Riding a Trike through Central America
I know it sounds crazy, but if you've ever met Dave from CATours then you know this is right up his alley. So what if it's not the "right" bike for the trip, he's up for a good time and enjoying a very unique experience. Here at CATours were backing him up the whole way and look forward to the updates from the road. I will do my best to post updates/pictures here as well as the ride blog (Riding a Trike to Colombia).
Bike: 2002 Honda Goldwing Trike
Departure: Thursday, June 28th
Goal: Get down to Panama to check out this so-called ferry or lack thereof. Who knows, maybe Dave will be the first to cross with a Trike!
Let us know if you have any suggestions for specific places to visit or if you have any questions.
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Why a Trike?
from Dave's blog (Riding a Trike to Colombia)
Why a Trike, Why a Trike? Why? Why? Why? Why not?
So what is the attraction for this different vehicle?
It should not really be compared with any other form of transport: Because it is not like any other form of transport.
Travelling for most people is about freedom and the open roads. This is where we can say welcome to the Trike. The Quadraphonic stereo is a nice place to start, If you don’t appreciate music you probably should stop reading, and think about death. Riding with open speakers shouting out your favorite tunes can’t be appreciated unless you’ve really been there, Welcome to the Trike.
Style and elegance is a personal thing. Just like Punk or Jazz. The Trike is about a presentation with a different look, this also comes with a different sound, and we are not talking about its 1800cc fuel injected 6 cylinders that does also have a nice tone. You have few excuses to get left behind on a Trike.
The Trike is not designed or meant for off road endurance, if this is what you want or think is important you should re-consider your options. The Trike is not about crazy riding! The Trike is aimed at the mature rider that just appreciates a little comfort with a difference.
You will not lose the adventure, you will still enjoy the open freedom with all the weather elements, the wind, the rain, the crazy roads, and its wonderfull people, especially in Central America. Like it or not you will get noticed: If you are not heard you will be seen: Welcome to the Trike.
from Dave's blog:
So the trip has began. My first stop was Las Lisas. Las Lisas for me is a slow uncommercial beach resort with good waves. My second stop was Lago Coatepequez, in El Salvador. This is certainly a worth while stop, especially if you like a swim. If you swim to the Island it is about 5-6 kms, if you do it make sure you use Sun cream, otherwise you will be sorry.
I passed into and out of El Salvador without any problems, but I do know it was close! Going in I had 4 Days before my 90 day expiry, they asked if I was in transit, this basically means going through to at least Costa Rica. When I left El Salvador I got taken into the office, I only had two days left? So, So.. I havent expired, they counted my 90 days twice, day by day, and after 88 they knew I still had two days.
Conclusion: I think they were only looking at the potential for a fine, I am almost certain that is where it would of went if I had gone over my 90 days: I also felt it would of been a lot more than a $1 or $2. The Customs in El Salvador have been striking a lot recently, they want more money, and they will try to aquire it from whatever source they can.
But arrived all good in Honduras, apart from a Tuc-Tuc driving up the back of me, he hit me quite hard, fortunately he only bent his vehicle, I was lucky, if it had been worse, what could I have done.. Really Not much..
Five minutes before Choluteca there was a serious storm, I was fortunate that I pulled into a Garage 10 secs before the Heavens opened, it rained and blew super hard for about 15 mins, all the electric went out and all the signs blew over, for a moment I was a little concerned there was a roof above me, but all past and I continued.
So at present I am in Choluteca, tomorrow I need to buy a map to see where I am going next, I don’t need to spend anymore time here.
and a few pictures from the first week:
"Fill me up and check my tires please."
Trucks sometimes fall over.
"When I grow up I want cruise control."
A bad ass storm in Honduras
The police love stopping me.
So the second week is here.
the latest update from Dave's blog:
Well the saying goes something like doesn’t time fly when your having fun! Should I agree with having fun or time flying by?
Well its been eight days since I left Guatemala, there was no pace decided before hand, so being where I am in Costa Rica is probably a good location to be.
Without it being too superstitious should I say the Trike is going well, from a mechanical point of view I probably have few concerns, after all it is a Honda.
I think the concern for most motorcyclist is the unexpected accident, or the un-repairable problem. With these two exceptions everything else is workable and enjoyable, and of course never forget your freedom of Adventure; For this reason we travel.
Since leaving Choluteca, I have had two reasonable day rides, the first was to Esteli in Nicaragua, home of fine Cigars. And like most of Nicaragua, Rum. Flor de Cana. By many peoples opinion probably the best rum in the World.
Well after a day or two in Esteli it was time to move on to Costa-Rica.
Its a long simple ride, with one or two turns when you arrive in Managua, roads are generally good. Pot holes are no friend of mine. Unlike a typical motorcycle I have a different posture and moving around has different restrictions to me. Its a bit like comparing Yoga to climbing a tree, they are not the same! But both will allow a different type of stretch.
But as already mentioned when it comes down to the music I know you just dont get better, both my windows are wide open and both my arms are out. Oh and dont forget the cruise control is on. The enjoyment of personal music doesn’t get any better. You can even learn to love music that you would not normally listen to:
You can mix Patsy Cline with the Sex Pistols followed by a little Vivaldi, there is no limit to the pleasure of profound sound that comes with the trike, and just like everyone that appreciates their mp3 player, you will smile.
