Advertisements

Costa Rica

I was still fuming the first few miles of Costa Rica after feeling so violated from the Nicaragua border crossing.  I finally calmed down since it was in the past, and there wasn’t much that I could do about it, and made the turn out of Canas toward Laguna de Arenal.  The road ascends on a curvy road eventually reaching the lake and following the contours on a narrow road to our hotel high on a bluff, overlooking Laguna de Arenal.

IMG_20170212_065835928

Laguna de Arenal

In the late afternoon, Gypsy and I took a walk from the hotel and find a small trail leading to a peninsula jutting out into the lake. It is so very peaceful that all you can hear is the rustle of leaves and breaking twigs beneath our feet as we slowly make our way to the water’s edge. Gypsy froze as we hear a small twig break to our right and see a flurry of a moving animal through the branches about 10 meters off the side of the trail. Peering into the woods I see what appears to be a large racoon with a black and white striped tail, the tail pointed straight to the sky. I see one, then two, and as my eyes adjust and focus on the animals, about 12 appear. They look at us as startled to see us as we are to see them, and turn and silently disappear into the woods. I later find out they are the Costa Rican Coatimundi, a racoon like creature.

IMG_20170212_094220798

Coatimundi

We spend the next few days enjoying the lake views, volcano views and hot springs. There is a stream running near the road that is heated thermally from the volcanoes in the area. You can go to a resort for $US65, or stop at the bridge down from the resorts and enjoy the babbling, terraced warm stream for free. Of course, we opt for the free stream and change into our swim suits at the edge of the water and lounge in the soothing waters for an hour or so.

While there we are told about a bridge outside of La Fortuna called Iguana Bridge. It seems that Iguanas just hang out at the bridge to have their pictures taken. We ride over to see if it’s true and find a few just waiting in the branches of trees, some close enough to reach out and touch.

While we are still at Lake Arenal, a friend of mine from Minnesota, Donna Kennedy, contacts us and offers us a place to stay at a place she owns north of San Ramon in a beautiful place called Angel Valley. Donna is a motorcycle traveler and LD rider and we are part of the same national and international communities. Angel Valley is at an elevation just meters below the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest.

She is not using it at the time, so we take her up on her generous offer and base ourselves for a couple of weeks of exploration out of her beautiful Inn. The Angel Valley Bed and Breakfast is opening again soon and will be a stopover place for overlanders to recharge and explore the area.

Riding down to Angel Valley from La Fortuna we follow a great road that twists and turns through many eco systems with views of Volcan Arenal for the first few miles. Donna had recommended a place partway down called Lands in Love Hotel and Resort. It is known for the chocolate cake and coffee they serve so we had to stop and see what all the fuss was about. I believe this is the richest dark chocolate cake I have ever eaten and the fresh ground Costa Rican coffee is the perfect combination.

The first area to be explored is an area around the Poás Volcano, north of San Ramon. We take off on some back roads and finally reach Parque Nacional Volcan Poás, and walk to an observation area above the duel crater and lake.

The views are fantastic and we just stand there and enjoy the cool breezes and views. Leaving the park, we head north on 126 to Cataratas Arallanes, a great waterfall that is right beside the road.IMG_20170217_111904889_HDR Deciding to let Mr. Garmin help us with a shortcut back was again a mistake as the road headed toward Volcan Poás and terrible gravel to a washout without a road and through what seemed to be a cow pasture. At this point I decided to use my compass and try to find a way to a road I knew ran north/south and back toward where we were staying. After an interesting couple of hours, we ended up about 5kms north of the gravel road to the Inn.

Donna let us know of a Tope happening in Punta Arenas on Saturday. We thought it was a festival but it turned out to be a night parade of Mexican/Pacifino horses all doing a high step. This is an important tradition in Costa Rica dating from colonial times. The horses are beautiful and we enjoy the festivities surrounding the entire event.

