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Old 05-13-2012, 06:28 PM   #91
bananaman
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I was just asking a question. I know I like to have a beer once in a while, but I don't remember posting girly pics in the Girag thread? Did I really do that? I kinda wish I had. It sounds fun!

As far as I can tell, I now owe Lone Rider and Adv Grifter something like a kazillion cases of Lake Louie Lager and a side of beef.

Recently I spoke with my uncle, in Panama, and he knows nothing more than what Gaston posted. Maybe less.

I'm not going to rehash anything, but if anybody wants to look up Gaston's closed thread, he definitely complained about not getting a commission from Girag.

There are many posts from many riders about hiring helpers at borders. Personally, I've both hired helpers and I've done border crossings without help. So far I don't see a need to hire a helper or agent to use the ferry, but that's mostly because there isn't actually a ferry. Colon 2000 has been a respected tour company in Panama for a long time. You can do one of their tours by signing up yourself, or by booking through a travel agent. As far as I can tell, Gaston isn't a travel agent, so I don't know what his angle is. I do know that Colon 2000 has regular business hours at several locations around Panama.

As for the ferry ever happening? We'll see. Meanwhile, I've seen recent posts on HU about good Girag experiences.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:34 AM   #92
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Spam

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Originally Posted by GastonUSAChile View Post
We have just received from a source, the FULL CONDITIONS AND COSTS from' Panamerican Ferrys' organizing the Panama -Colombia service.

You could see it at our THREAD at the bottom of the page. We don't want to publish it here because possible conflicts with ADV policy.

On this link: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=741582

We do not endorse or share veracity from Panamerican Ferrys notices . However we do share with ADV their notices.
This is spam because it directs to a vendor thread that has nothing to do with the Panama/Colombia ferry. Gaston is just trying a different tactic to drive traffic to his website. Sometimes I wonder if Gaston is actually posting this himself. My guess is that he has two or more kids- one of them under 13- posting under his name. The name-calling is out of character, especially if he actually has a legit business. I've never met a successful business person who would write this way. Also this would explain the unusually disproportionate number of edited and deleted posts.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:26 AM   #93
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Hey ADVers,

This is my first post, although I have been PMing with Chiriqui Charlie for about a week now and using ADV as my go-to resource for all things motorcycle. I am originally from Canada and came down here to enjoy a different life. I work as a Dive Master, have a partnership in a hotel here and also a 9-5 with a US based software firm - if anyone is coming into this area let me know and I can arrange lodging, tours, diving and anything else you need - my intros on your behalf are gratis, of course... I just know the people you want to be talking to!

Currently have a pending purchase for a 2001 KLX 300, but I am really looking for a KLR 650 to tour Panama, Costa Rica and above to the North as well as taking that much anticipated ferry to Colombia and exploring to the South.

I live in Portobelo - about 45 mins from Colon and where the supposed ferry is to leave from. I am close with all of the sail boat guys as well as meeting a lot of the people passing through to Colombia.

I get regular updates on the status of the ferry and will make sure to add them as they come. When it actually moves the news will fly through here as it impacts so many people, also I will be able to see it pass by from my front yard... info coming (almost) right from the source.

So far the delays are continuing and the word is a May 31 start date. This is all hearsay at this point and will most likely change again - I know a few people who bought tickets for the ferry and got screwed over by the delays.

Anyways, I look forward to contributing more on ADV and meeting anyone who passes through the area.

Happy Trails to All!
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:38 AM   #94
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Question Also waiting

We are certainly hoping on a positive outlook in respect of this ferry crossing. Here in Guatemala we have a tour being planed around this long awaited Ferry crossing to Colombia. We expect to be the first people to take a Trike across this stretch of water, afterwards this may just become another tour for CATours! We shall see..
But do please keep us updated with whatever you hear, we shall be listening for sure.

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Old 05-14-2012, 05:11 PM   #95
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So...we're now back on track with the ferry thing.
The lid of the grill was raised, and all of the heat escaped.

Good deal.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:54 PM   #96
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Did somebody say "immoral pictures of girls?"
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:19 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
Did somebody say "immoral pictures of girls?"
You post em, and I'll take the heat. I'd rather look at your sloppy seconds than read Gaston's regurgitated copy/paste/comelookatmywebsite bullshit. And it's probably gonna be a while...

