North to South America on a Honda 250

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Joris van O, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Thanks for the kind words @NSFW, it means a lot! There have been many times in the past that I didn't manage to get things done, and that always bothered me. So this is also a personal mission to prove to myself that I can indeed get things done. So far it is going pretty well, but there's another whole continent to cross.


    About crossing this continent.. Although I don't want to plan to much, I still like to have some sort of rough schedule for the trip. I've been doing some headscratching, and a third option has come up. Take a month for Colombia, a week or so for Ecuador, another couple of weeks for Peru and then instead of Bolivia and Northern Chile ride down all the past Santiago and on to Patagonia and Ushuaia via the carretera Austral. That will get me there just before winter really sets in (although I have no doubt that it will be nasty by then). Then I can slowly make my way back to Northern Chile and Bolivia via the Ruta 40. The weather will still be decent there in May, although cold on the Altiplano. Internet says the best time to visit Bolivia is June so that would work out perfect. Then head east to Paraguay, Foz de Iguazu and Buenos Aires.

    .. (and buy bike in Europe, ride to North Cape)..
  2. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,442
    Location:
    Calgary
    yes sir a rough plan and the ability to change it when ever you want! Thats how I traveled eastern Europe,I never looked at a guide book just planned a few days ahead with the help of locals!
    Joris van O and NSFW like this.
  3. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    24,040
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    rough schedule is the best, not tied up to a route and dates. that's how i roll when riding solo, besides i'm on vacation.

    all the countries you mentioned are great destinations (though never been to SA), if you have the time don't pass up the local ladies, it's culturally good for the mind....and body.

    if you ever come to Los Angeles, look for me and you're welcome to stay if i'm home (sorry). i will be returning to EU next year in July.

    the new Yamaha T7 got my attention, that could be the next best adventure bike in the market.

    Joris. Merry Christmas and keep us posted. i'm pretty sure, South America has a very very nice vibe celebrating the holidays.
    Joris van O likes this.
  4. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    127
    Location:
    Thunder Bay
    A great trip and it is good to see someone with no deadlines to meet. After years of tourist area vacations I found biking the real areas of Mexico a wonderful experience with great people everywhere.
    Joris van O likes this.
  5. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,250
    Location:
    Satellite of Love
    Feliz Navidad, Joris! :drink:beer:drink
    Joris van O and roadcapDen like this.
  6. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Thanks guys!

    Merry Christmas to all of you as well, hope you're all having a good time so close to the end of the year. Enjoy time with family (or friends, relatives, neighbors or anyone really).

    Together with Hanne and Jasper, Decky and Lauri and Micah who are all also sailing on the Stahlratte we got together for a Christmas eve dinner (and drinks). I'm also sharing an Airbnb with them. It's great to be around some like minded people these days!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Although it's freakin hot and humid here and I don't have 'that Christmas feeling' at all. That's definitely a different story for the Panamanians. They absolutely love it!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    jowul, Foiler, MYUMPH and 11 others like this.
  7. zulusafari

    zulusafari Malta DualSport

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    331
    Location:
    Texas/Malta
    Joris van O likes this.
  8. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Thanks! We're heading to Carti today to catch the boat tomorrow so I'm afraid it will be a bit hard to meet up with them. Looks like they're having a great trip!
  9. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    34,231
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Awesome RR!
    Great to see your in depth traveling in Mexico vs quickly blasting thru like some do. Mexico warrants months of exploring & experiencing vs picking one main route till you get to the southern border.

