South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

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

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  1. Packer

    Packer Been here awhile

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    Scotland, wonderful biking when it's dry (rarely)
    Two up yes but look at them, he is probably only 150 pounds max. and if the lady is 110 I'd be surprised. Plenty of ADV riders weigh 280 on their own.

    Fantastic report, thanks for the insight to your journey. Absolutely love the info on the Mayan sites and the abysmal reconstruction techniques.

    I've been dropping in and catching up for about a week now. I'd love to bring my 1150gs back to America and follow in your footsteps. Heavy bike but I can pack light, everything for a month from Cali. to the Arctic fitted into my side boxes and I still had way too many clothes.

    Must remember the swim gear though...
  2. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Packer,

    Glad to have you along for the ride. 1150GS lightly loaded would be a great bike to explore Central and South America on.

    I met a Scotsman up in San Juan del Sur a couple days ago. Unless you fancy looking like a lobster, my advice is bring plenty of sunblock along with your swim trunks and use it. You fair lads get roasted on the beaches down here.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  3. Dracula

    Dracula Dilettante

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    On a Guzzi, somewhere in North Carolina
    If nothing else, It is possible to make spokes from stainless steel welding electrodes with a little fabrication, tap with a hammer to break and clean them of the insulation, use a piece of drilled metal to help beat and form the head in a vice, bend it, then after cutting correct length, use a correct sized tap to make the thread. Sorry I don't have any pictures, used to do this many, many years ago on my Romanian bikes when parts were not available. This of course will be just a substitute but they used to hold pretty well for me back then.
  4. Packer

    Packer Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Scotland, wonderful biking when it's dry (rarely)
    Not too fair but I'm definitely an "All Day" factor 30 kind of guy. Love the heat, love the sun, hate sunburn:D

    End of diversion................
  5. QCRider

    QCRider Been here awhile

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    Hi John,

    Thanks for stopping by today. It was great to meet you and Greg in person. Your sense of freedom and positive attitude towards adventure riding is very inspiring. It makes me rethink my approach to ADV in general. Heck, I might even ditch my GSA for a smaller bike and less stuff when I head South one day!! It even crossed my mind for a second to offer you to trade my bike for your Sherpa, but I'm sure you would have respectfully declined! :lol3

    I look forward to your upcoming adventures on the other side of the Darien Gap. I'll make sure to send some PP help from time to time to keep you on the road. Ride safe! :clap

    Greg - let's hook up for a ride in a near future!
  6. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones AdventureDeficitDisorder

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    San Diego, not Mex, but I can smell it from here.
  7. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Had a nice morning with GRinCR. That boy can cook. Had the best coffee I've had in a while. Along with the best Gallo Pinto I think I've ever had:

    [​IMG]

    Then it was time to saddle up and head across the valley to meet QCrider. Here is GRinCR and me in front of the Sherpa and his DR:

    [​IMG]

    and here are QCrider and GRinCR outside the QC hacienda. It was great meeting these two guys. They both work in online gambling IT. I had no idea how popular online gambling call centers were here in Costa Rica:

    [​IMG]

    And then it was time for Greg to head off to work and me to head toward the beach. I have never seen so much ornamental iron work in my life. All the houses in the San Jose suburbs are barricaded with bars. This one had nice work:

    [​IMG]

    Headed out of town 25 miles and the bars slowly disappeared out on the minor roads:

    [​IMG]

    stopped to relieve myself behind some bamboo:

    [​IMG]

    the giant bamboo was creaking and rustling in the breeze. Really beautiful striped colors:

    [​IMG]

    really nice backroads lead along ridgelines. At this point I had no idea where I was:

    [​IMG]

    with beautiful views out across the valley:

    [​IMG]

    the road turned to dirt after Grifo Alto and I stopped to take a gps reading at this little bridge:

    [​IMG]

    I'll have to see where this waypoint is later:

    N 9º 55.181'
    W 84º 27.314'

    the road came to this steel plate bridge:

    [​IMG]

    that passed 50 feet above this gorge:

    [​IMG]

    before climbing up a jeep trail that zig-zagged straight up the other side.

    more later……
  8. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    In the afternoon the dirt road suddenly passed over a new freeway that wasn't here 2 years ago. I got on this freeway and it was choked with traffic. The amazing thing about Costa Rica is that the main roads have a lot of traffic, but when you take the first side road there is nobody:

    [​IMG]

    This road led in the wrong direction, but was like a roller coaster. No traffic and nothing but curves. It went through El Tigre and Tuburari Heights:

    [​IMG]

    It was one of those kind of roads that you can't stop riding on even though it's going the wrong direction. It was getting late so I finally took a gps waypoint so I can see where this road is:

    N 9º 52.963'
    W 84º 26.969'

    Eventually ended up in Jaco at sunset:

    [​IMG]

    more loading……
  9. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    I just got the following email from the Triumph honeymooners:


    " Did you happen to hear back from beach guy about his buddy in San Jose? We are here now, at a hostel called Castle tam. If we Knew where we can take the wheel in town to work on it so we can get rolling again that would be grand.
    Thanks amigo!" Sam

    So if anyone has any advice or help please email Sam and Keri at:

    samuelm27@hotmail.com

    Muchas gracias!
    Juanito
  10. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Bonsoir QCR,

    Glad I dropped by. It was fun meeting you. And you are right. I would have respectfully declined a bike trade. It wouldn't have been fair. Your GS is a beautiful bike and my Sherpa is getting thrashed within an inch of it's life.

