South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by JDowns, Oct 2, 2012.

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  1. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

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    Hey, why do you keep holding out on us? Once in a while you barely mention the lovely chicas, but you rarely post pics! Come on, give a little!
  2. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Steve,

    I wish I knew more Spanish. 40 years ago when I first started heading down to Mexico, I knew nothing and got by with sign language and writing numbers down. Now, I know more, but let's face it, every country has their own slang and the people talk fast and loose. The longer you hang around, the more you absorb. I'm having fun with www.duolingo.com but even if you have very little Spanish comprehension it's still fun to travel south of the border and you can get by. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    I always think I'm going to study Spanish when I get home, but I never do. Which is why I have to travel to Latin America so much. I learn more here in a week than I do in 6 months back home.

    Saludos,
    Juan Estudiante
  3. sgoetz628

    sgoetz628 Adventurer

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    Thanks Jon. That's what other people have said here, but I don't know. I spent a few days in the countryside around Mexico City two years ago and it killed me that I couldn't communicate well. But regardless, I think you're right. When the time comes, will just head off and hope for the best.

    Thanks again. And great report!



  4. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi CC,

    Now that you mention it I do have a new girlfriend ever since I moved down to the basement to my own private room. She is awesome. Understands Spanish perfectly, but never talks back. Looks after me and makes sure I'm safe. Originally from Germany, so your wife would love her. Let's see if I can get a picture of her.


















    Her name is Missy. The sweetest girlfriend you can imagine. And as an added benefit, she guards the stairs all night to make sure nobody comes down to interrupt my sleep:







    [​IMG]

    She only requires occasional water and feeding:

    [​IMG]

    Alas, her heart belongs to Al. When she hears the sound of that Akropovic exhaust on his KTM in the morning when he rides down from his place she starts spinning in circles with excitement. Can't say I blame her. It does sound pretty awesome.

    But of course, you mean beautiful Colombian women, I imagine. I will do my best to include plenty of pics for your viewing pleasure.

    You ADVpal,
    Juanito
  5. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

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    You are correct, the more Spanish you can speak, the more comfortable you will feel. But I can speak very little, and I am almost deaf so I hear and understand almost nothing, yet I can almost always communicate what is necessary, and I can almost always manage to find what I am looking for. So don't let it deter you!
  6. Gordon and Toni

    Gordon and Toni MC Rider

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    John what tank do you have on the Sherpa ?
  7. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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  8. Gordon and Toni

    Gordon and Toni MC Rider

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    John

    Thanks for the info on the tank....
  9. QdE RedBaron

    QdE RedBaron n00b

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  10. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    I have to tell you about an amazing team effort I got to be a part of involving ADVriders from far and wide yesterday.

    I got a PM from Trespalacios. Yes, the same Trespalacios that pointed me to his Dad's garage last year when my Sherpa front end was smashed. Anyway, it turns out that Dustdog, AKA Ramon, originally from Uruguay but recently from an island in the Carribean called Bonaire had a dead Honda Africa Twin and was seeking help getting it fixed. He broke down 39 kilometers from Medellin and had gotten a truck to haul his bike to Casa Kiwi, which it turns out is only two blocks from where I'm staying. So I go over and see if he's there. Nope. So I leave a message to meet me at Al's Shamrock and he shows up a while later. He's on a tight time schedule with 4 days until his vehicle permit expires. My small part in this was to reassure him that everything would work out and not to worry. Here is my new ADVpal Ramon:

    [​IMG]

    Al called his personal mechanic Richard who works on his Norton 850 Commando and it turned out that Richard was able to work all day yesterday sorting out a fried regulator, dead fuel pump and battery. I think the fuel pump came off an old Teneré on advice from another ADVrider. And the battery had to be adapted. But in the end Ramon worked alongside Richard all day yesterday and had the bike fixed and left this morning,

    Ramon's brother José is leaving Montivideo Uruguay on his Transalp today and meeting Ramon in Cusco Peru.

    Anyway, just a quick story with a happy ending. You meet the nicest people when your bike breaks down.

    Saludos,
    Juan Periodista
  11. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Mio amico da Italia,

    Grazie for the URL. Looks nice. Glad to have you along. L'Italia è il migliore. Hope to ride there someday.

    Ciao,
    Giovanni Sherpa
  12. thepackrat

    thepackrat i can ride that

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    hey John, I'm still following along, with even more incentive than last year. I've taken on a job in Canada's arctic for a year in order to stuff the bank so I can take off next year for parts unknown. Glad to know you're back out on the road, and helping out where you can. I've always found my greatest adventures while traveling start with "do you need a hand?" Keep up the good work, and remember that we're all back here living the life through you (for now).
  13. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi packrat,

    I had to look up Nunavut on Google Earth. You are out there. Probably not too many malls up there so you should be able to save a pile.

    Here's to future travels to parts unknown. I hope to read about your adventures the next time I'm back working like you and saving up for more travels.

