Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by GRinCR, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    :clap5000+ views! :clap Take a bow all of you! :flug
    Here is a quick one from the early days. Photos lacking, but I was a real noob at the time.
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    Rewind to my first days with the “new” bike. Still getting into the swing of the whole ADV part of riding. The Chino debauchery has been set in stone as a complete failure and now behind me. I have now owned the DR since mid December and it is now March. It is time to ride to the horizon and not stop. Well at least for a few hours. Destination: Playas Del Coco, Guanacaste. I have a few friends there who I had not seen in a while, and why not?
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    The wife does not exist at this point in life and there are few things on my mind: :dllama :stoned :freaky:rilla :sweeti :dutch . So lets get this show on the road.
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    1133 hrs. El Puente de Amistad. <o:p></o:p>
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    It is only about 5 hours to Playas del Coco and from what I remember my friends were still at work when I arrived. So I find a nice shady spot at Ocean’s edge, grab a few barley sodas and watch time go by.
    Playa del Coco
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    Sun has set, everyone is off work, showered and ready. Time to party :strum. Even if I were writing this in 2008, I doubt I would remember much.
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    Meet Freddy(Right) mi Compa Colombiano and John (middle) the Frenchman. Freddy I have known since 2004 and John was working on a family Catamaran project they have in the area.
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    Then next day got a rather late start. :puke2By noon I have made it to Playa Tamarindo for a change in scenery.
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    Later in the day Freddy had escaped work early to arrive with a couple of surf boards. John came with his Boo and a whitty Brit was along as well. We took on a few waves while others snuggled up on the beach to wait for the 5 o’clock show.
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    No party on the second night. I had barely survived the first night and tomorrow the vacation is over.
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    1103. :cryBack through the gateway of reality.
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    The end was near. I couldn't have been but 5 kms from home when disaster struck. :eek1
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    I had attempted a courtesy left with no oncoming traffic when the young lawyer in the grey car decided to roll a stop sign. I remember seeing only the back of her head as she rolled through. Why look both ways? Boom, rider down!
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    I somehow came off the bike, didn’t get my leg smashed and stuck the landing on my feet. As the dust was settling the driver exits the car and she says, “Ves, por eso odio las motociclistas.” :scratch I amazingly kept my mouth shut.
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    My fault? :dunno I don’t know. Had she stopped like she was supposed to, we wouldn’t have crashed. Had I stayed in my lane and made the turn wider… Opinions of the audience?
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    Thanks again for reading! More to come.
    #61
  2. rowie

    rowie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    241
    Location:
    Proserpine, QLD
    Hey Greg,

    I'm planning to get a Vapor for my RS. Did you use a kit for a specific bike or a universal kit? I was mainly wondering if the wires for the temperature and tacho pickup are long enough, or if they had to be lengthened.

    Cheers,
    David.
    #62
  3. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    David,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I did use a model specific Vapor, at least for a 1990 DR 650, not necessarily the RS. I found it by Google shopping &#8220;1990 DR 650 VAPOR&#8221;, cheapest vendor, $89 if I remember correctly. Then I started the international shipping and doodies process.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    All wires were plenty long with exception of the one for the Temp sending unit. Where you see the CPU mounted in the pic, the wire is about as tight as I would be comfortable with. After a few months of riding I would like the CPU higher up, closer to the windscreen so it would be nice to find a longer wire (IMHO).<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I haven&#8217;t had the opportunity to see a temp reading yet. When I had just finished installing the plug with the copper unit in place, I smashed my head on the handle bars getting up. Of course I got perturbed and readjusted the bars cranking them to the right while cursing. Turns out I had forgotten that I tied the loose end of the wires off on the handle bar to keep them out of the way. Result: stretch and SNAP:jack! Broken wires. Yet another lesson learned.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    BTW: final box of parts arrived today&#8230; once I figure out this &#8220;No Spark&#8221; issue that appeared this AM it is time for the teardown.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>:beer</o:p>
    Greg<o:p></o:p>
    #63
  4. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Hey! Watch this.

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    476
    Location:
    Belton, Texas
    Getting ready to pull the trigger and move to CR from Texas. Love it.

