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Old 12-07-2012, 12:19 PM   #811
poolman
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John,

Really enjoying your ride report and pictures while also improving my stone masonry knowledge base.

It is comforting to see riders looking out for each other, especially in foreign lands.

Check your paypal; I thought I'd do my part by filling that oversized gas tank of yours!



Cheers,
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:31 PM   #812
marior97
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It was great meeting you John !


John, Stan and Bryce
Great riders !
Buen viaje
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:38 PM   #813
kennyanc
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Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
If I don't get a job either I'll be Mark's mechanic.

And I'm not a mechanic

...but you did stay at Casa tricepilot last night.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:45 PM   #814
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Zachtamundo View Post
Thanks John. I can't adequately thank you for coming so far just to say hi. I'm feeling a little better each day, and it looks like I should be stateside sometime this week.

Oh yeah, and Vince- if you want some company, I'm thinking Sept 2013 to finish hammering this thing out. Wouldn't be right to just leave it.
Ed Zactamundo is what I say to that idea. It was great meeting you Justin. You're a trooper.

And I'm definitely checking up on you next summer when I head to Portland. And I will personally kick your ass if you slack on your rehab.

Suerte,
Loco Tio Juanito
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:48 PM   #815
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It was great meeting you John !

Buen viaje
Hola Mario,

I am so glad I got to meet you and Fernanda.

Muchas gracias amigo,
Juan Salvador
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:54 PM   #816
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Originally Posted by poolman View Post
John,

Really enjoying your ride report and pictures while also improving my stone masonry knowledge base.

It is comforting to see riders looking out for each other, especially in foreign lands.

Check your paypal; I thought I'd do my part by filling that oversized gas tank of yours!
Hi Poolman,

I wrote your name on the gas tank as the latest sponsor.
Glad to have you aboard as Chief Executive in charge of the Eastern Seaboard.

And I enjoy your ride reports as well. I imagine you are planning your next adventure even as I type this.

Best,
Johnboy
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:13 PM   #817
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Antigua

John,
Get over here. We have a lot of ruins in the city here that need to be explained. I know a bunch of cheap and good places to eat and sleep or get a hair cut etc. Or, I know who to ask about most anything. Can not find size 10 socks though. I am about a block from CATours/MotCafe. Keep me posted . Let me know what I can help with. ratbikemike
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:27 PM   #818
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Originally Posted by ratbikemike View Post
John,
Get over here. We have a lot of ruins in the city here that need to be explained. I know a bunch of cheap and good places to eat and sleep or get a hair cut etc. Or, I know who to ask about most anything. Can not find size 10 socks though. I am about a block from CATours/MotCafe. Keep me posted . Let me know what I can help with. ratbikemike
Hi ratbikemike,

I just got in to Antigua a little while ago. Quite a wild party they've got going on here tonight. Had to stop for the fireworks display down the road and there were dozens of wild women dancing in the streets to a really loud sort of afro-latin thumping beat. There are M-80s firing off in the street outside every minute or two. I like this place already.

I'll find you tomorrow. I hunted down Justin like a wild animal two days ago so finding a ratbike in a haystack should be a piece of cake. I rode in to the first place that had a door still open with wifi. Posadita Casa Maria Jose, 7a. Avenida Norte No. 47, Room 3.

Look forward to seeing you mañana.

Buenos noches,
Juanito
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JDowns screwed with this post 12-07-2012 at 08:36 PM
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:14 AM   #819
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Beautiful sunrise at Mario's coffee farm with peach and orange colored skies in the east rising over the coffee plants ready for harvest. It took me back 25 years. I was living in a coffee shack in Hawaii back in the Honaunau valley on the Big Island on an abandoned coffee farm back then. I used to pick the wild organic coffee in the winter around Christmas when it was harvest time and take it in for beer money to an organic coffee co-operative.
Here is what ripe coffee cherries look like:



Picking coffee was similar to picking blueberries which I did for money when I was a kid in Oregon. You cup both hands under a branch and flip the berries into your palms with your thumbs. You get pretty fast at it after a while.

