Portland, OR to Buenos Aires, Argentina Before Christmas-OOPS

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TanukiPDX, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

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    Portland...the newer one on the left side.
    So, did you get the bike back and what kind of shape is it in?
  2. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    So the bike is back, and believe it or not, it looks exactly like it did when I left it! All of my gear was still in the boxes and the bags too! I even had left some cordobas and an ipod with the stuff, and that made it home too!

    I will post photos up soon! I have already started on repairs and it has been home under 24 hours lol.
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  3. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Awesome! They treated you right. For reference, who was involved?

    Do you expect to do a "take two"?
  4. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    To get the bike home, I had to work with 3 groups:

    The Rodriguez Group LLC- Shipping from Managua to Rama (port) and Customs Clearance from Nicaragua
    Tan Cargo- Shipping from Rama, Nicaragua, to Miami, then from Miami to my front Door in Portland Oregon.
    Ameritrans- Customs Brokers

    From Managua to Miami, I used Rodriguez Group LLC. They work with the Triumph dealership (mostly for importing though). They were an absolute joke to work with. I know that Nicaragua customs can be one of the worst departments to work with in Nicaragua, but it took the Rodriguez Group until the very last day (30 days) that my bike could be in the country to get it shipped out. They had to get a clearance for the bike because the way Nicaraguan customs work, if the bike comes in through a border being ridden, it has to leave again through a border the same way. Not by port or air unless you have a clearance. The office that grants this is 5 minutes from the Rodriguez group's office, but for whatever reason it took them the full month to get this done. The time wasn't really the issue for me, the big issue I had with those guys was what they charged me to get the bike from Managua to Rama. I believe the total I paid them just to get the bike from Managua to Rama, and through customs to the boat, was $985! It was ridiculous when you looked at the break down of charges too. As an example, they charged me like 18x the regular price of fumigation! It is a fee that is set to be charged buy the govt, but because I am a gringo, the Rodriguez group added a margin to it, and about everything else.

    I worked with a guy at Tan Cargo throughout the process and he did what he could to smooth things out. He also put the needles to the Rodriguez Group to get the bike out of the country before I would start accruing penalties/ fines for the bike being there over 30 days. He also helped me when Nicaraguan Customs decided to hold the bike at the last second because I had undeclared food (two packs of freeze dried camping food I had in the emergency sack) and medicine (a bottle of ibuprofen) in my crate. Once he had the bike on a boat, I was finally able to function normally and stop worrying about the bike. There was literally a moment where I just wrote the bike off in my head. I was ok with the fact that there was a chance I would never see it again. Honestly, had Frank and the guys at the Triumph of Managua shop not helped me and stored the bike for the month while I was trying to get it shipped, I think there is a chance that I never would have seen it again.

    From the time the bike left Managua till it arrived at my house, it took maybe 4 weeks at the most, maybe closer to 3. The bike took a week to get from the port to Miami. Once it was in Miami, I paid $300 to Ameritrans to get it cleared through US customs. From there, they turned it over to Edgard at Tancargo who arranged the shipping from Miami to Portland Via YRC. YRC brought the bike to my door, so that made things a lot easier for me.

    What I am still trying to figure out in my mind, is why they couldn't ship it from Corinto (the pacific side port that is VERY close to Chinandega)? I asked about using that port and shipping directly to Portland or Seattle rather than Miami, but the guys I was working with didnt work through there, and it was easier to go through Miami. I don't know if they could have shipped from Corinto for $2,000, but I would imagine they could have, and if I had more time, I maybe could have arranged it. Once I had my passport though, I was ready to leave the country lol.

    So here is a breakdown of costs to ship the bike home:

    Rodriguez Group LLC- $985 (shipping from Managua to Rama, Nicaragua)
    Ameritrans- $300 (US Customs Clearance)
    TanCargo- $1700 (shipping from Rama to Miami, and Miami to Portland)

    IF somehow I had to do this all again, I would stay in the country and push it from Managua to the port lol. I would never work with the Rodriguez Group again, total thieves. Also required way more hand holding than you would expect at that kind of premium. The other issue I had with them is that they kept promising they'd take care of me on the bill. They were friends of the Triumph dealer so I made the mistake of trusting them. I demanded quotes from everyone up front, but I made the mistake of being in a hurry and not shopping around/ demanding a quote from these guys.