My rear tire was down to maybe 1000kms left when I noticed to screw in the tread. A quick plug fixed the problem, but I still needed a tire. Most of the shops you come across deal with small bikes, thus small size tires. A recommended shop in town carried the size rear tire I needed, but all the tires were all tied up in customs with new regulations, and had been for two weeks. Seems nobody has this common size tire. A post on FB saved the day as Sandy Borden from California knew the guys from Touratech Costa Rica and they had one tire of the size I needed. A little less dirt and more road than I wanted, but it’s still a good tire. Thanks Sandy and Touratech CR!IMG_20170224_085556157

Our next ride takes us through San Jose and over to a couple active volcanoes, Volcan Turrialba and Volcan Irazú. The ride and day were beautiful and mid-day we stop to get money out of our ATM. Well, neither of our Wells Fargo cards work.   A phone call to them reveals they think we have exceeded our limit for the day which was impossible.  I drew money out of the bank after my cards stopped working but why have an ATM card that doesn’t work?  Time for a new bank when we return.

We are riding through lush green, tropical rainforest terrain, through small villages and enjoying the afternoon when the blue skies turn dark and the rain starts. Seems like this is needed to keep things lush and green. After about an hour of medium to light rain we arrive at the beautiful valley of Orosi, and find our hostel, the House of Coffee. We are the only ones there and, as it is still raining and now dark, we unpack and I head out to find some food to cook. Looks like chicken, noodles and fresh veggies are on the menu for tonight. Our host gets home from her job later and we sit and chat and realize, again, how lucky we are.

The next day the skies are bright blue, the air is cool and everything is green, such beautiful contrasts in this little valley. Riding toward town and crossing a little one-lane suspension bridge we find a little bakery to have our morning meal while standing beside the bike on such a beautiful morning. We hop on Pan-American Highway 2 for a twisting ride through Parque Nacional Los Quetzales on the way to the Pacific coast, and our destination for the night, the Wide Mouth Frog Hostel in Quepos. Neat little hostel near downtown with great secure parking for the bike. Quepos is near the Manuel Antonio Nacional Parque, a fabulous area boosting sloths and turtles. We see neither as you must be lucky to see them, so we hear.

Heading back to San Miguel we stop at Crocodile Bridge to see the famous crocodiles. These huge beasts just hang out under the bridge, some at least 4 meters in length.

You must wonder why they stay here, stationary in the water and on the banks. What kind of critters are being dropped off the bridge for them to feast on…

Cheers

2WANDRRs

Advertisements
Categories: 2-up motorcycle travel, 2WANDRRs, adventure travel, Central America, Costa Rica, Horizons Unlimited, Volcanoes, VStrom | Leave a comment

New Zealand, West Coast, South Island

We headed across to the western side of the island to Te Anau after our visit to Cathedral Caverns.  The ride across is about 250kms and is easy riding with beautiful views of pastureland and golden fields with views of the mountains and glaciers of Fiordland National Park in the distance.  Arriving to town on Lake Te Anau we search for a campsite with views of the deep blue Fiord-like lake that is 2-3kms wide by about 60kms long.  The Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park & Motels fits the bill with campsite with good views and a shared kitchen and common area.

BMW NZ

View of the BMW 1150GS near Milford Sound

While we are cooking dinner, we see some kids cooking homemade bread, not a common site.  We start talking with them to discover they are friends with the son of a friend of ours in Heidelberg, Germany, where we store a motorcycle.  The previous summer we were in Germany during a birthday party for the son and these friends were at the birthday party. Small world.

After a great night sleep, we rode out the end of the road at on Milford Sound.  Milford Sound is part of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site, a top tourist destination and described by Rudyard Kipling as the eighth Wonder of the World.  With a mean annual rainfall of 6,412 mm (252 in) each year, a high level even for the West Coast, Milford Sound is known as the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand and one of the wettest in the world.

