that couch.

At some point we had to do something. Right? Fix the bike? Right. That’s next. We drove down to 29th street. (This is where all the motorcycle shops are.) Ligia says we can fix it. I don’t think so – bent is bent and this thing is bent, baby. The first place we check out pointed us in the right direction: down the street, left at the fried chicken place and then your first right. It’ll be on your left. Word.

The mechanic’s shop was a steep inclined alley with 30 or so motorcycles in pieces filling all space except for a path right up the middle, at the end was a workshop under an overhang. Tools strewn about. A couple motorcycles on stands, completely in pieces. My first impression was: “This place is a shithole.” But then I saw his eyes.

From my trip log:

…The owner’s son approached. His eyes a light blue fire furious with confidence. He smiled with kindness, looked us once over, and attacked. Ligia described the characteristics of the motorcycle’s damage in Spanish. Yes, he could fix it. He was sure. He does this all the time. I felt the painful symmetry of both disbelieving what he was saying but believing in him. Translation continued. The back of my mind, ingesting every detail of the surroundings and situation, recognized the reality that this, here and now, is his battle. Describing the manner with which he’d execute the motorcycles rehabilitation was his finest moment. He knew how the place looked. He got it. This was food on his table, dude. To my right lay a mattress fitting under a sheet metal overhang. Beyond it, a rusty electric stove and a small table. He lives here, next to these motorcycles. His confidence had me flanked. He was calling for my surrender and he promised perfection. Using his beautiful eyes to implore my trust, I sustained my suspicion…

I walked around the alley and started inspecting the other motorcycles – some had been sitting there for years. But others, under closer inspection, were once recently glorious machines of speed. Tens of thousands of dollars in motorcycle was strewn about the alley. I came across a young man re-building a plastic faring out of fiberglass with his hands. With. His. Hands. This part, broken in two, would be in a landfill instantly in the U.S. – here, with parts scarce and labor everywhere, a man was creating the curves with his hands, molding it into a masterpiece. Sweet.

Back to the top of the alley. Just under $200 for everything? Done. Handshake to complete the deal. Eyes locked. The hell with spoken language! Two men had just made a covenant.

The next few days were a blur of reading – I tore into books. Every 24 hours I’d start something new. I read 6 books in 6 days. I’d never done that before in my life. I’d never had the time. Bullshit, absolute crap. Of course I’d had the time. I had college breaks and Christmas vacation from work. I’d never been forced into the time. I’d never made the time. Shit. I’d never MADE the time. And like that, the bike was fixed. Time to go back to the mechanic. I mean, the thing looked great. The owner’s son was busy, I paid the owner. Men hand-sanded new plastics, the hydraulic press strained to the sound of metal on metal in the background. Just another day in the alley, fixing other people’s disasters.

Now, back in the apartment, it was beyond time to go to the beach. Our plan had been to rent some rooms in the small beach town, Playa El Tunco. I’d wandered through the town during previous trips to El Salvador, it was a known quality to both myself and my friends from El Salvador: It was cheap. It was hot. The waves were huge. Surfing was raging. The plan was to slow to a halt and just, well, re-learn how to be a human being after the 5 years of daily assault on the political portion of my brain, body and soul.

My time in El Tunco was a mixture of old friends visiting (pure fun), reading, drinking, writing, learning Spanish and eating. Oh, and a bit of surfing. Over the next 30 days, I basically did those 6 things for varying amounts of time every day. Paradise, right? Maybe.

I left Playa El Tunco considering the possibility that it really wasn’t the right way to spend so much time. Sure, I’d gotten a lot done (when it came to those 6 things). But there is a distinct feeling I’m having now that says: “Dude, you are out here to run. To run all across the world and run hard. Not sit tight, not at all. To run.”

I left Playa El Tunco a day early, which Chris coming later that day. Back to Ligia’s apartment to prepare to leave El Salvador for Honduras.

I took a quick and last minute trip to New Orleans to be a friend’s date to a wedding. Pure fun, but completely disconnected from the reality of my continuing trip and life, it had little impact on, well, anything except to serve as an incredibly fun escape for 3 days.

