VENTURING SOUTH on DRZ's

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Romanousky, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    That's funny dude. :rofl Love your website. Followed it for quite some time. Preparing for the next adventure?
  2. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Are you talking spanish school or Hotels? Pool sounds like it could be very helpful. Much more attentive when in an environment where you can just piss yourself. :wink:

    I like those prices! I've literally been paying $1.50 to $3.00 per beer here in Mexico. Mixed drinks are too much for me. It is not the Mexico that I recall.....looking forward to Antigua!
  3. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    First order of business is to get oil. Went to the supermarket. Didn’t find oil but Alex got a new camera to replace the one he left in Troncones & Tequila. I got some oatmeal for future breakfasts and some beer. Found an autozone that doesn’t carry motorcycle oil. Then happened upon a half Yamaha half fishing/marine gear place. I got some Yamalube and Al bought a hand reel for ocean fishing.

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    Back at the hotel I got some breakfast and did some typing. Then on to do laundry. We sat in the heat for 25 minutos until the washer completed. Al grabbed the laundry and tossed in the machine just opposite the washer. Fed in the money, hit go, and the clothes are dancing in a torrent of water…..fuck all another 25 minutos later we get to the dryer. I walked down to the beach to kill some time.

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    While I was at the beach the JW's caught Alex in the laundry room. :rofl couple of women which I don't see nearly as much in the states.

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    With semi-dry clothes we hung them in the room and prepared for an oil change. Needless to say we made a mess in the hotel parking lot. Oops.

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    We saw fireworks and heard music during the oil change so we set off on foot and found out that it was the first day of “Carnival”. A multi-day festival celebrated immediately before Lent. Many people dress up or masquerade during the celebration. Puerto Escondido was no exception. There was a gaggle of tranny’s performing dance routines on the main stage. Things would have seemed out of place in America with all the Hispanic families eagerly watching on….quite entertaining.

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    Michalada street vendor:

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    Al trying to fit in:

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    The highlight of my evening was winning a chicken piggy bank for hitting balloons with darts. Cost me a dollar and felt bad for even taking anything. Figured I’d take it to a Mayan village in San Cristobal and give it to a kid.

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    The view from our balcony for $40/night

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  4. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Today we are going to Zipolite on the beach only about 60 miles away. Short day.

    Following some cattle:

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    Nice view:

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    Arrived in Zipolite and drove down the mainstreet. This was supposed to be a beautiful beach area full of friendly people (so I read). The beach was nice but the streets only contained the hippie variety most of which appeared very burnt out with frowns on their faces. I have no problems with hippies but I was not feeling very welcome here.

    Not very impressed we decided to push on to Salina Cruz. Exiting the small town we hit the first military check point that actually made me open one of my bags (we’ve probably crossed two dozen or so).

    Passed some wind farms:

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    SC appears as a large dot on the map next to a lagoon so it must be a nice city on the coast right. 160 miles later we roll into a shit hole that doesn’t feel quite right. Pickups with machine guns mounted atop roaming the streets everywhere. The first hotel we stopped at a guy outside (appeared to be drunk) said, “youuuuuuu better be careful boys, this town is fucked up”. Great! Sun going down, everyone is staring, we drive the end of town with no luck. Back into the cluster we spy a hotel with an automatic roll up gate for secure parking. Knock on the glass….cage opens up and we score an overpriced room full of black mold and a dead cockroach under the sink.

    Realizing our plan of not planning is not so great we begin to map out the next week.

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    Once accomplished we watch movies and check bikes until 2:00 in the morning. 4 hours of sleep and wake up excited that we have bikes and ready to GTFO. I do not recommend Salina Cruz to anybody.
  5. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    The plan is to get into San Cristobal (220 miles). The first 180 miles is boring paved highways. Then once passed Tuxla Guitierrez we start climbing into the mountains. At one point we stop for the view and take a photo.

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    First highrise I've seen in a while (TG):

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    Then I tell Alex to snap a picture while I ride a wheelie up the highway. Pull out, shift, slam the throttle, front wheelie barely off the ground, little clutch work, only a foot off the ground. What the hell! Check the GPS and realize we are over a mile high, the bike is running way rich and I’ve got no power.

    Climbing through the mountain landscape the indigenous Mayan people dotted the roadside carrying supplies, riding horses, herding sheep, etc…

    We crested the hills at over 7K feet and dropped into San Cristobal. Followed signs to the city center and then stopped at the first decent looking hotel (Hotel D’ Monica). Nice, clean, wifi, locked garage, Perfect!

