Bellingham to Brazil, not coming back

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by PorLaTierra, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Ozmandrew

    Ozmandrew Adventurer

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    Southbay / SoCal
    Great RR! Get your pops back in the mix - Guatemala looks fantastic. I have a friend in Quetzaltenango & Guatemala is on my radar especially since I am fluent in Spanish. What camera are you shooting with? keep up the good work & have fun! :clap
  2. phastbiker

    phastbiker n00b

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    Awesome Pics on that last report. For that, I buy you a taco! Thanks for the RR and stay safe.

    Brian
    Dallas, TX
  3. Reryder

    Reryder Onward through the fog...

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    Great pics! You obviously have an eye for that stuff.
    Thanks for posting, loving it.
  4. PorLaTierra

    PorLaTierra Por La Tierra

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    They did not fix anything, I should have bought the GS regulator anyways, but I chose instead to save $150 since they insisted that was not the problem and now I wish I had just bought it, just to be safe. I think it may be dying but maybe the real problem is in the wires and connections somewhere. I am now in Costa Rica and two of the three yellow wires have totally burnt up. I am going to re do them and crimp them down really friggin hard this time. Hopefully that wont lead to a burnt VR.

    I am learning all of this while I go. No they did not speak any English, or I guess I never asked if they did. They charged me less than 50 bucks for what amounted to 3 hours of labor. That was ok I guess all though I am not sure how good they really are. Maybe I will try again in Panama. Hopefully nothing will happen before then.

    I got some excellent pictures in Central America and I am loving the roads here, the most fun so far. Nicaragua was great. REAALLY slow internet connection at the hotels free computer so I cant do any updating yet. Soon though. Maybe I will earn more tacos with a couple more good pics!

    Thanks Flyingavanti for the tip, a spread sheet is a great idea. I love all the connections one can make while travelling, priceless.

    TicoRider, give me the name of that mecanico if you dont mind. Are those GPS coordinates? I dont have one of those fancy gadgets unfortunately, just a torn paper map and the ole trusty sense of direction. If I decide to go back to San Jose I will definitely go and see him. I was there this morning and I should have checked this thread, silly me.

    My sense of direction had me riding in circles in San Jose in the rain until I stopped under a tree and saw a sign, Hostel del Parque, looked fancy but I decided to get off the bike and go ask about a room and it was only 11 bucks a night, with a garage! Sometimes I like getting lost, sometimes not having a guide book is great and I find awesome places, other times it would be nice to have one but I think its better to just go for it.

    Any suggestions on burnt wires are appreciated, I think I will redo the burnt ones and then continue on to Panama and check the wires everyday, hopefully I will be ok.

    Update with pictures coming as soon as possible.

    Saludos,
    Ryan
  5. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Location:
    Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
    I would offer this thought and take it as you wish...if you are checking the wiring harness for burnt wires you should check the connections first. Any loose connections may cause an issue you may see as black marks or corrosion in the connectors and that will be an issue; replace those or just "jump" over the affected area. Be sure to check the incoming wire to the connectors as well as the area inside the big plastic connector; sometimes the crimping of the wire is the issue and you will see evidence of arcing on the back side of the connector, Otherwise look for some place that a wiring harness has "rubbed" the frame or bracket holding it place, that may cause a short to ground and your issue of the alternator not charging your battery. Include any pictures of areas you are not sure about and I am sure the great folks her will steer you the right direction! Good luck, can't wait for more!
  6. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    I guess my house is cursed. Your the second rider that's stopped at my house in the last couple months to suffer a charging failure immediately afterwards. Maybe you've read this already, but maybe not:

    http://faq.f650.com/FAQs/CB400RectifierFAQ.htm
  7. CCRyder

    CCRyder Champ

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    Cool trip, great photos, enjoy doing your thing ...... sounds like the ride of a lifetime !

