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Old 03-28-2013, 05:38 PM   #1111
Two Moto Kiwis OP
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Gear Review - 9 Months On The Road

A little late due to Cuba's lack of internet but here is a sum up as we see with what gear we are using.

9 months on the road and a good test of gear on almost a daily use.

Firstly, we are astounded at how much gear has failed prematurely or arrived not even working properly, we said this first time round and this has not changed.

We have spent some good money on supposed better products only to have them fail miserably, again this has not changed showing a disturbing trend towards much cheaper disposable products rather than quality (which we thought we had paid for).

While we expect stuff to get damaged or simply wear out the amount of failures so early does raise the eyebrows and make you wonder, again this has not changed and in some cases got worse, nice having a warrantee but a shame to have to use it time and again and even worse still when you are traveling trying to get stuff sorted.

The Gear

ARAI XD 4, mint, perfect for road, adv riding, keeping rain off.

Still absolutely stoked with these, and they are standing up well to near daily use.

KLIM gear, still all as promised, I have since started using the bike shorts under my riding pants, extra comfort, much easier to have a leak as well not having to battle a zip if wearing shorts under the riding gear.

We struck an incredible rain day from Oaxaca to Tuxtepic and I was dry from the gear, only wet down my front because my necky sucked in so much rain and dribbled it down my neck and down my front.

Both Ellen and I are using the Klim ventilated adventure gloves as my Revits wore out and we are very happy with these.

Forma ATV boot, I did have an issue with my right hand boot but Forma Boot did step up to the plate and set us right so their customer service backup is great, thank you to Forma for sorting them out, also on our big rain day they kept my feet dry.

First Gear, Ellens, Kilimanjaro jacket and TPG Escape, very good gear and very nicely cut for female riders, they are meant to be waterproof but when it rains Ellen gets a wet crutch, she loves the inner pants that can be warn as normal pants so dual purpose. The complaints we would say is the Fluro colour has faded very quickly so now looks more yellow than fluro.

Unfortunately with her binning she blew the bum out and they were stuffed, this I will add is NOT the fault of the pants blowing out and we were very impressed how they stood up and saved her from further damage.



Barkbusters, (take two ... same same) a must, nothing more to say than they are the best, we had tortured them in New Zealand on my bikes and now Ellen has taken them to the end and back, her last spill at White Rim Trail she went down very heavily, they are straight and although looking slightly second hand from being rock bashed and rashed they are still fully functional and in remarkably good condition.

The savings on levers and more importantly no hand damage make these “crash bars” essential in our view, even in the Mexico binning they stood up very well .

Screens For Bikes, again another mint product for ADV riding, the shape and height across the board makes these very nice to sit behind.

We have also added a top section on for the bad weather aspects just to add more protection for a longer period or riding.

All in all they work very well and we are stoked with them.

Garmin 660, it turned out that Ellens GPS mount was defective from new as her voice would never work while on the cradle, we did some diagnostics with Garmin over the phone and established the cradle was faulty so they immediately without question dispatched a new one, it now works fine, thanks to Garmin for sorting that out.

Sargent Seats, bum saver supreme, they have softened up over the course of the travels thus have become more comfy, the shape is superb compared to the stocker shocker and after 8500 miles they are pleasure to sit on, these still great at 18800 miles and the seat covers are still in good shape.



Hilliberg, Keron 4 GT, nothing more to say other than get one, strong, quick to put up, great space and vestibule, my only grizzle is the pegs are poorly engineered, new note, nothing changed here and tent is as good as new, the footprint is holding up well even after being put up on every imaginable surface .... even grass sometimes when we are lucky enough.

With moving two of us onto one bike we sent the ***** Hotel home and now have the Nammatj 3 without the big vestibule which we will miss however space and weight are a premium now.

Coleman 508 had to fix the cross bar and it works ok now, still a good solid honest unit accepting petrol no problem .... even in Mexico.

Yoda Star Wars Chair, kids chair and my bum fits in OK, very lite and looks cool as, compact to take on the bike, we have the power of the force with us so that must be a good thing, same same again many hours of drinking around camp fires in comfort, unfortunately we had to send that home to with economizing the space.

