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Old 02-12-2013, 06:35 PM   #106
Romanousky OP
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Today we drive to Palenque to see the blue waterfalls (Agua Azul) and ruins (Tonina & Palenque). 120 miles of pure motorcycle bliss through the roads that snake up and down mountain passes (minus all the topes). Our highest point was 7,800 ft. and the lowest was 500 ft right at the campground in Palenque (The Maya Bell).



Lots of villages in the high country for the first 60 miles. Looks just like Central Oregon with all the pine trees. The last 60 miles was all rainforest habitat. Beautiful but very humid.

This is the home area EZLN and the Zapatista movement. Lots of signs designating territories of the EZLN.

Background = Tonina, Foreground = EZLN sign, Middle Ground = Dog shit



First stop was Tonina. Nice bit of ruins on a hillside. Hiked all the way to the top in my MX boots. Coming down was a bit tricky.









Next was Agua Azul. Very beautiful falls. We grabbed some Epanadas, bannanas, took some photos, and then back on the road.











Al feeding the hungry dogs left over tortillas:



Landed in Palenque around 4:00 and went straight to the first RV/hotel that we had written on our list; the Maya Bell. The rooms were two much so we went with tent camping under the Palapa. So hot and humid in the jungle at this low elevation we went for a swim in the shady (ie circumspect) pool. Drank a six pack for dinner and tried to sleep with all the Howler monkey’s making a fuss.



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Old 02-12-2013, 06:43 PM   #107
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Up and adam we threw on some shorts & tennies, made some oatmeal, and headed for the ruins (only 2 miles away out in the country side). We paid some kid $2 to watch the bikes and make sure nobody parked behind us (never saw him when we returned).



We were 20 minutes early before opening but were 2nd in line. After ten minutes we notice a fight had broke out between 2 of the tour guides. Literally rolling around punching each other on the ground….the whole market place looked on.
Finally we got our tickets and were the first ones into the park. Got to check everything out and snap some photos before the tour buses arrived.

















All while beating these guys to the punch. YESSSS!!!!



Waterfall on the way to the museum:





The museum:





Steep stairway on the way back from the museum;



Nice ruins but I’ve seen better. The tomb in the museum was probably the coolest thing there.






Packed up camp and shook the cockroaches out of our riding gear (literally) and enjoyed another 120 miles of great riding back to San Cristobal.

Stayed in the same hotel (hotel D' monika)




Lubed the chains in the underground storage area.....Ready to rock Guatemala starting Tomorrow!!


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Old 02-13-2013, 08:13 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanousky View Post
Background = Tonina, Foreground = EZLN sign, Middle Ground = Dog shit


Nice action shot

PM'ed some info about the ADVpad in CR.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:33 PM   #109
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Nice action shot

PM'ed some info about the ADVpad in CR.
Replied. Hope to see you in about 2 weeks.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:28 PM   #110
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Exiting Mexico was a piece of cake. TVIP’s canceled and passports stamped in under an hour. Then entered Guatemala.


Fumigation was $1.50 and then on to importation of ourselves. Passports stamped in record time ($2). Then to the Aduana where we imported the bikes (cost $20). Total time on this side of the line was 1-1/2 hours. Then saddled up for Huehuetenango. Did I mention I was up at 2:00 AM with a case of the shits last night….it continued through the morning the subsided right before we got to the border. Somebody's looking out for me



Driving into Guatemala at the Cauhtemoc border crossing was fantastic. Deep valley canyon with mountain cliffs that shot up extremely steep with a small river flowing through the divide.



The highway was washed out in one section so we drove down by the river and then back up to circumvent:



Washed out highway:



This guy has definitely crashed before because most don't wear helmets let alone elbow pads.



First impression is much better than Mexico. There seems to be some industry besides taco stands and mini marts. The other great thing about Guatemala is that the roads are more “interesting” and there are tons of higher end motos. Lots of cool Honda’s running around (even CRF’s on the streets).

Arriving in Huehue it was the typical cluster fuck. Found a nice hotel for $25. Best bang for the buck thus far. Ate in the hotel lobby ($2 cheesburger w/fries). Then planning time.....

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:34 PM   #111
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Bike trouble

I have been anticipating this day for a while now (not because it’s Valentines day). We are going to Antigua where we plan to stay for 10 whole days. Finally a break!

Load up the bikes and try to start mine….nothing. Crank it over 30 times with throttle wide open and it finally comes to life. Idles down and dies….shit. Then get it running and hit the street. A mile down the road it just dies out. Anything under 4K RPM and it quits. Ride back to the hotel and tear the bike apart.



