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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Romanousky, Jan 9, 2013.
Good luck fishing. Take lots of photos.
Not sure about independance, but Stahlrate has liquore for a reasonable cost I think.
Hell with how much you guys have you can start serving / selling drinks and make some quick cash... provided everybody isn't sea sick. Pick up gravel too!
Much props to you two for what sounds like a kick-ass ride! Joined this forum just to follow your trip.
Question: what seats are you guys using? Like them?
Stay safe friends!
Looking forward to the next bit...
Epic fail on the fishing! I think you have to be borderline retarded to not catch anything in this area and we didn't catch squat. I'm going to stick with riding bikes
The Independence does in fact sell liquor and beer at reasonable prices...good thing because we were dry after the first 2 nights.
Glad to have a new member along for the ride! Anticipate spending a ton of "research" time on here
My seat was custom made by Don @ Ed's Moto in Albany, Or. He does fantastic work and I am quite happy with it. Having that said, there is only so much you can do with 2 inches of foam. The 400 mile days are still not anticipated.
Al has the Corbin....good but I think mine is definitely better.
It is going to be another day or 2. Sitting in a hotel in Cartagena. Bikes are still on the boat. It is a holiday and customs is closed. Our captain pulled a bunch of strings to get immigration to stamp passports so we could atleast be on land. Can't say as much for all the other poor bastards in the harbor just waiting....even a cruise ship to boot!
Get back to work Greg!
Awesome man, look forward for the next installment
I am really impressed and surprised that you are able to keep this thread up to date while traveling in so many different locations.
Has it been easy to find a wireless internet connection?
Are you using just WIFI?
Love the thread and look forward to hearing more about your adventures. I'm JEALOUS!!!
Wireless is available in more locations than in the US and Canada. They don't have many land lines so wireless and cell phones are everywhere.
The bigger problem is speed. Otherwise most restaurants (no matter how small), town squares, coffee shops, stores, public areas, etc mostly have WIFI.
It's like comparing Africa to Canada / US. They have more, and better coverage in a country that is varied in "developement". It's cheaper to put in cell towers than land lines. Hence why they are so much further ahead.
Exactly what shibby said! Wifi is literally everywhere. Speed is an issue. I try to keep a daily journal of the goings on but can really only update photos every 3-4 days. That is why the posts are spread out. It is a bit of a chore but keeps me away from the bar....unfortunately I miss happy hour most of the time.
Spent 10 hours in customs today so progress has been nil! Shizer!
So today we leave Panama City and head for the boat. Communication with the Independence has been very poor at best so we were quite surprised how easy it was to find. Drove out of PC, paid a couple of tolls, jumped on the highway and headed towards the Darien. Probably 40 miles out of PC there was a sign pointing towards Carti.
This road has steep climbs that would drop off the backside giving your stomach the weightless feeling like riding a rollercoaster. The problem is hitting them with any speed is difficult to say the least because of potential washouts and sharp corners looming on the other side.
I didn't grab a photo but after diving down around one corner and hammering up a steep curving incline all of a sudden there is a dump truck and a backhoe in the center of the road blocking the entire thing. I'll I could do was slam on the breaks and come within a few feet of the blockade. Then with front and rear brakes locked up it wasn't enough to stop the dizzer loaded down with liquid encouragement......slid down backwards until it got squirrely and dumped the bike. Guy the backhoe just shrugs and smiles.
About 20 miles into this road you meet your first Kuna Indians charging $10 to get into their property plus $5 per vehicle. They know you are headed for a boat to Colombia so your negotiating power is quite slim
.actually none at all. Even for being nice.....I let him sit on my bike.
Then you reach a military checkpoint that just looks at your passport. And yells at you for taking a photo of this highly classified super secret building...
About 100 yards passed this there is a gravel road to the right that will take you down to a river.
Here you fork out another $20 for these guys to load your bike and drive you out to the Independence. We showed up just in time to meet Micah who is traveling from LA on his KLR. This process is fairly easy but I cant imagine doing it with a liter bike or larger.
While he took his bike out we prepared with a heavy coating of bearing grease to the chains and a good lathering of WD-40 on engine and other exposed potential corrosion spots.
Made it to the boat without any hiccups and then Mee-Shell came down to tie the ropes. He looks like one seriously weathered sailor that probably isnt going to be taking shit from anybody. Most reviews I have seen commented on how questionable the ropes are. My experience; they are slightly worn but these are serious double braided marine ropes with nylon & polyester cores
.they are fine. Bikes went up into the vessel without a hitch.
Dropped our gear into the Saloon area and then Michel called for a water taxi to bring us to a Hostel on the island next to the boat. An hour later the owner of the hostel showed up and drove us ashore. Nothing but crystal clear water so when you roll up to the dock you get to see all the interesting artifacts on the bottom (brooms, old engines, beer cans, trash, trash, and more trash). Watch your step because the dock is very questionable (not sturdy). Our accommodations were on the top floor of the green high rise. Not great but really F*cking hot/humid.
