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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by GoMotor, Oct 30, 2019.
What an adventure. Good luck and be safe.
Your not doing so great with border crossings lol
Hello from Z1rider, Pauls riding buddy. Just a comment about the "Love hotel" Paul mentioned. Turns out they are great if you worry about your bikes security at night. The signage refers to them as "Auto Hotels" and they always have garages with doors. That allows the typical patron to avoid detection for their tryst. Can't see the vehicle once inside. We did hit one snag though. One of the auto hotels had no rooms with two beds so we had to get two rooms at 545 pesos apiece.
Forgot to mention the Auto hotels are very nice as far as amenities are concerned. But so far none have taken credit cards. Not surprising considering the target customer. I was just happy to avoid having to completely unload my bike at night. I am running the same soft bags I used when Paul and I went to Alaska two years ago.
On 11-19 we rode back to the legitimate Guatemala/Honduras boarder near Copan Ruinas with no exit papers from Guatemala or entry papers for Honduras. I explained to the guy at the window about the Google map route from Houston to Panama causing the problem, but he didn't care. He said there was nothing he could do. I just stayed there at his window repeating that it was Google's fault. Finally a supervisor took us under his arm and guided us through the whole process to get legal. He spoke no English, so my high school Spanish got a real workout.
We are now in the town of Copan Ruinas with no time to visit the Mayan ruins. We have decided to play it safe and make the best speed possible to Panama to catch the Stahlratte sail boat for Columbia. We have learned that many unexpected things can go WRONG.
Nothing much to report this evening. We rode about 11 hours and made about 275 miles. That is about 25 mph average and why we are not doing any sight seeing. Some of the roads were loaded with deep bomb crater pot holes with sharp edges. The shade from overhanging trees obscured them until the last second.
The woods are dark and the woods are deep and I have miles to go before I sleep.
PS The owner of our hotel said the cost was 500 lempiers ($20)and there was hot water. We paid cash and went straight for supper. When we returned he asked for another $20, there was only cold water in both the shower and the sink and there were ants crawling all over the bath room. It was a $20 room not a $40. But, the ride goes on, ants and all.
That's a good average day of riding in Latin America 275 miles. You can't really expect to do much more.
One comment on the roads here in Honduras. Some of the best motorcycle roads I've ever been on. The one between the border crossing and La Entrada is newly paved in concrete (in fact not quite finished) and is 95% curves. It continues out of La Entrada for at least 70 miles in the same condition..
Hey, Gary and Paul, having fun yet? Sounds like a real adventure. more than the Griswalds. Enjoy and be safe. We enjoy reading the updates. Gary in CA
Agreed. I rode it twice.
Today was a bit of a royal fiasco. We spent 4 hours trying to get through the Honduras/Nicaragua boarder. Finally when we got through all the paper work and copies of copies at the joint boarder paperwork building and suited up and rode to the actual boarder a guy making a final check noted that Gary's tag number on the papers was his zip code. They wouldn't let him ride back to the building, but walk. After a time I wanted to ride back to check on him, but they wouldn't let me because I had already crossed the line into Nicaragua. I started giving them a bunch of flack and they decided to let me ride back.
We made it to Leon Nicaragua in the dark and took the first Love Motel we came to. $20 each for two rooms with garages to conceal vehicles. Neither room had top sheets on the bed and when the water pump runs it sounds like a hurricane. When I opened the trash can lid some roaches ran out. My ATM card was rejected at an ATM machine.
Tomorrow will be better. It has to be.
I do realize not many Americans cross borders the way we are doing it. Most (normal) Amercians fly to resorts in Central America and Mexico which generally are geared to service those customers in a way not too different from travel in the U.S. They then schmeld in some local flavor so those tourists can say they've been somewhere exotic and maybe even dangerous. Customs entry at airports is a relative breeze by comparison.
That said, I can't believe the people in the border processing activity don't have some English/Spanish cross reference guide for the words used in vehicle registration documents. I am just now realizing as I write this that my address, in Platte City Missouri must have looked like "plate" to the person filling in the form. And my Zip code then became my plate/registration number entered on the official document. So to be fair, it's a bit of "shame on me" for not checking the document before I exited the line. That said the line behind us kept getting longer with many people clearly getting more and more agitated as they waited for Paul and I to get processes, so I allowed myself to feel rushed. Never a good thing. Oh well, only two more border crossings to go before we ship out on the Stahlratt.
And one more thing. Can the title of these blogs be changed after the fact. Ours should be "Border Crossings from hell."
Looking back over this blog I feel I need to add to this entry. We would have been in some serious trouble had we not been assisted by a couple of local young men. While I have ridden roads as difficult as this one was, this torture lasted for probably 20 miles. We were exhausted, and had run out of drinking water several hours before. These two locals ferried us up some of the steeper hills on the back of their bikes which I would estimate were 300cc's or less. Then, one of them would ride our bikes up the worst sections for us. They were falling too with out heavily laden KLR's.
This was a major, major fail for google maps.
Here is a screenshot of the section referred to above. Had we continued on the main road past Morales Guatemala we would have crossed the border properly, the one close to Copan ruins which we had to backtrack to the next day. I initially saw no problem since the first town in Honduras "La Entrada" sure sounded like it should have some kind of customs activity. That was to say the least naive on my part.
It wasn’t all bad though. Got to ride that nice curvy newly paved concrete road twice. To the border crossing and back.
Damn, you guys are blasting through Central America. Probably spending more time crossing borders, going back to borders, and filling out forms than anything else. Looking forward to how it all unfolds.
Hard to argue with that, but that was not our intent. A variety of things have conspired against us to make us rush down to our date with the Stahlratt. We’ll try to relax in Sud America.
This sounds like your first time South of the border on bikes. Everytime I travel south I double the amount of time I think it will take me. One trip to Belize in 2015 took me a month just to get thru Mexico due to bike problems and getting lost. Another time in 2017 it only took me 9 days to get back to the U.S.. You just never know.
At the border crossing for Nic/CR I spied the two Electric Harley’s heading north as part of their “Long Run Up” promotional tour. I’ll apologize in advance for the poor quality of the pics. I didn’t get a lot of time to compose them. The sunlight was not too favorable either.
They also had two Rivan electric pickups for support.
Today we quickly got through Nicaragua including Managua on good curvy roads. We saw none of the bad actors, bad actions, discernment or civil unrest we hear about on TV and read in the papers. All the people were friendly and eager to help.
Everything went in the tank when we got to the Costa Rica boarder. It took us four hours to get through. There were long lines for every thing. We even paid a helper to get us to the front of one very long line.