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. Radioman

    Radioman Moto rider Supporter

    Dec 27, 2005
    riding during Covid
    Thanks Del. Agree with your post. :clap:clap
  2. El Explorador

    El Explorador Radical Explorer

    Apr 6, 2011
    Guatemala City, Guatemala, and going down!
    Okay well for all of you poor souls passing by delicious food without even knowing it, here's a top ten foods I'm glad I didn't miss. This was in Guatemala:

    Chiles Rellenos - You can get these all over. Chillies filled with whatever is handy, often breaded and fried

    Cak Ik - Turkey soup. More common in the highlands, I found an unassuming restaurant by the side of the road that served this. (Be warned - Ik means chili in Kek Chi)

    Tapado - Found in Livingston, by the coast, a soup of magnificent seafood flavoured with plantain and coconut.

    Flan - If you haven't tried it, you must.

    Mojarra - usually fried with spices and garlic, you can't beat fresh fish straight from the sea

    Pastel tres leches - A delightful cake for the sweet tooth

    FRESH TORTILLAS - come on people, these are delicious! Have them with cream cheese, queso fresco, cheap cuts of beef or chicken, add fresh avocado and the ubiquitos sauces/cilantro and you've got a delicious morsel.

    Chicharrones - I've never had pork rinds in North America so I can't say if they're the same or not... but they are just as delightful as anything else that gives you a years worth of artery-hardening cholesterol in one meal. Try them wrapped in tortillas ;)

    Pupusas - Think tortillas, now thicker, and fill them with tastiness. I say tastiness because lets be honest if you're crazy enough to ride through SA you're crazy enough to eat from the street vendors, and they don't exactly conform to a standard recipe. Great drenched in butter.

    Atol de elote - Yes, it's a corn drink. And yes, it is delicious! Come on, if you weren't scared of the roads down here you shouldn't be scared to try the foods too!

    In conclusion: Sorry for off track post; food in SA and CA is DELICIOUS you just need to go out of your way to find new things to try and ask about _local_ specialties, with communities so small there are many places that have their own "must try" dish.

    Also try to avoid eating endangered species unless you're invited with locals, it's bad form man...
    (I chide them too but only because my Spanish is good enough to not make me sound like an asshat)
  3. Domiken

    Domiken Been here awhile

    Sep 30, 2011
    Great thread.

    I disagree with the food comment, there is amazing food to be had in those countries, you just need to know where to go and not be on the run all the time. I notice the only reason Americans like Mexican food (other than being good) is because you can find it anywhere in the US. I am glad I speak the language, it makes things a lot easier when figuring things out, but in times of doubt I resort to not knowing the language :D

    Keep them coming, I'm enjoying this thread.
  4. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

    Oct 25, 2010
    My list...

    1. A big bike gets you attention, a small bike gets you inside.
    2. I can source and repair just about everything, just about everywhere for my Suzuki DR650.
    3. Ride like a local, which usually means on the far right side of the road.
    4. Ride slow around, through and over obstacles.
    5. A friendly proactive horn beep is better than angry reactive horn blast.
    6. It is not necessary to "fully speak" the language, but it is necessary to "attempt to speak" the language. It will always lead to better accommodation, food, drinks and experiences.
    7. Asking for help, directions or suggestions is not an indication of weakness, it is an opportunity for others to participate in the journey.
    8. Eat the menu del dia.
    9. Smile, you are on vacation.
    10. Adjust your attitude to the latitude.
  5. cactusreid

    cactusreid Adventurer

    Apr 3, 2006
    wow,I'm coming back to this thread on a regular basis! great ideas and advise from everyone. thank you all.
  6. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Feb 20, 2012
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Mmmm. Learning lots as I go. Only in Mexico now, but working hard on experiencing all the food, so hoping I will have many other things to add for all the countries further south.

    But I can attest to "speak the language". I wish I had learnt more before I came (I tried but its hard out of context). In spanish school now in Oaxaca and the world is opening up even more. I couldn't wait to learn in Guatemala- as hardly anyone out of the city in Mexico speaks English.

    Defiantly ride slow. Stop lots. Too much time on the bike and I feel that I am missing the point. And if you are not taking toll roads, where I feel I miss everything at 130km/ph, 300km can take almost all day!

    Connect with people on ADV- write a ride report, include others and even in the hard times (eg. stuck on the side of the road with a bike that is not working, and that you have no idea how to fix!), you are not alone. You meet great people on the road in these times too- but its great to have some knowledge of the foreign bike (BMW) to back up their good intensions!

    If you are a woman, make a concerted effort to single out local women to speak to. Its harder, (the men will single you out, but more than often with added unwanted bonuses) but persistence pays off!

    mmmm. I hope each day to learn more, but that's it for now.