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Old 03-23-2013, 05:33 PM   #196
JDowns
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Nice pics!!!

Xela is a wonderful place to hang out for a while. Especially for a big city. Brings back fond memories. Nice! Keep up the good work amigo. Really enjoying your ride report. Guatemala has a lot to offer. One of my favorite countries.

Saludos,
Tio Juanito
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:22 AM   #197
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Another wonderful update 0Theories. The pictures of the mountains, with the low light level and in the mist are incredible and haunting. Wow what a hike that must have been.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:46 AM   #198
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You sure have been packing in some eye popping scenery. Given how great the pix look, I have to wonder how breathtaking the places must be in person.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:35 PM   #199
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WOW! Just freakin' wow!
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #200
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Great pics man! Wow what a wicked hike there. Wish I had that kind of time in the area.

Quote:
It sure is Dave! I'm mining your RR for places to hit on my way back north. I'll be seeing some of Belize, then cutting across the Yucatan (south of it) and up the east side of Mexico for a bit, before cutting back over to the west. Any amazing spots I should absolutely not miss? Thanks!
Damn that's tough! I would say the ATM caves near San Ignacio would be a do-not-miss. The snorkeling off Caye Caulker is amazing, as is the island. Glad you're headed to Belize, it's fantastic. I would plan on riding Baja on the way home if at all possible! Plenty of spots to see in my RR for Baja. Have fun and ride safe!

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Old 03-25-2013, 03:11 PM   #201
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That pic of the forested hills with the white lilies(?) in the foreground...now that looks like a slice of paradise to me! Wow wow wow.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:08 AM   #202
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Hey 0theries, great trip. I like your way of travel, it seems relaxing. I hate deadlines, schedules and reservations when I travel for exactly that reason.
I justed wanted to offer some thoughts on the bike choice you've been considering. I have a DR 350,a DR 650 and a good friend with a KLR identical to yours (same faded green and all lol). I have ridden the 350 two up with my very small wife on the back and no luggage. It was fine for around town but I would not relish a freeway ride like that. There is not much seat room on the 350 and it is so light that it "feels" the extra weight a lot more (and my 350 has heavier springs already). For a solo bike to travel on it would be great (Mondo Enduro!) and for in-town or unloaded exploring it would work but I doubt you could pile all your gear as well as someone else and there's on, and travel on it. I ride two up on my DR650 regularly and it works fine. It will easily do freeway speeds with two people and gear but it weighs 45-50 lbs more than the 350. In comparison to my friends (stock) KLR, the DR650 is (I think) about 40-lbs lighter and feels lighter than that. It does not have nearly as much seat space as the KLR and in general feels smaller. The KLR feels great for me (when its parked) as I have long legs/arms and am just a little tall. The problem I have is that all that extra space and weight make the KLR handle much more slowly and accelerate more slowly as well. For what you are doing however, the KLR is hard to beat. (I dont want to sound like I'm down on the KLR, they are great).

But hey! The good part is that you don't have to take my word for any of this drivel. I live in Redmond OR, so I would be happy to meet up with you for a bike swap ride. Also, we camp in the Ochocos a lot too if you want a whole weekend for "testing". Or if you ever find yourself in Redmond, just come by and try them.


I hope this helps and sorry for getting windy. Have a great rest of your trip and I hope to run into you back in the OR.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:38 AM   #203
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Just my 2 cents.
I sold my DR350 a couple years ago because I was not riding it much and it was taking up garage space. I have a KLR like yours and a BMW 1200 KRS. Both have been to Mexico. From now on my Mexico trips will be on the KLR. The DR 350 would be excellent for exploring dirt and major city streets but those long stretches across open desert would be tedious. As for luggage, how much crap do you really need to carry? The 350 would work. I rode around Laos and Vietnam on a Honda 250 and was able to carry all I really needed.
I guess the biggest difference in the size of the bike is the rate at which you travel. Slow is good.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #204
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awesome pictures!!!
where exactly is that hot spring or maybe just the name of it?
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:31 PM   #205
0theories OP
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Wow, thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunday Rider View Post
Another wonderful update 0Theories. The pictures of the mountains, with the low light level and in the mist are incredible and haunting. Wow what a hike that must have been.
Thanks Sunday! It was a great hike. Imagine what a good phtographer could have done with that scenery!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slide View Post
You sure have been packing in some eye popping scenery. Given how great the pix look, I have to wonder how breathtaking the places must be in person.
It's amazing Slide. You have to go and check it out for yourself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodly1069 View Post
WOW! Just freakin' wow!
Thanks Woodly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voidrider View Post
That pic of the forested hills with the white lilies(?) in the foreground...now that looks like a slice of paradise to me! Wow wow wow.
That's at the hotsprings. You can rent a cabin there and hang out over night. Not sure if you can use the pools at night, but I would think so...

Thanks a lot for the positive feedback you guys! I've been away from the internet for a bit and it was awesome to see all the comments when I got back on!
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:33 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter dave View Post
Great pics man! Wow what a wicked hike there. Wish I had that kind of time in the area.

Damn that's tough! I would say the ATM caves near San Ignacio would be a do-not-miss. The snorkeling off Caye Caulker is amazing, as is the island. Glad you're headed to Belize, it's fantastic. I would plan on riding Baja on the way home if at all possible! Plenty of spots to see in my RR for Baja. Have fun and ride safe!

