February 03, 2008 GMT
Off i go


The 28th of December i fly out to my home town in Uruguay to spend some time with family before starting my journey. Here I am with one of my grandsons at Sydney Airport


Posted by Hugo Albini at 03:02 AM GMT
the town finds out


While waiting for the date to come when my journey was to start i spent some time with my family in my hometown of Salto, Uruguay. While there the local newspaper "EL PUEBLO" found out about the journey i was about to embark on and chose to publish an interview.

The journey and myself also got some mention on the local radio broadcasts.

Below is the article to upload (in Spanish)


Posted by Hugo Albini at 03:21 AM GMT


I arrived in Miami the 25th of January, did a little sight-seeing in Tampa, caught up with some acquaintances then on the 27th i headed off to Beaumont on a Greyhound bus which i would deter anyone from using.
After checking in i instantly went to pick up my bike, a Yamaha V star 1300, which i had purchased online while in Sydney. The motorbike was given to me at once and waiting there for me was Daniel Mattox, a 25 year old who decided to join me after meeting on Horizons Unlimited.

Early on the 29th we departed towards Houston (an impressive city with huge trees on the roadside) we continued towards San Antonio (a jewel of a city), we stopped at the Alamo for a while, the river there is gorgeous. From there, on route 35 we were straight off to LAREDO where we stayed the night.

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: llegue a miami el 25 sali enseguida en minibus para Tampa y en el camino vi varios aligators en los everglades de los indios me fui a lo del amigo piccion la Chiqui me llevo en auto pase un par de dias con ellos y sali en omnibus para beaumont el 27, greyhound no se lo reccomiendo a nadie, llegue a las dos de la tarde del 28 , me fui al hotel y enseguida a por la moto, justo me estaba esperando daniel mattox que pito le habia dicho por telefono donde yo iba a estar, enseguida me entregaron la moto nos fuimos al hotel y al proximo dia el 29 temprano salimos para houston una ciudad impresionante que la pasamos de costado tremendos treboles de carretera hasta de cindo pizos, sseguimos a San Antonio que es una joya de ciudad paramos en el alamo un ratito, la parte del rio es una maravilla.Rajamos para Laredo donde pasamos la noche, ese primer dia de montar me dolia hasta el pelo daniel tiene 25 años y me llevaba alto del suelo

Posted by Hugo Albini at 03:43 AM GMT


On the second day, the 30th, my riding partner Daniel tells me that "He doesn't know how things are done in Australia but in the US they name their bikes.

At first I was tempted to name her 'Kim Bassinger" but after checking my Yamaha V star 1300 from every one of her angles i decided to name her 'Angelina', my alias is MODERNDAYCOWBOY.
Daniel's bike, a Kawasaki klr 650, is called ROY and his alias is MODERNDAYDRIFTER.


We passed Rio Grande into Mexico, named by some confused gringo or a drunk gringo who thought grande meant little because the river was more like a stream.

From Nuevo Laredo we headed to Monterrey and then to Saltillo.
We ate at EL POLLO LOCO, where people eat with their hands. At this point Moderndaydrifter and i became separated so i took towards Concepcion del Oro (mexican route 54) on my own. Not any town of big significance, I booked myself a room and tucked Angelina into the garage opposite the hotel. Being able to access a cyber cafe i let Daniel know my whereabouts. A little while later the Moderndaydrifter appears at my door, he was staying at a hotel nearby and recognised my bike at the garage.

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: segundo dia 30 me dice daniel i don´t know how you do things in australia but here we name our bikes, so pense en la pasamos el rio grande que le habra puesto el nombre algun gringo que se confundio con pequeño o bien alguien que estaba mamado ya que es un hilo de agua mas chico que el san antonio en salto
De ahi nos fuimos a monterrey pasamos por el costado, luego a saltillo que entramos a comer en el pollo loco, la gente come con las manos, ahi nos separamos por un ratito y nos perdimos, asi que me fui solo para concepcion del oro un pueblito chico nada especial me busque un hotel y en almacen de enfrente me dejaron dejar la moto en el garage, me fui al cyber a poner donde estaba a daniel , luego me acoste cansado y al ratito golpearon en la puerta y era daniel que estaba en un hotel a tres puertas del mio y vio la moto mia en el garage
el nombre de montar de el es moderndaydrifter su moto Roy.una kawa klr 650

pasamos el rio grande a nuevo laredo en mexico el dia 30
y ahorita estamos en Tequila una maravilla de pueblito donde visitaremos la fabrica de liquido del mismo nombre.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 04:27 AM GMT
What to expect at the border


On the US side i had not one problem, i wasn't even stopped.

At Immigration in Mexico we paid a $US 22.50 visa plus the $US 39 fee (valid for a month) for importing the bike, which you need to also present bill of sell, passport and license.

In half an hour it was all done the bikes and the riders were legal and ready to keep going


Posted by Hugo Albini at 04:51 AM GMT
Follow us OR join me (invalid now)

My partner has a beacon or tracking device that updates every ten minutes and you can follow the journey as it unfolds at find me

you click on my account and log-in spot service
username: moderndaydrifter
password: klr650

from there click on the tab: messages; select all; show on map.
you can even play around and look up past dates ALSO

If you are around and interested in joining in check out my post on Horizon's unlimited THE HUBB - travellers seeking travellers forum (Central America and South America now! by Hugo317) at JOIN ME

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Daniel tiene un beacon or tracking divice que update cada diez minutos y podes ver el recorrido en la compu, tenes que ir a www.findmespot.com
Clik my account y log in spot service

login name moderndaydrifter
password klr650

Clik messages
click select all
click show on map
y despues empeza a jugar pones el dia o tantos dias para atras como el dia que salimos

Posted by Hugo Albini at 05:04 AM GMT
DAY 3 - Mexico


We left early from Concepcion del Oro en route for Zacatecas we followed this enjoyable route to Guadalajara which is gigantic, the road is curvy and picturesque. We arrived at Tequila a charming town, we lodged at a beautiful spanish style hotel with king bed, Casa Dulce Maria for $350 pesos.
I've now made 1140 miles and loving it, the more i ride Angelina the more she wants me.

We have met lots of people, they approach us and we joke around. On one occasion we had to pay toll on a road and i suggested to the 'muchacha' that bikes should be exempt from toll, she replied cheekily "only if you give me a ride". All in all the people are good. Today we ate at PERROS Y BURROS we had some burritos.
Tomorrow we are hoping to stop by the Tequila factory.

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia tres el 31- salimos de concepcion temprano rumbo a Zacatecas muy lindo la ruta luego seguimos para guadalajara que es gigantesco, el camino lleno de curvas y muy pintoresco, llegamos a Tequila que un pueblito maravilloso estamos en un hotel de primera, Casa Dulce Maria con cama king y todo estylo español por $350 pesos. ya hice mas de 1.140 millas, vamos rebien. la angelina cuando mas la monto mas le gusta, hemos conversado con mucha gente todo el mundo se nos acerca, hacemos bromas, en una carretera paga le dije a la muchacho no te parece que las motos no debian de pagar y me dice toda picarona solamente si me das una vuelta, la gente nos da direccion y en general es gente buena y humilde, hoy fuimos a comer a un lugar que se llama Perros y burros, pues nos comimos unos burritos. mmañana pensamos ir a la fabrica de tequila.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 05:42 AM GMT
DAY 4 - Lots of Tolls


We left Tequila and on our way to Tepic (mexican route 15) upon exit it was 21 pesos then it was 34, a little later 87 pesos and finally 103. A dangerous road, with mountain terrain and traffic coming and going including huge amounts of large trucks.
It was a very tense journey, particularly when passing the vehicles, of course you end up enjoying it all because of the adrenalin rush. Nevertheless, there were some ugly moments.
The scene was lovely, we ended up by passing Tepic and made route to the coast. THE PACIFIC OCEAN, outstanding scenery, fantastic beaches. Puerto Vallarta is spectacular and we stopped here to sleep and eat.
Tomorrow i head south along the coast (mexican route 200) , i'm hoping to make it to Acapulco in two days
vallarta.jpg playa.jpg

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Salimos hoy de mañana dia cuatro de Tequila con rumbo a Tepic ya a la salida 21 pesos
despues 34, despues 87 y 103 , la carretera muy peligrosa va y viene y todo montañoso con un monton de camiones con zorra como de 100 metros de largo un monton de tension para pasarlo, claro que lo difruto y me da un monton de adrenalina me encanta aunque me la vi fea un par de veces, los paisajes maravillosos y como a las dos by pass tepic y llegamos al pacifico, playas de peliculas y al rato llegamos a puerto vallasta, es un lujo, chequea el nombre estroy tan cansado que ni se donde estoy, paramos a comer.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 06:05 AM GMT
February 11, 2008 GMT
DAY 5 - Goodbye Daniel


We left Puerto Vallarta, in perfect weather, surrounded by mountains. The road had many curves and no tolls. My partner Daniel spotted a beach and stayed at the place to watch superball, so we parted and i kept heading south. The coast was magnificent, one beautiful beach after the other, though the sand is not as nice as the ones in Australia. I arrived at Tecoman and stayed at the Hotel Plaza at $412 pesos it has air and pool and most importantly a guard to watch your vehicle. I am getting a little tired of the obstructions along the road, ie speed humps, together with the amount of rubbish it doesn't allow for a smooth ride.

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Sallimos de puerto vallarta, el clima perfecto, camino entre montañas y muhcas curvas, carretera libre no paga por la costa, unos kilometros antes de Manzanillo se quedo daniel en una playa preciosa para ver superball, nos dimos la manos y raje para el sur, todo camino una belleza tras otra playa y mas playa la arena no tan linda como la de ahi. LLegue al hotel Plaza en Tecoman, con aire piscina todo rebien por 412.00 pesos, guardia para los autos y motos.
Los reductores de velocidad, los topes y los vibradores mas la basura en la carretera me estan cansando un poco bastante.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 02:20 AM GMT
DAY 6 - Lots to see on the Road


I left Tecoman the next morning (7:30) and headed towards playa Azul by taking a detour off route 200 and then to ciudad Lazaro Cardenas (not to be confused with lazaro cardenas in Chihuahua, mex.)

