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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.
In Latin America, this IS considered civilized
Just remember, you cannot drink all day, unless you start in the morning.
Correct in both regards
While back in Guatemala city I had to jet off to visit a friend in the USA for a few days. Our dear friends in Guatemala city took Elsebie to an airshow they host annually. If you think Guatemala, hell wtf, what possible airshows of value and airplanes can there be, you are missing a lot.
These guys have super cool toys and their flying skills are nothing short of amazing.
And as it happens while staying with Carlos there were an adventure bike gathering the weekend in El Salvador. We were cordially invited by Carlos and his merry band of adventure friends to ride over into the dangerous hell hole we got warned about that is El Salvador. It gets tiring to hear the usual conversation from other travellers. Is it safe? How long will you stay there? Don't go to this area or that area. The entire Central America the same damn shitty ignorant conversation the moment you speak to some other overlanders or backpackers. Damn talk about beers and beaches and stuff instead
So far nothing of the bad had happened to us, in fact we only had good dealings with people.
So we decided to venture into this hell hole with Carlos and his friends. To make things easier for the border crossing he offered us his Honda AT to ride for the weekend. The paperwork for our bikes would have taken some time. As we only had to stamp the passports it took us 20mins through the border crossing.
The entire ride from Guatemala city to San Salvador was about 4 hours.
Carlos owns this super über cool BMW 1200 and a sidecar made in the USA and specially build to his specifications. It uses hydraulic suspension on teh outside wheel to lift or drop the car when they ride different gradient surfaces.
They rode the bike up to the USA, had the side car fitted at the factory and then rode around California for a while before returning to Guatemala.
We met up in San Salvador the next day to meet the other adventure bikers from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, some from Mexico and some from Costa Rica. The event was organised by Nelson Marroquin the owner of Revít El Salvador which sells all sort of adventure gear to local Central America adventure riders. He has helped many bike overlander out of shit in the past with parts and equipments. He is currently in South America giving his Ducati a proper work out.
Even Nelson Mandela got a space on this wall in Concepción de Ataco a small village between the border of Guatemala and San Salvador.
Part of the event was held at Concepción de Ataco and it turned into a big party. I am not sure how many riders were present but it was quite a bunch of people. Carlos and his friends got us all a house to stay in for the evening. It was one of those cool colonial farm style houses in town.
Is that not one pretty rig?
Bunch of dodgy bastards
Dr Ricardo, Carlos, Nelson, fucker, Tono
We took the coastal road the next riding with the Guatemala group. Having lunch and beers stops along the way. These guys and girls knows how to have fun. Always laughing, cracking jokes , riding like its the last day on earth and generally just enjoying themselves.
And he is really a Dr. Batshit crazy, loco, always up for mischief and fun
And that is why we travel!! Meeting incredible people and making friends for live.
My first ride on a Honda AT and damn is that one sweet bike!! From the middle class this bike is a winner. I wish I could use one to travel the world.
And so when all was drank, ate, said and done. El Salvador is not the bad people told us about. Not even close. in fact with Nicaragua, El Salvador is the best kept secret of Central America. They are not Walt Disney theme park countries with safe spaces, that is true, but they do offer some of the coolest adventure biking experiences. It is real, in your face but with wonderful folk and you need a healthy dose of adventure spirit to travel there. But that it is a dangerous no go place is bullshit. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there. I am honestly surprised that not more Americans venture to Central America with bikes. It is such a great place to see and experience.
I can consider an AT as a present
You cant imagine how much i enjoyed your report.My wife and I traveled the western states,Canada and Mexico for nearly 20 years.We are very envious of you guys.Your trip is just amazing.Also enjoyed seeing Kenya for the first time.Intresting to see the country our former President was born in.Thanks for a wonderful report.
Absolutely, it is one schuweet bike.
Thanks @bajaburro much appreciated.
Michnus, where have you gone?
Man we really struggle to get decent wifi to do post. Will try when we get to a place again
Honduras the best kept secret in Central America.
All we heard before going to Honduras was how dangerous it was. By now the whole scare mongering bullshit false info that is so rife running through the overland community got a bit much. Speaking to a local Honduran he had a baffled look on his face when we told him about people being too scared to go through the country. He just laughed, what else could he do? Like every other time, just travel with an open mind and be carefull.
The border post between Guatemala and Honduras at Copan was a pisser and took us less than 1.5hours to clear. The customs people doing the paperwork for the bikes offered us coffee and water while they processed the paperwork.
Our first stop was going to be the Copan ruins in the quint little town of Copan.
Now this is hilarious stuff!!! On IOverlander the travel app for overlanders we saw a pin which read: VOID. GO THROUGH SAN JUAN DE DIOS INSTEAD. We were driving from El Ceibo to Flores when maps.me told us to take all 17km of this route through San Antonio. It's a dirt road in terrible condition. After driving very slowly for about 2km the road narrowed. Having seen dozens of folks with machetes and a few wanderers (who weren't working on fields and were digging through trash), we decided it was too risky. A local later told us that robberies occur all the time on this road.
Having a Machete is national clothing in Central America. It is as common as mobile phones. And it is not being used to kill and rob tourist.
We were the lucky ones to be at the ruins the day they took the cover off over the steps. It happens once every 5 or 50 years to fix the cover. This would have had much more meaning to my dear friend @goodcat aka Shawn Croft Tomb Raider. But is was damn impressive to say the least.
The pandemonium of Macaws at the ruins are such a treat. There are loads of them living at the ruins and some are quite tame.
Awesome stuff once again!!That's a Scarlet Macaw by Elsabé. Enjoy Honduras and don't make the rest of us wait so damn long
Thanks for bird info I did not know that Got this: Scarlet macaws were sacred to the Mayans. The scarlet macaw is the national bird of Honduras
Will try update more regularly it just beer man, it gets in the way of typing
Close to Copan is a bird sanctuary where they look after injured birds. They are also part of a group who re-introduce smuggled birds back into the wild. They told us especially with parrots and Macaws in the last few years there has been a huge increase in stealing birds from the wild for illegal smuggling to Western countries. Honduras is about 80% mountainous and they are working hard to protect their fauna and flora.
So here is where stuff gets interesting. Honduras like Guatemala still has truck loads of dirt roads. Most of them in the mountain parts. They wind and snake between coffee and banana plantations with incredible views over beautiful landscapes. Locals are not used to overlanders or tourist riding on these back roads and stare at us as we pass by. Most wave at us and kids run next to us to high five us.
There are plenty of roadside stops with good coffee and food. We found the locals incredibly friendly even the ones carrying Machetes