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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Throttlemeister, Aug 11, 2009.
You promised you wouldn't tell anyone!
You goofy bastards You'll some of my favorite readers and latin friends Maybe next year we're all in
I think there is a lot more coming on the rr this coming week, not so much porn thou
The questions just kept coming and all the meanwhile Alberto the translator was going back and forth with the stern looking fellow asking questions in Spanish and then passing them on to me during all this Alberto was writing a book of all the answers. Pages and pages where getting filled up as they questioned me about my family and their occupations. They wanted to know the entire trip from leaving Oklahoma back in Nov and wanted my route down South, where I stayed, how low it took and how much money I used etc, etc. I was so tired by this point it was all I could do just answering their questions the best I could.
The questions only intensified when the story had me arriving in Cienfeugos a few weeks earlier. They had taken all my documents and anything they saw as far as telephone numbers or addresses I was questioned about. Some of these I couldn't even remember and had no clue about until they showed me my little log book. I'm sure some of these poor people got drug into this mess as well. This guy I'd met while getting the tags and license for my bike was brought up:eek1
I can only imagine the call he got on the phone:huh Address I had written down in La Habana while trying to find the ticket office for the ferry boat to Isle of Pines was brought up and it wasn't until they show me my book that I could figure about what the hell they where after. They where very interested where I stayed each night and I tried to the best of my memory to recall the many different places to satisfy their requests.
After a long time the interogation took a turn and slow with the questions and Alberto who was doing most of the talking started telling me how my importation in Cienfeugos only allowed me to travel in that provence and not allowed to travel the rest of the island. I knew this to be false as the officials who checked me into the country had known of the plan that I was exported out in Santiago at the end of my tour. They kinda renigged on the statement and began to tell me how I was only allowed in the tourtist areas and paved main roads and how I was not legal to ride offroad and most definetely not allowed to be camping out in the mountains!
At this point I knew I just finished riding in Cuba and longed be off the island right now and safe back on the boat and was more than thankful that Stahlratte was tied up down in the port. The questioning finally ended near dawn as I was competely exhausted and their had been many chapters of a book written in their log of all the questioning, I would love to get my hands on a copy and see what all was written as I can now hardly recall all but some of the hundreds and hundreds of questions but there was more to come. I apoligized profusely and told them that I was scared now after all the stuff that had transpired and ready to stop riding the bike and just just get the hell off the island. I was met with what I thought was most unusual response; they said I could still ride the bike the remaining time I had on island BUT that I was not allowed to ride offroad or camp in the woods! I was finished, this ordeal was more than I cared for and I was DONE riding here and couldn't wait to get free from this place! But it was not to be as I was now directed to the hands of the customs as they would disect all my gear
All my luggage, including all documents on my person, my camera, and anything else I had electrical (except the Garmin that they must have thought was attached to the bike with the nice tt mount), along with my pocket knife(plus my mean looking fish filet knife) and litle gerber tool had been taken by the military when they first found me in the woods. When the two military vehicles and myself had arrived from out of the hills at the police checkpoint along the coast everything had been transferred to a police vehicle and I was always brought to witness all the transfer of my belongings to the next vehicle. Now here at the immigration building my stuff was again all transferred to a waiting customs car as we where now headed to the harbour to go through a major customs inspection of all my gear:huh
I once again loaded up on the bike in the cool morning hours just before the sun was getting ready to rise and made our way back through the city streets and around to the private boat harbour area where I was reunitd with the SteelRat, well almost as I still had to go through this last bit of fiasco. We ended up in the very secure double gated port area and had to rouse more than one guard to open the gates at such and early hour as the driver of the car was impatiently waiting and was quick to get my gear unloaded from his car and turn me over to the next guy in line.
I with all my piled up gear was turned over to the customs inspection officier who'd been waken far earlier than normal in this special circumstance. I forget his name now but he was a short budge of guy who spoke limited English and was obviously more than a little short with me as he had me load all my gear on an ancient old wheel truck and move it all into his office and to add this guy was BY THE BOOK and took his job to the next level. We started with what nearly took an hour to go through all my gear and he was most interested in all the electric stuff; ipod, camera, little etrex handheld gps, and he went with me to take my beloved 276c off the bike that all the others had left alone. On another noted I'd gotten back all my knives except the mean looking fish filet knife that I still don't know what had happened to. He took these things from me and put them all in a custom's bag and gave me a receipt for the items. I questioned the best I could if I would be getting these items back and all I could get was "possibly" I was too tired to argue any more and just as the sun had risen I finally got released to the Stahlratte and was more than happy to set foot back on board in my safety zone!
