Monday 30 September 2013

Playa del Coco, CocoNutz

Day 90, Sep, 30, 2013, 159km

After 2 hrs at the border we finally crossed into Costa Rica, which is not bad considering the stories we have heard.

Wei was able to find another great detailed border crossing report that you can find on this link:

I'll need to backtrack a little on this following story so that you have some background info. When we crossed the border from Mexico into Belize a couple of days back we did meet Dan and Nancy from Wisconsin riding on a Harley with a trailer attached, as usual we chatted a bit and shared experiences from border crossings, and which roads was best to ride. We also fond out that he was now living in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica. Dan asked if we were heading that way to come down to the CocoNutz Sports Bar and Eatery in town because he is the owner of this place and we could hang out a bit.

So yesterday we finally headed to Playa del Coco and was greeted by Dan and Nancy with a heartfelt welcome. After some catching up of how thing did go for them and us, Dan asked what we were planning to do, and I said we just need to crash somewhere and was wondering about local places, without a blink of an eye Dan invites us to stay at there place and WOW what a great place this is. After swimming in the pool we had beer with pizza and some great company to share it with. Dan and Nancy are some of the nicest people that you could ever meet and I feel blessed to have encounter them. Dan is an ex-vet and was declared dead 7 times and through some miracle he came back every time, according to Dan this was because his destiny was not yet fulfilled, I think he's right.

Day 91, Oct 1, 2013
Today’s  morning view; life does not get any better then this.
Had a nice rest day and enjoyed Playa del Coco today.
Tonight's sunset from paradise.

Sunday 29 September 2013

San Juan Del Sur, Survivor Nicaragua

Day 89, Sep 29, 2013, 98km

Small drive to San Juan Del Sur, that is mostly known for great surfing and Survivor Nicaragua and Survivor Redemption Island that starred Russel Hantz and Rob Mariano. Watched a lot of Survivor shows over the years but those were my favourites and now being able to stand here on there Beach is a thrill. I'm glad I have seen this now because this little town that it still is, is about to become invaded by the Island Princess Cruise Ship and many more for the first time and will mostly never be the same after. The actual Yankee Beach (Playa El Yankee) that they filmed on is a few km's south of the town.


The towns Beach.

 Small Surf shop

Saturday 28 September 2013

Granada, Lake Nicaragua

Day 88, Sep 28, 2013

Stayed in Granada today and walked to the towns square and the market area, before heading to Lake Nicaragua, did come back early and had a good nap (siesta).

Have been bothered the last two days with a head cold that is screwing with my sinuses, have been drinking more with some extra orange juice and hope this goes over quickly, other then that my leg is getting slowly better and I can walk a bit more everyday.


Market fair in Granada.





Lake Nicaragua.

Tomorrow off to San Juan Del Sur and enjoy the beach I hope.


Friday 27 September 2013

Granada, Dona Elba

Day 87, Sep 27, 2013, 152km

Woke up with the smell of another fantastic breakfast being made by Johnny from the Naked Gringo. This is absolutely a great place to stay. We had parked our bikes the first day at the secure parking that is 1 street down, but fond this a real hassle to get the bikes out since the lot is vertically challenged and has big broken chunks of cement combined with boulders/rocks, so on day two we parked under the balcony of the Naked Gringo and put our covers over the bikes. We had seen that there are a lot of security guards in this area, mostly because of the pharmacy on the corner and we would recommend this to anyone going there.

Had a nice short drive from Matagalpa to Granada and checked in at The Backyard Hostel for $12.

In the late afternoon we headed into town and stopped at the Dona Elba where they hand made a cigar in front of us. Needed to have one of course in there special smoking parlour (don't worry did not inhale) where we could enjoy the aroma of these beautifully crafted cigars.

Granada’s town square.


Thursday 26 September 2013

Matagalpa, Selva Negra

Day 86, Sep 26, 2013, 67km

We have been making really good time the last couple of days so we will stay in Matagalpa for another day and explore this beautiful area.

