From Italy helping children around the world on motorcycle

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by romafras, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. RoninMoto

    RoninMoto Wanderer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,719
    Location:
    In the mountains?
    So... did you buy this bike? The fairing is not the normal RallyRaid UK setup i'm use to seeing (and riding).... :deal

    Did you have fun on the coast? Highway 1 through Big Sur is amazing. Also I hope you got to get into the "lost coast" part of northern california. It is truly
    breath taking.

    Thanks for the update!
    #81
  2. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    Sure did. Updates coming soon.
    #82
  3. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    After an amazing breakfast prepared by our most generous hosts Craig and Rose, the neighborhood gather in front of the house to send us on our travels.

    [​IMG]

    We then rode Highway 111 to Mexicali to cross the border into Mexico. The plan was to make it to San Felipe just 140 Km south. San Felipe is a charming little village on the sea of Cortez. It looks like it was a popular destination for tourist in the past. As we ride into town we pass many resort like dreams that somehow never were completed. Many complex were abandoned.

    [​IMG]

    Of course we had to celebrate the entry into Mexico with a few Mexican margaritas but decided to have an early night.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #83
  4. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    Up at 7 this morning to travel along a road that I looked over on goggle earth. This road takes you along the coastline. Beautiful road with high winds and blowing sand made our ride a bit more challenging than expected but it was absolutely amazing. The color of the desert mixed with the pristine ocean made it like we were riding on a different planet. None of us ever rode through this part of Mexico and we are all very exited to be here. About 2 Km from Alfonsina, just before a military check point, Lee’s bike started backfired and the died. What a bummer. After a short consultation we decided to call Fabrizio, my good friend and mechanic from KTM in Italy to help diagnose the problem. Still unable to solve it we make ourselves a lunch along the way and decide to tow Lee’s bike to the closest gas station. At that point we think that the engine was starving for fuel and think the fuel pump might be our problem. Thank god we have a spare one with us and we change the pump. Still no success. The bike would not start. It could be worse but Alfonsina is truly beautiful place. There is a small hotel and restaurant waiting for us for the night. Tomorrow will be another day. We will call Scot in Victoria and try to get the bike working again and keep on riding in this great part of the world.

    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://s0.videopress.com/player.swf?v=1.03" width="740" height="440" wmode="direct" seamlesstabbing="true" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" overstretch="true" flashvars="guid=I9u3Hl2x&amp;isDynamicSeeking=true"></embed>

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #84
  5. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    Arrived in Baya de los Angeles and decided to stop for dinner at a restaurant called Guillelmo. Matthew and I opted to camp on the beach while Lee took a room above the restaurant. I wondered into the kitchen and struck a conversation with the chef. It turned out that he was from Italy and in 1968 he travelled from Italy to India on a motorcycle. Lee and Matthew started a conversation with three couples from Arizona and they were traveling north so I asked them the condition of the road from Baya L.A to Santa Rosa. They informed us that a new road was completed last year and was in great shape. When I plotted the route with my usual method on Google Earth it was supposed to be all dirt. With this new information we took it easy the next morning. GUESS WHAT, the road was just as I expected. Only worse.

    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://s0.videopress.com/player.swf?v=1.03" width="740" height="440" wmode="direct" seamlesstabbing="true" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" overstretch="true" flashvars="guid=lglEA4TO&amp;isDynamicSeeking=true"></embed>

    [​IMG]

    The road took us through the Egidio Desert. Deep sand, rocks,and dense cactus forest topped off the intense desert heat. What an experience ! After about 100 KM In this remote beautiful place I see Matthew in the distance on his knees next to the rear tire of his tire. In my mind I thought he had dropped the bike and was inspecting the damages. It turned out that he was trying to extinguish a fire. His rear brakes caliper was on fire. I wish I had a camera to show Matthew&#8217;s expression.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I never saw this happening in my life. Aluminum on fire.