I was the only one milling about at the morning hour as there was only Captain Lulu, Maria his Colombian gf or next ex, Gabi-Lulu's ex-wife along with her bf Eeter, Lulu's mother, Tom-a German national, Nadine-a German girl who saild up from Colombia, and last Guillermo- the Argentinian who also sailed from Colombia all who where sleeping as I boarded. As I was getting my gear back on the boat that the crazy custom's officier allowed me to keep I was dying for my cozy berth and in my loading of gear must have woke Lulu who met me in the galley before I could sneak to bed. I relayed the short story of the early morning events and shocked the captain before I crawled down in the hole, the old captain's quaters in the back of the ship and slept like the dead for many hours happy to be off the island.
When I got up later that day I was first rewarded by the captain with this note from the immigration office:huh:eek1
WTF NOW!!!!!! was all I could think...
The ole Rat tied up to the pier in Santiago Jan 4, 2010 the day it arrived from the sail along the South shore(from Nadine's collection)
The rest of the day did not go very well after I'd woke from my deep sleep sometime later in the afternoon. I was pissed and even more scared after getting the note from the captain about having to return to that immigration office after the book of information that was written earlier this morning. I didn't want to go and told the captain that I wasn't going to go back and he said it was a decision that I couldn't make and that I would be going back or our planned departure could be interupted in a few days I really wanted to just stay on the boat and leave all that behind but it just wasn't going to be possible
I could only think that they'd hacked the garmin open and gotten all the way points and tracks and the where able to open hundreds of pictures off my camera's sd card and had a whole host of new and more important questions about the tracks, waypoints, and pictures that would be drilled tomorrow. I couldn't help but worry about what was coming tomorrow while I was relaying the crazy story of my last 12 hours to the crew. I was now the terrible American spy who was causing hell which didn't help much at all. Now the rest of the crew had come under the focus of intense scruitiny of the custom officiers and everyone was throughly searched when the came back to board the vessel each time. The only good thing happening was the reuniting with some of the other crew that I'd come up to the Special Place with as they where returning to the ship from their own travels on the island; Jos from Luembourg and Johan from Sweden, and Daniel from England made their own ways back filtering in over these last few days we where scheduled to be in port.
The crazy story was told numerous time to the old and new to me crew members as we had a hell of dinner that evening and I told the crew how I was done with Cuba and had enough but the thought of killing a few days sitting on the boat was not appealing way to finish off the trip to the island. So Guillermo and I planned to do a little scuba diving tomorrow and he also agreed to come with me to the immigration office in the morning before we headed out to dive along the South coast at a resort area, strangely headed in the same direction that had caused me all the trouble the day before. He'd arranged transport with some locals and it was set for tomorrow morning when they would take us to the immigration and afterwards on to the dive site. It was nice to know I'd have my own translator to accompany me tomorrow as I wasn't looking forward to going back at all but the diving would be a nice diversion to take me off the bike which I was done riding as it waited patiently in the secure port area.
There was nothing much to do the rest of the night but sit back a drink cold beer and highballTomorrow's new day
Playing on the computer and loaded up some cuba tracks
What is with the puka neckless?? spend any time on Kauai?? Heading to Cuba...... Oh yea!
thanks for sharing.....John
Hey John be sure and let me know next time you are in DFW or Austin. I'm in Austin now.
Haven't been on the Green Isle not since back in the late 1990s when I hiked into the wettest place on Earth looking for a mystical swimming hole with rope swing.
I wear it for luck;
I got the necklace given to me as a gift by a beautiful daughter of a Mexican tienda shop owner right near the Edzna Ruinas after I gave her husband a map of Mexico I had. They let me sleep on the floor of their shop and offered me coffee and some food. Wonderful people of Mexico
Hola Senor Trent
You know how plans change, I might be seeing you down in the TX Hill Country for NYE party if you are around the area It could be a better party if you and Ross showed upI'll be in touch either way if I'm headed that way, still have to put a clutch in the old mule iffin I want to ride down.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------Little update since Oct has already come and gone
I've two very important tests left that I needed to take for my sometimes day job waving the magic ultrasound wand to keep me ready to return to the profession easily and one of those important tests I let get the best of me and didn't pass Since it must be done before the end of the year and also has a time limit of sixty day waiting periord to retake I'm going to be in country to retest until right after Christmas which isn't so bad seeing how I missed last year and all in Cuba without my family. So I will be leaving sometime after the New Year has come yet to be determined but will do ASAP, I'm really dying to get back to SA and my bikebut as most of you have figured out, it's hard for me to leave my life here, I do I enjoy it.
