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Old 10-23-2013, 08:34 PM   #61
d_mob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advFord View Post
Does anyone have advice on the fastest route from Guatemala to Nicaragua?
Nothing against Honduras or El Salvador. Isit fastest to go through El Salvador and the western tip of Honduras or go entirely through Honduras. With border crossings do you think two/three days is enough time just to transit through?
I'm following your RR as well and am really enjoying it. Whatever you end up deciding to do, please let me/us know regardless. I'm about to head out on my own similar trip (departing mid-Dec / Stahlratte Mar 3rd).

Learning a lot from you and it is reminding me of why I'm doing this crazy $hit all together. It's funny, the closer you get to departure, the more anxious, nervous, and forgetful you become about why you wanted to do it all in the first place (at least my experience).

Keep the RR coming, and thanks for providing such a detailed one.

PS... I see you debadged your bike logos. What are you thinking of putting in place of them? I'm probably going to follow suit on my F800.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:56 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by advFord View Post
...

Along the side of the road most of the way the fields were covered in these yellow flowers.


IMG_0214


...
By your picture and description of them I'd guess they are similar to what we call "goldfields" (Lasthenia species). If you liked them we should meet up on the Carrizo Plain next spring

Only if your connection is good (lots of pics):
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=566530
More than just goldfields, but you'll likely recognize one of them.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:45 PM   #63
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I was so anxious the day before I left, but once I got on the road, it all went away. I don't know what I was anxious about in the first place. Even now, a few things have needed fixing and I'm so relaxed about it all. It's perfect.

Where are you leaving from?

I plastidipped my bikes plastics. I tested out one side where I just plastidipped over the badge and on the other side I took it off then sprayed the plastic. Its kinda noticeable. I wasn't sure if having a bmw badge would make it more of a target and I didn't care much about letting everyone know I have one, so I just went without them. The plastidip should come off and the regular plastics will be in perfect shape after. Though I will let everyone know how the plastidip holds up over the journey. I imagine it might not make it. We'll see. Best wishes to you!



Quote:
Originally Posted by d_mob View Post
I'm following your RR as well and am really enjoying it. Whatever you end up deciding to do, please let me/us know regardless. I'm about to head out on my own similar trip (departing mid-Dec / Stahlratte Mar 3rd).

Learning a lot from you and it is reminding me of why I'm doing this crazy $hit all together. It's funny, the closer you get to departure, the more anxious, nervous, and forgetful you become about why you wanted to do it all in the first place (at least my experience).

Keep the RR coming, and thanks for providing such a detailed one.

PS... I see you debadged your bike logos. What are you thinking of putting in place of them? I'm probably going to follow suit on my F800.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:46 PM   #64
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Well after so many miles of rain and fog, seeing these flowers everywhere really brightened up the rides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meat popsicle View Post
By your picture and description of them I'd guess they are similar to what we call "goldfields" (Lasthenia species). If you liked them we should meet up on the Carrizo Plain next spring

Only if your connection is good (lots of pics):
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=566530
More than just goldfields, but you'll likely recognize one of them.
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advFord screwed with this post 10-24-2013 at 09:12 PM
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:05 PM   #65
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Ulysses

Hey Bryce,

Thanks for the info. The dates I will most likely be passing through El Salvador, Mario is going to be gone and I'm trying to get to Costa Rica to see some friends who will be there mid November. How long did you do Mexico to Panama? I'm giving myself two months and crossing to Columbia on December 6th.

I was thinking I might try to do 1 week studying spanish in Guatemala which would give me 8 days to go through Honduras and Nicaragua (and maybe El Salvador)



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I don't know about staying in Honduras the whole way; however, I do know that Honduras had some of the worst roads of the trip for me. El Salvador's roads, by comparison, where much, much better. El Salvador also uses the US Dollar, which makes things nice as far as currency.

You can certainly make it all the way across both countries in two days.....in fact you could probably do it in one day if you have smooth border crossings and you feel like riding really hard..