    Needless to say, driving through this challenging mountainous terrain is almost impossible. Lee and I were surprised how Matthew was able to drive his &#8221; light &#8221; BMW through this path. I was fully prepared to camp out in the middle of the desert as it was getting late and we were not be able to navigate the road in the dark. A crash on this road could mean the end of the trip. After 20 KM our &#8220;Angels&#8221; provide for a beautiful, one of a kind ranch in the middle of nowhere. We pull up to the gate and all is dark. Off in the distance we see a cowboy approaching the gate not certain on how we would be greeted. It turns out that Oscar, the owner of Ranch Escondido, is not only super friendly, but a great chef. As he is opening the gate with the flick of a switch the all Ranch was lit up with beautiful lights. We felt like we were on a Hollywood movie set. John Wayne eat your heart out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Coco at Coco's corner
    [​IMG]
    #85
  6. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    Ok my friends. Now we have to push it. Mexico is a huge beautiful country. I wish we had more time to visit because the thing to see are endless. After crossing the sea of Cortez from La Paz to Topolobampo with a ferry that took 8 hours we meet Mike, Richard, and Alfonso in Mazatlan. Mike will be joining us for the rest of the trip until Costa Rica. Alfonso and Richard are heading back north. The riding itself is not that great as we are travelling along the highway 15 south. We are heading toward Irapuato to get the rear case for Matthew&#8217;s BMW that broke off on the road of terror and my new license plate. I lost the plate somewhere in the desert in Baja California a few days back. In Baja we met some riders that have really helped us out by getting what we needed. A special thanks goes to Edgar, Gustavo, Ruben, Hiram and Sergio.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Last night we stayed in the city of Ocatlan. Unfortunately i experienced a terrible tooth hake. I decided to have that looked after because the pain-killer we have with us didn&#8217;t seem to solve the problem. In the city of Irapuato, I ask where i could find a dentist. As soon as i entered the office the doctor was watching some youtube videos on his computer. It felt like going to the barber. First come, first serve. No one in the waiting room. I explain my situation. The video below explain better what happened next.

    Feeling the pain
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://s0.videopress.com/player.swf?v=1.03" width="640" height="440" wmode="direct" seamlesstabbing="true" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" overstretch="true" flashvars="guid=qP5TIS9Z&amp;isDynamicSeeking=true"></embed>
    #86
  7. Kennon

    Kennon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    Oxford, NT Hong Kong, Moscow
    this journey looks so amazing haven't spent 6 weeks in russia I just loved it out there despite the huge culture change it was still a good trip will be checking up on your ride to see what you get up to next.
    #87
  8. Dr LC8

    Dr LC8 ...soon or later

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    982
    Location:
    Manchester...but from Rome!
    :clap
    #88
  9. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    It has always been the moto travelers achilles heal &#8211; there is never enough time to do everything &#8211; so you have to make a choice. Our choice is to move east then swing down to Chapas and the the Guatemalan border. I think it has taken us all by surprise how high Mexico City is (7,500 feet) and the mountains that surround the city as we move south hitting heights of almost 11.000 feet. It is hard to really express the exhilaration of working your way up though pine forests and the sweeping curves as we descend, only to climb again &#8211; a moto travelers dream. Matthew and Mike took a detour to the BMW dealer in Mexico City to deal with his side case and brake cable &#8211; fixed the former, but had no luck with the rear brake &#8211; so Matthew continues to ride without rear brakes.

    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://s0.videopress.com/player.swf?v=1.03" width="740" height="440" wmode="direct" seamlesstabbing="true" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" overstretch="true" flashvars="guid=HEk5yqXE&amp;isDynamicSeeking=true"></embed>

    Our destinations are often chosen because of the time of the day &#8211; but this time Lee has a special request to stay the evening in the colonial town of San Christobal de las Casas and the group agreed. Unfortunately as happens from time to time the group got separated in heavy traffic and when Lee&#8217;s bike had a second backfire and stalled &#8211; I somehow missed them on my way through the city. Fortunately , when we travel we always agree on the meeting place &#8211; on this trip it is the central square &#8211; so I went there and was surprised as the hours passed not to see any sign of my friends. Finally around 9pm I got a text saying they were sitting in a bar a block away and headed over to find out why they had been so delayed &#8211; which turned out to be a road repair of the air intake blowing off its connection &#8211; a problem we had on the Baja. The road side repair went well &#8211; but leaving the guys to ride the hour and a half in the dark, something Lee swore never to do! We all agreed that despite the late evening &#8211; we would be up bright and early to hit the Guatemalan border in good time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is always nice to have a plan &#8211; sometimes they even work! This time however, it did not! It stared well. First Try &#8211; we got Lee&#8217;s connections taken care of in a tyre shop &#8211; only to ride a kilometer out of town to have Lee pull over with serious back firing. So, we turn around and head back into town to find a bike shop, there in no time the bike was pulled apart and back together again. Second try we get to the same 1 Kilometer spot and the bike started acting up again &#8211; so back to the bike shop and we find it is an easy fix &#8211; so finally around 1 we head out for the Guatemala border arriving late afternoon.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I loved this kid. He approached me with a determination to get some money out of me that I haven't seen in adults in all my life. I got nervous because i thought he would have taken out a knife on me. I started to talk to him because I wanted to know a bit more about him. It turns out that he is an electrician and works around town to make a living for his family. We became good friends in a matter of minutes and shared an ice-cream together. Upon my return home I will share his story and the many stories that I have witnessed along my journey with my children. I wish I could find a way to teach my kids how privilege and fortunate they are and most of all not taking life and what they have for granted.