On the far right of the island:
The boat driver and owner of the hostel getting down on some of our rum:
Walked around town (probably a 100 meter diameter circle of sand filled with huts with small alleyways for walking and plenty of docks with real dugout canoes). Really a neat little place. The only restaurant didnt have a menu but served chicken, beef, and wait just a second, HEY (to the guy on the dock), did you catch any fish, YEP, and yes we have fish. Great Ill take the chicken! The chicken was old and not really edible but the rice was pretty good
and the beer was cheap.
The AssWadDub....because that makes sense:
I man who made an oar while we ate:
Back at the hostel I drank rum and tried to fall asleep in the hammock but the heat wouldn't allow. Laid in bed but my pillow packed absolutely full of synthetic cotton and wouldn't compress a bit
.I had fits with it all night. And the owner slept right next door to us a snored like a SOB. Perfect, no sleep for the first night on the boat.
Ocean view from our room:
And the incompressible culprit:
And a description of our vessel on the wall:
I'm holding them to this one!
This is awesome great work guys
Thank you sir. It is great! Riding, drinking, travelling, without a care in the world. Love it
A cup a crappy coffee in a dirty glass and some bread with jelly and I'm ready to take care of a little morning "business." the bathrooms are built just off the shore about 3 feet above the water. You can actually look between you legs as you drop bombs on tropical fish. You know you want to try it
Back on the boat headed for the Independence. We just wait upstairs and bullshit with Michel until the rest of the shipmates are hauled out to sea from their hostel. Michel is nice enough but totally full of shit. No point in questioning the captain before a 5 day sail but I had little to say to him.
The crew shows up. 4 cute Germans, 1 hot Swiss chick, 2 other girls, an old retired lawyer, 2 young Dutch dudes that love to party, 1 lonesome Colorado guy, and the 3 of us bikers. Michels crew consists of 2 Colombian women and 1 Panamanian woman. First Michel goes through the dos and donts (don't puke or piss into the wind) and then brags about how awesomely fast and strong his ice breaking capable ship is. We are assigned cabins (which really arent bad at all besides the heat) and get our stuff put away. Lift anchor and crack the rum!
Someones nice toy on the water:
For the most part the boat is relatively clean but the engine room could use some work:
Ive been on a number of boats in the past but apparently Ive become prone to sea-sickness over the past 5 years after remaining land locked. We show up at the first set of islands and I lie in bed and try to recuperate while everyone swims and drinks. A few hours later I pull my stuff together and start to have fun. Tonight we build a bonfire on a beach.
First we had an amazing lobster dinner. The food on the boat is perfect. Simple, lots of it, good flavor, good variety, and very fresh.
The supermarket comes to you out here:
The fire was a bit boring because there wasnt any wood. Just palm fronds so after a big WOOSH it smoldered for a few hours while we finished the rum. Most folks were a bit clickish and spoke native tongue with each other but after a bit it was American vs. Germans/Dutch in some game where you drink, run 20 meters, pick up a stick, hold your head to the top and run a circle around it, take a drink, then run back to the next in line. Needless to say the Americans dominated this game.
Then back to the boat where you can guess what happened. I have to do the same
Most people slept on the deck of the ship but I made it to my cabin. Woke up hot and sweaty ready for a big breakfast. Just swam in luke warm water starring at the picturesque islands. And listened to Michel talk about how the world is overpopulated and the Illuminati will immerge one day and kill almost everyone
.blah blah blah.
Defining a deserted island:
Pulled anchor at noon and headed for the Party Island. After dinner we showered (showers are at 5:00 PM sharp) and hopped on the boat. Headed to the only island with a bar, beach volleyball, and a bunch of expats taking a break from their boats. Volleyball was great but somehow I got stuck on the Dutch/German team and we lost. Go figure.
Then played some German game called Flunky Ball. They chuck a ball at a standing 2 liter bottle on the ground and whatever team hits it first chugs a beer.....???
Then we all made an attempt to thank our cooks of the boat in spanish....rather comical.
and proceeded to drink....
I am told this was some sort of height competition.....doesn't really matter when you're lying down
A great deal of drinks later and we were back on a dingy headed for the ship.
The Dutch boys who really know how to party:
It was nice meeting you. Safe travels amigo. Keep up the good work on your ride report. It's fun reading. There's a lot of Oregonians in South America. Sorry you're tainted with Beaver fever bro. Quacker backers rule. Maybe I'll catch up to you in Oregon this summer when I go back to visit.
Great ride report! And this coming from someone who loves Beavers for lunch and ducks for dinner.
Great photos ! Who needs to catch fish when there's fresh lobsters on the table eh !