Ellens Pink Walmart Chair, still going strong, was getting used and standing up to it, now given to sister due to our lack of room.

AME Heated Grips, we have had some issues to be fair, my left grip came on by itself at 99 degrees in Fresno to full power, I had to stop and pull the power, coming out of Cambria we rode through a cold patch and with my right hand injury I wanted a bit of heat but the grip had died.

We contacted AME grip and their customer service stepped up and took care of them, seems they may have had a couple of problems sets and by way of timing we got them.

Full marks to AME for sorting us out, we love the grip feel etc so happy to stay with them.

Safari 30 L Tanks, awesome, we are getting 441 miles or 708 km before hitting reserve so a very nice capacity and distance, still unsure of full distance running out, maybe another 80 -100 miles??

Our Acerbis locking fuel caps failed on the Dempster by causing a vacuum lock, very unimpressed with these to be honest so it is back to the std caps, we will keep the locking cap purely if we in a dodgy area but will not ride with them on.

Happy Trails Highway Pegs, best $50.00 you will spend (other than on booze), to be able to rest the legs in a new position, also opens your trouser leg for venting on the hot days.

Very happy with these to say the least, nothing changed here ladies and gents, we love them.

Delis Tools LED marker lights, made in USA, both sets shat themselves (shame on you USA) but the company did make good and supply new ones which thus far are perfect so we can’t complain about that.

Kincrome Cases, (the big visible yello ones), after being dropped 25 to 30 times I was very happy with them as they stood up well, unfortunately Ellens binning on White Rim Trail took them past their stay together zone and they smashed, not sure how pelicans or carabou would have done in the same situ but I suspect pretty similar to be fair, I know if they were alloy cases they would have been severely damaged as well so you can choose your poison, everything is a compromise between strength and weight.

We changed to Pelicans and the Mexico binning saw the death of them as well so no cases seem to be bomb proof in a big off.

Home Made Tool Tubes, Delis Engineering Wanaka Division, these have worked out great, they don’t hang below the bashplate line, they have had some pretty harsh conditions thrown at them and stood up unscathed.

With Ellens big crash it took a severe beating but still lives to ride another day.



GP Custom Bashplates, a must and well made, very happy to be running these, seem to be better built with more protection that ones you buy over here.

Again Ellens has been tortured when she took a “shortcut” over a large rock which rumbled along and under, we also bottomed it out at Truckee and put a substantial set of gouges in it



Wallmart 38 cent glue bottle, still going strong!!! and now living on Maya, some of the cheapest stuff last as long as anything.

Motion Pro fuel tap, used for filling our multifuel Coleman cooker, makes it very easy to get fuel for the cooker, no spare bottles required, neat and simple, no pulling fuel lines off and on, this still working superbly.

Ricor Intiminators, these are brilliant, still very happy and know we made the right choice, still not Ohlins or WP but good enough for what we want them to do.

Icebreaker, nothing else to say other than superb, the Merino Wool is an Adventure bikers buddy, having nearly worn my T shirts to death I will need more soon but no cotton just merino for us.

T-Mobile http://www.t-mobile.com/?cm_mmc_o=Vz...CPyzEpCjCW%2f- unfortunately we have finished with T-Mobile now having exited the USA, the cell service we got was great and more than covered us for what we wanted.

Scala Rider G9, after having issues with other brands of headset we went to the Scala G9, these worked superbly and once we set them up we could not fault them one bit.

Unfortunately we seem to be destined to not having communication sets as our luck with them has been rotten, by no fault of Scala Rider we are back to hand signals and stopping on this trip.

We already miss them but feel we can’t seem to keep them long enough as Ellen didn’t quite clip my one on properly and it fell to its death.

We would outright recommend the Scala G9, Scala Rider kindly offered to replace our however we declined given the rotten luck we have had.

Scala Rider (Cardo Systems) customer service is right up there with the best of them.

Jesse Cases, having changed bikes and of course luggage systems we were lucky enough to get Jesses to fit the SE with some beautiful and ingenious engineering from Al Jesse.