    Cleaned up and ate some cheap quesadilla’s then headed out for town on foot. Rough cobblestone streets and pavers created the sidewalks. We walked through some of the old churches and explored the market place. Thousands of locals selling their wares on the streets and was quite the bustling little city.

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    The door on this church was badass. About 5" thick with steel studs protruding....definitely built to keep someone OUT.

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    In the evening we even walked in on a mass service in procession just to listen/watch for a few minutes. Didn’t understand anything….
  6. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Today we drive to Palenque to see the blue waterfalls (Agua Azul) and ruins (Tonina & Palenque). 120 miles of pure motorcycle bliss through the roads that snake up and down mountain passes (minus all the topes). Our highest point was 7,800 ft. and the lowest was 500 ft right at the campground in Palenque (The Maya Bell).

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    Lots of villages in the high country for the first 60 miles. Looks just like Central Oregon with all the pine trees. The last 60 miles was all rainforest habitat. Beautiful but very humid.

    This is the home area EZLN and the Zapatista movement. Lots of signs designating territories of the EZLN.

    Background = Tonina, Foreground = EZLN sign, Middle Ground = Dog shit

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    First stop was Tonina. Nice bit of ruins on a hillside. Hiked all the way to the top in my MX boots. Coming down was a bit tricky.

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    Next was Agua Azul. Very beautiful falls. We grabbed some Epanadas, bannanas, took some photos, and then back on the road.

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    Al feeding the hungry dogs left over tortillas:

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    Landed in Palenque around 4:00 and went straight to the first RV/hotel that we had written on our list; the Maya Bell. The rooms were two much so we went with tent camping under the Palapa. So hot and humid in the jungle at this low elevation we went for a swim in the shady (ie circumspect) pool. Drank a six pack for dinner and tried to sleep with all the Howler monkey’s making a fuss.

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  7. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Up and adam we threw on some shorts & tennies, made some oatmeal, and headed for the ruins (only 2 miles away out in the country side). We paid some kid $2 to watch the bikes and make sure nobody parked behind us (never saw him when we returned).

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    We were 20 minutes early before opening but were 2nd in line. After ten minutes we notice a fight had broke out between 2 of the tour guides. Literally rolling around punching each other on the ground….the whole market place looked on.
    Finally we got our tickets and were the first ones into the park. Got to check everything out and snap some photos before the tour buses arrived.

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    All while beating these guys to the punch. YESSSS!!!!

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    Waterfall on the way to the museum:

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    The museum:

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    Steep stairway on the way back from the museum;

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    Nice ruins but I’ve seen better. The tomb in the museum was probably the coolest thing there.

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    Packed up camp and shook the cockroaches out of our riding gear (literally) and enjoyed another 120 miles of great riding back to San Cristobal.

    Stayed in the same hotel (hotel D' monika)

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    Lubed the chains in the underground storage area.....Ready to rock Guatemala starting Tomorrow!!

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  8. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    Nice action shot :topes

    PM'ed some info about the ADVpad in CR.
  9. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Replied. Hope to see you in about 2 weeks.
  10. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Exiting Mexico was a piece of cake. TVIP’s canceled and passports stamped in under an hour. Then entered Guatemala.


    Fumigation was $1.50 and then on to importation of ourselves. Passports stamped in record time ($2). Then to the Aduana where we imported the bikes (cost $20). Total time on this side of the line was 1-1/2 hours. Then saddled up for Huehuetenango. Did I mention I was up at 2:00 AM with a case of the shits last night….it continued through the morning the subsided right before we got to the border. Somebody's looking out for me:D

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    Driving into Guatemala at the Cauhtemoc border crossing was fantastic. Deep valley canyon with mountain cliffs that shot up extremely steep with a small river flowing through the divide.

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    The highway was washed out in one section so we drove down by the river and then back up to circumvent:

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    Washed out highway:

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    This guy has definitely crashed before because most don't wear helmets let alone elbow pads.

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    First impression is much better than Mexico. There seems to be some industry besides taco stands and mini marts. The other great thing about Guatemala is that the roads are more “interesting” and there are tons of higher end motos. Lots of cool Honda’s running around (even CRF’s on the streets).

    Arriving in Huehue it was the typical cluster fuck. Found a nice hotel for $25. Best bang for the buck thus far. Ate in the hotel lobby ($2 cheesburger w/fries). Then planning time.....

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  11. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    I have been anticipating this day for a while now (not because it’s Valentines day). We are going to Antigua where we plan to stay for 10 whole days. Finally a break!