I re joined mexican route 200 and arrived at Zihuatanejo to stay at Hotel Bahia where they asked for $400 pesos but after a bit of a whinge they charged me $350. The room has air and there is a safe parking garage closed the whole night.

All along the coastal road (route 200) so far there haven't been any tolls. Through the small villages you see a lot of poverty, and every 20 to 30 kilometres there is a military post, mostly i've just kept riding through, on one occasion they stopped me because according to them i was going too fast. On another occasion they stopped me with the excuse of having to check the bike, but it was more for their own curiosity and a conversation. They all have weapons and are prepared to shoot anyone who does not stop at their request. I asked them what was their role and they answered to stop drug trafficking. I asked if i could take a photograph but was denied.
There are also many signs requesting travellers to stop at the phyto and zoo sanitary, regarding quarantine laws of plants and animals, however there is never anyone on duty.
Petrol costs 7 pesos per litre unleaded and 8.50 super. In small towns petrol is available. They have it stored in bottles and siphon it out with a hose.

There are also all kind of wildlife squirrels, iguanas, tarantulas and many birds. As well as the domesticated donkey.

Sali a las 730 de Tocoman con rumbo a playa Azul- Lazarfo Cardenas y llegue al hotel Bahia en
Zihuatanejo querian 400 pero llore y me lo dejo por 350 con aire bastante bien y con estacionamiento seguro cierran de noche, todo por la 200 carretera libre y por la costa, passe un monton de pueblos, mucha pobreza, cada 20 - 30 klms un puesto militar, me dejaron pasar en todos pero en dos me pararon uno para retarme que me hacian seña que baje la velocidad y yo segun ello alto el suelo, despues del retito me señalo que siguiera, yel otro me revizaron solo los costados pero fue mas bien para ver la moto y hacerme preguntas de donde vienes y adonde vas y eso, todos con metralletas y alguno barricados en bolsas de arenas apuntando para el lado donde uno pasa, les pregunte si podia sacar fotos y no, les pregunte que es lo que buscaban me dijo drogas pero no estaba muy seguro me parece que es algo que le da el gobierno para hacer en vez de tenerlos en las barracas haciendo nada.
Tambien hay carteles que tenes que parar de Fitozoosanitario que no se lo que es y nuncaq hay nadie en los puestos, La gasolina esta a 7.00 el litro de la sin plomo y 8.50 la super, en los pueblos te la venden suelta por decir la tienen en botellas de plasticos te prestan un embudo o ponen una manguerra en e tanque y soplan en el recipiente.
En el camino vi burros, ardillas, iguana o algo del genero, una tarantula cruzando pancha la carretera, y aves un monton

Posted by Hugo Albini at 02:42 AM GMT
DAY 7 - Acapulco


Left early in the morning still on Mexican route 200, lots of curves and still toll free, fortunately the road is a good one, pity the rubbish in particular bags after bags that people throw, then others burn them and create a lot of smoke. It is also pretty difficult to get used to the traffic conditions here where people change lanes without using their blinkers, their methods of giving way are confusing and basically you need to expect the unexpected continuously. Occasionally, there are signs that warn you of changed traffic conditions ahead but mostly there aren't.
To make 220kms to Acapulco it took me 4 and a half hours. The entrance was exhausting and the contrast between luxury and poverty was astounding.
The day was hot so while i was riding along the beach i took my helmet off, got caught by the police who called the commandante, they took my licence and asked i pay 600 pesos for it to be returned. Ended up paying 300 pesos but this little incident meant i had to re think my hotel choice.
So i took route 95, which is a beautiful road, payed two tolls one worth 90 pesos the other 100 pesos and arrived at Chilpancingo.
Stayed at Hotel San Carlos for 200 pesos and parked Angelina in the lobby. A worker brought to my attention that it is the law that tourists are not allowed to be fined in Acapulco.
pulco.JPG aca.JPG acapulco.JPG acapul.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: sali temprano y segui por la carreetera 200 gratis muchas curvas por supuesto pero las carreteras son bastante buenas, una pena la basura que la gente tira bolsas y bolsas, y en los pueblos la queman enfrente de sus casas siempre olor a humo, los topes hay veces que te avizan otra que no, carteles con topes a 100 metros y despues nada o no carteles y te comes cinco medio de corrido, la gente se cambia de linea sin prender el intermitente, cuando quieren que los pases mucho de ellos lo ponen por el lado que tenes que pasarlo y no sabes si vvan a doblar enfrente de ti, hay que tener mucho cuidado y no confiar en las señas de los demas, hoy vi dos perros muertos que es mi temor, pero hasta ahora he tenido suerte no se me cruzaron muchas cosas.
para hacer 220 kms hasta acapulco me costo 4 y media horas la entrada mortal, nunca pense que era tan gigante contraste tremendo de pobreza y lujo, ves ranchitos de lata en el tope de una colina con todo el mar enfrente, era tanto el calor que me saque el casco y cuando iba por las playas en acapulco me paro un policia y al rato llego el comandante, una bulla barbara me sacaron la licencia y me dijeron que tenia que acompañarlos a la carcel donde tenia que pagar mas de 600 pesos para que me entregaran la licencia, al final arregle con 300 de coima, una pena porque ahora estoy en un hotel San Carlos en Chilpancingo por 200 pesos y estascione la moto adentro en el lobby y el tipo me dice que tenia que haberlo acompañado porque es ley que no pueden cobrar multas a los turistas en acapulco, me vine en una carretera para primera casilla 90 pesos segunda 100, un lujo de carretera la 95 cuota, me pasaban como 160 kms por hora desde acapulco que voy en el camino a mexico, doblare antes, ya la gente no es campesina como hasta ahora, todo autos modernos y no te respetan naa

Posted by Hugo Albini at 10:28 AM GMT
February 13, 2008 GMT
Day 8 - The 5th of February

Hilaire Belloc

Today i departed Chilpancingo to Cordoba on Mexican route 95, with tolls totaling $505 pesos, an outrage to tell the truth but i avoid humps and bumps which slow me down and Angelina doesn't like them. I actually made 500kms more than the average. In Cordoba I am staying at a fabulous hotel, the best so far, for $460 pesos with secure parking. My journey today took me past Cuernavaca (not too far from Mexico City), Cuautla and Puebla, which has over a million inhabitants. From Puebla there is an "autopista", like a freeway or highway to VeraCruz, Mexican route 150. Around the area of Fortin de Flores this road (route 150) isn't clearly defined and route 125 along with a few other roads branch off from the autopista, so somewhere i inadvertently diverted and my arrival to cordoba was delayed. Nevertheless, the scenery was sensational all the different villages surrounded by mountains.
This first photo is at tropic of Cancer
elcamino.JPG iglesia.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: dia 8 el 5 de febrero 08

Hoy sali por la 95 carretera paga desde Chipancingo hasta Cordoba donde estoy ahora en un hotel fabuloso el mejor so far por 460.00 pesos con estacionamiento abajo con cuidador, en el medio del centro, en total las carreteras fueron 505.00, un disparate , perome libro de los topes que angelina los odia y avanzo pila casi 500 kms hoy pase por Guarnavaca, Cuautla y Puebla que tiene mas de un millon de hab. no pude encontrar la carretera para Vera Cruz y me costo mas de media hora, el camino de puebla para cordoba, los pueblos en los valles rodeados de nontañas senzacional.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 08:01 AM GMT


I arrived at hotel RITZ in Villahermosa, the night is $390 pesos, with closed and secure parking next door. Its not great but anything better goes for around 1000 pesos, at least it has air con. There are some places for 100 pesos but there is no guarantee Angelina would be safe.
The city is huge over a million people living here.
On the way here i passed through Vera Cruz but decided not to stop, traffic is so disorganised in large cities i try not to hang around for too long. I also passed Cardenas.
Timing was good today, the road wasn't much. There was a lot of wind, at one point it got really dark and cloudy i thought it was going to pour. I've got another 580kms and i get to Chetumal so i hope weather is good tomorrow. Angelina has 2642 miles (4252 kms) on her.
Food is really cheap but everything else is quite expensive, especially in larger cities, more so than the cost of things in the USA.
DSC_0209.JPG rio.JPG hotel.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: dia 9 miercoles 6 feb,08
llegue al hotel ritz en Villahermosa por 390.00 estacionamiento al lado cerrado y con guardia, con techo. el hotel no es gran cosa pero tiene aire y no esta mal los buenos estaban a mas de 1000,
y encontre uno por 100 pero no entraba la moto en el lobby dos viejitas eran las dueñas, muy basico asi que me vine para esta zona de los mercados, la ciudad es gigante mas de un millon, pase por Cardenas, me habian dicho que no era tan grande sufri de calor pila buscando hotel, igual hice buen camino, nada especial en la ruta, mucho viento y despues se nublo y oscureciio pense que se iba a largar a llover, pase cerca de Vera Cruz pero decidi no entrar, el trafico es tan desordenado en las ciudades grandes que hago lo posible para rajar, tengo unos 580 kms para llegar a Chetumal, veremos como esta el tiemmpo , millas en Angelina 2.642
con el viento que habia, jamas habia experimentado esa fuerza
En las ciudades grandes hay maquis y el coronel con sus pollos, sub y casi todas la cadenas americanas y es todo caro tanto o mas que en usa, pero la comida de ellos es rebarata y en los super igual, y comida de paso hacen guizos y cosas de ellos, que yo ni me acerco pero todo por vintenes.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 11:05 AM GMT
DAY 10 - Goodbye Mexico