They have been called the Roll Royce of luggage and we firmly agree 100%, the fit, finish, build and everything about them sets them well above the rest no comparison.

Even our big rain day everything was 100 % dry, let your first cost be your last and enjoy you trip knowing your gear is safe, clean and dry.

Spot 2, during our big rain day Spot decided to call it quits, pretty disappointing given it is waterproof, turns out water had come in through the face somewhere as the battery compartment was clean and dry thus the seal had failed on the top.

Flexx Bars, I was going to sell those to help pay for the repairs to Maya when we bought her, something in my mind said keep them and I am very happy I did, they dampen out vibration very well and hitting the washboard gives nice movement to take out that hammer effect, I would recommend them to anyone hitting anything harder than flat pavement.

Heidenau K 60’s, this is all I want to run now, extreme puncture resistance, good traction and great wearing, they stood up well on the DR’s and now on Maya in Mexican heat with us two up and loaded we are very happy with them, so much so we have organized our tires ahead in Bogata from

Gonzalo Bueno
MFG Ltda
Calle 94A No. 60-30
Bogota, DC

Tels. (571) 611 0155
Cel: 315 394 4989
mail: felgon@etb.net.co
My Page: http://www.viajerosdelsur.wordpress.com

Rigid Industries LED Lighting, we have the D2, firstly the lighting output on these are outstanding, when on at night we don’t know if the SE headlight is on or not as they drown it out.

We did have them fail on a rainy day then die on the big rain day, they took in water despite being IP68? rated, they do live again but blink etc.

Rigid Industries are replacing them under warrantee which is great customer service.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:46 PM   #1112
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Playa Del Carmen After Cuba

We had organised to leave Maya in the good hands of Leslie who is Garry Dymonds daughter, Garry lives in Mexico City.

While staying at Leslies waiting for our flight I took on a number of small jobs for her that she had been wanting to get done.

These included fitting eight isolating valves to her sinks and basins, properly fixing the two basins to the walls and leveling them, laying floor tiles and fitting a blind in her bedroom, it was nice to help her for the help she gave us, Leslie works big hours too so giving her more free time to do play things was nice.

On our return to Playa Del Carmen from Cuba Ellen had a very saw tooth so went to the dentist, turns out she has an infection in her jaw bone under a tooth and it needs a small op to be fixed.

Man talk about tribe of sick people, everything seems to come at once which is not a bad thing, the other positive is we are in a great place to have it fixed and hopefully properly .... now we are wanting to get it done and get back on the road again .... itchy feet.

The last few days has been relaxing and loading up all the Cuba reports and photos, quite a full job in itself.

We took in some local sights .. both of them, cheek out the guy on the bike running knobblies in town.





There was a rack with interesting helmets which were useless but looked cool



We were very impressed that the little girl had floaties on her arms



There is an interesting selection of boats anchored too



Also here in Playa Del Carmen in Martin and his family from Denmark so meeting up with fello ADVers has been great.

We were treated to a display of local talent, these guys were very good









With Maya’s oil changed and few other minor fixits taken care of we head to Belize for a week before hitting Guatemala for Spanish lessons and to meet the legendary Julio (Guaterider) who has very kindly helped us with shipping stuff for Maya to his address.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:01 AM   #1113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Moto Kiwis View Post
Great links mate they are awesome ... we are trying to own less and live more and this is not helping

Look at this http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used...-575045493.htm

Too rich for me and wrong motor, I am kind of fond of the 283s. No wonder Richard's friend does import his owns. Where is that prize winning "Artisan" anyway, haven't seen him here for a while.

My earliest memory was driving around with dad in a 58 and meeting his partner, my uncle driving the same. Black and yellow both of them. As in nice pair in black and yellow.....!

Gun turret on the beach back there has been on my mind for a few days....relic of the Spanish-American war??? Will have to Google that, starting with "Remember the Maine" and follow a few links.

Playa del Carmen sure looks changed from when I was there last 20 something years ago. Easter break if just for the sceneries???

Happy Easter on the road!....hope you find some good chocolate, should be some good stuff "not harvested by child slave labor" somewhere down in Belize.