Fuck it. I think I'll go to Mexico tomorrow. Should I just go, or should I start a thread asking for route advice? Which camera should I take? Should I wash my bike before I go?
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:04 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaRc_FROST View Post
Hey ADVers,

This is my first post, although I have been PMing with Chiriqui Charlie for about a week now and using ADV as my go-to resource for all things motorcycle. I am originally from Canada and came down here to enjoy a different life. I work as a Dive Master, have a partnership in a hotel here and also a 9-5 with a US based software firm - if anyone is coming into this area let me know and I can arrange lodging, tours, diving and anything else you need - my intros on your behalf are gratis, of course... I just know the people you want to be talking to!

Currently have a pending purchase for a 2001 KLX 300, but I am really looking for a KLR 650 to tour Panama, Costa Rica and above to the North as well as taking that much anticipated ferry to Colombia and exploring to the South.

I live in Portobelo - about 45 mins from Colon and where the supposed ferry is to leave from. I am close with all of the sail boat guys as well as meeting a lot of the people passing through to Colombia.

I get regular updates on the status of the ferry and will make sure to add them as they come. When it actually moves the news will fly through here as it impacts so many people, also I will be able to see it pass by from my front yard... info coming (almost) right from the source.

So far the delays are continuing and the word is a May 31 start date. This is all hearsay at this point and will most likely change again - I know a few people who bought tickets for the ferry and got screwed over by the delays.

Anyways, I look forward to contributing more on ADV and meeting anyone who passes through the area.

Happy Trails to All!
Are you at Panama Divers?

In one of the How To Cross The Darien threads, and several other times, I've told riders to stop by Panama Divers, and any other dive shops they might find, to ask the dive masters for the latest info/intel on sailboats, because not all sailboats capable of carrying a bike are listed on the local hostel walls. How do you think the ferry will impact motorcycle hitch-hikers?

Last time I was in Porto Bello, I met a scandinavian captain who would have gladly given somebody a ride to Colombia. And there was an American retired guy who was on a strict budget- he also would have given somebody a ride. And I found them in about half an hour of casual looking. If you know any boats going to Colombia, list them in the List of Captains thread.

Also tell us how the diving is lately? Have you found any buried treasure?

Have you gone to San Blas much? Are you familiar with Bahia Escondido?
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:48 AM   #99
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*BREAKING NEWS* No Sailboats to Colombia

Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman View Post
Are you at Panama Divers?

In one of the How To Cross The Darien threads, and several other times, I've told riders to stop by Panama Divers, and any other dive shops they might find, to ask the dive masters for the latest info/intel on sailboats, because not all sailboats capable of carrying a bike are listed on the local hostel walls. How do you think the ferry will impact motorcycle hitch-hikers?

Last time I was in Porto Bello, I met a scandinavian captain who would have gladly given somebody a ride to Colombia. And there was an American retired guy who was on a strict budget- he also would have given somebody a ride. And I found them in about half an hour of casual looking. If you know any boats going to Colombia, list them in the List of Captains thread.

Also tell us how the diving is lately? Have you found any buried treasure?

Have you gone to San Blas much? Are you familiar with Bahia Escondido?
I do work at Panama Divers, but on weekends only for now due to my 9-5 getting in the way... although it is making the purchase of a bike possible down here so not all that bad.

Definitely a good idea to speak with DMs anywhere, they know the situation pretty well or will at least know the people to speak to. Anyone passing through can PM me or stop by Panama Divers or Pirate's Cove - I live at Pirate's Cove Hotel and also have a partnership there. Great place to stay with a bike, down the road from Police Station (i.e. very secure) great rates, lots of parking, entertaining staff, restaurant and a tiki bar hanging over the water.

I have been waiting over a month now for my internet install (damn C&W) and am working from Captain Jack's today - great place, amazing view and he is involved with setting up 'self regulation' for the sailboats - which is needed, I have personally rescued people suffering from severe dehydration off of a broken down boat with a dodgy captain. I just spoke with a buddy who also owns a sailboat whom has informed me that in the last two weeks Colombia is not allowing motorcycles transported via sailboat into the country. Apparently the ferry company did some pretty solid lobbying to push that through. This guy has a vested interest in this and I can tell you that he would be trying to drum up business for himself if possible!