I would think that taking the Panam (Hwy 1) through El Salvador and then the western tip of Honduras would be smoother (and therefore almost just as fast) as staying in Honduras the whole way. I just remember whole sections of road collapsed off of hillsides and potholes big enough to swallow bikes in Honduras.

Whatever you do, choose the small border crossings off of the main roads and then link back up with the main roads after you cross. The smaller borders usually have less helpers and less traffic.

Why are you skipping through both countries? That's one of my biggest regrets on my trip. I had to fly through central america after my buddy got hit. You're going to miss the Copan Ruins in Honduras and the amazing beaches of El Salvador. Plus you won't get to meet Mario in San Salvador! He owns a moto shop and he loves meeting advriders! He'd probably even take you out to dinner and give you some good advice on where to ride. He let me stay at his coffee plantation! Great guy.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:08 PM   #66
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diegoteck

Hey diegoteck,
So you noticed my spanish skills and my spelling (especially in Spanish) is lacking huh? Ha. Thanks for the tip and I hope your trip does in fact get to happen. Make it happen!

Thanks for the message. It's great to hear from everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diegoteck View Post
Let me tell you I got hook on you RR, I had big
plans to take off in about 6 month on my own trip but now is a fact is not going to happen for at least another year, besides some sections of the UTBDR and some weekend riding, now I find myself as an spectator of other people's dreams and I really enjoy it. Last RR I followed was Ulyses ( Hi there ), I'm usually a silent subscriber, but in this case I felt the need to contribute a little.
Here we go.

derecha = right
derecho = straight ( "deracho" not such word in spanish )

directo = when giving directions it could mean "the shortest way to get there"
but you are going through different regions and many countries, you will learn not all spanish is the same or means the same in different countries.

You already figured out my skills, so let me know if I can help you with anything.
Ride safe
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:52 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by advFord View Post
Hey Bryce,

Thanks for the info. The dates I will most likely be passing through El Salvador, Mario is going to be gone and I'm trying to get to Costa Rica to see some friends who will be there mid November. How long did you do Mexico to Panama? I'm giving myself two months and crossing to Columbia on December 6th.

I was thinking I might try to do 1 week studying spanish in Guatemala which would give me 8 days to go through Honduras and Nicaragua (and maybe El Salvador)
What you are planning on doing (8 days through Honduras and Nicaragua) was what I had been planning on doing; however, when Justin got hurt that got thrown out the window. I ended up going from El Salvador to Panama in three days so that I could catch my boat on time. Doing Spanish school for a week is a great idea; do you know where you are going to do it at? Are you going to try and do anything else in Guatemala? Like Semuc Champey or Tikal?

I'm really jealous that you are going to get to spend time in Nicaragua. I spent one night there in one of those whore house motels and then blew right by the lake with the volcanoes the next day. Was depressed that I didn't get to go see it up close.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:08 PM   #68
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:58 AM   #69
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Zacatecas

I knew only one thing about Zacatecas before I arrived, I was told that I would love it. I should have planned accordingly. Here’s the story of my time in the colonial city of Zacatecas.


The ride from Durango to Zacatecas was somewhat forgettable. I only remember thinking for the first time that I should download Spanish language audio classes and practice while riding.


Arriving into Zacatecas at noon I had planned to meet up in the centro with Cloe, the Couchsurfer I was going to stay with. Everything was normal so far, except the highway system was a bit bigger than usual and as soon as I exited I found my two wheels on cobblestone roads older than my country. The traffic quickly slowed and so I did what all the other motos do, use my small size to my advantage and ride around all this congestion. (Ok I am a bit bigger than the 125cc motos they drive down here but I can still get by).


Centro historico, Zacatecas

Centro historico, Zacatecas

The cobblestone roads took me past incredible old buildings built in the Spanish colonial style. Typically these restored historic areas are small and after a few blocks it turns back into either really nice and modern or dilapidated. Zacatecas was different. Each street I turned on was just as picturesque as the previous one.


IMG_0264

Cloe was still working so I found a park and relaxed on the lawn enjoying a bag of papas. Papas are homemade potato chips with salsa and lime poured on them. Muy bien!


