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The rest of central America

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Friday 14th October – Day 131

Antigua, Guatemala to La Libertad, El Salvadore – 179 miles / 287 km

I have to mention last night. Seems Antigua is one of those towns every man and his dog pass thru. Well, at least every dog anyway. I reckon there are more scruffy looking homeless mongrels here than bike munching pot holes in the road between Mexico and Panama, than rain drops falling in the last week, and believe it or not, even more stray dogs than those horrid ‘sleeping policemen’. Yeah, there’s a lot! Rieke reckons she saw one very good looking German Shepard (I think perhaps she is wee bit biased, being German and all), but the rest are really shaggy.

However, that wasn’t my point. Not really anyway. I mean, I have wanted to mention the vast number of dogs roaming the streets for a while, but not now. What I want to mention is the fourteen bikers we had beers with last night. Amazing! Most of whom are on their way from Alaska to Argentina. No one else is setting foot (and hopefully wheels!) in Antarctica. It was a great night, and plans have been made to meet for x-mas in Cusco, Peru. Seems I’m finally looking forward to the 25th Dec. Most of the last 7 have been on charter. Not so exciting!

Leaving Antigua at 0800 in the rain we aim for a new country, and hopefully new weather. Fingers crossed!

The border crossings are so far very easy. Allow about 2 hours to exit / enter. Welcome to El Salvadore. Yeh Hah!

Unfortunately it doesn’t stop raining ALL day. I can’t remember the last day without rain. No need to look out the window in the mornings to see what to wear. Actually makes the start of the day easy. All you need is:

  • Two plastic bags for each foot (one just ‘doesn’t cut the mustard’ – an Aussie expression for something that is crap and doesn’t work!) and leaks after about an hour. Two new bags last a day if you are lucky, and don’t walk too much.
  • Water proof lining for bike pants / jacket
  • Clean visor and three coatings of anti-fog.
  • Make sure panniers are closed properly!
  • Put it all on, wet of course from the previous days riding!

Advice from a local fella directed us to La Libertad on the coast. It’s a pretty cool little village, an easy mix of local life with a sprinkle of ‘white’ influence thrown in to cater for the wax heads (surfers). Our cheapest accommodation yet, $8US each for two rooms. Unfortunately no hot water, which after yet another 8 hrs riding in the rain hurts.

Saturday 15th October – Day 132

La Libertad, El Salvador to Choluteca, Honduras – 189 miles / 305km

Originally we were to stay another night in El Salvador. Plans change. The weather is so crap you can’t see anything, can’t even swim in the ocean because it’s like a thick soup due to so much mud being washed down the rivers and out to sea. It’s hard to simply walk down the street! So we decide to make up some time and push on, crossing into Honduras.

Again, a simple border crossing and we are in a new country. Nothen for it but to swim our way from the hotel to the nearest pub to celebrate. We pay $75 US for a double and a single room, which is actually quite a bit considering it’s very much a third world county (are you allowed to say 3rd world these days?). After seeing the security guard pass a revolver to the guy behind the desk in reception we are happy to pay. Sleep comes easier when your bike is locked up, and there is a guy with a shot gun standing by a chain stretching across the driveway. Of course, nothing says he isn’t going to steel your bike and rob you in the middle of the night. Life without trust would be no life at all.

The other little scene, which amuses me on the way to dinner, is a 2” hose pumping water across the street. “Hmmmmm, wonder what this is all about?”

Further investigation reveals one fella pumping water from his flooded yard into the neighbours place. There’s nothen for it but to give the guy the very first Bergalia Boys ‘Top Bloke of the Month’ award. Good on ya buddy! Hope the drainage is better over there.

Sunday 16th October – Day 133

Choluteca, Honduras to Leon, Nicaragua – 103 miles / 166km

Honduras is meant to be a wonderful, spectacularly beautiful place. We will never know! All I know is it rains a lot, and cloud cover can spread across the land like a gigantic picnic blanket, descending over us and destroying our view as if we are ants.

Finally, a corrupt police officer! This is actually pretty exciting. We were warned so often about Mexico, the dangers, the drug dealers, the shoot outs, and how devious the police are when it comes to making an extra buck on the side that we almost cut short our time and ‘Bee Lined it’ straight for Guatemala. Even broke $50 notes into $1 and $5 to pay bribes on the recommendation of at least a few hundred people.