The stunningly scenic drive to Milford Sound itself passes through unspoiled mountain landscapes before entering the 1.2 km Homer Tunnel which emerges into rain-forest-carpeted canyons that descend to the sound.  The Kea New Zealand Parrot, the world’s only alpine parrot, is native to this area and this curious birds notoriety stems from its appetite for the rubber around the windows of vehicles.  Mitre Peak is located on the shore of Milford Sound and is one of the most photographed peaks in the country.  The mountain rises near vertically to 5,560 feet (1,690 m), i.e. just over a mile, from the water of the sound.  A light rain accompanied us with creating a mystical, magical feel to the views across the sound.

By the time returned to Te Anau the skies had cleared a bit, so we took a boat ride across the lake to take a tour of the Glow Worm caves in the area.   The 12,000-year-old subterranean caves are a twisting network of limestone passages filled with sculpted rock, whirlpools and a roaring underground waterfall.  You are taken by boat deep inside the caves to a hidden grotto inhabited by thousands of glowworms that produce an extraordinary glittering display.  Photos weren’t allowed but try and picture thousands of tiny stars within touching distance in total darkness.

The next day the skies were a perfect blue for our ride to Queenstown along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy for lunch at the Glenorchy Café with outdoor seating with the sun warming our bones.  After lunch, we rode back down along the lake shore catching views of the TSS Earnslaw, a 104-year-old steamship taking tourists on cruises of the lake.  Leaving Queenstown, we saw a sign pointing to a bridge and took a quick detour to a cool suspension bridge, the Southern Discoveries Bridge.

Out of Arrowtown we rode the Crown Range Road a few kilometers down the road and stopped at the Cardrona Hotel for a look and a drink.  The Cardrona Hotel was built in 1863, during the gold rush, and is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most iconic hotels and is said to be the most photographed pub in New Zealand.  Inside the brass adorned historic pub they served homemade Sangria which you could sip in the flowered courtyard next to a fire in the old stone fireplace. Unfortunately, we had to keep moving so couldn’t enjoy more than one drink.  We found a great secluded camping spot for the night up above and overlooking Lake Wanaka, very breezy but great spot.

Waking early and headed to the coast down a twisting empty road with wonderful tarmac over Haast Pass.  About midway down the mountain we came across the Blue Pools. The walk down a gravel path winds through a native silver beech forest and leads to a swing bridge strung high above the Makarora River.  The glacier-fed water in these deep pools is the color of deep azure blue, and so clear that you can see right to the bottom.

We turned south from the Blue Pools to Jackson Bay, the end of the road heading south.  The scenery was bland and it was fairly windy, so around we turned north and followed the coastline looking forward to getting to our next stop in Franz Josef Glacier, the YHA Franz Josef Glacier Backpackers hostel.  This was a gem of a place with relaxed rainforest lodging, a hot tub, a bar and an outdoor communal eating area with picnic tables seating about 80 people.  It was pizza night so everyone joined around the tables and shared whatever pizza was placed on your table, as many as you could eat. Our table was represented by 5 different nations and conversation was lively and interesting for the couple hours we sat there.  An enormous fireplace was behind us providing the outdoor covered area a great ambiance.

FB_IMG_1460466268488

Greg at Franz Josef

The views were incredible with glimpses of the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Fox and Franz Josef Glacier to the east.  The Fox Glacier is about 13kms long, falling 2600 meters and is one of the only glaciers in the world to end among lush rainforest only 300 meters above sea level. The advancement of the Fox Glacier stopped in 2006 and it has significantly retreated since that time.

