going south, see you in five months

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by johnsonal, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    heres a short video from back in Mulege. As soon as I figure out a cheap easy way to edit I'll put on some more videos.

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    #21
  2. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    Thanks for the good advice!
    #22
  3. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    First off topes are basically man made speed bumps. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be anywhere. Some are small and gentile while some are unnecessarily large. Most every town in mexico has a tope before and after, and usually some in the middle. This is on the freeway. Sometimes people build their own topes in the middle of nowhere to get you to slow down at their roadside shops. Some are well marked with yellow paint and some are hidden or "rouge topes" as I have come to know them by. Some topes aren't even real topes at all, but rather just a strip of yellow paint across the road to fool you. These I refer to lovingly as "Faux-pes" Whether real, rouge or feux, hitting one at 100kph can be frightening. Bopes are usually bad, but can be used in your favor. Every car in Mexico comes to a near complete stop before attempting to conquer a tope which can lead to long lines of slow cars. This gives us motorcyclists the opportunity to veer into the oncoming lane and pass multiple cars at once. Awesome. Thanks topes, your are my enemy most of the time but my friend when I need you.
    #23
  4. twisted-hog

    twisted-hog Been here awhile

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    he almost had the bike back up before you caught him on video.....aren't tight turns on soft sand fun :rofl

    Sounds like you guys are hav'n a blast, keep it up.
    #24
  5. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    Heres a bit of video of some of the 422 mile journey we had yesterday. If you pause it at 1:52 you can see a donkey on the side of the road, one of the local hazards and at 2:07 you can get a good idea of the road conditions. luckily Andy already hit them and had time to warn me.
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    #25
  6. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    Day twenty: 2-4-13
    We woke up from Colima heading toward La Ticla where my friend Frankie from college grew up. When we pulled in to La Ticla he had already been there waiting for us for about a week.
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    He had reserved us a VIP campsite right in front of one of the local Palapas for free and his family had a tab running with the owner which meant free beers and food&#8230;.sweet.
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    we went up to his house to drop uff our stuff and headed to the beach where we proceded to drink all day. Then we went over to one of his buddys homes where they made us lobster dinner with a side of fresh caught fish.
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    Back to the beach for more drinking where we met another girl who was from Portland Oregon. Small world. We made a fire and sat on the beach.

    Day twenty one: 2-5-13
    I have a massive headache today for some reason but I cant let that stop me from seeing the sights. Frankie arranged for a local woman to make us fresh hand-made tortillas the traditional way using a clay fire stove and grinding the corn with a stone.
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    It was pretty cool I have a video. After eating we set out to some other beaches Frankie wanted to take us to.
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    We had lunch and hiked around the tide pools for a while until we drove back to La Ticla for sunset.
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    By now the few mecheladas I had on the beach had numbed my headache and it was time for a few more beers before bed.

    Day twenty two: 2-6-13
    Today we decided to head to Troncones which was only about 220km from La Ticla. This ride was only second to the California coastline on my best rides so far list.
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    The roads winded and twisted through the mountians stopping every once in a while to peak at the ocean before twisting around again into the hills. I had some great Photos but unfortunately I loose my camera tomorrow. Right when we pulled into town a guy flagged us down and said he had a pace for us to stay for 300pesos, which is cheap, so we followed him to a little hotel. The place wasn&#8217;t the cleanest place but the price was right and it was there now, so we took it.
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    It had wifi to check emails and there was free beer in the fridge. I figured that if I darnk enough free beer the room was basically free, so I got to work. After a look around town where not too much was happening, we pretty much just hung out in the hammocks for the rest of the night before making some tacos on the outdoor grill.

