Slowphil gathers momentum

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Slowphil, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Slowphil

    Slowphil REALLY Gnarly Adventurer

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    When we left the hotel the next morning we stopped at a little variety store to grab something to eat, I think the cardinal rule of motorcycling is you have to start the day with a little drama, here's Peter doing his best to help in that direction

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    The day after clearing into Honduras we found ourselves clearing out the other side, it took longer to do the paperwork to enter and leave the country than it took hours to ride across the country

    when clearing into Nicauraga your required to purchase insurance

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    we decided to take a smaller road from the border because we wanted to visit an active volcano just outside of Managua instead this turned out to be our afternoons entertainment

    Jean fixing a flat on Chantels bike in the heat of the afternoon sun and it was hot

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    here's the problem a piece of an old bridle

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    we weren't going to make the volcano so stayed on the outskirts of Managua in a nice hotel, it turns out there was a misunderstanding about the price what we thought was going to cost $23 a room turned out to be $63 a room, it took some negotiaton and a lot of calls to the hotel manager but we managed to get the price down to $58

    Hotel Campo Real

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    next morning after about an hours ride we stopped at a nice restaurant to have breakfast

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    and then on to the Volcano Masaya

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    trying to get a picture looking down into the steam

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    We had decided to take a break from bigger cities and hit the beach so here we are in Casa Del Mar, San Juan Del Sur

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    beautiful beach, warm water nice way to spend an evening, inner courtyard of the hotel, dormitory room was $8/night

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    you can see the camera isn't focusing any more

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    wandering the beach in the morning, who said travelling was all hard work

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    Well that's it for now have to get supper, next up Costa Rica
  2. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    Hey Phil, was the little surfer hotel in La Libertad?
  3. BluNozr

    BluNozr Been here awhile

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    Nice to hear from you Phil. Thanks for the email. I'm looking forward to the upcoming posts and hearing about your time on the Stahlratte. Ride fast.
  4. C-Stain

    C-Stain Long timer

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    w00t!

    Was talking about you with my partner at work last night, and was wondering how you were doing! Nice to see that you're still in one piece and enjoying your trip! Awesome pictures dude! You're not missing much here at home but a whole lot of rain, but some decent dual sport riding has been had. I've even managed a water crossing or two and not fallen in! :evil:rofl

    Keep the rubber down, have fun and be safe!

    C.
  5. Slowphil

    Slowphil REALLY Gnarly Adventurer

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    Hey Misery, no it was about 5 min. before we got to La Libertad, the entrance was right on route 2, the old guy running it had built the place by hand about 20 years before and he seemed to be really enjoying his life with his wife there and his family fairly close. Wish I could remember the name of the place but I didn't write it down

    Cheers Philip
  6. Slowphil

    Slowphil REALLY Gnarly Adventurer

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    Costa Rica is a bit of a blur, just another country we had to hurry through to make a certain date, it was extremely pretty and a really nice country

    When you arrive at the border they herd everybody into the fumigation area and spray the wheels down

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    because we got out of customs late in the afternoon we ended up in a small town of La Cruz, found a large hotel with a restaurant and a pool for a reasonable price. The guys ended up in a dormitory and Jean and Chantel stayed in a double room

    there are military and police checkpoints all over Central America and it's a crap shoot whether or not you get stopped to have your papers checked. It's a real joy standing in the blazing sun in all your gear with the sweat running down the inside while they slowly check your papers

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    I had to head into downtown San Jose to see some people but as we were riding the torrential downpour started again, we rode for about 2 hours in the rain before getting into San Jose, there's nothing quite like standing talking to people while the water pours off your gear onto a beautiful highly polished hardwood floor to break the ice.

    We left San Jose and ran late again, finally found a hotel at San Isidro, the Dos Pinos. Since the hotel is located at the edge of the town we decided to call a taxi and head into town so asked the manager to call for us. He said that his Dad would be glad to pick us up so we had visions of a beat up wreck showing up to give us a ride, about 15 minutes later in pulls this beautiful mercedes benz, his Dad owns 2 hotels and had come to take us to the other one downtown where he was going to feed us. It turns out he owned a BMW R1200R and was a real BMW fanatic, I guess after all that hanging around with a bunch of dweebs who own BMW's does have it's good points, so far it had been nothing but listening to the Dweebs talk about their bikes. So we had some excellent food, a great, great highly entertaining evening and in the morning he came back on his bike to lead us into town for breakfast

    hit the Panamanian border on the 7th October and it was another doozie, we arrived early to avoid all the heavy traffic but there was 3 tour buses in ahead of us, the office where we had to get a stamp and signature closed down at noon with a sign saying open at 1, at 1:55 it finally opened up again, so all in all it was a very long process.

