California To Panama Super Adventura

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Mendo, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

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    Saturday, March 14, 2009

    day 36/37/38

    Yesterday we moved out of our hotel and into the hostel down the road. I rode my XR over there and it was hell on my shoulder even for only a 2 minute ride. We check in and the room is much nicer then we expected and a whole new group of people have moved in along with a few from days earlier. One of the girls who is a nurse convinces me to see a doctor again about my shoulder so I find one who happens to be a shoulder and joint expert. He looks me over and I tell him our story and he basicly said I would be a idiot to continue riding without letting my ligaments heal because they are all torn. He also said I would need surgery for sure when I got back and I would be out of commision another 6 months. So I have a decision to make.
    We go out that night with the whole crew and im sure by now you know it was a interesting one. I wont get into it now but jeff will post the pics later as I lost my camera and his memory card reader the other day. doh!

    BIG UPDATE
    Today I make up my mind that I am going to leave my bike here in Puerto Escondido and fly to Honduras to meet up and travel with my life long friends from Mendocino, Zev and Lauren. My last trip to Nicaragua and Costa Rica, Zev and I traveled together and had a blast. Im sure this time will be no different. So tenative plans for me from here on out are to travel around Central America with them and let my shoulder heal for a month or two, then fly back here when Shane and Jeff are on their way back from Panama and ride back to California with them. Im sure we will all meet up again multible times somewhere along the way. I am really bummed I cant keep riding with them the rest of the way but I think this is my best option and a smart decision I will be thankful I made later in life being able to have a fully functioning shoulder.
    We are going to continue the blog with both me and Jeff posting our stories and pictures on our seperate adventures until we meet again.

    #41
  2. VampyreMP

    VampyreMP Frustrated Adventurer

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    I've been following this report with envy and awe for the last few days. So sorry to hear that you can't continue. It certainly sounds as if you're making the right decision. Good luck healing that shoulder. I'll be watching for future posts. Buena Suerte. :norton
    #42
  3. WeeBee

    WeeBee Proud Deplorable

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    Chris

    Sorry to hear you can't continue your ride but I think you are making the smart decision regarding taking care of your shoulder. You're just a young pup - heal up right and you'll be able to enjoy the many more adventures you have waiting in life.
    #43
  4. bosco

    bosco Raybanned

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    :thumb
    #44
  5. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

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    3.14 to 3.16 Puerto Escondido


    The last few days have been spent in Puerto Escondido mostly consisting of lounging around the hostel, going to the beach and partying at night with the rest of the group here. A big chunk of the people left on Friday to go to a little surf town about an hour or so south and they returned on Sunday. Meanwhile a bunch of new travelers showed up to join the festivities including Edward 40 Hands, Bottle Cap Beer Pong, and The Douche Strikes Back. Again Jeff will have to chime in and upload the pictures, some are quite funny.
    Since I lost my laptop in the great loss of 09’ I decided to buy a new one here in town. What I did not realize is that any computer bought in Mexico is preset to Spanish and cannot be changed. So now my entire computer is in Spanish and I have no idea what is going on haha. I worked out a deal with the owner of the hostel to leave my bike there for a month or more while I take the bus to Honduras to meet up with my friends, this worked out very well.
    #45
  6. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

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    3.17 Taking Off To Guatamala