Cheers

2WANDRRs

Categories: 2-up motorcycle travel | 2 Comments

Nicaragua

The Nicaraguan border is complex, to say the least.  As we near the border we see the “helpers” milling about watching our arrival, then circling in for the kill.  It all starts off innocent enough.  They start helping you figure where to stop first.  We are trying to politely tell them “no gracias”, but they just continue to help, even if it’s not necessary.  This border between Honduras and Nicaragua is the most unorganized crossing I have ever been through.  Nothing is marked or in any kind of order.  One of the policeman needed for Gypsy’s paperwork was sitting in a chair in the parking lot.  The helpers work quickly trying to help you through the maze of places to visit and deal with each step, and helping you to part with your money.  Having a trailer being pulled by a motorcycle without a tag or registration, it’s homemade and has never been tagged or registered, threw a wrench into the system, something you don’t want to do at this crossing.  The day was clear with blue skies overhead and a gentle breeze moving the 40°C air and diesel exhaust fumes throughout the area and the buildings.  We had arrived by 8am and we finally left the area after 4 ½ hours of this running from building to building, handing over fistfuls of money for the “business”.  At one point as we were discussing Gypsy I said it the officials, “Just f%@k it, I’m going back to Honduras”.  Melanie calmed me down and kept me focused, as she has ulterior motives, which will be in the next chapter.

Our Nico stamp was for 30 days but we zipped through the country.  We stayed a night in Leon then headed for Parque Nacional Volcán Masaya, an active volcano southwest of Managua.  We rode to the top of the crater on our motorcycle and were told to back into the parking space to enable us to make a hasty escape if the need arose.  Hummm, OK.

The smell of sulfur filled the air as we neared the edge of the crater. Looking over the edge you could see smoke billowing out as the fiery molten lava below bubbled and crackled noisily below us.  The clouds of steam cleared occasionally giving us views of the lava which was quite the site.  To the left of us was a trial that would go to the upper observation area, but it was closed due to the increased activity of the volcano.

The next day we headed toward the island of Ometepe, in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. We wanted to spend a couple days there as the views are dominated by two large volcanoes. The island is the combination of two volcanoes, one on each of two connected land masses.  The winds are quite strong when we arrive forcing the ferries to stop running with a full schedule for a couple days.  We find a hostel near the water for the night and head to the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border the next day.  Same confusion and frustration at this border also but not as expensive. All total it cost me almost US$400 to get through Nicaragua with my motorcycle, pulling a trailer and with our dog, and 7 hours of my life. Not worth it, but had to get through it.

Cheers,

2WANDRRs

Categories: 2-up motorcycle travel, 2WANDRRs, adventure travel, Horizons Unlimited, motorcycle travel, Nicaragua, Triumph, Volcanoes | Leave a comment

New Zealand, South Island

Sometimes you just get lucky to be able to ride in locations that you have only dreamed of. That was the way we felt when the opportunity to ride in New Zealand came our way. While we were riding around Europe, the bike trade we had arranged fell apart. Since our airline tickets were already purchased for a month of riding, we needed a bike to ride and rentals were so expensive that option was out of the question. We posted on several online forums and a man from the North Island came forward and had a bike available for us to ride. Unbelievable, because of people with huge hearts, it was going to work out. Thanks, Lindsay.dscf1932

Our flight through Fiji was flawless and an easy flight, although so long. I had been having many issues with my back and wasn’t sure how I would be riding the motorcycle for a month. As it turns out I can be in a riding position way longer than sitting or being in a car. We had rented an old beater car for a month for less money than the flight out of Christchurch to our destination in Dunedin and back.

dscn3969

Christchurch 

Getting the car, we take our time getting out of Christchurch checking out all the damage from the 2010 devastating earthquake. Many buildings in the downtown area are being rebuilt but many more still sit empty as a reminder of the recent destruction. We approach the cathedral and look upon half a building. The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament was closed after the 4 September 2010 Canterbury earthquake. The February 2011 Christchurch earthquake collapsed the two bell towers at the front of the building and destabilised the dome. The dome was removed and the rear of the Cathedral was demolished, some broken pieces of wall being supported by scaffolding as if begging to be rebuilt. There is a chain fence partitioning the entire property from the curious crowds. Pictures and memorials dot the square in front sharing the space with vendors. The destruction in the city was so widespread the insurance money and government assistance has run out. Chinese investors have now come in and are buying entire blocks of damaged, empty buildings for pennies and are putting the city back together, but at a price to the city.