There you go:

http://tcgabelize.com/belizechocolate/
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:09 PM   #1114
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Yes they command BIG money in NZ and more so if you try and find an original one that is complete ... rich mans game now.

Yeah Playa got busy quickly with spring break / Easter so a good time to bail.

Now we are in Belize (report will be on your desk tomorrow afternoon sir ) so tomorrow we will find some chocolate ....... yummo
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:37 PM   #1115
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Playa Del Carmen To Chetumal

Firstly, thank you to Leslie for looking after us.

Leaving Playa Del Carmen were given a nice day.

Mostly uneventful we had lunch at a small bus stop, we were there only a couple of minutes when a car pulls up, a young guy hops out, all waves and the car left .... wouldn't have been two or three minutes later a Ford explorer pulls up fairly hastily.

I very pretty young lady opens the window, ... me , I am thinkin the lucky bastid!!!

She hops out of a car and we unwittingly become part of a “break up scene”

She was clinging onto him and crying her heart out and he was pretty much looking straight ahead and staunch, even tho we understand very little Spanish at this point the heart felt discussion made me feel sad.

We quickly finished our lunch and started gearing up when the Taxi arrived, the crying got louder, he got in the Taxi and for her it was a scene of total devastation, we got our gear on even quicker and left ... my heart sunk knowing we had just seen first hand a Mexican break-up which seem to hurt as much here as it does in New Zealand... love the hardest game to play!!

Back to our trip we arrived at Bacalar where were going to stay, all accommodation a was booked out with Spring break / Easter so we carried on to Chetumal.

A few people had said Chetumal was not a great place, arriving we found a hotel and unpacked, doing our usual we walked to town centro and were surprised and impressed by it.

Given it was our last night in Mexico we Tacoed, Marquesitas and Churrosed ourselves out enjoying the last of the street food from Mexico.

I am not fat it is my fur





Chetumal Centro



Fountain lit up with all sorts of colours



There was a massive moon out and it had a orange tinge from smoke or sometong and looked very cool, we only had the little camera so it didn't come out very good but the water looks spooky



Next morning we set off to the Belize border, the seriously unhelpfull border guard wanting to charge 295 peso to leave and with no banks open due to easter we were stuffed, we had to ride back to Chetumal and get some cash from a change shop, lucky we had enough US on us to do it.

Back to the border it was busy with Spring break/Easter but that is the way it is, the only other thing that added lots of time was they were training people .... what a great idea on a public holiday!!!.

With our TVIP returned and refunded we clocked out of Mexico after a little over 4 months of enjoyment.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:20 PM   #1116
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Mexico Sum Up And The Heart Speaks

With mixed reactions about Mexico we have a combination of love and hate.

Firstly we didn’t like it not understanding enough Spanish which is our fault, we have been doing Spanish but nowhere near enough as we planned a month in Guatemala which is essential for the rest of our trip to get into the local scene rather than just skim it from the top.

We got by no problem and to be honest once we were grounded within a week or so and understood more about Mexico we both really enjoyed it with the only limitation of not understanding more talking with locals.

Moto wise Mexico was a big torment for us with Ellens crash, again not Mexicos fault but we had difficulties experienced with an accident, add to that in a foreign country with foreign language, something you don’t really think about until it happens then you rely heavily on the very people who are trying to help.

You trust the tow truck driver to do well by you in your time of need ...NO WAY, I knew they would try and bump the price but they blatantly quadrupled the price and tried to steal our cookset so I went absolutely ballistic at them as they were kicking a man when he is down which is just week minded and seriously wrong in any country .... welcome to the real world.

We won in the end, I would not back down and threatened Policia so they suddenly found our stuff and charged us less (noting we still paid heavily)

Prior to that "heading south" Jim on ADV rider helped us out with bringing our chains and sprockets in as they were late leaving the dock in the US, so thanks Jim for that we really appreciate that and SR, Airhead Wrangler you guys and all good buggas!!

Highlights for us were the silver lining of Ellens crash Lo De Marcos, Nobert ... you rock. Isy and Rob, Alesandro and Mable and as well as George and Carol you guys all made life a treasure for us when we hit the ground after Ellens crash.