    :clap
    #64
  5. jerdog53

    jerdog53 Crop Dusting Everywhere

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,697
    Location:
    80122
    I have Been wanting to for a while!
    #65
  6. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    27Mar09

    I had only finished my previous ride not long ago and I already had the itch:norton. So, while looking at the map I see a &#8220;city&#8221; named La Suiza which translates to Switzerland. That&#8217;s a good enough reason for me, and a ride was born!
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    No pictures through San Jose. I am not one of the fortunate who like riding through 3<SUP>rd</SUP> world capital cities. Hay demasiado(a) cars, people, street vendors literally in the street and more street vendors. Add to that seven wide on a five lane road, no blinkers, erratic driving styles, etc&#8230; Been there done that and only when I must do I dare return.
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    So the pictures start in Cartago. The shadows hint it is around noon.
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    We were following a &#8220;main&#8221; route to Swizterland.
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    Passed a waterfall; always nice.
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    A lake.
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    Man made, but still nice.
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    I have a thing for curves, on bridges.
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    A shot down stream of La Represa. ßVocab lesson
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    Time: 1309. Arrive Switzerland.
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    It was bittersweet, not what I was expecting for Switzerland.
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    Nor was there mention of them being known for Deep Fried Pork. Chicharones!
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    Like anywhere in or around the central valley in March, you will see Sugar Cane.
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    <o:p></o:p>

    It was time to leave so we headed back into the mountains.
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    Stopped real quick to read something on the wall of this bus stop.
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    Back to :ricky.
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    Time is now 1712 and we are closer to home. Roaming around for any bar to celebrate a good ride:freaky. We see the Imperial sign and stop here: Bar La Lucha.
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    There was a moment of hesitation because it translates to &#8220;The Fight Bar&#8221;. But we quickly though to ourselves, what could be more fun? Two Gringos, The Fight Bar, in the third world, kind-of sketchy looking, likely not much English:jose... Let&#8217;s go!
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    Turns out it is a hidden hot bed for &#8220;booty call&#8221; sales. First two entries on the right in the above pic are la cantina, Bar La Lucha. Center door, with the window to the left, is the barber shop and low and behold the door number 3, on the left. It leads down a long hallway filled with women which I had first thought was a nail salon. Wrong! Ignorant me. No wonder this sh*t hole, little bar had people in it.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Muchos rides&#8230; Otro dia.<o:p></o:p>

    :asta
    #66
  7. YBCAGED

    YBCAGED Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica
    That was a great trip. In the days when you could enjoy riding without falling down.:freaky ps.....I went back to that bar a year later and as soon as I walked in the door a girl said "hey the handsome Canadian"! Which only goes to prove that we are the only white guys that have ever dared to walk into the place!:lol3
    #67
  8. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,772
    Location:
    Lost in the jungles of Thailand
    Loving the report!!

    I live in another tropical environment and had plans to ride offroad from Mex-Panama next month going through your home country with as much offroad as possible. Arm in six pieces halted those plans. Would've been nice to share a few brews:freaky.

    I've been in Thailand for 10 years and always on the lookout for another spot to hole-up for a bit. Thought about looking through Central America.

    Onward through the fog my friend.
    #68
  9. rowie

    rowie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    241
    Location:
    Proserpine, QLD
    Thanks Greg,

    I have looked around and found Trail Tech sells extended wires for the temp sender. May even be possible to extend them myself as they appear to be normal wires. My plan is to remove the speedo and tach and keep the housing. Then make a plate that covers the original and mount the Vapor, spotlight switch and power outlet to it. Something like this:

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/SGeMGoGGCRo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Good luck with the rebuild! Finding an electrical problem can be a royal PITA!

    Cheers,
    David
    #69
  10. KiLO

    KiLO Adventure Cafe

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Thanks for this thread, Greg! I am not done reading, but thoroughly enjoyed the reports and photos :beer
    #70
  11. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
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    <o:p>:eyes</o:p>
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    I hope I don&#8217;t get sued by Nike for saying this: Just do it!:D<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    F*ck me buddy! Hope you broke the arm doing something fun. Also hope you heal up and can follow through with that epic ride. Beers for sure&#8230; six maybe. One for each piece of your arm. :slurp<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    Kilo&#8230; careful down here with a name like that.:evil Thank you for stopping by. More to come.<o:p></o:p>
    #71
  12. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.

