California To Panama Super Adventura

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

  1. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    After a couple days we decided to head to Belize so we hopped on a small boat over to the nearby port city. The ocean was very rough this day and we were getting soaked by waves as they crashed into the bow of the small pontoon boat. Got to the port and walked to the Guatemala/Belize immigration. We were greeted at the door by a very nice local guy who helped us fill out our paper work, showed us were to get some food and sold us our boat tickets to Belize. We waited for a while and they guy came back and said the sea was to rough and we had to wait a while till we could go so we went down to a restaurant on the water and got some food and drinks and bumped some music. A very old and haggered looking man came up to me and started talking to me. We ended up talking quite a bit and I soon learned that he had just been released from San Quinten Prison a couple weeks ago and deported back to Guatemala. He told me some insane stories of prison life and how he ran a gang. I kind of doubted his story as it was some crazy stuff like having to stab people and trying to escape. He then took off his shirt and he had prison tattoos all over and obvious stab and knife wounds. He seemed like the sweetest old man and not some gang leader. He had changed his ways and seemed very happy about being out and leading the rest of his life happy and legit. He took out a piece of styrophom and colored pencils and drew me a picture of a rose with a very interesting drawing technique I have never seen before. Very interesting guy I will never forget.


    [​IMG]


    Our boat was ready to leave and we got on board. It was a speed boat type with about 400 horse power via 2 large engines in the back. Josh and I were the only passengers as the entire front was taken up by large mattresses held down by one guy in the front. We took off into the open sea bouncing all over the place due to the rough ocean. The waves just got bigger and bigger the further from the coast we got until it just got dangerous and ridiculous. We were full speed through the water approaching 10 foot face breaking waves on this little speed boat.
    The driver was so pro at driving I was blown away, we would hit huge waves max throttle launching the whole boat into the air and clearing the gap between waves making a smooth landing on the backside of the the next wave. He would then cut the throttle to narrowly miss a huge white wash from a breaking wave and then hit the throttle again riding the side of the next swell like a skateboard on a half pipe using the thrust from the turn to launch the next wave. I for sure thought we were going to die multiple times and there were no life vest and we were so far off the coast drowning would of been eminent. Im very surprised we survived no joke. The ride was like this for about 45 minutes, it was quite a experience.


    When we made it to dock I gave the driver a high five and we got off and went through customs. We then waited at the bus station for the next bus to come by. This town was so quiet it was erie. There was no one around at all and it was totally quiet. A old truck pulls up and 3 women get out and sit next to us. I notice one of them had a big gash in her head and is bleeding. I ask her what happened and she said she was just riding in a Semi-Truck that had crashed and rolled right down the road. She looked pretty hurt but was still very friendly. We all boarded the bus and she sat across from me and we continued to talk. Soon traffic slowed down and she pointed out the window. There on the side of the road was a huge semi truck and trailer upside down in a ditch. Wow that must of been intense.


    I zone out for a while admiring the landscape of Belize out the bus window. Such a different feel here then Guatemala, I dont know how to explain it. It takes us quite a while but the bus drops us off and we walk down a dirt road trying to find a boat to take us to Pino island which is right off the coast. I guess the boats stop running at 5pm. We showed up at 5:10pm. They told us they are no longer working and we would have to charter a private boat there for $50! There is no way we are paying $50 for a 15 minute dingy boat ride. We argue with him for a while but he wont budge. A local guy shows up and says he will pitch in $10 if we pay the rest. We had no choice really so we take his money and get in the boat.
    I have a half full bottle of rum sticking out of my bag and the guy asks me for a sip. I say ya no problem and hand him the bottle. He takes a sip and then says, can I have the whole thing? I say no your welcome to have some but you cant have all of it. He then gets very offended and starts going off about how he doesent like me and how he is a gangster on this island. He is getting very hostile and making threats to us about how he better not see us on his island. I had literally did nothing but be nice to this guy, he was crazy.
    The last thing we need is a fight with a local guy so I give the bottle to him and we get off he boat and leave. That was stupid. Its almost dark now and we find a chill place to stay on the beach then walk down the one path in town and grab some dinner and call it a night. Wooo what a day!
    #81
  2. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    Only spent one night on the island and left early the next morning on the bus to Belize City. We get to the city and make our way to the ferry over to Key Cauker Island. The ferry ride is nice and I slowly see the water turning more and more turquoise and clear. We arrive and its paradise. White sand everywhere, palm trees blowing in the breeze, all dirt roads and no cars. we check into a hostel on the beach and hang out for a while meeting other travelers. The island has a very chilled out vibe, im digging it. Two swedish girls we had met in Honduras were staying at our hostel and we all go out that evening.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #82
  3. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    Zev was still in Roatan and we had planned to meet up so he ended up flying to Key Cauker on a very small plane. I did not really know when he was showing up and as I was walking down the beach I heard my name and he came running towards me. It was so good to see him again, it had been almost a month. I got him a place in my dorm room there and we hit the beach all day with everyone.