Today started with Johnny preparing an excellent breakfast for us this morning. It was so much that we could not finish all of it and that says something.

After breakfast we headed up the mountainside to Selva Negra (Schwarzwald) resort founded by German Immigrants back in the late 1800s to help develop the coffee industry in this area.

Had some fresh ecologically produced coffee, straight from this place and what a difference this is in taste, just unbelievable good.

Continued a bit later on the twisty JM15 road through the mountains and looped back toward Matagalpa for a nice relaxing afternoon.


Old burnt out tank from the Sandinista revolution stands at the entrance to the  Selva Negra turn off.

Selva Negra resort.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Las Manos Border Crossing

Day 85, Sep 25, 2013, 210km

Border crossing at  Las Manos into Nicaragua.

At Immigration (Migracion) get your exit stamp and pay $60 Quetzales

Go to Customs (Aduana) get an exit paper that you need to fill in yourself (it's in Spanish and English) and fill in your import paper and get it stamped, then get a copy made and with a copy of it stamped (that they keep) you then can get a stamp in your passport.

Ride past chain barrier and on the right get your bike fumigated for free.

Ride across to the left and get your entry paper, this will be filled out by Immigration officer, you get no stamp in passport just a receipt of the $12 US that you need to pay.

Get your bike import paper filled out by Customs officer, the officer will hand you this piece of paper and ask that you have the bike inspected and then bring the paper back with the inspectors signature on it. Once you have this they will hand you 1 copy of it for you to keep.

Ride up about 100'  and pay a $1 US tourist fee and get bike insurance for $12US

Ride up to chain barrier for final check point and your off.

The border crossing did take about two hrs to complete, but was very simple and no handlers needed.

Ended the day in Matagalpa and staying at The Naked Gringo BB for $35 US. The owner Johnny is from Seattle, Washington and has ventured all the way out here to try something new., and all we can say for now is this place is great.

Some stunning Nicaragua countryside.


Tuesday 24 September 2013

Danli, Honduras

Day 84, Sep 24, 2013,

We wanted to go to Danli from El Progreso but not wanting to take the main Hwy we decided to go through some  beautiful mountainous back roads instead. We ended up on Hwy 23/43 and some unknown road: 

The first part of this road is dodging potholes and that’s not to bad and then there is a 55km stretch of hard packed dirt/gravel with boulders and 1 bolder water crossing, a real nice challenge for most.

Just as you think this will never end your rewarded with a brand new piece of super smooth tarmac twisting and turning through the mountains, and with no traffic on it, absolutely nothing, just you in the wind and the sound of your purring engine, this was like riding in paradise.

The scenery is stunning with the mountains looking like a beautiful patchwork of greens, absolutely magnificent.

Tomorrow taking the border crossing at Las Manos into Nicaragua.


Monday 23 September 2013

El Progreso, Honduras

Day 83, Sep 23, 2013,

Today we made it through this very simple border crossing from Guatemala into Honduras in less then 1hr and currently staying at the Hotel Casablanca in El Progreso, Honduras. While sitting at the bar a really nice looking lady walks in and I can’t but help myself think of the following from Humphrey Bogart “Here's looking at you  kid” and “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine”: love it.

Yesterday we were looking to find some info on our next border crossing Gasolinera La Bendiction/Corinto. Wei fond this great report done by Camelia and the following description of the crossing with some great pictures at this link: Caesar's Process:

From Wei the following: A few deviations from Caesar's Process:

1. To clarify step 1, the customs officer took our Guatemalan temporary import form and the windshield sticker. He stamps it to cancel and shows it to you. No receipt is necessary or given.

2. We went to Aduana (building in the back right) first before Immigration (front left). This is what the guard at the border suggested.
3. We did not have to do steps 9-11 and get 3 copies of the new issued Honduran Temp Vehicle Import or the stamp in our passport showing the vehicle import.