    The other person that was helping from the shadows, was a guy I met on the Forum here named Aaron. He spends half of his time in Nicaragua and the other half in Miami. He has been helping with with everything and all for free. He even said that if I could wait till he was there the next time, He would move the bike from Chinandega to the port for free (well I would pay gas). Why can't all human beings be like this guy? I actually search through the NW rides and look for people in need of place to stay a couple of nights etc riding through Portland because I want to be more like Aaron lol.

    So there you have it! Updates to come!
  5. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Yikes! I'm flabbergasted! Thank you for detailing all that!

    It's good to know who the good guys and bad guys are. For anyone who might find themselves needing their bike shipped back from Nicaragua those specifics could ease a lot of stress. For me it's good to know the overall procedure and general approach/costs. I wouldn't have had even a clue!

    It does seem odd no direct sail up the Pacific coast was offered, but they got it to you, and in perfect order to boot. That's impressive. En fin todo salió bien gracias a Dios.

    I don't know if your friend Aaron is reading here but if so le mando un gran saludo y que Dios le pague múltiple por su bondad y atención.

    I've been out to Seattle a couple times; if i ever get to Portland I'll have to give you a shout.

    Speaking of those two cities, how about that train?!!? A couple months ago my daughter and son-in-law took that same line.
  6. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    I used to have a lot of clients in Seattle and the occasional trade show. That train ride takes 20 minutes longer than driving up there (assuming you drove in perfect traffic, which is never). I rode the train all the time up until I quit to take this trip. Very eerie to think that I could have been on that ride. I guess its a good remind that we are all human and that life has twists and turns. A great reason to live every moment to its fullest!

    Someone asked if I am prepping for round 2, and the answer is yes. It may be a while though just for financial reasons. I have been trying to convince the mrs that now is the time to sell the house and all of our possessions so that we can both hit the road and for a year or two next time. I have her 70% sold on the idea, but I dont think she has quite the same free spirit I do. For whatever reason though, the accident has not phased her. The night it happened she was pretty shaken up, but from the moment I got home till now, I have heard 0 "I told you so's," or "don't even think about trying that again." She is really supportive and she knows that I want to go back and finish it. Where I will start/ finish/ timing etc is all up in the air though. I wont ship down to nicaragua just to ride to panama and ship to colombia though. Maybe I will rent a bike to ride that portion then fly to Colombia? Still not sure.
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  7. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    That's a big step, selling everything to travel. Could be awesome for someone with no parents and no children / grandchildren.

    I think i would ship directly to Colombia. I could live with skipping Centroamérica. You've already ridden all but Panama so you wouldn't be missing much. You could fly to Nicaragua, visit Aaron, maybe see Panama, then fly to Colombia to get on the bike.

    Yeah, you could die traveling. You could also die commuting to/from or for work. There's risks in anything pretty much. The chances are what they are so might as well enjoy the days we get to see.
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  8. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    I definitely agree. If I had kids, or other real obligations right now, I would have a harder time with making the choice. Really the hardest part is getting the mrs to take the plunge. Actually, I know it sounds strange, but as for motorcycle travel, the hardest right now is our little dog. We basically treat him like a kid, so it would be tough to take a trip and have to send him to live with family etc.

    Time will tell what happens I guess. So far I am going to be working again here shortly lol..

    So here is my latest video documenting the trip from San Luis Potosi to Tepoztlan. The video is ok, but I am a bit bummed out that I lost the Mexico City footage. It had some great scenery. More of an excuse to do it again I guess...

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  9. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    Episode 5 Takes us from Tepoztlan to Antigua Guatemala!

    Happy New Years guys! I hope we all find many new adventures in 2018!

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  10. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Have a great year yourself! Diggin' the videos man.
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  11. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    Thank you so much! Given the ending of this adventure, I was actually not planning on editing or posting anything. These first few weeks were pretty quick and I didnt film nearly as much as I had wanted to. When I got home I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything and trying to heal, that I almost gave up on making any of these. No they are not exactly what I wanted to make. Yes I could have put more effort into making them, BUT I wanted to make sure I at least documented what I had. The next time I got down I will know what to film more and less of. I will also know how to be sure not to lose any film.

