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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    Today was a day off the bike. I did some errands and walked around David a bit. I actually like David. I am not entirely sure why. It is not very touristy, just seems more like a regular town. Of course after enough touristy stuff that is appealing in its own right.

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  2. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Well after a day of in Panama, it was time to make my first ride in the direction of home. I had a coffee in a nice little shop and then packed up and headed for the border. Luckily, going this direction I gain an hour. I also only" suspended" my aduana from Costa Rica, so I did not have to start over. I also made sure to keep the insurance. That meant the crossing was reasonably quick and was the first border that did not cost me a cent, as they do not charge an exit fee from Panama.

    Coming back, I decided I would do the coastal road up Costa Rica. Another fun road.

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  3. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    I made it up to Quepos for the day. I was quick enough that it was only 2:00pm. I found a hotel that was my cheapest in Costa Rica. With a two night stay it is ยข11,000/night. With a spot to past park the bike. Unfortunately, although it is a private room it is a shared bathroom.

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    My room is behind that door and I am sitting in this courtyard as I type this.
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    There is not too much to the town and it is overcast today, but nice enough to spend Thanksgiving day in tomorrow.

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  4. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    The other interesting thing I will mention is the encounter with the costa rican traffic cop. He waived me overwhelming wanted to know where my "reflectivas" were. Apparently the law here is that you must were reflective material on a motorcycle. I am guessing there is also a helmet law.

    Anyway, at first I thought it might be another shakedown, because I had my full aerostich suit on. But as soon as I pointed at the reflective material on the back, he was satisfied. No problem. He just wanted to make sure. Another nice cop. I even get waives from them here sometimes.
  5. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    Of course down here it does not feel like Thanksgiving and I am really, really, really missing my wife's cooking. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

    It was a fun day anyway, even if a little nontraditional for me. I saw monkeys instead. Lots and lots of monkeys.

    I went to Mario Antonio national park. Definitely worth it if you are in the neighborhood. In about 2 hours, I saw the following:

    Squirrel monkeys
    Howler monkeys
    Two-toed sloths
    Three-toed sloths
    Capuchin monkeys
    A cayman
    Iguanas
    Gecko
    Various insects
    Crabs
    Raccoons
    And lots of plants.

    I was smart enough to do it this morning before the afternoon rain started. More I can type while it rains.

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    I paid the extra money for a guide. Worth it if you want to see the extras including the stuff up high. Almost no other way to see the sloths. he brings a telescope for that.

    Our guide peering into the forest.
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    See the cayman in the middle?

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    How about with the picture cropped? Same picture.
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    The two-toed sloth, but through the telescope.
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    The three-toed
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    A squirrel monkey jumping between trees.
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    The howler monkey
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    One of the iguanas
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  6. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    The capuchin monkeys were all over the beaches in the park, which were worth visiting in their own right.

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    I hung around for another hour after the tour just enjoying the beach.
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    There were still some places you did not want to swim, though.
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    So today I am very thankful that I have the family, health and support that allows me to take such a trip. I am thankful that there are so many pretty, beautiful and amazing things to see and enjoy in the world. It is good to spend some time thinking of the good in life. And for those of you at home, enjoy your family. I sure miss mine, butrealize how lucky I am to have them safe and sound.
  7. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    My thanksgiving meal. A chicken sandwich from Chicken Bro

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    Not bad actually.
  8. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Today I rode back to Liberia. A nice ride up the coast.

    The morning stop.

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  9. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Another hour down the road and I was going over a bridge, looking in the water, what do I see? Crocodiles.

    I did a u-turn to go back and take a couple pictures.

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    A fun place to take a swim.

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  10. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Today I crossed back into Nicaragua. It is a little easier coming back, but that is mostly because the Costa Rican side is much easier. It is still about the same number of goofy steps in Nicaragua. Of course, I kept my insurance, so I saved a step there, but it still took almost 2:00 to cross. Quite a bit of that was just waiting in the immigration line with about 100 other people.

    It was also a windy day. Sunny and clear otherwise.

    You can see the volcano to the right and lake Nicaragua to the left.

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  11. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    After a day of recuperation in Granada, today was another border crossing.

    Northern Nicaragua is pretty, but I still don't like the cops.Another shake down for a trumped up illegal pass. Playing the idiot foreigner worked again, but not until I started arguing that the pass was in fact legal did he decide to give me a warning and send me on my way.

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  12. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    After a few lines and about 1 and 1/2 hours at the border, I was back in Honduras and staying in Danli at the same hotel. Different room but the same electrical situation in the shower.

