She's got this crazy idea- exploring the 3 America's solo, for better or for worse...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Hewby, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. FlameDance

    FlameDance Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Germany
    Love your writing style, Hewby. Good luck on your adventure!
  2. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,492
    Location:
    Antigua , Guatemala
    Seems like not even Mario could talk you into hanging around longer and wait for us to get down there :D:D:D
    Safe travels

    Julio
  3. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Ah Julio I might be waiting forever of your friends are right in their predictions. Enjoy your ride and I will meet you someplace sometime. I will make sure of it.
  4. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Thanks for everything Mario. Such a pleasure to met you and your family, and thanks for showing me some magic riding.
  5. robincx

    robincx Wherever u go, there u r

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    112
    Location:
    Global - WNY base
    Fantastic report of an excellent journey. I'm on board 'till this ride ends.
  6. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Thanks sadly not enough Internet on route to post my reports at the moment but hopefully soon!
  7. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    El Salvador is a delight. Ok this may sound strange but the light seemed different there. It played off the trees that lined the roads.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8208185690/" title="P1010588 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8202/8208185690_8b6cde7161.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="P1010588"></a>


    It danced in the smog that came out the back of the trucks creating fingers of light that touched the ground. It bathed the surfers in the early evening with a delicious glow, the waves crashing to the shore tinted in pink.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8207097703/" title="P1010598 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8060/8207097703_907bd58cea.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="P1010598"></a>

    This may also have been influenced by my wonderful new host Mario and his daughter Fer who met me on sunset on the coast, after I had spent a delightful day exploring the mountain villages of the route de las flores.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8207092841/" title="IMG_3462 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8197/8207092841_72075457ab.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3462"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8208182746/" title="IMG_3466 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8067/8208182746_74a723daf1.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3466"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8208181352/" title="IMG_3454 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8344/8208181352_4f46aa9a22.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3454"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8208183834/" title="P1010578 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8347/8208183834_4955948d95.jpg" width="500" height="121" alt="P1010578"></a>

    With them as my guide I was not worried by the impending darkness that followed the delights of sunset. I was not searching for a place to stay. Not worried about muggings. Simply weaving my way in and out of traffic following the red glow of Mario’s break light and the round ADV sticker on his back box.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8208188262/" title="IMG_3485 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8488/8208188262_0824773549.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3485"></a>

    Motorcycles play a big part in Mario’s life. His garage full of them. His holidays touring on them, and his business as a dealer for an El Salvadorian branch of Tourtec, and possibly soon for Heidenau tyres. If he had some in stock when I was there I would have been sorely tempted to replace my front Tourance, even half worn down, to complete my set of Heidenau.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8208196680/" title="P1010693 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8348/8208196680_093c864b3f.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="P1010693"></a>

    I spent two nights with Mario and his lovely family. Enjoying pure luxury in their lovely house and teaching 13 year old Fer to roll and cook fresh Pasta and Pavalova. The next afternoon Mario took me out riding to volcanoes and coffee plantations, and another lovely sunset, this time at the devils door.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8208189632/" title="P1010623 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8348/8208189632_f42bafc1fc.jpg" width="500" height="120" alt="P1010623"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8207107207/" title="P1010694 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8483/8207107207_c28832bf9b.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="P1010694"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8208192412/" title="IMG_3491 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8477/8208192412_c448b86e16.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3491"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8207108299/" title="P1010702 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8201/8207108299_c1359eab7f.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="P1010702"></a>
  8. operaflute

    operaflute Starving Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Ironically, your access seems better than mine at home, which is down quite routinely. *grumble* Using library internet at the moment!
  9. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,128
    Location:
    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    WOW! Fantastic pics of El Salvador! I lived in La Libertad (Surf City!) for 3 months; surfing and teaching English at the local public school.
    I never went into the mountains. Beautiful!

    I was there in mid 70's, before the right wing reign of terror had begun. Libertad is one of best surf breaks in all of Mexico / Cent. America. Keep an eye out for White Tips on those calm evenings ... that's when they feed! :eek1

    If staying on the coast, try the Cazuela de Marizcos (sea food stew) ... best I ever had.

    Good BMW community there in El Salvador. Very helpful to travelers.

