From Estonia with love (Round the World)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tsiklonaut, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    Come on David, it isn't that bad! :lol3 Only tankbag full of camera stuff - 3 lenses only. I know motorcycling guys who carry 4-6 lenses, mine's are just bigger version of regular cameras (medium-format film equipment) :)
  2. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    Glad to hear someone really has a soft spot for doing things differently :thumb

    Most of the shots I do with a small compact Canon A710is as documentation shots you see here w/o much thinking.

    For those arty-farty pics I carry Pentax 67 medium format (6x7) equipment (still a "film fart", although I'm a young guy who actually switched from digital to film :lol3 ), with 35mm f4.5 fisheye, 105mm f2.4 normal and 200mm f4 portrait. I used to carry 400mm f4 in the South-America some time, but it was utterly heavy (4kgs) for not beig used as much as I thought I'd use it, so I sent it back. Pentax 67 / 6x7 equipment is bomb-proof (that's why I got Pentax instead of Rollei or Hasselblad or Bronica that are modular systems), all solid metal gear and have taken all the abuse of motorcycle adventure travel in all extremes.
  3. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    [​IMG]

    So we had a mandatory drug search at the Bogotá airport, pretty obvious procedure for Colombia that is no.1 country in the world of drug trafficking:

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    When the check was carefully performed by military personel they planted the bike and wrapped it into plastic:

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    And secured it.



    And so we crossed the infamous Darién Gap with an airplane.

    The view to the Darién from the airplane:
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    Someone summed up Darién Gap well:

    "Jungles, swamps, guerillas and corrupt military - all in the most intense 90km on Earth.

    You might have wondered if it's possible to drive between North and South America - for surely there must be a road between these two continents! Well, as it turns out, there is absolutely NO ROAD connecting them, and all travel advisories clearly say "Don't Go", even if you feel somewhat suicidal. I am talking about the wild and wildly dangerous Darien Gap."



    We made it to Panama City and got our bike sorted through the customs.

    Had a mishap in Panama City mad traffic tho - I turned into a one-way street from the other direction and a cop on a scooter immediately stopped us wanting to fine us.

    By pure luck there was one drunken alcoholic on the street who came to "chat" with the cop that in the end helped us out - the cop just got bored and returned the documents.

    That's the guy who helped us:
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    A must in Panama is obviously the Panama canal and we did took a chance to visit it.

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    There was an old train leftover in front of the visitor center.



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    Canal itself is quite nice. Pity we didn't have a chance to see big ships passing through it tho.



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    Canal's service boat.



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    (click to enlarge panorama)



    Some panoramas from Panama City (click to enlarge each one):
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    In the city there are funky buses:
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    Had a blast on one of Panama's white sand beaches (click to enlarge the panorama):
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    And spent a wild-camping night somewhere in a river bed (click to enlarge the panorama):
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    It was bloody hot and humid though. Couldn't sleep much in that hot hell. Also the moonlight was so strong in the night I could take a pic in the moonlight:
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    A video from Panama:
    <object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/sr7vjT6H1pg&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/sr7vjT6H1pg&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>
    (HQ button plays in better quality)


    Crossing to Costa Rica next day was relatively painless after all the horror stories we had heard from other travellers about Central-American border crossings.

    Palm plants greeted us in Costa Rica (click to enlarge panorama):
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    Roads in Costa Rica had been repaired multiple times.



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    And trees fallen on dirt roads blocking the traffic.



    We got a flat in Costa Rica from a nail:
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    I tried to repair it with the tubless plug kit 3 times, but every time after some time riding it started to leak again :blast :
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    So the only choice was to repair it from the inside in a tire workshop:
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    That repair finally held air in long term. :clap



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    gregMo likes this.
  4. Motodisiac

    Motodisiac Moto Terrorist

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    More please.....:clap I check this thread several times a day :lurk
  5. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    Central-American countries are so small - you can ride most of them through in easy 1-2 days. Thus, soon enough, Nicaragua already greeted us where we hopped on the Ometepe island formed from two volcanos.



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    Ferry to Ometepe.



