Denver to Latin America for 3 months

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by WilderRider, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Of course, tonight's accommodations helped averaged it out. Both because I was tired and it was the place in town that had internet, I found what is essentially a brand new hotel in Danli. The rooms are huge.

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    Flat screen TVs.

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    The secure parking lot for the bike is an unused office.

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    They had a feature or two that still reminds you it is Honduras. Notice the telephone outlet and nonGFI electrical outlet in the shower stall on the left.

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    All I will say about the riding today is that it was drastically better. All paved and two lanes between Siguatepec and Tegucigalpa. Great pavement. Made much better time.
  2. Sbirkey

    Sbirkey n00b

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    So this is why they put those warnings on hair dryers!
    What on earth would they use in the shower?
  3. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    It is a crazy place, for sure.
  4. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    The room included free breakfast, but they don't have a kitchen so it was ordered in. Not bad typical food.

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    After breakfast it was off to the border. Relatively painless. This one had the swarm of helpers, that I really riding need, but they get in the way. Ended up tipping e each side about $2.00 in the local currency. By 10:30, I was on my way.

    The roads were in decent condition and fun on a motorcycle. The only real problem was right when I joined up with the panamerican highway which I had avoided since Guatemala. The local traffic cops waived me over and wanted to go through all of my paperwork again. They were the least friendly cops of my trip and seemed determined to find something amiss. Unlike my other stops. They even tried to tell me that my license was expired, but after I showed them it was not they seemed convinced that I did not have any reason to bribe them, so they lost interest in me. More of a hassle than anything else, but it put a negative spin on Nicaragua for me.

    It also gets a lot hotter here. Dropping out of the mountains of Honduras into the plains.
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    Stopped under this tree for a break.

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    Some kind of fruit. Guyuaba?

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    Made it to Grenada about 4:00. Finding the road to detour around Managua was a bit tricky. I am not sure I would have found it without GPS.

    Parking was the problem for lodging. I ended up in another more expensive place just because they had a narrow spot to park the bike. Admittedly, I was a little lazy in looking after three days of riding and it getting late. Plus I have been good enough I don't mind spoiling myself a little now and again.

    Today was a day to get some laundry done and take a day off the bike. Grenada is right by lake Nicaragua, so I wanted to see that. Pretty big lake. Not real busy though.
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    You can see OK he of the volcanoes in the back if you look closely.

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  5. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Everyone takes a picture of the cathedral, so I will too, big from further away. The big yellow building.
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    Looking from the main square.
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    They love their baseball in Nicaragua.

    Look closely to see the 10 year olds playing.

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  6. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    The line of carriages at the parque central.

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  7. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    The pool in front of my room.

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  8. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    After a day of rest in Granada, it was time to make tracks for yet another border. This was the longest crossing yet, but all in all, not too bad. Plus I managed to meet some other overlanders.

    First it was about an hour and a half ride to the border. A bit flat and windy. Hence the wind farms. I missed some nice pictures of the volcanoes, but you can't stop for everything.

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  9. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    I will skip the explanation of the crossing process. It would take too much time. Just think it was a lot of back and forth, plus some extra steps that are not at some others. But there are not a lot of options between these two countries.

    If you care here is a nice write up by john downs. A few things are different, such as they do not spray the bikes, but it is reasonably similar.

    As I was approaching the border, though, a pair of KLRs, came up behind me with Aussie plates. It was Adam and Mackenzie from Tasmania. Doing the whole trip from Prudoe bay to Ushuaia. There blog is here.

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    There was also a couple from Colorado driving their car to Panama and back on almost my same time frame so maybe I will see them again too. Sometimes it seems like a very tiny world. There was also a group of Brazilian bikers heading north song a trip in 50 days that seemed very impressive.
  10. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Had a nice night in the Hotel La Siesta. 17,500 colones or about $32.00. Costa Rica is the nicest country so far, but it comes at a higher price.

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    Liberia is a quiet,but pleasant town. A nice place for the border jump.
  11. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Left this morning, for a trip down the center of the country on the panamerican. The road is actually a lot of fun. And Costa Rica is by far the cleanest and most organized of the countries. This is the first country that had cops in speed traps at the side of the road.

    The road eventually heads up a bit after Puntarenas with some nice views. About 12:00 I saw a couple of bikes pulled over at a neat looking restaurant, so I swung around and went back. They were local Costa Ricans out for a Sunday ride. One was on Harley. The other was a ex-pat couple from Switzerland on a 650gs. It was fun to talk to them for about 30 minutes when our only common language was Spanish. They have been here for 15 years.

    Looking toward Puntarenas
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    The restaurant.
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  12. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    The pan american goes right through San Jose. Unfortunately, the freeway is difficult to follow through the town after it dead ends, but it eventually climbs back up into the mountains. It is a fun road on the bike and climbs to the highest point of the trip so far. 10,600 feet. Even higher than the passes I crossed in Colorado.

    I actually was also the coldest of the trip. Of course it is foggy and only about 40 degrees.

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    It was a bit slow with the fog and the cold and of course my face shield was fogged up too. With all of that I pulled into San Isidro just at sunset. But I found a decent place for 20,000 colones .

    The view toward my room. My door is in the bottom right.

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  13. sevengrey

    sevengrey n00b

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    hows your spanish coming after school in Antigua?
  14. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Very good. I no longer sound like a retarded 5 year-old.


    Now I sound like a retarded 10 year-old.:rofl

    But seriously thanks for the referral to Sevilla . it is a great school. The office gal told me to tell you hi BTW.
  15. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Well I made it to PANAMA!!!

    8,439 km from my house in Denver to David, Panama.

    Unfortunately, it looks like this is where I turn around. I figured out a little while ago that I was not going to have the time to do Colombia right. I am going to leave that for another dedicated trip.

    To start the day in San Isidro, the weather was not to bad. The bike looked comfy.

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  16. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    It is about 3 hours to the border, but it is a fun road through more rain forest.

    I even saw an iguana crossing the road. With its tail it was about three feet long.

    Pretty along the river.

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  17. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    I made it to the border around 1:00 in Costa Rica or 2:00 in Panama. It is another one on the panamerican, so it is a bit of a mess. It took about 1:45 minutes to get through. It was the first one that actually fumigated the bike. The other thing I was not prepared for was that they wanted to see a credit card. No charges, just wanted to see it or see $500 in cash. Otherwise the process was similar.

    The fact that it was raining did put a damper on the process. Pun intended.
  18. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

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    If you were in San Isidro, a much more direct, scenic, and faster crossing would have been Riio Sereno! And I could have offered you a sofa in Volcan! Please let me know if you will be in the area for a while.
  19. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    I had heard about that crossing, but I had heard it was a bit tough to find. With the time of day, I did not want to hunt for it.

    And unfortunately, I am moving on tomorrow. Bummer that even with a long trip there is never enough time. By my clock is starting to tick.
  20. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    To update this, the accent changes have been there but subtle, IMHO. But there seems to be a much bigger change in Panama. They have a strange pace of speaking.