Rideforsmiles, Solo Australian to Africa Europe and Beyond, starting June 26th 2011.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rideforsmiles, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Im a few days behind blogging I've been a bit crook, diarrhea, nausea hot flushes im really feeling like shit Im thinking if it continues Ill have to have to do a malaria test, not that it's such a big deal, means a few bucks in medicine and ill be back on the road again, Im hoping Ev gets sick then it will be all sweet we will know it's just a bug, but don't worry ill be milking a few massages and good care until we find out either way.

    On the Ewa rocks comment A7an, every one we meet says Ev is a real keeper don't ever get rid of her she is just so nice and beautiful, I say in reply, there is only one thing wrong with that logic and that is she is with ME, she obviously has issues you guys just don't see. :rofl
  2. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    I finally have done and interview.

  3. smacka

    smacka Tripper head

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    Brisbane Bayside
    "I don't know a cat dog mouse of some kind."



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    Some very funny stuff there Sheldon - loved the description of the dog dry- retching under your 'restaurant' table too. Thanks for making me laugh and showing us parts of the World we'll probably never see. Keep up the great work!

    Cheers,
    Smacka
  4. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl

    Some very funny stuff there Sheldon - loved the description of the dog dry- retching under your 'restaurant' table too. Thanks for making me laugh and showing us parts of the World we'll probably never see. Keep up the great work!

    Cheers,
    Smacka[/QUOTE]


    Cheers Smacka, it's a lot of fun this riding a motorbike around the world as you can imagine, cant help but have a good time even if it is a dog puking on your foot :rofl

    Thanks for following
  5. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Here is a little insight into the wonderful Australian culture, this video made with the help of Robert our friendly travelling cohort from Canada :rofl

  6. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    We had a nice relaxing time at Lake Atitlan, Robert had been out to the nature reserve with Ewa today and they had enjoyed that, I was still feeling pretty crappy but the good news is Ewa was feeling a little sick also tonight so thats good and bad, means its nothing more than a bug.



    Some of the butterfly's you will find in Guatemala.



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    We had decided we were leaving Lake Atitlan tomorrow, I had all good intentions of riding around the lake and then down to El Salvador but when i got on Google maps I realized all those plans were out the window, someone had moved El Salvador further to the south, by about 200k's. I really did think it was across the lake and straight down, even to the point I had enquired about just taking the bike across in a boat, Oh well Im learning about geography as I go.
     
    We went for a walk around Panachel this morning, it really is set up for tourism and there were a few around but not overly crowded, I can see why people come here though it really is a beauitful part of the world. We have enjoyed Robert's company over the last few days, he's a pretty chilled type of guy with a great sense of humour as you can see by the video we made. He was off back to Antigua today before heading home to Canada. We willmake our way back to Antigua as well as it is on the way to El Salvador and we know exactly where we are going to get there and where to stay when we arrive so that takes a little of the drama of going somewhere for today.



    Some more photos of Panachel and the surrounding area.



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    Guatemalan gangster meets Polish gangster :)



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    We packed up the bike and rode the few hours ride back to Antigua, Robert was in one of those little mini van deals with all the locals. We headed off the way we came in which was the better of the two ways apparently, I try not to ride the same road twice so was a little dissapointed in myself when we met up with Robert later and he told me the road was narrow dangerous and with big cliffs on the side of the van.


    Leaving through Sololá it is very hilly here so everything is a taxi.



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    Stopping to admire the view back over Lake Atitlan to the volcano's for one last time.



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    We found ourselves a nice hotel after arriving in Antigua and relaxed for awhile before walking up to the Centro to meet Robert for dinner. I had spag bol, standard with me it wasnt actually very good, its not often you hear me say that about one of my favourite dishes, I hate it when they put all the leaves, hebs and shit in it, just give me some spaghetti and some meat sauce and im happy. Ewa had a nice salad looking dish and Robert some other tpye of pasta, the food was actually quite expensive at about 12 bucks a dish. We walked around town for awhile and headed back to see where Robert was staying, he had told us how nice it was and sure enough it was. A two story self contained apartment for 50 bucks. We hung around for awhile enjoying the chat, the apartment had alot of pictures form all over the world and I enjoyed looking at pictures of places I had been. Robert had organised a tour of one of the coffee plantation's for the morning so Ewa wil go do that in the morning why I relax and take it easy and organise where we are riding too.
     
  7. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Why aren't we allowed to pack out cars like this back at home, those doo gooders have taken the fun and excitement of even the most mundane tasks like transporting goods.



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    I was wondering why this guy was going so slow,



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    Ohhhhhhhh that's why you were crawling along buddy, I hope this guy isn't on lose money if he busts the stock deal.