    I bought a new bag for my travels, pack up and say bye to Jeff, Shane and everyone and get on a bus at 5pm heading to the Guatamala border. Both Shane and Jeff have still not received their motorcycle titles or Shane’s passport so I’m not sure what their status is at this point. The ride was 12 hours but I was able to sleep most of the time and arrived near the border at 6am then caught another bus to Guatamala City at 7am.
    The bus stopped at the border and everyone had to get out and go through customs. Since I was sleeping I was the last one off the bus and had no idea where everyone went. I was instantly barraged with “helpers” who basically just try to get money out of you. You have to pay the border crossing fees in their local currency so they also have money changers who are also there to scam you. I forgot to check what the current exchange rate was before I left and I changed out 1000 Mexican pesos and received 130 Guatamalan Quetals in exchange. I later find out I got ripped off super hard on that deal.
    I find the first customs guy and give him my passport and tourist visa and he starts spouting off something about how my visa is no good and how ill have to go get a new one in the last town. I know my visa is good for 180 days, he is looking for a bribe. Since I lack the Spanish skills to even begin to argue with him a quick 20 dollar bill in passport gets the stamp and he gives it back to me and points down the road. So off I go with literally 15 guys following me telling me I need to give them money for this and that and how I have to hurry cause the bus is going to leave me. They are seriously masters of confusion and it worked. They are also carrying fake ID cards saying they work for the bus company as well as the government.
    Since I really have no idea where to go and think I am going to get left by the bus I end up paying one of the guys 50 dollars to get my passport dealt with. He did get it taken care of quickly but the entire time he wanted more and more money which I did not give him. Having a random guy have your passport is not a good feeling and was pretty stressful. It worked out in the end and I got back on the bus negative 70 dollars. Lesson Learned
    We arrived in Guatamala City around 4 and the bus drops me off who knows where. All I have heard is bad about Guatamala City and how it’s the murder and robbery capital of central America. My guide book pretty much says don’t go there its extremely dangerous so im kinda on edge. I find a chill taxi driver that speaks English and he takes me to the next bus station so that I can book my bus for the next morning to Honduras. He is a genuinely nice guy I can tell and this puts me at ease. He says he will take care of everything and wait for me while I get the tickets. I book the tickets and decide to splurge and get the Executive Seats because my last 12 hour journey was kind of uncomfortable. The bus leaves at 5am and I have to be there at 4am, brutal. Get back in the taxi and he takes me to a ATM so I can get some money then recommends a hostel near where the bus station is.

    The hostel is very nice and 2 American guys who are staying there greet me and we start talking. One of them is 19 years old and was home schooled his whole life and this is his first time out in the real world. He is seriously ADD to the max and lacks major social skills, he latches onto me like im his best friend and just gets way to friendly way to fast. Starts asking me how to pick up girls and how he is in love with some girl in El Salvador and is going to go see her even though she does not like him, haha sounds like a great idea. Woah you are to much to handle right now so I go out and get some food and buy a new Digital Camera to replace my lost one.
    I get back and there are 2 girls from Norway there and dude is all over them being super annoying and I can tell they are very turned off with his ridiculous advances. I pull him into the room and give him a 20 minute pep talk on what not to do around girls, which is everything he was doing. I felt like I was a old man giving advice to a middle school kid. Since I have to get up at 3:30am I call it a night.
    #46
  7. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

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    3.19 Guatamala to Honduras


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    Wake up at 3:30 and pack up everything and am out the door at 4am and get a taxi to the Bus. Get on the bus and am very surprised how nice it is especially the 1st class section where I am at. Ahhh so glad I spent the extra money, the seat reclines almost all the way back and I get a blanket and pillow and fall asleep in like 2 minutes. I wake up and we are at the Honduaras border crossing and once again im the last one off, not again! I am pleasantly surprised by how mellow the situation is, the immigration office is clearly marked and there is no one hassling me for anything. The whole process took 10 minutes and was a breeze. Nice!
    The rest of the ride went well and I even got my own VIP wating room between buses, it was pretty baller I gotta to say.
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    Got into La Ceiba around dark and got a dorm at a hostel and went to sleep early so I would be rested and ready to go to Roatan Island the next morning and meet up with Zev and Lauren.
    #47
  8. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

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    I wake up to my alarm at 730am and see another guy across the room in another bed, we say whats up to each other and I ask where he is going and he says I dont know. He asks me the same and I tell him I am going to Roatan Island to meet up with some friends, wanna come? Hell ya he says, he is super stoked and we jump in a taxi and head to the ferry terminal. His name is Peter from Austrailia, very cool and funny guy. You will be hearing of him more later.