Charles Dickens

I've arrived in Chetumal at 2:30, left villahermosa at 7.
A long day, along mexican route 186. Went passed Escarcega and got Burger King. There were two tolls of 18 pesos each.
Nothing special except that Angelina and I got soaked as it started to rain.
I am at the hotel casablanca for 300 pesos with fan (with air con its 460 pesos).
I've got Angelina parked AT the door of my room and the hotel is closed up at night. Tomorrow Belize!!!!! Adios Mejico.
roadchet.JPG hotelchet.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 10 miercoles 7,
se terminaron los topes, acabo de llegar a Chetzumal a las 2.30
salii de villahermosa a las 7 un largo dia pase por Escarcega donde comi en burger king, carretera cuota solos dos pàgos de 18.00 pesos cada uno.
nada especial el camino, eso si empezo a llover un par de horas antes de Chet y me moje, y angelina quedo a la miseria de barro no podia ver atraves del parabrizas sucio, saque la cabeza pa el costado
Estoy en el hotel casa Blanca por 300.oo pesos con ventilador con aire querian 460 y estacione la moto enfrente de la puerta y cierran de noche, H.R highly recomended
despues es R y despues es NC
millas en angie 3.006
mañana salgo para Belize y los cayos.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 11:46 AM GMT
February 15, 2008 GMT


I left Chetumal and crossed the bridge, i wasn't allowed to take pictures at the border. Immigration was a quick process, everything was free: visa and importing Angelina, an officer checked the VIN number i double checked made sure as 1 wrong digit would make it difficult at the next border.
1809 kms later on the Northern Highway I arrived at Belize City, there was a litltle incident where i came to a fork in the road and took the wrong road so i did 20 kms in dirt.
Stayed at Hotel Global Village, 12 kms outside of the city, i highly recommend it, in fact it was recommended by someone at horizons unlimited.

The night is 52 belizean dollars (27 US dollars), I will stay here 2 nights as i want to get some snorkeling done. Angelina is staying in the lobby. The City is ok, traffic is terrible the coast however is marvelous and the roads are clean, cleaner than mexico that is. A lot of mixture of people, a bit how you going. The signs are all in Spanish, at the hotel they don't speak Spanish or English i think its mandarin. Somehow we seem to communicate.

border.JPG belize city.JPG

hoy sali de Chetumal, cruce el puente, inmigracion rapido, banjerito para darte de alta la importacion de la moto, no me dejaron sacar fotos de la frontera que esta a solo unos kilometros de Chetzumal, pase el puente la migra unos segundos, la importacion de la moto bastante rapida y todo gratis visa e imp[ortacion, unos de los oficiales miro el numero de vin, yo chequie tambien porque son tantos numberos y letras que pueden cometer un error y a la salida puede haber problemas, llegue al hotel Global Village Hotel 52.00 dolares belicianos y pague por dos noches maniana quiero hacer un poco de snorkling este hotel HR ya estaba en HOrizons dejas la moto adentro del lobby que es gigantesco puerta grandes sin escalera, perfecto para angelina, aunque en el camino en un tenedor agarre el equivocado y me hice como 20 kms por el barro, no me cai por casualida cada pozo super grandes, hasta que encontre la northern highway y llegfue antes de la doce desde chetzumal queda unos 1809 kms, el hotel esta en las afueras a 12 kms, ya fui a la ciudad y no me impresiona para nada, mas de 100,000 hab pero es un caos el trafico total la costa por supuesto maravilla, y la carretera por ahora no es tan sucia como en mex, muchos carteles en espanol, aqui en el hotel no hablan ni ingles ni espaniol, creo que es mandarin, por senias y una mezcla de varios idiomas nos entendemos.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 01:11 AM GMT
DAY 12 - no road today

Spanish Proverb

Angelina had a rest today, I took the local bus into town for 2.50 BD then, from the terminal got a taxi for 6 BD to the water and then a water taxi to caye caulker for 30 BD, return. The island is beautiful and for 27 BD i went snorkeling at three different parts of the island amongst coral, all types of fish, barracudas and mantas. The mantas get real close and the captain lifts them up.
The boat out there takes 45 minutes. To return to the hotel i took a bus from the wharf for 35BD.
leaving.JPG boat.JPG manta.JPG


hoy no toque angelina, hoy me fui en un bus local por 2.50 BD de la terminal un taxi 6.00 BD y de ahi un water taxi ida y vuelta 30.00 BD al cayo Caulker, precioso la isla, de ahi por 27.00 bd nos llevaron a hacer snorkling en tres puntos en los corales, vi de todo tipo de peces un barracuda un monton de mantas que te tocaban y se recostaban el capitan las levantaba, el bote lleva 45 minutos de regreso en el puerto me tome un minibus por 35 BD sl hotel, estoy todo quemado sobre todo la espalda. beso papo

Posted by Hugo Albini at 01:30 AM GMT


After some fun in Belize let's not loose site of our goal, here i come Guatemala!
beach2guay.JPG ontheroad.JPG

Posted by Hugo Albini at 02:30 AM GMT
DAY 13 - 10th FEB


I left Belize at 7 am on the Western Highway, there are speed humps throughout the road i thought i was done with them but there u go. Other than that the road is excellent, as well as being picturesque. It is fairly flat with occasional mountains. Also occasionally you come across blokes with machetes, at first they scare you a bit but now i've gotten used to it. The blokes cut the grass along the highway.
On my journey i went passed Belmopan and San Ignacio, not too far from the border. The petrol in Belize is 9.6 BD per gallon (nearly 4 lts.) of regular.
At the border and the end of western highway, i payed 37.50 BD to leave Belize, i wasn't happy with that. They also took my bike papers. Luckily I wasn't fumigated otherwise i would of had to unpack all my bags, etc.
A few metres later I started the queue to immigrate into Guatemala. $US 2 for a visa and $40 quetzal ($US 5) for Angelina. You also need to leave a copy of licence, passport and motorbike papers which luckily i had available (so organised). All up i spent around half an hour there.
Back on track i started towards Flores in San Andres, Petén Guatemala, However, 30 or 40 kilometres into the journey the road becomes dirt track, with deep holes. Everytime a truck or a 4 x 4 went passed i got sprayed in dust. Just when I was about to pull over and cry, alas the pavement began... but the holes continued. I managed to swerve around most but every third hole I had some type of contact with, i suffered more for Angelina than myself. Finally closer to Flores I turned into Tikal National Park and everything improved. I immediately found a place to stay: Hotel Muelle, 2 nights plus restaurant: 600 quetzal (aprox 78 US). Hotel Muelle provides air con that doesn't work too well, internet that doesn't work, cable TV that also doesnt work, BUT the view of Lake Petén was breathtaking, a masterpiece and i had it from my room on the second floor.
Parking for Angelina was good and secure, no roof, there was a hose there so i gave Angelina a nice bath to the tune of a nearby parrot saying "hola hola"
For 47 US dollars i'll get picked up at the hotel around 4 in the morning to go up to the ruins. At that time you also have the privilege of hearing wild jungle noises.
hotpeten.JPG tika.JPG

En Belize no hay topes pero hay speed bumps, crei que me habia librado de esas cosas. Sali a las 7 a.m y tome la western highway, excellente, estaba todo nublado y empezo a llover, el camino lindo y pintoresco, chato con algunas montañas.En la carretera en mex Belize y guatemala se ven muchachos con machetes que al princiopio asustan un poco pero son trabajadores y es asi como cortan los pastos a los costados de las carreteras. naranjales en el camino
Pase por Belmopan, San Ignacio que esta casi en la frontera,la gasolina en Belize esta la regular a 9.60DB por gallon.Llegue a la frontera en un poco mas de dos horas, inmigracion en belize tuve que pagar 37.50 BD para salir, no es una risa y me sacaron el papel de importacion de la moto. no me fumigaron
menos mal sino tenia que sacar todos los bolsos, segui unos metros mas y hacer cola para la migra en Guatemala dos us para la visa y 40.00 quetzel para Angelina, les deje copia de moto, licencia y pasaporte que ya tenia, me llevo de 20 a 30 minutos todo. Sali para Flores que esta cerca de las ruinas mayas de tikal y en los proximos 20...'25 millas outie y rabie camino de tierra con pozos de grandes profundidades, cuando me cruzaba con un camion o una 4 x 4 me pasaba quedaba bañado en polvo, cuando iba a parar a ponerme a llorar al costado de la carretera, alas llegue al pavimento, lleno de pozos tambien pero al menos no tanto polvo, desviaba un pozo y desviaba otro pero el tercero me la mascaba de lleno, sufri y mas por Angelina, al final cerca de Flores torci para el parque natcional de Tikal y ahi todo mejoro, enseguida encontre un hotel hotel Muelle y restaurant dos noches por 600.00 Q
con aire que no andaba muy bien, con internet que no andaba y con cable para la tele que no andaba, pero la vista que tenia
del lago Peten de mi cuarto a pocos metros del agua espectacular, estaba en el segundo pizo y enfrente majestuosamente ese hermoso lago.
Por 47.00 US me pasan a buscar mañana a las 3.50 am para ir a ver las ruinas y sentir los animales en la selva, estacionamiento bueno y seguro sin techo habia una mangerra cerca y le di flor de lavada a angelina que lo necesitaba, al lado mientres lavaba la moto habia un loro continuamente diciendo hola hola.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 02:31 AM GMT
February 16, 2008 GMT
DAY 14 - TIKAL - Guatemala


FACT: Guatemala, is culturally the richest country in Central America. Half the population is Mayan and most continue to practice their beliefs and dialects which are over 20 kinds.
TIKAL, is the biggest excavation of its kind in America and it continues to be a mystery as to why it had been abandoned over 1000 years ago and rapidly disappeared into the jungle.

