Ves ATW

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Veselko, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    The last dawn in Honduras, for now, maybe for ever. Not sure I'll pass this way again.

    So, June 10th I was up at 4:00 am, because we had to be by Oscar Orlando's office, our logistics guy, at 6:00. It was going to be a miracle morning. Load up the bike and car on a tow truck at 6:00, to be taken to a warehouse to await the next boat, which unfortunately is the 18th, not the 11th as we had originally hoped. So, we'll be waiting for the vehicles in Florida until the 23rd or so.

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    Oscar, or Orlando as he likes to call himself, then personally drove us to the Puerto Cortes, an hour away, to the aduana, to see what was needed to get our passports cleared of the vehicles. Part of the problem is that the vehicles are supposed to leave the country first, you then get your passport stamped, and your clear. Wasn't going to happen with us. We got there, waited for a while, he talked to some lady through a half opened door... and nothing... basically the translation was that they are all sitting in a meeting, but there's no problem leaving the country because of the COVID thing, have a nice day... Ok then, so then he drove us to the airport an hour and a half back and waited outside until we told him we were cleared. And we were... they didn't ask a single question about the vehicles. Of course I'll probably get fined $1000 the next time I try to enter Honduras!...

    At the airport, everyone was wearing their masks and being good citizens. Some people were literally in full body suits, with masks, glasses, and shields. Getting into the plane we had the mandatory 6 ft spacing marked off on the ground with big yellow stickers.. "stand here"... then you get in the plane and it's the usual madhouse trying to get everyone seated, and it was a pretty full plane... really.. you're going to keep me six feet apart, and then sit me down rubbing elbows? Before the flight they sent out emails if anyone had flexible traveling plans and was willing to bid, to be payed, on getting a later flight. Later flight? There was no later flight, until August 2nd... I doubt they had any takers on that offer. There had been other flights on the schedule, but they were all gone.. cancelled, according to the US Embassy.

    Our flight took off late and arrived late, then we had to wait because apparently Airforce 1 was moving about the airport... Guess Trump was visiting his Florida digs...

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    Before we know it, we're in the back of a Lyft zooming along the interstate toward our Miami destination, so we're close to the port. As I was sitting in the back of the car (our driver was from Venezuela, spoke very little English) looking out the window, I felt like Neo, in the Matrix, when he first reentered the Matrix after getting out... I know this place; the clean smooth streets, quickly flowing organized traffic, shiny building, like landing in some futuristic Utopian city... Yes, but it has it's price.

    Our host in Miami was a nice enough lady, but she speaks broken English, and asked me to speak English slower... huh, interesting transition... guess of all the places we could have landed in the US, Miami is about as close to being in Latin America without being in Latin America, so back to speaking Spanish for a few more days... the irony.

    Today we took a walk down to the beach, a bit cloudy, but the water was like a bathtub. It felt good. February was the last time we had a good swim in the Ocean. They even brought out the blue carpet for us.

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    Don't know exactly what the next chapter will be, or when the RTW will continue, if it does at all, will the world ever be back to some normalcy to allow it? Don't know, but it's going to be interesting.
  2. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Took the bus to the shore. On the way we passed a few homeless people laying on the sidewalk, some hookers on a corner... Yeah, not in Kansas any more.

    As we were walking around in the park I became acutely aware of the effort it takes to move my body, there's a heaviness, a sluggishness, so much meat to keep in line and moving... compared to when I'm on the motorcycle. When on the motorcycle, my body is hooked up to the machine, we become one. I'm comfortable I'm nearly optimally positioned. Riding requires very little effort... lean into the wind some, slight movements of the wrist for throttle, squeezing the clutch and brake, pressing on the rear brake lever, and working the shifter, moving the head to look, reacting to the forces to stay in position, but for those very small movements, the body is conveyed relatively effortlessly through space; anticipating the acceleration and deceleration that occurs. All it takes is a thought to move. When the body is moved effortlessly, and fully occupied, then the spirit is freed to soar.