It was a bit like your best mate telling you how many fish he caught the day before, and that they were the biggest brutes he’s ever landed. “There’s absolutely no-way you can go home today without hooking at least 3 record breaking fish”. Of course you catch sweet bugger all. Not even a bite. So it was with our friendly police in Mexico. Nicest blokes you could ever hope to meet, and bitterly disappointing after the extreme build up.

So you can see why I was so excited to finally have a decent cop story for the blog!

Once you wind up the big GSA’s, they don’t want to stop. Which is why I couldn’t talk Aialik out of overtaking yet another stinking, un-road worthy car spewing out fumes and creating a smoke bomb the likes of which James Bond would be proud of. We’ve overtaken on double lines a thousand times. It was, however, the fist time within sight of a police roadblock. The immaculately dressed officer smiles, and then waves me over. Oh bugger. This could be interesting. The car I overtook like an 18-year-old rev head in Western Sydney slowly cruises past.

He asks for my license. No worries, I’ve heard about this little gem before. Everyone knows they ask for the license, then say “You can’t get this back until tomorrow after you’ve been to the police station. Of course, there may be a way we can sort all this out right here, right now………… and my kids really need a new pair shoes.” Hint, hint. Wink, wink. Or words to that effect.

We have no time for such games, so having acted previously on earlier advice, I cheekily hand over a photocopy. See if I care if you confiscate it! If the price is too high, he can turn up tomorrow with my fake license if he likes, but I won’t be. I’ll be in a new country, original license tucked safely away in my pannier.

Immediately he gives it back and asks for the real one. Bugger. As Calvin said to us in Canada, “Just cause they don’t speak English doesn’t mean they are stupid!” How true Cal, how true.

Confusion reins for a while. Seems he actually wants me to go back 20km to the police station in town and report the fact that I over took a car on double lines and ask, if it isn’t too much trouble, can you please write me a ticket?

Pretty weird. As I grab my helmet, he changes tack. Starts talking about bottles. Argh, so his kids shoes aren’t quite so important after all. Unfortunately I still have to go to town. Then he weighs it up, and being the top bloke that he is, tells me there’s no need to go back. He has another way to save me some time and effort. $5 later, and amazingly enough, it seems I didn’t actually overtake on double lines after all.

Another easy border crossing and here we are. Nicaragua.

New country, same crap weather! All our clothes are damp, and starting to smell. Not so bad as the boots mind you, but a real nose turner none the less. We do the only sensible thing. Book a volcano ‘ash boarding’ trip for tomorrow and hand all our clothes, including the bag, to some other poor bugger to wash.

Monday 17th October - Day 134

Leon to Granada – 99 miles / 160 km

Cerro Negro. The only volcano in Central America that you can board or sleigh down. Cool. Bouncing around in the back of the troopy like super charged atomic particles trapped in a nuclear reactor, we are grinning like idiots. Why? Cause the sun is shining for the first time in over 10 days. Giddy-up!

This was not to last! After an hour drive, we throw the doors open and leap out into………. yep, you guessed it. Bloody rain. For the second time in as many weeks we climb an active volcano, and so see absolutely nothen. Not even a glimpse into the bottom of the crater.

Not to worry. It’s all about the boarding. Rieke looks scared, and so she should. This is the exact spot where the crazy Frenchman broke the world speed record on his pushie. 178 km / hr. Then he tried again on a radical new frame design, which snapped in half. As did he.

Strapping on the board at the top of a ridiculously steep, jet-black slope raises my heart rate. This certainly isn’t soft fluffy snow, that’s for sure. Skin eating sand more like it. Rieke’s can’t get any higher. This is gonna be great!

It wasn’t! Due to drenching rain, Rieke’s sleigh barely moves. Where on earth is Rudolf when you need him! Fairdinkum, I reckon this working one night a year caper has to stop. We paid good money for this experience, and sure could have done with his help getting this sleigh moving!