As mentioned we left the hotel to Tikal at 4 am, the group was made of 5 tourists and the chauffer "Beto". In less than half an hour we were there. I was the only one without a torch, we had to climb up to the lookout and wait silently for day break (sunrise). There were many wildlife noises, monkeys, birds. There was a good shot of temple 4, i waited a bit to get a clear shot but the fog came down and i missed it. Temple 4 is the tallest building and it is the one used in Star Wars.
There were several groups so they divided the groups into the english tour and the spanish tour, wrong choice the guide was a bore and monotonous. we saw nearly all of the ruins, the jungle was fascinating a lot of people were fascinated by the ruins but i don't seem to be excited by a lot of rocks put together, i preferred the jungle. By the end i was exhausted from all the stepping up and down.
back at the hotel i went on the internet, ate fried chicken with lots of salt and got some food to take to my room, had a siesta, woke up got ready for the next day and went back to sleep.
tikal1.JPG tikal2.JPG tikal3.JPG

Guatemala es culturalmente el pais mas rico en CA, la mitad de la poblacion es maya y la mayoria sigue practicando sus creencias con sus 20 o mas lenguas.
Tikal es la excavacion mas grande en las americas, sigue siendo un misterio porque fue abandonada mas de 1.000 años y abrazada rapidamente por la selva.
Dia 14 Lunes 11

Salimos antes de las 4 Beto el chauffer y cinco de nosotros
en 25 minutos llegamos alparque, fui el unico que no lleve linterna y de ahi a caminar pa arriba a un mirador donde en silencio a esperar el amanecer y el ruidos de los bichos, nos sentamos en unas gradas, y al rato empezaron los monos que parecian leopardos, los pajaros, empezo a aclarar y habia una toma barbara del templo 4 pero espere que aclarara un poco mas pero empezo una neblina y desaparecio todo, el 4 es el mas alto y que utilizaron en star war.
habia varios grupos y nos separaron los e ingle y español, yo elegi en español y me clave el guia mas aburridor y monotono,vimos la mayoria de las ruinas, la selva fantastica y terminamos en la plaza principal que hay ruinas para todas direcciones, la gente enloquecida, yo no puedo ver la fascinacion con un monton de piedras amontonadas.
Fui al internet, comi pollo frito con mucha sal y compre comida para llevar al hotel, me dormi una siesta, me levante, arregle todo para mañana y me acoste

Posted by Hugo Albini at 06:08 AM GMT


Left early from the hotel, a beautiful day to start, went passed Rio Dulce, gorgeous town, then passed Morales and Progreso. Changed the oil and filter on Angelina, i supplied the filter but the oil and labour was 230 Quetzal
Also passed the City of Guatemala, huge just huge, beautifully located amongst mountains and geographically stunning.
The journey had some ugly moments, got rained on, winds were strong, lots of curves and a truck overtaking another sent Angelina and i off the road. But the road surface is good and the scenery is awesome, Guatemala is a beautiful country.
After 11 hours i reached a lovely hotel. Las Camelias Inn in Antigua Guatemala. 2 nights, breakfast, internet and cable (all working) $US80. Angelina stayed in a secure parking station next door.
I ate at the nearby restaurant Ni Fu Ni Fa, Argentinian. The doorman had a rifle all up meat, salad and the national GATO beer went for 135 Quetzal.
The change in height is affecting me, my ears get blocked and i feel slightly unbalanced.


Sali temprano del hotel, un dia muy lindo cuando empece, pase popr Rio Dulce precioso la aldea o ciudad, por Morales, el Progreso que unos kilometros antes le cambie la aceite y filtro a la moto, el filtro era mio, entre trabajo y oil 230.00Q.
pase por Guatemala City gigantesca entre montañas, muy bonito geograficamente y despues de 11 horas llegue a este hotel amoroso Las Camelias Inn por dos noches con desayuno e internet mas cable y todo anda 80.00 US estacionamiento cerrado al lado del hotel. En el camino me tiraron con todo, viento lluvia curvas peligrosas un par de ellas me la vi feo y casi iedo a angelina, un camion en mi senda pasando a otro que tuve que tirarme para el borde, no muchos topes que aqui le llaman altos tumultos, la carretera buena y las vistas muy pero muy bonitas, guatemala es un pais hermoso.fui a cenar al lado del hotel, en la puerta un guardia con una escopeta,
restaurant argentino que se llama Ni Fu Ni Fa me comi un vacio con bastante ensalada bajado con una Gato cerveza guatemala
por solo 135.00 Q
Las alturas y bajadas me afectn un poco se me tapan los oidos se me destapan y me dejan un poco inestable.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 07:01 AM GMT
DAY 16 - sight seeing in Antigua


FACT: Antigua Guatemala was once known as Santiago de Caballeros de Guatemal, founded in 1543 by Spaniards. At its peak it lasted 200 years as the capital of all of Central America. In 1773 several earthquakes destroyed the city and the capital was relocated to todays Guatemala city. Because it was abandoned not much repair took place and so the city maintained its original characteristics.

After a good breakfast i took off, by foot, to do some sight seeing of Antigua. Every second house is a museum most have huge patios with fountains, lots of flowers gardens and more flowers on the roof, windows. All the restaurants, hotels and businesses keep the baroque look of the colonials. Doors and windows are made of pure wood nicely engraved. Lots of private spanish tuition, many gringos around. Surrounded by the three volcanoes: "del agua", "del fuego" (an active volcano, which regularly puffs out smoke) and "Acatenango" (last erupted 1972), Antigua is a jewel and I loved everything about the place.
I also managed, for 125 Quetzal, to get some flags on Angelina.
Tomorrow to EL SALVADOR.

PHOTOS: local woman, Cathedral in Antigua, street with volcano del agua behind, getting flag of Salto and aboriginal australian put on bike volcanoes del fuego and acatenango behind
local.JPG cathantigua.JPG delagua.JPG flavol.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 16 miercoles 13

Antigua Guatemala, se llamaba Santiago de Caballeros de Guatemal Fundada en 1543 por los españoles por unos 200 años fue la capital de todo CA y del estado de chiapas en mex
fue una de las tres grandes ciudades de la epoca con mex y lima.
en 1773 varios terremotos destruyeron la ciudad y la relocalizaron donde es guatemala city hoy. como fue abandonada y solo la gente pobre quedo sin poder cambiar solo reparar algo, la ciudad mantuvo su caracter.
Despues de comer un buen desayuno americano sali a recorrer antigua a pie, cada casa es un museo, la mayoria con grandes patios con fuentes con agua y flores y mas flores en las ventanas en los techos, todos los restaurantes, negocios hoteles tienen el sentido de colonial, las puertas ventanas todo de madera macisa y buena, talladas, muchas escuelas particulares que enseñan español, hay mucho gringos haciendo cursos. Rodeada por volcan del agua, colcan del fuego y Acatenan es una joya, me gusto todo en antigua.
Tmbien por 125,00 Q me hicieron para colocar las bnderas en angelina, todo bien, mañana hasta El Salvador

Posted by Hugo Albini at 07:37 AM GMT
A little bit more


Some more photos in Antigua
Angelina and I at the shop where the flags were put on her.
Me at the Arc of Santa Catarina, in Antigua with volcano in background
taller band.JPG cater.JPG arco.JPG

Posted by Hugo Albini at 08:28 AM GMT
DAY 17 - Valentines Day in El Slavador


After breakfast, i left the hotel around 8am passing thru Cuidad Vieja, Escuintla and Taxisto and the I arrived at the border.
At immigration I offered to declare Angelina, but they said it was all good and let me continue thru. Then as i was crossing the international bridge i was stopped by the military, they asked for the bike papers, after telling them i hadn't stopped i started showing all my papers i had. but they wanted the papers showing exit time from guatemala.
Some metres ahead i was stopped again for my passport, all ok continue they said.
When i finished crossing the bridge I stop to take a photo of the 'Welcome to El Salvador' sign and was approached by people wanting to change money denominations and offer their help with immigration papers. I was told I would have to declare and import the bike. So I go to immigration and the real drama begins, they wanted photocopies of papers, which i had but they wanted to make their own, they played me around for about an hour or so, sent me left right and center, queued me with the truckies, checked Angelina...all free except for the copies. Finally, i begin towards San Salvador when i get stopped and asked for papers, after giving him a blatant look which said everything i was ok to go but not before paying $US5 to City Council.
FACT: In El Salvador they use US dollars, miles and pounds. It is the smallest country in Central America and it is known as the volcano country

The road isn't bad, but a lot of people walk on the roadside along with all kinds of animals, cows, dogs, etc. There are also many vultures on the road eating dumped rubbish. Lots of poverty everywhere.
A few kms, before arriving to San Salvador there is a huge sign to a three lane highway, two lanes were closed but i took the highway all the same, no one else was on the highway and suddenly it came to an end. The workers there told me to exit to the right and cross a bridge so i do and just before reaching the bridge CLOSED, several workers there rudely told me to take the left road (at the sign) not the highway i rudely questioned why the highway was not closed from the beginning. So i went back, finally i arrive at the capital which is chaotic. The main road is plagued with buses and market stalls along the roadside. People lunge out in front of you, i couldn't find a hotel...
I was not impressed so i decided to carry on towards Honduras. A motorbike enthusiast guided me out of the city and that is how i came to stay at Apopa. I am at Hotel El Principe for $14 dollars, as i look at the map i am actually further from the road to Honduras this way than if i had taken another exit at San Salvador. The country has beautiful landscape but everything is so badly organised and the poverty so grand that i was left with an ill feeling of the place.