    Got confirmation that the boat has sailed and the vehicles are on it! Three days to pickup. Excited but not as excited as I could be, because there's appointments and we have to beeline to CO as quickly as possible. So, it's going to be interstates and Motow time again. Would have liked to hit the Keys while we're here, but dang, it's a half day away and expensive as hell. Yes, I'm still in sticker shock back in the US.

    Anyway, to pass the time we went to visit an old historical home, and the shore. Ok, I've seen worse waterfronts. There was a science museum, an art gallery, even a trapeze school, all closed because of COVID, so denied! on all that.

    Random photos from the last few days (just imagine there's a motorcycle in them, I'll help you with the first one):

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    Cruise ship coming into dock. Bigger than the building in the foreground. If I took a cruise ship around the world, could I ride a motorcycle around on the deck? I hear if you go on one, they give you discounts on additional trips, and I'm sure given the COVID situation, they're dying for customers... the travesty of the idea!

    Are you getting the motorcycle thing yet... ok, I'll help you with one more but that's it..
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    Vicaya Museum and Gardens... Swimming pool, huge garden, ponds, indoor gardens. Built by some wealthy construction guy in the early 1900's.
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    This is just to the left in the above photo. The house is on the water. This use to be a hanging garden of sorts, but also serves as a break, to protect the house from waves.
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    Had a section in the garden just for orchids. One of the few that was blooming.
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    Modern day version of Easter Island?
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  3. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

    Joined:
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    Green Valley, AZ
    Great News the vehicles are on the boat! Unfortunate you have to hussell back across the US.
  4. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yup, life is full of choices, and sometimes all the choices suck. One day at a time...
    staticPort and SOLOKLR like this.
  5. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

    Joined:
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    Green Valley, AZ
    Gotta play the hand you're dealt.
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  6. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Well, we were supposed to get the vehicles on the 22nd, but no go. The boat arrived late in the day, next day Customs was closed, so we had to find another place to stay, because the place we were at was no longer available. While there though, we got the tip from our host regarding the best burrito place in Miami, The Taco Place. The burrito's did not disappoint; hand made tortillas, nice big juicy USA style burritos, not the little rolls that passed for burritos in Latin America. It was located in a district of Miami where street art is the thing to do. Basically an urban museum of modern art, painted on the walls of all the buildings and the sidewalks in the area. Impressive.

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    This is the place.
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    Our next place wasn't great. Small room, with no windows... geeeessss... what a way to end this... Cozy is one way of putting it. But we had the use of the kitchen and out host was a nice guy. Spoke pretty good English. See, I was impressed with that... then I reminded myself that I was in the USA... hard to remember when the primary language around you is Spanish. Anyway, it was a nice complex with ponds/retention areas.

    The quackup... I mean crackup of the day was as we're walking to one of the ponds, we see some ducks on the other side swimming toward us... I'm looking and they are making a beeline, as fast as they can. Then they get to our side, get out and start running toward us. Guess they get fed a lot by the residents. There were several ponds in this complex and several groups of ducks, and they all did the same thing. It was comic relief, you had to be there..

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    Stayed there an extra day and we finally ended up getting the vehicles at about 6:30 on Friday the 24th. First had to pick up the keys from some guy, then go to a different place to wait for the container. We got there early, cause we didn't have anything to do or anyplace to go. Honey set up some corrugated boxes and her straw mat and waited it out.

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    And the doors opened and there was light... and no damage... whew...
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    Slightly prior to that, once we knew the container was on a truck being delivered, we got the bill for the US side of things... Now, realize the guy in Honduras told us it would be a few hundred dollars... the bill was $1190!... I was not a happy camper, but didn't take long to say F-it. Honey pointed out she would have paid more to be out of there... So $1350 in Honduras, another $340 warehouse charge because the vehicles had to wait in a Honduras warehouse for the next boat, and now $1190 in the US. Honestly, it's not bad, if someone had just told us up front so we knew what to expect... Whatever! Paid the bill, and when the vehicles came, though late, I helped unload them, we hooked up the bike to the Subaru, returned the rental car and just kept driving until about midnight. We just needed to put the whole thing behind us, and we were not going to spend another night in Miami.