The boards were interesting. Wade’s was an old snow board, and useless. Mine a sand board, and useless to me. These other guys couldn’t get moving, and I couldn’t stop. Aaarrgghhhhhhhh!!!!! I don’t want to go this fast!! Where’s the brake? How do you turn? Oh yeah, that’s right. These boards don’t turn. Oh goodie!

As I take off, the guide offers some handy advice. “You can’t turn, so don’t bother trying. Just go straight. And don’t worry about stopping, cause you can’t. Besides, there’s a hill at the bottom. That’ll stop you for sure”.

“The bottom? But that’s 700m away! What am I spose to do til then?”

We ticked the volcano boarding box, and left. On the bright side, I did have a spectacular crash on the board, which Stubbsie captured brilliantly on film. Can’t wait for that to be on TV!

With clean dry clothes, we load the bikes and ride (in the rain) to Granada.

Once again the room was instantly transformed into what on initial inspection can only be considered a rubbish tip as everything is scattered in a vain attempt to dry it all out. Argh, the good old days. Reminds me of my room at home for the first twenty years of my life!

Put the last of our washing in at reception.

Tuesday 18th October – Day 135

Granada - Rest day

Granada is a lovely town, and well worth a look. Plenty of churches, but, if like me, you’re a smidgen over viewing another House of God there’s more than enough activities to keep you busy. Boat tours on the lake, Zip lining thru the trees, and other stuff it was just too wet to do.

Heading out the door for breaky I notice a woman doing laundry by hand. Then I notice the clothesline everywhere. Oh crap…….. do they really expect it to dry in this rain?

Stubbsie stumbled onto a great little activity, which he knew Rieke and I couldn’t miss out on. The Irish pub. As he says “Where ever you are in the world, if things are getting you down a bit (like rain!), you can always count on finding an Irish Bar with genuine Irish staff serving mighty fine beer and a decent meal”.

Wednesday 19th October – Day 136

Granada, Nicaragua to San Miguel, Costa Rica – 246 miles /

Pulling our very wet washing off the line (not even my board shorts are dry!) we load the bikes and ride off. Not into a magnificent sunrise with birds chirping, but torrential rain.

Passing Isla de Ometepe, a spectacular island with two volcanoes we sadly press on. Originally we were to catch the ferry over, but as we can’t even see it at a range of 20 miles it’s a better option to continue into Costa Rica where we are to meet Andre. I worked with Andre on Va Bene, the last yacht I crewed on.

It was the longest boarder crossing to date, about 2 ½ hours. Still pretty easy, just a lot of steps.

Stubbsie had a pretty rude introduction to Costa Rica. Andre was in front, me, then Wade bringing up the rear (as he is prone to do at times, if you know what I mean!Nah, just kidding! Butt for the record, we never share a tent, let along a bed!). Again we pass on double lines. Everyone does. But only Wade gets pulled over by a seriously ‘no nonsense’ cop. Andre and I didn’t even notice, and are waiting on the side of the road, wondering what on earth he’s taking a picture of now. It’s taking too long. We go back, and there’s Wade shaking his head. A fine of $23, 000 Colonies later (about $50) and we are moving again.

Thursday 20th October – Day 137

San Miguel, Costa Rica

In all the excitement my brain has failed me yet again. How could I forget? Yesterdays ride was even more interesting than Wade’s fine, although that was pretty much the highlight for me! As we rounded a particularly nasty bend, which just kept tightening up on itself like a boa constrictor wrapping around a cute rabbit that is soon to be dinner, there was Andre tumbling across the turf. He chooses an amazing corner to fall, as it was soft, cushioning grass. Every other corner has drop-off’s, guard rails, tree’s, and steep banks. Or a combination of all. A bit embarrassed he was up and away in no time. I thought it was a brilliant ‘ice breaker’, opening a flood gate of conversation later!

And the volcano. After climbing two for absolutely no result, this one was spectacular. Close your eyes and picture a volcano. If it’s picture perfect, then that’s the one we saw. Finally! You beauty!