Dorian
Thanks Dorian. I'll try to check those places out. Well, I missed out on ATM cave as it's booked solid for several days to come and I have to move on But still have some time for the rest of Belize!
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:35 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
awesome pictures!!!
where exactly is that hot spring or maybe just the name of it?
Thanks Eakins! Those hot-springs are called Fuentes Georginas. They're just outside of Zunil, south of Xela.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:44 PM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessepitt View Post
... For what you are doing however, the KLR is hard to beat. (I dont want to sound like I'm down on the KLR, they are great).

But hey! The good part is that you don't have to take my word for any of this drivel. I live in Redmond OR, so I would be happy to meet up with you for a bike swap ride. Also, we camp in the Ochocos a lot too if you want a whole weekend for "testing". Or if you ever find yourself in Redmond, just come by and try them.


I hope this helps and sorry for getting windy. Have a great rest of your trip and I hope to run into you back in the OR.
Thanks a lot for the thorough response Jessepitt! It's a lot to think about. I agree pretty much with everything you said. I guess I've been reading JDowns' RR and he's gone at least as far as Panama and back on the 250 with no complaints and my only complaints are the weight of the KLR However, I DO like to pick up passengers so that is something serious to consider

As far as baggage goes, I'll be taking a lot less stuff next time around... and I thought I was taking a lot less than most this time

I'll be very glad to take you up on the offer to try out the DR. I'm in the Ochocos a lot for work and otherwise. We'll definitely have to meet up when I get back.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:51 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete_Tallahassee View Post
...From now on my Mexico trips will be on the KLR. The DR 350 would be excellent for exploring dirt and major city streets but those long stretches across open desert would be tedious. As for luggage, how much crap do you really need to carry? The 350 would work. I rode around Laos and Vietnam on a Honda 250 and was able to carry all I really needed.
I guess the biggest difference in the size of the bike is the rate at which you travel. Slow is good.
Thank for the input Pete. Agreed on the luggage! Much less stuff next time! I actually rode around Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia on a 125 and I had a passenger for most of that time and all her crap and it was fine. Would never work on an interstate or through many miles of desert, but it worked there and it would probably work in Central America. And a 350 would be HUGE in comparison So... I guess I still don't know what to do... will test ride jessepitt's dr350 and see what I can see

I really do like the KLR... the search for the "perfect" bike continues...
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:37 PM   #210
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03/24/2013 - Goodbye Xela, hello open road!



After waking up early and dealing with the hassle of getting my bike out of the school for the last time, I said my heartfelt goodbyes to friends and headed north out of Xela and into the next leg of my journey. I was a little sad. I felt like I was leaving home again, and I would miss the people I spent the last several weeks with. I also felt excited and rejuvenated. Despite everything, I was ready to get back on the road. The plan was to ride up north to San Francisco El Alto, then cut north and east to Sacapulas. The road on google maps appeared well established, but in real life things were different. If that road to the north exists, it does a great job of being inconspicuous. After riding around San Francisco El Alto for a while, I decided to take a road further south, which also looked well established on the map.

Road to San Francisco El Alto.






Pigs...




The start of Semana Santa (or maybe a football game)?


The map lies. What started as a decent two-lane highway at Salcajá quickly deteriorated to first, a broken road, then a one-lane road, and finally to dirt. While it was still a decent two-lane, it wound it's way through a forest in the mountains. I came around a corner and saw a bunch of bikes lined up outside a restaurant. Of course I stopped to say hello, and the only guy who spoke English (although I now possessed a bit of Spanish) rides a KLR. We had a short chat and took pictures and then I was on my way. I rode through the ever worsening quality of road until I reached Santa Cruz del Quiché, and from there the road was once again decent quality two-lane highway (for a little while).







Yeah, KLR!




Wash-out








Getting to the top...




And back down...








I continued to climb through the mountains and eventually reached Sacapulas and headed east. I wound my way through the mountains and soon this road also went from nicely paved, to partially washed out, to eventually, single track dirt. I rode significantly more dirt than I expected, but after sitting on my ass for several weeks it was nice to get back into it. Eventually I made it to the highway leading to Cobán and from there, east to Lanquin. Cobán was especially trying because many of the streets were closed for either Semana Santa decoration or to paint the crosswalks. Why they chose to do both at the same time (effectively blocking any access into and out of town) I will never know. After navigating my way through the city for more than an hour, I finally found an exit down a dirt alley (with many other clueless drivers following) and got out of town with a sigh of relief.

It's beginning to feel a lot like desert...












The road up.


It gets windy.












And then things get worse...


Never know what's going to be around the next corner...














The road to Lanquin was a beautiful winding highway that (also) eventually turned to dirt for the last twenty-something kilometers. It wasn't bad (while it was dry) and I made it to Lanquin without any issues. I decided to stay at a place called Utopia, which was only a few kilometers from Semuc Champey. It was another ten kilomters down the (much rougher and steeper) dirt road and by the time I got there it was dark. I was ready to stop and luckily the place was staffed by very cool people and I made friends and was drinking rum in no time at all.



















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