Had a great weekend with friends here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=739908
at a Zombie Training Program that I took part in with the newest collection of the fleet, my little xr200r that I rebuilt end of this summer.
I've still got the clutch to put into the old mule that finally gave up out in the mountains of New Mexico back in August at the Latin Rally and study up for these last two US tests before leaving for lands to the South early part of next year. I hope to get to work on updating this poor old thread before getting back down there but it is not at the top priority list at the moment but should be soon hopefully.
Thanks for hanging in there with me on this adventure. There is a little bit more to come in Cuba before we sailed back down to Jamaica for a wild time on the return sailing trip making the way back to Cartagena again.
It's been a great time sharing it all here on ADV!
The next morning a Thursday started off well enough except I was without my camera which would have been nice to have the last few days on island
Guillermo and I had planned to do some diving today but first I had another little meeting at immigration that I wasn't looking forward to at all. I figured they had hack into the garmin and my camera's sd card and had a ton more questions to ask to add to the previous session the early yesterday morning. At least this time I had some backup on my side since Guillermo was coming along with me to the immigration officies with me. He had arranged a quasi taxi (meaning not your typical legal taxi but a local pimping out his ride) to take us to a very official government building, needless to say the two guys with the car where a little less than enthused and weren't really sure of the location of the place that they never go to
We made it before the appointment time and the office seemed closed and it took us a little bit to figure out this time we where to wait around back. I ended up meeting Alberto again out front as he was once again summoned to the immigration office to translate, kinda of weird hello. We waited for sometime with some other locals in some old junky plastic chairs stained with birdshit from many years under a gaint old tree. Finally I was called to come into the office and placed in one of the small office rooms with another stern looking official and again Alberto providing the translation. I could hardly believe it once they started off with more of the same questions again writing down all the answers like before, much like a recap of the long session the day before. It didn't last as long and then the talk changed to what I thought they where charging me with an offense and wanted me to pay a fine for breaking the law:huh
It seemed like they where wanting me to sign a plea or acknowledgement of guilt. I could hardly do more than agree that I was at fault for being off in the woods and I didn't know what I could do more to improve my position on the matter so I signed on the dotted line and then waited to hear the total of the fines. Turned out that it was only a signed statement that I was in an area that I was not supposed to be and that I lacked of all things "an Eco-tourism Permit" that would have allowed me to camp freely in the moutains and wander around off the beaten track like I'd been doing for the last few weeksI just inquired barely where I would go about getting this said permit and was never met with a good answer, just some other 'governmental department' they said I was more than happy to not have to pay some big fine and could only laugh about an EcoTourism Permit that I didn't have. The mood changed as this session finished up, the officials actually apologized to me about the experience, I just about fell out of my chair when that happen. They said I was free to continue to ride my motorbike on the island but could only use the main roads and not be off in the mountains or camping in the bush. I was still a little rattled about the whole mess I thought it would be best to take it easy off the bike anyway.
The funny thing is as I finished up and walked back outside to meet Guillermo they saw him and asked for him to come in and go over a whole bunch of questions about his travel history and how he knows me:huh We were both very surprised and also upset that we had spent so much time wasted at the immigration offices and starting to get in the diving time as we where expected to have a morning dive and noon was fast approaching and our drivers had been waiting for well over two hours already. Finally we where both let free from the questioning and took off down that same damn road where I started to get into all the mess to begin with.
We had arranged to take a shore dive at a small resort on the South shore East of Santiago placed named Bucanero. We made our way out to the resport and got set up for a dive along with a French Canadain diver who had been diving the resort for the last few days. He was a major underwater photo guy and had spent the last twenty some odd years of his life diving the planet, it was nice to hear him say that Cuba was a good place to dive. I had a very successful shore dive, one of my record longest tanks, nearly 55 mins as I sucked well into the no-go range as I entered the mouth of the bay we dove out of. Very nice diving with lots of animal life and good colors and relative shallow depths, never over 75'. Would have been nice to play around with the underwater camera and get some good shots
Before and after the dive we hung out at the resort's small beach club/bar with no real options for single hot tourist girls, we swam around a bit and failed to get to take the small catamaran out for a sail because the day before a fat tourists busted the tramp. Our divers who were not allowed to hang out in the tourist area upon pick up told Guillermo that some undercover official types had waited and watched at the resort as we where diving the whole time, things where a little weird still it seemed. We loaded back up in the jalopy wagon that once started life as a classic sedan had been majorly hacking into a trucklike suv wagon and headed back into Santiago to find a nice little roadside place to eat, as it turned out all too often, chicken again. We bought our drivers lunch and shared some beers and stories as we listened to cranked foreign rock music before headed back to our home at the marina. It was a good dive day!