Crashes: Wade 10, Philip 7, Andre 1

But that was yesterday. This is today……

Awake early, Stubbsie climbs the hill above Andres place to take some photo’s and enjoy the morning sunshine while it lasts (which it doesn’t!). Me, well I enjoy the comfort of home bedding for a few extra hours. On his way back he did the only sensible thing, and instead of taking the easy road home he decides to ‘bush bash’. After all, a short cut is better than back tracking any day! Nearly back home, he crashes down a steep, muddy slope. Gabbing for the only available handhold, he manages to save the fall, but now has a hand full of thorns. Costa Rica isn’t treating Wade too well!

Later we head off for a ride round the local attractions led by the Trail Boss, Andre. First stop was along a tricky dirt road. Nothen too bad, but the occasional loose bit that provided a few ‘clenching’ moments as we bump our way to an old volcano, now supporting a beautiful lake instead of flowing lave.

On the way to the next attraction Andre and myself once again find ourselves alone. Where is Stubbsie this time? “There’s no police on this road is there?” I jokingly ask.

“Nope.”

Rounding a bend on our way back to find him, its pretty obvious what happened. It’s the why that’s a tad confusing. There’s Wade and Cherie (Andre’s sister), sitting on the ground. Smokey faces the wrong way, her tail between her legs. Wade turns round, and in the movies would be playing the tough guy hero down on his luck right before beating the baddies and blowing up several cars. Well, at least this is the scenario running thru my mind as I absorb the movie-set type scene opening before me, with volcano’s as a backdrop and blood flowingly freely down his face. Unfortunately this ain’t the movies, and instead of pulverizing villains, he’s off to San Jose (the capital) with Andre to buy new parts. Sad.

Crashing at a blistering speed of about 15 km/hr, she managed to bend the framework protecting the engine casing, break off the bracket designed to protect the valve cover and finally puncture the valve cover itself. Then it rained. Hard. About 2 L of oil drags rainbows from the sky, piggy-backing them along the drainage ditch on the side of the road and out of site round the bend. Amazing colours, yet failing in their attempt to smoother the darkness of today. It was the most pitiful site of the trip. Smokey on the back of a ute / pick-up.

BMW Motorrad Costa Rica has everything to repair the damage. Thanks guys!

Crashes: Wade 11, Philip 7, Andre 1

Friday 21st October – Day 138

San Miguel, Costa Rica

I know you’re not going to believe it, but it ‘s raining. Instead of riding in the clouds and falling water we decide to tour the local coffee plantation. Warm, dry and beautiful coffee. What a way to spend a day!

Tomorrow we leave for Panama. I have to say, it’s been nice not crossing borders for a few days, and absolutely fantastic to stay with Andre and his family. I’ve managed to wash the lining from my riding gear (first time in nearly 5 months!), my pants, jacket and riding shirt. AWESOME! Even dried out the tank bag and its various contents.

Aside from that, its bloody great to have home cooked meals, wake up to the wonderful aroma of freshly ground coffee beans and enjoy family life for a few days. When you’re away from home for so long, it’s the simple things that can really make you stay special.

Thanks for a superb few days. Would love to come back!

Saturday 22nd October – Day 139

San Miguel, Costa Rica to, Almirante Panama – 249 miles / 400 km

Very exciting morning. It’s not raining! Whoooo hoooooooo! But don’t worry, it does soon. And Costa Rica has one last surprise for Wade. Easily confused with so many zero’s he missed one earlier. The ticket wasn’t for 23, 000 colonies, but rather 230, 000 colonies. That’s closer to $500 US. He decides to decline this amazing opportunity to support the government, making a dash for the border.

There are two border crossings into Panama. The easy way, and the other way. Wanting to avoid the Pan American Highway (easy way) as much as possible, we cross at Changuinola. Turns out to be an amazingly relaxed border crossing, with a few perks thrown in for good measure. First, there’s no one harassing you, trying to exchange money, sell food or trinkets that are so crap you wouldn’t buy them even if they did fit it on the bike. And there’s no-one pushing and shoving, fighting their way to the front of the line shouting how easily they can help you cross the border, for a certain fee of course.