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    This pictures shows the riding I have been doing.



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  8. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    The traffic got a little heavier as we got closer to Antigua.



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    Was surprised to find a hotel with such good parking, there is a lot of hotels in thr centre of Antigua but parking is bit of an issue for most hotels but not here.



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    We headed out for dinner with Robert , the spag bol they served me was rubbish, I could of cooked better stuff than that, at least the seating arrangement brought back fond memories of days gone by :rofl



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    Today Ewa got up and hit the road for the coffee tour I woke up for a few minutes checked facebook and then went back to sleep and was out like a light for a few hours, I was surprised when I woke up and it was 11:50. With checkout time at 12 and no sign of Ewa i got up and started packing. Not long after Robert and Ewa turned up, Ewa is a big coffee freak and so was Robert so they really enjoyed it and I enjoyed my sleep in. We said out goodbyes to Robert, he had to go and get his bus to Guatemala and we had to hit the road towards El Salvador. I had done a ittle bit more research this time and sort of knew where I was going, I am really going to have to start doing a bit more of it again, I used to have it down to a fine art but have got slack with the apps onte phone and the Gps but now with nothing at all no paper maps or anything it is back to google maps at night and writing down a few names of villages then stopping to ask people again.

    We hit the road about 1 out of Antigua, the ride was really nice actually not to hot about 25 Celsius to start with but as we came down in elevation the temperature got up into the low 30's still ncie for riding. Even with my list and stopping to ask I eneded up going the wrong way a few times, the hardest part of writing down the names for me is I cant even pronounce them so when Im asking people just go si si si and point straight ahead. I had a feeling we were going the wrong way even though we had been told this was the right way so stopped to get something to eat and double check. We ordered, I had some sort of chicken soupy dish with a peice of chicken in it and it was bloody beautiful. Lucky we did stop as we had gone about 10 k's down the wrong way.



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    Back on the road a few more stops to ak people let me count them 1 2 3 4 and we arrived at the border town with El salavador. Just before getting there we came across these two guys on push bikes, man these guys are crazy, they said they had an easy ride today as Im sure they would of, it seemed to have been alot fo downhill, it made me think of pommy Chris who we had met in Flores last week and had headed out to Lake Izbel or whatever it is called it was out along the road we had ridden to Lanquin, he had messaged me on Facebook and one of the locals had told him it was all down hill, my repsonse to him on Facebook was just ahahahahahahahahahahahahah

    I dont know what was going on with the trucks at the border but there was a few kilometer line up to cross the border, it was really long but meh thats of no concern to me I was riding stright up the wrong side of the road to the border. We found a hotel right at the border we probably could of crossed but its no big deal this joint is only 11 dollars a night, I thought about riding back out to tell the guys on the push bikes as they ahd said they were going to camp out but at this price it would make sense to be indoors, look its probably no problems but border areas are notorious places for crime thefts or whatever else as the scratchy theives just run across the border and no one can do anything.



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    We walked down to check out all the things at the border crossing so we are all organised in knowing where to go and who to see in the morning, then we checked out the printing area to get our copies etc, while we were there we bunmped into an aussie couple David I think it was and Jess, they were heading down to some surf camp which I thought would be cool to see. They told us about the area where it is Ewa better have memorised it as I havent got it La Libratad maybe Ill look on the map when we get internet, apparently their is good waves there and I have read and heard about right hand point breaks in El Salavador so a quick trip to coast might just be in order for this old surfer dude.
  9. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    We got up reasonably early around 8 and started packing the bike last night. The hotel was umm how to put this right up Ewa's alley, a dump, it had a huge iron bar to stop unwanted visitors and even the toilet door was a full metal door with dead bolts on the inside, Im guessing if a bad guy wanted you he certainly had his work cut out. I have no idea maybe it was a throw back to the civil war days who knows but it was more like a bunker than a hotel room, the funny thing is the windows were just the loover type that opened straight to the outside so if anyone really wanted in all they had to do wad smash the windows and climb in, oh but not before you run into the bathroom and lock that door. While I was laying there blogging last night I caught something in the corner of my eye, ok a nice looking sized rat just ran across the floor, I thought about waking Ewa up to scare the friggen shit out of her so she never wants to stay in another dump again but knowing her i would have had to cuddle her for hours to settle her down, so the easier option was to just get him out the door and then pick up all our gear off the floor and hang it up just in case his mates came back for a party. It would be a lovely surprise in the morning to find a nice sized rat in your pants, it wouldnt of been an issue for me my pants they absolutely stink to high heaven, even a rat wouldnt get into them Im sure, I'll have to get Ewa on cleaning duty soon, hey someone has to do it, she is riding a motorbike around the world and its hot and dusty work sometimes and I like to make her feel like a cared for and needed woman soemtimes, its just the kind of guy I am.