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    Port panorama (click to enlarge)



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    Nicaraguan sunsets.



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    "The two towers" - Ometepe island from distance. (click to enlarge)



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    One of the Ometepe volcanoes seen from the island.



    Left our stuff at a hotel and the Ometepe offroad sessions started:
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    Church in Ometepe.



    Ometepe villages and landscapes panoramas (click to enlarge each one):
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    Ometepe jungle.



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    Volcano.



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    Ometepe trails.



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    And petroglyphs.



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    Buses in the island's main town had "callers".


    Streets there:
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    Cowboy.





    Left from the island to Granada. Nice colonial town. A nice thing was to lift our trusty GS inside our hotel room with some friends' help:
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    How often do you get a chance to have your beloved GS in your hotel room aside the bed? (click to enlarge)


    Some colonial architecture from Granada:
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    In the same church there was displayed a marriage proposal where it was written: "If you have someting against the marriage of those two people, please notify the church immediately":
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    Women carried stuff on their heads in Granada:
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    And men had siesta time in the streets with that kind of heat :)


    Looks weird in the eyes of a European, but in fact with this kind of afternoon heat they have here, even I'd lay down after lunch.

    Cheers, Margus :beer
  6. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    A video I put together from Ometepe island:
    <object width="580" height="400"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/b0JAo2PgMCk&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/b0JAo2PgMCk&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="580" height="400"></embed></object>
    (HQ button plays in better quality)
  7. StinkyCheese

    StinkyCheese Long timer Super Supporter

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    +1 on the dog!
  8. SLIM JIMMY

    SLIM JIMMY Adventurer

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    Well Done Dude God Bless On Your Journey

    Cheers
    Sunny South Africa
  9. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    [​IMG]

    What a ripoff border country Honduras is!

    They asked some over 40USD to enter the country with the bike.

    This done, we headed into the country that actually looked quite nice with all those pine trees on the mountaneous landscape:

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    Click to enlarge panoramas:
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    Wild-camped in some roadside place.



    And rode to Tegucicalpa - the capital of Honduras:
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    Italian shoes repair shop.



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    Cowboy at Yojoa lake.



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    Lake Yojoa, Honduras.



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    Vultures.



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    Honduras' Carribean coast.
  10. Off Limits

    Off Limits Banned

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    nice looking trip. i too have been to estonia would love to ride there myself
  11. Off Limits

    Off Limits Banned

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    nice looking trip. i too have been to estonia would love to ride there myself
  12. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    And then came Guatemala...


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    Panorama from our floating hotel - and the longest bridge in Central-America above (click to enlarge panorama).



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    View from the bridge.



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    Island on the river.



    And of course we couldn't miss Tikal pyramids in Guatemala. I was humbled by them - they look as if some scapce crafts had landed from cosmos:

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    Click to enlarge the panoramas:
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    Pyramid tips reaching over the Guatemalan jungle (click to enlarge).



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    Gran Plaza of Tikal.



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    Guatemalan sunset.



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    The next morning it was riding in the fog on the way to the country named Belize.



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    Guatemalan village in the fog.



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    A kid playing home with her sister. Much more realistic than playing with a Barbie doll!


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    A bloke eating.


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    Ironing service aside the road - the iron still works on hot coal in Guatemala.



    And Belize - officially English speaking country in the middle of Spanish speaking Central-America.

    And Belize also happens to be a Caribbean paradise - just park your bike aside a beautiful tree surrounded by palm trees and have a cold Belizean beer:
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    Belize City rastamon'.





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    Caribbean coast of Belize.



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    Church in Belize.



    Panoramas (click to enlarge):
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    Our trusty GS on the Caribbean sea.
  13. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    [​IMG]

    Mexico is huge!

    Yes, after all those Central-American small countries than you can ride through within a day or two, Mexico felt like a true vastness. Riding all day, then looking on the map and realise you haven't moved much forward.

    As you can see from the map, we looped through the Yucatan peninsula that is packed with Mayan culture remains (click to enlarge panoramas):

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    The famous Chichén Itzá.



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    Magnificent pyramids of Chichén Itzá (click to enlarge to see them in full beauty!)