    [​IMG]



    The next day we went on a boat trip out to the reefs to swim with the sting rays. The boat was run by a awesome Rasta guy with a very unique boat that he built himself.


    [​IMG]


    The captain was very funny and friendly and Zev, Josh and about 6 others from our hostel set out on the water bumping reggae music out of a old tape player the captain had on board. It was his only tape and I imagine it had been played thousands of time. Along the way he made some great seafood BBQ and chip dips in his little kitchen by the engine.


    [​IMG]


    We arrived at the reef and you could see about 20 huge sting rays swimming under the boat. The water was only about 5 feet deep. Captain jumped in first and one of the sting rays swam up to him and he picked it up out of the water and told us its name and how he had been out there doing this for 20 years and knew each sting ray personally. He asked us to jump in, I was hesitant at first but jumped in and was instantly baraged with all the sting rays rubbing into me. It was quite freaked out at first but soon came to terms with it and the Captain showed me how to properly pick one up. I held out my hands and of on them swam right up to me and nuzzled against my chest like a curious cat. It was quite a cool experience.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #83
  4. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    Zev and I had met two Australian girls on the island and we seemed to be on the same path so they came with us to Mexico. We took the bus from Belize City and ended in Tulum, Mexico many hours later. First thing I did was get some taco's and salsa. I had been missing Mexican food so much and this really hit the spot. We all went down to the beach which was just incredible. It was so clean and perfect. After some swimming we hit the local cantina and ordered a huge plate of some of the best ceviche ive ever had. Since then ive been trying to match this meal but nothing can compare.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    That evening we went out for dinner and then while walking around town at night found this fancy looking club so we decided to check it out. It was totally empty but the music was blaring. A short hobbit looking guy greeted us and said he was the owner. He was really cool and he got us our own room in the back saying there would be more people later. We had nothing better to do so we went back ordered bottle service and hung out together. The owner would come back every so often with all sorts of strange shots he had made for us and would drink with us. Turned out to be a really fun night. He let Zev do some DJing and when more people showed up we had to hit the dance floor and show them our moves haha.


    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #84
  5. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    Zev and I took a taxi to Playa Del Carmen the next day while the girls stayed in Tulum to check out the ruins. We got a really nice hotel on the beach for nothing and hit the town checking out the scene. Its alot like Cabo San Lucas here, very developed for tourism but really nice. The town was empty though due to the whole swine flu thing so business's were hurting and willing to sell everything for very cheap. I talked with a car rental company and ended up getting a brand new 4x4 Jeep Wrangler for $20!
    The next day the girls showed up and I picked them up in the Jeep and we drove north towards Cancun to go exploring.


    [​IMG]


    As I was driving down the highway I saw a old abandoned moto cross track on the side of the road so I turned around and went to check it out. Hey ive got full insurance on the Jeep so I zipped down the hill onto the track going over the jumps and spinning out on the berms. It was alot of fun and the Jeep did not break but I think the girls were a little scared. We were all covered in dirt by the end of it. A bit later we pull off into a little town and go down to the beach for a swim.


    [​IMG]


    I see a dirt road so I zip down it to find a old construction site. Put it in 4 wheel drive and drive through it out the the beach to admire the view and hang out for a bit.


    [​IMG]


    We then drove back to Playa Del Carmen for dinner and pool party just loving being back in Mexico!!!
    #85
  6. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    Zev and I had booked our flight from Cancun to Los Angeles because I had left my car and van in Southern California and we had to get them back to Mendocino in Northern California. I arranged to drop the Jeep off at the airport so we drove it there, dropped it off and hopped on the plane.
    Wow what a trip it has been! So many new friends and memories as well as incredible places visited. This trip has really sparked my interest in seeing the rest of the world and what it has to offer.

    We landed in LA and my good friend Erik picked us up and we stayed at his place the night then he drove us to Santa Barbara where I got my BMW and drove to Lake Nacimiento where my van was parked. Zev took off in my car while I drove my van all the way back home to Mendocino. It's so great to be back but im itching for a new adventure now............


    [​IMG]


    Ever since my accident my dirt bike has been behind a dumpster in Puerto Escondido and this has always been in the back of my mind. I planned on my shoulder getting better and me being able to ride it home but that is not happening so I need to figure out another way to get it home, and soon.


    Update on bike: After I got home I was getting emails from the hotel where my bike was saying if I did not get it in a week they were throwing it away and I would never see it again. Out of desperation I put up a post on a motorcycle website explaining my situation and how I needed someone to fly down there and ride it back to California for me. I did not expect any positive response but what do you know the next day I get a email from a guy named Nick in Detroit who says he would be glad to ride my bike back for me! This was a amazing stroke of luck and I took him up on it no questions and bought him a ticket from Detroit to Puerto Escondido, MX.

    Long story short he made it all the way through Mexico in a little over a month and I met up with him In San Fransisco where he flew back to Detroit. Really worked out great and I cant thank him enough. He went through hell to get it back but had a amazing trip for himself.
    #86
  7. Mullet

    Mullet Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Yes indeed, that is my kind of adventure. Im glad to see the party people are getting done.