The consensus I hear among the (intelligent) boat captains is that are not worried about the ferry as they offer a much different service. The ferry chugs along to Colombia passing by San Blas without allowing for any other experiences. Being adventurers here we can definitely understand that as they effectively compare it to taking in the sights and the longer road to get to your destination or flying along the highway to get from A to B... different situations require a different approach.

The diving over here is great, that was my biggest influence for coming down here. The Caribbean side is not known for large wildlife although there is an abundance and we do get Whale Sharks offshore during September. Portobelo is known for its reefs, which effectively start as soon as the water does (we have a few nice beaches however) and continue as far as I have been. Although not a part of the Belize Reef (read: 2nd longest in the world) the reef runs almost the entire Carribean side of Panama - whereas the Panama City side is almost entirely sand and barren of coral.

As far as doing much traveling through the country, not yet. No San Blas, no Bocas, no Boquete, no David... just a whole lot of stuff to see and inspiration to get the bike ASAP. My first planned trip is to San Blas from Portobelo, which apparently is a fire road at best and trucks need to have very good tires to make it passable... sounds great for KLX/KLR which will soon my under my ass.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:37 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaRc_FROST View Post
I just spoke with a buddy who also owns a sailboat whom has informed me that in the last two weeks Colombia is not allowing motorcycles transported via sailboat into the country. Apparently the ferry company did some pretty solid lobbying to push that through. This guy has a vested interest in this and I can tell you that he would be trying to drum up business for himself if possible!

This makes perfect sense. Also, PorLaTierra's experience trying to get to Colombia over the last couple of weeks would seem to confirm this. His only option after missing a container spot was to ship with Girag.

Hopefully it will blow over. Many moto travelers will probably use the ferry just from the simple fact that its more economical than the sailboat tour through the islands.

So do you think the option of the cargo boats out of Casco Viejo linking up to other small cargo boats along the way into Buenaventura is still an option? Sounds like its only a port of Cartegena issue with going on the sailboats?
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:52 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by MaRc_FROST View Post
I do work at Panama Divers, but on weekends only for now due to my 9-5 getting in the way... although it is making the purchase of a bike possible down here so not all that bad.

Definitely a good idea to speak with DMs anywhere, they know the situation pretty well or will at least know the people to speak to. Anyone passing through can PM me or stop by Panama Divers or Pirate's Cove - I live at Pirate's Cove Hotel and also have a partnership there. Great place to stay with a bike, down the road from Police Station (i.e. very secure) great rates, lots of parking, entertaining staff, restaurant and a tiki bar hanging over the water.

I have been waiting over a month now for my internet install (damn C&W) and am working from Captain Jack's today - great place, amazing view and he is involved with setting up 'self regulation' for the sailboats - which is needed, I have personally rescued people suffering from severe dehydration off of a broken down boat with a dodgy captain. I just spoke with a buddy who also owns a sailboat whom has informed me that in the last two weeks Colombia is not allowing motorcycles transported via sailboat into the country. Apparently the ferry company did some pretty solid lobbying to push that through. This guy has a vested interest in this and I can tell you that he would be trying to drum up business for himself if possible!

The consensus I hear among the (intelligent) boat captains is that are not worried about the ferry as they offer a much different service. The ferry chugs along to Colombia passing by San Blas without allowing for any other experiences. Being adventurers here we can definitely understand that as they effectively compare it to taking in the sights and the longer road to get to your destination or flying along the highway to get from A to B... different situations require a different approach.

The diving over here is great, that was my biggest influence for coming down here. The Caribbean side is not known for large wildlife although there is an abundance and we do get Whale Sharks offshore during September. Portobelo is known for its reefs, which effectively start as soon as the water does (we have a few nice beaches however) and continue as far as I have been. Although not a part of the Belize Reef (read: 2nd longest in the world) the reef runs almost the entire Carribean side of Panama - whereas the Panama City side is almost entirely sand and barren of coral.