volElSal.JPG breakfast.JPG

Sali despues de desayunar en el hotel a las 8 am pase por la Ciudad Vieja, Escuinta, Taxisto que esta cerca de la frontera pase inmigracion en guatemala, pregunte para dar de alta la moto y me dijeron que siga que todo bien, empiezo a pasar camiones en el puente internacional y me para un milico, papeles de la moto me pide, le dije no pase por aduana en El salvador como voy a tener papeles, le empece a mostrar todo lo que tenia por orden en mi carpeta y queria el de guate para escribir la hora que pase, unos metros mas me paran pasaporte, todo bien me dice siga, pregunte por la importacion de la moto, no no todo bien siga buen viaje, cuando termino el puente y vi el cartel de bienvenido a El Salvador pare a sacar un foto y se me acercaron para cambiar plata y ayudarte hacer los papeles, me dicen mira que tenes que hacer la importacion en la aduana, voy por las dudas y empezo el drama que necesito fotocopias de lo de siempre le digo las tengo, pasaporte licencia compra de la moto, tuve que sacar fotocopia del papel que me pusieron la hora, despues ir a una oficina a dar de alta la moto, despues volver, hice lo que me dijo, volvi me hizo esperar como una hora, me saque los pantalones de montar y me puse uno comun ahi enfrente de todos el calor ya no aguantaba, vino con los papeles chequearon la moto el vin number
me dieron los papeles ir a la otra oficina y con esos papeles hacer la entrada a El salvador, tuve que hacer cola con los camioneros, todo gratis menos las fotocopias que tenes que hacerla despues que te sellan los papeles un dolar.
Guardo todo en la mochila, salgo para la capital San Salvador me paran me piden los papeles de la moto le di una mirada que se dio cuenta, le entregue los papeles y uno allado cobrandome 5 dolares para la Alcaldia Municipal de El Salvador. La carretera no esta muy mal pero la gente camina por los costados niños que van a la escuela, aldeas de tanto en tanto y siempre algo en la carretera, vacas, perros
gente, buitres a los costados comiendo de la basura, mucha pobreza.
En El Salvador usan el dollar americano, millas y libras, es el pais mas chico de CA y le llaman el pais de los volcanos, unos kilometros antes de llegar a San Salvador un tremendo cartel en una carretera de tres vias para cada lado San Salvador estaba cerrada en dos lineas pero la tome igual, iba solo y de repente se termino la carretera, tomo para atras, unos trabajadores me dijeron que saliera a la derecha y pasara por el puente, lo hago antes de llegar al puente cerrada y varios trabajadores a los gritos comigo que volviera por la senda de la izquierda, le grite porque no cierran la entrada, volvi y regrese por la via encontra, al final entre en esa ciudad que es un caos la principal para el centro lleno de omnibus y mercados a los costados la gente se te tira adelante, no encontraba hoteles, asi que me cayo tan mal que decidi seguir para honduras un motoquero me llevo a la salida y vine a dar es este pueblo unos kms de Apopa y estoy en un motel de cita Auto hotel El Princip2 por 14 dolares, la moto abajo con cortina y seguridad, mirando en el mapa me queda mucho mas lejos por este lado, Un pais con vistas muy lindas pero todo tan mal organizado y pobre que me cayo mal.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 08:34 AM GMT
DAY 18 - Honduras


I left Apopa, pre-dawn I took the PANAMERICANA east all the way to San Miguel and then towards the border to El Amatillo.
The journey was picturesque. As soon as I passed into Honduras, via the bridge, the biggest bureaucratic dilemmas began. Almost three hours at immigration and countless toing and froing between all the offices.
At each office you knock at the door and the cleric takes your papers and slams the door back in your face some time later they emerge with your papers, photocopies and photocopies which resulted in having to pay $535 Lempiras ($US28) and it has to be in Lempiras they do not accept any other denomination, then you have to photocopy proof of payment. During this time my baggage and Angelina were mostly out of sight and i was only able to keep an occasional eye on them.
I also gave money ($US5) to someone so they would assist me in my transactions, without him it is impossible to know exactly what is required and how to do it next, he was essential but i never dared give him my original documents. No one at immigration was helpful. Finally, i was able to continue, not without first telling them what i thought of their system.
The road to the capital Tegucigalpa, which no one is able to tell me what language it is in or its meaning, is mountainous and beautiful. Tremendous poverty all around. The capital city is likeable and i am staying at Hotel Alameda with 4 star rating for $US54, in my opinion first class place. It has pool, internet and the room is bliss. After immigration today and the rough wind throwing Angelina around...i deserve it. I went to eat chicken with baked potato and some juice for 55 Lempiras ($US3).
Angelina has 4007 miles on her (aprox 6450 kms).

second photo is of Hondurian capital city Tegucigalpa (which means silver hills, derived from the Nahuatl dialect, Aztecan).
angehond.JPG tegu.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 18 viernes 15
Sali de APOPA AUN OSCURO ANTES DE LAS 6 tome la panamericana este hasta San Miguel
y despues tome para la frontera El Amatillo, el viaje bien pintoresco, pase a Honduras por un puente y empezo la burocracia mas grande, estuve casi tres horas en cuatro oficinas y unas tres veces en cada una, no adentro porque tenes que golpear viene un mujer te saca los papeles de la mano y te cierra la puerta en la cara, unos 20 hojas de pàpeles fueran creadas y numerosas entradas en las computadoras,
te pone un sello en el pasaporte y tenes que ir a sacar fotocopias, cada hoja de papel fotocopias ir a pagar diez dollares alla, 25 dol en el otro lado, y en el banco no aceptan dolares hay que salir comprar Lempiras y volver a pagar 535.00 Lempiras pero para que te den el recibo tenes que ir afuera a sacar mas fotocopias de los papeles que dicen que pagastes. mas 5 dol que le di a la persona que me ayudo es imposible de hacerlo solo, porque te dan los papeles y no te dicen lo proximo, es imposible de describir.
Al final me fui, les dije lo que pensaba de ellos por supuesto, la moto habia quedado con los bolsos solo podia mirarla de a ratos con un monton de gente, vendedores cambiadores de dinero,no tocaron nada, al llegar me rodearon como veinte que querian hacerme los papeles con su nombre y fotos colgadas del cuello como que fueran oficiales, pero es preferible pagarles, igual yo nunca le daba los documentos al que me ayudo.
El camino a Tegucigalpa, que nadie sabe en que idioma o que quiere decir, montañozo y hermoso, una pobreza tremenda las aldeas chicas le llaman caserios tal, la ciuda me cayo bastante bien y estoy en el hotel ALAMEDA DE 4 ESTRELLAS para mi de primera por 54 dol
con internet piscina y el cuarto un lujo, pero hoy me lo merezco, mucho viento en el camino y tuve que luchar con la Angelina, Hay Tumulos pero no muchos en ves de cemento con de metal bolitas una al lado de otra para que bajes la velocidad. me fui a comer un pollito con papas al horno y un jugo de algo que ya me olvide, por 55 lempiras. Angelina marca 4.007 millas, besito papo

Posted by Hugo Albini at 08:35 AM GMT
February 19, 2008 GMT
DAY 19 - Nicaragua


Cartel.JPGLeft the hotel around 7:30 the journey was mountainous and pretty. The day was overcast with occasional showers. I went through the towns of Danli and El Paraiso before arriving at the border in Las Manos. There were a lot of trucks queued up waiting the o.k from immigration, i overtook them all and started on the paperwork, with the help of a youth that was around. There are many people offering to either polish boots, help with immigration, look after your bike while your in the office. I had a few snicker bars in my pocket and handed them out to them. To my surprise everything was done pretty quickly, an hour in total.
I needed two copies of passport, payed 1 month insurance for Ange - $US12, Immigration fees $US3, importing the bike is free and the immigration visa was 152 cordobas ($US8) and for a receipt you need to pay $US5, and i gave the guy helping me 100 cordobas ($US5 aprox)
The road to Managua is constantly populated with various villages, throughout and the inhabitants are friendly.
I passed a motorcade of bikes who apparently were headed to San Juan for a Harley reunion. We signalled at each other through horn tooting and light switching.
40 kms before Managua i saw a bloke about my age with his bike parked along the road i was on, he was under a tree resting and reading. I didn't stop but i regretted not having had a chat. Further along when i did stop i waited 15 minutes to see if he would come along but he didn't, so i continued to the Lake of Managua-or Xolotlan.
Here at Managua I am staying at Hotel El Almendro for $US73.60 with breakfast. A little pricey for my taste but everything is first class, naturally. Apparently, these kinds of prices is what to expect in this city, the GST is 15%. The hotel is not much to look at from the outside but inside it is fabulous, Angelina is taken care by high security. In nearly every city security is second nature, many guards carry rifles or machine guns. Small businesses do their transactions through grates.
We have returned to the metric system, and regular petrol costs 19 coronas for the lt.
At the hotel they charge $US3 to use the internet so i gave it a miss. I went for a walk to a shopping centre nearby, it was luxurious a huge and sad contrast to the poverty outside.
PHOTOS: 1 - Ange & I at El Almendro Hotel, 2 - Cathedral in Managua, 3&4 Houses right in the middle of the city of Managua.
Hotel in Managua.JPG Catedral vieja,Managua.JPG
En pleno Centro de Managua.JPG Managua-1.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 19, siendo un Sabado 16 de Feb
Desayune en el hotel y sali despacio, no habia mucho trafico a las 7.30 camino montañoso lindo, pase por Danli, El Paraiso y a los pocos kms frontera Las Manos, habia colas y colas de camiones esperando el o.k de la aduana, los pase a todos y llegue a empezar los tramites para mi sorpresa fue bastante rapido una hora todo y me ayudo un muchacho, varios de ellos querian lustrarme las botas cuidarme la moto ayudarme con los papeles, tenia un monton de snickers de los chico en el bolsillo y le di uno a cada uno. Desde que sali nublado y lloviendo de a ratos. tuve que sacar dos veces fotos copias Del pasaporte despues que me fecharon y de importacion demoraria de la moto pague seguro por un mes 12 us servicio de inmigracion 3 us me dieron un recibo por dos. la importacion es gratis y la visa pague 152 Cordobas, me dieron un recibo por 5 us le di al muchacho 100 cordobas
Me olvidaba al salir de Tegucigalpa me pararon los milicos dos me pedian licencia y papeles de la moto el otro con una ametralladora.
El camino a Managua lleno de pueblos, la gente simpatica, me pase con un monton de motoqueros como yo, cambio de luces, bocina y saludos con las manos aparentemente hay una reunion de harley´s en san juan
Unos 40 kms antes de Managua vi a un motoquero abajo de un arbol leyendo un libro, viejo como yo, la moto apuntando mi camino, no pare ya que tenia que dar vuelta, pero me arrepenti, no haber vuelto y saludarlo, mas adelante pare y y espere por 15 minutos y nada, segui y empece a ver el lago de Managua Xolotlan, estoy en el hotel El Almendro por 73.60 us con desayuno, muy caro para recomendarlo, todo de primera por supuesto mucho para mi.
parece que son los precios en esta ciudad el iva es de 15 por ciento, el hotel no dice mucho de afuera pero es fabuloso, la moto adentro super seguro. Casi en todas las ciudades de CA todos los comercios tienen seguridad y muchos de ellos con escopetas o ametralladoras en las puertas, los negocios chicos es todo atraves de rejas,
volvimos a litros y kms gasolina regular 19 coronas el litro. no pude escribir aqui en el hotel quieren 3 us la hora
Fui a comer a un shopping center caminando a tres cuadras, un lujo todo nada que ver con la pobraza que hay afuera