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    We headed over to the border and were immediately comfronted by about half a dozen dudes all shouting to park with them but as usual just rode straight on by them and into the official area. You get a few of the money changers and helpers in their but usually with acreditaion of some sort and usually very polite, one No gracias was enough.



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    Make sure you do a good job you little scallywag or I'll give you a whippin, he actually didn't do to badly out of the shoe shine as I had some Guatemalan money to get rid of only a few bucks but I made him earn it.



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    The leaving Guatemala process was actually very easy, here are the steps you need to take I hope it helps someone along the way.

    1. Drive past the helpers and into the area near the immagration, you can ride right up to the immagrtion window but half way along away from everyone is ok.

    2. Immagration first to get the exit stamp in your passport.

    3. Then back to the bike and there is a guy right there he will come to you to check your entry permit and VIN number, he will then stamp it with his stamp.

    4. Go across the road and make two copies of stamped permit, two copies of your passport with the exit stamp in it, along with the front page of our passport on the same page, two copies of your license, two copies of your ownership papers, and two copies of registration.
    The copy place is directly opposite the immagration window across the road and costs 1 quezal each.

    5.Go back into th Aduana office on the other side of the main building right near when you enter. Go in past all the truckers do not line up go straight to the window and when they are finished with what they are doing they will serve you.

    6. Leave one set of copies with the original permit.

    7. Then the guy will come out and check the VIN number again and takes the sticker from the bike and sticks it to the original.

    8. Then you leave Guatemala if you dont get a kid to polish your boots just before you leave and then have a chat to another old dude after all the paper work is done the whole thing should take you about 20 minutes.
     
    Entering El Salvador
     
    1. Go to immagration they will just put your details into the computer no stamp here.

    2. Walk the 10 metres up the building to the Aduana office.

    3. Talk to the guard at the door and he will get you someone to serve you, if not go straight up to the window again and ask directly with a smile on your face. There was a guy there that spoke a little English that helped.

    4.So here you need the second set of copies you had made earlier, if you forgot to copy anythign there is a copy place 5 metres away back towards Immigration.

    5. Then wait patiently maybe 15 minutes, he will come over to the bike outside and check VIN number and note some other things on the bike, rego, colour, cylinders and basic stuff and he will also ask what you are carrying, clothes etc.

    6. He will go back inside and you wait again maybe 20 minutes for him to fill out everything, he then passes it to another guy that sits inside the window in the office then he processes it and then he will call you over and then you have to check the details and sign the three copies they have made.

    7. Your right to go into El Salvador. As you leave they will stop you to check your paperwork one more time and at that time a girl will approach you to pay an municaple tax of 5 dollars US, you will get a reciept for it. Other than that there is NO other charges on either border other than your copying fees.
     
    It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes all up and I was being chatty and wasting time talking to everyone I could, so I reckon on a good day you might get through their even quicker than that. The helpers were very polite, one no gracias and they left you alone, everyone was really very helpfull and friendly, so far so good with the dreaded Central American border crossings, it certainly does help you to be prepared in your mind of what you have to do to get through the borders, its just a process, their process, no big drama.



    El Salvador Immigration where they will enter your details into the computer, no stamp.



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    Aduana office just up from immigration.



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    Then it was off into El Salvador.



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  10. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Heading away from the border crossing we were looking for the coast road to ride south on but when I saw the coast on my left I knew I was heading in the exact wrong direction so it was turn around and find someone to ask. We found this Italian guy who lived here go figure, we couldn't make sense of anything he was saying, I don't know if he was speaking Italian Spanish or old man jibberish but anyway that will do me im heading the way he is pointing. Ok get down there the road is barricaded, we stop and ask again, some one makes the signage on his shoulder as if a military so no no no down this way, ok so we aren't going down that road. We ride back up and take another right hand turn, nope this is a dead end too, go back take another one and come to a port, nope not this one. The guard calls us over and asks where are we trying to go and we tell him La Libertad, he tells us back up the road two turns and then right. We get back on the road and ride a few k's and running low on petrol and I saw a group of vans with some charity organization written on the side, water live or something, im sure they will pick me up on it eventually. Well I think to myself there has to be some cringo in one of the vans that knows where he or she is going, sure enough they all pile out and have a laugh at this silly Australian dude running around Central America with no maps not Gps no nothing not even sure where he is heading just looking for the coast to put on his right shoulder so he knows he is heading south. Fortunately my hunch was right they did in fact have someone that new exactly where I needed to go. So it all worked out good, in the end we were only lost for a little while and we got to meet some good people in the process, im starting to like the no maps etc again you meet so many more people.