    I hope the next one is just as good! :poser
    #87
  8. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    I am currently over in Asia and have been doing some riding out in the jungle of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Having a blast and thinking about buying a bike in the Philippines and touring the country for a couple months.

    current blog http://mendoindo.blogspot.com

    Day 78


    I had seen some sweet dirt bikes for rent the day before so I got up early and got one from a guy on the side of the street for 300 baht and took off not knowing where I was going, but on a mission to find some jungle trails to rip around. The bike was a 2009 KLX140 so it was quite small but actually had some good power and its size made it much more manageable on tight trails. The first dirt road I saw I zipped up with a huge smile on my face just happy to be riding a dirt bike again since it had been so long. The road gradually narrowed until I was off in the jungle on a single track trail just loving life.



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Trails splintered off in every direction and I intended to hit every one of them. Came to the top of the mountain which overlooked the island and stopped to admire the view.




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    Some of the trails became quite technical and I got into some pretty hectic situations more then once. At one point the trail got so washed out and steep I knew if I went down there was no way I could go back. I stopped and contemplated the situation and walked down the section planning my line. Whats an adventure without a little unknown so I took off sliding down the slippery hill pretty out of control and barely avoided falling off the side into the washout.




    [​IMG]



    Soon the trail mellowed out and I found a random hammock in some tree's so I stopped and chilled there for a good amount of time just resting.




    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Being almost in a euphoria from being able to ride in such a beautiful and differnt enviornment I dident even think about my gas situation until the bike started sputtering and losing power until it died in the middle of no where. Oh great the nearest gas was probably an hour hike so I got off and started walking until I came across a seemingly abondoned rock quarry with old heavy equipment in delapatated conditions. I found some old irrigation tubing on the ground along with a empty coke bottle and stuck the tube into a tractor hoping to be able to syphon enough gas to get me back to town. To my luck there was gas which inevitably got all in my mouth before I transfered it to the coke bottle. Gas here is red for some reason which is the same color as farm diesel back home so I was not 100% sure it was even petrol. I walked back to the bike and poured it into the tank and the bike fired right up, back in action!


    Took another bulldozer "road" to the other side of the island and came to an amazing bay with little bungalows strewn about the beach. This place was seriously out of the way and would be a great place to stay and just get away from it all with your girlfriend or something.




    [​IMG]



    Back into the mountains again taking every trail I saw, some also getting quite hard but having a ton of fun.




    [​IMG][​IMG]



    I somehow ended up back on the main paved road and took it into town and to the south of the island where I came across a big psy-trance rave party in the mountains. I stopped and walked in and was pretty taken back by the scene. It was all decorated in psycodelic colors and there was a DJ spinning extremely loud techno music with strange looking people drugged out of their minds dancing around some passed out face first in the dirt. It reminded me alot of Reggae On The River Festival back home in California but in the jungle. I was obviously the only person not on drugs there and seemed to stick out quite a bit getting weird looks from everyone as I walked around just laughing at the whole situation.




    [​IMG]



    I stayed about an hour and then got back on the bike and down to a very small beach where I had a beer and took a short nap in the hammock.


    I had been to every part of the island except one bay so I rallyed over there and came to a very fancy resort which I walked around for a bit. It was all built into the stone cliffs and looked like an amazing place to stay, to bad it was $400 a night!




    Went down to another random beach and saw some locals playing soccor and playing the drums so I hung out with them for a bit.




    [​IMG]



    As I was on my way back to my room I heard some very loud Thai music coming from a hut so I rode by and there was a family of local Thai's singing Kareoke on the porch of their house. As I rode by they started yelling and motioning for me to come over and sing. I turned around and was greeted with a beer and lots of smiles and hand shakes. No one really spoke any english but they were having a ball of a time so I sat down with them tried to communicate with semi sucess. They were all very friendly and introduced me to all their friends and family as they sang into the microphone hooked up to a ghetto stereo system and a black and white TV.




    [​IMG][​IMG]



    They kept giving me beer after beer and then it turned into Thai whiskey shots and before I knew it I was pretty drunk and freestyling into the mic over Thai music with everyone clapping and playing make shift instraments. Ive got it all on video but its pretty embarassing and will never see the light of day ;)
    Dont know how long I was there but it must of been pretty late by the time I decided it was time for me to go to bed. I stood up and could barely even walk strait. There was no way I was going to ride my dirt bike home without disaster so I ended up spending the night on the porch of their hut which actually was not half bad haha. Quite the evening and well the whole day was amazing, one of the best so far.
    #88
  9. Ridgestarr

    Ridgestarr n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1
    Super cool travels bro! Getting ready to head to Baja and beyond..coming down from Norcal with my buddy on xr650s. We're leaving next week. I'm still reading, but big thanks for the rundown!! :freaky
    #89
  10. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    Nice that is awesome! Feel free to hit me up with any questions you may have about Baja. I cant wait to get back there, hard to believe this trip was 4 years ago!!

    #90