Driving down the road south of Christchurch we are amazed at all the cows grazing in the fields. It seems the sheep are being replaced by cattle and the tall wind-breaking shrubs being removed for larger fields. Most of the meat and by-products are being taken to feed the growing population of China. They are having their problems also.

dscn3971

We stop part way down for the night at a wonderful little Airbnb in Ashburton, the Home Away from Home, and the owner is a wonderful lady, Annemarie, and we stay up into the night drinking red wine and getting to know each other.

The next day driving toward Dunedin we pass the Steampunk Headquarters in Oamaru with large interesting displays set up on the property.

dscn3972

Steampunk Headquarters

After a quick stretch and walkabout, we stop next at the Moeraki Boulders on the beach. From Wikipedia, ‘The Moeraki Boulders are unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach on the wave-cut Otago coast of New Zealand between Moeraki and Hampden. They occur scattered either as isolated or clusters of boulders within a stretch of beach where they have been protected in a scientific reserve.’ We head to the beach in amazement and climb all over the various boulders and capture a few memorable photos.

 

Further down the coast there is a seal colony on the beach and we check them out and enjoy the relative isolation of the beach.

Looking both ways all you can see are seals and white sand beaches void of humans. The town of Oamaru is home to a Blue Penguin Colony that makes their appearance at sunset after a day in the South Pacific hunting for food. We will come back here once we have the bike to camp and check these little guys out.

Arriving at the cute little town of Lawrence we are stoked to pick up our GS 1150. Lawrence is unique in the city provides free internet to the town, residents and visitors alike. We stop by Jean’s house where Lindsay and his friend and riding buddy, Klaus, are staying. We have tea and a great visit, super people. Headed out of town we take a back-loop road that has a little cable pulled ferry, the Tuapeka Mouth Ferry, for a shortcut back to the coast. dscf1905We pull up and realize the ferry is closed for the day so we must take the long way to the coast. Our stop for the night is a campground at the Whistling Frog Bar and Grill. On the way there we pass a cool curio shop called the Lost Gypsy, so appropriate, don’t you think?

After stopping and setting up camp, we headed about 30 kms down the road to Curio Bay to a Yellow-Eyed Penguin colony. dscn4075The Yellow-Eyed Penguin is native to southern New Zealand, can live up to 20 years and measures 62–79 cm (24–31 in) long (fourth largest penguin). Weights vary through the year being greatest, 5.5 to 8 kg (12–18 lbs). We are told that the colony is significantly smaller this year believed due to a recent change in the water temperatures in the Southern Pacific. There were only a couple pairs of the penguins on the rocks while we were there. A conservationist was also there keeping the tourists from wandering too close to the penguins and was full of information and loved sharing her knowledge with us. The shoreline and cliffs had a volcanic feel to them and for the most part the penguins just posed for pictures and ignored the few people there.

The following day we continued south to Slope Point, the southernmost point on the South Island of New Zealand.

There was a sign marking the spot in the middle of a sheep pasture on the chilly, blustery coast. Next on the way to Invercargill was a signpost making the distances to various places in the world. Seems I am always drawn to these type signposts, there is one right behind me as I type this at Angel Valley in Costa Rica.dscn4100

The next stop is at the home of the “World’s Fastest Indian”, a movie depicting the life of Bert Munro. Burt Munro was a native-born Kiwi with a desire to set the land speed record on a motorcycle. The bike he used was a 1920 Indian Scout ‘Burt Munro Special’ — the 1920 Indian Scout portrayed in the film started life as a 600cc motorcycle with a designed top speed of 55 mph. Munro’s streamlined record-setter was substantially modified; with capacity being increased to 950cc, and a recorded world record speed of 201.851 mph (324.847 km/h). His record setting motorcycle and a large assortment of beautiful motorcycles are on display at the E. Hay & Sons hardware store in Invercargill.

We headed back to Curio Bay to camp for the night on the bluff overlooking Porpoise Bay, known for the small Hector dolphin that like to interact with people in knee deep water in this crescent shaped bay with beautiful white sandy beaches. There is a rocky outcropping separating the bay from the nesting area of the Yellow-eyed Penguins.

