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. Redhed

    Redhed Lost on the Island

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    John, I am currently in St. Juan de Laguna, and eventually will hit the Darien. I am very intersted in your plans for the "slow, cheap cargo scow and launchas". Do you think that a overburdened F800 could manage this option? Could you elaborate on this plan some more, as I was unaware of this choice, in terms of the Darien. Any suggestions are much appreciated....

    Gracias,
    Redhed
  2. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    fucker. :rofl

    If you want to get real good and lost, JD, be sure to pick up the ITMB maps those are the bestest. :freaky
  3. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hola Pelirrojo (Redhead),

    I'm practicing my Spanish.

    Now please understand. When I say cheap it is all relative. For me it is worth saving 500 bucks each way to go down the sketchy Pacific as Nick Jones did. His report is here:

    http://blog.talesfromthesaddle.com/2012/03/darien.html#more

    Or down the Carribean side as this couple did on cargo boats and launchas as reported towards the bottom of the page here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=675841&page=8

    But believe me, if I had the funds I would take the Stahlratte like Misery Goat did and enjoy a nice cruise through the San Blas Islands as he points to here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=675841&page=8

    Tell me that doesn't look like fun! And it's cut and dried. You can make reservations on their website. My way is the hard way that has no definition. I have to go find boats and negotiate with locals and hang out waiting. Probably take way longer than you are interested in.

    The harsh reality is that I don't have the 900 bucks each way to sail on the Steel Rat. I will probably spend twice as much time taking scows down for 400 bucks each way and hanging out in sketchy towns along the way. If that sounds like fun to you then I'm your dream travel agent.

    But if you have the fundage, I would go the luxury route.

    Enjoy your time at Lago Atitlan. It's a beautiful area between storms this time of year.

    Hope to see you down the road.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  4. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    I live to get lost. ITMB all the way baby!

    Well okay, I also look forward to cursing my new GPS as Señorita Garmeen sends me on the left hand path down narco backroads.

    Best,
    John Downs
  5. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    when do you think you'll be crossing the Darien? i know we'll meet up before then but i'd like to be on the otherside as you come across...you need photos of that for sure

    maybe you want to find a movie called "four strokes of luck" some Aussie guys did it a few years back too in a converted lifeboat...great amateur movie
  6. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Have we left Bassett yet? :ddog

    Stop by San Antonio on your way down, get filled up on Tejas brisket before you cross la frontera.
  7. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Paul,

    I have no idea when I'll cross the Darien. Sorry. I look forward to meeting you down the road though. I have been following your excellent ride report and admiring the photos.

    Keep up the good work!

    I would have been all in on the Darien lifeboat transit. I'll have to check out their movie. Our fellow riders from Oz know how to have a good time. Always enjoy meeting them on the road. I can hear them now when they found out the cost of a sailboat trip,

    "900 bloody dollars each? I reckon we don't need a bloomin' sile boat, mates. I'm keen on this lifeboat. Who's in?"

    Best,
    John Downs
  8. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hola Señor Tricepilot,

    No ride report would be complete without luscious shots of Texas brisket!

    I'll be passing by your way next week. Will be sure to stop by for a quick visit. I need some fake laminated licenses for the road south and I hear you're the man.

    Look forward to finally meeting you after all these years of reading your excellent ride reports!

    Suerte,
    Juan
  9. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Damn, if if wasnt 4,165 miles one way to San Antonio I'd love to eat some of that brisket. :dg
  10. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    I'm not so sure about that Mike, but if you need to find your way into the zona de putas, I'm your guy. :lol3
  11. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Really looking forward to this one. Ride safe.
  12. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Lol! Haven't visited one in a while. I think the last one I visited was in Ciudad del Carmen, an oilfield town on an island. It was a Pemex hangout. Not to be confused with Playa del Carmen.
  13. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    guess i'll have to get my Trice brisket on the way north!!!
  14. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    I have only read the first post of this thread and I had to comment, you have my FULL attention! This is awesome! Can not wait to read the rest, you are doing what most dream about!
  15. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    when we meet i'll tell you the story if you don't get to see the film, if you do get to see it then i have the kicker to the story, that will blow your mind...thats not even included in the film - too much detail for your RR here i'm afraid
  16. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Before I forget I wanted to give a shout out to Sjoerd Bakkers very useful book Economical Hotels in Mexico and Central America:

    [​IMG]

    Mine is a beat up copy from a few years ago. Sjoerd is an inmate here and self publishes this little gem for the budget traveler. He has found the cheap spots with secure parking so you don't have to. When it's getting late and you're tired and the rainstorms have been pounding you all afternoon, or if you've gotten caught out late you will appreciate being able to hold this book up to your headlight and check the index and flip through to a nearby town to find a budget hotel.

    [​IMG]

    The hand drawn maps are surprisingly effective showing just the landmarks you need to get. These are simple budget oriented places, so not for everyone.

    I have been running around like a madman as one does right before leaving town on a long trip. You never get to everything on your list so I don't try. Just the essentials. The rest can wait.

    In two days when I'm on the road south all this hustle will fade into the meaningless past. Everything works out in the end.

    Another thing I wanted to add about budget travel packing is the importance of ziploc freezer bags.

    [​IMG]

    They keep your stuff dry and make things easy to find.

    Best,
    John Downs
  17. Panama

    Panama Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    whats with the spices next to the tooth brush? Does nutmeg have a secret use?
  18. gasandasphalt

    gasandasphalt Been here awhile

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    I am beginning to think this 'Ride Report' should have started off with 'ONCE UPON A TIME',,,,,, lol:rofl:rofl

    Looks like cold weather might be an issue, Hope you can be ahead of the snow...

    Have a fun, safe trip....bn
  19. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    I'm guessing a laundry soap container. I was always partial to the Latin American laundry bar soap. But I only carried 2 pairs of underwear and 2 pairs of socks. :lol3
  20. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Panama,

    You have eagle eyes. I'm impressed. Actually the spice container holds potassium alum and salt. A natural astringent that is good for the gums and teeth. It's gross tasting so I mix it with toothpaste. I'm trying to take better care of my teeth now that I'm older.

    Best,
    John Downs
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