    Four days later, just seven months after we left, we arrived in Colorado at my daughter house, needless to say I was a bit punch drunk. Tired from the whole ordeal, mentally more than physically, and days of driving on boring interstates. And when we got here, it was like I didn't know what to do. Unload what? Put it in the garage? Until when? Honey was going to be running off to various appointments, and to see her daughter, before flying to see her parents in Europe for 7 weeks. We have stuff stored here. My daughter was going to be moving in a month, so guess I'm going with her and to see the rest of my family in IL. When honey gets back, unless the state of the world changes significantly, we'll be looking for permanent housing, plant a garden, start some aquaponics, wait it out and see what happens.

    What did we learn? The world is now a changed place, for better or worse is yet to be seen. Leaned Spanish pretty good, but will continue to practice. Learned the most people are decent folk just trying to make it through the day, and they would do fine if it wasn't for the bullies that make their lives difficult... government, criminals, and everyone with an agenda, and an eye toward making a buck at someone else's expense. Learned that borders are really stupid, and the bureaucracy behind them is totally mindless, as is most bureaucracy. Learned that trouncing around the third world has it rewards, and when things go bad, there will be people there to help. But as nice as people are, you're in their space, and you try to make accommodations for them and sometimes it can be hard on the spirit. People are friendly, but you're a foreigner, in a foreign land. You're not really one of them, and you only get glimpses of the culture and what goes on. I also learned that the grass is not greener on the other side. One of the reasons for this trip was to if there was anywhere else on the planet where I'd like to hang my helmet, and though I haven't seem much of it yet... I see that there are two types of extremes. The poor places where you wouldn't want to live, and all the places that are like, or are trying to be like, the US... in the shows they watch, the food they eat, and the clothes they wear. Poor places are cheap to live in and the modern places are not. And unless you want to live on streets filled with trash, places lacking infrastructure, it's not going to be cheap. It would be nice to find that sweet spot... but I also realized that I don't want to be away from my family. They're all here in the US and I have a new appreciation for those relationships. I want to be here to support them and to help them when needed. I also learned that it can be done. Don't go there, don't go there, it's dangerous... yeah, there's always danger if you go looking for it, but even Honduras, which everyone will tell you is a DANGEROUS place, after four months there, we never really felt fearful, nor did we run into any trouble. But most importantly I learned I can do it. I also learned that freedom is an illusion. You can push the envelope, and grab as much freedom as possible, but sooner or later you run into a wall, something that says these are the rules and you can not pass, regardless of how unfair it seems. Sadly. But, in the end, I'm a different person, and taking on this trip has changed my mind, challenged me in many ways, and changed the course of my life. A fork in the road of life, the road less taken. I took a step off a cliff into the unknown and now I feel like I'm flying through the unknown. So, guess there is the most freedom we can have, to make choices, pick new directions, to challenge ourselves and to grow.
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  7. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

    Joined:
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    Sorry the trip ended the way it did. But...awe screw it, you got hosed! This whole pandemic has really screwed up the whole world. Glad you guys are home safe with vehicles and health intact.
  8. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yup, it's screwed, but got all the important things. The rest is just frosting on the cake.
  9. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

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    "So, guess there is the most freedom we can have, to make choices, pick new directions, to challenge ourselves and to grow."

    Outstanding! An *Adventure* well lived and thoughtfully reported--Thank you Sir, for sharing your experiences and insights on this forum. Occasional updates will be appreciated as we continue flying blind into the unknown.
  10. Veselko

    Veselko Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    I appreciate the kind words. It was my pleasure to take you guys with.
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