I figure it has to be the carb so I pull it out and walk down the street to a fabrication shop for some compressed air. Met Ronald the owner….super nice friendly guy. After discussing the problem we break apart the carb and he cleans with air and some fuel and then reassembles. No charge! Just happy to help. I make sure the petcock is flowing and it is. Get back to the hotel, install carb, install gas tank, etc… Jump on the bike, it fires right up and we are off. Get down the street 2 blocks and it dies. F*CK!! In my haste to reinstall everything I failed to reconnect the fuel line….phew! Problem solved. Then snap a photo with my new friend from the fab shop.



Two miles out of town we roll into a gas station and bike dies. I don’t know what’s wrong but I crank the idle up to 3K and after some difficulty getting it started we hit the road for Antigua. It is now noon. So much for an early start.
The ride from HueHue to Antigua is even better. Twisty as all hell surmounting mountain pass after pass. Our highest elevation was 9,848 feet. Up in the clouds it gets quite chilly.

Broke down tuk-tuk with donkey just shy of 10K




There are lots of traditional Mayan folks who live on these steep hillsides right off the road that are quite interesting to view. I didn’t get many photos because I refused to shut the bike off until we got to Antigua. At one point i just started laughing in my helmet...I'm driving through the middle of nowhere in Guatemala with a bike that might fail at anytime if I drop below a certain RPM, I'm freezing cold and my ass and balls are soaking wet because I've been sitting on the mouthpiece of my camelback, and I don't know a lick of Spanish

We even saw an incredible waterfall on the opposite mountain side falling probably 250’ or so. Tried to snap a pick…didn’t turn out so well.




Rolled into the cobble stone streets of Antigua and straight to a Hostel that we had chosen the night before. $16 for a private room with double beds. Walked up the street and got cheap delicious tacos.



I’ve got the idle back to usually on the bike and did stop and start once today with no problems. Hopefully the carb just passed some gunk but I’m still concerned. Going to check valves this week but I don’t have any shims so not too sure what to do with the info.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:20 AM   #112
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MORE PLEASE! This is great! I would love to do something similar with my DRZ. By the way, how are the larger tanks holding up with the extra capacity? I assume you have always been able to find enough fuel even out in the sticks.
I think you have a Safari mounted, right? I am using an IMS 4 gallon and I think yours holds slightly more fuel. Do you know what your range is?

Keep it coming and enjoy the ride!
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:55 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by woodly1069 View Post


MORE PLEASE! This is great! I would love to do something similar with my DRZ. By the way, how are the larger tanks holding up with the extra capacity? I assume you have always been able to find enough fuel even out in the sticks.
I think you have a Safari mounted, right? I am using an IMS 4 gallon and I think yours holds slightly more fuel. Do you know what your range is?

Keep it coming and enjoy the ride!
Tanks are holding up well (except my petcock...just had a pingle sent in to Guat). Alex has the IMS (I believe 3.9). Mine holds about 1/2-3/4 gallons more than his. No issues for either of us. Only once did we fill up from the back of a truck (Ensenada to Guerro Negro). I can easily do 220 miles on my setup. Al hits reserve at 150 and probably has another 40 miles to go. We don't know exactly because we haven't ran them dry.....yet. Thanks for riding along
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #114
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Not much happened today. We looked for a Spanish school and tooled around town to just get a feel for it. Had a burn a few hours because we couldn’t check into the hotel until 3:00 PM.







Lots of motos but I'll be damned if I can find a motorcycle shop for some air filter oil:





The highlight of the day was when we were sitting in the hotel lobby we were approached by Sebastian and his beautiful wife both originally from Colombia. Sebastian lives in Florida and rides a KTM 990. He told us about some epic areas of Colombia to ride. I have not seen these areas explored in other ride reports so it should offer a little different insight to the area. No, I’m not going to explain where it is, you’ll just have to wait and find out. We are also going to try and meet up with Sebastian’s uncle in Medellin who is a fellow rider. Thanks a million Sebastian!
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:46 PM   #115
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We have been debating whether or not to extend our stay in Antigua and Central America in general. We are currently booked on a sailboat out of Colombia for March 7th. The other available date is March 21st. The first boat doesn’t give us much time. The second boat gives us too much time in CA but ultimately will hold us back from making it to Argentina. An email has been sent to the boat captain just to see if there is any room on the voyage for the 21st.

If we have to make the boat by the 7th then we have to leave Antigua immediately after our Spanish school at the end of the week. Therefore I want to ride to lake Atitlan today while I have the chance. Alex decided to do laundry instead.

Packed up some tools and a med kit and hit the road. At 9,000 feet it started to rain. My KLIM suit is still waterproof even after the gasoline…YES!! Dropping down into the town of Panjechel right on the lake the rain stopped and clouds started to evaporate. The lake is quite a spectacle with all the volcanoes surrounding the area. Even better is the road around the lake…..well, not that good but at least it wasn't pavement most of the way. The road is very steep and the dirt sections appear to be just dirt with gravel on top but it is actually a road of rocks with the sharp edges just barely protruding from the surface and then in-filled with dirt. Traction was almost nonexistent and higher speeds tough to achieve.






