Second is how smooth, and fast it is to clear out of the country. Why can’t it always be like this? Finally, it’s the rickety old railway bridge, missing planks and all, that both excites and scares you. Ride the wrong line, which is easy on the wet, slippery wood and you will drop a wheel thru the bridge. Bad result. Off balance and stick a foot down? Not good either as there’s several places you’ll be re-enacting the coyote out of Road Runner when he’s little feet are going like crazy in mid air, moving nowhere after hurtling off yet another cliff. Then plummeting straight down. And if all that isn’t enough to make you sweat, some little fella and his pushie couldn’t get out of the way quick enough (I was fairly moving as its easier to ride a straight line at speed!) and tangled in my pannier. Bugger! After politely kicking him away, I successfully dodge the rest of the pedestrians, making a safe crossing.

The Panama side was no worries, except it was slow and there was a time change. This meant we were a bit rushed before it closes at 6pm. Anyone attempting this border, which I 100% recommend, don’t forget to change your watch (one hr forward when coming from Costa Rica) and give yourself plenty of time.

Rode for half an hour in the dark, which really, really sucks! Decide to stay in the first hotel we find with secure parking. See mum, we are sensible sometimes!

Sunday 23rd October – Day 140

Almirante, Caribbean coast to Las Lajas, Pacific coast – 141 miles / 226 km

We ride an hour before settling in for breakfast by the seaside. How nice. Or not. Chirigui Grande. What a dump of a town. The only thing grand about this place was leaving it behind! We wanted to stay here yesterday, but didn’t make it because it was too dark to ride. Bloody lucky! Mind you, it was cheap.

A bit of misty rain coming over the mountain, but this evaporates into a superb day once we hit the Pacific Coast. We find ourselves at a lovely beach hotel, and taking advantage of the sunshine, stay the night. I check my panniers, and am disgusted to find 2” of water in the bottom of one, and the other two quite damp. Once again everything is emptied and spread out to dry. I construct an elaborate water proofing system on the lid of the panniers with nothen more than some extra wide electrical tape and cotton bud sticks (the ones with a bit of cotton on each end you normally use to clear your ears). Let me tell you, I don’t just look like MacGyver! It’s a bit rough looking, but I reckon it might work.

Monday 24th October – Day 141

Las Lajas to Panama City – 164 miles / 264

Booked into the hotel, then started on the chores. Rieke and I head off to the laundry (in the rain), and Stubbsie to the mall in search of more hard drives so we can send the latest footage to be edited.

Pretty much the first day where I really can’t think of anything interesting to write about. Wow, and it’s only taken 141 days! Oh, except it didn’t rain while we were riding. Now that is interesting!

Tuesday 25th October – Day 142

Panama City – Make-A-Wish Foundation Panama

It always amazes me when people show such an interest in what we are doing. A couple of kids from good old Bergalia, Australia. Who would have thought?

Make-A-Wish Panama organized a press conference for us at BMW Motorrad. It wasn’t the media frenzy you’d expect should David Beckham announce he is gay, (this is a completely fictional scenario with absolutely no element of truth, which I know of anyway! Don’t sue me!! Strewth, imagine the attention that’d get! A good way to illustrate my point I think), but there were about 15 people from various publication all brandishing cameras. To top it all off BMW Panama take us out to dinner. Mmmmmm, lovely. And we didn’t even spend a cent with them.

I’m not too sure what will come of it. Hopefully some cash for Make-A-Wish! Otherwise, perhaps we can inspire others to fulfill their dreams, be it on motorcycles, yachts, pushies or shanks pony (foot) or anything else for that matter. If each one raises a few dollars for a charity of their choice then I think we have done our little bit to make the world a better place.

Wednesday 26th October – Day 143

Panama Canal

After 5 months, Wade and I have gone our separate ways. We always knew this might happen……..but its not what your thinking!! Ha! Wade booked flights back to Fort Lauderdale in the States for a week where he is to meet up with friends, check out one of the world’s biggest boat shows and have a bit of a chat with his old captain. No rest for the wicked! As a result he spent the day organizing Smokey to be flown across the Darien Gap to Bogota, Columbia. Wow, Columbia. How awesome is that!

Rieke and I rode out (and not in the rain……unbelievable!) to the Miraflores Lock in Panama Canal. I was lucky enough to come thru the canal on Meduse about 5 years ago, which was amazing and something only a relative few people experience. So it was quite nice to view the full picture and see it from a spectator’s point of view. It truly is fantastic to pull up in the car park and look across at a 150m, 4000 capacity car carrier seemingly ‘driving up the road’ as it crosses the country.