    Kid with attitude BEFORE
    [​IMG]

    Kid with attitude AFTER
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #89
  10. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    Arriving late in the day we know the border requires patience – clearing Mexico was reasonably painless, just time-consuming. Entering Guatemala is another story! Once through the gates and into the country, it is a wild mass of people and vehicles – and no real clear directions for clearing. “Helpers” (individuals who will help you process your entry) surround the bikes, all vying for the opportunity to get the business. I elect to try it on my own, after all this is not the first border I have had to go through! WIthout too much difficulty we have our TIP (Temporary Import Permit) and have cleared. WIth sunset approaching we decide to stay in this wild border town and manage to find hotel Laura with secure parking and pool.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The next morning Matthew has made an appointment in Guatemala City at the BMW dealer to deal with his rear brake – so he leaves early agreeing to meet up in the evening at a pre arranged meeting spot. Michael, Lee and I have planned a twisty side road agenda and can see immediately that distances are not what they seem – meaning 50km of curves, with trucks, scooters, dogs, cows, pigs can make for some exciting riding, but as we all agree the best we have experienced in some time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A short word about the riding style here in Central America – to say it is wild, is probably an understatement. There are no rules, most aggressive wins and the larger you are the more weight you have to threw around. A moto riders job is to weave their way in and out, splitting the traffic at a pace and order that clearly would never happen in North America. Accustomed as I am to riding in Italy it is never a challenge for me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Small roads, Atitlan lake and smoke where the highlights. Wood is the primary source of fuel and a familiar roadside view is of women and children carrying bundles of wood on their heads, which is only second to the same women and children carrying water jugs. The secondary result of all this wood burning is that the skies are foggy and there is rarely a clear view of the beautiful mountains and jungles surrounding us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We find a wonderful hotel in Escuintla with a protected court-yard where Matthew joins us after an eventful day in Guatemala City where the BMW dealer went as far as stripping bikes for parts to make sure he could get back on the road as quickly as possible. However, as much as the bike was fixed, the tragedy of the day, was that he lost his top case. Speed bumps in Latin America are called “topas” – some are gentle and others are just plain ugly sharp bumps, and we assume he just hit one at speed and blew the case off.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next morning, we were lucky enough to view the active volcano put on a little show of smoke on our way to Antigua – a beautiful colonial town not too far from the capital Guatemala city. Then headed for our next crossing into El Salvador.
    #90
  11. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    Border crossings - the travelers nightmare! Really when it comes down to it, it is a really a very simple process made very complicated by a wonderful latin bureaucratic process. There are two things you need to do, the first is enter the country as a person and then process your moto and get a Temporary Import Permit (PIT). Unfortunately you can never do this in one single step and it seems that every country does their best to add their own special twist to the series of events that lead to these two simple requirements . First of all, the offices are not clearly marked, nor are the officials clearly identified – offices may appear closed, when in fact they are open, they may not be plainly labeled or visible. Requirements always include photo copies of all document in duplicate, and that also includes documents produced by customs or immigration at the time of entry. All this leads to confusion and opportunity. “Opportunity” comes in the form of “handlers” – a group of self-appointed individuals (sometimes in the dozens) vying for the opportunity to process your paperwork and guide you throughout the process for a fee. As an experienced traveler and speaking the language they usually leave me alone after the first 10 minutes. But they are very frustrating and annoying as they generally will never take “no” as an answer.

    [​IMG]

    Crossed the border in good time, with a short side trip back Guatemala (event the most experienced can be humbled by the process) for some forgotten paperwork. Once done, it was smooth sailing into the country and a lovely nighttime ride of twisties to EL Zonte – Surfers Paradise where we pulled our bikes up onto the sandy beach side Palapa for a well deserved beverage, with the waves crashing behind us. We were fortunate to have stumbled into a lovely bungalow styled hotel surrounded by thatched buildings culled together with timbers to make a thoroughly unique surf village.