That evening was Nadine's last night aboard as she was headed back to Europe the next morning to rejoin the rest of the world. She had a party planned for us all that where aboard, Jos, Johan, and Daniel where still out and about on the island and hadn't shown up yet but Eter, Gabie, Lulu's mom, Lulu's gf Maria, Tom from Germany, Guillermo, and myself partied it up late into the perfect night. The following from Nadine's collection that evening:
She travels with a small crewmate of her own who made the rounds:
Eter, Gabie's(Lulu's Ex) boyfriend, Eter supposedly hate photos:
The Argentinian, Guillermo:
Maria, (Lulu's Next Ex as it was said)
Nadine finally let her hair down, which she had up since Colombia:
It took awhile for her and Maria to let it all out:
Was a nice eveing and a great sunset behind the hills:
Old pelican searching for an evening roost:
Sliver of moon left in the early eveing:
The hair kept coming down:
With good help too:
The she made us all modified CubaLibres and it was on
The hair was then put to good use
80's hair band member:
And just my regualar old good looks
Lots of big love in this photo, exs and mom and new bf:eek1 Makes for a funny combination if you ask me, all about the commune I guess
And Tom the happy German camper:
What a day in a special place, it was still pretty special
Anyone up for a real smooth one
And all was good!
Again without any photos because my camera was confiscated by the enemies
After a great night's sleep I was ready to hit the road again, they told me I could and I didn't want to spend the next few days hanging out on the boat when I had a moto on shore with a free pass, just minus my trusty gps that got taken away, I did still have my pos paper map out of some small travel book and after yesterday visiting with Guillermo we talked about making that trip I planned to Baracoa afterall.
We just had to secure a helmet for him since all we had on board besides by lid was sometype of goofy firefighting helmet. I didn't need to carry most of my stuff, just tools and stuff to repair tire and beach gear and we took off that morning toward the town of Guantanamo proper. It was nice to have a translator along for the ride and we just pulled up to the first local we saw two up on a bike we saw and offered about the same as $10US and where awarded a good used green Cubano special helmet and we where set. Here's a little google earth shot with general route we took on our little trip out East. One of the great paved roads in all of Cuba crosses the mountains East of Guantanamo and goes North to Baracoa, it was wonderful
Near Guantanamo forgetting which side I thought we where going to be cut down on this little trip. We came up on a big police checkpoint and they kept us for almost an hour going over all the paperwork and I'm sure making more than a few calls before they finally let us loose, I was almost sure they where going to haul us straight back to the immigration office in Santiago We passed through the town and headed down to the South Coast and found a nice place for a beer and small snack before heading up into the mountains on the great curvy road. It was a blast even hauling a dude on the back. We both had a great time taking in the views and stopping and buying little yummy oranges from the locals and eating them and home made chocalate we found along the way. We kept a pannier opened and just pulled out what we wanted as we tooled along the twisty stretch of road climbing over the mountains. Since our big holdup at the last checkpoint we got into Baracoa right as the sun set and had a look around the place and the old fort and sunken ship in the bay before finding a place for the night. It was so funny here in the Special Place with no foreign bikes me asking the room keeper if I could put my bike inside the place which he finally agreed to. He said he could have made lots of money charging the locals to see the huge tourist bike as we gathered a few blocks worth of a crowd loading the bike in the place
We split up for dinner each finding our own and met back at the place we'd rented rooms for the night. We hit a few bars and ended up just drinking rum and beers in the park watching people. I tired quickly and made my way back to my room and slept soundly after a great day of riding. I think Guillermo didn't like how loud my muffler was as he also only had an open helmet, file photo of the helmet:
The next morning we got up and we where both wanting to find a real good beach to do some swimming so Guillermo found out the best one in the area that was up the North coast a ways at a place called Playa Maguana so off we headed once we got the bike free and loaded back up with its boxes. Guillermo was okay but I would have much rather brought Nadine along When we finally found the beach we ended up at the super small little resort area and they told us the barrier reef beach was just next door, he walked while I rode around to the other side and then got on the super fine sand beach and rode like a dakar wild man making my way through the very loose stuff with lotos throttle coming up on two super hotties sunning themselves in the near noon sun. Oh so bad I didn't have a camera. I had to kinda buzz them not on purpose but because the bike just took me that way As I got up to the little parking area I got the bike propped up and went to tell them I was sorry about the interuption, they had no problems with the little bit of beach riding and then off came the cloths for a great swim. I used my old spare 21' tube and floated nearly a 1/4 mile out to the reef hoping I wouldn't attract any sharks. I also unfortunately saw the two girls lovers out swimming too, it was a great spot and before too long the tourist trade buses showed up but we'd already staked out a good spot at a little cabana type thing on the beach with a lounge chair and good looking hotties near by The little grill/bar place opened up and we had a nice lunch and played some dominos that Guillermo had bought the other night in town.