    Load up the bikes and try to start mine….nothing. Crank it over 30 times with throttle wide open and it finally comes to life. Idles down and dies….shit. Then get it running and hit the street. A mile down the road it just dies out. Anything under 4K RPM and it quits. Ride back to the hotel and tear the bike apart.

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    I figure it has to be the carb so I pull it out and walk down the street to a fabrication shop for some compressed air. Met Ronald the owner….super nice friendly guy. After discussing the problem we break apart the carb and he cleans with air and some fuel and then reassembles. No charge! Just happy to help. I make sure the petcock is flowing and it is. Get back to the hotel, install carb, install gas tank, etc… Jump on the bike, it fires right up and we are off. Get down the street 2 blocks and it dies. F*CK!! In my haste to reinstall everything I failed to reconnect the fuel line….phew! Problem solved. Then snap a photo with my new friend from the fab shop.

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    Two miles out of town we roll into a gas station and bike dies. I don’t know what’s wrong but I crank the idle up to 3K and after some difficulty getting it started we hit the road for Antigua. It is now noon. So much for an early start.
    The ride from HueHue to Antigua is even better. Twisty as all hell surmounting mountain pass after pass. Our highest elevation was 9,848 feet. Up in the clouds it gets quite chilly.

    Broke down tuk-tuk with donkey just shy of 10K

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    There are lots of traditional Mayan folks who live on these steep hillsides right off the road that are quite interesting to view. I didn’t get many photos because I refused to shut the bike off until we got to Antigua. At one point i just started laughing in my helmet...I'm driving through the middle of nowhere in Guatemala with a bike that might fail at anytime if I drop below a certain RPM, I'm freezing cold and my ass and balls are soaking wet because I've been sitting on the mouthpiece of my camelback, and I don't know a lick of Spanish :rofl

    We even saw an incredible waterfall on the opposite mountain side falling probably 250’ or so. Tried to snap a pick…didn’t turn out so well.

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    Rolled into the cobble stone streets of Antigua and straight to a Hostel that we had chosen the night before. $16 for a private room with double beds. Walked up the street and got cheap delicious tacos.

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    I’ve got the idle back to usually on the bike and did stop and start once today with no problems. Hopefully the carb just passed some gunk but I’m still concerned. Going to check valves this week but I don’t have any shims so not too sure what to do with the info.
  12. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
    :clap

    MORE PLEASE! This is great! I would love to do something similar with my DRZ. By the way, how are the larger tanks holding up with the extra capacity? I assume you have always been able to find enough fuel even out in the sticks.
    I think you have a Safari mounted, right? I am using an IMS 4 gallon and I think yours holds slightly more fuel. Do you know what your range is?

    Keep it coming and enjoy the ride!
  13. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Tanks are holding up well (except my petcock...just had a pingle sent in to Guat). Alex has the IMS (I believe 3.9). Mine holds about 1/2-3/4 gallons more than his. No issues for either of us. Only once did we fill up from the back of a truck (Ensenada to Guerro Negro). I can easily do 220 miles on my setup. Al hits reserve at 150 and probably has another 40 miles to go. We don't know exactly because we haven't ran them dry.....yet. Thanks for riding along
  14. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Not much happened today. We looked for a Spanish school and tooled around town to just get a feel for it. Had a burn a few hours because we couldn’t check into the hotel until 3:00 PM.

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    Lots of motos but I'll be damned if I can find a motorcycle shop for some air filter oil:

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    The highlight of the day was when we were sitting in the hotel lobby we were approached by Sebastian and his beautiful wife both originally from Colombia. Sebastian lives in Florida and rides a KTM 990. He told us about some epic areas of Colombia to ride. I have not seen these areas explored in other ride reports so it should offer a little different insight to the area. No, I’m not going to explain where it is, you’ll just have to wait and find out. We are also going to try and meet up with Sebastian’s uncle in Medellin who is a fellow rider. Thanks a million Sebastian!
  15. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    We have been debating whether or not to extend our stay in Antigua and Central America in general. We are currently booked on a sailboat out of Colombia for March 7th. The other available date is March 21st. The first boat doesn’t give us much time. The second boat gives us too much time in CA but ultimately will hold us back from making it to Argentina. An email has been sent to the boat captain just to see if there is any room on the voyage for the 21st.

    If we have to make the boat by the 7th then we have to leave Antigua immediately after our Spanish school at the end of the week. Therefore I want to ride to lake Atitlan today while I have the chance. Alex decided to do laundry instead.