Yes Life is good: Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll: Give me the Trike?
and some more pics
full moon in Esteli, Nicaragua
just one more?
lost? follow the bus
any bike will get dirty down here
$17 Costa Rica Insurance
Colombia? Probably No?
latest from Dave's blog:
Well unfortunately the Colombia part of this tour is looking less likely as days pass. I set off a little over six weeks the ferry was planed to start the crossing between Panama and Colombia.
With hope this would give everyone a couple of months to smooth out the last minute hiccups. This amount of time sounded good, but in current reality. No.
Well the very first thing you need is a ferry and this has yet to arrive so this instantly makes it a no go! We could blame the Greeks, as this is still where the ferry is based.. Supposedly.
Apart from this, everything is still very uncertain, from customs and security to where the ferry will dock. After this it also gets a little political. The ability to put the trike or a bike on other boats is a little tougher than usual, as last week a boat captained by Fritz sank 35kms off shore from Cartagena. No human loss, but a few people without bags and bikes will certainly be pre-planning their travels, nothing too humorous about that. I expect to be in Colon hoping for a miracle early next week. I actually believe in miracles, so anything is possible..
I remember when I stopped by CATours in Antigua on my way down south that you guys mentioned this idea of traveling through LA on a trike. I thought it was a bit crazy...and really liked the idea. It just goes to show what can be accomplished when a dream meets the road. The trike must draw lots of attention and is most certainly a crowd pleaser. My only thought...why stop at the canal...put that bad boy on a boat and introduce it to Ushuaia!
more pics from the road
don't get me stuck
no speeding or talking on phones in Costa Rica
always try to plan your route well
Biker's Lodge, Costa Rica?
why not bring the Trike inside the hotel?
No ferry, but...
latest update from Dave's blog, reporting from Panama:
Well I have received the good news with the bad news just being a part of it.
As predicted there is no ferry, the good news is that we now have yet another official date; now this is what I have been told direct from the top dogs, the 12th of November. What this means for me unfortunately is no ferry.
So what can a man do while spending extra time in Panama?
One thing that I have to be grateful is that the rain is certainly not against me. Bocas del Toro is a highlight of Panama; activities are abundant and great locations are certainly here to be found. Stayed at a very cool location called Pukalani, it is a little off the main street, but no more than a 13 minute ride from the ferry port.
Make sure you dont plan to travel to or from Bocas on Mondays, there are no ferrys, if you dont have a bike, no problem, there are many speedboat connections.
Tomorrow I will head towards towards Panama City. Boquete is not exactly a party town and should really only be visited if you are planing outdoor activities like cliff climbing and rafting to name a few. Apart from that there is nothing so incredible here.
the latest pictures
top to bottom clean
airport security isn't the same everywhere
typical house in Bocas del Toro
the police are badass here
yes its steep, but not really that steep
try avoiding this place in Bocas
Where will he end up next?
Dave's latest post about what's coming next...
Well the time has arrived to make a decision about where I go next?
I am in Colon, its definitely no tourist town, but would recommend it if you want to see something different.
It would not be advised that you walk around at night; unless you’ve always had a desire to get robbed or assaulted, if so Colon is a good place to start.
I am staying at the Washington Hotel, its probably the best choice for central location and security, especially if you have a bike. Rooms are decent value, and there is also a casino here which will either pay for the night or make it an expensive one; there is always someone selling women or marijuana, its a hard one to choose from.
I have also spoken to several people about the ferry that never happened: Yet.. It will happen according to everyone, this will happen sooner than later. But today I will take a walk and see if its possible to hitch a ride on a cargo or container ship? Doesnt this sound easy, well I have been told it will be nearly impossible.
Have also been told $600 is the illegal immigrant price, not cheap if this is true? For sure what I do know is that there are many different opinions here in getting to Colombia.
Guatemala, here we come
Dave's latest update from the road:
Well once again time has just wizzed by.. Colombia never happened; dont feel good about saying this; but it just means that I will have to do it at a later date.
But Panama city was a great place to see, the Havana Bar in front of the Marriott Hotel is a good stop, at least for one cigar, here you can smoke and see the best girls in the city. Panama is a big “No Smoking Country”, new law back in 2008. The days for the smoker are nearly over, it’s the same in Costa Rica, new laws there also, but only introduced last month.
Casco Viejo is certainly worth a walk, its a great place to see. If you do ride in you wont be disappointed if you take the ride over the causeway. Panama City is a very impressive city, Donald Trump certainly think’s so, he has just built a big tower block here.
original tyres 245/60/15 - very rare!
time for new tires, 53,000 miles
Taxi drivers always know the way?
maybe a little more space?
Panama / Costa Rica Border
Dave's recent update:
So after spending two days at the Royal Grand Hotel in David it was time to say goodbye to Panama.
After a swim and a good breakfast I set off towards Costa Rica. The border crossing was straight through and simple, so I thought; then after ridding for ten minutes or so in Costa Rica I thought to myself, did I check out? Meaning quite simply did I enter Costa Rica... legally. Well I went back and the answer was definately "No"
Anyway after I had my passport stamped and my trike paperwork completed I was all set again - not quite I had to have the quarantine spray done on the trike.
OK well that was good - lets get moving towards my next destination --> Drake, CR.
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