    Ed and Guillarmo (nickname Sweet William) conversing with one of the officials while waiting

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    there were some interesting sights at the Migration office, this guy was nicknamed Jesus

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    Before I give the wrong impression, aside from the length of the process we had quite an enjoyable time, talking to people in line, wandering off for food, watching all the interesting things going on. It all depends on what you make of it!

    In Panama, got to the little town of David and stayed at the Hostal Bambu, can't say enough about this place, nice rooms, wifi, pool, nice people, laundry and kitchen facilities


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    kitchen with Chantel cooking

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    and our last 2 days in Panama we decided to get some rest, everybody being tired from hard riding, stopped at Santa Clara in a nice little hotel
    on the beach. Because it is still off season we got a great 2 room place with a kitchen and slowed down for 2 days

    Guillarmo doing what he did best

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    From here we had to go through Panama City where we stopped so I could finally get myself a nice camera. YEAH!!!!!

    Next up: Off to the Stalhratte
  7. C-Stain

    C-Stain Long timer

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    Yeah...you end up getting fed, good coffee and shit like that.... Can't be much worse than dweebs on KLRs or V-Stroms? Can it? :nod

    C.
  8. Antennas

    Antennas Been here awhile

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    Well I'm really glad you're having a good time in Mexico .I checked on your place in Kingsport we're having fantastic weather the leaves are beautiful and the it's really nice weather. Well enjoy your trip.

    Sent from my A200 using Tapatalk 2
  9. Slowphil

    Slowphil REALLY Gnarly Adventurer

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    Well this is my second try at this, the last 1 1/2 hours I spent doing this report just got wiped out for some reason, I'm afraid the second attempt will not be as good

    We had to travel through a Kuna Indian Independent Territory where they stop you and demand $9 to pass through

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    Gabby donning rain gear for the much dreaded torrential downpour

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    but we finally arrived at the dock where we were to load, Chantel celebrating

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    me just as glad to be there

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    lined up to be loaded

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    we couldn't stay on board the first night because they were working on the engine

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    stayed on a Kuna Island at the Kuna Hilton, 3 persons at $25US a night each

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    some guys were lucky and got the condo that is until the middle of the night in another torrential downpour they all got soaked

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    hand carved canoe

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    breadfruit tree

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    next day we boarded and headed out to a deserted island to stay the night

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    good times swimming barbequing and drying clothes and everything else that was going mouldy

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    but what would a tropical cruise be without good friends and lobster to feed everybody

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    have to admit there wasn't too much privacy on board

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    first full meal aboard

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    the President of Panama was supposedly anchored off the shore

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    sunblock and bandana were de rigueur on the voyage

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    but it wasn't all good time charlie, there were a lot of duties to carry out, here's Guillarmo and Taka standing watch

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    here's a one spot indication of where we were

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    bad weather looming off the port bow

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    Jean imagining he's Captain Bligh

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    Next We cruise the Carribbean and arrive at CARTAGENA
  10. Slowphil

    Slowphil REALLY Gnarly Adventurer

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    CARTAGENA: another big step in the journey south

    we motored all night and woke up to the sound of the anchor chains rattling in the hawsepipes, got up and went up top and there it was, a whole new continent at our doorstep

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    today was Monday when aduana and migration are always open but of course this is Colombia and today was a holiday, migration was open but the aduana had taken the day off. We could get off the boat but the bikes couldn't be landed until tomorrow so the crew ran us ashore and pointed us in the direction of a nice hostal

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    first things first, we had to arrange a bed for the night

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    since we had some time we made a fast trip around the old section of town which was fascinating for it's colonial buildings

    gates in the wall of the old city

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    In each of the cities I've found something different that makes it interesting and in Cartagena it was the different styles of balconies

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    of course the city doesn't just consist of balconies

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    and here I am trying to do the Romancing The Stone pose

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    the next day-time to rescue our bikes, the Captain had made it quite plain unloading would start at 0630hrs so we had better be there

    SweetWilliam trying to organize a water taxi at 0620hrs

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    and sure enough 0630 the dinghy approaches and everybody wonders who's is coming first, son of a gun it's mine