    !Suerte!
  10. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home

    Thanks glad you like them. In the end I didn't spend much time on the beach, will have to try the Cazuela de Marizcos next time :(
  11. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    After leaving the wonderful Mario and San Salvador, I head up towards the relaxed town of Suchitoto, and spend a pleasant part of the day crossing the huge lake by ferry.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8222172257/" title="P1010719 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8206/8222172257_81d16d981f.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="P1010719"></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8223249014/" title="P1010729 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8205/8223249014_42cc45b120.jpg" width="500" height="86" alt="P1010729"></a>

    I am the only passenger for a fair bit of the time, and we head out to the more remote part of the the lake to pick up some famers, a pile of corn lugged onto the boat on the mens backs.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8225052537/" title="P1010758 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8488/8225052537_d9436daa9b.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="P1010758"></a>

    It's actually a really lovely trip and I get to practice my spanish for an hour or two with the ferry men as we sit in chairs dragged to the edge of the boat and watch the water.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8223283440/" title="P1010749 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8207/8223283440_e1ba395ea4.jpg" width="500" height="163" alt="P1010749"></a>

    I manage to do some contiuous navigating in circles in one little town along the way as roadworks seem to have taken down a bridge and one way streets make a mess of my navigating skills. Though some lovely people after heated discussions between themselves about how indeed I am to find my way out of the town- each pointing in different directions, get in their car and lead me out through a network of backstreets. Who would have thought it could be so hard!!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8225046433/" title="P1010761 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8338/8225046433_cdef705e70.jpg" width="500" height="83" alt="P1010761"></a>

    I stop for the evening in the arty town of La Palma, after having continuous troubles with my bike stalling and stopping. I spend the afternoon working out whats wrong with her- simply the loose battery terminal coming back to bite me, thankfully it seems nothing more. Then wandering the muraled town and indulging in the delightful pupusas for my last time in El Salvador.


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8226112608/" title="IMG_3499 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8339/8226112608_08c1d065cf.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3499"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8226139132/" title="IMG_3502 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8341/8226139132_51e64c8859.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3502"></a>
  12. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    After managing the border crossing of Barrio El Poy, this one seeming to be the most inefficient so far with a senseless amount of copies required of every piece of paperwork under then sun, requiring walking back and forth between offices and banks placed a signifiant distance apart from each other. Possibly only so you would stop and buy fruit or snacks the from the street sellers that had set up in the huge expanse between the offices. After gathering my book of paperwork, I get the entry stamp for Honduras and I am on my way.


    I ride from the heat of the plains into the misty mountains, playing slalam with the potholes big enough to hide a small child. Though I am wary of the effects of hitting one too hard, having just read about these poor people with a cracked rim in the south part of the country.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8226131066/" title="P1010784 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8068/8226131066_edd727af9b.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="P1010784"></a>

    The road, despite the potholes is ok as I enter the small town of Gracias for the evening, and find a simple hotel with my own room and bathroom for $5. The water is cold in the shower but I delight in pulling out my camping stove (which I travel with but have few occasions to use at the moment) and boiling up a steaming tub.

    Following a lonely planet recommendation for a supposed amazing lencan, organic meal, and possibly the most traditional in the country I head out into the rainy darkness to see if I can find the restaurant. They state that the hours can be strange, but if in anyway you can eat here, do. Thats a pretty heavy recommendation. I cannot find the place as the streets are not marked well, and I am not quite sure where to go. I ask a man in the street, and after a few misunderstood exchanges pass our lips he calls over his wife. She understands my request and walks up with me to the restaurant. It is closed. She calls out to an old woman down the street. They exchange words. The owner and chef Lizeth Perdomo is at a meeting. The woman calls her on the phone. She will be back at 9. They open up the restaurant and say I can wait inside. The old woman is Lizeth's mother. She oscillates between standing by the door looking down the street, and coming to sit and talk with me. It seems Spanish is her second language and she has a thick accent. We talk in stilted conversation. She goes to the fridge and gets me desert. Pastel con tres leche. A white cake soaked in sweet milk. Dinner is starting backwards.

    Forty minutes later Lizeth arrives her young daughter rugged up for the cold in her arms. She asks me what I would like to eat and I put the meal in her hands.

    The rapid childlike conversation of her daughter, mostly singing and talking to herself, and the smells of amazing cooking start to come out of the kitchen.

    The room is rustic and arty. Lencan pottery decorate the table. Art decorates the walls. Wooden chairs are covered with hessian sack cushions. I am alone in the room and it's kind of strange. I hope for something lovely.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8225045411/" title="IMG_3514 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8062/8225045411_7623107bf5.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3514"></a>

    The meal comes out, warm in the cold evening. Its Pollo con creama con Flores de roco she tells me. Everything made fresh.

    I eat happily. And then her daughter Victoria Maria comes out to give me some light entertainment - finishing off my bread, and loving it when I spread it with extra honey from my tea. She delights in telling me about her day, her kindergarten, her boyfriend. And whatever else goes through her head. She is an interesting and happy child and her mother loves her a lot. This is obvious.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8225054221/" title="IMG_3544 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8059/8225054221_4f42445560.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3544"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8226127864/" title="IMG_3537 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8483/8226127864_b1d368017d.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3537"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8226138190/" title="IMG_3542 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8210/8226138190_3f3b7178c6.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3542"></a>

    Lizeth tells me about her plans, her dream to build an eco hostel at the back of the restaurant. With solar host water and natural paints. "Poco en poco" she says. Everything takes time here. And with a charge of $5 for dinner I start to understand why.

