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Old 11-10-2013, 12:01 AM   #316
pne
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keep up the good work, really enjoying your pics. I just got back from Argentina myself, the food was one of the best parts. Nothing like some asado washed down with a malbec.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:43 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Wow, I remember that exact border crossing from last year. Weird. You went through at a good time. Seemed muy tranquilo.
If you think that was tranquilo, I just went through the border at Rio Sereno (Costa Rica/Panama) and it was way mellow. Details in an upcoming post.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:45 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by pne View Post
keep up the good work, really enjoying your pics. I just got back from Argentina myself, the food was one of the best parts. Nothing like some asado washed down with a malbec.
There certainly are some great and interesting food choices. I'm kind of a picky eater so there has been plenty of pinto on my plates.
Thanks for following along.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:52 AM   #319
Slickrick
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Great Ride Report

Thanks for your efforts. Border crossing video was great.
Hope to make the same trip on my trusty DR in 2016.
Keep on riding & reporting!
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:50 AM   #320
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Hi Dave,
I have been home for two weeks now and just about caught up on everything. Your reporting is, as I have said before, fantastic and the video of the border crossing from Nicaragua to Costa Rica was just like doing it all over again. And that was one of the better ones. You are lazy though !! I WALKED through the truck park twice and back.....I never thought of riding it !!
My Klim jacket and pants also stank but I didn't trust anyone to wash it until I returned home. I just hoped no-one else noticed.
Continue with the great work and I am sure you will enjoy the rest of the trip including the Stahlratte. Dave
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:06 AM   #321
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Day 77 Oil Leak no More

Day 77 November 8 Jaco to San Vito 270km


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The oil leak is definitely gone.

Of all the Central America countries, Costa Rica roads are in the best condition. There are virtually no random pot holes or washouts. And there are actually road signs akin to North American highways.





My pal CK is fighting breast cancer so I added a little pink to Skelly.







The trip from Jaco started early with a short segment along the coast. Then up into the mountains where I joined the Pan American highway at San Isidoro. Reaching the higher altitudes was a great reprieve from the heat.

What the?



The twisty roads are freshly paved and all but vacant of traffic. This was particularly true of the “unnamed road” the GPS turned me onto.



It was correct this time and lead me safely to San Vito by about 1pm. Then the rain began to fall so I settled in to the Rino Hotel for the afternoon and had a wee siesta.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:12 AM   #322
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Originally Posted by Slickrick View Post
Thanks for your efforts. Border crossing video was great.
Hope to make the same trip on my trusty DR in 2016.
Keep on riding & reporting!
The video was fun to make, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
If you have any DR questions, fire away. I'll be doing a mid-trip bike update sometime soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davey1212 View Post
Hi Dave,
I have been home for two weeks now and just about caught up on everything. Your reporting is, as I have said before, fantastic and the video of the border crossing from Nicaragua to Costa Rica was just like doing it all over again. And that was one of the better ones. You are lazy though !! I WALKED through the truck park twice and back.....I never thought of riding it !!
My Klim jacket and pants also stank but I didn't trust anyone to wash it until I returned home. I just hoped no-one else noticed.
Continue with the great work and I am sure you will enjoy the rest of the trip including the Stahlratte. Dave
I'm glad you made it home safely but sad your trip is over. I was really enjoying your report too and it gave me some up to date info to go by. It seems like such a short time ago that you were visiting us in Edmonton.
Stahlratte is only 4 days away now!

Cheers!
D
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:50 PM   #323
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"The oil leak is definitely gone".

Congratulations! Reading some other reports I'd say your bike has been well prepared and relatively maintenance free. Good DR, well set up! Suspension problems seem to occur to some trips in remote areas (of Africa) and are awful - sometimes with well known brands which were new.