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    safe on shore

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    we were also told in no uncertain terms as soon as your bike was ashore you get on it and get your ass over to the aduana building so after this I was gone

    This was great because it meant I got out of the heavy lifting of getting the boats ashore, that is until I got over to the aduana and found that they didn't open until 0900hrs and it was pissing down rain, luckily there was another government building open and they let us in and use their seats

    0900 hrs rolls around. we're all there with our bikes but where is our broker with our documents?
    Perhaps these next pictures will show the high drama taking place

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    The Japanese know how to cope, Taka showing us patience

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    which the Kiwi's were quick to emulate

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    I have to say this was the nicest Aduana building we had been in on the whole trip but all good things must end and the aduana agent came out in the pouring rain to inspect our bikes.sign us off and wave goodbye

    We headed back to the Hostal, put the bikes inside using the huge ramp the hostal supplied
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    We jammed the whole street up blocking traffic for about 10 minutes getting the bikes inside, 2 motorcycle cops came riding down the wrong way on our one way road to see what the problem was
    of course we all figured we were in it now, all they did was stand around and watch and ask questions, they were really interested in who we were and what we were doing and didn't give a hoot about the huge traffic problem we were creating

    a few more pictures of the grittier side of Cartagena

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    and last but not least another fancy door knocker I saw

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    As much as I liked Cartagena it's now time to move down the line, next stop Medellin
  11. BluNozr

    BluNozr Been here awhile

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    Great photos Phil!
  12. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Excellent !
  13. Slowphil

    Slowphil REALLY Gnarly Adventurer

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    COLOMBIA is famous for it's beauty and there is no exageration in that statement, it is a beautiful country

    but when we packed up and left the hostal the first thing we had to do was head for the big Suzuki dealer and try and get a new front turnsignal since mine got broken being loaded into the dinghy coming ashore. Arrived at the dealer, explained what I needed and he said come with me, went next door unlocked the storage building and lo and behold there was a room full of broken dl650 National police bikes, he then proceeded to take a signal off one of the bikes and put it on mine

    bikes bikes bikes

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    installing on mine

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    in case your wondering the blur on the camera is a water drop I never noticed

    anyway I'll let the pictures try and show you Colombia

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    got stopped at a construction site

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    when I noticed in a small river across the road

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    and last lunch at a small barbeque stand, you had what he had to cook and was it delicious

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    that's it for now but wait until you see the next batch of pictures
  14. CallMeBoog

    CallMeBoog hi functioning idiom

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    you're the coolest guy I know Phil
  15. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Now you are fixing to get in the really good stuff:deal

    :freaky Here's wishing I was there right now!

    Keep up the great report:clap
  16. BluNozr

    BluNozr Been here awhile

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    Great chatting with you Phil. The smile on your face and the energy in your words lets me know there are some great reports coming soon. Have fun.

    :clap
  17. Slowphil

    Slowphil REALLY Gnarly Adventurer

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    There are things you notice about every place you visit, Salento was the most photogenic town I have ever seen, the buildings are well maintained and decorated the town clean as a whistle

    first were we parked the bikes for our stay

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    now I'll let the town of Salento speak for itself, the most noticeable parts being the doorways

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    a picture I almost forgot to add which would have been a shame because even the dogs were photogenic

    people meet Bruno

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    the view from the restaurant where we had lunch was tremendous

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    and where would the report be without a fancy door knocker
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  18. Ruan

    Ruan Adventurer to be

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    Loving the RR...:freaky
  19. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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  20. Slowphil

    Slowphil REALLY Gnarly Adventurer

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    had nice weather for the trip to Popayon so tried to get more pictures of the countryside so everybody can appreciate Colombia

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    but you also have to watch for these beasts moving slowly down the highways, the only thing limiting the length of the train seems to be the amount of power the towing vehicles have

    sugar cane on the move

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    stopped to have a coffee at a very modern cafe, it was beautiful

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    but what was amazing was the fact that the washrooms were jawdropping gorgeous

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    they almost made it worthwhile to camp out in them

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    but we pushed on down the modern highway system to Popayon, a nice little colonial town but it seemed a little bland with all the buildings being painted white with black trim

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    unloading the bikes at the hostal, blocking traffic as usual

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    and into the TrailHostal where we arrived and were ensconced comfortably before the usual daily torrential downpour

    sitting area

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    next up: on the road to Pasto