Top 10 things you learned or wish you would have known about riding in South America.

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by gordojordo, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. Hache_arg

    Hache_arg End of the world rider

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    but then, again, if you didn´t stop, you´ll be a tourist and not a traveller.

    H
    #21
  2. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    imho- you're more of a traveller if you are going where there are no buses.
    #22
  3. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    When I was in India I asked an Indian about using the horn. He was a very well educated man from a wealthy backgound (His grandfather founded Himachal Pradesh!) He had attended an English school that used 'Queensbury Rules' for boxing and cultivated a very dry sense of humor.

    Anyway, what he said about the horn was this...

    "...Adam. What you have to understand is that in Europe, you use the horn to tell someone they have done something stupid. In India we use the horn to tell people we are about to do something stupid" :rofl

    I can't listen to anyone mention the horn without thinking about that story.
    #23
  4. Flys Lo

    Flys Lo cool hand fluke

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    I am still learning, but here are some that I have picked up


    1. Learn spanish, and more than "one more beer please" (although that is handy :D )
    2. Always stop and ask as many locals whenever you see them about where you are going, they may know that there is lava across the road ahead, the bridge is washed out, where a local point of interest is, or tell you that you are headed the wrong way, that there is no gas ahead - some may be incorrect, some you might not be able to understand, but if you ask lots you should be able to work out the average...
    3. Be as respectful and as courteous to all military/police officers as possible, unless they are trying to get you for something, then just act as dumb as possible.
    4. Eat street food, particularly where ever there are cops or truck drivers eating
    5. Avoid anything westernized, this includes Burger King, your BMW dealership, and all of Costa Rica.
    6. Follow your gut, something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
    7. Buy good gear that is waterproof before you leave, and make sure you don't loose it! Riding through rainy season in Central America in a pair of Mexican hiking boots because your good boots got stolen sucks.
    8. Outside of good quality moto gear, you can buy everything else on the road. Pack lighter.
    9. Don't be afraid to stop, take a detour, or forge your own path, this is a journey (and YOUR journey), not a destination.
    10. If someone says something can't be done, they are lying. Down here, there is ALWAYS a way.



      And one more as a bonus
    11. Integrate, don't intimidate.
    #24
  5. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer Supporter

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    A variation on this rule:

    Anything that can be done in Costa Rica can be done in Nicaragua or Honduras for 1/4 of the price and without annoying, self righteous "eco-tourists" scolding you about your motorcycle's carbon footprint (after they flew down on a jumbo jet).
    #25
  6. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    :rofl:clap:thumb

    but I still loves McD papas fritas when I feel a little homesick after being out in the wild for a time, they always taste the same as back home.
    #26
  7. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    :lol3

    :thumb

    Loving all the info. Including that Costa Rica crack. It won't stop me from returning.:rofl

    :lurk
    #27
  8. Hache_arg

    Hache_arg End of the world rider

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    If you get Homesick, and feel like having something you miss...

    Have some chinese food. Is the same flavour around the world.
    ( In peru theres a variation, Chifa food.. is almost the same)

    H
    #28
  9. blues

    blues Long timer

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    Great story, I am still laughing.
    #29
  10. deanosky

    deanosky Adventurer

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    I agree with all the post about treating military and policeman with respect for sure, but also at the start of the trip i was un-experienced about dealing with corrupt cops, being from Australia. ( I mean we have corrupt cops but there usually the ones in suites not the boys on the street)

    So my first encounter in Mexico they first asked me for 1,800 pesos!!!! i waited it out and i ended up paying 100 pesos!
    100 pesos is enough to get you out of it in mexico just wait it out!

    Then my second time here in Rio De Janeiro Brazil i was riding without anything as i plain forgot, no passport, no licence, no bike papers nada! And also no money the cops stopped me and told me what are we gonna do and they threatened to tow the bike and i said look i really dont have another option because i am without money so they can tow the bike!
    And they let me go!!