    Saludos,
    Tio Juan
  14. Slickrick

    Slickrick Adventurer

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    Seattle
    Back to following your adventures.
    Thanks again for your efforts.
    Keep riding & writing!
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    It occurs to me that I am turning into a full time vagabond. How did that happen? I have been back to my house a grand total of 10 days since I started this journey over a year ago. Since I don’t really have an agenda, I am taking the time to really immerse myself in he way of life down here in Colombia. Studying Spanish several hours a day. Chatting with the Colombians in my first grade level conversational Spanish. Making myself useful as best I can wherever I go.

    I feel like Medellin is a home away from home. Of course I felt that way about Apache Junction, Arizona; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Bassett, Nebraska; Portland, Oregon; Xcalak, Mexico; Mahajual, Nicaragua and all the other places I have spent more than a couple days.

    I have met so many great ADVriders along the way. And I don’t see it stopping any time soon. Had fun today up at Al’s place doing some more painting in his apartment. Really fun following Al on his KTM 990 Supermoto through Medellin traffic. That bike sounds so sweet. Mind you, Al was a dispatch rider in London, so I mostly saw his tail light as he climbed the hills leaning into the curves way up ahead. That boy can ride.

    Although the Sherpa is running like a dream and starts up effortlessly, the front brake is shite. Al took one look at it today and rolled his eyes. It is pretty frankenbike. After seeing the miracle that Al’s mechanic worked on Ramon’s Africa Twin a couple days ago, I will take it over tomorrow morning and see what can be done to make it more useful.

    more later….

    Saludos,
    Tio Juanito
  16. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Slickrick,

    Glad to have you along. I will ride and write until I can do it no more. Could be a while.

    Saludos,
    Juan Escritor
  17. Sleddog

    Sleddog Currently Benched

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    Hola John,

    I was through Bassett this summer on my way to wander around the Sandhills of NE! I rode past this place & wondered how much .22 cent gas was sold from it!

    [​IMG]

    Glad you're back to your Adventure & reporting again. We leave for Mexico on Thursday. This will be my Wife's 1st time exploring the country.....I'm sooo looking forward to sharing it with her! Hopefully, soon, we'll make it to CA & SA. Reports like yours & others are inspiring. Thanks.

    Ride Safe & have Fun:freaky

    Sleddog
  18. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    So I went down with Al to check out the new easy clutch he had Richard install on his Norton. What a beautiful bike:

    [​IMG]

    I dropped off the Sherpa and will leave it in their capable hands to fix the front brake, replace the paper thin front brake disc, add an odometer of some kind so I know when to change oil and look for gas, clean up the bike, change the oil and filter and anything else they find wrong with it. I have never actually taken any bike to a shop so this is quite a change for me. But you know, that bike has taken me 38,000 miles on some kick ass roads, sat dormant since I left in April and fired right up with six month old gas in the tank. So I feel good letting Al’s mechanic fix her up. I have to go over to Venezuela and get a new import permit at some point. But for now, I am happy leaving the bike for some well deserved TLC:

    [​IMG]

    That is the mecanico Richard with his back to the camera in the green shirt.

    I like the way they push 125s to the max down here. Case in point, a 125 delivery bike with insulated delivery trailer:

    [​IMG]

    That is Al with his back to the camera in the orange shirt and Ken the deaf biker who has come back from a week of riding a rented GS12. Since Ken can't hear, it is fun to use a text editor on this computer to type questions and answers. Sort of like instant messaging. Except instead of sending messages back home we are sending messages across the table as we rotate the laptop back and forth. Pretty fun.


    Saludos,
    Juan Pintor
  19. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Sleddog,

    That is a nice picture of the historic Bassett gas station on main street. The same company is still delivering gas, diesel and propane to the ranches out in the sticks. Instead of 15 bucks for a 55 gallon drum of gas when I was a kid I think it's more like 200.00 now.

    Have fun in Mexico! My great grandparents homesteaded in South Dakota. Quite a change in the weather from when you took that picture as opposed to the next few months. Nice time to be south of the border.

    Safe travels amigo,
    Nebraska John
  20. calimusjohn

    calimusjohn Been here awhile

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    Hi John, I am faithfully following your advise - re: comfortable riding = riding more makes it easier. So, I wandered away from southern Oregon, made a run of the gauntlet in Sturgis to see the new plains Indians and to snicker at all the Harleys on trailers. Enjoyed the B. C. BMW owners rally in Nakusp and the Horizons Unlimited Travelers gathering also in Nakusp. Like you, they have some great stories from riding around this big blue marble.

    Now, I have parked the Goldwing and the Beemer (temporarily) and am perched on a TW200 in Arizona with the Yucatan in the sights of January/February.

    I would leave sooner, but have promised to attend my 75th B.D. party here in the U.S. I look forward to seeing some of the places you chronicled and to actually see the difference in old/new stonework. You added a new dimension to Mayan ruins.

    Keep up the good work. Not all of us can complete what you have done, but you have provided enough incentive to keep me moving. Regards, another - John
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