    We buy our tickets and get on the ship around 930 and sail off into the open sea's.

    As we pull into the island we are both blown away at how awesome it is. Lush tropical jungle with crystal clear water and the entire island is surrounded by the 2nd largest living reef in the world. There are ship wrecks in the water near port that look very cool as well[​IMG]


    We step off the boat and are so excited to be here, this atmoshphere is what ive been waiting for the whole trip. You can feel the Carribean Island vibe.

    Last I talked with my friends they said they were at a hotel on the beach and to find them somewhere there, so we taxi it into town and get dropped off on a amazing beach along a little dirt road laced with small hostels and fruit smoothie stands. I ask someone if they have seen a really tall guy and a buff guy and they point down the beach. There they are! I run over and get some celibratory hugs and just bask in the amazingness of this place. I am instantly treated to a lounge chair on the beach with a bunch of Noregian girls and a cold beer. Yes I have arrived!



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    We all kick it on the beach for a while and then go grab some super good chicken wraps. Dam this island is expensive, but worth it fully I can already tell. Lauren gets a bottle of Flora De Cana Rum and we mix up some drinks with about 9 other people and just chill out and swim for most of the day. Lauren and Zev both work at the local cantina and decide to have a bonfire and music party behind the cantina. We go out back and clear out a area for the fire and set up seating for everyone.


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    By now it is almost sunset so we all cruise over to the sunsetter bar and meet up with everyone and chill out with some drinks and watch a picturesk sunset[​IMG]

    Back to our cabin by the beach to get ready for the night. A bunch of people show up at the bon fire and we hang out there and listen to live music by lauren and some other musicians from all over the world, was a good time.

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    When the bar closed we walked about 5 minutes down the road to a dance party and things got crazy.


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    You could say Peter was very drunk by this point and was busting out the craziest dance moves ever. He had a differnt dance for every animal in the jungle and even had a dance dedicated to me "the dislocated shoulder" lol.

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    He was seriously hyphy and pumping everyone up till pretty soon everyone was going nuts. I almost died laughing, I really wish I had my video camera. Other unmentionable things happened that all led to a great night! I love this place, I dont think I can ever leave.
    #48
  9. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

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    3.25 Roatan to Utila Island


    Zev and I decided to take the Catamaran over to Utila Island for a few days so we all pack up and move out of our room. Lauren was supposed to leave at 5am that morning to catch the ferry back to the mainland so he could fly home but events from that night made that impossible so he was going to get the 2pm one instead. We give our farewells at the dock to Lauren and the Noregian girls we had been hanging out with and sail out of the bay towards Utila which is about a 4 hour trip.
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    The boat trip was great, we chilled on the nets in the front and drank beers with a couple from New York and even got escorted into Utila by a school of about 10 dolphins, jumping and following the boat.
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    Utila is much different then Roatan, its way more funky and backpackerish while Roatan is on the upscale side. We get off the boat and walk into town to meet up with a friend of ours Natalie who we stayed with in Costa Rica on our last trip. She had emailed us saying she was taking her dive master course on the island so we cruised around for about 10 minutes until we found her at a dive shop on the water. She got us a room at the dive shop overlooking the ocean, very sweet.
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    The shop had a cool old bar and we hung out there and met some of the divers and locals until we went out. Two locals, Alan and Peter took us out to some bars and we kicked it with them for a while.
    One place called Tree Top stuck out, the bar was up in a tree and it had catwalks that went all over the place up in the tree’s. There was also a huge garden area decorated in very strange and interesting art that looked like it was designed by someone tripping on LSD. There were huge Banana Spiders all over the place that are very poisonous so you had to be careful where you walked. As we were walking around a friend of ours Tosh walked right through a huge web and started freaking out and taking off all his clothes thinking there was a spider on him. Luckily there was not.
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    #49
  10. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

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    3.26 - 3.28 Utila Island, Honduras

    Report to be added....