    I walk back after a lovely meal in the evening mist. The rounded cobblestones are wet and slippery. The streets are almost deserted bar one. Chairs lined up down the footpath. People eating of styrofoam plates. This must have been the meeting that I dragged my cook away from....
  13. marior97

    marior97 marior97

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    314
    Location:
    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Hola Debbie, thanks for the kind words of our small country ! great pictures !
    Glad you enjoyed the ferry trip and ride from Suchitoto north to La Palma, sorry about border crossing time.
    Crossing from Nicaragua to Costa Rica at Penas Blancas will also take you some time, patience.
    Keep on riding safe, following your cool RR :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:freaky
  14. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Thanks Mario and thanks for your hospitality. And just so you know the border for the El Salvadorian side was pretty easy both ways. It was just entering Honduras that I was astounded by the inefficiencies and tree wasting!
  15. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,492
    Location:
    Antigua , Guatemala

    Wrong :evil , I will be back in Guatemala because my sons are flying in :norton

    BTW , Suchitoto is my favorite place in El Salvador .

    Keep on smiling and ride safe !
  16. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Enjoy your Christmas. The hike to mirador with your sons should be awesome. I am spending Christmas in the states. The luxury of flying in and out of Bogota to be with loved ones. My heart strings are pulled on this trip and so I feel the need to keep moving as my destination, and a new adventure of life become more clear - she says feet up in a hammock ;)
  17. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,288
    Location:
    round the world
    debbie check my RR i put some detailed info for the Nica/ CR penas blancas border exact way and lots of detailed photos...and i got thru in one hour 20 minutes for both side

    see you on the rat i hear dec 8
  18. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Thanks for the information on the border RTWPPaul see you on the 8th!
  19. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    I had heard the roads around Gracias were poor, and I wondered what all the fuss was about, but after almost hitting the town of la Esperanza the road tured to dirt. My path then took me down towards the town of Marcala, and asking the locals on the condition of the road they said I could make it if I went slowly. On my map it was the main route in the area, so I was cautious of heading in a different direction.

    The road was in pretty poor condition, dirt and huge rocks the whole way. I was very thankful that the rain from the night before had not turned the road to mud, for then it would have been a major challenge. It looked like this road often turned into a river.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8226117536/" title="P1010786 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8062/8226117536_c513bebedb.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="P1010786"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8225070493/" title="P1010789 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8069/8225070493_8b508e2d20.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="P1010789"></a>

    The lonely planet had stated this road was bad three years ago. I wonder what the two towns had done to someone in the road building department to have access this bad for so long.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8226128570/" title="P1010798 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8065/8226128570_66fa0cf850.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="P1010798"></a>
    But after Marcala the road improves. I stop for lunch at a delicious road side stop, and the locals check out my bike.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8225072553/" title="IMG_3558 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8482/8225072553_b1f7936d51.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3558"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8225055861/" title="IMG_3556 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8341/8225055861_8aacd67cc2.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_3556"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8225063343/" title="IMG_3557 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8205/8225063343_1d2a363801.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_3557"></a>

    By sunset I make my way to the sketchy almost border town of Denali. I have no Internet again, and walking the streets the town seems not really a place I want to pull out my phone to check for some. I visited all the hotels in town on the way in and only one offered it, but they asking 5 times as much as others for a room, so such is life.


    Walking this town looking for food was a short affair. The streets have a strange feeling to them. The shops are set up with floor to ceiling barriers between the people and the goods. Armed guards unlock the door to let you in to fast food places. I walk past some delicious smelling street food. Marinated meat and salad. It taste amazing with a Moroccan spice flair to the marinade. There is a guy passed out on the footpath beside the grill. This is not a town I want to walk the streets of in the darkness much. With a satisfied full belly I walk back to the hotel and get ready for what I hope will be an early start.
  20. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Ok. I know that I am totally behind in my report. I will get to it i promise. But I know many are wondering whats happening...yes I have made it to Columbia 5 days ago, but today just to add to all the ride report mishaps of Latin America lately, I hit a car that pulled to the other side of the empty road while I was passing it at 100km an hour and took a tumble. Bike is No longer rideable with broken forks and fork brace [​IMG][​IMG]

    But the police have gone beyond the call of duty and taken me in for the night, fed me, and are helping me sort my options for the morning. Amazing. [​IMG]

    Thankfully was wearing all my gear so just bruised and sore.