    Cheers to the last time I :loaded and :dllama. (Crash 13Jul09)
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    Shorts, sanadals and stand-up wheelies are a thing of the past :deal. ATGATT<--Thank you ADVrider community.

    I have to ask YBCAGED: Your protective shorts failed you too recentlly? Must have been made in China :lol3. Heal up bud, glad you could limp away from the get-off.
    #72
  13. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Hello again folks!
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    Rides are on pause at this moment with the bike having gone in for some minor surgery:
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    Update on that tomorrow as I should pick up the rectified parts, still waiting on others, but that story is here.

    <o:p></o:p>
    In the meantime I dug through the winter pics from 2009 and relived a few good rides. A little beach time with camping, peering into a live volcano crater, more of the Caribe, etc&#8230; But for now I leave you with a few random pics that had nothing more to accompany them since I had no clue I would be RR&#8217;ing later in life. Enjoy and stay tuned for more&#8230;
    <o:p></o:p>
    May-Oct, Winter or Rainy Season
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    Lots of afternoon clouds
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    Usually clear in the AM
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    Purdy flowers
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    Always Wildlife
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    And I was getting to know the DR and goofing with basic mechanics:confused
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    I will put together a proper story later in the week. Teardown update tomorrow!
    :asta
    #73
  14. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Qua pasaaaa aventureros?!

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    Here is a quickie from the office.
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    My first, and only, by the book traffic violation citation in Costa Rica to date: 106 Km/hr in a posted 60 zone:D.<o:p></o:p>
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    I have paid many &#8220;on the spot&#8221;:augie fines but have, and always will, leave it up to the officer to suggest going that route. Although I have not read the official rule book, I am sure offering a bribe to a badged official is illegal here too. I also don&#8217;t want to be the first guy to find out the new batch of cops are playing it straight. For you over landers, I wouldn&#8217;t worry much since the copper knows you are only in transit. I feel it is a tid-bit different if living here. Also my &#8220;no fumar espanol&#8221; routine falls apart when the wife gets involved.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    But this one infraction, sometime between May and October of '09, was strictly by the book. I was making GREAT time, fixing to hit Cambronero (past San Ramon) in under an hour from my house in downtown Alajuela. It was raining lightly in areas of the route but overall a great run with few cars, none of which slowed me down.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I was just passing San Ramon where the limit drops to 60 km/hr because of the bus stops and traffic exiting and entering the city. I was in 5<SUP>th</SUP> gear with the throttle pinned :ricky. Sweeping left-hander the begins to climb and what do I see at the crest of the hill? Two coppers, one with the radar gun trained on me and not a thing moving anywhere nearby except me.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Both the coppers tossed their hands up motioning me to pull over. I did and turned off the bike. <o:p></o:p>
    &#8220;Do you know how fast you were going?&#8221; one asked. I do not know since my speedometer did not work and I surely wasn&#8217;t going to incriminate myself. <o:p></o:p>
    &#8220;60&#8221; I say.<o:p></o:p>
    He laughs and as I finish my statement the second Transito walks up to show me the radar gun. It read 101. Seemed fair. He must have gotten me after I grabbed the brakes. I insisted the gun might have a flaw; they both laughed. <o:p></o:p>
    Pretty routine from that point on...
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    -Papers and License.<o:p></o:p>
    -Usual bullshit about my MN license. They bought it.<o:p></o:p>
    -Coppers suggest I get a CR license.<o:p></o:p>
    -One copper goes back to the truck and writes me up. $50<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    As I was being cited the other cop told me they were surprised I even stopped:huh. I surveyed the situation; both of them out of their sh*tty little pickup, parked on the other side of the highway. They would have had to both mount the truck, and whip a Uturn, safely on a blind curve to catch me. Oh well. I pass this place often and they are ALWAYS in this same spot. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Now it is a different game. Officers don&#8217;t hand write the fine amount on the tickets. They are much more expensive and the crooked cops are getting nailed via undercover news and OIJ operations. It&#8217;s a double edged sword&#8230; Good cops/bad cops. Big fines/little fines. Crap shoot to me :dunno.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    More RR&#8217;s with more pics to come. <o:p></o:p>
    #74
  15. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    765
    Location:
    Darnestown, MD
    Hi Greg,

    I'm really enjoying your photos and retro report! Please keep it coming.


