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Old 12-11-2013, 04:29 PM   #151
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Could you skip ahead to the Colombia part with the twisty mountain roads and the friendly locals? Panama is so last month. Hey just kidding. Hope to see you down the road amigos.

Su amigo de aventura,
Tio Juan
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:45 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Could you skip ahead to the Colombia part with the twisty mountain roads and the friendly locals? Panama is so last month. Hey just kidding. Hope to see you down the road amigos.

Su amigo de aventura,
Tio Juan
You're so right, tomorrow we ride to Medellin via Santa Marta. See you down South
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The Southern Episode
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:43 PM   #153
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Cool2 Road Warriors

Hot day today, the mercury reached 100F we are midway to Medellin



Moto-Mikey - Valentino - Edwin - Mirjam - Jackie

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Old 12-17-2013, 08:21 AM   #154
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Eek And we all filed in

We arrived in Panama the 30th with a reservation for the 1st at the Panama House B&B. So we splurge and went to the Hilton for one night. At $80.00, it was well worth celebrating our crossover of the bridge of the Americas.

We showed up at the B&B around 1300, Mike aka Moto-mikey with his GS800, and a couple from Germany (Ziggy & Lide) on a 1200 GSA which we were yet to meet had already arrived. By 1500 the Dutch were here also; Mirjam and Edwin showed up dripping wet, from back-to-back torrential downpours in the last hour.

Meanwhile Valentino decided that the best thing to do while waiting for something else to happen was to try to squeeze beside the other GSA already parked behind the small gated area on the side of the Panama house. Within a few seconds the familiar sound of the GSA horn could be heard far and wide. I had, in the blink of an eye managed to sink the back wheel of the bike deep enough into a mud hole that stood just below the axle. It took Mike and I a good 30 minutes while the sky emptied out to get it unstuck.

Funny enough by the next morning, Alva the friendly owner of the Panama House had the whole thing paved again.








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Old 12-17-2013, 08:33 AM   #155
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Talking ADV Rider central

By evening the Tuckers (Colleen and James) had shown up and we all pitched in a cooked up a storm.

It was incredibly easy and familiar. Each did their part, a harmonious collaboration of newly found friends well oiled by plenty of social lubricant. We all share a common purpose and had a similar story to tell.

The road from Alaska to Panama had been long and challenging, all were happy and looking forward to the southern part of the continent.

The few days in Panama also allowed us to visit the locks; do some minor maintenance on the bikes, upload photos, share GPS maps, and e-books, and drink copious amounts of beer, wine and dark rum.








We spent half a day running around town in pure traffic hell; For those that know Asterix le Gaulois, that afternoon was exactly like the episode where he runs around the whole day dealing with Roman bureaucracy.

We had a couple of packages to pickup from the post office and UPS to replace the items that were stolen in Palenque as well as a defective Spot. Out of curiosity we rode to the BMW dealer to see what the charge would be for engine and final drive oil change;

What’s your best guess: does $268.00 sound about right to you? The supermercado had full synth Mobile 1 for $11.50 a quart. 45 ms later the engine oil was changed and the air filter cleaned. I’ll wait for Cali, Columbia for the FD.

We all did the maintenance in the parking lot of the B&B while they served lunch. They were really friendly and accommodating.

Muchias gracias Alva.








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The Southern Episode
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #156
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The locks


We spent one more day visiting thefamous Panama Canal. It was quite impressive to see the locks empty out and the ships lower well below the water line.












Tomorrow we head for Kuna land
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:49 AM   #157
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Laugh And off they went





By the 5th in the morning, the entire pax load (24 riders and pillions, and 19 bikes) for the Stahlratte had shown up. James Tucker and Valentino took point, and led the group out of the city, heading southeast through the Panamanian rain forest and Kuna territory towards Carti for loading the bikes on the 35.8 meters steel ketch that would sail us to Cartagena.





We are now in Medellin, I will revert later with more pics and update, gotta go get ready, we have a date with a cable car.

J&V out...



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Old 12-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #158
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Talking Sailing the San Blas






The road leading to the Caribbean side was great fun with deep rolling hills and nice twisties, very much like a roller-coaster ride.









We entered Kuna territory



Made it to shore



And lined up for loading the bikes onboard





Captain Ludwig and the crew were helpful, and made everybody feel welcome.



Angela was impatient




There she went



Nicely tucked in






The adventure Girlzzz looking pretty



All of us on board



A first meal



Aye aye Sir



Trusted by the engine we sailed for a couple of hours, and were dropped on a small island-village inhabited by the Kuna people.



