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. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Whew! :huh

    Well I'm relieved.

    Good job John as always.

    The pictures will be amazing.

    As will the trip from Puerto Obladia onwards!
  2. nightflyer

    nightflyer Hors contrôle

    Joined:
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    Horn of Africa
    Most excellent update...

    I was making fun of those poor and lost souls that crossed the gap on GIRAG, but you put my own 9 day crossing on a barely functionning sailboat hitting 3 storms tearing our sails (and taking a part of my bike down to the bottom of the caribean sea in the process) to shame....:deal

    Well done once again! and Happy new year by the way:clap:clap:clap
  3. Paratrout

    Paratrout Been here awhile

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  4. gbacque

    gbacque Adventurer

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    And he emerges from the dark side of the moon alive and nu-molested by aliens. :clap

    I look forward to this thread every day. I check it before I check my email. Glad the wheels are rolling again.
  5. NAVIGATOR

    NAVIGATOR Wanderer

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    Great!!!!!:clap:thumb
  6. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Excellent! :clap
  7. Cousteau

    Cousteau ...seeking adventure

    Joined:
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    Guatemala City / Washington, DC
    Juanito,

    After some serious Google Maps searching I found Puerto Obdalia as a little airstrip still hundreds of km before the Panama-Colombia border. If I had to take a guess folks, at the speed John's boat is moving his Colombian adventures are like still ten days to two weeks out before they start up again.

    That said, I'm sure John is getting a view of Kuno living like few have seen. Can't wait to read how the rest of the voyage goes.
  8. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Must have the wrong Puerto Obdalia:huh He is at the one not more than a few km before the Colombia border at the airport in the clouds, notice the scale in the lower left:
    [​IMG]

    He's now probably looking for a new Colombia boat to take him on South to Turbo where the roads start. I'd imagine it might take him two boats, one to Zapzurro and another on to Turbo, his bike might be on another boat as from what I hear in that area that passengers and freight don't mix as well.

    He's getting close:clap
  9. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
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    This morning started out calm making 4 deliveries on the 5th day at sea. And then we went out into the open ocean around a peninsula. Today was the wildest ride yet. I'm no sailor so have nothing to compare it to, but we were the only boat out yesterday in the open ocean in steady 5-6 foot swells with occasional 10 foot sets that would rock the boat back and forth like a cork since we were running parallel to the swell. Because we have unloaded 1000 sacks of cement and over 1000 cases of beer the boat was riding 5 feet out of the water and the sea didn't wash over the main deck, but I was standing on the main deck trying to surf as long as possible without grabbing the pole and some sets of swells were coming up to the horizon when we were in the trough, so probably 10 feet high. I tried to photograph the waves, but like steep gravel roads, it is hard to get a feel for how it was on film with nothing for comparison:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I can't believe I haven't experienced any seasickness rocking and rolling down the coast. I'm not sure why not, but it would have been rough if I had been sick to my stomach as well.

    The Kuna villages down here are more traditional. One stop in a bay had us riding in circles while these dudes paddled out for a living room set delivery. Here they are paddling back to shore with the couch and chair:

    [​IMG]

    they paddled back a half mile for the other overstuffed chair and etagere. Pretty wild delivery in a three foot rolling swell. Seems so odd to be delivering western furniture to people in grass huts. Whatever floats their boat. Literally.

    Here we are finally getting close to Puerto Obaldia:

    [​IMG]

    The pier is too shallow to dock at so the Lya del Mar anchored in the bay and let the gringos off into a launcha. We motored to shore and went through the army checkpoint. The migracion and aduana are closed until 8 tomorrow, so the rasta boys and I wandered the streets. Stopped at a restaurant to eat and across the street to a pandaria (bakery) for pastry dessert. Then found an internet place where I am uploading this before heading off to the soccer field down by the sea to camp for the night.

    It is the morning now on Friday as I type this in my tent. I'm not sure how I'm getting to Turbo where the roads start. This is as far as the Lya del Mar goes. I'll get stamped out of Panama later this morning and head back to the boat where the motorcycle still is and see if the captain Cierra can get me a launcha somewhere. Rather than off loading the bike to shore and waiting for a cargo boat, I think the smart money is on getting the heck out of here and over to Colombia, I'm ready for some riding even if I have to pay a bit more for a launcha.

    I'll let you know how it goes.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  10. Free Radical

    Free Radical High speed drifter

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    FanTAStic reading, John!