We stayed for a good while then loaded up and took off for the unknown to me big industrial complex town of Moa. They had some really wild looking red Earth oil stained looking giant ponds for something special and some type of mining center if I had to guess. The land looked pretty scared up from all the activity and I was happy to just be passing through, I think Guillermo was impressed with the amount of attention we drew on the bike, it's a weird feeling to get used to as it seems all eyes are on you as you ride through a town. We where trying to find a route South back to Santiago area without going back into Guantanamo and it proved more diffucult than expected, expecially without the gps. We asked almost every local we came across and before long it looked like we where on roads I was warned not to be on, at least I counldn't tell anyone was following us. Before we got on the little roads we meet a pair of tourists in a little subcompact rental car coming up from Guanatanmo over the last several hours over a potholed road, you could tell they where more than a little fed up with each other over the ordeal and the woman was pretty pissed about the whole deal We kept at it on the smaller routes and made our way in the general direction that we thought we wanted and finally made it back to bigger roads and more knowledgable intel on towns. I told Guillermo it was all on him if we got stopped for being out in the bush again by some crazy official
We made it back to Santiago in the early afternoon and I think he was more happy than myself to be back I went for an eveing ride a short ways over to the really neat fort to watch the evening guard shoot the cannon off at sunset which was really nice and had a look around most of the fort that you didn't have to pay for. One of the more impressive fortifications I've seen and a amazing vantage point for covering the entire approach to the cut to harbour of Santiago. Went back to the ship and found that some more of my comrades had returned from there own island trips so it was a nice homecoming with drinks and smokes again that evening and more stories to be told. We picked up another new German crew member Eric who'd flown in and would be traveling with us for awhile. The customs where throughly checking everybody coming to the boat now, I felt bad about bringing the extra attention but these guys where just real sticklers about it all. Tomorrow we would be leaving the special place and that night the immigration official who I only knew all too well came aboard right as we where having our dinner with the stack of passports. It was more than funny and the entire boat lit up in laughter when as the official was handing out the books he would open each and look at photo and announce the owner's name and they would raise a hand and they would receive it. When he came to the only American book he never opening it just tossed it my way and the boat lit up I not seeing as much humor in all of it as the rest of the crew I had more than my share of quality time with the guy and was glad to get my book back. Tomorrow we would resupply the ship and load my bike and get things square for an easy downwind sail back to Port Antonio once again.
What a time it was...
Awesome update!!! Glad that everything at the end worked out for you and didn't need to spend more time in the special place. Being from the caribbean I had always wondered what it looked like over there and if all the stories about the cars, buildings, and other things were true and from your report they are. Can't wait for you to pick up and keep traveling the world and enjoy what the world has to offer.
Thanks Ben, maybe I'll be seeing you down in Colombia soon but I don't want to spoil your ride
Thanks Amigo, It truly is a Special Place, I just wonder how much longer it will last in this state. You better go sooner than later
Trying to get caught up on this.
More coming in a few...
Leaving the big island today, the last piece to the puzzle in the Special Place after all the trouble was about to come together but with a twist. I had been without most of my electrics that had been confiscated from me during my little capture by the Cuban Military. They took two GPS, my ipod, and my camera and I hadn't heard a thing other than when they first took them that I 'might' be getting them back:huh
This morning I was busy getting the bike checked out of the country and loaded and storing all my gear onboard while others where out resupplying the boat and taking care of other arrangements. It was pretty strange that Tom the German while using an intercafe in Santiago was approached or overheard or something by two Russians who "wanted" to go to Jamaica on the boat. As the boat is in the business of making money the captain was more than willing to take on extra two persons and charge them accordingly. The captain along with the rest of the German speaking crew where very suspicious of the two new Russian members at thought they where Cuban spies, but at least they spoke excellent English and seemed allright to me but I didn't hang out much with them as I had business of my own to take care of.
