Father and Daughter first road trip. Sofia's turn

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Mane, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    863
    Location:
    Guatemala
    Hi folks, it’s me again…

    At the end of 2018, I was glad to share with you a ride report of the first motorcycle trip with my oldest daughter Ericka. You can check it out here.

    Last december was Sofia’s turn, my youngest. This time we planned a different route to accommodate for Sofia’s interests and preferences. (Sofia prefers the country, hills, camping, etc. While Ericka is more City, Buildings, Lights, shopping, etc.).

    Taking the above into consideration and some learned lessons from previous ride with Ericka, I choose to make this year route slightly shorter and with more frequent stops.

    Sofia is was 11 years old at that time and she has done a few shorter rides with me before, but this time was the “big” one. ;-)

    Here’s a photo (sorry for the quality) back when she was probably 4 years old. We were getting ready for a ride around the block on my ex R100GS after helping me wash it. (Notice the swimsuit..)

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    We are from Guatemala and live close to city (suburbs?), and the chosen route would take us through the northwestern mountains, regarded as the cold part of this tropical country.

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    A few days prior to our departure a few jobs had to be done on our 2008 KTM 990 Adv aka. “La Kanalla”. We had to replace the front wheel bearings and install an open filter kit from TripleClamp (this last one became a problem early in our trip, but it only added to the adventure).

    Here’s Sofia, a couple of days before take-off, helping me prep the bike for the trip…

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    #1
  2. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    863
    Location:
    Guatemala
    Day 1

    The day finally came and we were packed and ready to leave…

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    Unfortunately, shortly after we left, the bike started acting up and was surging like mad... I decide to press on hoping that was it had reached a warm operating temperature it would magically fix it self... (yeah, right.. but that were my thought at that moment.:doh )

    A short while after it reached an "operating temperature" things got worse.. it starting surging like mad and I had to rev it up to avoid stalling... :bluduh


    Even though, I tested the bike after installing the open filter kit and it check it up fine, I was 99% sure this mal function had to do with me messing up the installation.

    We parked right at the side of the street, in the morning rush hour, and started taking stuff off the bike to reach the air filter…

    Apparently, the Air filter kit had become loose and was not properly sealing. I manage to make a temporary fix that will take us back home and do a proper/long term (ish) fix. (NOTE: A couple weeks after we returned, with the help of TripleClamp, it was solved by uploading a proper fuel map).

    With the bike running slightly better, I picked the shortest route back home, which is a very narrow two lane road with a few hair pins, where trucks and semis usually take… :patch (yep, is crazy..)

    It is a kind practice among truck and semi drivers to sound the horn before approaching one of the above-mentioned hair pins to warn upcoming traffic that a huge vehicle will be moving into your lane. Besides that, I usually take my time before entering the hair pin to check if the way is clear. Well, neither of this happen this time…

    This time I was in a rush to get back home and fix the damn thing, trying to avoid losing more time and mess up our plans, that I didn’t pay the usual attention to this tricky part of the road. When we did enter the second hair pin, upward, a big semi was SILENTLY entering the hair pin in OUR LANE… :uhoh:uhoh I quickly tried to find a gap through the side of the road, but apparently, the driver was as shocked as me that it went slightly to left, effectively closing any gap for me to go through. At that moment, I didn’t saw any other solution than to hit the brakes and avoid a straight head on collision with the truck, albeit we both had almost come to a full stop, the truck was still moving. When I tried to put my foot on the ground, the road incline and weight proved too much for my inseam and down we went. I somewhat manage to stay on my feet and once I reacquired my balance I turned quickly to check for Sofia, which to my dismay was still on the ground with her left foot trapped under the saddlebag. (Thank GOD for soft luggage). I was able to lift the bike just enough to free her. The truck driver got off to check on us and help me lift the bike, and after making sure Sofia was fine, I rode the bike it to a safe place a couple of meters up the road, where could get on the bike.

    Sofia was a little shaken but said she was fine, and we rode the remaining 8 minutes to get home. All the while, I was feeling STUPID for doing this whole trip thing, and seriously thought about calling it off….