    Day twenty three: 2-7-13
    We woke up well rested at around 5:45am before the sun was even up. For some reason even though the time change has been heading forward, I cant seem to sleep in. we were on the road at 7:00 with the thought of maybe making it to Puerto Escondido by sunset...... This was a daunting task. Originally we had planned to split it into two days and stay in Acapulco, but we heard Acapulco was a shit hole, which it is, and decided to just keep going. In order to get there we had to do certain things to save time. This consisted of mostly: smashing topes at 55kph, passing long lines of cars and trucks, not stopping for food or drinks, just gas, and generally riding until the sun had just set. But we made it. We had decided that if we made it all the way we would stay somewhere nice to reward ourselves. We found a place and talked them down from 800 pesos to 500 and went to the restaurant to find something to eat. Sorry for not having photos but I left my camera back in Troncones and it had all these photos from the last few days. UPDATE. new camera and took some of andys photos to fill in the gaps!
    #26
  7. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    Ya he thought he'd have it up before I caught him. I have learned to dislike the sand. At least on my packed down donkey.
    #27
  8. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    Day twenty four: 2-8-13
    We woke up in our fancy hotel in our comfortable bed and decided to stay another night. I mean its easily in the budget if you don’t eat or drink or go anywhere right… Well we had a lot of things to do anyways and needless to say I blew the budget today. I had to go buy a new camera first off, which I found at the Super Che. We needed to change our oil, and do some laundry. So after picking up a new camera we went to the yamaha motorcycle shop to get some oil. Well it turns out the yamaha shop doubles as a fishing store so I grabbed a “handline” I think its called and some hooks and swivels and weights.
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    Then we went and walked around figuring it would be better to change the oil in the dark as to not upset the management in our nice hotel. We made a mess.
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    After we changed the oil it was time to celebrate. We heard some music going on a few blocks away and decided to check it out. Well I guess it’s Carnival in Puerto Escondido!
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    We played games, got drunk and watched the nice “girls” dance topless and sing songs. (They were not at all girls and not trying to hide it)
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    Day twenty five: 2-9-13
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    We rode a little bit, about 300k to a town called Salina Cruz. The view coming into Salina Cruz was amazing, and there was a very nice tunnel right before entering the city.
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    I guess the nice tunnel was just there to funnel all the shittyness inside. The town was dirty, stinky, and somehow expensive. We rolled into a cheap looking hotel after searching around and looking for a decent place proved to cost upwards of 500 pesos. There a shirtless drunk guy asked us what the fuck we were doing in Salina Cruz? “Fucked up shit happens here man” he said staggering around where we were about to park our bikes. I took this as “Don’t leave your bikes there or they will be gone come morning” and we got back on the road in search of a place with a locking parking lot. We found one for 400p, went and got some street food,
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    and watched some movies that Marnix gave me back in Tequila. It’s funny how when you don’t know where you are going, you end up jumping around between cheap luxury and expensive shitholes.

    Day twenty six: 2-10-13

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    We got on the road early ready to get the fuck out of Salina Cruz and into San Cristobal. We have heard from a lot of people along the way that San Cristobal was an awesome place and decided to make the detour inland. The road was nice, winding up the mountains to a cooler elevation. We pulled down into the main plaza and immediately found a nice place, right on the main plaza for cheap. We unpacked our stuff and went exploring. We got some food and some beers and found a few historic buildings mixed in with the mazes of street vendors.
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    We even spoted this local police motorcycle.
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    This town did not disappoint. The only thing that sucks about this place is the veracity of the people trying to sell you things. They will not take no for an answer. And a lot of them are the cutest little kids with big doe eyes and you feel so bad not buying the shitty little trinkets they are peddling. But I made it through the night without too much crap and went back to the hotel knowing that tomorrow I needed to be well rested.

