The Motorcycle Chronicles of Jackie & Valentino... The Southern Episode

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by V@lentino, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    We are actually fans of Bourdain. Funny you mentioning the croc, we just saw one. There is a small estuary close to the beach where we are in Carillo, about 200-300 metres from our B&B and we saw a big croc, at least 3 metres basking on the muddy bank. We were too slow and missed the picture opportunity


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  2. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    In the last week or so we rode short days from Leon to Grenada, then entered Costa Rica. That border was by far the longest out/in sequence of the trip so far.


    A few from Leon


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    One of the main streets leading to the Cathedral


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    Looking in
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    Inside looking out

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    Same but different

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    Working hard

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    Something about this one

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    All my sisters and me

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    One more for the bikes and churches thread

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    Granada coming up...
  3. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Granada was ok, but a bit disappointing, we enjoyed Leon so much more. Nonetheless meeting up with Moto-Mikey was fun. We have now met seven or eight of the riders that will be sailing with us on the Stahlratte, and I think we are going to have a lousy time during the San Blas to Cartagena crossing:freaky:freaky.

    Granada has the largest Cathedral of Central America, but it was mostly rebuilt in the 1900's due to earthquakes.





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    Look who's coming for dinner


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    Yes, yes, I know


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    A Nice Park


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    It was the weekend and all was very quiet

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    Except the market

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    Anybody knows what this symbol stands for, it was in front of a very large building, no other signs or indications of anything, so type of brotherhood or other with stars, strikes, pyramids and eyes???


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    A couple of iconic ones

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    Yours truly...​

  4. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Hasta luego Nicaragua


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    We had a longish ride from Granada to Playa Del Coco; 213km :poser. We are saving our energy and mileage for Ruta 40:clap

    Jackie is always looking over Valentino's shoulder

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    The scenery was awsome

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    Our first Central American wind farm

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    Anything goes

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    The border was crowded, for once our timing was off, we got there shortly after a couple of buses.

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    At least we had some Dutch company


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    Smile, you've just been Jackie-and-Valentino'ed:wink:


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    A quick bite in front of Aduana

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    Before we hit the road again. Traffic was a real mess...


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    See you at the beach...​
  5. Fat Man Bass

    Fat Man Bass n00b

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    Hi Steve,

    I know how nice these two people are. We made a ride through the Netherlands and Belgium.
    Only thing that they were looking for was 'Vlaamse Friet".
    And in Belgium every village has a 'Frietkot" where you can get these.

    Just kidding....

    Hope you will be on your bike soon!
  6. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    How do you drive a Belgium crazy? You put him in a round room and tell them to go find the french fry in the corner... :rofl


    Een grote met kerriesaus, ui en mayonaise België alstublief :dg


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  7. Fat Man Bass

    Fat Man Bass n00b

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    You learn fast, very faST :D:D
  8. strom thingie

    strom thingie Lost and Proud!

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    Great ride report. I appreciate the insights, especially with border crossings as I plan on riding to Tierra Del Fuego in a couple of years upon my retirement from the military.

    Another poster asked the question about concerns of security for your motorcycle in the various places but I don't think there was any reply. Can you tell me what tips and tricks regarding bike security that you have used while on the trip so far. Thanks!!!
  9. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Opinions vary so much on this topic. When we are in cities, we usually find a central location, and either park the bike in front of the hotel/hostel or on several occasions the owner suggested inside the establishment; which is always cool. We then walk or use public transportation to get around. While on the road, we just park in front of the room with the bike backed up for easy access.

    I've never subscribed to the put-the-bike-in-the-room paranoia, but that's just me.

    Many also like to pack a thin bike cover, for us it is just one more thing to carry.

    This said we did get some stuff stolen from our crash bar zip-bags, in Palenque. The bike was parked on the sidewalk of a quiet street right at the entrance of the hostel. The stuff they took was mostly useless, including my "locked" front disk lock and waterproof tank bag cover. :bluduh

    Generally speaking I don't worry too much about it, I just make sure the bike is secure by local standards.

    When we rode Europe in 2008, I always left the bike on the streets even for 3-4 days, hardly moving it in cities like Rome, Madrid, Athens... never had anything happen.

    Of course YMMV

    Thanks for tagging along strom thingie
  10. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    I think I mentioned before that we have been very lucky in our travels to visit so really outstanding beaches, from Australia to Florida, Mexico, Thailand, Greece... many caribbean islands, so we were quite underwhelmed when we landed in Playa Tunco, Salvador, and not much impressed by Playa Del Coco in Costa Rica, that is until we arrived at Playa Carrillo; Wow:clap:clap:clap

    What a beautiful spot, a gorgeous bay, about 2km long, lined with coconut threes, light-golden sand, warm ocean, clean. Frequented by both local and tourists. it was perfect.

    We stayed in a B&B called El Colibri, owned by friendly Argentinians, and the kitchen-equipped Cabanas were clean, air conditioned, and comfortable. I'm not big on making reviews of this sort because in the end it is so much a question of personal choices and budget, but for $50.00 a night double occupancy 200 metres from this most amazing beach, it was still cheaper than a crappy motel 6 or super 8 on the Intersate. We had planned to stay 2-3 nights, we ended up staying 5.