    Went to a McDonalds in Bangkok Thailand couple of years ago...... not exactly like eating at a McD's stateside .....nothing tasted or looked the same, guess it had the southeastern Asia "spin" on it............but yes, sometimes when living or traveling in a place where the food is considerably different ( Thailand) than what one is used to........ something familiar would be nice.............. LOL

    good luck, ride safe, be well...............:D
  8. TicoRider

    TicoRider n00b

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    Costa Rica
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    Here is the place Technimotor, hope the map will be sufficient, the mechanics name is Christian the shop is really close by BMW Motorrad near La Sabana park.

    Shop number 2290 4031
  9. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

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    Not yet far enough away from town

    :thumb :rogue
  10. PorLaTierra

    PorLaTierra Por La Tierra

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
    Thanks for the tips guys. I am in Panama now. I think if it gives me more trouble I will fix it while in Panama City waiting for the BRAND NEW FERRY!

    Heres some pics of the wiring job.

    This is the connector that burnt up.
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    Here is the wiring job I did to replace it, dont laugh im a beginner. So far it hasnt melted.

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    I didnt want to go back up over the 10000 foot pass in Costa Rica in the rainy season so I decided not to visit the guy in San Jose. But thanks anyways TicoRider, that is very helpful info. If I can figure out how to get a ticket on this rumored ferry (for about $350 I heard) than I will have 2 weeks to kill in and around panama city waiting for the first sailing.
  11. PorLaTierra

    PorLaTierra Por La Tierra

    Joined:
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    So the company that will run the new ferry between Panama and Colombia says they will be up and running May 10. Unfortunately they have no website with up to date information, just a bunch of ads in all the newspapers here. My only option was to drive to Panama City and go to the office. A very pretty girl sat down with me and gave me all the details.

    They are booked until June 4th.

    With a bike it costs around 350 plus taxes for the bike which they are still working out, could be another 200 bucks she said. So I am stuck looking for a sailboat last minute since I didnt arrange anything else.

    The Hostel here, Lunas Castle advertises parking on thier website but they have none. My bike is parked on the street but I think it will be fine. The ferry will be running a few times a week though, I think in a few months they will have everything worked out but for now its not the dream come true I had hoped for.

    I had a blast crossing Central America and I will post some pics today or tomorrow.

    If you are curious about the Ferry, and dont live here in Panama City, try emailing them at victor@panaferry.com
  12. Wooderson

    Wooderson Adventurer

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    The Dirty D
    It may not speed up your travel plans, but several inmates have used the Stahlratte for the trip from Panama to Colombia.

    http://www.stahlratte.org/27.0.html?&L=1

    It looks like they will leaving from San Blas on 09-Jun-12 and arriving in Cartagena on 12-Jun-12
  13. PorLaTierra

    PorLaTierra Por La Tierra

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    Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.

    Thanks, yeah I saw that, there are dozens of boats so I will probably find something before then.
  14. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    alright man, bought you a tank o' petrol.

    you better not have given up by the time i get to the last page of this RR!



    jk, enjoy the ride man! :)

    oh, and when i finally get off my lazy fat ass and ride down there maybe you'll put me up for a night.
  15. blownaway43

    blownaway43 Adventurer

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    Central Oregon
    I love the fact that you don't even have a GPS. Bravo! keep up the excellent pics and RR:evil
  16. twisted-hog

    twisted-hog Been here awhile

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    Wet Coast, Vancouver BC
  17. Manneman

    Manneman Polarbear

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    SCANIA
    Subscribed, most definately!
  18. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alaska
    If you dont mind a little more adventure, get one of the cargo boats out of Panama City, Casco viejo, that makes a run down to Jaque, then another boat into Colombia that goes into Buenaventura, which would be your port of entry. They usually make a stop in Bahia Solano for a day as well. You could probably do it for around $300-$400 bucks depending on your negotiating skills.

    For more information, start at near the bottom of this thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=416326&page=7

    I've been to Bahia Solano and saw both cargo boats come through, but I've never taken them myself. However when I go down again, this the way I'm going to do it. FWIW, you cant ride from Bahia Solano to anywhere but El Valle. There are no roads connecting it to the rest of Colombia. If you happen to get stuck in Bahia Solano, look up my friend Enrique. He is a sport fishing guide with a house right by the dock, everyone in town knows him. If you need anything, he is a guy that can help you out.