Here is a video of a few clips put together. A little slow speed fixation issue on the 20” ditch and then I was almost taken out by a bus around 5:00. Taking the corner at 60 mph there is a bus fully in my lane and I swerve into the dirt almost hitting the guardrail and falling off the cliff. It would have been a head on collision if I were in a car. Ridiculous!



The ride home was wet and cloudy up in the mountains. Most cars don’t have taillights (or don’t have them on). Quite precarious.







That night we ate at Monoloco and had the biggest plate of nachos I have ever seen. The menu said “nachos bigger than your head”…..and I have a big head so I put them to the test. They checked out alright!!



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Old 02-17-2013, 01:50 PM   #116
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Hey Alex & Andrew,

Met you two at Martin Verdugo's camp/hotel in Los Barriles a couple weeks ago, glad to see you're deep into Mexico. Bryn & I have been home for one week and now that the joy of warm bathrooms and cold IPA's has worn off (not to mention getting to know my wife again etc., but this ain't JM), I'm ready to head back to Baja

I'll have to go back and read the whole report, but hope you enjoyed your stay in Baja--we sure did.

Good luck!

-Charles

(the WR250R & DR650 father & son riders)
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:57 AM   #117
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Hey Alex & Andrew,

Met you two at Martin Verdugo's camp/hotel in Los Barriles a couple weeks ago, glad to see you're deep into Mexico. Bryn & I have been home for one week and now that the joy of warm bathrooms and cold IPA's has worn off (not to mention getting to know my wife again etc., but this ain't JM), I'm ready to head back to Baja

I'll have to go back and read the whole report, but hope you enjoyed your stay in Baja--we sure did.

Good luck!

-Charles

(the WR250R & DR650 father & son riders)
Hey Charles! Good to here from you guys. I'm glad we ran into you at Verdugo's becuase we ended up staying there for 2 nights and taking your exact same spot. I would definitely do it again. Hot shower and IPA is very tempting but I'm happy with my current position. Take care guys
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:27 PM   #118
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Signed up for a week of language school. School is 4 hours/day from 8:00 to 12:00. Should give us time for a good activity/ride each day after class. Stay tuned for daily activities.

Here is the hotel that we are stuck at for a week. My mother felt bad for me with the places we have been staying so made a donation to the ride. Love ya Mom!


The nondescript entrance:



The pool:



The birds in the courtyard:



My room on the upper right:



I know this is anti-adventure but I'm just charging up my batteries before heading for Honduras and the rest of CA.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:33 PM   #119
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First day of Spanish class. My mind is not excited about being back in school. Must admit I feel a little discouraged that the Spanish I learned back in high school is not coming back to me.

The view from my breakfast table at the hotel:



Menu at our new "Go-To" spot. Super Tacos for me...



Found an HP2 in a moto shop:



After class I headed out for a ride to try and get to the base of the Pacaya Volcano. Made my way up into some mountains that overlooked Antigua. Then drove 15 miles down a horrible rocky road and entered a town called Palin that seemed rather dangerous and there was literally no way out of town. Went off-road through some brush and found a hole in the fence line along the freeway to sneak my bike through. Then merged into traffic and ended up in the outskirts of Guatemala city. Thirty minutes later I pulled into Antigua feeling better about things. Didn’t accomplish much but it was an adventure.



Looking down on Antigua:



A neat flower:



A nice highway:



Went out for dinner. Found more drinks than food. Met an Aussie named Dave who was quite entertaining and bought us a round. But first Al wanted to do some "cooking" in the room:

Michaladas in the bathroom:



Guacamole on the computer desk:

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Old 02-19-2013, 01:41 PM   #120
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Struggled to get up and get to school. Then struggled to stay awake at the table listening to my teacher. Then I heard a rumbling and about 30 people congregated behind me looking at something. I stood up and walked over to see that Volcan de Fuego had just had a decent eruption and spewed ashes a few hundred feet in the air.





My teacher didn’t think much of it and said it was a common occurrence. I knew the volcanoes were active but didn’t know they were this active. Apparently Pacaya is just as active so we are going to ride our motorcycles up as far as we can….or are allowed.

Despite my struggles in the morning I made quite a bit of progress with my Spanish skills. Still heavily lacking but doing better. After class our teacher walked Alex and I to the street market where we could buy cheap Ceviche and a knockoff iPhone cord so that I can use my phone again. Teacher says I’m limited to dos Cervezas this evening and I need to study my verbs. Unfortunately it is ladies night in town so we will see what happens….

Oh yeah, found a tiger 885 on the street with a UK sticker

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