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  #1  
Old 15 Aug 2007
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Houston to Costa Rica...will I survive?

2 Friends and myself are planning a bike trip from Houston to costa Rica (on KLR 650's) in February of next year and everyone we have told thinks we are crazy. Most of them have never been out of the country so yes, I know they are sheltered.

My older brother has really been concerned lately and thinks that we are going to get robbed or something.

I'm not too worried about anything more than getting shaken down a little by authorities, but is there more cause for concern?
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  #2  
Old 15 Aug 2007
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No.
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  #3  
Old 15 Aug 2007
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What is safe? Staying at home. What if there is a tornado or a flash flood. Nothing is 100% safe. Riding a bike is a calculated danger but oh how it makes you feel alive. I have seen statistics that show the USA is by far the most dangerous place in the world, probably not true but there are a lot of violent crimes. Central and South America are as safe as anywhere if you don't do anything stupid.
Show you friends some of the travellers stories here and you will see that their comments are very positive.
With reasonable care you will have a great and safe trip.
If you cme through Mex City send me a PM and we can show you around.
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  #4  
Old 15 Aug 2007
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That's the same way I'm thinking.

When he was talking about the danger of getting robbed and poor people jacking me I told him that I'm not planning on riding through 5th ward (known for being a very shady area of Houston). I also don't believe that poor people = violent criminal.
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  #5  
Old 15 Aug 2007
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Headlines from Fox News here in Houston:
Houston Emergency Center Prepared for the Worst
Armed Robbers Hold Up Restaurant Customers, Employees
Houston Officer Uses Stun Gun on Dad Holding Newborn
Police Chase Leaves Innocent Woman Trapped in Car
Protecting Port of Houston from a Terror Strike
Heat Advisory Burns Houston Area
Mother Accuses Camp Counselor of Assaulting Her Child

That doesn't sound like a very safe place either. No one trusts their neighbors. If someone tells me it is too dangerous and hasn't been there themselves or researched it extensively, I just nod my head don't even bother disagreeing.

On a side note, how far are you in this planning? I'm planning on starting a Houston to Ushuaia trip on my strom sometime next fall. We should grab a and compare notes. I live in the heights. Send me a PM!
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  #6  
Old 15 Aug 2007
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I live in the Heights also as does one of the other guys that's going.

As far as planning, we're just starting to plan and the other guys need to buy their bikes as well.
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  #7  
Old 16 Aug 2007
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Go for it

I heard all the bad stuff, too, but went with just my wife on one bike. Be in at dark and don't hang around bars at night. Most people are the nicest you will ever find. Be cautious and careful and all will be fine. Be arrogant and stupid and get into trouble. Don't be paranoid, yet don't make yourself and your bike easy targets. It all comes down to common sense, just like living in the US.
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Old 16 Aug 2007
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I stayed in Houston for a few months before heading south. I'm currently in Colombia. One thing I noticed. I got stuck in the mud once in Houston. I know, I know, who gets stuck in the mud in Houston.... Anyway, it was an afternoon, MANY cars passed when I stuck out my hand for help. No one stopped. And then a man from Mexico with a little girl in his truck pulled over and helped me out. That gave me all the encouragement I needed to head south.
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  #9  
Old 16 Aug 2007
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Thumbs up Just did it the other way round!

Hi,
I just did the same trip the other way round: Panama to Tucson/Arizona.

Had a great time, very nice trip!!! The only problem was we had only 1 month....it was in January 2007. The most frightening place was maybe Tucson at night.... People in Central America are great!!!

I did it on a BMW R 1150 R - it was okay, but next time for sure a smaller bike and more time! 2-3 months would be perfect! Mexico is very big and the most expensive country, Guatemala maybe the best place!!! But every country has something special! Costa Rica maybe the easiest going....

Have fun + do it !!!! DonĀ“t listen to your friends...

El Aleman - Jens
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Old 17 Aug 2007
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trip plans

If you are still just in the planning stage and the other fellows haven't even got bikes yet, ...you mean bikes for this trip or bikes , period?
My suggestion is take a week sometime soon, say around a long weekend if you can, and take an exploratory short trip to northeast Mexico. You only live a short day's ride from the border .Either alone or with your buddies who have "never"(?) been out of the country, no matter what kind of bikes. This will let you get a feel for the conditions you will encounter in Mexico, and how you are going to pack the bikes and interact with your friends .Lessons learned may help make the trip to Costa Rica much more enjopyable. Go SLOW.Enjoy
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  #11  
Old 17 Aug 2007
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All good advice, I am in Mexico at the moment and it is class. Oh one other bit, learn some spanish, even if you make a pigs ear out of trying people appreciate it. There is three in my group at the moment, and even the guy that didnt have any spanish is getting on great as he is even just trying a few words! makes the world of difference.

Kev

ps dont be scared just go for it, people are just people, anywhere in the world, treat them with respect and you will be fine.
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  #12  
Old 17 Aug 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumboy View Post
I live in the Heights also as does one of the other guys that's going.

As far as planning, we're just starting to plan and the other guys need to buy their bikes as well.
Drumboy:
Ack, no PMs until I post more messages. Send me an email at dghu at mogal dot org. It'd be nice to meet someone who lives close who doesn't think I'm insane for wanting to drive south.

I agree with the Mexico trip advice -- I did the same a few months ago when going to CA was just and idea and had such a great time in Mexico that it is now a plan. Hell, I'm going to Mexico (Real 14, Guanajauto, Aguascalientes,zacatecas) in again two weeks for a couple of weeks. I've decided to take all my vacation time and spend it south practicing living off of the bike and speaking spanish.
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Last edited by daveg; 17 Aug 2007 at 20:48.
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  #13  
Old 24 Nov 2007
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If you any technical problems when you are in Costa Rica I recommend you to visit the office of Wild Rider Costa Rica - Motorcycle Rental, they are very helpful and have a lot of knowledge. Good luck!
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  #14  
Old 24 Nov 2007
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Smile Dear Drumboy..........

One piece of advice im sure you will pick up if you read the HUBB regularly.

Your travelling on a KLR? Nice bike! also a single.......great ( so is mine, an XT600) heres the advice........Loctite all your nuts n bolt while you still have em! Single cylinder bikes have a habit of vibrating stuff loose. There are many types of Loctite. use the one that stops vibration I think it is Blue.

and quit worrying! take a 'mugger wallet' and just use common sense.
above all, treat others how you wanna be treated, with courtesy, respect, friendship, and mostly it will be returned to you.

Enjoy!

Martyn
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  #15  
Old 25 Nov 2007
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Thumbs up Everywhere you go people warn you about the neighbours!

A friend of mine traveled from Chile to New York and the worst experience he had was in Texas! He stopped on the side of a quiet highway for a pee. Whilst standing in the bushes, willy in hand, helmet on, with iPod playing, he was double-tackled from behind by two cops who had been telling him to put his hands up. With their knees in his kidneys, he was handcuffed, face (and dick) down in the dust and shouted at. The iPod was still on at traveling volume and he couldn't understand them, and they couldn't understand his strong Belfast accent. It was hours before they let him go, from the police station miles away to find his way back to his bike. They thought he was IRA scouting. I mean to say, IRA looking for something in Texas to blow up?

His advice to travelers is stay away from Texas!

Regards

Nigel in NZ
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