    [​IMG]

    in preparation of an inland stretch where temperatures where we expect temperatures to rise to close to 40 degrees celsius we drench ourselves in water – Lee actually just walked into the outdoor shower and claims he will have his own air conditioning for 45 minutes – the time it will take to dry in these conditions. After several frustrating attempts at finding accommodation on the beach, we stumble upon Tortuga Verde and Tom the owner, who took very good care of us, on one of the most pristine beaches we have seen so far.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #91
  12. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    In this trip around the world I have crossed many countries so I don’t worry too much about the bureaucracy involved. Let’s not forget that Italians invented such a thing and in a way I feel very much at home. Before crossing into Honduras, all the people I have asked information about the country told me to keep our eyes open as the crime rate is higher than any other countries in Central America. After crossing the border from El Salvador, none of us felt uncomfortable in either crossing the border itself nor riding into the county. The initial plan, due to some running out of time for Mike, was to reach Nicaragua as soon as possible, but with the guys we soon decided that it would be a pity to be here and not explore Honduras countryside. Well let me tell you that it has been a great country to visit. I really wanted to explore the northern shore of Honduras but at the same time we committed that we would escort Mike at least all the way to Nicaragua so time was not on our side. I promise myself and Matteo that we will do Central America again because there is so many thing that I have missed about this part of the world. The roads are in decent shape and we opted to cross the northern border into Nicaragua called Las Mano. In order to get there we are riding though a region called El Paraiso. (The Paradise). We climbed to about 1500 meters and encounters many pine trees along the way. The temperature was also finally very pleasant. To make some extra cash it is customs for families to put a barbecue in front of their residence and cook some chorizo, chicken, or meat for whoever wants a bite to eat on the street. It is a great way to have a conversation with the locals. Usually we start talking about soccer to begin, but soon there after politics seems to be their favorite subject. Lee,Mike,Matthew and myself absolute love this way to interact with local people so choosing a destination for dinner is never a problem.

    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://s0.videopress.com/player.swf?v=1.03" width="640" height="440" wmode="direct" seamlesstabbing="true" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" overstretch="true" flashvars="guid=5QcPyjZE&amp;isDynamicSeeking=true"></embed>

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #92
  13. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    Again the border crossing with Nicaragua is complicated but pretty normal and straightforward. As it is late afternoon we decide to stop for the night in a little town just after the border called Ocotan.Some people at the hotel Frontera where we reside advise us to go for dinner at the Vieja Casa Restaurant. The food is OK but nothing special. The morning after Matthew needs to go to the police station to file a report because he lost his top case and needs it in order to claim it for insurance purposes. The plan for today is to reach Bluefield. Bluefield is a very small town on Mosquito Coast. Mosquito Coast was famous at the time for being full of pirates. Because of its location It is today an arrival point for illegal drugs that make their way to the north. The only way to get there is by boat or barge along the river Escondido. At around noon I stop for a break and when I try to restart my bike I experience a total loss of power. It is an electrical problem. I manage to fixed with the help of Henry, the owner of a hardware store. unfortunately time is still not on our side therefore the is no chance for us to make to Bluefield. Plan B will take us to the beautiful city of Granada. Granada is a typical colonial town developed by the Spanish in the 16th century. It is reputed to be one of the best example of spanish colonial architectural in central america. We stay at the Hotel Colonial and enjoyed a great dinner close to the main square. The idea is to wake up early in the morning and attempt to reach Bluefield by the end of the day. The ride to Bluefield in the morning is beautiful. We drive trough lush green tropical vegetation. The humidity is getting seriously high, which seems to affect me more than Lee and Matthew. We reach El Rama at 4PM and apparently we are late to catch the boat that will take us to the atlantic coast of Nicaragua. With my broken spanish I try to rent a private boat to take us there but because we need a special permit from the military to cruise on the river we are not able to do so. After some negotiation the only possibility to get to Bluefield that night is by traveling by barge. The ride on the river will take 9 hours. Lee and Matthew decide to sleep with their sleeping bag on the barge while i decide to jump on the boat that will pull the barge because the boat is carrying some passenger as well. Every occasion i have to stay with locals I take. We are all resting on hamakas on the rear bridge of this old boat. It really feels like we are cruising on the Amazon River. The true adventure for all of us. People carrying vegetables, chickens and all sort of different goods. All squeezed in a maze of Hamakas. We all loved it.