Posted by Hugo Albini at 11:31 PM GMT
February 20, 2008 GMT
DAY 20 - Nicaragua to Costa Rica - Immigration Pain


Before joining the road again, i took a bit of a ride around the city, visited the old cathedral and the port on the lake. I wasn't too impressed so i started towards Granada a colonial town similar to Antigua but poorer. Then i took to Lake Nicaragua-Cocibolca It is huge but, i didn't like it much the water is dirty and it is not taken care of. I continued to Rivas, the road at first was bad. I got stopped by the police, there were three of them, they asked me about my blinkers, do they work? I said everything on Angelina is new and works. Then they asked why i didn't use it at the roundabout? I answered because i went straight thru i didn't turn. So they took a look at my papers, once they realised they couldn't get a cordoba out of me they let me continue on. Passed Rivas and then reached the border at Peñas Blancas.
At the border i was surrounded by about 20 men offering to do the paperwork, they made me dizzy so i didn't talk to any. A little kid pointed to where i had to go and pay, so first i paid $US1 for council fee they gave me a receipt and off i went until the next post where i had to hand in the receipt and they signed the motorbike papers and sent me through to immigration, all the while this kid was pointing out the way because there are no signs, and there are all these buildings around and no one has a clue, traffic all over the place. I handed in my passport and it was $US2 for exit and entry. Next door i handed in my papers for importing the bike, i then had to get photocopies of the papers, get them signed so i went looking for an official that would do it, found a woman but she was to busy making out with her boyfriend, so the kid called a policeman riding by who signed the papers without a second thought. Gave the kid $US1 and off i went. About a km. later the zoo sanitary which charges 1247 colones ($US2.50) to fumigate. At immigration in Costa Rica there were hundreds of people waiting to get on a bus, so it was crowded. I hand in my passport get it stamped and off to the next office for the bike. I needed photocopy of the stamp in the passport, photocopy of the passport, licence and i needed to pay for insurance (compulsory) and provide a copy of this. 7890 colones for the insurance ($US17). As i didn't have enough i needed to get to the bank (next door) however i had to leave the passport while the lady made up the insurance, and of course when i go to trade the currency i was asked for the passport. Thankfully the clerk accepted one of the photocopies and i was off to pay the insurance. Importing the bike was free however the officer went to check the bike and saw that the licence plate was made of carton so he only allowed me to stay in Costa Rica for 2 days, i asked for 3 and he gave in. Apparently Costa Rica does not accept carton plates.
Oh but it does not end there... the officer mentioned that up the road i had to present all these documents so i left, as did a couple from the US in their 4x4. We arrive at the place and hand it all in, "No, sorry you need to get these validated at the office such", which we had just gone passed. So back we go...I saw a building so i went in and there was a young bloke listening to music, so i show my papers and he points to the building across. I go there and there is no one so i go next door and a lady is on her cell and she points to the next desk, so we wait. Finally she hangs up and attends to us.
After about an hour and a half i start towards San Jose. The road is good, no rubbish or people walking on the road. I went passed several villages and towns. About 100 kms from San Jose the traffic gets really bad, congested. As if that wasn't bad enough it begins to rain, i take refuge at a petrol station and find another 10 bikies there. They were from San Jose and invited me to join them. But i was beat so they guided me towards a hotel, i arrived soaked at Hotel Las Castañuelas in the town of Esparza for $US20, basic but Angelina is in the lobby.

Photo: 1 - On the road again, 2 - Granada, Nicaragua
On The Road again.JPG Granada,Nicaragua.JPG


Despues de comer el buffet desyuno a las 7 sali a dar una vuelta por la ciudad, la catedral vieja, nueva el puerto de Managua en el lago, no me impresiono nada y sali despacio para Granada, ciudad colonial, calor desde que sali, hora y algo llegue linda una prima pobre de Antigua, saque unas fotos y me fui al lago que esta al lado de la ciudad, lago >Nicaragua, Cocibolca, gigantesco, no me gusto nada, agua sucia, olas y todo mal cuidado. Segui para Rivas, mala la carretera al principio, pase por Rivas y enseguida llegue a la frontera Peñas Blancas, antes de Rivas me paro la policia, tres de ellos, no anda el señalero me pregunto, si todo nuevo todo bien, y porque no lo puso me dijo era una rotonda, porque iba a seguir de largo le conteste, no lquedo muy conforme pero despues de pedirme y mirar todos los documentos vio que no podia sacarme un cordoba y me dejaron ir.
En la frontera me pararon y rodearon como 20 muchachos y hombres para hacerme los papeles. me marearon y o les hable a ninguno, un niño me dijo tenes que pagar un dollar ahi, fui pague por la alcaldia 1 us
me dieron un recibo, sali en la moto a otra parada entregue el recibo y me firmaron los papeles de la moto, me mandaron para adelante a la migra y el niño señalandome el camino porque no hay nada marcado, pequeños edificios por todas partes y nadie sabe nada, camiones y autos por todas partes, entramos a un edificio entregue el pasaporte en Nicaragua, dos dollares por marcarlo salida y entrada a costa rica, en la casilla de al lado entregue los papeles para dar de alta la importacion despues de sacar fotocopias de ir afuera buscar a un oficial de aduana que me firmara, era un mujer y estaba haciendo noviio el loco la tenia bien apretada, de ahi a buscar a un policia, el niño paro a uno que pasaba en moto y me firmo sin mirar nada, le di un dollar al niño y sali para costa rica preguntando, como a un km me paran, ya en c.r Salud animal (fumigacion) 1.247.00 colones le di 3 us y me dio un cambito, de ahi me mandaron o mas bien pregunte para ir a inmigracion, voy a una oficina, afuera cientos de personas esperando para tomar omnibus entrego el pasaporte me sellan y para otra oficina por la moto, necesita fotocopias del sello del pasaporte, del pasaporte, licencia y tiene que pagar seguro obligatorio, sacar fotocipias y traer, seguro 7.890.00 colones, unos 17 us
tuve que salir ir al banco mientras ella me hacia el seguro le deje el pasaporte por supuesto, llego al banco que estaba al lado y para cambiar 50 us necesitaba el pasaporte menos mal que se conformo con una de mis copias.Volvi pague el seguro y regrese con todas lo que me pidieron, tuve que llenar la importacion yo, es gratis, fue conmigo a ver a la moto, matricula de carton no se aceptan en C:R me queria dar solo dos dias le pedi tres y me los dio.
Te van a pedir a la salida todo esto me dijo, Raje con una pareja de americanos en 4x4 retirados, nos paran a un kms o algo asi le doy todos los papeles me dice no, tenes que ir a una oficina que recien la pasastes y validar todo eso, pa atras que fui con los gringos siguiendome, vi un edificio y entre habia un muchacho en una oficina escuchando musica le mostre los papeles y me señalo enfrente voy a enfrente y nadie, voy a la de al lado y una mujer en el telefono celular señalandome para al lado, esperamos y esperamos al rato dejo el telefono y vino a ayudarnos, me pido todos los originales, mas antipatica que nada y a los 5 minutos me despedi de los gringos y raje. me volvio a parar el que me mando pa atras le di todo lo que tenia y me saco un papelito y adios.
un poco mas de una hora medio, sali para San Jose, elñ camino bueno, no hay basura o gente caminado, buscando leña. pase por varios pueblos mucho trafico unos cien kms antes de san jose, todo apilado el trafico y empezo a llover me meti en una gasolinera que habia como diez motoqueros, eran de san jose y me invitaron a viajar con ellos, les agradeci pero estaba muy cansado, me mandaron a un hotel a dos cuadras, llegue empapado y aqui estoy en un pueblo Esparza, hotel Castañuelas por 20 us Basico pero la moto en el lobby.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 12:25 AM GMT
February 21, 2008 GMT
DAY 21 - Costa Rica

Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) British

Left early on a cloudy Monday 18th of February, towards San Jose. Once again a lot of traffic on the PanAmerican Highway, I ended up in a place called Alajuela passed it and kept going another 27 kms towards Volcan Poas. Lots of curves but beautiful scenery. Taking my time i eventually arrived at the national park. entry fee for foreigners = $US10 and parking 300 colones. From there walked to the craters mouth, awesome, and then i made the error of continuing on to see Lake Botos. I walked, was sweating all the way up to the 2600 mts high, little lake. A photo and back down towards San Jose.
In San Jose there was sooo much traffic. Went passed the city took a few pics and then headed out towards the pacific ocean. Traffic and curves so much of it, i was going at 20kms/hr and the suddenly it opened up and i was able to start a faster, smoother ride... and there it was the pacific ocean. As i was arriving it started to rain, i couldn't see a thing but i kept going soaked, the electric storm gave me a bit of a scare. Along the coast i passed many beaches, Jaco Beach is in photo with the mexican. I like many aspects of Costa Rica, the economy is far superior than in any of the other neighbouring countries.
I wanted to arrive at Quepos but had to stop before it. Stayed at Hotel Don Camino in a place called Parrita, very nice for 11600 colones ($US23), good price. Highly recommended. I got a room at first where the air wasn't working but i was changed without hesitation. Angelina safe and secure behind the restaurant and undercover. I went to eat and left the door open for two hours, no one touched a thing.
Crater volcan Poez,C.Rica.JPG Laguna Botos. C.Rica.JPG Con un Mex playa Jaco,CR.JPG


Sali temprano, nublado con rumbo a San jose, mucho trafico en la panamericana, sali a un pueblo Alajuela lo pase y segui unos 27 kms mas para llegar al Volcan Poas, muchas curvas pero muy pintoresco, despacio llegue al parque entrada para extranjeros 10 us estacionamiento 300colones de ahi a caminar hasta la boca o crater del poas
mujy impresionante y despues cometi el error de seguir caminado para ver laguna Botos camine y sude hasta los 2.600 metros de altura , una lagunita, fotos y pa tras, derecho para san jose y el lcentro un trafico de demonios, me gusto mucho todo ne c.rica, la economia es superior a todo el resto, las calles en la capital chicas semaforos y mas semaforos, saque unos fotos y empece bañado en traspiracion, agarre para el norte otra vez por donde habia venido que me habia recomendado uno en el volcan, pase el aeropuerto y torci para el pacifico, a 20 kms por hora curvas y auto y camiones todo el camino por una hora o mas despues se abrio y empece a caminar enseguida vi el pacifico y empezo a llover , no veia nada pero segui empapado a los 15 minutos se despejo y paro de llover, una tormente electrica que me asusto un poco, tome la costanera sur.
Antes de llegar a San jose pague 100 colones de toll y cuando regrese 50.
pase por un monton de playas, Jaco que esta en la foto con el mex., queria llegar a Quepos pero pare antes en el hotel Don Camino muy lindo por 11.600 colones bien barato H:R, al final no funcionaba el aire y me cambiaron de pieza, la moto segura en el fondo del restaurante bajo techo juntos con los casilleros de cerveza, me fui a comer y deje la puerta abierta, nadie toco nada por dos horas, en el pueblo Parritas, le llaman cabinas a las piezas no es hotel, nadie sabe la diferencia.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 08:59 AM GMT
DAY 22 - Meeting a companion - Tuesday 19th FEB


It is midday and i am in this beautiful hotel "Hotel Andrea" with "Restaurant Andrea" for 15479 colones ($US31). Angelina is staying opposite my room with constant security guard, i gave her a quick wash. I am at 40 kms from the border with Panama in a small town called Neily. I decided to go into Panama tomorrow because after i left and passed Quepos (nothing much there) the trip was done in first and second gear due to the terrible road conditions; dirt, stones, holes, i cursed the bloke who suggested this road. It took me 3 hours to get to the better road with the beautiful beaches and lovely scenery.
Along all of the roads in Costa Rica you can find stands selling exotic and tasteful fruit, very affordable.
Angelina has 4811 miles on her, in Panama i will give her a service. My hands are numb from the clutch and accelerator. You wouldn't believe but i was having lunch with my Costa Rican imperial beer when all of a sudden a bloke arrives on his bike. It was the bloke I had passed before Managua reading under the tree. His name:Shorty and he is a Kiwi (from New Zealand). I am in room 14 he's in 45, we had a chat it is possible we will cross the border together.
C.Rica camino a Costa Azul.JPG DSC_0596.JPG


Es de mediodia y estoy en un hermoso hotel, Hotel Andrea y Restaurante Andrea por 15.479 colones, la moto enfrente de mi pieza, guadia de noche, le di una lavada a la moto por arriba, estoy a unos 40 kms de la frontera con panama en un pueblo que se llama Ciudad Neilly, decidi pasar la frontera mañana, ya que hoy sali pase por Quepos, una nada, y los primeros 40 kms los tuve que hacer en primera y segunda, barro, tierra, pedrugullo, pozos, dia nublado, maldeci al muchacho que me recomendo esta ruta, me llevo tres horas llegar a la carretera buena de la costa azul, lindas playas y paisajes, la arena sigue fea.
Por toda las carreteras en CA hay puesto mesas o en el suelo, melones sandias bananas platanos mangos etc todo exquisito y baratisimo.
Millas en Angelina 4.811 llena de barro pobrecita, en panama le hare un buen servicio, me quedaron dormidas las manos del acelerador y embriague.
Estoy almorzando con mi cervecita imperial de c.r y llega un viejo en moto Shorty ede New Zealand y es el que pase antes de charlamos un rato mañana posiblemente pasemos la frontera juntos.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 09:00 AM GMT
February 22, 2008 GMT
DAY 23 - Panama


niña panameña.JPGShorty and I departed this morning before 8. He rides a Suziki 650. In half an hour we were at the border. On the side of Costa Rica it was a stamp, declare the exit of the bike and off we were. A few blocks later we stopped our bikes in the shade and went to complete our transactions, without ever taking our eyes off the bikes. At immigration they sent us to pay for a tourism card which was granted immediately for $US5. Then a lady gave us a stamp for a dollar (i think for council fees) returned to immigration a stamp was given and out we went.
Next we went to customs we provided a copy of each document and gave us the permit for free. We handed the permit to an agent outside customs who was ready to check our bags. I was asked what i had in the bags...i replied medicine and clothes. So i was told that to save me from taking everything out they would trust me. I mentioned i didn't mind them looking through. "No it's ok they said follow me to the office said one, where i received a stamp, a signature and perhaps something to go with the coffee. Repulsed, I offered a dollar and i left to wait for shorty.
Throughout Costa Rica and Panama i started feeling the mosquitoes, flies hardly any.
On the road there are many police in big motorcycles, the road is a good one but every so often there are a few holes and splits in the road so we couldn't afford to get distracted.
We passed David, San Lorenzo, Santiago, Penonome and we then started out to the coast and into Santa Clara. We stayed at Blue Dolphin lodge, it was like a farm house with swimming pool, lots of grassed area for $US40 each. It isn't much, no hot water but there is air con (not recommended). The bikes were left outside at the door of our rooms, really safe. I washed some clothes and hung them up. Shorty and I went for a walk down to the beach, the water temperature was perfect. Even though the Balboa is Panama's national currency everything here is in US dollars.
Corruption, abuse of power from police, military, immigration official and customs, bureaucracy, bribes, disrespect for tourists is all so common around here, i am filled with indignation but i won't allow it to spoil my trip. I am still enjoying getting on Angelina each day.
Throughout the whole day we had mountains to our left and to the right it was flat.
en el camino a panama.JPG Santa Clara.JPG

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 23 Miercoles 20
Hoy salimos con shorty, el en su suzuki 650, antes de las ocho, en menos de media hora llegamos a la Frontera Dios y Patria, inmigracion en costa rica sello y ta, baja de la moto en la oficina de al lado, me tomaron el documento me dieron un recibo y ta desjamos a los Ticos, varias cuadras mas adelante paramos las motos en la sombra e hicimos todo siempre mirandolas, fuimos a inmigracion y nos mandaron a pagar la tarjeta de turismo, fuimos enseguida nos dieron una por 5 us, salimos y una mujer nos puso una estampilla por 1 us, por la alcadia supongo, volvimos a la migra sello y ta.
Al lado fuimos a aduana y con una copia de cada documento nos dieron el permiso gratis
, ese permiso se lo dimos a un agente de aduanas que estaba afuera para chequear los bultos, me pregunto que lleva en los bolsos , ropa y medicina le dije, bueno me dice para no hacerle sacar todo, voy a confiar en usted, le dije revise todo lo que quiera, son solo efectos personales, no no esta bien me contesto, venga a la oficina conmigo, lo segui me puso un sello y firmo y me dice no me daria algo para el cafecito amigo, te doy 1 us le dije repugnado, me fui a esperar a shorty y salimos.

En costa rica y panama empece a ver y sentir los mosquitos mosca casi nada, en el camino mucho policias en motos grandes, la carretera barbar pero cada tanto unos pozos gigantescos y como fallas en el hormigon, no nos podiamos distraer, pasamos por David, San Lorenzo,Santiago,Penome y a los pocos kilometros entramos a la playa Santa Clara y entramos en Hospedaje Blue Dolphin, como una casa quinta con piscina, mucho pasto, 40 us cada uno no es gran cosa y no tenia agua caliente pero si aire acondicionadoN.R....las motos afuera de nuestros cuartos super seguras, lave la ropa y la colgue. fuimos caminando hasta la playa, linda el aque templada, todo es en us dollar el balboa son las monedas pero usan las americanas tambien.
Corrupcion, abuso de poder desde la policia, militares, oficiales de inmigracion y aduanas, burocracia, coima desrespecto por los turistas es comun luna vez que pasa el Rio Grande, me llena de indignacion, pero no dejo que me cague el viaje, sigo difrutando la moto.
hasta aqui siempre montñas a nuestra izquierda, plano a la derecha

Posted by Hugo Albini at 10:09 AM GMT
DAY 24 - BRIDGE OF THE AMERICAS - Over Panama Canal - towards Panama City


View Larger MapWe departed at 7, I gave the Nikon to shorty who took the photos of me crossing the bridge. The canal is very nice, ships and more ships at the bay, awaiting passage thru.