IMG_0250


IMG_0247


IMG_7042

The park had a fountain and speakers playing a vibrant classical concerto. Couples on benches and laying on the lawn showed more PDA (public display of affection) than I’m used to. Kids ran around playing tag and their dogs joined in.


The past few days of riding had a lot of stretches of construction that had me riding off road in the dirt. My pants and shirt were no longer gray and white but now had drastically more earth tones. When I said to myself I need to get cleaned up and wash I meant have a shower and do laundry, God must have thought I just wanted to wash my riding gear in the rain because within a minute the sun was gone, dark clouds rolled in, and the rain came down. I raced to a gas station, which is the only place I thought would have a roof to protect me. I parked and waited. and waited. I’m not afraid to ride in the rain but I’d prefer not to, especially on busy city highways right at the start of heavy rain.


IMG_7045

I stood under the roof as the rain came down horizontally, making the roof slightly pointless. While waiting I got to watch the happenings of a busy Pemex station. There were about 10 staff working the 8 pumps. They have quite the operation. Most of the cars pulling in where taxis. They’d fill up. If someone needed new windshield wipers they we’re replaced while the gas was pumped. Tires need air? No problemo. That can be done while filling up as well. Car over heating? Pop the hood and they fill the reserve tank with water. Cars were there for less than two minutes. The one thing I couldn’t figure out though was at at the end of the pump isle there was a single concrete tire ramp. The small taxis would reverse one wheel onto it and then park. they’d grab a fuel pump and start filling. But this is where it got strange. They would rock their car up and down. They did this repeatedly that it was clearly a thing. I could only think they were stirring up bad or low octane fuel with higher octane. Either way it was funny seeing these men shake their cars with all they had.


After a half hour I saw sunny skies in the distance. There was hope. A few minutes later the dark skies had moved on and the sun cast a warm light on the wet pavement. I rode a few minutes to Cloe’s house and she must have heard my motorcycle coming. When I turned onto the street I was greeted by a young Mexican woman with a smile bright enough to brighten any day. A hot pot of soup was waiting inside. I’d only been in Zacatecas for a few hours and I already loved it. I can’t recall the name of the soup but it was delicious and is made using a flower of a plant similar to a cactus that grows in the area. Not only a great cook, Cloe is an artist, designer, and aspiring theatrical makeup artist. With a love for theater and one of the biggest theater festivals going on in Zacatecas that week, we had a full night ahead of us.


The skies cleared just in time for the Festival Internacional de Teatro de Calle (The International Street Theater Festival) and so we drove into the historic city center. The streets and sidewalks were packed with people. Throughout the city streets theater groups performed musicals, plays, acrobatics, concerts, and comedies. I love the arts so just about any performance I’ll appreciate and enjoy. Exploring a city for the first time by touring around and seeing new performances around each corner certainly beats the typical walking tour.


IMG_0251

A theater acrobatic group, Transito Circo from Distrito Federal performs


IMG_0256

Small alleyways connect the streets


IMG_0254

A religious parade


IMG_0262

Comedy theater group Clan de Clauns


IMG_0273


IMG_0276

My favorite performance was this group, Oniria from Guadalajara. Amazing vocalist.


After the performances we stopped by Las Quince Letras (The 15 Letters), one of the oldest cantinas, for a Mezcal tasting. Here they served it with tomato juice and lime juice.

IMG_0285


IMG_0283


Once the sun had set we drove up the mountain that overlooks the city and took in the view of Zacatecas at night. On top of the mountain, Cerro de la Buffa, there is a plaza and pathways to walk around and see the different sections of the city.


IMG_0301

Cloe looking out over her city, Zacatecas

I knew going into this trip there would be moments where I would struggle with what I should do with my time. There’s so many places I want to get to, I can’t spend as much time as I want in everyplace. I was really enjoying Zacatecas but had planned the next 4 days to visit my friends family in Guadalajara and then get to Mexico City to see the band Muse in concert. This is really the first time on the trip that I wanted to stay longer in a city and I couldn’t without missing out on other things I was really excited about. As much as I wanted to stay I decided I would go on to Guadalajara. Did I make the right decision? Who knows. For my short time in Zacatecas, the people were right, I loved it. It’s a great city and I hope to get back and spend more time there someday. To others thinking about traveling through Mexico, I highly recommend Zacatecas as a place you could easily spend a week in and enjoy everyday.