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    But you can see the bath looks nice

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  13. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Another day without a lot of exciting pictures. I wanted to make it as far west today as I could reasonably. I went through Tegucigalpa again, and stopped for an early lunch.

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    Then I continued on CA5 and took a different way than I did coming. I was hoping to stay on pavement the whole time this way. And I did, but the Honduran sinkholes (calling these potholes just does not do them justice).

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    And made it to Santa Barbara. Not much to the city, but as nice enough hotel for 638 lempiras.

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  14. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Woke up this morning to rain in Santa Barbara. Packed up and it was still a three plus hour ride to the border. It rained the whole way. By the time I was changing my lempiras for quetzals, the lempiras were thoroughly soaked.

    I calculated that this was my 10th border in the last 18 days. Luckily this is the easiest border in my opinion. It did not have any lines last time and did not this time either. Plus there are almost no fees going this direction. It helped that I only suspended the aduana from Guatemala.

    It was 3:00 by the time I got to Chiquimula. So I decided to find a place for the night. Not too bad with a decent view from my room.

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    Plus it had decent parking for the bike. Can you see it over at the left?

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  15. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Well I made it back to Antigua. Mostly because it is a good base to get a few things done before I make my final push through Mexico. Obviously, it is one of the cities I know better because I spent more time here.

    The ride in was supposed to be a relatively easy 3 hours or so. It was not. Between construction on CA9 that slowed things down to a crawl, and traffic in Guatemala city that slowed to a crawl even midday, it was much slower. The real show stopper was actually outside of GC just 25km before my turn to Antigua. The traffic totally and completely stopped.

    This is when having a motorcycle paid off. I was able to weave through the traffic and ride on the shoulder to keep moving. It looked like this.
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    Even with that advantage though, it took me almost 30 minutes to make it 10 miles. That is because the back up was at least TEN miles of stopped traffic. Not slow traffic, but stopped traffic. People out of their cars, venders walking up and down, etc. I never did figure out what exactly happened, but when I got to the front there were police organizing a clean up and police standing around in riot gear.
  16. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    But yesterday was a day to get some things done. I was overdue on laundry and bike maintenance. Do I dropped off laundry and went to figure out where I could change my oil.

    I went to CATours here OK in town. I had heard of them from other reports and had walked by a hundred times when I was here before, but had never stopped in. Well I can confirm every nice thing I had read. The guys there were/are fantastic.

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    First, they told me that there was a place I could change my oil. The same shop that works on their bikes would let me use some space. Plus the have me ideas about where to get some oil. I left to track that down. I also stopped by my old school to say hi to Billy and see if any students I knew were there. In fact, many of them were, including Freddy from when we were staying at the same house. It was his last day of classes. I agreed to meet him later for a beer.

    Then I went to a few places in town. I found oil. Motel again, but in 20w50.

    I also did some other shopping, and picked up my laundry. Then I brought my bike back to CAtours because the repair shop is hard to find. One of their guides David "Frenchie " ended up leading me and hanging out while I changed it. Then we went back to CAtours and chatted some more. They also ended up writing out some great directions to take a fun road over to lake Atitlan which is where I will go next. Really great guys.

    I hung out with them and some patrons until I had to leave to meet up with Freddy and the others. Then I hung out with them until I had trouble keeping my eyes open and went back to the hotel.

    Today it is time to do a little more maintenance, like chain lubing, adjusting, etc. I also want to get my hair cut again. So I will try and go back to the same place I went before.
  17. Catours

    Catours Guatemala Tourer

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    We had fun with James here in Moto Cafe, Antigua.

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  18. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    And just for good record keeping, the mileage for this oil change, etc. Is 32,339. I also passed 10,000km for the trip when I was riding to Antigua.
  19. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Thanks again. I can't say enough about how helpful you have been, plus plenty of fun. I will be by this afternoon for some more.
  20. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Well as I said, the guys at moto cafe and CATours, really helped me out, including giving me directions for a fun route over to lake Atitlan. It was a little tricky, but they obviously know the area really well because from memory, they were able to give me great turn-by-turn directions.

    The best part for me was that it gave me something fun to get me moving again. Antigua was starting to feel very comfortable and it was really fun to see people from my school again. Unfortunately, with my bike maintenance I was not able to do as much as I wanted visiting. The best part of traveling is meeting new great people. The worst party is always having to say goodbye.

    Buy it was a fun ride up the mountains/volcanoes. Some good views looking back toward Antigua.

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    And on the other side looking west.
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    It was a great combination of curvy pavement and relatively easy dirt roads. They even throw in a water crossing were a bridge is washed out.

    Eventually, you come up with a view over the lake.
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