    Packed up some tools and a med kit and hit the road. At 9,000 feet it started to rain. My KLIM suit is still waterproof even after the gasoline…YES!! Dropping down into the town of Panjechel right on the lake the rain stopped and clouds started to evaporate. The lake is quite a spectacle with all the volcanoes surrounding the area. Even better is the road around the lake…..well, not that good but at least it wasn't pavement most of the way. The road is very steep and the dirt sections appear to be just dirt with gravel on top but it is actually a road of rocks with the sharp edges just barely protruding from the surface and then in-filled with dirt. Traction was almost nonexistent and higher speeds tough to achieve.

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    Here is a video of a few clips put together. A little slow speed fixation issue on the 20” ditch and then I was almost taken out by a bus around 5:00. Taking the corner at 60 mph there is a bus fully in my lane and I swerve into the dirt almost hitting the guardrail and falling off the cliff. It would have been a head on collision if I were in a car. Ridiculous!

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    The ride home was wet and cloudy up in the mountains. Most cars don&#8217;t have taillights (or don&#8217;t have them on). Quite precarious.

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    That night we ate at Monoloco and had the biggest plate of nachos I have ever seen. The menu said &#8220;nachos bigger than your head&#8221;&#8230;..and I have a big head so I put them to the test. They checked out alright!!

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  16. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    Hey Alex & Andrew,

    Met you two at Martin Verdugo's camp/hotel in Los Barriles a couple weeks ago, glad to see you're deep into Mexico. Bryn & I have been home for one week and now that the joy of warm bathrooms and cold IPA's has worn off (not to mention getting to know my wife again etc., but this ain't JM), I'm ready to head back to Baja :rofl

    I'll have to go back and read the whole report, but hope you enjoyed your stay in Baja--we sure did.

    Good luck!

    -Charles

    (the WR250R & DR650 father & son riders)
  17. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Hey Charles! Good to here from you guys. I'm glad we ran into you at Verdugo's becuase we ended up staying there for 2 nights and taking your exact same spot. I would definitely do it again. Hot shower and IPA is very tempting but I'm happy with my current position. Take care guys
  18. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Signed up for a week of language school. School is 4 hours/day from 8:00 to 12:00. Should give us time for a good activity/ride each day after class. Stay tuned for daily activities.

    Here is the hotel that we are stuck at for a week. My mother felt bad for me with the places we have been staying so made a donation to the ride. Love ya Mom!


    The nondescript entrance:

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    The pool:

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    The birds in the courtyard:

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    My room on the upper right:

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    I know this is anti-adventure but I'm just charging up my batteries before heading for Honduras and the rest of CA.
  19. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    First day of Spanish class. My mind is not excited about being back in school. Must admit I feel a little discouraged that the Spanish I learned back in high school is not coming back to me.

    The view from my breakfast table at the hotel:

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    Menu at our new "Go-To" spot. Super Tacos for me...

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    Found an HP2 in a moto shop:

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    After class I headed out for a ride to try and get to the base of the Pacaya Volcano. Made my way up into some mountains that overlooked Antigua. Then drove 15 miles down a horrible rocky road and entered a town called Palin that seemed rather dangerous and there was literally no way out of town. Went off-road through some brush and found a hole in the fence line along the freeway to sneak my bike through. Then merged into traffic and ended up in the outskirts of Guatemala city. Thirty minutes later I pulled into Antigua feeling better about things. Didn’t accomplish much but it was an adventure.

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    Looking down on Antigua:

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    A neat flower:

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    A nice highway:

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    Went out for dinner. Found more drinks than food. Met an Aussie named Dave who was quite entertaining and bought us a round. But first Al wanted to do some "cooking" in the room:

    Michaladas in the bathroom:

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    Guacamole on the computer desk:

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  20. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Struggled to get up and get to school. Then struggled to stay awake at the table listening to my teacher. Then I heard a rumbling and about 30 people congregated behind me looking at something. I stood up and walked over to see that Volcan de Fuego had just had a decent eruption and spewed ashes a few hundred feet in the air.

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    My teacher didn’t think much of it and said it was a common occurrence. I knew the volcanoes were active but didn’t know they were this active. Apparently Pacaya is just as active so we are going to ride our motorcycles up as far as we can….or are allowed.

    Despite my struggles in the morning I made quite a bit of progress with my Spanish skills. Still heavily lacking but doing better. After class our teacher walked Alex and I to the street market where we could buy cheap Ceviche and a knockoff iPhone cord so that I can use my phone again. Teacher says I’m limited to dos Cervezas this evening and I need to study my verbs. Unfortunately it is ladies night in town so we will see what happens….

    Oh yeah, found a tiger 885 on the street with a UK sticker :norton

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