    Tried fishing from the rocks, but no luck.

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    See for yourself.

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    Of course we had some friendly companions

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    Back to the beach for a few more


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    Angela wanted to be in the picture too.

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    We are in the Arenal Volcan area, in Fortuna going to enjoy a day at the thermal. This adenturing stuff is really taking its toll:lol3:lol3.

    Tomorrow we head for Panama and will cross the border at Sixaola, on the Atlantic side, the crossing appears to be a lot less busy than the one on the Pan American, and will allow us to cross through Panama as we crawl our way to our rendez-vous with the Stahlratte on Dec 5th.

    So far; we are yet to see Panama but Costa Rica has been the highlight of Central America, everybody has been really friendly, the rode sides, towns and pueblos are significantly cleaner, and even when ridding on secondary unpaved road, all the houses we saw appear to have electricity and none of them looked shanty the roads, beaches are great, and so is the food.

    I'll come back later with the road from the Pacific to Fortuna, it was great...

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  11. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    From Nicoya we took back country roads until we got close to Cañas, from there we rode the perfect smooth twisty tarmac through the volcanic region of Arenal, circled the lake until we faced the iconic volcano. The best of both world, hard pack mud and gravel through tropical meadows, easy and fun, perfect for 2 up riding on the big GSA. Then we opened up and hit the twisties through curvy mountainous riding.


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    This time we were on their turf

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    We had to make and emergency stop, riding with my visor up with only the helmet shades on, I got hit by a large bug on my cheek, and the bug juice splash my left eye.


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    Jackie to the rescue, crisis averted and we were soon on our way again :norton

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    Nice suspension bridge

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    A few more twisties

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    Thick bamboo forest

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    First glimpse of the lake

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    Closer yet

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    In full view

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    It's back there behind the clouds

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    Just a glimpse

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    Playing hide and seek

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    Now we see you

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    It was a perfect riding day warm but not hot, no border hassles, just pure enjoyment. This is why we do it. It was the best riding we have done since leaving Mexico. Although Guatemala did offer some breathtaking scenery, and we particularly enjoyed Antigua for both its lively scene and perfect weather. Costa Rica was hard to beat on many levels.

    Today we rode from Arenal to Changuinola, Panama after an easy border crossing.

    Tell you all about it tomorrow.


    J&V out...​
  12. strom thingie

    strom thingie Lost and Proud!

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    Thanks for the reply. I've had my bike all over Europe and no issues, though I tend to stay away from the larger cities here.

    Glad to be along for the ride as it fuels my desire to conduct this trip even more!
  13. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

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    Great RR.
    I enjoy your writing style very much.
    Keep it coming.

    If your plans include Venezuela, drop me a PM and I'll gladly help with border crossing info, route suggestions and other pointers...

    There's some other things that would be good for you to know BEFORE coming in country that will make your stay here more enjoyable and a lot cheaper...

    Buen viaje!
  14. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Thanks alot for you offer and for riding along SS in Vzla. We are not planning for Venezuela yet, but things can always change.

    We made it to Panama city 1 day earlier than plan so we splurged and went to the Hilton.

    Crossed the Bridge of the Americas today...Woohoo Panama city, leg one done :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap



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  15. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    I think there were cops every 5 miles on the panam today. I would have gotten here a lot faster :D Nice to meet you both today!
  16. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    There where cops everywhere, we stopped counting at 27, I can hardly believe that I did not get a ticket:huh

    Nice to have met you also Dan.

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    We now have met 13 riders that will be on the Stahlratte from Carti to Cartagena on Dec 6th;

    I think we are going to have a lousy time :freaky:devildog:wings:slurp:strum
  17. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    Twice they waved to stop me at the last minute as I passed them but I kept going. I wasn't speeding (when they saw me:evil) so If they wanted to stop me they could radio their pals or come after me. I think they were too hot to care cause they never followed me.



  18. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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  19. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    First they ate

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    And then they drank :freaky:beer:dutch

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    And then Valentino got a hair cut:huh: :eek1 :lol3 :clap

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    We created a monster, she just could not :icystop

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  20. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    So we had planned to make one more stop at the beaches off the Panamerican highway, somewhere between La Chorrera and Panama city, but all where high priced and highly touristy with the large hotel chains dominating the landscape. So we darted for Panama city and crossed the Bridge of the Americas. It was exciting to have reached that landmark. Cars were honking there horns, yelling welcome to Panama, cheering in us on. It was great.

    We rode around town, down Balboa avenue, until we found a hotel for one night before heading to the Panama House B&B aka the pre Stahlratte adventure meet see above post re. our first night as a group.

    Basically something like that:

    The Dutch; Mirjam & Edwin

    The Tuckers; James & Colleen

    The Germans; Linde & Ziggy

    Moto-Mikey

    and yours truly Jackie & Valentino.

    Some of our downtown pics, I'll post more later on the Canal visit.


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    It was odd to see the skyline of a modern city after riding through the jungle of Panama

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    The road from Sixaloa to Playa Catalina was a real beauty...