A few interesting stats:

· Most transits in a year – 15 000 plus a few

· Transits in last few years – about 14000

· Max cost - $400 000 for a particular cruise ship (every time it passes thru)

· Min cost – 30 odd cents back in 1930 paid by some crazy guy who swam the locks (worked out by measuring his draft, length and width!).

· Av cost for the largest ships which fit – $230 000

· Cost for a 30 – 40 ft sailing yacht – about $4000

· The new, wider, deeper canal opens in 2014. A century after the first canal

· I find this cool. The lock doors are original from 1914.

· Bee’s love coffee! At least the ones at Miraflores do. After failing in my duty as a life guard, I fish 3 dead ones from my cappuccino and have to continually move the cup about in order to avoid a further tragic loss of life. I give up and throw it away. I think they need to change the colour of the cups from yellow and black strips to…… well, quite frankly to any other colour that doesn’t sexually activate these bee’s. It really was un-BEE-lievable! (sorry, I do apologise for such a terrible pun. But it was awfully tempting, and I just couldn’t resist!)

Thursday 27th October – Day 144

Panama City to Puerto Lindo – 70 miles / 113 km

Our hotel room should be the 8th wonder of the world. Looking around me for the next place to step, I try and make a dash for the door. Must - have – coffee – first. Then I can face the mammoth packing job ahead. The explosion of gear is daunting. There must have been an explosion, it’s the only explanation as to how and why all our belongings are scattered to all 11 corners of the room! Actually, normally we really aren’t that messy. It’s the only way to dry everything. I can’t wait for this rain to stop!

Spend the morning tidying up and doing odd jobs, like photocopies of passport, drivers license, bike title and registration. All the goodies you need for border crossings. Finally ready to go, and guess what. It rains.

“Coffee Rieke?”

“Of course!”

We manage to make it with in a ½ hour of Puerto Lindo before the heavens open. Flood gates I imagine to be at least twice the size of the Panama Canal release a torrent of water from above. Bugger! Time to test the new waterproof jacket! 50m down the road we see Jay, Mercedes and Eric (their son) doing the same. Joining forces we ride into Wunderbar, our hostel for the next 3 nights. Nice, simple rooms, cheap beer, great pizza and safe parking for the bikes. Perfect!

Friday 28th October – Day 145

Puerto Lindo

A day to rest and explore the area. We all grab a water taxi to Isla Grande, a cute little Island just off the coast. Very, very basic, and I imagine not to everyone’s taste. For example, a 21 year old backpacker burning with so much testosterone they could easily replace the lighthouse on the hill should it go out, might want to give this one a miss. There are no cars, no roads, no pumping bars, definitely no nightclubs and no other youngsters ‘looking for a good time’.

However, there are palm trees leaning over perfect sandy beaches, which sink below the caribbean coloured water of, well, of the Caribbean. I really don’t think there’s any other way to describe the water colour. You sure won’t see it on any paint chart. A simple blue or aqua can not possibly capture the depth or magnetism of the Caribbean Sea and the way it calls to you, demanding you shed your clothes and melt away the tension of the day as you float about. It’s like the beach was deliberately set up in order to capture that ‘perfect Caribbean picture’ for the postcards.

Unfortunately we are still in low season, and the beach bar is closed. With no choice but to move from this barren paradise in search of a more productive ‘grazing’ area, we trade beautiful sandy beaches for a rocky shore and an open bar / restaurant. Still able to swim, I think it a fair trade!

Time evaporates into thin air like water from a pot left too long on the stove. Before any of us are ready, the boat comes gliding round the corner in search of those damned annoying ‘Gringoes’ who are always bloody late! They are well versed in their search pattern, and obviously we are just the latest tourists in a long line that don’t want to leave this relaxed island paradise so soon.

Saturday 29th October – Day 146

Puerto Lindo

Reading, writing and checking out what to do and where to go in Columbia. Hmmmm, a perfect way to spend a rainy day! Quiet, relaxing.

Which leaves space for one of my favorite segments. The ‘How far have they travelled now?’ section of the show.