    Day twenty seven: 2-11-13
    Today we were off to Palenque, a big Mayan ruin about 250k away from San Cristobal with a few stops along the way. We knew the road was nice and twisty and figured with the stops we had planned it would take us the better part of the day. Besides the condition of the road and the million topes along the way the ride was pretty awesome. It was pretty much 35kph corners the whole way that we could of course take much faster. There were a lot of places where the road looked like it had washed out and they just kind of filled it in so we were pretty careful. At our highest we hit about 7800 feet and then back down into a valley, back up again and so on… after about 125km we split off to the side to visit a lesser known ruin called Tonina. This place was way cool and had a lot of recent history with the Zapatista movement, (so does San Cristobal) and a lot of EZLN paintings.
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    If you don’t know what that is check it out. Its kind of similar to the Che Guevera thing but much more recient. In fact a guy told me that 50000 EZLN members marched through San Cristobal this past December. Anyways the ruins were pretty impressive for the nice price of FREE! Awesome. Except it was hot as shit and I was sweating more than I ever had in my life! Well worth it though.
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    On to our next stop Agua Azul. This place was crowded with tour busses and little kids with big doe eyes trying to sell you stuff. The water was very blue as promised and the falls were cool too.
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    I was told there was a series of them but we didn’t feel comfortable leaving our bikes with all the stuff on them. Back on the road to find our spot in Palenque. We pulled in and had no problem finding the place we looked up the night before. Mayabell had little bungalows and campspots underneath palapas.
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    We chose the campsite for the low price of 70p each. (about 5 dollars). We went to the bar for some mechiladas, and hit the hay.
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    Day twenty eight: 2-12-13
    We woke up excited and ready to see the park. We were the first ones in the door after witnessing a couple of the tour guides get in a fist fight. Anyways being the first ones in is awesome. You get to see a bunch of stuff and get good pictures without a bunch of tourists in them.
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    And a few videos. sorry they're so shakey I'll work on it.
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    Im pretty sure I wasn't supposed to be in there in that last video but I climbed up that wall in the above picture and got into this awesome tower thing.

    We left around noon, went back and packed up all our gear and set out back to San Cristobal, knowing what to expect from the road this time. Went back to the same easy cheap hotel where they gave us the same room then across the street for some 25peso chicken tortas grabbed a twelve pack and here I am trying my best to remember all the details from the last five days. See ya soon.
    #28
  9. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
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    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    Day twenty nine: 2-13-13
    Finally crossed the border today into Guatemala!
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    The border crossing wasn’t to bad and only took us like two hours. The ride into Guatemala was beautiful. After you cross the border you go through a huge canyon with giant sheer cliffs.
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    The road was in fairly poor condition but we managed to slow down a bit and get to Huehuetanango. The town seemed a bit nicer, well Guatemala in general seems a lot nicer than Mexico, so far. It seems like the people here are dressed a little nicer and the economy seems a little more vibrant. We once again drove around town looking for a place to stay before deciding on a hotel that cost about 25 bucks and was pretty nice.

    Day thirty: 2-14-13
    The ride to Antigua was pretty cool. It was, for the most part, a brand new two lane road that rose up to about 9500 feet before dropping back down to Antigua. It was very windy but not to sharp so you could take the corners at 60mph and have fun but not waste too much time. We pulled into Antigua and found a hostel for 8 bucks a piece and hit the town.
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    I managed to find a bottle of Jack Daniels and before long had to go back to the hostel as I was in no condition to be stumbling around making an ass of myself. Don’t remember when I got to bed but I woke up at the right place and after a quick check of the wallet realized I didn’t even spend much. Awesome.