Our new Canadian family, we are coming to Canada to see you guys further down the track as we feel indebted to you for the help and warmth you gave us.

Copper Canyon, huge and neat place, loved it along with all the very dangerous roads that banditos were going to kill us on .... more likely to be run over by a truck.

The Mexican people, how can you explain to someone who listens to the American news that is full of shit that Mexican are very warm, friendly, welcoming, helpful, friendly, open, friendly, nice, friendly, except tow truck drivers ... you get the picture.

The two majors pissoffs for me with Mexico is the people don’t get a shit about rubbish and it is everywhere, just like in China in the tops of the mountains there is crap everywhere and there are signs on the side of the road saying “NO TIRE BASSURA” which means “NO THROWING RUBBISH”

We have followed cars, trucks and even the Policia Federalia just hurtling rubbish out of their window and it is a crying shame, the second for me is barking dogs, all day, all night, every dog and more so the little ones that are really short with something to prove but yet the owners do nothing, this is really frustrating when you pay for a hotel room and the dog barks all night right outside your window stopping any hope of sleep.

At Palenque I ended up hoping up out of bed about 3 am and yelling at the dog that was just barking at nothing into thin air and it shut up for about 2 minutes then started again, so I went down and woke up the owner who was disgruntled to be woken but his house room was way around the other side .... i.e. away from where the dog was barking.

With the dog still barking its head off at me I swung run and booted it in the chops and yelled at the owner .... things finally went quiet... needless to say at breakfast he was not entirely friendly.

I will add at this point I am a dog lover having had dogs all my life but their comes a point where frustration overwhelms acceptability even in “their country” through lack of sleep one can get pushed over the edge.

Cost wise, Mexico hasn’t really worked out any cheaper than the USA due to the fact we camped 90% of the time in America and Canada and in Mexico camping is not a great idea nor is it very accessible unless you are in the know so our accommodation costs basically doubled from what we were used to but I qualify that by saying our level of accommodation went up not having to put the tent up so it is all relative.

We found some camping places, they wanted $100 pesos each and a hotel room with toilet and shower, lockup etc was $250 so a no brainer realistically.

All in all I have enjoyed Mexico and it has its own beauty and more so in the south than the north in my opinion but don’t take my word for it, highlight for me being San Cristobal and the low definitely Ellens crash.


The Heart Speaks

Andis view

With Ellen dropping her bike at Yoquivo and hurting her ankle it made things difficult, then when she dropped her bike on the devils spine reinjuring that same injury I was pretty unhappy, while she was looking for sympathy I was telling her off as it was making my life and her life much harder to the point of me not enjoying the trip (echoes of Denali Highway here)

Then her final unexplained crash heading towards Lo De Marcos was extremely hard, first reaction was to get her right and second was to say that is it!!! no more riding as I cannot spend my hard earned RTW trip riding my mirrors anymore as I had had enough, the trip isn't all about me but when "me" is not even enjoying it WTF is the point in carrying on with it?.

A weeks shakedown at Lo De Marcos, buying Maya with our “just in case” bucket, insurance backing out on us, Ellen unable to walk or ride her bike back to the US it all got on top of me, on the way back to the USA in the back of the ute we had an epic scrap at which I wanted to go my own way .... completely.

It would be fair to say stress levels had exceeded safe limits and I was not happy at all.

Ellen had booked a week away with Lihong (her sister who lives in Montreal) and to be honest it was what we needed, had she not gone and with the anger and frustration that had built up it would have had serious consequences for us.

Fast forward slightly, we were pissed around with the trucking company and Maya arrived two days prior Christmas, this was meant to be a joyful time however I cried, when I put the key in and started her she rattled badly and I was gutted, ringing the previous owner right there on the spot he said “it is the nature of the beast” WTF ...lier.

I seriously had had enough and to be straight up I was ready to chuck it in and go home, I said fuck this!!! if this is RTW travel it is not for me.

From the strength and support from Bevan and Clare in Phoenix and the Phoenix KTM community and especially Spencer we persevered.

We were ripped off and many of you will have read about the whole drama, still to this day Alfred Lamarre the lying fuckwit (which is french for lying fuckwit) ((Sorry Pierre))from Portland Maine still has not responded to any calls, emails or pm.

