"El Tigre Terrible" rides again...South America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Pete_Tallahassee, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

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    My name is Pete and I'm 67. I live in Tallahassee, Florida. I have done ride reports before after returning from an adventure but this time I'm going to attempt to stay as current as I can. I really admire and appreciate those of you that have done and are doing this. You have given great knowledge and entertainment to us reading at home.

    I left Tallahassee on September 30, 2016. I'm currently in Panama City, Panama. I'm starting my report from here because I mostly just rode through Mexico and Central America and this is a South America trip.

    The Bike : Kawasaki KLR 650 2002. I bought it new to do Baja, California and did. Many up grades. I'm prepared to camp. Carrying many spares.

    Years ago I bought Tiger ears and a tail for my helmet. The kids and the ladies seem to like it and it gives the military and cops something to laugh about. At check points I tell them I'm "The Terrible Tiger". They usually just wave me on not wanting to deal with the crazy old gringo.

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    As I arrived at my motel in Pharr, TX I heard a loud squeaking noise coming from my front wheel, that's just great! Hoping it's the brake caliper I removed it. Still squeaking. Note...I'm not a mechanic. Now I'm worried about the front wheel bearing. Next morning I get the mechanic at the Kawasaki shop to look at it and of course it's now not making any noise. No sideways play and it spins like it should. Off to Mexico. As I enter Ciudad Victoria I stop for gas. Bike won't start, completely dead. Three hours later and with help from a guy in a pickup truck we locate a battery. He gets stopped by the po po cause his tags are expired. I pay the mordida ($100 Pesos) and we are on our way.
    Next morning I notice that my speedometer is not working. Squeaking noise? Oh well, I have a GPS.
    On the fourth day I'm riding down the Cuota in Veracruz, State and I get a flat rear tire. Really bad spot, no choice but to swap out the inner tube. I have a spare and a pump. Fortunately four guys working on the highway help me out.
    I spend two nights at the Hotel Joalicia in Acayucan because I'm tired and it's a nice little town. Hotel has a restaurant with live entertainment and coconut shrimp ($7.00 USA). $22 USA per night. Ate the shrimp both nights! Mexico has been the cheapest country so far.(Peso has fallen apart) even beating out Guatemala.

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    On to Guatemala. I spend a week in Panajachel on Lago Atitlan. I have been here several times and have friends to visit. Left Pana and the rain began. From Guatemala, through El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama I was in constant rain.

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    I load my bike on the Stahlratte on November 13 and should arrive in Cartagena, Colombia on the 19th. This is when I consider the trip really starting.

    As I said I will attempt to stay current but I've never done it before so we will see how it goes.
    #1
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  2. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan Me caigo, me levanto

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    #2
  3. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

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    Hey, I wish I had known you were going through my neighborhood, I could have offered my hospitality!
    #3
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  4. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

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    Thank you, I appreciate that. That's one of the reasons I'm going to attempt to stay current.

    I met two more guys at the Panama Canal today who will be on the Stahlratte.

    Canal and city pics

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    I think I saw "His Noodly Goodness" on the ceiling of my hotel.

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    #4
  5. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

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    I'm now in Cartagena, Colombia. The trip from the Carti Pier, Guna Yala was a very nice experience. There were 19 motorcycles and 25 people. I arrived around 10 AM and we all met Anna from the Stahlratte sail boat. She had us line up the bikes on the pier and remove all luggage.
    The Stahlratte was built in 1903 and is 125 ft long.
    We were taken by small boat about 30 minutes to El Porviner island, the Capital. We stayed at the El Porviner Hotel. This was included in the price to transport the bikes.The bikes were loaded in our absence. Next morning the small boat arrived and took us back to the Stahlratte where we found all the bikes secured and covered. Soon we were under sail and headed to a remote island. We spent two days there. Beautiful spot. Had a lobster BBQ on the beach under a extra large full moon. It would be hard to find a better place to be.

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    I did not catch the Dorado, we were trolling.

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    As luck would have it we had smooth seas all the way to Cartagena and made it in around 26 hours pulling into the port at midnight. The last several hours being spectacular as the city came into view. I did not get any night shots. My camera and skills as a photographer do not allow it.

    Here are some pics at the unloading site.

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    #5
  6. Motos_del_Perú

    Motos_del_Perú Adventurer

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    Hi Terrible Tiger! Nice trip and nice story.

    If you want to have more adventures, come to Peru and ride in the mountains. You'll be surprised how beautiful it is here.

    Regards.
    Felipe
    #6
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  7. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

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    I will be there in approximately 6 weeks. At that point I will be needing some service and tires.
    #7
  8. Motos_del_Perú

    Motos_del_Perú Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Excellent, in our garage we can help you with the service and tires for your KLR.

    Here you have our information.

    Name of the shop: Motos del Perú
    Address : Av República de Panamá 5329, Surquillo
    City : Lima - L34
    Country : Peru
    email : [email protected]
    Phone : +51 993464991
    GPS coordinates: 12º 7' 2.59" S - 77º 1' 5.66" O

    If you need help with the arrangement of the hotel, we can help you too. We are close to the touristic zone of Miraflores.