I got the bike released from its temporary importation easy enough and quickly went about loading it up and getting it ready for another salt water trip across the ocean. Here I am finish the final bit of getting the bike's papers squared away (From Jos's camera):
The little customs guy on the right of the photo was the one who'd given me so much greif and taking all my electrics a few days prior. They where all getting ready for the big search of the ship with extra help.
I was secretly trying to get one of my best Cuban souvenirs of my time on the island and quickly got the bike covered up with its new plate but one of the officiers asked for the plate and I tried my best short of offering him some money to keep it all to no avail His excuse was that the plate would go back into circulation, who knows, here it might just be possible but I doubt it. Had to unwrap my present before I wanted too.
I will just have to make a duplicate, I did get to keep my new Cuban driver's license thou, one of very few issued
After the bike's tag was collected the main strip search of the ship started with at least 4 Cuban officials going through everyone's stuff looking for contraband or other stuff not really allowed One of the younger fellows went with me down in the hole in the former captain's quaters that I had comandeered since leaving Colombia back in early December. He gutted my room asking about anything and everything and when he heard I had a computer on board his eye's lit up and he politely asked if he could take it and have a look, what was I to say but "sure help yourself" While the search continued I noticed he'd put my little precious plate down on my bed and I inconspicously covered it up with some more of my stuff and hoped he would forget about it It was a little tough explaining the MREs as these guys seemed almost sure I was sometype of American military or spy I think. Soon after going through my berth he took off with the computer for near half hour before he returned with it along with a big bag back to my quarters where he handed back over my computer and in the customs bag he had all my other electrics that had been taken a fews days before,I was really really happy to get all that stuff back because I thought it might be gone forever He left and went back up on the main deck before he realized he didn't have the tag and asked about it and was sure in was in my room, I couldn't say it wasn't as it would turn into another search as he was sure that was the last place he'd had it. I went to get it but was able to get an official Cuban customs back for a substitute My search took quite awhile and after looking again at my computer I couldn't be sure but sworn they had copied my harddrive after looking at what was recently accessed:huh It just never quits, I'm ready to get the hell out of here!
They finished searching the rest of the boat the best they could and found some stuff they didn't like but in the end we made it out by the mid afternoon and all where happy to be gone. Some things don't check out as well as others
What ever it is you better have the proper stamps provided
Strangely enough the two Russians didn't seem to have any problems and where keeping to themselves hanging out up on the trampoline off the bow as we cast the lines and took off for the South once again.
I stored the ropes and got back in to my sailing mode once more:
The ship's old berth off the far side of the pier, some much nicer than dropping the hook and using the dingy for all the shore trips
As we exited the cut to Santiago Harbour we passed the old fort on its vantage point where I'd had a good look around the day before (Finally got my camera back):
As we approached closer off to the other side a group of little Cubanos waved us off and yelled cheers, oh what a different life we have but simple happiness can still be found anywhere especially in youth:
Fun to see the fort from the water and the places I explored just the other day, it's an impressive structure
Lots of tunnels down in the bottom:
The Cuban spies where everywhere watching every move we made
I rode out of there
Always horsing around on deck getting back to sea:
Cuba's all behind me now back on the casa particular, as Jos and myself referred to the balcony, for a good smoke and drink:
I was glad to be gone with all I came with except they somehow I think they kept hold of my vicious looking fish filet knife, guess it looked too dangerous or I have just lost it in my mess of gear. What a ride it was
I rode through all the Provinces in the Special Place, and hit the Northern, Western, and Southern most points for the hell of it and just missed the Eastern by a few miles since I'd gotten into a little bit of a bind. The ship's path is the white line. IT WAS WORTH THE TRIP AND ALL THE TROUBLE Glad I went back North!
That evening we had a nice time getting back to old friendships on the boat and slow time once again. I being on the water and sailing
The greatest sunsets and sunrises are seen on the ocean, this not being one of the top five but they are all great Here leaving Cuba in our wake as we make the easy run down to Port Antonio Jamaica Man
Before noon tomorrow we'd be back in the land of reggae and the big forest once more
Keep in touch - it would be great to see you in Colombia - even for just a beer
http://www.TheNewWorldRide.com is the link and here is the route (clockwise):
We stayed on island this time from Jan 10 until Jan 18 and I'm quite impressed that I was not locked up abroad from all the exploits.