He has now been permabanned by ADV Rider for his arseholism and not even responding to ADV Rider to try and give his side of why?

Alfred Lamarre of Portland Maine, YOU WILL DIE with this on your conscience, the world is not a big place and your time will come.

With a few issues still to deal to we are nearly there I hope.

Now riding two up was not in the plan either and I would have to say it is a lot more work for me, I am not a big dude and certainly not that strong so it has meant that I am getting a little more tired, coupled with not doing the exercise like in NZ it means I will have to shape up a bit more and get stronger.

I am now writing this from Habana in Cuba, with Wifi harder to find than hens teeth it has given us some reflection time to look back and assess what has happened, the luck and goodwill that has come our way post bad accidents and bad dealings.

Sometimes when the shit hits the fan so hard that it stops it is hard to make good calls while your head is not working properly so any help and support you get becomes a silver lining .... my advice to RTW travelers is take it at the time to spread the load with the view to reciprocating to others when they need it (as we had already done in NZ and will do on our return), I guess it is like “paying it forward” and don’t wait to help someone else before you need help.

Also, I would like to make a mention for Al Jesse http://www.jesseluggage.com/ for supplying and fitting luggage to Maya and going the extra mile with the strengthened subframe etc, the panniers and top box are second to none and this has made our travels with this far easier, thanks Al your blood is worth bottling.

The Dymond family of Mexico are Diamonds, Garry and Ivonne hosting us in Mexico City, warm, welcoming and great people and their daughter Leslie in Playa Del Carmen looking after Maya while we were tormenting Cubans and having us stay, you guys truly made a huge effort which is seriously appreciated so WHEN you come to New Zealand our Casa is your Casa.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:37 PM   #1117
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Belize Border To Orange Walk

Belize ..... Welcome to Belize mun.

Easy getting in, we did ride straight past the spraying and insurance both cos no one came running out at us ... public holidays eh.

We clocked into customs, clocked Maya in, went back to the insurance office and bought our insurance and Maya got sprayed with WTF they spray her with .. just as well she is not ticklish.



I had a larf with the guy saying I thought he was going to wash her but that joke kinda fell flat cos she is still covered in oil and undersealed from the oil pipe splitting.

With all the formalities done we were off into the unknown again, destination Orange Walk ... for us it shoulda been Orange Ride.

Along the way we stopped at Corozal for lunch beside the sea.



Finding a reasonable priced hotel was a challenge, first one was way to spendie next one was spendie but we didn’t have many options, it was later in the day, we were tired and slightly dehydrated so yeap take it, nice place it was.

Walking into town the place was dead ... we thought WTF have we done but later on the roller shutters rolled up and the town was breathing.



The bridge over the river behind our hotel



Tug boat setting a pace!!



This looked more like a KTM shop than homely stuff



Tea was an eat in that night as we had food we needed to finish from Mexico so that was nice, on walking around the town we stopped and looked in the corner shop / dairy ad they sell booze!! Black Stollies to be precise so I bought one to take back to the room and it almost made back.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:52 PM   #1118
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Orange Walk To Sarteneja

A ride to Shipyard (a town) that has a Mennonite Colony there was the first part of our day, the road varied from nice tar seal to WW2 bomb holes, I slowed the whole trip down avoiding the rough stuff were we could.

We were just about there when we were flagged over and stopped by a guy in a ute on the side of the road, having a chat with him he said follow me I know a shortcut ... so we did.

Well that was interesting ... sand pits and mudholes etc kinda fun but not two up.

Carrying on to Shipyard we watched the Mennonites go about their business in their old fashioned way but they did have tractors and motorcars so not totally old school.





Returning we came back the same way so we could show you the road, ok in the dry but being peat swamp with clay I would think it would be slippery as, Sjoerd advised us against wet back road travel and we can see why now.





Back to the hotel to pick up house an contents we made our way out to Sarteneja, the first part of the road we were doing 15 - 20 mphr (imperial here in Belize) going around the potholes.