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  11. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Yep this looks like the El Salvadorian coast I was looking for, just beautiful, and great looking waves or potential waves for all the surfers out there.



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  12. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Ok we found somewhere nice to stay the night, this will do me after having to chase rats out of the room after letting Ev pick last night. If anyone ever steals Ewa off me just make sure you don't let her pick hotels she's such a tightarse and always picks the dumps, you cant half tell she's Polish.



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  13. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    I don't want this blog to get out of order but Ewa has been playing with movie maker and made a few short vids, This was one she made up of the other week coming south through Guatemala. Thought if I posted it back a page or two no one might see it. She has really started enjoying playing with moviemaker so hopefully there will be a lot more videos in the future, might have a look around San Salvador for a GoPro maybe its time I bit the bullet and bought one, maybe I should let Ev pick the hotels for a week and then I can afford it easily, nahhhh Im not that desperate.

  14. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    The colours of Antigua Guatemala. Video by Ewa, she's not just good at massaging, in saying that she better not get to likey likey with Moviemaker and slacken off on her other duties or there will be hell to pay By the way this music is local Guatemalan, id probably start a civil war if I had to listen to that for to long myself.




    Funeral in Coban got to love the air fresheners working overtime don't you cough cough splutter splutter

  15. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    My website is starting to take shape again after being totally demolished, being a noobie at web design was wondering if anyone that browses past might have some ideas on what else I might add, all suggestions appreciated.


    http://www.ride4smiles.com/
  16. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Ride into San Salvador, ok the 5 minute look on Google Maps an writing the address down this morning hasn't helped, Im lost, but I reckon im in sort of right area, stop and ask two separate cops, no idea, one guy no idea, one lady no idea you get the drift, then I see our saviors China Wok delivery guys, they will know and sure enough 10 minutes later we are at our destination JoAns guesthouse here in San Salvador to easy wok boy.



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  17. mettalique

    mettalique Been here awhile

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    Go Butter Bean

    I think you might be down to air shortly on that rear tyre mate, no wonder the muddy road was hell.

    As usual you have exceeded yourself and Ewa on the camera...you'll have to get her to ask the questions next, makes it authentic and all.

    Cheers guys:freaky:clap
  18. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    As long as there is air in them im ok :rofl The good news we rode all around San Salvador and I mean all around asking everywhere and ended up finding I think the only two 150 17 and 90 90 21 tires in the country, what a bonus. I had never heard of Shinko tires before but they certainly looked better than mine so bought them 229 bucks front and rear and 20 bucks to fit them not a bad deal I reckon, for 5 bucks extra they fixed my rear brakes that had stopped working again, actually they fixed them to well, we got a few k's down the road and they were locked on but no problems got off the bike walked into some place Ev in her Spanish had three ladies helping her and organized for the guys to come down the road to help us out, 5 minutes later we are adjusted and on the road again no problem. I don't know how they will go but they will go but they are very similar to the hidenau tread pattern which can only be good if we go left from Colombia into Venezuela through Guyana Surinam and French Guyana as it will be the wet season when we are there. I have heard that the dirt can be bike deep in the wet season so maybe I might need to buy some tractor tires yet. They do say if it really bad you can just put your bike on a truck so we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

    On another positive note I had my Himalayan hiking boots (flip flops, thongs)on again today while riding around and had a blow out with them so we both got new rubber today, just perfect. The guys did give me a strange look when I pulled into the car park, here I was riding around in San Salvador bare footed in board shorts, Ewa carrying two tires on the back of the bike it must of looked a site, well maybe not a sight they were probably thinking look at this dickhead, but hey when the shoe fits :rofl



    Today it was the Pizza Hut guys turn to get us to our destination, the people of San Salvador are really very friendly and will go out of their way to help you in anyway they can.



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    New rubber all around today.



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    We left the bike shop and the boys did such a good job on the brakes they locked on after a few k's so it was on the phone to them and a few minutes later they are down adjusting them and we are on the road again. I could of done it myself, I mean Ewa could of done them herself while I had a cigarette but as I had the panniers off the bike had no tools with us.


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  19. TowPro

    TowPro Lets ride

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    That new shinko will be good on hard dirt and stone roads but they wear kind of fast. I was getting 3-5 thousand miles on the rear. Front should last for 2 rear tires. Is the rear a radial? They first made them as bias ply which some had problems with tread splitting, but shinko switched them to radials several years ago and problem solved.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
  20. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    That's ok at the price I paid hopefully it will see me through for awhile, I cant see myself doing to much off road in the near future but you never know what lies around the next corner not to mention I had no other options, I have basically been to every motorcycle shop in San Salvador and they were all I could find. thanks for the info mate.