    See you soon and drive carefully, and post more photos!

    Regards.
    Felipe
    #8
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  9. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

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    I spent four nights in Cartagena. It's fun listening to stories from people who are and have been traveling all over the world on motorcycles. Great group of people.
    I'm now in Santa Marta and it's 37 / 98 degrees. The whole town is torn up in a construction frenzy. Coming into the city yesterday was not fun. Bumper to bumper and crawling along at a pace that made it to where you had to stop often. Bright sunshine just pounding down.
    On the good side Santa Marta is nice in the Historic District . Still too touristy for me but good food and chic bars.
    I'm heading for the cool mountains in the morning.


    Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
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    Arepa con queso y salchicha
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    More meat on a stick
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    What I thought was a light chocolate cupcake turned out to be a heavy rum soaked fudge thingy. I sat at a sidewalk table and ate it. Place I bought it from does NOT sell Milk ??? I bought a bag of leche at a small tienda.
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    #9
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  10. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

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    Some video from the Stahlratte





    #10
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  11. Reaver

    Reaver Why am I still here?

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    Missed you by "that" much. (10 mins from me)

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    KTM Guy (Inmate Oddball in the black T) camped at my place.


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    Enjoy your trip. Sounds awesome!
    #11
  12. Motos_del_Perú

    Motos_del_Perú Adventurer

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    Where are you Terrible Tiger?, peruvian mountains are waiting for you ...

    Regards.
    Felipe
    www.motosdelperu.com
    #12
  13. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

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    OddScott, We bought sim cards together with the help of Lukas.
    #13
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  14. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

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    I left Santa Marta and went east along the north coast until just before Riohacha where I turned right and took a pot holed infested road to 49 south. All along this area people are selling gas smuggled in from Venezuela. They have large jugs of it by the side of the road. They load up 250cc and smaller motos with many containers and ride over the mountains. They must bribe their way past the many check points.

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    I spent the night in Augustin Codazzi. $12 US bucks. Clean, private bath, AC, TV, wifi, bike in garage next to my door. Next day I made it to Ocana (I don't know how to put the ~ over the n) in Norte de Santander. I left highway 45 and took 74 to get there. I stayed outside of Ocana about three kilometers cause it was way to easy to just pull into their garage and pay $9 US. Everything but AC. Took a bus into town and rode it's entire route to the center. I got to see the town without constantly watching for traffic.
    Next day I screwed up and completely misjudged how long it would take to get to Bucaramanga. When I put it in the GPS it said less than five hours. Well it would have been less than five hours if I had retraced my route back to highway 45. I went by way of Cucuta and then Pamplona and then Bucaramanga. Needless to say I found myself coming out of Pamplona at sunset and stuck, as in not moving for half an hour or more, between two trucks. We where on a steep twisting hill going out of town. Giant trucks are trying to pass each other in the opposite direction. The truck in front of me cleared the truck next to him by less than an inch. We are now moving at a snails pace. Finally I'm on a somewhat open road and trying to make time. Did I mention that Pamplona is at 8,500 ft and it's raining? It's cold too. I keep telling myself that the road will soon crest the pass and it will get warmer as I descend towards Bucaramanga. Fat chance. According to the GPS I'm now at 10,000 feet and going up. At 11,400 the road leveled out and stayed there for two hours. Pitch black and lots of trucks. COLD, Road wet. GPS now says 60 miles to my hotel, let's see, 15 to 20 miles an hour I should get there in 3 or 4 hours. I finally pass a long, long line of trucks and latch on to a guy on a moto that's booking along at a good clip. My speed jumps to 45 miles an hour and I'm feeling apprehensive and good at the same time. Two and a half hours in the dark and I get to my hotel. Nine hour day.

    I'm now in Bucaramanga and leaving in the morning. I have not even planned where I'm going yet.
    This hotel is $15 US a night. Got everything but AC.

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    Looking down on Pamplona

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    Some road signs

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    Military boys

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    #14
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  15. MuddyAgain2

    MuddyAgain2 n00b

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    It's a big world out there, Pete. Thanks for venturing out and reporting on your experiences.:clap
    Starting out with multiple bike problems doesn't seem to have stained your enthusiasm.
    Enjoying the pics and videos my friend.
    Impatiently waiting for many more.
    #15
  16. sbk12rs

    sbk12rs Buddy in Training

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    Pete , You Are My Hero !

    Thanks for taking us along this time . Subscribed !



    you brought a blowup doll ?
    #16
  17. jargon

    jargon n00b

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    Beautiful Pete! Waiting for more!
    #17
  18. BillGsa

    BillGsa Been here awhile

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    Great stuff Pete :clap
    #18
  19. Flyboy08

    Flyboy08 Been here awhile

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    NYC..no dirt here!
    This trip shouldn't be an issue for you except maybe the giant armadillos ......ride safe...will be following closely.
    #19
  20. Martin_D

    Martin_D n00b

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    Great stuff "El Terrible" Tiger !!!

    Keep it coming . :lurk :thumb
    #20