    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://s0.videopress.com/player.swf?v=1.03" width="600" height="400" wmode="direct" seamlesstabbing="true" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" overstretch="true" flashvars="guid=C0u7Vluw&amp;isDynamicSeeking=true"></embed>

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The captain of the boat suggest us to stay at the Oasis Hotel and casino. Driving trough the town of Bluefield we feel that everyone is starring at us with couriosity expression in their faces. I have experienced this feeling of being a movie star in some countries I visited but this one was somehow special. As soon as we arrive the hotel we soon understand why people were so intrigued about our presence in town. It turnes out that we are the first people on motorcycle that ever shwed up to Bluefield. I dont know if this is true but doing something for the first time that no one has done before in 2013 is very special. We feel a bit like the first settlers. An amazing feeling. Bluefield is certantly not a Central American town. This is because it is inaccessible by land.The people of Bluefield are mainly black and speek a sort of dialect. A mixture of Spanish and English. Many rastas on the street and reaggie is the music of choice.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #93
  14. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    [​IMG]

    After a brief visit in Bluefield we attempted to get a boat back to El Rama only to find out that there would not be a boat until monday. Today is saturday so we decided to ride our motorcycles through the jungle on a sketchy road at best called La Trocia. After asking many locals about the road condition which none of them had actually been on, we decided to give it a try as time was running out. We were pleasantly surprised for the first 10 kM. The road was a typical rocky bumpy gravel road that was easy to navigate on our bikes. Then we hit the mountains with slimy red clay more slippery sections than black ice with inclines and decents that certainly are not legal for road construction. Having said that there were a few 4×4&#8242;s with horseback being the main mode of transportation on this lets call it a path. We figure we happened upon between 50 to 75 locals on horseback and donkey ( cowboys armed with guns and machetes ) certainly the prefered way of transportation .Every time we asked how much further we had to go the answer was about an hour. It took several hours to cover 100k the intense jungle heat had us feeling like we may not make it. Luckly we had ice in the cooler to cool us down after we helped each other pick up our motorcycles after they would slide out from underneath us. Lee dumped his bike in the middle of a river and we thought oh no the bike would never start after that. But the KTM did not let us down.

    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://s0.videopress.com/player.swf?v=1.03" width="640" height="440" wmode="direct" seamlesstabbing="true" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" overstretch="true" flashvars="guid=0cTMWLSl&amp;isDynamicSeeking=true"></embed>

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Matthew&#8217;s heavy BMW struggle up the steep ascents with tires spinning and smoking clutch. Unfortunately after hitting the crest of the mountain we realized we were in the middle of the mountain range. At one point the BMW refused to go up any more steep inclines and some locals came upon us and 5 men helped push the bike the last 50 feet of a long steep incline. later and many crashes and many river/stream crossings we high-fived each other and were happy to arrive in New Guinea for a well deserved rest. We covered 100 KM in 8 HOURS. Ouch !!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The plan for the next day is to head down to Costa Rica where we will store the bikes at a Government bonded storage. Costa Rica will be the last leg of this segment of the trip around the world on Motorcycle. Next will be from Costa Rica to somewhere in South America. More information on future plans to come soon.
    #94
  15. far

    far ADVreader

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Los Andes,Venezuela
    I have been following since some time ago your RR, hope you can make the other leg soon :thumb
    #95
  16. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    I booked my flight to Costa Rica in August. I will pick up my bike and ride all the way to Argentina. On my way there I will stop in Bolivia to support the children of "Virgen de Fatima", a local orphanage. Once done with South America off to my dream. Riding the all African continent back to Italy where I started my trip around the world in 2011.
    #96
  17. SLACKER

    SLACKER Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    vagabond.......
    :freaky
    #97
  18. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://s0.videopress.com/player.swf?v=1.03" width="640" height="440" wmode="direct" seamlesstabbing="true" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" overstretch="true" flashvars="guid=CU5nSKPh&amp;isDynamicSeeking=true"></embed>

    Woke up early this morning as our goal is to make it to Costa Rica. Looking at our GPS and maps we decide to try a different border crossing. We decide to head to San Carlos and take a small boat that will take us to Los Chiles in Costa Rica. This border crossing is not used for vehicles but our determination after the road of terror in Nicaragua is pretty high. Off at around 9 AM we travels on a beautiful paved road all the way to San Carlos. Close to the town a big bridge is under construction and we are told that it will serve as a main border to Costa Rica. It will take another year to be built and I am sure that the experience we are about to live will not be possible anymore with the main border in operation.

