North to South America on a Honda 250

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

  1. Red-hungarian

    Red-hungarian Been here awhile Supporter

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    Pity the breakdown topped the awesome Tuk trip we shared. Much to remember there & I'll always have that story but I can see how your engine failing on you would overshadow it.

    What an incredible journey you are on. The experiences you are storing away are worth more than any currency on earth. I admire your spirit and could only wonder what it would have been like to do something like this at your age. Enjoy your freedom my young friend, stay that way as long as you can!!



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  2. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Great ride report!
    Love the mighty Nighthawk.
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  3. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Made it to Colombia!

    Had three awesome days aboard the Stahlratte. The sea was a bit rough during the crossing so I was really happy with the pills I got against motion sickness. I'll get some pictures online soon! Such a cool experience, the San Blas Islands which are pure paradise, then the overnight sail on a ship that's over a hundred years old and the arrival in Cartagena while the sun sets.


    Lots of activity while I was offline I see, thanks all for following along! :D


    Yes, just got third party insurance. It's not required but just in case something would happen. Not sure how effective it would really be though.

    Yeah, I noticed a real difference. Especially riding in wet grass or mud. It is much more capable then a street tire to get you out of trouble! Imagine real nobblies :)

    Thanks Dave! Best wishes to you and the family too. Must be getting awfully cold now in Calgary!

    Thanks and haven't had those questions before, so no worries! I do have a lock which I run through my jacket and helmet. Riding pants I can normally stow away in the topcase (if there's enough space). For the photos I use Flickr, it's a bit annoying though because they limit every free user to a 1000 photos. I could get unlimited but that means paying. To get around that problem I have made 'a couple' accounts. I think I'm on the fifth now :D

    I only have my Android phone, which luckily accepts microSD cards. So that's how I'm uploading everything. And I have a extra SD card which I use as a back-up. But I'm going to get another one to use as a back-up-back-up.

    Thanks, hope all is well with everyone. Best wishes to you too!

    Ah, gracias! I had seen them once or twice on TV and somehow attached that name to these animals. But yeah, Lemurs look very different haha.

    Thanks, en jij ook een gelukkig nieuwjaar gewenst! I'll keep typing away every now and then.

    Good one! I still think it's one of my favorite countries ever. Although I might be a bit biased because of some encounters with the local wildlife :rofl

    Let's see if Colombia can live up to its reputation!

    Thanks for the encouragement, all the best to you too!

    Haha there's some good hills coming up in the near future, let's see if the mighty Nighthawk 'El Rojo' can get up those :muutt
  4. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    John! Good to hear from you :)

    I never got round to writing about our Dempster adventure but that ride is still on my mind every day. I think that whole week was one of the best on this trip. You dragged me almost 500 miles through the mud and rain that last day. One of the hardest but greatest ride yet. Your photos say a thousand words.

    I remember you asked if I would ever do it again. Hell yeah!

    I'll try to get something typed up next month.
  5. Red-hungarian

    Red-hungarian Been here awhile Supporter

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    The Dempster was the best and worst part of my trip too. Miserable weather, endless daylight, relentless mosquitoes, horrible road conditions, flat tires, crashes, injuries... pretty awesome. I would possibly do it again but not under the same conditions.


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  6. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    I'll try to catch up on the posts as soon as possible. If I start posting stuff from Colombia now it will turn into one big clusterfuck of scrambled posts.. Can't have that :D