4. No fumigation for motorcycle (step 14)

5. For step 16, didn't check out documents. The guard was busier asking about our trip but would probably usually check.

6. We missed out on the delicious seafood soup in Omoa.


Honduras Coast looking at Peurto Cortes in the distance.


Sunday 22 September 2013

Rio Dulce 2

Day 82, Sep, 22, 2013

Stayed in Rio Dulce today and did take a rest day. After looking on the internet for all the thing to go see and do around here and then reading the reviews about them I could not make a decision on which one. Sometimes it's better not to read the reviews because for some it was great and then another would say it sucked, go figure.


Instead of riding around I walked to the market and did meet David from South Africa, who is sailing around the world, I had a beer and a great conversation with him about sailing and all the countries he has visited on his 5 year tour, just goes to show you never know who you will meet or encounter in the weirdest places.

Rio Dulce harbor from the longest/tallest bridge in Guatemala.

Hotel Backpackers from the bridge.


Saturday 21 September 2013

Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Day 81, Sep 21, 2013, 298km

Today it only took about 1.5 hr to go through this very easy border crossing into Guatemala. These crossings again have everything very close together on both sides, no running around and no handlers needed because the Guatemala customs people all speak English.

Had to pay $37.50 ($18.75US) to exit Belize and then $20 ($2.66US) for the entry and $160 ($21.33US) for the bike into Guatemala. Save yourself  some time and don't go to the fumigation guy because nobody asks for this peace of paper, as we fond this out after we had done it of course.


Made it to Rio Dulce and staying at the Backpackers Hotel for $150 ($20US) and they donate a portion of  the money to help raise abandoned children.



Will stay an extra day and go see some of the sites in this area, and take some cool pictures I hope.


Friday 20 September 2013

San Ignasio, Belize

Day 80, Sep, 20, 2013, 176km

Made it to San Ignasio and had a bit of a down poor on the way there so we did not go see Cahal Pech as planned but maybe tomorrow that is if we can't cross the border to Guatemala because of it being the Belize Independence Day.

The nice part about Belize is that it has everything in English including all the signage. This is great for me with my very limited Spanish, and I find the people are super friendly here. The bus driver said he lived in many places and did come back, because Belize is The Land of the Free and the easy life style was the way to go even if the roads were crappy and all, I can see a lot in what he means by the way people are acting and he has a valid point. Walking the streets here you see a huge mix of different people including a large group of Mennonites that are respected for there agricultural knowledge and there word being there bond, everyone seems to be very content, at least as far as I could see on the surface.

Tonight is party time in San Ignasio, so more to follow.

Had a great time last night with Wei, Cathy and her friend, as we watched the fireworks for Belize Independence Day.

Wei and Cathy yesterday in the boat.

In Belize I have fond the main roads to be fairly good in general, it's the secondary and towns roads that are in bad shape. The other thing that you have to watch out for is the way they like to drive on these roads, just be more aware that those cars standing along the shoulder, either on the left or right of you will for no reason just go ahead and they will cut you off by getting on the road right in front of you. They also like to pass in the dead-mans curves, just like in Mexico they do this too but with some more constraint as to where they do it, but in Belize it don't matter.

Thursday 19 September 2013


Day 79, Sep 19, 2013,

The trip today to Lamanai was super, we were picked up with the bus at the Hotel and headed down to the river where we speed boated for about 1.5 hr to get to the site, once there we were treated to a really good lunch. Then we had the guided tour of the site, and back again, all of this for $100 Belize or $50 US, well worth it for a whole days worth of entertainment and food.

Made this video on the river:

The river is called the New River and locally known as the River of Many Faces. The last known Lamanai  occupants of the site have been driven away by the government because it has been declared a archaeological site of importance and thus no squatters are allowed. While we were there the howling Monkeys started acting up and man can they make a lot of noise. Decided to climb the highest tower since I have come this far it would be a shame not to do, and  it was a great view from the top.