    ...I would have back tracked to Guadalajara for some more fun :rogue...but you scheduled a boat ride....
    Joris van O likes this.
  10. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Netherlands
    A short ride to the border and two hours of going from desk to desk later I was in Guatemala! Met the same guys there that were also at the Mexico border.
    [​IMG]

    Spotted this big contraption at the border too. Texas plates, the guy driving it was nice. Also on his way to Patagonia. But boy, you'll get a lot of attention with such an expensive rig.
    [​IMG]

    It felt great to be back in a Spanish speaking country. I crossed early so I could ride straight to the Tikal ruins (gaaawd, not more ruins..). At 25 dollars the entry fee was a bit steep, but nothing you can do about it. The place was cool though, so kinda worth it. And seeing this massive object rise up as you walk closer between the trees is quite the sight.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    There were cool trees, cool animals (a lemur I believe?) and lots and lots of stairs that day.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After a few hours of Indiana Jones-like exploring I got back on the bike and rode to Flores to spend the night there. Found a hostel, parked the bike and went for a walk.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The sky looked threatening so I quickly went back to the hostel. After an hour of bucketing rain the clouds parted and together with a. English couple that was in the same dorm we went to get dinner. They knew this good street food place halfway on the access road to Flores, and indeed it was delicious (cheap too).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    They were lacking in the cerveza department though, so I went to find some local beer. Sorted!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With the weekend over, I could get some insurance for the bike. It is not mandatory in Guatemala, or El Salvador or Honduras for that matter, but I thought it would be better to have some kind of insurance instead of nothing at all in case something would happen.
    [​IMG]

    Next stop. Semuc Champey! There was a river to cross, but luckily there were ferries. Could've taken the big one but this one was faster. And speed was good, there was a dark cloud following me.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The advised route to get to Semuc Champec runs from Xuctzul to Coban and then east on the '5'. There were warnings on iOverlander to not take the other route because the road was really bad. Bad road you said? Hold my beer! The pictures never do it justice but it was indeed pretty shit. Riding this bad road I felt pretty badass, that is until you see this bus filled with locals coming around the corner. Seemingly unaware and unimpressed of the state this road was in.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    jowul, GISdood, Foiler and 16 others like this.
  11. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,442
    Location:
    Calgary
    That street food stand in Flores made me hungry! That 250 sure is a proper dual sport!
    Joris van O and roadcapDen like this.
  12. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,161
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Great update as usual Joris!
    Hey, I like the ruins and the hostel looked nice too!
    Was that bike insurance you got, for collision/accident?
    Happy sailing!:photog
    Joris van O likes this.
  13. Jolly Roger 250

    Jolly Roger 250 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2018
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, GA
    I am sure that last Chinese aggressive rear tire was helpful on this road.
    Joris van O likes this.
  14. landyguy

    landyguy Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Calgary,Alberta,Canada
    Happy sailing Joris. Enjoy Columbia. Happy New year and looking forward to the next chapter!
    Joris van O likes this.
  15. ryder1

    ryder1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,843
    Location:
    SEPA
    Great report and I enjoy reading it. I have a couple of questions (hopefully they are not repeat questions). Do you chain your riding gear tonthe bike when hiking around? What site do you use for photo hosting? Are you carrying a pc or swapping out sd cards and sending them home when full?

    Thanks again and Merry New Year!
    Joris van O likes this.
  16. Astrid - Woerden

    Astrid - Woerden n00b

    Joined:
    May 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Woerden Netherlands
    I will say hello to all the guys. They will love to hear this message from you. Take care and enjoy. Maybe it’s still early but I want to wish you a very special time these days and a very happy and save 2020 ✨
    Joris van O likes this.
  17. mdtodd

    mdtodd Home Fries

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    17
    That's a coatimundi. Lemurs live in Madagascar.

    [​IMG]
    SpiceWeasel, Joris van O and HiJincs like this.
  18. Shovelhead1340

    Shovelhead1340 n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    Awesome RR Joris! This should go straight to the Epic section.
    Keep the pictures and stories coming please!
    Happy New Year from the Netherlands
    Joris van O likes this.
  19. Donson

    Donson Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    I'm mostly a lurker here, but, I just read your entire RR.
    Awesome, and thanks for taking me along!
    I have been fortunate to visit Panama, Costa Rica and Columbia, but, not on two wheels.
    You have changed my mind about Mexico, it is now BACK on my 2 wheel Bucket List.
    Joris van O likes this.
  20. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,508
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Great read and all the best in the New Year.
    Joris van O likes this.