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  #1  
Old 28 Nov 2009
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A ride with the Central America Wild Bunch.

Taz and Joel here. We are in Xela, Guatemala, taking a break from the long journey. We are on a pair of Kawi Super Sherpa 250s. So far, so good after six months and 26,000 km. We went in search of tires when we met Roberto Ascoli, owner of the local BMW repair shop. Turns out he is also the president of Pericos Motoclub here in Xela and they were sponsoring a ride the following Saturday. Naturally we signed on for a chance to ride with the locals.

Saturday dawned foggy and cold. We met the group in a hotel parking lot. We found ourselves amidst 50 big BMWs from Guate, Mexico and El Salvador. Wonderful bunch and we Canadians were warmly welcomed. As I eyed all that shiny BMW paint and chrome alongside our filthy little Kawis, several moments of "what have we gotten ourselves into?" cluttered my brain. No time to dwell on that, however, as we hit the road just after breakfast. We had us a CONVOY!

Xela is at 2333 meters and we headed to the coast about 100 km away. The ride down the mountains was lovely with nothing but twisties and very little traffic. Near the coast we stopped for a visit to a minor Mayan archeaological site and then on to a hotel resort for a swm and lunch. We hung out in the tropical heat for a couple of hours swapping motorcycle stories and getting to know our hosts. We do speak passable Spanish and met many fine people.

The ride back up the mountain, however, was a whole other subject. Our new brethren decided to cut loose and have some fun. It was nothing but twisties and heavy traffic all the back up the mountains. The little 250s were pegged to the limit and beyond to keep up with all that shiny German muscle. We recieved a lesson in the finer points of riding, Central American style----80 km of lane splitting, passing at any and every opportunity, getting sandwiched between trucks with nowhere to go, and general high speed mayhem. We broke every law on the books (that is if they exist here) as well as pushing the limits of the laws of physics, thermodynamics, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics and the coefficient of friction keeping the rubber on the road. Even as I write this, I shudder at the things we did. There was, after all, national pride and machismo at stake here. We are lucky to be alive only begins to describe the ride. Would not have missed it for anything, though, and now we have a whole bunch of new friends in Central America. Some pics below. Wish I had some pics of the riding itself, but I was WAY TOO BUSY holding on to survive.

Cheers
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Old 29 Nov 2009
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Did you make it into Robertos Italika repair shop? He keeps a fine collection of older BMW's in the back .He was very accomadating when I needed an air and oil filter for my f650. I gave him a Canadian flag decal for his rt ,did you see it?
If you want flag decals from Guatemala they are in 1 shop in the commercial building on the second level, the store keeper keeps them in a drawer behind the counter, just ask around, I was not able to find any other stores that sold them.
Cal
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Old 29 Nov 2009
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What a hoot!

That musta been huge fun! And scary. but fun!

Congrats. I am wildly envious. We're headed down in late January. now it'll be even harder to wait...
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Mike R.
Santiago, Chile
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Old 29 Nov 2009
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Good on ya!

Taz...Joel....I wondered how the Super Sherpas were holding up after seeing you at the HU Cali meet near the start of your southerly swing...sounds like things are going well....good to hear...look forward to reading a little more of your experiences from time to time....

Stephen
Red Deer
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Old 30 Nov 2009
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Hi Calvin
Yes, we went into Roberto's workshop and saw the older BMWs. We have looked for stickers in the mercado next to Parque Central (on the upper floors) - is that the building you are referring to?

Hi Steve!
Nice to hear from you! That HU meeting seems like a long time ago now. So far so good with the sherpas.

Joel
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Old 1 Dec 2009
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Yes that is the building, it has a bunch of tourist type stores selling indigenes crafts. It was a older lady who owned the store,it was the only store that sold the flag decals, she had a lot of them to choose from. In a drawer behind her sales counter.Spanish word is Calcamonias.
Cal
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Old 1 Dec 2009
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Mattole

Joel....maybe you're on to something Einstein missed.....maybe time does go by faster when your ridin....so here's a little something from long ago and far away....well actually, it was only September....

Is that one of those rugged Super Sherpas I see??



The Lost Coast....

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A ride with the Central America Wild Bunch.-img_1415.jpg  

A ride with the Central America Wild Bunch.-img_1408.jpg  

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Old 1 Dec 2009
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That would be one of the little darlings. They have new shoes now, fresh oil and have had the crud and barnacles scraped off. We will be in Xela for two more weeks taking more Spanish classes, then off to El Salvador and points south. If anyone is passing through, let us know.

Taz and Joel
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