Good luck with the jump from central to southern America!
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:59 AM   #324
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Late to the party , but an excellent ride report ! I will be following along the rest of the way . Thanks for letting us "ride along' with you . I may never make such a trip , but with great reports like yours I almost feel like have been . Have a safe and great trip !
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:27 PM   #325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalahari-k View Post
"The oil leak is definitely gone".

Congratulations! Reading some other reports I'd say your bike has been well prepared and relatively maintenance free. Good DR, well set up! Suspension problems seem to occur to some trips in remote areas (of Africa) and are awful - sometimes with well known brands which were new.

Good luck with the jump from central to southern America!
I think I covered as many of the maintenance items as I could have. However there is always something that can fail.
I met a woman today at my hostel that is Riding her 25 year old BMW to Ushuaia. I think she said the bike has close to 500,000km on it. Unfortunately she is having an unexpected ignition problem in the rain and is having difficulty finding plug wires for it.

I am really looking forward to the ocean crossing and a new continent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramp-Z View Post
Late to the party , but an excellent ride report ! I will be following along the rest of the way . Thanks for letting us "ride along' with you . I may never make such a trip , but with great reports like yours I almost feel like have been . Have a safe and great trip !
I didn't think I'd ever do a trip like this either but with some effort and a loving wife I'm actually doing it. I constantly feel like I need to pinch myself.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:29 PM   #326
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Day 78 Muy Tranquilo

Day 78 San Vito Costa Rica to Santiago Panama


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For my last border crossing in Central America I chose a lesser known location. The crossing at Rio Soreno is not used by cargo trucks and is very low key. So much so that it is difficult to determine exactly what buildings are the official Immigration and Customs office. In order to get there one must travel on about 5 miles of gravel from Sabalito to the border. It was raining this morning so I waited until about 8 before moving. I have read that finding the gravel road out of Sabolito is challenging but I located it with only one U-turn required.

Arriving at the frontier I found an official looking place with a few people queued in front of a “Migracion” sign.



After about 10 minutes I looked at the brightly colored rock being used as a door stop. It had “Panama” written on it. Oops, I need Costa Rica first. I back tracked down the road about 100 meters where there is a building that looked likely so I entered and found I was at the right place.



The Migracion building is directly across from this place



A quick stamp in the passport and I needed to turn in my vehicle permit. There is no Aduana on the Costa Rica side so the agent merely takes your document from you. He warned me that I could not re-enter Costa Rica here if I do not have the permit. I said no problem, I’m not coming back.

The view from Costa Rica Migracion to Panama



Once again in the queue at the Panama Migracion building I met a couple from Switzerland who are on a two year adventure in a huge 4x4 monster truck. www.thirdgear.ch They were going north into Costa Rica and we briefly chatted about the road into Panama. While in line I wondered if I should get my insurance first. Turns out I should have because after the 20 minute wait they said sorry go get insurance then come back. Okay where’s the insurance office? “Not far” they said, so I went looking. I found it after asking a few more people and the guy made copies of my passport and registration. I had to go back to the bike for some cash and while there met the Swiss guy again who had just been to the Costa Rica building. They were being turned around and sent to a bigger crossing because there is no Aduana (Customs) at this location.

After paying my $15USD for 30 days insurance I trudged back to the Panama Migracion building and got back in line for the third time. Mind you the “line” was only 2 deep each time. I got my passport stamp which I double checked for the correct entry date. Then off to the Aduana, a tiny shack with a dirt trail leading to it. The wooden step below the door has a faded “Aduana” painted by hand.



In the cramped little office a man sits behind a tiny desk on which a computer rests. In front of the desk is a printer/copier and beside it is chair for the victims. In one corner of the office is a fridge with contents unknown. The man requested my passport, registration, drivers license and insurance document. He made copies of all of them and started entering information one finger at a time into the computer. He produced two copies of a form which he stamped and then I signed. I carefully reviewed the document to find a big mistake. He had entered the VIN wrong. In place of the letter S he had entered a 5, twice! I pointed it out and he started all over again with me looking over his shoulder at all of the entries this time. It is absolutely vital that all the information is correct if I want to leave Panama in a week. After my approval he produced 3 copies of the signed document. One I gave to the fumigation dude who collected $1 from me and gave me a receipt. Two copies I gave to the military guy who was inside the Migracion building. He just took them without even a glance at the papers or my bike and continued chatting on his cell phone.