    *Cliff Notes* Police Officer getting picked up by his throat against the fence by agro local guy and getting punched in the face while his three other cop buddys fleed the scene. Nuts!

    Also Shane and Jeff have been slacking on their blog updates but are currently at the Copan Ruins in Honduras and will be riding here to the Islands to meet up with me, should be fun.
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    #50
  11. Jeffh555

    Jeffh555 F'n n00b

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    Ok, time to get this thing updated, we're still doing this thing...

    If you remember back to what we have dubbed ¨The Great Loss of 2009¨ where Shane lost the top bag off his bike. It fell off along a mountain road and we were unable to find it. Along with some riding gear, some tools and some spare parts, he lost his passport, motorcycle registration, his spare key and Chris's laptop.


    Step one was to get a new passport. Rode to Oaxaca from Puerto Escondido, only 150 miles, but took about 5 hours, and Shane got a flat tire. Once in Oaxaca we found the US consolate and ordered a new passport without too much hastle, it would be there the following Tuesday. We decided to take the slightly less windy route back to Puerto, but it wasn't really any better. It got dark and we were at a 9000 foot elevation only 30 miles away from the ocean. Up that high I swear we were in a cloud and it was super cold, of course we didn't bring cold weather gear. To top it off I had only eaten lunch that day, and it was definately wearing on me. Somehow I only weigh 40 pounds more than Shane but need to eat about twice as much as him. We found some food on the side of the road and then eventually made it back to Puerto Escondido, with time to go out with everyone from the hostel.[​IMG]
    #51
  12. Jeffh555

    Jeffh555 F'n n00b

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    When we started this trip Shane and I only had the registration cards for our motorcycles because we had purchased them just before the trip and the DMV hadn't issued us titles yet. Once Shane lost his registration we decided it would be a good idea to have our titles mailed down, so that we both had the same paperwork to show border officials. This would of course not be without issues.

    The owner of the hostel told us there was a DHL office up by the market, so we had our titles sent from home to be held at the DHL office. Overnight shipping from California still took about 6 days, but we were also waiting for the passport so this wasn't a big deal. Once the online tracking said they were at the DHL office, Shane and I walked into town to try to find the DHL office, we got directions to 3 different places, and never found the DHL office. Once back at the hostel, I emailed my buddy back home and he called DHL and got me an address.

    The following day I got in a cab and showed the driver the address, he said no problem, 25 pesos, and we took off. The streets and building sin alot of Mexico aren't very well marked, Puerto Escondido is no execption. Eventually I was convinced we found the correct address, and of course there was no DHL office there. This is what I found at that address.

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    Another email and phone call and it turns out our paperwork is sitting at the office in Huatalco, about an hour ride south of Puerto.
    #52
  13. Jeffh555

    Jeffh555 F'n n00b

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    Just one more problem, Shane seems to have lost his motorcycle key somewhere at the hostel. We search everywhere for it, it's gone. The guy running the front desk calls a locksmith and he says he can make a new key for 300 peso, that's only $20. The locksmith comes out and spends about 6 hours working on Shane's key, he is able to get the helmet lock and gas cap to open, but not the ignition. Eventually he tells Shane he's needs him to take the lock cyclinder off so he can take it to his shop and make a key. In the morning Shane tears his bike appart and the locksmith goes and picks up the part.

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    Shane leaves the 300 pesos at the front desk, and we go about our day. Shane wakes up from his afternoon nap to see the lock cyclinder and new keys sitting next to his bed.
    #53
  14. Jeffh555

    Jeffh555 F'n n00b

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    The next day we ride to Huitalco. A girl on a scooter is trying to sell us jungle tours or something, so we show her the address, she tells us to follow her, we do. Then she picks up a guy on her scooter, maybe her boss or boyfriend. We follow them.