Very quiet and peaceful in upcountry El Salvador. And what a difference in weather from Tikal. The rainy season is over on the Pacific side and clear blue skies are a welcome change. Bryce and I met up with Mario and Ken at the bottom of the hill at 7:00 and Mario led us to a great back road twisting down the mountain to the back side of San Salvador to miss morning traffic. Then it was time to bid farewell to Ken and Bryce as they headed east on their way to Panama and I headed back to Guatemala.

Stopped at a roadside stand where the ladies were busy making pupusas. Here's what they look like:



Not the most photogenic food since they are basically tortillas stuffed with beans and cheese with a side of spicy cabbage. But they are cheap, filling and tasty. This meal was 1.25. 25 cents per pupusa and 25 cents for a cup of not that bad coffee.

I wasn't in any hurry so just wandered around backroads of El Salvador all day. Rode between two volcanoes and it got cold so must have been up there in elevation. Stopping at miradors (overlooks) like this to view the beauty:



Stopped at an internet place and uploaded pictures. These places can be difficult to find so you have to ask. This one didn't have a sign and the computers were around the corner. People just assume you know since they do. The directions to this place were around the corner, down 2 blocks, on the left with doors like mine:

.

This guy rode up down the way. Classic 80's XL250 Honda. Almost 30 years old and still thumping. Gotta love those 250 Honda motors. I know I do:



Latin Americans are actually very good at giving directions by waving their hand in the air. I have gotten pretty good at seeing the waving pattern left, right, left and over their shoulder the other way with a couple landmarks thrown in and been able to follow it.

I used to get turned around in Central America. I use the sun and shadows a lot when I'm wandering around to determine direction. And the first few times I rode down here I couldn't seem to get it out of my head that I wanted to go east instead of south. I kept thinking I needed to go south to head towards Panama when in actuality Central America heads from west to east after it takes a dogleg right in southern Mexico.

And at mid day the sun is slightly to the south in the northern hemisphere so shadows are on the slight north side of you. If you want to head west to Guatemala you stay on roads where shadows cast to your rightish. Which is what I did until I ran into Guatemala border signs and followed them.

Forgot to take pics of the border crossing. Sorry. Not even sure which one it was. But they were fast getting me out of El Salvador. I told them I had visited a friend in the hospital. If I were a better liar I think I would use that one at every border crossing from here on out. They didn't charge me to re-enter Guatemala either. Not sure why but I'm not complaining.

Stopped for lunch at a restaurant with a beautiful view out over a lake:



At one point I was on a road that was closed ahead. I never pay too much attention to those signs. I'm on a dirtbike in Centroamerica and can usually find a way around. Anyway I'm always curious to see what the big deal is. Came around a corner to these big dirt piles:



and just beyond was a bridge out. Being reconstructed over a raging river. Well okay, have to whip around and take the detour I guess:



It was sunset so I stopped at the El Arco Hotel in Chiquimulilla (chick-ee-moo-LEE-ya). Only 66 quetzals with wifi. So I tried out the wifi and it was out so I kept riding. No wifi in the next few towns either. Soon I was in Esquintla (ess-QUEENT-la) so I made the turn to Antigua and followed a car with bright headlights up the mountain. Had to stop in this town near Antigua up in the mountains. They were firing off fireworks in the sky like the fourth of July and these whirling women were shaking their hips samba style to a fabulous thumping really loud beat:



Deep base thumping drums with horns sounded like Afro-Caribe-Guatemalan to me. It was mesmerizing. The women all had wild masks on with white hats and at intervals they would grab their skirts and sway from side to side and then go back to whirling and samba-ing. Really fun to watch.

Finally made it to Antigua and rode around until I saw a hotel with a door open.

I totally lost track of how much I spent on gas, food and lodging between El Salvador dollars and Guatemalan quetzals. Around 40 dollars I would guess.

Buenos noches,
Juanito
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:24 AM   #820
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Got into Antigua late last night. Stopped in a nice place. My room is down the way:



Here is my office for the morning. The wifi signal doesn't carry through the thick masonry walls here, so this couch in the corridor outside my room is the only place I can find a signal:



It was cold riding in the mountains last night. Had to stop and put on my down jacket. It is warming up nicely now that the sun is up. Here is the Sherpa catching some rays in the garden courtyard:



And of course I see masonry work wherever I look it seems. Sorry. Today the hotel wall in the narrow arched entrance that got whacked by a car yesterday is getting repaired. Here Juan is scraping off the loose stucco and getting ready to patch it up:



He had to go out and mix up some sand and cement. I'll be heading out to wander around Antigua. Nice tourist destinations always have plenty of good coffee and people watching.