What a dump! The “adventure” crowd is pretty easy to please, generally undemanding, and seeking to meet new people and experience various cultures.









This place was none of that; No formal introductions made with the head or chief of the village, we were all pointed to various huts were we would spend the night, the owners were not welcoming and did not seem particularly interested in any type of social interactions.



We basically sat around the dock on the floor; I did a bit of fishing but doubted that anything had been fished out of the proximity of the island for some time.



Have a look at the Tuckers RR for some more pics and impressions, but they will not differ much. We where served a decent meal of fish rice and veggies before retiring to our various huts. It was very disappointing and some of us had really restless night dues to insects, rain, and dismantled or absent cots.



We were really lucky with our spot, many of us got wet; We all would have been better on board the ship or in our tent.

Now don’t get me wrong. I like to interact with locals, and neither Liliane nor I are difficult. But the whole experience was bogus and useless, although we sought some interaction with the Kunas, there was none to be add. They were simply not interested in us being there and at times it felt like we were intruding. It left most of us very dubitative has we never really understood why we were there in the first place. The island, maybe half an acre in size was littered to the point of insalubrity, and there was nothing to do, nowhere to go or sit, except wait around at the dock.



We would have been happy with a few chairs and a table, but mostly with a friendly smile.

Do the math: 20 people at $25.00 per person…
Everybody agreed that if the intent was to make 500 bucks, it would have been easier to just charge a passage tax and leave us on board of the vessel to socialize among ourselves. This day definitely gets two thumbs down.



We would spend two more days around the Coco Bandero Cays, and it was great to swim and snorkel around the islands, enjoying the great food prepared by the crew, play cards and share stories from the road.

It was all hands on to fix James' windshield



The first 8 or 10 hours of sailing were really rough with strong winds and 4+meters swells, most everyone got sick and retired early. By late evening the weather had cleared and we enjoyed a clear sky darted by a million stars until we retired for the night.





We landed in Cartagena around 1100 and the group split in various numbers and sought shelter in the old city.



Busy port



We would be reunited the next morning at 0700 to offload bikes and gear. This was well organized and efficient, within one hour or so all the bikes were offloaded and we headed for aduana.

Move the bikes



Offload to a floating barge seven at a time





Jump off - jump on



Towed to the dock





And rolled off





We would spend a mind-numbing 5hrs or so waiting for custom and aduana to clear the bikes at this building.



The quest for insurance would take another 1.5 hours and by the time all the bikes and gear were securely tucked in the various hostels it was well after 1500. Only the Tuckers opted to ride out the same afternoon, the rest of the group would spend one or two more days in Cartagena before heading off.


Tell you all about it tomorrow...
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode
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Old 12-19-2013, 12:50 PM   #159
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Thumbs down Patience patience patience


Well here we are in Medellin, waiting for the bike to be ready. Leaving Cartagena I started to feel the clutch slipping. At 90000 + km, it's not really a surprise. I suppose that the good part is that it happened when it did. Many of us from the Stahlratte had some stuff ranging from minor to significant done to their bikes in Medellin. There are tons of dealers and shops, a real moto culture here.

Barrio bike



So patience patience patience...




In the mean time we are enjoying the former barrio of Pablo Escobar, met with JDowns and Turtleheads at the Shamrock to help put pins on the map for the way forward.


Angela is at the dealership Ruta 40 patiently waiting for the clutch plate to arrive from Bogota.


Seeing your bike split in half with bits and pieces all over the place sure is a ghastly sight





Here is where the ability and willingness to relinquish control comes in real handy...
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:01 PM   #160
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Cool2 Chiapas notes

Since I have some time on my hands, I figured I could post some of my notes and satisfy my never ending need to pontificate

Here it goes...




In 2008 we rode our ST1300 through Italy, and spent a few days in Rome. In a mostly dubious if not futile attempt to synthesize what we had seen and experienced in the city that once was the centre of the world I used three words, Chiesa, Piazza, and Fontana.


Although for completely different reasons, Chiapas left me in the same nebulous state of perplexity and confusion. We left Tuxtla Guiterrez to head for San Cristobal de Las Casas. Tuxtla’s downtown core, for what I counted to be eight city blocks on either side of the Avenida Central had been cordoned off for the last two months as a form of protest. The grievances are numerous and complex, but nothing new under the sun. They topic social injustice, access to education, democracy, independence, cultural identity, and so much more.