    When we arrived home, my wife was surprise to see us back. I quickly explain to her what happened, including the “incident”. She remained calm and took Sofia into the house and I was left alone to fix (bodge?!) the bike. By this time, I’ve already resolved to continue with our trip and not let this experience be the last impression on Sofia’s mind about the failed bike road trip with dad.

    After 30 minutes, I had the bike running and we're ready to leave. I was proud to see Sofia was still determine to do this thing. And the we took off, again…:-)

    After a couple of hours we finally stopped for breakfast.
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    It is incredible how a good meal can change the mood on most persons. After a late breakfast, we mount again on the bike and ride the short distance to a little lagoon close by, where we hope to fish something…

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    #2
  3. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    863
    Location:
    Guatemala
    After a short 20 minutes ride, we took a detour through a dirt road that will take to the Chichoy lagoon.

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    We finally arrived, and the place was very silent but the weather couldn’t be better..

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    We did some exploring trying to find the “manager” to pay for the entrance…

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    Then, close to the “manager” office, Sofia found an small donkey that she attempted to pet..
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    And after few attempts, success..

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    The view didn’t disappoint either...
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    However, the welcome sign at the “manager’s” office wasn’t very welcoming… hahahaha
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    After paying and getting our permission to fish, we turn back and head to the bike for fishing stuff. On the way, we found another donkey that Sofia tried to pet..

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    Continuing our way, this time we encounter a cow. After successfully petting two donkeys, Sofia’s self-confidence was at all-time high, but the cow wasn’t so friendly and didn’t wanted to be messed with. It made a small head movement as saying “not this time little girl”. The so called “head movement” wasn’t still finish, but Sofia, being such a sensitive girl quickly got the message quickly run for the exit..:lol3:lol3
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    #3
  4. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    By this time, due to the early “inconveniences”, we were running late and didn’t had much time available to spent fishing as originally planned. But we still manage to drop a line for 30 minutes or so…

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    Unfortunately we were not able to catch anything that day… is seemed very quite, and we had to wonder if there were any fishes after all…

    Anyway, we got in our motorcycle gear and while I was loading the bike, Sofia took the opportunity to rest a few minutes.. (By this time of the day, she was almost run over by semi truck and chased by cow anyway.. hehehe).

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    This time we jump in the bike for the last leg of the day. Now we were heading to Panajachel where we had made arrangements with Juan, a good friend and fellow adventure rider. We will be leaving the bike at his house for the night and take a tuk-tuk ride down the street from his home to the public pier.
    #4
  5. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Love it! What beautiful countryside.
    #5
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  6. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Guatemala
    The ride to Pana (short for Panajachel), was cold and misty as it is usual this time of day across this mountainous region. This time I was getting nervous we might be running late (again) to catch a boat for the hotel. The boat (or lancha) service is usually closed for the day in the evening due to what locals call the Xocomil, a climate phenomenon that is responsible for strong winds and waves across the lake.

    We arrived at Juan’s place in a rush, we barely said “hi”, dropped the motorcycle gear and run to the street to try and catch the first tuk tuk that was available. After a short time, the first tuk tuk came down the road and the driver offer us to take us the public beach Xejuyu, if we’re ok with sharing with other passengers. Yep, we agree.
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    We arrive barely on time to the public pier.

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    Just as we arrived, we manage to strike a deal for a private/express ride to the hotel with a local boat owner (aka. Lanchero). We’re happy to be on time and the lanchero was happy to make one last ride for the day. The whole ride cost us around US$12.00 for both of us.

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    This was our hotel for the night..
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    The boat drop us at the hotel pier and left

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    Sofia appears to like this place…

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    While I was doing the check in, Sofia appears to have made a new friend…

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    The room was cozy…

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    But the view from the balcony was magnificent!

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    After relaxing and enjoying the view, each us took a shower and then went to have diner.