    Day thirty one: 2-15-13
    We looked around town most of the morning at language schools and decided on one just down the street. Andrews mother was very generous to put us up in a really nice hotel for seven days and we checked in around 2.
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    We have decided to try and move our boat to Columbia back two weeks so we can stay here an extra week and gain an extra week in Costa Rica and Panama. We called the company and I’m still waiting for a reply so hopefully that works out. This will make my adventure in South America a little shorter so I might have to dip out before Argentina. But I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m way more into enjoying the countries I’m crossing than just flying through countries just to say I’ve been there. And I wouldn’t mind being back by June first either to start working again. We will see I guess. We also met up with a guy from catours that runs motorcycle tours. He told us he just bought a new bike and wanted to break it in and that he would take us on some off road ride on Tuesday for free! Awesome. And while I was sitting outside the hotel I met one of the many ladies selling handmade textiles. After trying to get me to buy some of her stuff and realizing I wasn’t going to we sat on the curb and talked for a bit. Along with her mother and aunt she uses a loom to make the fabric and then sews purses and backpacks and scarves and such. She comes to town from her village twice a month to peddel her stuff to tourists. I helped her sell a bunch of stuff to some tourists and she gave me a backpack that I kinda had my eye on for about four bucks.
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    I forgot her name but she was pretty cool and spoke pretty good English.
    #29
  10. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    Day thirty two through day thirty seven, 2-16-2013-2-21-2013
    So I haven’t updated my ride report in about a week now but I’ve been really busy with school, relaxing, drinking cheap rum, and generally having a great fucking time. We have been enjoying the luxurious hotel that Andrews mother put us up in VERY much. It is a nice change from some of the shit holes we have become accustomed to. And a welcome alternative to camping. Plus we have an extra 15 bucks a day to spend on food and booze. School was at first, and I guess still is, challenging to say the least. The first day I pretty much just sat there while this woman two-stroked Spanish at me and said “Si” pretending like I had a clue what she was saying. Now after only four days I can have a semi-conversation with the lady. She is awesome by the way. I’m pretty sure she’s trying to set me up with her 20 year old daughter. The other day she and Andys instructor took us to the market and showed us where to buy fireworks. Awesome. So we bought them beers for their help. I haven’t done too much riding except around town so not much to say on that. But here are the pictures so far from this week:
    This volcano errupted during our class. I guess it happens often:
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    Here is Andy with his fireworks. our teacher encouraged us to light these of in the middle of the street at around noon:
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    here's a bunch of old buildings we went to. I think it's funny that it took them fifty years to rebuild it after an earthquake, then six years later it got taken out by another earthquake.
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    here is a coffee bush?:
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    and a banana tree:
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    And an avacado tree:
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    Here is a photo of volcan de agua:
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    And here is one of Andrew drunk sitting on a random bike:
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    yesterday at school it was someones birthday:
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    birthdays are done right here:
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    well I think that should explain most of what i've done. I met up with another ADV guy from portland and had some drinks with him. been meeting alot of awesome people here in antigua and am sure to have more stories soon.
    #30
  11. benwiggin2

    benwiggin2 Long timer

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    this is one of the best so far....love your writing style, great story telling.

    What can be said about this:

    "So I haven’t updated my ride report in about a week now but I’ve been really busy with school, relaxing, drinking cheap rum, and generally having a great fucking time"

    It's awesome man.
    #31
  12. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    Washed my bike today. more to come.
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    #32
  13. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    Day thirty eight: 2-22-12
    Today was our last day of Spanish school and last night was the last night at our fancy hotel. We found another hostel to stay in for two nights in the main plaza of town. We had planned to go back to hostel villa esthela because its cheap and clean and nice, but they were booked up until Sunday. So after school we packed up and went to our new home. Andy finially changed his leaky petcock.
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    Then we went out to celebrate. At the bar we met up with our new ADV friends and had a bunch of 5Q rum and cokes at ocelot and then on to monoloco for some food and more drinks.

    Day thirty nine: 2-23-12
    Woke up not feeling great today, not sure why, but had shit to do and places to be. The guy david from CAtours here in Antigua told us the location to one of his rides called the “dirt river tour” and so we went out in search of some good quality jungle off road. It was awesome! Lots of small river crossings and not much of a road.
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    Then we headed back to town and grabbed some cheap food at our new taco joint El Faro, the cheapest place in Antigua we have found so far.
    #33
  14. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    we are headed up toward puerto barrios and crossing into honduras from the north. then staying at a place called D&D brewery on lago yojoa that marnix and lazon told us about. we are trying to find a place to stay one more night in honduras in the south before crossing the border. we have looked at san lorenzo as a possibility but really have no idea. any suggestions?
    #34
  15. Eclecticmale