Without further ado:

As of today we have ridden 25 859 miles, or 41 616 km in normal language. Which, if you remember, means we have only to travel a further 2, 141 miles to surpass the original estimate from Alaska to Argentina. Here are some interesting comparisons:

Sydney to Perth – 10 times with a few kilometers to spare

Around Australia - twice

Around the world at the equator – once, and a few thousand km to spare

London to New York (the trip Ewan McGregor and Charlie Borman completed for the Long Way Round) – 1 1/3 times the distance

John O’Groats in Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa (Ewan McGregor, Charlie Borman in the Long Way Down) – 1 2/3 times the distance

For any American’s, New York to Seattle – 9 times

And for all the Kiwi’s out there, from Auckland to Wellington – About 861 times, if not more! It is a pretty tiny island in the middle of nowhere after all!

And now to something special……

Lost and Found

Wade

Lost:

Canon camera battery charger

Youthful good looks

Sony video camera charger

Some quite a bit of colour from his beard

Sunnies – left in the bus on the way back from Tikal ruins in Guatamela

Gloves – somewhere in Antigua, Guatamela

Gloves – Not the same ones as above! The first pair were never seen again

Found:

Grey hairs in his beard, on his head and down…………… I think I’m going to leave that last one alone!

Canon charger. On the very same day he lost the video charger. Hmmm….. A coincidence? I think not

Sexy, distinguished looks of the mature man who knows what he wants!

Gloves – in the elevator of our hotel

Philip

Lost:

Credit card

A second credit card. What an Idiot!

Wallet. Seriously, am I for real? What else can I loose? Plenty it seems!

The ability to wear my belt (damn beers!)

Passport

Watch

Sunshine….. but I know I’ll find that little fella again somewhere in South America!

Memory – I can’t remember loosing it, but I spose that’s how it is with memory. Makes we wonder what else I’ve lost, but just cant remember ever having it!

Found:

One credit card - right where I left it on top of the fuel bowser. I never found the second one.

Passport - at reception of the hotel in Vegas where I left it briefly after checking in.

Wallet - Remembered it not too long after leaving Johnies way back in Canada, thankfully before crossing the border into America.

Room for my belt in deep storage. I hope it will fit again by the end of the trip!

A bigger belt!

About a $45 US bill on my credit card from a Mexican town we didn’t stop in…….. my punishment for loosing the credit card. I never did find it, but I do remember the ATM where I generously left it behind for the next poor, starving guy to find who obviously needs it more than I do. I am just that nice a bloke, always helping others to help themselves!

Amazing hiding places for my two remaining credit cards!

A good pen and paper so I don’t have to remember things

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Sunday 30th October – Day 147

Puerto Lindo to Panama City – 70 miles / 110 km

We waited all day to watch the loading of the bikes. Nothen happened! They were still prepping the boat for the voyage in the morning, then a serious down poor in the afternoon meant no action today.

If we are to make it into Panama before dark its time to leave. Hope to see Jay, Mercedes and Eric on the ‘other side’. Cheers guys for a great few days.

As usual, 2 hours of riding in some very serious rain. Can’t wait to get my new front tyre, and a full body rain suit in Columbia!

Monday 31st October – Day 148

Panama City, Panama to Bogota, Columbia

Awake early to drop Aialik at Panama Soluciones Logisticas. These guys have been fantastic. If you are looking to cross the Darien Gap give Julio Sanchez at call on (507) 2238301.

I’m always anxious when I leave the bike for any length of time, let along saying goodbye to her in Panama and hoping to be reunited in a totally different country. Fingers crossed!

While we are waiting, Roger, a flammen Kiwi rocks up. He is sending his Triumph on the same flight. An interesting bloke, this is his second attempt to complete the ride to Argentina. His first effort was tragically cut short when he was hit from behind by a passing (well, almost passing!) car. He was knocked from the bike, which was parked on the side of the road at the time, and smashed his knee. A failed operation in Guatemala City meant no option but to fly home. Even while recovering in bed he vowed to finish the journey, starting exactly one year after the accident. And here he is, having started on the anniversary of his crash. Good on ya Roger!

Rieke and I flew into Bogota on schedule. A nervous wait until the morning when I will try and release Aialik from the clutches of Columbian Customs.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 12 December 2011 12:24