1.5 hours later we had ridden 60 km or 40 miles and arrived at the back packers, $47 BZ ($23.50 US) for the Cabana or $14 ($7.00 US) for a camp site .... we set up out tent.

Off to town which is a ten minute walk the place was really cool, we decided to walk back and grab out togs then go out on the jetty were the locals were and joined them for a splash.



There was a yachting regatta on as well so there were boats in the water everywhere



Very blue water



The local bus shelter, note the bottle wall at the back



We bought some food for tea as we had cooking facilities so we made the most of this, our entire days food and drinks cost $41 BZ, less than just dining out and getting not much for tea so it is still considerably cheaper at least to self cook here in Belize, maybe not so much in Mexico.

Included in the food total was two cans of coconut juice which cost $8 so we added some rum to these to spice them up .... yummo.

K, off to bed.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:22 AM   #1119
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Wicked Hi Andi and Ellen

Sorry I havnt been on internet much for last 3 weeks as travelling . Only time my mobile broadband worked I was able to read about your guts ache but couldnt log on to reply. F#&K Cob , when u get a crook tummy , u get a good 1 , Imagine travelling alone and not being able to speak the lingo. We should be back at Bantayan Island tomorrow so will do a big read up of every thing and will do ride reports in Asia , Philippines section and send you the links . Better go to bed , have to be up at 2.30am to catch bus to get ferry , then trycycle and another ferry then home . Ride Safe , Toddy
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:42 PM   #1120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondav2 View Post
Sorry I havnt been on internet much for last 3 weeks as travelling . Only time my mobile broadband worked I was able to read about your guts ache but couldnt log on to reply. F#&K Cob , when u get a crook tummy , u get a good 1 , Imagine travelling alone and not being able to speak the lingo. We should be back at Bantayan Island tomorrow so will do a big read up of every thing and will do ride reports in Asia , Philippines section and send you the links . Better go to bed , have to be up at 2.30am to catch bus to get ferry , then trycycle and another ferry then home . Ride Safe , Toddy
Heya Toddy

Great to hear from you mate.

We lost Wifi at Hopkins in Belize too, now in Flores Guatemala and things are working so time to do the office work again.

Guts ache done and dusted now, all good but Maya still playing up and has now developed a miss
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:43 PM   #1121
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:02 PM   #1122
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Sarteneja To Crooked Tree

After a reasonable sleep we were ready for action ... the yachting regatta.

Well we did go down and have a look but there was not a lot happening as far as spectator sport goes so we opted to continue to Crooked Tree.

Negotiating the potholes back to Orange Walk was my job so there was no time to sit back and relax on that part of the road.

Crooked Tree is a sanctuary for bird watching, the Crooked Tree Lodge is a very nice place indeed in a beautiful location and a great setup with a bar and cabins etc.

CROOKED TREE LODGE BELIZE C.A.



Full credit to the owner Mick and Angie they have a great slice of paradise which they share it with the world.

We camped the night there on a GRASSY area (note USA that is how it is meant to be) and didn’t even remove the GPS or SPOT etc as the place is very secure.



We walked into town to have a look around, the people were very friendly and we ended up having an early tea there of chicken and fries, basic but nice.

This guy wasn't on the menu tho



Returning to the lodge we settled in for some drinks with Mick and some locals which was cool, to be honest I would loved to have stayed there at least another night so this place come highly recommended for travelers who want to be slightly out of the main town is a quiet place.

If you want to find it easily here are the GPS co-ords ... you will love it.

We did get lost as one sign is broken and we rode past the turnoff into a sandpit





Couple of pictures from a piece of paradise.

The lodge entry



The bird viewing platform



A few locals





Don't take our word for it go see for yourself!!!
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:21 PM   #1123
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Crooked Tree To Punta Gorda.

Setting off from Crooked Tree we were going to go only as far as Hopkins, we had a game change and went via Belize City which was cool but didn’t really hold a lot for what we wanted to do so we decided to stick with the plan to go to Hopkins ... then ... like a woman we changed our minds again as it was only lunch time so we changed the game plan to Punta Gorda.



