Leaving Kansas for Panama, first time south of the border. Advice?

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by paul.miner, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

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    I love looking at photos, but yours was at least four times too big to fit on a computer screen! Please resize to no more that 1000 pixels wide.
    #61
  2. paul.miner

    paul.miner Adventurer

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    Chiriqui: sorry, couldn't figure out how to do that on my phone. Supposedly there's a way by tweaking the imgur utl so I'll try that.

    coors: it cost me 300 Belize dollars. I took all the bags off and 4 or 5 guys lifted it into the boat. Though they said they had straps, they preferred to use mine (I brought four ratchet straps).

    [​IMG]

    I passed San Pedro Sula thinking I'd find a place outside the city because it's so busy, but then I couldn't find one in the dark and rain and fog. Finally found one by Lago de Yojoa.

    Regarding Belize, I liked Punta Gorda much more than Corozal. Laid back, and people had things to do other than tending to tourists.
    #62
  3. paul.miner

    paul.miner Adventurer

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    Oh, and the "helper" (I asked him what he called his job and he said he was a kind of broker/guide) at customs in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala was well worth the $10 he asked for. He speaks Spanish and English, and helped me get my bike's paperwork done. His name is Roberto Franco ("Pepino").

    [​IMG]
    #63
  4. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

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    You seem to be making great time! How has the weather been? It rains every day here in Panama!:cry
    Great job on the pic resize.
    #64
  5. paul.miner

    paul.miner Adventurer

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    Constantly alternating between raining and dry, but mainly rain. I'm in Riva, Nicaragua tonight. Had to grease the wheels at the border because I didn't bring my original title, only copies. Took about $50 worth of grease. The helpers were particularly helpful this time, the process seemed pretty convoluted.
    #65
  6. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    You're paying at least double the standard tourist rates--both for helpers and for bribes. Just so you know that. And your helpers are getting kickbacks for every excess payment.

    Bringing original documents, at least for backup when someone notices, is an old, old story. If you're heading north again as originally planned, expect to get hit at least once or twice more.

    On the other hand, at least you're there while most of the rest of us are emphatically not. Enjoy!

    Mark
    #66
  7. paul.miner

    paul.miner Adventurer

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    I'll tell myself it's the no-habla-espanol fee :)
    #67
  8. coors

    coors gs 1200

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    Thanks for the info and the pics Paul.

    You're hawling ass :clap

    Keep it going
    #68
  9. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    These days, with the Mexiquense Cuota system and the Arco Norte, you can get around Mexico City quite easily without making any dramatic detour. Ain't cheap
    but then neither is a big detour.

    Wish I'd found this RR earlier but then it seems the OP's routing hasn't been that easy to anticipate. Covering a lot of ground fast. Could be at risk of causing Sjoerd Bakker's head to twist off. :D
    #69
  10. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I bet SB would be enjoying this, on account of he seems to enjoy legit crazy. aka Whack.

    :clap

    I'm enjoying this, especially the part where the OP is improvising. Especially when the improvising is getting him into at least as much trouble as sticking to the plan.

    :freaky
    #70
  11. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    SB and the OP are at opposite ends of the spectrum on covering ground in Latin America. Not that that's a bad thing. As long as he keeps safe and posts up I'm good with it. He sure is covering some ground. I rode a 17 day loop from Austin through Guate and back and was told I wouldn't have enough time. This guy's going well beyond that little ride.
    #71
  12. pax maac

    pax maac Been here awhile

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    Dunno if you know but motos pay half on most if not all cuotas now. Arco Norte is still expensive, but more reasonable now.

    Also, Mexico City can be amazing. I'm kinda bummed about all the shit talk I see about it on here. Any of you guys are welcome to stay at my place in Toluca and I'll take you into and through the city. Or if you just want to know how to get through or around it without getting lost, just ask.
    #72
  13. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

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    One of the most exciting parts of my annual New Year's ride is arriving to the Centro Historico via Paseo de la Reforma. Makes my hair stand up on my neck. I've been hopelessly lost a couple times though because there are no visible landmarks to guide me. Will have GPS with appropriate map data for all future D.F. adventures.
    #73
  14. paul.miner

    paul.miner Adventurer

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    Spent the night in Siquirres, Costa Rica. Headed to Limon, then down the road to cross into Panama at Sixaola.
    #74
  15. paul.miner

    paul.miner Adventurer

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    Made it into Panama! Border crossing was relatively easy, except that I missed the second customs office that puts stamps in my passport, so a checkpoint told me to turn around.
    #75
  16. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Thanks! That's a great offer for any riders passing through the area. I encourage all riders to give Mexico City a try. A truly amazing place.

    Yep, been enjoying the 1/2 tolls for a while now.

    Best advice, besides Bicimapas GPS, is strip the cases off your DS bikes for
    lane splitting ease. I rode my big Harley down there a few years ago and it was too "ancha" to split lanes much of the time. Really sucked watching all the little bikes squirt through while I cooked in the heat.

    A motorcycle is, by far, the best way around that town. IMHO. :lol3
    #76
  17. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    What took you so long?? :lol3

    More pix please.
    #77
  18. paul.miner

    paul.miner Adventurer

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    Stopped in Anton, Panama tonight. Planning on making it to Yaviza tomorrow. Couple pics:

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    [​IMG]
    #78
  19. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Thank you sir.
    #79
  20. paul.miner

    paul.miner Adventurer

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    Met some inmates, and had brunch with them:

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    Rode to Yaviza, had a couple beers:

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    Watched some orgy porn with my fellow bar patrons:

    [​IMG]

    Ate a pothole and bent my front rim (still holding pressure):

    [​IMG]

    Rode through Panama City again, then on to Chame, where I'm staying tonight.
    #80