Back to Ligia’s apartment. I’m cooking up a master plan: Couchsurfing requests put in. Website built. Next 3 weeks planned. There was nothing to do but leave.

Hugs, a tear, and a colossal sense of relief that the trip was finally continuing. As we skirted the outside of San Salvador, heading out of the city for the last time, I felt the crush of people receding with the melting of the surroundings into countryside.

From my trip log:

Up into the mountains, the temperature mercifully tumbled. Working its way through my mind was a reminder I’d flagged for myself months earlier to read there and then on my last day in El Salvador: “You have a hundred thousand miles still to go.”

Hope had transformed into courage and later back into hope. This was all, quite simply, still beginning.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:04 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by max384 View Post
Haha. Yep. I think this ride report definitely needs more pics. No need to stop blabbling. Some of us like to read others' blabbing... Just needs a bunch of pics interspersed. Most of us here seem to have short attention spans! Ooh look. A squirrel.
Totally! I'm on it! More pics coming this week.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:52 AM   #38
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Rolling into San Salvador, El Salvador - I got a flat. It sucked, but hey, you just grind it out, right? 2 hours later we were on our way.


We posted up in Playa El Tunco, El Salvador for a couple weeks to catch some waves and recharge:


Playa El Tunco, El Salvador:








Hung out with my buddy Ligia for lunch @ paradise:


We headed up to the El Salvadorian mountains for a weekend:


Yum:


She was saved from the kindling and took over duties of observing our fire-starting skills:


We finally left El Salvador after saying with our good friend for the last couple days:


El Salvador - Honduras border crossing:


Honduras Customs office, a funny moment:


Honduras Mountains:




Honduras countryside:




La Ceiba, Honduras:


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Old 06-30-2013, 08:52 AM   #39
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How did you fix the registration issue ?

Agreed on the blather.... keep it and the pictures on the flow...

***********

Okay..new lesson here.... Read the damn Facebook gig... that's where the actual story is.... Hmmm Found the registration deal.... sounds like that worked out
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:36 PM   #40
NCK OP
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How did you fix the registration issue ?

Agreed on the blather.... keep it and the pictures on the flow...

***********

Okay..new lesson here.... Read the damn Facebook gig... that's where the actual story is.... Hmmm Found the registration deal.... sounds like that worked out
Thank yah! Yeah there is more action over on the FB thing just because that's what everyone in my life uses. I try and keep this as up to date as I can and always respond to anyone who has any questions or kudos on here - I just find not as many people are over here following along :)

Registration: Chris called NY State and somehow got someone to overnight him a new registration. Can you believe that? Gov't at it's best. We drove back to Tuscon and one day later FedEx showed up with new registration. Incredible luck there!
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #41
Oldone
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Great ride report

Seems to me that this is going to be a great ride report and one to keep me looking forward to each new segment. These photos are great and the countries are very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to fill us in!

Stay safe,

Gary

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Old 07-01-2013, 01:53 PM   #42
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Seems to me that this is going to be a great ride report and one to keep me looking forward to each new segment. These photos are great and the countries are very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to fill us in!

Stay safe,

Gary
Thanks Gary! With a 150,000km still to go, I'm just getting started! :
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:47 PM   #43
mountainduro
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Cry

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCK View Post
Rolling into San Salvador, El Salvador - I got a flat. It sucked, but hey, you just grind it out, right? 2 hours later we were on our way.


We posted up in Playa El Tunco, El Salvador for a couple weeks to catch some waves and recharge:


Playa El Tunco, El Salvador:








Hung out with my buddy Ligia for lunch @ paradise:


We headed up to the El Salvadorian mountains for a weekend:


Yum:


She was saved from the kindling and took over duties of observing our fire-starting





La Ceiba, Honduras:

Nice to see a picture of my city (this is in front of the central park) Im so sad I couldnt meet you guys
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:10 AM   #44
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Oh yeah... great pics!
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:42 PM   #45
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Oh yeah... great pics!
Thank you!
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