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    Loads of big lizards running around the place.


    From there we headed down to the Gulf of Mexico, our tire had to be replaced and a blind guy helped us to do it. He replaced my tire, meanwhile I changed the break pads:

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    Happy end pic - even blind guys can perform the job.



    Few miles away I smelled fuel and it turned out that one of the clamps was loose, so I performed the job aside the road:
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    With the very basic tools at hand of course.



    Then due to our own bad parking on loose ground our bike fell on the tent. So the £££-Hilleberg hi-tec pole was broken:
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    Actually there was a repair kit, but it was only for 1 pole section. We had broken two, so we used medicine trick to support it with duct tape, just like on a broken bone case:
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    Mexican villages have lots of Mayan atmosphere in their architecture in Yucatan penninsula, nice thatched-roof houses:
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    And of course we found a decent bush-camp place aside the Gulf of Mexico:
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    (click to enlarge)



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    And nice views to the Gulf of Mexico:
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    (click to enlarge)



    From there further into the inland Misol Ha (funny name isn't it? :) ) waterfall was a decent attraction:
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    And headed into the mountaneous region of Mexico, where San Cristóbal de las Casas welcomed us with it's colonial architecture and loads of native indians:

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    (click to enlarge panorama)



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    And through the mountains we were on the way to the capital (click to enlarge pics and panoramas):
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    Some nice chocolate-coloured and palm-sided rivers:
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    Till we arrived in Mexico City - 2nd biggest city in the world - 22 million citizens!

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    Packed with skyscrapers.



    Although our plan was just to ride through the metropol, luckily we met 3 guys on R1200GS ADVs - Andrés, Luis and Juan José - they turned out to be one of the friendliest bunch of people we've ever met! And we ended up staying 3 nights in the vivid capital!


    One of the guys, Andrés has superb minimalistic home - he runs a furniture distribution company, so no wonder he has a good taste for the interior design:
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    Even the breakfast was served to us by servants - something we aren't used to, but was a nice experience after basically 8 months of "starving" on the road.


    Andrés had some of those nice things:
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    This one played this tune - anyone recognizes? :)



    They have a very good Mexican friend, who happens to be a very talented artist while being motorcyclist himself. The result of combining those two was stunning work :bow , one example here (click to enlarge to see the painting):
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    Anyone recognize what GS models are on the painting? :)


    Visited World Trade Center (that one hasn't blown up yet):
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    What a HUGE building it is:
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    And the view to the 22M city of Mexico from WTC (click to enlarge).

    Funny thing about being in one of the biggest cities in the world is it has lot of parks - above average amount of city's space is "wasted" for parks and greenlands making the city quite cozy in fact. We liked it!


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    With Ana and Sofia we visited Chapultepec castle - basically it's Europe inside Mexico - it was founded by an Austrian guy.



    But it had decent views to the Mexico City (click to enlarge panoramas):
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    And of course on the streets there was mandatory hands-cleaning with medical officers - Mexico as a centre of swine flu you know.



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    But mexicans weren't bothered a single bit - they had their siesta time in usual way - sleeping. :)



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    And squirrels lived their own life in the parks...



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    And skyscrapers didn't fall down because of swine flu...



    In Chapultepec there was a painting depicting a national hero - during the Mexican-American war, a young boy, a cadet at the military school, wrapped himself in the Mexican flag and jumped to his death rather than be captured. He was declared a national hero after that:

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    And of course military school honoured this by everyday's training program running up to the castle and down again, in +30C heat:
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    There is patriotism in Mexico.


    Museum of anthropology was nice, reminded us a lot of the gold museum we visited in Bogotá, Colombia with Mayan art:
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    On the streets of Mexico City you can get roasted bananas and sweet potato:
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    Tasted good!



    And native indians played their part on the streets - one example were the "flying indians" from Veracruz state of the country:
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    They climbed into the tower, fastened themselves with ropes, put themselves into rotation till they touched the ground - and they played music while flying!

    Click to listen my recording of their indigenous "flying music" from here.