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    We still find it without any problems and we now have our titles. What a relief.

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    The ride back to Puerto Escondido was also pretty uneventful, exept for riding off a three foot dropoff, through a construction zone to get around traffic, twice. That was fun.

    You may have forgotten through all the fact that Chris dislocated his shoulder and Shane broke his foot, but our buddy Leal didn't and sent this balloon.

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    #54
  15. Jeffh555

    Jeffh555 F'n n00b

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    Like I said earlier, we weren't really stuck in Puerto, if we wanted to we probably could have gotten all this taken care of alot faster, but there is just something that sucks you in. It may be the hot weather, the constant sunshine, the warm water, the beautiful beaches, or the surf. I think it was The Mayflower, the hostel in the middle of the tourist zone, a block from the beach. Somehow the Mayflower just attracts the most awesome travelers, it was almost like a big family. It seemed like as soon as anyone checked in they were instantly part of the group and invited to do whatever everyone else was doing.

    A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a few words about Puerto, you can imagine the details.

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    #55
  16. digger2

    digger2 A cad & a bounder

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    My wife found my photo albums from the 70's and 80's when I was a photog on cruise ships. Cannot understand why they do not like to see pics of old girlfriends,,


    #56
  17. robincx

    robincx Wherever u go, there u r

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    Rockstar Adventure Trip. I like.
    #57
  18. Jeffh555

    Jeffh555 F'n n00b

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    Yet again, we woke up early to head out to Oaxaca, out of bed at 7 AM, I don’t think Shane likes this much. Kathryn, Amanda, and Lucas, a few of our new friends drag themselves out of bed to wish us a safe journey. As is par for the course at this point, something is already not going as planned, my bike won’t start, the battery is dead. I have no idea why this is, I took Kathryn for a ride a day earlier and the bike fired up no problem. I bump start the bike and we are on our way.

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    For some reason the ride to Oaxaca was more enjoyable this time. Maybe it’s because we knew what we were getting into. I think if Mex131 was in my backyard, it may be one of my favorite riding roads, very tight and slow, with huge elevation gains and beautiful scenery. It has a few dirty sections, but I’m on a KLR not a sport bike, so it’s no big deal.

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    On the decent down to Oaxaca, Shane spotted a dirt road that seemed to go in the direction we needed to be heading, so we decided to see where it goes. The road followed some power lines, back home that’s one of the easiest ways to find dirt tracks. Normally the power company plows a descent trail for installation and maintenance of the lines. In Mexico, this proved to not always be the case, as this particular trail turned to a rocky goat trail that neither Shane nor I felt like riding on loaded down KLRs with stock skid plates, so we returned to the highway and made our way to Oaxaca.


    Once Shane had his Passport in hand, we grabbed some tacos and decided that there wasn’t a lot we wanted to see in Oaxaca. This was mostly because I didn’t want to bore Shane with churches and museums. We decided to keep riding to Mitla, a pre-hispanic town turned colonial town, and check out the ruins there. By the time we got to Mitla, we would only have had an hour to check out the ruins before they closed, so we decided to do it in the morning.

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    Most other towns in Mexico seem to just start waking up around 8pm, and we were a little tired, so we decided to take a little nap before dinner. It turns out Mitla is a little different, and nothing was open after our nap. We rode around town looking for food and the only place that we could find open was “Brown Taco” it was actually quite good, but I think al pastor tacos may be my favorite food ever.
    #58
  19. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

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    :clap :freaky :eek1 :wings :raabia :poser :jkam :dj :strum :rilla :nomystery :sick

    Think that about covers it, apart from there isn't a motorcycle or dislocated shoulder one.
    #59
  20. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

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    Take care guys ... no more crashes please!
    You must be getting good at fixing flats. Hopefully by now you've discovered
    Llanteras? Muy barrato. Just ride it flat to the shop, toss the old tube and buy another or use your spare(s).
    #60