    I recognize the "gateway to reality":

    [​IMG]

    Like you, I much prefer to stay west of the bridge:

    [​IMG]


    Cheers,
    #75
  16. QCRider

    QCRider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    Hey Greg,

    How's the "surgery" going? When you're bike is back on its two wheels, we should set up a ride we talked about. I'm off to Nicaragua this weekend, but should be pretty much free on weekends except for the occasional rides.

    Great RR you have by the way! I've riden quiet a bit in Nicoya, but still did not recognize some of the places you explored.

    I just read your post on speeding tickets in CR, and thought I'd give you a quick anecdote that happened to me a few months ago. I don't mean to hijack your thread, so I'll make the story short. I left real early on a Friday morning to meet up with a friend at the Paso Canoas border. After about 2hrs of smooth sailing at ~100kmh, I got pulled over by a cop (my first time in CR). I had no idea what speed zone I was in, until the cop pointed to the school behind him. Yikes! According to new CR laws, it was going to be ~$400 ticket. I tried the "no fumar espanol" tactic to no avail. As I was resigning myself to the hefty fine, I noticed the cop was wearing motorrad boots despite the lack of a motorycle around, so I sparked a conversation about bikes. It happens that the cop was a motorrad, but had an accident and was off the fleet for a while. After telling me his story and showing me his scars, he let me walk away - sweet! :D But the funny thing is.. on the way back from the border 2 days later, guess who we ran into while riding over the speed limit (again)? Indeed - my new cop friend! I wasn't going to argue this time. He looked at me and recognized me after a second; he rolled his eyes, and said something like "vaya, pero mas despacio!". :clap So my record is still clean to date in CR! haha. Enough hijacking now.

    Look forward to go for a ride and a few cold cervezas when you're available. Send me a PM.
    #76
  17. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Playa Herradura is a very nice beach at the Northern end of what is considered the Central Pacific coastline. At this time I had recently met what was going to be my future wife and one random day she said &#8220;Vamos a la playa.&#8221; I quickly found a way to justify the trip; it was the 4<SUP>th</SUP> of July, independence day and I am free to do as I want. Done deal, we&#8217;re gone!
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    We got a later start than one would like since it was a spur of the moment decision. We packed the needed clothing, made some samiches and we were off, over the mountain. It is anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to Herradura from the Central Valley/SJO area.
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    1524 we arrive.
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    If you hit the beach and go left, you are hanging with the locals.
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    If you go right, you are in the enclosed and sheltered resort lifestyle of Los Sueños. Mega Yacht marina, golf course, hotel, overpriced beer, etc&#8230;
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    You can have it. I am fine with my hammock, two palms, $1 beers, and a nice little dark skinned girl that ain&#8217;t too bad on the eyes or have an "hourly rate" (IMHO).
    Without further adieu, here is how we spent the afternoon.
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    1825 After we ":jkam 'ed" enough packed up and took off into the night.
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    Few days later I had the crash in the above photos :p3rry&#8230;
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    Still alive and I am now married to that little morenita!
    <o:p></o:p>
    More later.
    #77
  18. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.

    The second "final box" has arrived. P/u today and reassembly starts tomorrow.

    If all goes well I will be PM'ing you on Saturday to ride. I am in need of some therapy :norton.
    #78
  19. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    This is very cool. Thankfully I pack-rat all my old parts... somewhere?
    #79
  20. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    I came home on Tuesday and find this guy parked in my garage drinking Rye.

    Good man! He took off for Panama at 0500 today.
    ht[​IMG]
    #80