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    Back at our basecamp we found a scorpion with children on her back in our bathtub:
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    (click to enlarge to see the smaller ones on her back)

    With tears in our eyes we had to kill 'em - no place for them in the city :(


    The sad day came when we had to move on, our fantastic hosts and fellow GS-ers helped us to get through the complex street-structure of Mexico City:

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    And a heartwarming letter from Luis:
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    We got a huge boost in our motivation after that! :thumb2


    And they all deserve a BIG thumbs up for their unbelievable hospitality in the very heart of the boiling Mexico City!!! We will be back!


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    Me, Juan José, Luis, Kariina and our trusty GS.



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    Andrés, Juan José, Kariina and me.




    And our road headed to the mythical Baja California...


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    We needed a ferry to get to the peninsula of course. Not that one tho, turns out the same port is for Mexican crude-oil stuff.




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    And they have a factory there.



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    And nice nature on the inland side.



    The next installment: Baja California.
  14. picoda

    picoda Dalmatia

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    One of the best ride reports here. Amazing photos! Beautiful South America!
    :super
  15. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    After a full-night ferry ride, our Baja moment had arrived - stunning and inspiring place!

    The peninsula between the gulf and the Pacific creates diverse set of environments: hot deserted plains, windy mountains, the humid Pacific coastlines.

    It was a pleasure to take the small remote trail roads through those places:

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    Loads of burned down cars.



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    Very often, the road conditions weren't the best.



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    A couple of falls included.



    But nothing stopped us enjoying the fantastic nature on Baja:
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    And the cacti - they were the biggest we've seen!


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    Over the mountains down to the plains... (click to enlarge)



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    Strange dead fish on the beach.



    The best way to demonstrate Southern Baja's nature is through panoramas (click to enlarge each panorama in a new window, then click again in new window to a full size and schroll horizontally):
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    And we headed to the the Central Baja, where everything that grows is bigger and more cosmic:

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    I must say that the main roads on Baja are very nice and in good condition, allowing you to ride through most of the Baja even on a street bike.



    But the most spectacular views are from small sandy trail roads leading deeper into the remoteness (click to enlarge pictures):
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    And what a bizarre (in a good way) nature greets you there!

    Just like in some sci-fi scene:

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    Those were the size of two basketballs.



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    And marmelade-looking flowers on the ground.



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    And panoramas from the Central Baja (click to enlarge each panorama):
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    And our friend at our bush-camping place:
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    Next stop - burgerdom aka U. S. of A.

    Good night, Margus :beer
    gregMo likes this.
  16. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    And a video compilation from Baja California:
    <object width="580" height="400"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/eyQsdq3k51U&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/eyQsdq3k51U&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="580" height="400"></embed></object>
  17. Ted Bell

    Ted Bell I want that one!

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    This is an amazing RR -- great photos!
  18. IdeaWife

    IdeaWife Been here awhile

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    Absolutely love this ride report!! :clap :clap :clap Your new friend summed it up nicely in his handwritten note...that was awesome! If you make it to the California Central Coast I would love to meet both of you. Plenty of room if you need a place to stay as well.
  19. Andres A

    Andres A FINDING NEMO

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    Great ride, report and pic's, now let me talk about the next pictures and the natives, the right name is "VOLADORES DE PAPANTLA" (Papantla flyers) they are part of the CULTURA TOTONACA one of the most importants cultures in VERACRUZ, they are not Indians, the right name is TOTONACOS or MEXICAN NATIVES, PAPANTLA is a city on north VERACRUZ, and the archaeological area EL TAJIN.

    Indians are from INDIA, Mexicans are from MEXICO.

    Have a good trip, AMIGO.


    And native indians played their part on the streets - one example were the "flying indians" from Veracruz state of the country:
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    They climbed into the tower, fastened themselves with ropes, put themselves into rotation till they touched the ground - and they played music while flying!

    Click to listen my recording of their indigenous "flying music" from here.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
  20. SLIM JIMMY

    SLIM JIMMY Adventurer

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    MOOI RIVER KZN SOUTH AFRICA
    Hi tsiklonaut and wife. Hope all is well have'nt heard from you guys for a bit
    go well
    God bless
    SA