The Panther Maya temple.





The view from the top.










Tomorrow off to San Ignasio and see Cahal Pech (Place of the Ticks).


Wednesday 18 September 2013

Orange Walk, Belize

Day 78, Sep 18, 2013,  74km

The Border crossing at Chetumal into Belize is a breeze. On the Mexican side everything is close together and you go to the small building on the right to get your exit stamp, make sure to save your BBVA Bank payment paper that you did get when you paid for your entry stamp or they will charge you again, it’s stupid I know.

Then off to the left and get your VIN checked and get a receipt that you will get your import money back. We ask when and they say Manana, or maybe never, we will see.

On the Belize side again everything is close together, and if you don't want to backtrack first go to the shack on the right and pay the $4 to get your fumigation paper, then to the left there is a parking lot in front of the customs office and have them stamp your passport, just behind the customs guy is the import or declaration desk where the guy will stamp your passport for a temporary entry permit for your bike.

Head back to your bike and go through the checkpoint and then towards the big white building to get your insurance for $14.50 that is good for 1 week, now your set and you can enjoy the great roads of Belize (not).




Belize and the Caribbean sea.






Tomorrow we booked a tour of the Mayan temple Lamanai (Submerged Crocodile) dating back to 1500B.C and is still occupied today, should be interesting.


Tuesday 17 September 2013

Laguna Milagros, Mexico

Day 77, Sep 17, 2013, 469km

Today was a great ride over the flat and very straight road from Palenque to Chetumal. This was a welcome relief from the twisty roads that we have been doing the last few weeks.

Kind of weird though back at home I would  do anything to get off the straight road but after 3 weeks of not being able to ride one single piece of road in a straight line and at speeds not greater that 80km tops today's road was great for a change, speeds at 120km/h, wow we are flying, at least for today.

Was able to make the booking to Columbia and will be sailing from Panama to Cartagena, Colombia on 12 October on the Independence, this is a four day sailing trip and lets hope that there are no storms at that time.

Staying at Gringo Dave's Cabina's on Laguna Milagros that is just before Chetumal for 300 pesos, here is his link: check it out.

Tomorrow off to Orange Walk in Belize, if we make the border crossing.

Here's a picture of Gringo Dave's in front of 2 of his new Bungalow’s on the water, and currently almost in the water because of all the rain.


Monday 16 September 2013

Palenque, Mexico

Day 76, Sep 16, 2014, 214km

Nice sunny day with temps in the high 20' c and another beautiful twisty road through the mountains towards Palenque. This time we  had to wait 4 hours for a road block that was setup for the protest for school reform.

This was a total drag standing there in the hot sun and with all the towns people coming at us and asking all the usual questions of course, at the end we had to pay a donation (10 pesos) for there cause and off we went.


Tomorrow heading towards Chetumal.

Street photo from Wei

Sunday 15 September 2013

San Cristobal 2

Day 75, Sep 15, 2013

Spent the day in San Cristobal for the Mexican Independence day celebration by walking the market area and the towns busy streets. The town was filled  with people and had a small fair going on for the kids making this very lively. Reminded me a lot of the old cobblestone streets in downtown  Holland where they would have the same cordoned off walking areas for the markets and such. Really had a great day.

Saturday 14 September 2013

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

Day 74, Sep 14, 2013, 342km

Followed Hwy 190 further from Juchitan to San Cristobal de Las Casas in the poring rain again today but now we had several washouts along the way. I almost lost it in one of the washouts when I hit a huge hole under the water, luckily I was able to put me feet down and catch the bike from tipping over just in time but that also had the effect that now my boots were full to the rim, not much good all the water proofing did.