As far as doing much traveling through the country, not yet. No San Blas, no Bocas, no Boquete, no David... just a whole lot of stuff to see and inspiration to get the bike ASAP. My first planned trip is to San Blas from Portobelo, which apparently is a fire road at best and trucks need to have very good tires to make it passable... sounds great for KLX/KLR which will soon my under my ass.
I do prefer Atlantic diving but I've been out on days when visibility was worse than poor. I think I've done 6 or 8 dives with Panama Divers, including one INSANE dive with a 8 knot current at 90 feet!

The "fire roads" don't exist to San Blas. Pavement ends at Cuango, and the Cuango River is too wide for a bridge. The road becomes gravel and goes inland for a couple of miles. From there you have to find places to cross the river. It is impossible during the rainy season. During the dry season you can do it in a 4x4 and maybe- maybe- on a bike. Then the road ends at Cocuye, which is still about 10km from San Blas. It is not possible to go overland from Cocuye to San Blas. The only way is on the Pacific side, and you turn north at El Llano. It's paved now to Carti. Easy-peasy.

Colon 2000 is not going to be able to stop all the sailboats. Too many sailboats already carry mopeds and minibikes. Maybe the rules will loosen up? I hope so. As for enforcing water safety- the Panama government has been promising for a long time. Hopefully the ferry is safe! I know I have my own rules for evaluating a vessel. My dad was in the Navy, and so was I. I never trust boats or ships blindly.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:44 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by bananaman View Post
Colon 2000 is not going to be able to stop all the sailboats. Too many sailboats already carry mopeds and minibikes. Maybe the rules will loosen up? I hope so. As for enforcing water safety- the Panama government has been promising for a long time. Hopefully the ferry is safe! I know I have my own rules for evaluating a vessel. My dad was in the Navy, and so was I. I never trust boats or ships blindly.
I am at Captain Jack's right now. I was talking to him and another boat guy about this at around 8 am, they discussed rallying some troops to fight the legislation, we will see how it goes.

I had heard that it was possible from Portobelo to San Blas from a few people with 4x4 trucks - lifted with bigger tires. I guess the only way to tell for myself is to go as far as the road allows and turn back if necessary... which I am not at all opposed to and will be using as my approach to travel on the bike from here on forth.

And regarding safety, there are some responsible captains here trying to create a self regulation board with specific guidelines. I have personally been involved in the rescue of 5 Argentinian backpackers, one girl had not had water in 3 days and was severely dehydrated! When they left Colombia the motor didn't work, when we found them the sails had broken as well and the cap't was trying to pull the boat away from the reef on his 15hp dinghy! WTF?!?!? He was one dodgy MF, I wouldn't trust him to dispose of my used shit wad! The cops got involved, he tried to scheme his way out of having to pay the water taxis that towed him back into the bay - you take your life into your hands in the open ocean, trust your feelings when something is wrong and listen to your brain!

MaRc_FROST screwed with this post 05-15-2012 at 10:57 AM Reason: Additional Info
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:49 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
This makes perfect sense. Also, PorLaTierra's experience trying to get to Colombia over the last couple of weeks would seem to confirm this. His only option after missing a container spot was to ship with Girag.

Hopefully it will blow over. Many moto travelers will probably use the ferry just from the simple fact that its more economical than the sailboat tour through the islands.

So do you think the option of the cargo boats out of Casco Viejo linking up to other small cargo boats along the way into Buenaventura is still an option? Sounds like its only a port of Cartegena issue with going on the sailboats?
From what I understand this legislation only affects sailboats as they are the direct competition and easier for legislation to be enacted to restrict an unregulated and relatively small industry - try restricting cargo ships and that would be a long and arduous battle! All other modes of transport seem to be running fine, big or small.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:25 AM   #104
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I wonder if you can still get a sailboat as far as Capurgana and throw the bike in a lancha from there to Turbo.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:58 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
This makes perfect sense. Also, PorLaTierra's experience trying to get to Colombia over the last couple of weeks would seem to confirm this. His only option after missing a container spot was to ship with Girag.

Hopefully it will blow over. Many moto travelers will probably use the ferry just from the simple fact that its more economical than the sailboat tour through the islands.

So do you think the option of the cargo boats out of Casco Viejo linking up to other small cargo boats along the way into Buenaventura is still an option? Sounds like its only a port of Cartegena issue with going on the sailboats?
Wow, all of this makes me glad I was able to use the Stahlratte for my crossing. It'd be a shame if they go the way of the dodo for bike transport.
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