The Hector dolphin don’t disappoint that evening and in the morning, we wake up to find a pair of Yellow-Eyed Penguins walking down the beach just in front of our tent. We watch in amazement as the sun rises giving us a beautiful sunrise to boot. Trying to get a picture our movement startles them and they disappear into the ocean. Some pictures must just be kept in your heart and mind.

The next morning we hiked down to Cathedral Caves. The Cathedral Caves are one of the thirty longest sea caves in the world, located on Waipati Beach. To get to these caves you must walk into the water, timing the incoming waves in a way so you don’t get smashed into the rocks you are trying to maneuver around. The two main cave systems join together within the cliff and one has a 30 metres (98 ft) high ceiling. Once around the rocks you are treated to incredible views looking out of the caves toward the ocean.

Cheers,

2WANDRRs

Categories: 2-up motorcycle travel | Leave a comment

Honduras

Time for another border crossing. I think we have all our papers and copies ready as this will be our first true Central American border crossing. We have spent the night a little over an hour away from the Guatemalan/Honduras border hoping to get across and into our destination for the day, Copan. We arrive at the border without any issues and get our paperwork painlessly processed and get stamped out of Guatemala and ride the short distance to the Honduras border. We are directed to a safe place to park our bike and get Gypsy out and start the process. I go first and get my passport stamped, bike registered and insurance purchased without any huge problems. They just don’t know what to do about my trailer, never had one come through being pulled by a motorbike before. They finally agree that is doesn’t require any additional paperwork. Then on to the agriculture side to get Gypsy processed.

Well, it was going smoothly. Seems like us and all the Veterinarians we have seen this past year getting ready for this trip overlooked one small detail, a vaccine needed for a few of these countries. After talking back and forth for quite a while we are at an impasse, Gypsy can’t get her paperwork without that vaccine. The guys are nice, trying to work with us on Google translate. The boss decides that if I leave my PASSPORT, which I never would do, Gypsy and I can ride into the next town, try to find a vet who has the vaccine and get Gypsy vaccinated. Melanie and I discuss this with them and it is decided that I can leave Melanie in lieu of my passport. Humm, never thought I would have to do this but I never expected to make Melanie hitchhike in Croatia either.img_20170201_150115026_hdr

Giving Melanie a kiss, Gypsy and I set off to Copan hoping that there is a vet in town with this particular vaccine. The road into town is lined with trucks queuing to leave the country leaving only one lane, sometimes less, for both directions of traffic. Between this, the rain, and large pieces of road gone due to washout, it is an interesting ride. As we arrive in the small town square I am approached by a man trying to sell me a tour and he is nice enough to direct me to the nearest vet. The tiny shop also has a nice older woman running the store. I show her Gypsy’s passport and the name of the vaccine she needs. As usual, she has no idea of what I am saying but a young man walking down the street sees my motorcycle and hears me speaking English and comes in to the store to give us a hand as a translator. Well it turns out that she does not have the vaccine but can get it at 3pm, it is now about 11am. She will order it for me and I go back out on a quest for the vaccine. Stopping at the other 3 places in town I discover that no one in town has this needed vaccine.

I head back to the border to find Melanie slumped up against the wall running a fever, she caught what I had in Lake Atitlan.  Back at the Ag building they agree to hold my passport as ransom for the vaccine.  Loading Melanie up, we head to town in search of a place to stay so she can rest. We find a nice hostel on the edge of town across from the cemetery for $US18 per night, with an older man and his wife running the place. Gypsy and I head back into town to see if her vaccine has arrived yet, I have little faith in it being there. We are greeted at the door by the lady running the store with the vile and a syringe in her hand. She indicates for me to pick Gypsy up and put her on the counter as she draws up the clear liquid from its container and, while I hold Gypsy still, injects the serum into her hind quarters. The total cost for this service, $US3. We ride back to the border, again, to show the sticker on her passport indicating her vaccine. The guys all gather around to look at it saying this is the first time that they have let anybody through to do this a with that person being successful. I gave them all the information of the vet used for future reference.

img_20170203_081246030_hdr

Cemetery across from the hostel

Three days pass before Melanie feels like she isn’t dying and can walk around town and get something to eat. In the afternoon, we take a shuttle to the Jaguar Spa and hot springs. This is a neat little place in the jungle with water temperatures at the origin of the hot springs about 190°F.

