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Old 01-21-2014, 08:51 PM   #106
mopulga
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Following your trip closely. I very much appreciated your comment or insight "For those reading this, if you are on the fence about doing a trip like this. Seriously, fucking do it!!!"

I have been on the fence and I am still not there yet, but just purchased ... Yet another bike, this one for a trip to SA. Your comment and overall trip report is super helpful.

When you get closer to Ecuador, send me a PM. I am originally from there and can guide you well with places to stay and see.

Be safe, and again.. Thanks. Look forward to the coming posts.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:12 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by COracer View Post
Incredible David, truly awesome experiences!
Thanks Sam... Miss you guys. I look forward to another track day w/ the boys sometime in the future.

Also looking forward to you maybe meeting me in Peru??? You plan that 'ish yet? :)
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:13 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopulga View Post
Following your trip closely. I very much appreciated your comment or insight "For those reading this, if you are on the fence about doing a trip like this. Seriously, fucking do it!!!"

I have been on the fence and I am still not there yet, but just purchased ... Yet another bike, this one for a trip to SA. Your comment and overall trip report is super helpful.

When you get closer to Ecuador, send me a PM. I am originally from there and can guide you well with places to stay and see.

Be safe, and again.. Thanks. Look forward to the coming posts.
Ahhh... That's great! I've never been to Ecuador, so any help would be appreciated. I'll shoot you a note when I get into Colombia. Chat soon!
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:25 PM   #109
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This is great.

Subscribed for more!

Thanks
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:57 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by d_mob View Post
Ahhh... That's great! I've never been to Ecuador, so any help would be appreciated. I'll shoot you a note when I get into Colombia. Chat soon!
Perhaps Mopulga can clarify, but when we were in Ecuador they had just instituted a new law where if you are caught 15kmh over the speed limit your vehicle would be confiscated and you got to spend 3 days in jail. Most of SA couldn't give a rats ass about speeding (with perhaps the exception of Chile), so this seemed pretty punitive.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:23 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by jfink View Post
Perhaps Mopulga can clarify, but when we were in Ecuador they had just instituted a new law where if you are caught 15kmh over the speed limit your vehicle would be confiscated and you got to spend 3 days in jail. Most of SA couldn't give a rats ass about speeding (with perhaps the exception of Chile), so this seemed pretty punitive.
Hi,
we heard some talk of this, but we did not hear of anyone that had experienced this. My family is there and all definitely go above the posted limits, which are dumb and do not make sense. We never saw a police car or anything that had radar/laser capabilities.

Ecuador is changing for sure. Mostly for the good of the people there I think, but there are some rules - like a total ban of weapons that people are super scared about.

I follow quite a few trip reports which include a few travelers in Ecuador. No issues with them. Maybe they are thinking about it.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:17 PM   #112
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David - found your post on Adv Rider and am enjoying following your exploits. I'm from Colorado also and just turned 51 and an going through a divorce - 23 years. I recently upgraded my ride to a Suzuki DR-650 and with input from my daughter named her Zoe. She too was named after a girl I met, a hippie from Boulder exactly but for many of the similar reasons you chose Chole. I don't have visions of south of the boarder travel but would like to see the southwest US on two wheels. Anyway, I have a few extra Holiday Inn travel rewards and was checking availability in Guatemala and could swing a night for you at one of the Holiday Inn hotels. If you can tell me what night you could use it I'll see what I can do. Greg
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:38 AM   #113
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Thanks all for the info on Exuador. I'll scale back on speed in country.

Greg, that's such a generous offer. I sent you an email. Let me know if you didn't receive it. Thanks!

PS... If anyone finds themselves in Antigua, Taz at MotoMundo is the guy/shop to go to. He got me squared away on a few things I needed for the bike. Also, CATours is awesome. I'm jumping in two rides with them. Tomorrow for 7 hours on a river tour, and Sat/Sun on an overnight to Atitlan. Highly recommend both places when here.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:49 PM   #114
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Dave - no email yet so maybe send through PM on this site.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:51 AM   #115
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Antigua & ADVentures...



***As you read, play this track. Jose has been keeping me company during my journey lately. Great traveling music...***



I've been in Guatemala for almost a week now. Time has passed quickly and I just realized I haven't posted an update for awhile. In my last post I think I left out the actual ride to Antigua, so I'll put a little recap on my first real border crossing day...