    The menu had few options but we both decide to pasta and pesto. It was good…

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    After diner, we went to sleep. Sofia was very tired and quickly fall asleep, I was happy. ;-)
    #6
  7. flei

    flei cycletherapist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Western Mass.
    What a great trip for you and your (brave) daughter! Guatemala is a beautiful, wonderful country and Panajachel is an amazing place. Thanks for posting this ride report.
    #7
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  8. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    863
    Location:
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    Thank you Flei
    #8
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  9. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    863
    Location:
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    The following morning, we had breakfast at the hotel and leave early as to have enough time to have a look around the local market and still have some time to spend with Juan, as it was kind of rude on my part to arrive and quickly leave the prior day.

    Here’s some pictures from that morning at the hotel..
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    Before the break was served, Sofia pulled out her mini chess game kit to have a match..

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    Never a dull moment with this girl…

    As we were ready to leave Sofia said goodbye to her new friend..
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    Down at the peer the was the same lanchero from the prior day. I’m starting to like the VIP treatment..
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    Sofia enjoying the morning breeze in the boat ride back to Pana...
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    Back at Panajachel we did a quick walk around the local shops, because Sofia wanted to take some gifts back to Mom and Ericka.
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    I found amusing to find a t-shirt that poke some fun at liberal left wing shit…
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    It is also interesting noticed the cultural clash among local crafters, such at this Mayan Predator…:confused
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    After getting the gifts with took a ride back to Juan’s home.
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    Since we arrive a bit early that agreed, we waited at a local “Tienda” half a block from Juan’s home.
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    #9
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  10. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Continued goodness. Sofia is an angel.
    #10
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  11. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
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    Location:
    Guatemala
    After talking and catching up with Juan and his, new by then, Airbnb business.

    Did I mention, Juan was a hardcore adv guy? Here’s a couple of his toys…
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    And this dirty GS has an impressive mileage. Definitely not a garage queen…
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    We then proceed to gear up for and load the bike up for the ride back home.
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    A said goodbye to our friend…
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    #11
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  12. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    After leaving Juan’s place we did a last look out at the Amatitlan’s lake before we got into the mountains.
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    Since we had left Juan’ Place, the fuel reserve light turned on, a bit sooner than expected (Not having the proper fuel map for the new Air intake system was the cause, as I learned a few weeks later) and a fuel stop was required.
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    #12
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  13. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Thank you RedDog, she is a great travel companion.
    #13
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  14. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    By this time, I noticed Sofia was a bit tired and somewhat sleepy. After fueling I did a quick stop at the closest town to get some sour candy, I was hoping that this could keep her awake for the remainder of the trip.

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    It worked fine for the first few miles afterward, but I could sense she was falling asleep. At one moment I even felt how she was slightly slipping away to the side while we were moving. I quickly grab her with my left hand thinking she might fall of the bike…

    After that jolt, we manage to roll for a while, looking for nice place to stop and rest.

    We found a gas station by the side of the road, with a little “comedor” (aka. Small restaurant with a limited menu and amenities). We grabbed some snacks, it was perfect.
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    This stop sit well for Sofia. She even managed to find a couple of new “friends”.

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    #14
  15. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    We were back in the road after this brief but well needed rest.

    By this time were getting close to the city, but we had planned to pay a visit to my parents which live at the other side of city from our home.

    This was a short visit, but Sofia receive a hero’s welcome by her grandparents. That cheer her up for the remaining hour back home.
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    #15
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  16. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The ride back home was smooth and well. We were greeted by Mom and Ericka.

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    Thank you for having followed us on this small but important adventure!

    Regards,
    Mane
    #16
  17. StayFrosty

    StayFrosty Mid Life Crisis -Wish it happened 20 yrs ago Supporter

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    What a great round of memories! Thanks for sharing!
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  18. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

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    Glad you enjoy it!
    #18
  19. BrockEvan

    BrockEvan Brock Warwick Supporter

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    FANTASTIC! Great job dad!
    #19
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  20. Mane

    Mane Been here awhile

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    Thank you BrockEvan, I sure enjoy every second with her.

    Regards,
    Mane
    #20