    I could have wrecked on day 1 of my trip, so I am very happy to at least have this much of it on film and have some story to tell! There is one more video that I am working on today, and after that, I have only one more before I close this chapter and start to look into my future journeys!
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  12. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    I'm glad you made them and posted them. Shitty about the wreck but kudos for making the best of it. What i find particularly valuable about your videos (sorry if I'm repeating myself) is the dialogue explaining what's going on at the time, and where. As someone who's never been to Mexico or Central America and is interested in going, I find that quite helpful in addition to the views. Also, you have a good description. You have me wanting to explore Chiapas when going to MX.

    Amazing stint with Kyle there. I know what you mean about "too nice", it's s tactic of conners, justifying the apprehension. But God put you there for a reason.

    Fascinating comparison between Mexico and Guatemala. The lush vegetation along the road reminds me of Ecuador.

    As I'm replying here, I'm watching you crawl along some trails in the woods. That video automatically followed. Looks like a fun place. I don't believe I could control myself and go that slow, though. I think they should be designated one-way trails so people wouldn't have to worry about someone honkin' it the other way while they're honkin' it. :D

    Thought I'd mention your GoPro view is more realistic than most, being "flatter" and less bubble-like. I'd like to see it aimed a touch upward to see the horizon more even if missing a bit right in front of you. But sometimes i can see fine into the distance when you're looking up. Would be nice to be able to monitor the feed on a phone to set the position optionally beforehand. Hey, I also have an agv...
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  13. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    Thank you for your support for the videos and my journey. I do not discourage easily and look forward to my next adventure.

    Most of the videos crawling through the Tillamook Forest were my first steps on an ADV bike. I am very grateful for what I have learned of these beasts over the last couple of years. Starting on an R1200GS was not easy, I will say that.

    I spent some time today preparing a video that covers my day in Antigua, Guatemala and the short trip to the capital.

    Tomorrow I will try and finish my last video before I return to work after this long break on Wednesday.

    Thank you for following along :)

  14. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Good morning! Guess what, I saw your episode 6 pop up last night just before going to bed. Figure I'll watch it tonight, si Dios lo permite. I watch these cast to the TV, they're too good to watch on the mini-screen. My 90 year old mom gets a kick out of them, too.

    Yeah, it's hard for me to imagine what it would be like to start out on dirt on a full sized ADV bike. The danger of getting hurt and messing up the bike is high, and will stifle the effort. I'd say if you want to develop dirt skills, I can't reccommend a small dirt bike enough! Something you can throw around and drop without much concern. Maybe a CRF100 or KX100? Whatever you can find reasonable. I'm starting the grandkids out on a PW-50. :D
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  15. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Estuvo bien. Siga practicando su Español!
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  16. IdahoGaucho

    IdahoGaucho Adventurer

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    Thank you for sharing your adventure. I have enjoyed reading the narrative and have also enjoyed the videos with your explanations of what your experiences were. I will look forward to phase 2.
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  17. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    Gracias! Siempre quiero aprender mas!


    Thank you so much, I am very excited to complete the journey as well!

    I have been a bit backed up with work and a kickstarter campaign I am doing, but I should have the next video up soon!
  18. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    No se preocupe, en cuanto pueda. :D
  19. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

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    Keep the videos coming, I'm enjoying them mostly and I'll repeat what OnandOff said earlier, "What i find particularly valuable about your videos (sorry if I'm repeating myself) is the dialogue explaining what's going on at the time, and where. As someone who's never been to Mexico or Central America and is interested in going, I find that quite helpful in addition to the views. Also, you have a good description. You have me wanting to explore Chiapas when going to MX." I tend to fast forward through the sections where you're not explaining something as I find it rather boring and typical of most ride videos. So please continue explaining what you're doing and where you're going. Also for your next trip or video, I find it helpful when someone shows a map of their specific route so I know exactly which way they went and I never was really sure how you'd get from one place to the next. Anyway, overall good job!
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  20. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Map would be awesome... I know Brent's been wracking up the hours already putting these videos together. I was able to piece together the major roads taken from the town names and other clues.