    Bon chance,
    Jean Thomas
  11. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    It got dark and I rode through the night down the coast road through Quepos and Dominical. This road was dirt the last time I came through here. Now it is a smooth paved highway. The rickety one lane bridges have all been upgraded and I was surprised how quickly I made my way to Rancho DiAndrew just this side of Uvita.

    I arrived just before a wedding party of 23. Good thing I did too. The bus driver didn't want to come up the hill, so Drew and I hopped in his Landcruiser pickup and went down the hill to ferry the 23 people and all their luggage up to the houses and cabins that they had rented through New Year's.

    These people had been riding on this bus for 11 hours all the way from the wedding over in Puerto Viejo on the other side of the country. Some luggage had fallen off the bus and they had sick people barfing. It was quite remarkable that the whole entourage had handled the ordeal so calmly. It was a Frenchman who had married a Mexican. So the entourage included French and Mexican family members along with the bride and groom. They are an amazing group.

    So I offered to stay a couple days and help Drew with this group. His only other help is his mother. You can't believe how much luggage this group has. We piled the landcruiser bed high with heavy suitcases. Maybe 40 in all. Drew was glad that I rode up tonight at 9.

    We just got through shuttling all the people to the various houses around the valley along with their luggage. Finished at 2AM.

    Too dark for pictures tonight. More tomorrow.

    Today I spent 10,500 colones on food and gas. Around $21.00.

    Buenos noches mis amigos de aventura,
    Juan Rica
  12. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    Nice string of updates. Im reading it from both ways , Im on page 30 from the beginning and reading the new post as it comes in . Im left handed so I always start a book from the back .:huh
  13. donniemac

    donniemac Adventurer

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    Hey John! Well I finally got "The Button" to work! What is that photo site you use? I am still in Abe's camp! I will probably head to CR on the 2nd!
  14. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Donnie,

    Good to hear from you!

    For photo hosting I use:

    smugmug.com

    The man who started ADVrider is behind smugmug and I like to give him my business.

    Hope to see you down the road.

    Adios amigo,
    Juanito
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    My office for the morning out in the outdoor kitchen in an open air yurt:

    [​IMG]

    The outdoor cantilevered jungle shower with a view:

    [​IMG]

    and the view while you're taking a shower:

    [​IMG]

    and the sleeping quarters:

    [​IMG]

    and the view from the yurt door looking out towards the beach far below:

    [​IMG]

    It hasn't changed much in the two years since I was here last. Very mellow place to hang out. I will be here for a few days helping out with guests. Right now I am manning a walkie-talkie in case the wedding guests have questions while Andrew and his mom are doing lunch food prep.

    Went up to visit the lady up the hill this morning. I had tiled her kitchen counter when I was here last. Two years later it still looks good. No cracks in the grout lines and it looks like it did when I installed it. She was happy to see me. We sat around and talked for a couple hours and I came back down to the ranch to help out. Here is the kitchen counter:

    [​IMG]

    more later……
  16. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    round the world
    don't know if this will catch you in time...there is no one selling insurance anymore at that border so you have to leave your bike with customs and get a bus $5 or a Taxi $100 into the nearest town that sells it, about a minimum 4 hour round trip, it took anjisan two days to complete it, hope you have better luck or can buy panama insurance somewhere else
  17. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Paul,

    I skipped that border because of rain. Headed through Peñas Blancas instead. Probably all for the better.

    Thanks for the heads up though for others who may read this later.

    Look forward to pics of you smoking big fat Cuban cigars in the coming weeks. Suerte amigo.

    Best,
    Juan Rica
  18. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Very relaxed day today. Not much to report. I'll take pictures tomorrow of the waterfalls and canyon swimming. I am going to accompany Drew and be of assistance in anything he needs help with. Like herding 23 wedding guests down the trail and keeping them from drowning at the waterfalls. Should be fun.

    He still remembers Crashmaster and Misery Goat from their visit a couple years ago. He likes ADVriders. They are low maintenance. Unlike the crew he has staying here right now.

    It turns out this is a kind of work exchange so no cost today. I never left the valley. The normal charge for ADVriders here is 5000 colones or 10 bucks to camp in the yurts here. They have a sign down on the main road pointing up here now. The name of the valley is San Josecito . The sign for Rancho Diandrew and driveway are on the left hand side and it is about 6 kilometers up the fairly steep gravel road. Highly recommended if you're in the area.

    Buenos noches,
    Juanito
  19. AussieAlexS

    AussieAlexS n00b

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    Hi John,
    Just made a donation to the travel fund. Keep it going. Who knows you might end up down under one day. You know you have a place to stay on the Gold Coast if you make it here.
  20. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi AussieAlexS,

    Thanks so much!

    I'll go sign your name on the gas tank. Glad to have you along as Chief Executive in charge of Oceania Travel Relations.

    If you ever get to the states you have a free place to stay in Northern Nebraska as well. Glad to have you along for the ride.

    Cheers,
    Juan
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