I'd revisited with the two customs agents Cunningham and Hamilton that failed to pull through with allowing me to import the bike to Jamaica, they where just too lazy to make an extra $50 bucks I offered them. I'd found pdf import form through the Jamaican government posted online for importation and it didn't look like it was that big of deal especially since it was 650cc or less. They said it all needed to be done in Kingston, I call BS laziness. Oh well, I had alot of fun without the bike anyway I had one more chance to get on two wheels with a German ex-pat friend of Lulu's who had a bike that needed some work and the papers brought up to date that I was going to get going and pay the paper work to use it to travel the island but in the end Jos and I decided to just rent a let beater and trip around the island ourselves which turned out to be a perfect way
It's been a long time since I'd partied as hard as I did when we got back to Jamaica at Port Antonio's Errol Flynn Marina. I got my chance to get a feel for the two Russian spies and if they where in fact spies they where some pretty cool mofo spies
Getting back to Errol Flynn's main hangout:
After sailing through the night I awoke in the morning to the constant swell of the seas as we where still a few miles out from Jamaica and spent the rest of the morning coming back into a familiar place:
Again thankfully we got to tie up to the seldom used cruise ship pier once more:
Always sucks a little waiting to get cleared by immigartion clearance, one of the absolute best parts of stopping Jamaica again where the most excellent hot showers at the marina beside the rest that was understood, tropical lush green island to spend some QT. Least there are cold drinks aboard, Jos and I where always the first to start bringing in the new day
I started talking with the new Russians, Llia from the Ukraine now living in London, and Sergy from Moscow and before long we where all breaking laws together, swimming on Monday never felt so good! Llia here getting ready to mock that sign:
After a quick dip for a swim we got cleaned up and after all cleared went out for some exploring around the town. It was funny Jos, Eter, and myself where having a round robin of shirt trading. We'd get tired of what we had and swap shirts, like having new wardrobe the cheap way I went for the Red Army this time and traded Jos for my Marybelle's Pub shirt:
From L to R: Dan from England the youngest crew member, Jos from Lux, your author the lone American, and Eric the new German crew member who boarded in Santiago.
Before too long me and the two spies went for a walk around town got some pizza and found a most unusual place for Jamaica
Sergey with the "Who the fuck is Mick Jagger" shirt was funny because he worked as a dj in Moscow and wore it when he met the man
We kept the area clean
Stopped by the Rectory and saw this poor old dog look like he'd had a time, legs stretched back behind like he might be sore:
Did I mention it was sultry hot on this end of the island:
Damn I forgot to bring any stickers:
They did have some cool looking houses in this area right near the marina:
Good guys spies or not
We headed back down with nothing more to do than drink and swim. I broke out my spare 21" tube and we swam for a few hours, even swam across the channel to Ford Island for a little look around.
That evening this crew MADE PARTY!
Dan was the first one to give out as he was taking off in the morning for some island time:
The rest of us kept going until the sun came up and then kept at more:
Feeling a little old Lulu? Rough night of partying eh?
Jos did good:
Then silently in the morning Dan was off to explore Jamaica:
I moved over to the marina's bar for some wifi, I was hanging in there well enough:
I had some inspiration across from the pool, I should've manned up and asked he out as she was with her family sailing the Caribbean:
I had lots of net time I needed to sort photos and such(funny how I'm just now getting the report up nearly a year lateroh well better late than never) Was a good place to work:
and into the night:
I slept hard the rest of that night and the next day 01/12 was time to find some American food, turns out the Jamaican's run off McDonalds and settled for KFC, who'd figured that They where a little pushy even at kfc. I'm not rascist at all but there seemed to be a lot of tension in the area, I've never been called 'whitie' (wasn't called that in kfc for the record) so much in my life that I remeber:huh
Not a Big Mac but it was a nice change for my palate:dg
After the lunch we went to the local supermarket to source some cheap beer sinse we where spending so much time at the marina bar, we rigged a deal with the bar tenders to trade out our cheap beer and that the SteelRat had increase beer price by $.50 more now at $1.50/beer since leaving Special Place with the more expensive beer:huh We scored Stripe around $.88/bottle and loaded up a few cases to cover entertainment purposes. Funny to see American flavors again after so long:
That evening one of the special things they do at Errol Flynn Marina is have movie nights and watch all his great movies, these are really good and I recommend all of them, the golden age of movies I would say, Virginia City, Dive Bomber, Gentleman Jim just to name a few
Damn good bar popcorn too, nice outdoor movie experience and cheap beer
I really love old warbirds too
I think after the second movie of the marathon Sergey came to join Jos and I for "Gentleman Jim" What a great way to spend an evening. It was so funny at the end of the last film when Mix Master (the marina staff jack of all trades) was trying to stop the film right as Flynn, here playing the part of a boxer, was going to knock out his opponent. Well needless to say he duffed it and sent the dvd back to a menu, Sergey and I gave him hell over it and beat his assRe-enacting that famous shot many times over:
We had alot of fun that one!