Than we hit a line up of cars and trucks that were stopped by a local protest action, we went past the whole convoy to the front of the line and stopped. The  demonstrators looked friendly so I started asking if anyone could tell me what it was about and I said that I would video it (which I did). One of the young ladies was able to tell me that the protest action was for reform of the education system. Goes to show as much as things are different in this country something's are the same. After they had there giggles about being on film they fond us to be so nice they said we could go pass the blockade if we wanted. Did not wait to hear that twice, back to the bike's and away.

We than took the toll road further because the rain was now coming down in buckets so most likely more washouts or god knows what.

In San Cristobal we fond hostel Rossco that has a special 2 for1 for bikers (stay one night and get the second for free) this also includes free breakfast, wifi, hot showers and free parking. Private rooms are 500 pesos or you can go for the dorm even cheaper. This place is clean and is close to the centre of town. The owner rides a motorcycle of course and that's why he gives the special to motorcyclist.

Tomorrow taking the free day and watching the big Mexican celebration take place.
Up through the clouds to San Cristobal

Friday 13 September 2013

Juchitan de Zaragoza, Mexico

Day 73, Sep 13, 2013,  280km

We did leave early this morning in the rain from Oaxaca towards Juchitan de Zaragoza, taking the free Hwy 190 which is a beautiful twisty road along some of the greenest of green mountains around.


Thursday 12 September 2013

Monte Alban, Mexico

Day 72, Sep 12, 2013,

This morning we drove up to see the Ancient Zapotec Capital of Monte Alban and we did the guided tour for 250 pesos. Our guide was really good in explaining the history and how things were built back then, and was well worth the money.

This place dates back to around 500 BC and at it's peak around 700 AD had about 25,000 people living there just before it's demise.

Makes you wonder though if history will repeat itself, because we as a whole still haven’t learned things like sustainability.

While walking around I was offered many trinkets from lots of people that are trying to sell there stuff around here, but coming towards the end of our tour I was approached by this old ancient looking guy in the towns square of Monte Alban. As he approached me he said this is for you and it was a hand made clay Owl like the Owl that had swooped down at me. Of coarse I had to buy this, just too coincidental to let that go.

After all the walking my leg does hurt and I will need a bit of rest and some ibuprofen to make that feel better again.


Wednesday 11 September 2013

Oaxaca, Mexico

Day 71, Sep 11, 2013,  258km

Today from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca (pronounced as wa-haca) we did take Hwy 131 and this is one very twisty road through the mountains. The rain did cause several landslides that covered the road, but luckily enough space to get through the 258 km stretch.

It did take 6hrs to do and of course the last hour in the rain again. This time not wanting to get wet I stopped and put on my Hog Togs and that worked really well.

I also went past the 26,000 km mark or 16,250 Mi for this part of the trip, can't belief it's been 10 weeks on the road.


Tomorrow will be Oaxaca the ancient city discovery day and I hope that my leg can hold up to this, if it works I will have some good pictures to post.



Did Walk to Iglesia de Santo Domingo in Oaxaca, it was built in 1580 for the Dominican monastery by some of the best artisans of the time, even though Oaxaca has been destroyed twice by earthquakes this building has survived because of it's immensely thick stone walls.


Tuesday 10 September 2013

Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Day 70, Sep 10, 2013,  402km

Today started with us getting flagged down by police because they said we ran a stop light. But we never did see the darn thing.

We both pulled over but Wei was closer to the Cop and he made Wei sweat for a few moments before giving him a warning to be more careful, did someone just say horseshoe up our ass, just wait till you read the rest of this.

More nice and twisty roads today but the last four hours before we made Puerto Escondido it started to rain and I mean poring rain like some fire engine crew with all the hoses pointed at you.

Man did it come down, needless to say not a thread left dry, if you did not zipper bag it on you it was wet. And if the rain isn't enough when the trucks coming at you pass and there is about 2” of water or more on the road it makes for a small tidal wave hitting you with a wham.

This is bad enough if your in a car but on the bike it's a whole new experience, all I can say is don't ride with your mouth open. Horseshoe my ass indeed.