This whole process took about 2 hours but was so much nicer than the hectic major crossings.

The road on the Panama side is paved and beautiful. I was lucky enough to ride it for about an hour while it was dry. The rest of the day was mostly rain and some sun but I enjoyed it despite the moisture.









I must have horse shoes in my arse. Hoping to wait out the rain I stopped for lunch in Volcan but it didn’t relent. After eating I stopped for fuel but my routine was disrupted. You see, I normally record my fuel stop data on my helmet camera but I put the camera away due to the rain. I started reciting the information over and over in my head so I would remember it. I kept repeating the numbers as I rode away in the downpour. The rain was so heavy my speed was quite slow and the turns required caution. I felt something drop on my left thigh...when I looked down I saw the fuel cap lying in my lap and fuel sloshing out of the opening. “Holy @#*&” I can’t believe it didn’t drop on the road. Finding it would have been a nightmare.





I arrived in Santiago at about 4:45 and started looking for a hotel. After driving up and down the main street a few times my first stop was a $65/night place. The second stop was $85! Neither of these hotels could suggest an economical alternative. Finally I pulled in to the Hong Hotel which I had seen but dismissed due to it’s run down appearance. An economical room is $17.50 and I can live with that.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:21 PM   #327
Cal
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The Hong Hotel! I stayed there on my way down, saw lots of large unknow bugs crawling around on the floor....on the way home I treated myself to the hotel accross the street and walked down to the McDonalds for supper. I found the roadside food in Panama to be not as good as other countries. There seemed to be alot of buffets. Thanks for the regular updates as it is full on winter in Alberta!
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:03 PM   #328
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Hi DRrambler,

Thanks for the memories. Rio Sereno still looks the same. Lento y tranquilo. And how about that Hotel Hong in Santiago. But what are you gonna do when all the hotels in Santiago Panama are asking more than Motel 6 prices. WTF. I just had to shake my head. But it is the place to stop if you are booking from San Vito on down the way.

Keep up the good work. I give this report 5 stars. Hope to see you across the Darien when you get to Colombia. I'll probably still be in Medellin if you come this way.

Suerte,
Tio Juan
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:03 AM   #329
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Quote:
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The Hong Hotel! I stayed there on my way down, saw lots of large unknow bugs crawling around on the floor....on the way home I treated myself to the hotel accross the street and walked down to the McDonalds for supper. I found the roadside food in Panama to be not as good as other countries. There seemed to be alot of buffets. Thanks for the regular updates as it is full on winter in Alberta!
I came close to eating at McD's, but found a place on the same side of the street where they served me all ten of some poor chicken's fingers.

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Hi DRrambler,

Thanks for the memories. Rio Sereno still looks the same. Lento y tranquilo. And how about that Hotel Hong in Santiago. But what are you gonna do when all the hotels in Santiago Panama are asking more than Motel 6 prices. WTF. I just had to shake my head. But it is the place to stop if you are booking from San Vito on down the way.

Keep up the good work. I give this report 5 stars. Hope to see you across the Darien when you get to Colombia. I'll probably still be in Medellin if you come this way.

Suerte,
Tio Juan
Hey J thanks for the kind words. I couldn't believe the prices of those hotels.
I'll be in Cartaena around the 20th and will be making my way to Medellin...gotta have a beer at the Shamrock! I'll let you know when I get closer.

D
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:46 AM   #330
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Hi DR im on the same sailing as you. Am in panama city and planning to ride to Carti on the morning of the 14th. If you are in town let's grab a beer(s).
Trevor
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