Meanwhile in San Cristobal, another beautiful city inherited from Spanish colonialism, it is business as usual. “The haves” can enjoy delicious locally grown coffee and succulent French pastries while, “The have nots” in this case mostly indigenous Tzotzil kids attempt to sell you trinkets, usually referred to by “The haves” as authentic artefacts…


Chiapas is what I understand to be the most culturally rich region of Mexico, dozens of ethnicities and languages are woven with each other, they intermingle to paint a cultural mosaic that make up this unique part of the world and is far to complex for this gringo to even comprehend, but I hear, see, and read words like:

Tzotzil, Cho’ol, Zoque, Tojolabal, Lacandon, and Mam. But also Jacalteco, Mochó, Cakchiquel and Lacandon. And again Bochil, Sitalá, Pantepec, Simojovel. And even more indigenous such as San Juan, Cancuc, Huixtán, Teneiapa, Tila, Oxchuc, Tapalapa, Zinacantán, Mitontic, Ocotepec, Chamula, and Chalchihuitán.


Please also include, or if you are the type exclude the thousands of Salvadorian refugees and more countless Guatemalans that seep through the porous borders; all lines drawn arbitrarily in the sand by powers at be, conquering men that know better than the ones born of the earth they own no more. And then there were more signs, with claims, and bandanas with demands that want nothing more than what is rightfully theirs. Still other Zapatistas, independentist and Marist, and other Maoist People’s Union, Unions of unions, fight, fight another day, fight for decency, and against caste, encomienda, and other latifondi and oppressive colonialist Friedman economic practices.

So in the words of the infamous Robert Crumb



“Keep on trucking” Chiapas, never stop telling the rest of the world that there are better ways of living life.




Todo es mentira en este mundo
Todo es mentira la verdad
Todo es mentira yo me digo
Todo es mentira ...Por qui sera?...
Esperando la ultima ola...
Esperando la ultima rola ...Arriba la luna Ohea...
Mentira lo que dice
Mentira lo que va
Mentira lo que cuece
Bajo la oscuridad...
...Arriba la luna Ohea... Todo es mentira en este mundo
Todo es mentira la verdad
Todo es mentira yo me digo
Todo es mentira?
Por qui sera?
Mentira la mentira
Mentira la verdad
Mentira lo que cuece
Bajo la oscuridad...
Buscando un ideal
Buscando un ideal
Cuando sera?
Cuando sera?
Por donde saldre el sol?


Manu Chao

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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 12-19-2013, 01:03 PM   #161
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Great pix and word crafting. Keep it up, and ride safely!
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:34 PM   #162
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Nice update!


And what did Valentino do while it was uncertain if the beemer would be fixed and how many pesos had to be paid? He was looking for a way to kill time and earn money in a new career. Many opportunities came by but only a few where captured on SD-card:

Would a career as a cook satisfy him?

The meal tasted great that must be said...

Or a guard at a metro station?


Or a paparazzo?



Only time will tell.

All I can say now is that we've had a great time traveling with him and Jacky!
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:57 AM   #163
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Wink Huhhhh nah

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Originally Posted by De Buurman View Post
Nice update!

Would a career as a cook satisfy him?

The meal tasted great that must be said...

Only time will tell.

All I can say now is that we've had a great time traveling with him and Jacky!
Somehow, I believe that GSA pilot will suit him just fine; if we can get the bike back on the road before he grows Colombian roots.

Hopefully catch up to you guys soon.
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:09 PM   #164
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yeahhh....

Beautiful, as usual, your post #150 is a true testimony of an eye wide open to the most challenging things a traveler has to deal with: understand the place by it's people.
Thank you, once again.
And, oh, of course, ride on. Best regards to your beautiful JackIE and may you enjoy the best of the holidays.

Arjones.
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:57 PM   #165
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Question Did you mean #160

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjones View Post
Beautiful, as usual, your post #150 is a true testimony of an eye wide open to the most challenging things a traveler has to deal with: understand the place by it's people.
Thank you, once again.
And, oh, of course, ride on. Best regards to your beautiful JackIE and may you enjoy the best of the holidays.

Arjones.
Just my way of making sense of the world, we are still held up in Medellin, and it does not look like we will be out of here until some time next week. Granted there are worst place to be in, the wait is slowly getting to us.

A view from our place at sunset



The best Mexican joint in the Poblado zona-rosa right next to parque Lleras

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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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