    Thank you for the incredible job, bringing us along with you.
  11. Dooga

    Dooga Adventure Tourer

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    That is totally true. Juanito is just like the honey badger.
  12. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    :clap

    [​IMG]

    Haha, I had my bike on a boat like this on the Maranon River in Peru, it must be a real hoot on the ocean! :rofl :huh

    Vive Juanito!!

    ps - am I the only one that can't see the pics in the last few posts?
  13. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    I thunk he just uploaded the articles that he wrote on the "road"with placemarks for the pics but hasnt uploaded the pics yet due to connection
  14. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I can't see them
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    It's Friday and I thought I would bring this up to date while I spend the day uploading as many photos as possible on this really slow internet connection. I went to immigration this morning at 8. Here is the building:

    [​IMG]

    and then down to aduana which is the same building as the internet place. It is unmarked but easy to find:

    [​IMG]

    Had breakfast with Matt and Carlos and met some folks coming north at the immigration building. They pointed us to an old villager who runs a panga. He isn't a jacked up narco trafficker by night so they said he takes it easy on the heavy seas and doesn't bang through the swells as much. Sounds good to me. So we talked to Marcelino and he said the Lya del Mar is going around the point to a pier tomorrow. This is news to me. So I guess tomorrow we will meet Marcelino at the pier in La Miel where unloading the bike from the Lya de Mar will be easier as well as loading into his panga. He agreed to take the rasta boys and me along with the Sherpa up to Capurgana for 80 bucks. So 40 for them and 40 for me. Sounds good to me. So we will call him on the captains cell phone when we leave here tomorrow and he'll meet us at the dock in La Miel and take us up to Capurgana.

    Capurgana is where Colombian immigration is located. So after unloading the bike and getting stamped in to Colombia we will still have to figure out how to get across the bay to Turbo where the road starts. These things have a way of working out if you're patient. I think it helps to look like a bum and speak some Spanish so they don't try to charge you gringo prices. I have the hobo look after 8 days on a Kuna cargo boat, so I have the poor traveler demeanor covered.

    Here is a picture of downtown Puerto Obaldia:

    [​IMG]

    I have heard it described as a bleak place in ride reports. I think it is great. Nice people. Tons of Cuban refugees looking to head north. It feels Caribe almost little Havana with pastel houses with tin roofs and Caribe music in the streets. Lots of people hanging out waiting for the next flight, fishing off the pier with just a line and hook. Not sure why so many Cuban refugees are here, but I think it has to do with Panama not allowing people from Cuba to arrive by boat, so this is the cheap airport to catch a plane north to Panama City. Lots of Cuban doctors, nurses and professionals who escaped to South America and several flying in daily from Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia and various other airports. I'm starting to see a lot of beautiful Colombian and Cuban women walking around. I like Colombia already and I'm still 5 miles away.

    So I am hanging out at the internet cafe all day waiting to head out tomorrow. There are Cubans on my right and left jabbering and excited to have made it out of their country one way or another. The women are on Facebook, with 8 chat sessions open touch typing with blazing speed. They all want to go to America and sneak in to get work with relatives in Florida, New York and Las Vegas. I want to tell them it perhaps isn't all it's cracked up to be, but obsessions die hard. As you well know if you've been following this ride report. Anyway, persecuted refugees fleeing hard times are deep in my ancestry and my forefathers came to America centuries ago looking for a better life, so who am I to tell these folks different. It's part of what makes the U.S. the amazing melting pot that keeps adding new energy as time goes on.

    more later…..
  16. MADSTROM

    MADSTROM Long timer

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    Me either ... :hmmmmm :lurk
  17. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    good plan. :thumb
  18. Voidrider

    Voidrider Been here awhile

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    Between Here and There
    I think it is because you have your mind and heart open to "it is what it is", rather than being afflicted with schedules and expectations. It isn't just about "riding a bike", its the total experience.

    Your upbeat and generous reports remind me of two classic travel related quotes:

    "The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see." G K Chesterton.

    “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tsu.

    It seems like the delays you experience do not try your patience, you use them as opportunities to further explore where you find yourself. Much, much respect, and thank you again for taking the time to let us experience your travels through your wonderful reports. :clap
  19. Fortyniene

    Fortyniene Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Yakima, Wa.
    I finally caught up and I'm really enjoying you're ride report. Thank you for bringing me along for the ride. You have a great attiude and a great writing style. I have read many ride reports on ADV and this is by far my favorite. I look forward to the rest of you're journey. Ride safe JDowns.

    Lurk mode back on.




    Frank
  20. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    Im having fun reading it with out pics and getting an image in my head , then going back as they are up loaded and seeing how close I was . Ive just kept page 88 open and Ill smack the F5 key every now and then to see if there is anything new up . Its 20 degrees out here and I was going to play in the snow on my sherpa but apperantly it doesnt like 20* weather and would not crank , Oh well got the fire place roaring up here in the living room and the heater in the basement burning through the wood a bowl of veg soup in my lap and a grilled cheese with ADV rider up , Life is Good .
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