    Also, if you would like a better place to stay in Panama with secure parking, check out Casa de Carmen in El Carmen. A big step up from Lunas IMO, but Lunas is right by the port in Casco V.

    Salud, Vin
  19. PorLaTierra

    PorLaTierra Por La Tierra

    Joined:
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    Hell yeah man! Although when you ride "down here" who knows where I will be, I never said I was going to stay in S. America forever, I just said I wasnt going back home. But yes I look forward to the day when I can host ADVrs and other travelers, wherever and whenever that might be.

    Im on it, I will look into it today it would be cool to do something different. I am getting very anxious to get to Colombia so I will look at all my options and make a decision soon.
  20. PorLaTierra

    PorLaTierra Por La Tierra

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
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    Riding in Central America is really fun, the biggest hassle is the border crossings but its still worth it. The highways have been the most fun so far.

    Guatemala: Crossed at La Mesilla. Very warm and friendly people, lots of exciting mountainous roads, Guatemalan drivers are Macho dickheads compared to Mexico where drivers are actually quite corteus most of the time.

    Honduras: Crossed at Copan. Border crossing sucked, took two hours $35 per bike $6 per person, macho dickhead drivers, very unfriendly people, they are cold and I did not like them, very strange feeling. The roads were very fun though and the scenery was great, especially between Gracias and La Esperanza. I speak Spanish and usually get along very well with the locals but Honduras was different.

    Nicaragua: Crossed at Las Manos. I loved the people, border crossing was like $6 total plus obligatory insurance (which I never had to show) which cost like $15 I think. The roads were fast and fun.

    After a few hours in Nicaragua I realized something was missing. NO TOPES!!! For the first time in my whole trip I could ride without worrying about the damn speed bumps. I only saw two in the whole country and they were in a city.

    Costa Rica: Crossed at Penas Blancas Worst border crossing, cost $17 for insurance, free for me and the bike although I think they forgot to charge me because I read that I was supposed to pay for myself to enter. Maybe bureaucracy worked to my advantage this time? Took hours though.

    Roads in Costa Rica are fun but of poor quality. I really enjoyed driving them however and there are some stunning routes.

    Panama: Crossed at Rio Sereno. I highly recommend this crossing it was beautiful and very chill. $1 for fumigation plus less than $20 for insurance. They gave me a beer (no charge) while I sat in the office and filled out paperwork. Easiest crossing yet.

    My route: Guatemala: La Mesilla to Huehuetenango - Antigua - Chiquimula - Copan Honduras.
    Honduras: Gracias - La Esperanza - Comayagua - Las Manos, Nicaragua
    Nicaragua: Las Manos - Esteli - Masaya - Laguna de Apoyo - Penas Blancas.
    Costa Rica, straight to San Jose then over the pass to Uvita then to San Vito then to Rio Sereno, Panama

    After crossing into Rio Sereno I went to Volcan then turned left in Cuesta de Piedras to ride the new road to Dolega. This was the most beautiful route of my entire trip. I slept in Boquete then went to Valle Anton then to Panama City.

    In antigua I did an oil change and washed the bike. I generally oil the chain every 1-2 days and gas up twice a day. Apart from the gas, I spend $15-25 a day.

    Central America is interesting and weird. It is also on the way from Bellingham to Brazil so I gladly passed through it and I cant even begin to remember all the details. Mostly its perfectly safe if you keep your wits about you. Maybe not to live but to travel its fun, sometimes challenging but very rewarding.

    Honduras

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    Near La Esperanza the road turned to mud. Without panniers I am kind of top heavy and the bike was sliding all over the place. This was easily the most challenging riding so far. The mud was super slick.

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    Here is a really really old clock that still works. They said its the oldest in the world but I dont buy it.

    Its in Comayagua Honduras.

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    This report is coming in a few parts because I dont want the computer to crash midway