Punta Gorda is right at the bottom and is the last part of the main paved road, we were tossing up whether to go down there as the Northern Highway from Chetumal to Belize City just scoffed our front tyre turning it from a knobbly to a road tire in 150 km.

I looked down at the front a few times during the ride and Ellen says what is wrong?, I couldn’t figure it out ... turns out I could feel the very coarse road just eating the rubber and destroying the tire so that coupled with the heat it dissolved our front tire pretty quickly.

On the way we were stopped at a Police check point for the first time ever on our trip (our trip IN TOTAL that is), they wanted our insurance, TVIP and spraying documents which we had all of, they were very friendly and very professional, seeing our papers in order they were more interested in our trip than anything so we had good chats and giggles.

Reaching Punta Gorda I took the front tire off and rotated it to extend what little life we had in it, turned out to be a good move also coupled with the road chip improving 100 % being way less aggressive we might even make it to Antigua where we had already organised a new tire ... lets hope it makes it there.

Punta Gorda was a nice ride but the destination was not quite as we envisaged so we opted to stay just the one night but we did go for a nice walk around town and talked to the locals, great bunch of people they were and very welcoming.



The only restaurant there we decided to eat out and we would have to say the food was very good and reasonably priced.

St Charlies is where we stayed, Charlie the owner is a great guy and at 79 years old is a real live wire and has great stories to listen too so the stay there was cool.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:34 PM   #1124
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Punta Gorda To Hopkins

We woke to a beautiful morning after a pretty good sleep, first mission was to go to the Chocolate factory for a tour, trial and purchase.

It was cool as, everything is made right there from the bean grinding and baking to the finished product it is all right there.

The chocolate is spendie but very nice indeed so we splashed and supported the local economy.

This is Ellens hurry up and take the bloody photo look as she wanted to get into the chocolate



The grillers and grinder



Hot chocolate pot



Guilty as charged, see the small production line behind me



Finishing in town we picked up an A&W Root beer for me ... YUMMMOOO! then packed up ready to the road back to to Hopkins, the trip was uneventful which was cool but hot 36 degrees and fookin humid.

Turning into Hopkins we hit another standard bomb blasted road, these seem to be standard issue when stepping off the main drag, we are thankful for a 21 inch front wheel and long travel suspension to suck up the road or lack of it.

Destination was Lebeha Cabanas and drumming which we found pretty easily and were welcomed in by Jabbar the co owner and great guy.

We took basic cabana for $30 Belize ($15US) per night which was a coupla rugged beds and a table and double opening doors with a padlock ... saweet our own lockup which make storing lappies etc a lot easier.

We walked to the beach which is about 80 metres away, the water wasn’t very clear as the wind was up as was the surf but it was very warm and nice relief from the heat and humidity, we also played with a bunch of local kids letting them climb up on our shoulders and dive into the water the laughter and giggles were second to none with everyone enjoying themselves.

That evening we cooked in with having rice and some local veges and sausages then off to the drumming down the beach at the Driftwood in.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:54 PM   #1125
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Hopkins Lazy Day

Wanting to go snorkeling we couldn’t as the wind was up and the boat owner didn’t have enough to fill his craft to make it worthwhile unless we wanted to sell Maya to cover the cost ... I don’y think so.

Onto Plan B, with our front tire tread disappearing quickly we jumped onto the net to see what we could find.

Given we had not much to do other than enjoy the nice day we set too and walked along the beach to a point they call the split which is where a local river runs in into the sea, the river has crocs in it so we didn’t swim in there ... just in case.

We checked our emails for tire status with not much luck, also Wifi here is very hit and miss with gmail taking up to two minutes to load ... at least it works eh.

Meeting up with Lev from ADV and Frances from Germany we enjoyed a coffee and chats which was cool, Frances wanted to go diving so we all went for a walk to find the elusive diving shop, the day was very hot and very sticky so togs was it....for the day.

That evening was an international gathering of travelers (4) all heading out for tea to discuss travel, life and general chatter etc.

Great chats, giggles and notes comparisons finished off with coupla drinks.

Some photos for the day



Ellen relaxing on the beach


Local kids swimming and play






Drumming Centre



Our cabana



Photo from the day before, try to pass the bar



The boys and girls room

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