He did a great job, Mix "Movie" Master
He hooked us well and we helped him out with some beers and the party kept going after the movies, the three of us Jos, Sergey, and myself kept on it late into the night and the next day.
The marina bar closed down sometime back so we switched over to Cuba cervasa und cheapo Ron:
Then we started messing with Llia back on the balcony, we never could get him to join the fun but almost got him to fight us allHe was so peaceful
Him and Sergey had went to Kingston during the day today to plan their escape from Jamaica and had told us all on the boat what a real "shithole" the place once. Right then and there me and Jos decided we'd rent a car tomorrow and go see the island for a few days and get the hell of the Rat for awhile and away from the expensive marina and see the real Jamaica!
What a great read! Thanks for sharing
Glad to have you following along Donovan Been enjoying your flesh eater thread, I seem fat in the pictures, bout time to get back down South I guess Fat is not fun!
Looks like a great route Ben, I might have to meet up with you along the way and spy from the back on some of the sections I haven't ridden Hope to see you around down South First beer is on me!
Thanks for following along John Glad your liking.
Try to get some more posting up here in a little while.
In the meantime the dynamics of the boat where changing again as it always seems we where picking up or losing crew as we went along. We lost Lulu's mother and Tom the German along with the two Russian spies who where leaving out of Montego Bay today and yesterday evening we gained five more Germans, at least 3 of which have been part of the SteelRat project for a long time like Lulu and Gabie and Eter so the numbers of outsiders was shrinking, with Dan from England, Johan from Sweden, Jos from Lux, and myself as the old guard out of Cartagena. Dan left out solo yesterday morning to explore the island, Johan the Swede found his little local hottie from last time we where in Jamaica(see photo below) I think he promised her something special Me and Jos decided it was time to make some tracks on the island of our own and get away from the ship for a few days. Our rental agreement with our little Toyota aka White Bitch got better and better the more days we rented it for.
Johan's little girlfriend, she did do some nice modeling below decks for us
Notice who's own their tip toes
That morning sometime before noon and after we'd said our goodbyes our new Russian comrades we'd walked down to the rental place to get our super beater Trecello and got her ready for action. The little White Bitch and Jos with his souviner Sturgis shirt, he's got a little American version 883 bitch over in Luxembourg I'm supposed to come over and get running again so he can bring his baby back home
Little weird getting in on the wrong side, I was cussed a few times getting over on the right side of the road, the drive throughs where really freaky feeling, counter clockswise around the Burger King never did feel right
Needed a sticker for good measure
We'd scored two good raggae CDs from the rental man, a big ice chest from Mix Master at the marina and along with free ice from their machine and we where off to points unknown heading East.
We had an assortment of refreshments:
I jury rigged my gps up to the cars electrics and we started to make tracks after I finally got it up and running a little ways out from Port Antonio. For the first day we stayed on the East end mainly, not just a whole helluva lot of roads here either, we took the coastal route:
We treated the car kinda like our own little reverse taxi, as we would stop and ask if they needed a lift and it would later become a inside joke, "How much do we need to pay you to get in and ride with us?"Our first stop was a very good looking Jamaican woman, she came up to our car and took a look at the two of us and kindly passed on our offer, all I can say is she would have had a damn fun time, her loss We'd drive for a bit in no particular hurry and stopped as we liked for a drink or a smoke, kinda became like Chinese fire drills for us. We stopped along one particular over look and soon enough we had some nice new friends from the States, and one was a hottie
I gave him a sticker to distract him while I talked with his pretty gf
I forget their names but they where a pretty cool pair and we gave them their first Cuban cervasa.
Good people from Minnesota or somewhere North IIRC and did I mention she was pretty damn good looking in that swim top and cutoffs
Jos and me got along good
Soon enough we where on our way again traveling East at a slow pace.
We came to a cutoff for Reach Falls and decided to go take a look. The tourist prices where high and we bargained hard for the local price and got it as we where repeat visitors to the island and "ran sailboat' tours It was a nice swimming hole in the lush jungle landscape:
And just look who we have here
Like true dirty sea dogs we didn't have any swimsuits so we just stripped down to our underwear and jumped in to the relaxing water, the falls work wonders on your back, like deep tissue massage. Had a hidden cave behind the falling water that was pretty neat, good use for underwater camera too.
In the cave:
I've got to post this before I lose it, ADV seems to be having some issues now:huh