This place has several pools, each with a different purpose and Melanie gets a much-needed massage high up on a platform above the rising steam of the springs. It is a relaxing afternoon chatting with a young traveler backpacking around Central America from Vancouver, Canada.

The next day we head to the Copan Ruinas, one of the great centers of the Mayan civilization over 1000 years ago. This beautiful site has some of the most impressive pre-Columbian art anywhere in the world.  When we got close to the entrance gate, we are welcomed with a fabulous display of dozens of Macaws.  They are a brilliant red with a mix of vibrant blue, yellow, and green feathers.  Spectacular to see them gliding overhead.  img_20170203_093835864We spend the better part of the day exploring this ancient site before heading back to town. There is a place on the map called ViaVia, which describes itself as a gathering place for travelers to meet, eat, sleep and hangout with locations around the world.

The owner happens to be there and comes over and joins us and when we start talking we discover we have a mutual friend, Pete Day, owner and designer of Mosko Moto, soft luggage for motorcycles. It seems that Gerardo ViaVia and Pete were riding around where there aren’t roads, typical for Pete, on the southern Honduras/Nicaragua border on the Costa de Mosquitos. Soon after Pete was in the design/testing phase of his new off-road soft luggage and the name, Mosko Moto, popped up from their ride. Cool, huh. If you ever get in this area pop in and have a beer with Gerardo, good times.  We were directed to a German brewery in town that was owned and run by a guy from a small town in northern Germany that we had never heard of.  His beer was amazing and the food was exactly like we had enjoyed while traveling Germany last summer.  The surprises you find in the jungles of Central America never cease to amaze.

The road out of Copan is rough with potholes and dirt and with the rain they turned to mud. Our route will take us north through San Pedro Sula before turning back south. San Pedro Sula is known as the murder capital of the world, hence given Honduras that similar title. We are told that most of the cocaine trade of Central and South America headed to the US and Canada comes through this city near the northern coast. As we near the city we are stopped at a military checkpoint, our bike searched, and we are warned to turn around as this is a dangerous area.  I think they really wanted to check out the bike because the search was just for show. Taking their advice seriously we continue to San Pedro as we want to explore the area south of the city, and the ride is beautiful through the mountains. Stopping for fuel a couple kms south of the city we are surrounded by a bunch of guys on motorcycles. They want to talk about all things bike and travel related and after about 30 minutes we continue to a real cool hostel called the D&D Brewery, serving the best beer in Central America.

We end up staying for a couple days hiking the surrounding area and drinking small batch craft beer.  There is a waterfall just before we come into town that was a great stop.

The first night at the hostel, we had a couple of guys on a mission to find the riders who came thru town that day pulling the trailer with a dog on the back. They were from Nebraska, in town doing volunteer work at a local orphanage. They saw the bike and had a good idea that we were at the Brewery. After a couple hours of getting to know each other, they headed back into town. They were back the next night with more conversation to be shared.   It is evident that we live on a very small planet because we found a mutual connection in Chattanooga, Tennessee. How does it happen in the middle of nowhere Honduras that you can these things happen?  We have heard these stories but when it happens to you….it is mind boggling.

On to Nicaragua and the toughest and most costly border crossing we have ever had, thanks to a dog and trailer, but that is for the next post.

Cheers,

2WANDRRs

Categories: 2-up motorcycle travel, 2WANDRRs, adventure travel, Animals, Central America, Copan Ruinas, Honduras, Horizons Unlimited, Mayan, motorcycle travel, VStrom | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.