    Eclecticmale Adventurer

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    N. Charleston, SC
    Hey guys...are you drinking tonight? Looks like you two had some fun at those river crossings...my VSTROM could not handle all of that stuff. I will see you tonight.
    #35
  16. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    Oh man I had a few drinks at he hostel but we are getting up early to head toward semuc champey. It was really nice to meet the rainman and have some drinks with you. Safe travels and I will be following your RR.
    #36
  17. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    thanks for the love ben. Hope the rest of the rr stays on par
    #37
  18. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

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    lost my power cord. really slow internet. a bunch of stuff to come soon!
    #38
  19. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
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    Day forty and forty one: 2-24-13, 2-25-13
    Andrew wasn’t feeling well today so I went out and walked around the city for a bit. I went down to the only motorcycle shop I could find to try and get some oil but they of course were closed. So instead I went to the street market and got a shirt. Nothing to exciting then back to the hostel for drinks with some friends I met at the rooftop bar last night. Next day woke up, andy still wasn’t feeling well so I had another day of wandering around the city, eating local street food, doing a little internet research to find our next few destinations, and drinks on the rooftop bar. Marnix and Lazon made it here and we went out to diner and traded stories about our travels. They will stay here for a few days but we have plans to head to Semuc Champy in the morning and get in a little more off road riding in Guatemala.
    #39
  20. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
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    Day forty three: 2-26-13
    Woke up early to get on the road to Semuc Champey. Riding through the high altitudes kinda bogs down the motorcycle and makes it a little slower than it already is, but no problems. Guatemala city was a fun one to try and navigate through. We got a little turned around a few times even with GPS. About 25 miles before Semuc the off road starts. But I wouldn’t call it off road as much as I’d call it super shitty road. There were a few parts I almost lost it in the super slick clay mud but managed to stay upright the whole time. Got to Semuc and found El Portal hostel to find the clear blue water I had seen in pictures was more of a dirty brown. We were disappointed… until the nice girl camping next to us informed us the pools were a short hike up the road. Awesome! Semuc Champey is a natural bridge where the main river flows underground for maybe ¼ mile and there are these beautiful clear-blue pools on top. Went for the hike, took some photos and even managed to sneak around the fence and get a look at where the river goes underground.
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    Day forty four: 2-27-13
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    Today we have about another fifty miles of shit-road ahead of us on our shortcut do Rio Dulce where we have found a hostel within a reasonable distance to the border crossing into Honduras. After getting lost a few times and asking locals, who had no fucking idea and would always say “yes that way”, we found our way to the “highway” which was also dirt for portions. On the way there Andy found a little more of that slick mud going around a corner too fast and went down pretty hard. No damage to Andy, a little to his mirrors, but none to the bike. Sweet. We found Rio Dulce and the Backpackers Hostel and settled in.
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    Now the backpackers is in an awesome location and is cheap! But the rooms are kinda small and the food a bit expensive. That being said all the procedes from this hostel go to a great cause; Casa Guatemala a house for abused and abandoned children. www.casa-guatemala.org, check it out. Since it was for a good cause I decided to sit around and donate via beers while I fished off the dock.
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    Day forty five: 2-28-13
    Didn’t sleep to well last night and was up before sunrise, which is a good thing because we have a long ride and a border crossing today. Got everything together and headed toward Honduras. The border was fairly painless. No big mobs of people trying to sell you shit, no money exchangers bothering you, the only strange thing was when exiting Guatemala the place to export your bike is 6k from where you exit yourself. But there was no one at the Honduras crossing.
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    And the people were very nice for this place (Honduras) being the homicide capital of the world. Finially made it to the Caribbean!
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    Drove straight through the city of San Pedro Sula, which is supposedly the most dangerous city in the homicide capital of the world with no issues, and on to lake Yoajo where D&D bewery is located. D&D was awesome!
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    The beer is by far the best beer I have ever tasted. We had a few and went down to a local coffee plantation that lets you tour their grounds.
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    It was kinda cool but no coffee and most of the plants weren’t in season. More beers, then bed.
    #40