    So yeah Guatemala..., slipping and sliding down this horrible wet dirt road I made it to a hostel in Lanquin. A town close to Semuc Champec with a bit more to offer.
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    It was hard to notice on these bumpy roads but turns out I had pinched my rear tire. It probably was leaking since entering Belize a few days before but I never gave it proper care. No worries, I picked up this amazing puncture repair kit at Walmart in Halifax so it was time to put it to the test. Never plugged a tire before before but have witnessed a couple other people do it (thanks John!) so should be easy. Got the strip out, got the glue out, squizy squizy.. nothing. Frickin tube is filled with air, thanks a lot Walmart! That will get me far.. Of course by now all the shops are closed. The maintenance guy at the hostel tells me where the tire repair shop is so I can sort some glue there in the morning.
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    At least the rain disappeared during the night. The sun was a welcoming site, but because of the humidity everything remained wet.
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    I walked over to the little shop for glue, luckily the guy had some. He however did not have any change from a bigger bill, so I first went to get some snacks for the day and used the change to pay the guy. With that out of the way I marched on to the town center for some streetfood breakfast consisting of frijoles, rice and some porkchop. Decent and cheap!
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    I could have gone back and fix my tire, and ride up to the falls. But I thought it would be a good experience to take one of the many collectivos shuttling people to and from Semuc. And it would save me the ride up there, which also wasn't not recommended. Found one, jumped in the back and enjoyed the ride.
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    Well, until the truck got a flat tire that was.. Everybody out, so he can get the tire replaced.
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    All fixed and back on the road.
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    At last there was the entrance, takes some effort to get there but here we are. Guess who were also at the falls, Dec and Lauri! Last time I met them was Mexico City. The swimming was excellent in all these natural pools.
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    Another bumpy ride back and with the glue secured I could commence plugging the rear tire. This time with succes and 5 minutes later it was all done. Good! Now get over to Dec and Lauri's place for some happy hour drinks! We all might have had one or two Pina Coladas to many as we ended up dancing with a bunch of older ladies.
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    Keen to get out of the valley on dry roads I woke up early and got going. Halfway along the road this local guy with his daughter and wife on the back passes me, only to scatter his chain across the road five meters ahead of me. We find the chain link and plate, but not the clip. I lend him my tools and a spare clip to see if he can budge something together but obviously it's the wrong size and doesn't fit. And look who shows up.. It that bloody yellow Beemer again. Dec and Lauri stop to assess the situation but being blessed with a drive shaft soon realize there's little we can do so continue. I wait for the guy to grab a bus back into town, gather my tools, offer the woman and kid some water and start following the Beemer.
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    Out of the valley, great pavement and great vista's.
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    The next place to spend the night was supposed to be Guatemala City. But once I arrived there it looked pretty shit, the traffic was absolutely horrible and I really had no idea what there was to do. A quick glance at the map taught me that Antigua was only one hour away. Antigua it is then!
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    For dinner I went to a place that was recommended named Rincon Tipico. Had a very tasteful slow cooked chicken with some rice and salad and a beer to smooth it out. It was all very good, until I woke up at 3am and thought to myself.. Here we go again... Well the next day I didn't get to do much, a bathroom in the vicinity was a must. Apparently Pepto Bismol helps heaps so a visit to the farmacia was in order. It did go a bit better later in the day so I could at least see something of the town.
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  7. Franque

    Franque Been here awhile

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    Hey, just so you know for future reference, that type of repair is only supposed to be for tubeless tires. Apparently, you made it work, but you're supposed to patch the tube, those plugs won't normally work.
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  8. Jolly Roger 250

    Jolly Roger 250 Adventurer

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    By the looks of his rims, I believe he has tubeless tires.
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  9. Franque

    Franque Been here awhile

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    I think I misunderstood something, good eye!
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  10. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Yes, glad the bike has tubeless tires. Way less work to fix a flat (if you have your repair kit in order)
  11. Red-hungarian

    Red-hungarian Been here awhile Supporter

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    Hate to tell you the glue was not really necessary. The tacky plugs are usually enough to plug a hole. I use the glue if I have it just for an extra measure. How much more left to your trip what’s next?
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  12. Franque

    Franque Been here awhile

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    Yeah, when you plug those, you can cut it short and light it on fire, if desired, but I just cut them close to the tread, and I've put a bunch of miles on car tires patched thusly. Keep up on the trip Joris, I'm enjoying the thread a bunch!
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  13. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Semuc Champey is a wonderful place! I rode right to the pools and meet a bus coming down one of the steep hills with the 2 concrete tracks, had to pu;; off and getting back on the concrete was a chore.
    saludos Joris
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  14. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    Guatemala......what a trip. thanks for the insight.

    Joris and to everyone here.....Happy New Year
  15. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    'k Lees je hele verhaal met veel plezier Joris ,doorgaan zo :clap

    With the tire repair the glue-tube was indeed full when you bought it . It was dry because the "solution " has evaporated since that day in Halifax . I know exactly the size and brand you bought at Walmart, use it myself . The dry-tube surprise is quite common and is a result of the tube being stored for considerable time under varying levels of atmosheric pressure and temperature changes . When you cross mountain passes or spend much time at elevation , even if the tube is still factory sealed the vulcanizing solvent will be able to do a very slow escape as gas out of the rolled up ,crimped metal bottom end of the tube . If the cap seal has been opened only once the escape is guaranteed .
    For the tire repair kit it is necessary to buy only a small tube suited to do one or two patches /plugs . After you use it make a point of checking if it sounds empty and getting a new tube of "solution " soon . It is technically not needed for the gum impregnated strings but it is useful as a lubricant for pushing the string or plug through the puncture hole . If you put too much "solution" on the string it might pull out when you retract the needle ,so keep it to a s little as possible , and let the tire stand for a while to dry it off inside
  16. Animo

    Animo Been n00b awhile

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    Just caught up. Fantastic Ride Report, pictures and storyline. You're doing it right :thumb


    :lurk
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  17. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Great update as usual, the pictures/videos from the Steel Rat are beautiful!
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  18. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    where did you see these?
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  19. ryder1

    ryder1 Long timer

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    Pepto is your best friend when traveling outside of your normal inviroment.

    Don't ask me how I know. I eill never trust Chicago again.
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  20. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    IG and FB Cal... Spoiler...
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