I’ll end this blog with this music video from Leiden, the lead singer of the group Oniria that I saw perform in Zacatecas.



iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/wnEXJ6_x_Bs” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe&gt
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:40 AM   #70
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Great RR. You're right there are some great cities in northern Mexico. Guanajuato, queretaro, Morelia, Zacatecas and San Miguel de Allende are all worthy of a visit.
Enjoy it, you're not missing anything from OC. Well i did get a parking ticket yesterday, so I got that going for me.
Quick question about insurance? Did you buy it before the trip? Anyone ask about it?
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:46 PM   #71
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Catracho, too bad HB parking tickets aren't as cheap as in mexico. Here they take your license plate if you get a parking ticket and you don't get it back till it's paid.

So for insurance no one has asked about it though it is required for mexico. I woudn't ride without it here as they can throw you in jail if you cause an accident. I bought a policy specifically for Mexico through Sanborns Insurance and I got a central america and south america policy through Motorcycle Express. For Mexico it doesn't cost too much extra if you a month vs 6 months vs a year. So if you plan to do a couple rides to Baja or elsewhere in Mexico over a year, just get the full year policy you'll save a lot.



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Great RR. You're right there are some great cities in northern Mexico. Guanajuato, queretaro, Morelia, Zacatecas and San Miguel de Allende are all worthy of a visit.
Enjoy it, you're not missing anything from OC. Well i did get a parking ticket yesterday, so I got that going for me.
Quick question about insurance? Did you buy it before the trip? Anyone ask about it?
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:36 PM   #72
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Catracho, too bad HB parking tickets aren't as cheap as in mexico. Here they take your license plate if you get a parking ticket and you don't get it back till it's paid.

So for insurance no one has asked about it though it is required for mexico. I woudn't ride without it here as they can throw you in jail if you cause an accident. I bought a policy specifically for Mexico through Sanborns Insurance and I got a central america and south america policy through Motorcycle Express. For Mexico it doesn't cost too much extra if you a month vs 6 months vs a year. So if you plan to do a couple rides to Baja or elsewhere in Mexico over a year, just get the full year policy you'll save a lot.
Second insurance question for ya... What about health insurance?

Final question for ya... Is it just me or is Cloe beautiful? :)
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:47 AM   #73
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Second insurance question for ya... What about health insurance?

Final question for ya... Is it just me or is Cloe beautiful? :)
Health insurance I got through IMGlobal Patriot plan. whatever plan you get make sure it specifically covers motorcycles of your size. many travel health plans say motorcycles but the fine print is 125cc.

And the second answer. It's not just you. Cloe is gorgeous. so it wasn't just the city that I didn't want to leave.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:52 AM   #74
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Great RR so far man.

I've got a question for you... How are you liking the Variant on your trip so far now that you've spent an extended amount of time in it, including rain?
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:16 PM   #75
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Icon Variant helmet

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Great RR so far man.

I've got a question for you... How are you liking the Variant on your trip so far now that you've spent an extended amount of time in it, including rain?
Hey. First off the Variant is really comfortable. I used to have the Fly Trekker. I didn't know how bad the trekker was till I put on the Variant! The lining inside is really soft.

I rode with it for while with the clear faceshield and it was so quiet. could hardly hear the wind. But before the trip I put on the tinted shield and I don't know if I installed it bad or what but it doesn't seal as well as the clear and so it makes it a bit louder.

As far as in the rain, nothing comes in from the top if the vents are closed.
There is a little bit of water that comes up from underneath, and I haven't had time to look into it but it came with a attachment that I think is made to cover the opening during the rain. Whether or not it's made for that, it works at keeping out the rain.

So yea, I can wear the helmet all day riding and it's fine. Unless it's really hot or i want to eat/drink, I don't even take it off during short stops like gas. I honestly barely notice it (expect for the wind noise after the tint visor install)
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