More later….

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:56 AM   #821
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Hola Juanito,

It has taken me 4 days off-and-on to catch up. I started reading about your semi-hobo travels again on page 30, and have greatly enjoyed (much like everyone else). Work has been steady for me this fall and looks good into the early winter, so when I have extra funds, I'll be happy to help keep you on the road.

My wife has made noises to the effect that I am too involved in reading about your adventures, but when I asked her if she would mind if I spend as much time reading travel books containing great (real-time) pictures, with comment to live questions, I think she began to understand. I think she has fears that when I leave for my trip in a few years,...I may not come back?

Anyway, I sent your some fundage a few days ago, and would like to fill out an application for the position of Operations Manager for International Security. I'd be happy to email my CV.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:21 AM   #822
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Originally Posted by VooDooDaddy View Post
Hola Juanito,

It has taken me 4 days off-and-on to catch up. I started reading about your semi-hobo travels again on page 30, and have greatly enjoyed (much like everyone else). Work has been steady for me this fall and looks good into the early winter, so when I have extra funds, I'll be happy to help keep you on the road.

My wife has made noises to the effect that I am too involved in reading about your adventures, but when I asked her if she would mind if I spend as much time reading travel books containing great (real-time) pictures, with comment to live questions, I think she began to understand. I think she has fears that when I leave for my trip in a few years,...I may not come back?

Anyway, I sent your some fundage a few days ago, and would like to fill out an application for the position of Operations Manager for International Security. I'd be happy to email my CV.
Hi VooDooDaddy,

Thanks! Your name was getting kind of faded up on the top of the tank since you were an early contributor two months ago, so I went over it again with magic marker.

Glad to have you aboard as Operations Manager for International Security. I will write a glowing recommendation and provide an excellent reference for any future job application.

As an ex-marine and after meeting Ulysses in El Salvador I want the semper fi crowd on my team.

Saludos,
Antique Juan in Antigua
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:48 AM   #823
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Was hanging out on the couch this morning thinking about going out for some breakfast when this guy showed up:



ratbikemike from Alabama hunted me down and took me out for an excellent breakfast of huevos rancheros and good coffee. Then we walked down to visit Chris at CAtours:



That TTR250 on the left is Chris's bike and the ag200 Hondas are the rental bikes he takes people on tours around the CA4 countries on. And here is the other half of CAtours, Dave from England. Pronounced Dive.:



I am now back to clear out of my expensive hotel and head across town to the cheap seats with the ratbikester. I can camp for free at the Tourist Police compound across town, but Chris tells me there is motocross happening all day tomorrow not far out of town, so probably leave my stuff at a cheap hotel and head up for some motocross action pics tomorrow. Should be interesting to see how they do it down here.

Juan had finished patching the wall by the time I got back. Good enough for government work but I wouldn't hire him:




Best,
Juanito de Antigua
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:03 PM   #824
Ulyses
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post

As an ex-marine and after meeting Ulysses in El Salvador I want the semper fi crowd on my team.
Wait a tick, did you say you were an ex-marine? How come you didn't tell me?

It was great riding with you man. Thanks for letting me sign your tank! If I happen to roll through Nebraska next year, I'll hit you up! Take care!

Bryce
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:28 PM   #825
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Wait a tick, did you say you were an ex-marine? How come you didn't tell me?

It was great riding with you man. Thanks for letting me sign your tank! If I happen to roll through Nebraska next year, I'll hit you up! Take care!

Bryce
Hi Bryce,

VooDooDaddy is an ex-marine. Sorry for the confusion. I on the hand am the guy who is learning to hate the shower. And as you well know I seem to have a magnetic attraction to bats flying around my head in the middle of the night.

You always have a free place to stay in Basset. It's not far from Sturgis if you ride that Harley of yours out to the northern plains.

When you get back stateside there aren't too many people like me who will understand what you've been through.

Saludos,
Tio Juanito
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