    [​IMG]

    As soon as we arrive in San Carlos we head to the river where a small immigration office is located to do the bureaucratic paper to leave Nicaragua. We ask about our options for Costa Rica and we are told that there is a boat at 4 PM that might be able to take us. It is only noon therefore I try to arrange with some locals the possibility to hire a boat to take us to Los Chiles. Of course it is possible but the price is too high and on top of it, the military will not allow it because the guy that would have taken us does not hold a license to carry goods but only people. The only possibility for us is to wait for the bigger boat at 4 PM. The boat that is supposed to take us across the border along the &#8220;Rio Frio&#8221; is everything but a big boat and the place we are supposed to load our bikes is designed for loading passengers only and not bikes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We have soon a big crowd of people watching us trying to put our heavy bikes onto this small little catamaran. The river is magical. Very mystical. Along the river there are still some people who live with very little exchange with the outside world. I start talking to the captain and he tells me that on that river there are lots of crocodile, snakes and all the other beautiful creature that I absolutely detest . My head starts to play funny games so I quickly drink a couple of beers to relax and admire the scenery in front of my eyes. Due to the difficulty on loading our bikes, we leave Nicaragua late in the afternoon and we know that the little border crossing will be close upon our arrival. After 1 1/2 hours of cruising we arrive to the place where we are supposed to disembark but unloading the bikes is a hard task. It takes us another 45 minutes to do it. The vegetation in Costa Rica is magnificent. On the trees we start seeing many monkeys of different species. Matthew Lee and myself included.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #98
  19. romafras

    romafras world traveler

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    197
    I can&#8217;t believe summer is here already. We are now ready for the next segment of our journey. This segment will take us through South America along the Andes. You can see a rough plan of our route below.

    [​IMG]

    We will be riding across Colombia, Ecuador,Peru&#8217;,Bolivia,Chile and Argentina. My wish, depending on time, would be to go and have a look at Venezuela as well. It&#8217;s a big planet and we can&#8217;t do it all but Venezuela sounds like a very interesting place to visit, especially after the death of Chavez. The biggest news is that Matteo is back on the trip. The original team of the mototravellers will try to document as much as possible the adventures that will unfold during the summer. Matteo will ship his old beautiful 1985 Honda Dominator to Colombia while I will make my way down from Costa Rica alone. Once reunited in Colombia, we will ride south together towards the new project we decided to support in Bolivia.


    [​IMG] This time, with your help, we will participate with &#8220;AiBi Amici dei bambini&#8220; to care for the children that live in the &#8221; Virgen de Fatima&#8221; orphanage.

    Your help in Mongolia has made a significant difference so let&#8217;s try to replicate the success in Bolivia.

    BOLIVIA [​IMG]

    Context


    The poorest state in Latin America

    Bolivia has a surface area of 1,098,581 square kilometres, with a population of roughly 9 million people.

    More than half its population lives on less than one dollar a day. The child death rate is extremely high, because of malnutrition and of difficult health and hygienic conditions.

    Poverty and a scarce availability of resources to be assigned to the welfare state compel thousands of families to abandon their children.

    Child abandonment in this country has dramatic facets: every year, thousands of children are left in institutes: these are dilapidated and overcrowded structures, in which living conditions are only just above the threshold of survival.

    [​IMG]

    Virgen de Fatima


    <iframe width="640" height="440" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/g8MzLuz436o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    The &#8220;Virgen de Fatima&#8221; reception centre welcomes male and female children between 0 and 6 years of age. This institute is a temporary care centre, even though some children do remain there for over 6 years before being transferred to another structure.

    [​IMG]

    The centre employs a psychologist and two social workers. It also hosts a family clinic, managed by one doctor and six nurses.Ai.Bi.&#8217;s multidisciplinary team , together with the centre&#8217;s staff, checks the social and family status of the children, as well as their medical, psychological, educational and legal needs, providing food, water, health care and study support. Moreover, we check the children&#8217;s legal status, to facilitate the start of the necessary registration procedures in preparation for the issuing of identity documents.

    [​IMG]

    <iframe width="640" height="440" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KEJ6GRcui74" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #99
  20. far

    far ADVreader

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Los Andes,Venezuela
    I will be looking forward for your ride report and if you ever come close to here just let me know and we can setup a ride or a visit to some place you want to help.
    Luck on your journey.