    So what I am trying to say is don´t give in to their first demands, you have all the time in the world the cops are gonna have to finish their shift at some point!
    #30
  11. SR

    SR Long timer

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    From the limited time I have spent in South America, one thing I have noticed is that the food there generally is not that good! Not very flavorful and rarely aesthetically presented. A lot of boiled meat and overcooked vegetables and soggy fried potatoes. From what I have seen, food in Latin America peaks in Mexico and goes down hill from there, with Chile having the worst. I am just saying, if you find yourself at restaurant with bad food, it's the continent not the restaurant. Curiously, the wine in SA is good, but the food, not so much.

    Okay now everyone can tell me how wrong I am and about all the good food they have had in South America.:rofl
    #31
  12. snohobo

    snohobo Supermoto hippy

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    somewhere in south america
    #32
  13. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    SR, I would have to disagree with you on that. Colombia had fantastic beef, Ecuador has great Cuy, Peru has incredible seafood, Argentina had fantastic food all the way around, Chile has great beef and lamb, and Brasil had all types of excellent food.

    Of course, all over South America you can find a good Pizza. :D
    #33
  14. SR

    SR Long timer

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    I think most everyone will agree that the best food in SA is in probably in Peru, more varied with a lot of seafood and generally more flavorful.
    #34
  15. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    Isn't 'great cuy' an oxymoron? :rofl
    #35
  16. snohobo

    snohobo Supermoto hippy

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    #36
  17. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    I echo SR's sentiments on the food but I won't say the food is bad in SA.

    MX is hands down the best food in LA for me. Coffee, dark beers, fresh tropical produce (great jugo natural too!) , great farm raised meats, fresh fish, awesome pan. And all at a modest cost.

    As for SA, Brasil has the best offerings for my tastes, the best of both worlds for me when it comes to great meats and fresh produce . Great coffee and beers. I am a big fan of the Brasilian all you can eat buffets too, whether it's in the middle of nowhere next to a gas station, or in Rio, the food was always good, lots of steak, pasta, produce, and cheap. From 9-14$R depending on where you are.

    Now this is a proper breakfast (not breadfast!), in Paraty, Brasil. A variety of fresh fruits and jugo (not that crap in a box!), fresh meats, EGGS, fucking eggs, I haven't seen eggs for breakfast in months! Best Desayuno since MX.

    [​IMG]


    Colombia, Ecuador (not a fan of cuy though), Peru, are pretty good too, all had good coffee, pan, produce. Peru has amazing ceviche. The meats in these countries were hit or miss for me though.

    Bolivia, though probably my favorite country, doesn't have the best cuisine for my tastes. I started seeing a lot more nescafe by this time, fresh produce is tough to come by (for obvious reasons), and the meats are so so. Though I am heading to Santa Cruz soon and expect to get better food there since the city is not situated on the altiplano.

    Chile is probably the least appealing food wise for me in all of SA. Lots of instant coffee and forgettable pans. Argentina, though known for their meat, was not that appealing as well. I like variety in my diet, if I ate steak everyday I could rank Argentina higher. And they roast their coffee with sugar, wtf?? The big redeeming factor with Argentina is the wine. You can drink an exceptional bottle of Malbec in Argentina for all of $4. I think I drank more wine in Argentina than I ate of the food.

    Edit: I forgot to include Uruguay, after a couple months in BsAs I found the food in Uruguay to be an improvement in general. And the Uruguay wines I had were quite good.

    My ratings for food are based on my own anecdotal experiences from eating out of the markets, street vendors, free hostal breakfasts, and restaurants.
    #37
  18. AdventureDave

    AdventureDave MMMMM Bundy!

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    Like this thread butI gotta ask what do these abreviations (BD,BT,BN) mean? :scratch

    Cheers

    David
    #38
  19. Lifes2short

    Lifes2short Been here awhile

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    I'm gonna go with:

    Buenos Dias
    Buenas Tardes
    Buenas Noches
    #39
  20. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Correcto mundo senor:thumb It always helps with a friendly greeting in the native tounge even when you don't hardly know any Spanish in my experience.

    I think many people think it is totally rude to just come straight at them with a question without a simple greeting to begin with.
    #40