I woke around 5:30am in San Cristobal, alert and ready for the long ride to Antigua. I packed up and headed out of the hostel. A few minutes into the ride I felt like something was a bit 'off' with the bike. I stopped and immediately checked tire pressure. The front was as expected, but the rear was WAY low. I spun the tire and realized there was a huge screw sticking out. I'm not sure if I picked it up the day before on my ride to Oventic (Zapatista compound) or shortly after leaving the hostel. Anyway, at that point I was losing air quickly and needed to find a place for repairs. I limped along slowly and found a public estacionamiento (parking lot) off the main road. I stopped and asked if I could park in a corner of the lot to repair my tire. They said "of course" and pointed me into a back corner. I immediately got to work setting the bike on the center stand and pulling the rear wheel. At this point a group of around 8 - 10 locals started to gather around. They were checking out the bike, and trying to figure out why a gringo would be getting dirty changing his own tire. They were all harmless and pretty funny actually. By the end of it I was known as 'Gringo Loco' due to the length of my trip and that I was doing my own tire change and not taking it to a vulcanizidora (tire shop). Granted, in retrospect I may want to utilize a tire shop in the future. Those Heidenau K60's are a BITCH to spoon on and off the rim. :/



I finally got everything buttoned up after about an hour and set off for the border. The ride was beautiful. The exit from Mexico was painless at the banjercito and immigration (still haven't gotten my $450 deposit back from the Mexican gov't though). Immigration into Guatemala was quick and easy as well, but I got a bit fleeced by a money changer at the border. They made me spray the bike, which cost $11Q and wouldn't take Pesos or USD. Everything was smooth sailing until I went to check the bike into Guatemala. The computers were down and I ended up having to wait an additional two hours. They finally reset everything, told me it was my 'lucky day' as sometimes the computers can be down for much longer apparently, and sent me on my way. I arrived to Antigua fairly late due to the unforeseen delays. After the long day I really just wanted a shower and bed, but failed to realize that the place I booked was the biggest party hostel in Antigua. It was FILLED with insanely drunk tourists. There were Aussie dudes chundering in the bathrooms, girls passed out on tables, and people yelling and partying everywhere. Not exactly what I was looking for after my long day. If you want a party stay at the Terrace Hostel... if you want rest, don't. I ended up moving the next day.



While I was in Antigua I had planned to give the bike some love (i.e. clean/tension chain, go over nuts and bolts, oil change, brake pads, etc). I ended up randomly finding Taz @ MotoMundo, which is a local shop. He and I got along well and I decided I would just have him look over the bike. He had a diagnostic tool, so we plugged it in and found a couple of faults. After an oil change, a once over, and clearing the faults I was good as new. If you are passing through Antigua on a moto trip I would highly recommend stopping in to see Taz. If only just for a beer and game of darts.



During my time in the city I also met up with a fellow ADVrider Cody. He and I got along well and will probably link up at some point through Central America for a bit of travel together. He told me about CATours, which is a moto tour and bike rental shop in Antigua. I ended up checking it out the first day I was in town and loved it. Both Jose (the owner) and Frenchie (aka David - the guide) are incredibly good guys. They have a handful of amazing day and multi-day trips all through Guatemala and even the surrounding countries. If you are a motorbike fan and find yourself passing through Antigua without jumping in a tour you have done yourself a huge disservice. I ended up riding twice with David. The first day he had an Australian father/son duo who were both great. In fact, Peter (the dad) is another fellow ADVrider (aspad) and we had a great time swapping stories and tall tales about motorcycle adventures past. That day I spent around five hours trying to keep up with the three of them as they ripped around ahead of me on 250's and 450's through tough dirt, sand, rocky sections, and several fairly deep river crossings. At one point we stopped for a break at a small tienda nestled in a valley under Volcan Fuego. Just as we stopped, the ground shook and the volcano treated us to a small, but beautiful eruption. Watching lava, smoke, and ash blast into the air was a first for me...



Yesterday I joined David and Rob (CATours customer - and all around good dude) for an overnight tour to Atitlan. We rode for around five hours through dirt, paved two lane, small villages, rivers, and finally ended up descending into Panajachel with astounding views of the lake all around. The views and ride were amazing, but the highlight of the day was witnessing Rob's first official motorcycle crash. He caught an edge in some deep sand and went down in a massive cloud of dust and dirt. I was proud of him though, he has only ridden a motorcycle five or six times and was doing fantastically well. There are two types... those who have, and those who will (crash). Rob is now officially in the latter club. Good on ya' Rob! ;)



Last night we all ended up unpacking, showering, and then sitting at a restaurant on the lake to watch a beautiful sunset. I met four girls in Antigua the night before, and two of them, Sarah and Kayla ended up meeting us in Panajachel. We caused trouble all over town and had a blast. Somehow we got the idea that we would draw tattoos on each other and the lot of us ended up with some pretty obscene temporary 'ink'. I got along well with Kayla, so after finishing this blog post and showering, I'm hopping on the bike and we're meeting on the other side of the lake for a day/night in San Pedro. I'm waiting on a package to arrive in Antigua that my father sent, which is taking much longer than expected, so I'm in no rush at the moment to make my way south.



After a day in San Pedro I expect to head back to Antigua for a day or two (maybe a year depending on how long this freaking package takes!). I've decided that I'll ride south from there through Ruta de las Flores, and then will spend several days surfing and lounging on the beaches/coast in El Salvador. After that it's south through the borders in Honduras, several days in Nicaragua, some time in Costa Rica, then plan to spend a week or so exploring the beaches in northern Panama. I board the Stahlratte on March 2nd for the journey to Colombia where I'll begin the next chapter of the adventure through South America.



I think that's it for now... I need to grab yet another cup of strong coffee, then pack up and head to San Pedro to rendezvous with the girls. Loving life, living the dream on two wheels! Habla pronto...

~ D













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Old 01-26-2014, 10:19 AM   #116
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Great job.

We JUST finished our ride to tdf

You may find a couple of useful things in the report

'tuckers to tdf'
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:58 PM   #117
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Thanks T...

I followed your report up until I left. Looks like you had quite an adventure.

Couple of questions for ya...

1. How does it feel to be done? Happy? Sad? Just curious as I already dread the day.

2. What did you use for GPS in S America?
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:10 AM   #118
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Lounging Around Lake Atitlán...



So, while in Antigua I had a package sent by my father with a few necessary items (thanks pops!). It was mailed to the school that I was studying at for several days, but is delayed at customs apparently. That said, I decided to book it over to Panajachel with the CATours guys, and then spend some time across Lake Atitlán in San Pedro. I've been here for four nights now and am feeling pretty chill and relaxed. My hotel, Casa Villa del Sol, has adequate secure parking, cheap laundry, comfortable beds, hot showers, and private rooms... all for $5 USD per night! I figure while I wait for the package to arrive I can either spend $30 USD per night for a room in Antigua, or $5 here on the lake. I'm hoping it makes it to Antigua soon though as there is still a LOT to explore in Central America en route to Panama.



In the last post I mentioned Kayla and Susan. We met in Antigua, then met up in Panajachel. After a crazy fun night out in Pana, we all decided to meet again in San Pedro. Kayla and I have gotten along well and have spent time exploring all the small towns around the lake. San Pedro is small, tranquil, and laid back with a few restaurants and bars to explore. It also sits at the base of Volcan San Pedro, and directly on the lake, so there are a lot of hiking and exploring options. One of the first days here I went on a run for a bit of exercise and discovered a small private beach. We've spent some time there since, which has been nice. Directly across the lake is San Marcos, which is probably one of the most 'granola' places I've ever seen. Tiny little paths wind through the village and they are dotted with reiki and acupuncture shops, organic food stores and restaurants, fruit and vegetable juice stands, and of course head shops. There is also a small nature preserve with a platform to jump into the lake for some swimming. Of course I stripped down to my skivvies and performed a flailing front flip without thinking twice. I probably would have scored a 1 out of 10 if there were judges.



While here something really, really cool has happened. Two people have committed to visiting me during my travels. Sarah, my beautiful new friend from Mexico City that I met in Puerto Escondido will be joining me in Cartagena for a few days in the city, and possibly a ride up the Colombian coast to Santa Marta. Also, Sam, my great friend back home and roadracing teammate will be meeting up with me in Lima in May for some ADV riding in/around Peru. I'll continue to live in the moment and enjoy the now, but I'm looking forward to seeing and spending time with them both.



Whenever 'the package' arrives in Antigua I'll make my way through the city en route to El Salvador. I plan to navigate Ruta de las Flores on the way to the coast. If anyone has recommendations on beaches in El Salvador to spend time and/or surf please send them along. Following El Salvador, I plan to speed through Honduras and spend a few days in Leon, Nicaragua. I'll explore the country for a few days, and then head south through Costa Rica and finally Panama.



I guess that's it for now. Sorry for the gap between updates, and the brevity of this one. Not much to report the past few days as I've been lounging around the sleepy village spending time with new friends. Hopefully I'll be back on the road soon where the adventure, and updates will continue.

Until then...

~ D














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Old 01-30-2014, 09:39 AM   #119
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Good Stuff! I was actually thinking this morning - the dude needs to update us! It is cold & miserable here in the East Coast and we need inspiration. Thanks!

Glad you are taking it easy for a bit. It seems to me you are doing it right. Flexible, still thinking of your destination and making good friends along the way.

Bought a DR650 last week with anticipation of doing the same as you. Thanks as always for the A+ trip report. Learning, inspiring and thinking of traveling life.

Cheers! Look forward to the next edition.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:10 AM   #120
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BTW: You all are very close it seems:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...1#post23350301
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