I have started to ask around about the sailboats that head to Cartagena via the Island of San Blás. I went to hotel voyager who u knew to have info about them. However, something else began to worry me and that was the area i was in, i am sure i was in some dark suburb of the city, which there are plenty of, because i was getting the impresion that they didn't want us around. What was even worse is that i HAD to stop for petrol as the reserve light was on. Guys at the station told me they didn't have any and to skip the next station as i would get robbed. I muscled the courage and went for the next station anyways.
We then concentrated on getting a place to stay. Street blocks don't really exist they are somewhat irregular and with many one way roads it was hard to get to any kind of destination. Finally we arrived at Zully's a backpacker's hotel. Zully is a young and fantastic woman, she told us that the boat to Cartagena had set off yesterday and that there wouldn't be another for a few days to come. Unfortunately, she didn't have any rooms available so she asked a friend to guide us to Hotel Del Carmen.
We struggled thru traffic and after a while arrived bed, internet and breakfast $US13 but once again there were no private rooms and shorty wasn't too keen on that. I would have liked to stay as there was a convention on advertising and many people of central and south america were attending.
I decided that i needed to get Angelina a service and so on our way over to Yamaha we would look for a place to stay. It wasn't easy as most places were either full or they asked for $US100 each + GST. We arrived at Yamaha (on 50th street) and i was told that motorbikes are not serviced there so i was sent to Brasil Avenue opposite supermarket 99. By now we were hot, dizzy and hungry. In the end they didn't even have time to service the bike so i just bought the oil filters ($US40 + an hour waiting as they mucked me around) and i will do it myself when we get to Colombia. In the meantime, Shorty got hold of a hotel for $US66 not far from the airport. I asked someone to point out which way to go and they sent us onto this real modern freeway, of course with toll $US1.40 and then $US1.25 (previously, upon entry to Panama there was a toll for 50 cents).
We got to the hotel and there were more than 300 rooms, lovely but no vacancies and it was really $US110 for a single.
Since we were near the airport we decided to visit Girag: Air Cargo, after asking for directions to the place some ten times we finally arrived. At Girag we were quoted $US550 for each bike but there was some paper work at customs we needed to fill. So back we headed a few kms towards customs where an officer handed us a sheet of paper with all the requirements needed. One of these was to go back into town and declare at the police station (D.I.J) that the bike had not been involved in any accidents.
To tell you the truth you never know what they will hit you with, i had investigated this issue before taking off and the information on the web said Girag would take care of the whole matter. information from Horizons mentioned that all that was needed was to hand in the bike, disconnect the battery and empty it of fuel, but yet it isn't that simple either.
Well in any case we got a hotel recommended to us close by Hotel El Encanto for $US35, but when we got there it was a lovers motel, even though the workers denied it, there was a love heart on the roof and the smell bahhh the smell of disinfectant...to tell the truth we were ready to get the hell out and go to Vera Cruz a beach spot north of Panama but Shorty and I hate riding the bike in city traffic having to look for a hotel.
I spoke to a cabbie and asked him if he could take us around the city the next day, he said it was $10 dollars for the hour, i didn't even think twice and agreed. There was a supermarket nearby we went to grab some food and got onto our emails.

Crossing over the Panama Canal towards Panama City
Sobre el puente.JPG Pasando el puente de las americas.JPG Dejando puente a panama centro.JPG

Puente de las Américas pasando el canal de Panamá y rumbo a Cuidad de Panamá


Salimos a las 7 despues de tomar cafe, y una ducha fria que se olvidaron de decirnos.
desde que salimos casi todo poblado al costado de la carretera, le di la Nikon a shorty para que me sacara fotos pasando el puente.El Canal muy lindo, barcos y mas barcos en la baia esperando pasaje. empece a preguantar por el hotel voyager que tiene info sobre los veleros para Cartagena via las islas San Blas, cuando empece a preguntar la gente me empezo a dar miedo estaria en una parte fea de panama que tiene muchas, para peor se me ilumino la luz que estaba en reserva. fui a una estacion habia como die< negros mirandome y nadie me atendia, me arme de valor y fui a pedirle servicio y me mandaron a los baños, le dije gasolina me dijeron que no habia que no fuera a la que venia por el mismo camino porque me iban a robar que fuera a otra, no le hice caso y seguimos a las pocas cuadras vi la texaco y llene, cada caras.
seguimos a buscar hotel las cuadras no existen es todo irregular, estabamnos cerca pero no podiamos llegar con calles que one way,un hora despues llegamos a Zully´s place que es un backpacker hostel, Zully es una mujer joven y fantastica , me dijo que el bote grande habia salido ayer y no habria otro por varios dias, me dio el numero del cel y que la llamara de tarde, no tenia piezas privadas solo dormitorios, le agradeci y me fui a buscar la moto y shorty a media cuadra cuando pasamos por su lugar nos hacia seña que pararamos que tenia cama para nosotros que se habian ido dos, nos mostro atras para dejar las motos 6 en el dormitorio 8 dol cada uno, hable con shorty pero no quiso, le dije que o justo cuando un amigo de ella salia en auto lo paro y le dio intrucciones para que nos llevara al hotel del Carmen.
peleamos con el trafico despùes de un rato llegamos y nos despedimos del muchacho, entre al hotel y tuve que esperar a una negra linda y simpatica para que terminara con un cliente en el telefono, tenia solo dormitorios 8 personas mas internet y desayuno por 13 dol, las motos seguras en el frente cerrado de noche, yo me hubiese quedado porque hay una convencion de advertising y han venido de todo CA Y SA, pero shorty no le gusto asi que en el camino a yamaha encontrariamos algo, todos ocupados y a mas de 100 dol la nocjhe por cada uno mas impuestos, llegamos a yamaha en la calle 50 y no hacian servicio a las motos, me mandaron a avenida Brasil y doblar en Tumba Muerto enfretne el super 99, alla llegamos yo mareado del calor y hambre, me tuvieron de aqui y pa ya, al final no tenian tiempo para hacerlo, compre dos filtros de aceite y se lo hare en colombia, me salieron 40 us y una hora, Shorty tenia la dire de un hotel a un km del aeropuerto por 66 us pregunte para adonde, me mandaron ama carretera moderna y rapida pagamos toll antges de llegar a panama 0.50 y en esta 1.40 y mas adelante 1.25, entre al hotel que tenia como mas de 300 piezas, muy bonito y todo ocupado y a mas de 110 single 135 doble.
ya que estabamos cerca del aeropuerto, decidimos ir a cargo Girag que queda unos 8 kms del internacional. pregunte unas diez veces, llegamos , 550 por cada moto, pero hay qaue hacer los papeles, vuelta un par de kms y en una aduana un muchacho me diio una list de lo que necesitamos, una es regresar a la ciudad y hacer un documento con la policia que la moto no estruvo en ningun accidente. La verdad es que cada caso es distinto porque la info que teniamos de la web era todo facil y Girag se encargabada de todo, en horizons era ir a cargo no lo podes perder a la izuierda, le sacas la gasolina le desconectas la bateria y ta, no es asi.
pero preguntamos por hotel y nos mandaron a uno cerquita a 35 dol pero de cita, aunque todos decian que no en el techo un coraqzon con una flecha y el olor el olor a desinfestante. Hotel El Encanto, ya estabamos preparados para rajar jpara el norte otra vez e ir para Vera Cruz que una playa.
los dos odiamos andar en ciudades grandes con ese trafico de mierda buscando hoteles
Hable con un taxista que nos pasara a buscar para recorrer la ciudad de 8 a 2 de la tarde
10 dol la hora me dijo, barbaro son 7 horas me dice 70 dol yo ni pense y dije que si.
hay un super cerca y fuimnos a comer y contestar los mail.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 10:14 AM GMT
February 24, 2008 GMT
DAY 25 - Friday 22nd of February


Hotel en panama con shorty.JPG Panama City.JPGPanama City
We headed towards the city (some 22 kms from airport and hotel) in taxi, paid the tolls and got to the office of D.I.J, (police unit known as the Judicial Investigation Directorate) straight up we were told that the pass we received was incorrect as the number of chasis had the engine number instead. i offered $US10 for the problem to be rectified as the error was made by panama officials. They also asked to see the bikes, we didn't have them there. Therefore, we were sent to customs and asked to bring the bikes to have them checked. I let him know that he was just unwilling to help and set off to customs. A lady there took care of everything in no time. So we were off to do some sightseeing, first up we went to Miraflores Dock on the canal, $US5. We were able to see how the water levels are modified and this huge ship started passing thru, having paid a million dollars for the access.
We kept going and had a look around the bridge and the old ruined city, no comments there.
Well, we now had to get back to Girag, traffic was impossible. At the office there was no two ways about it, we needed the documentation from D.I.J. I passed by customs and asked to speak to Ismael who was the guy that gave us the list of requirements but who failed to mention we had to take the bikes to get them checked, he apologised.
The cabbie left us at the hotel and wanted to charge us for 6 hours but i caught him out and mentioned it was 5 hours.
Got onto the bikes and set off into town again, again paid the tolls and into the office of the D.I.J. The officer checked the bikes, got the engine number and the chasis number by painting it over then placing a transparent tape over and getting an imprint. Close to 2pm we were taken to an office close by, we waited once called up we were asked how the bikes were leaving we said via air travel then had to wait some more. At about 5pm we are called up again given our papers when i detect another error on their behalf. I tell them that the bikes are going by air not sea as they had written. So they took the papers and got us to wait some more. When all was done and finished we signed some papers and i told them they should be ashamed having us spend all day at the office waiting and not apologising for their mistakes, they were dumbfounded as we left with a bang of the door. Shorty who is really placid felt a bit bad about it but not me i won't tolerate inefficiency. Having left after 5 traffic was dreadful, we spent an hour for 3 kms. We went passed the hotel and shorty was out of petrol, as he took some out of Angelina i gathered all our documents and photocopied them all (about 60 copies for $3). After that we had some KFC and rest, tomorrow we need to be at customs by 7am.

Here in Panama we seem to draw a lot of attention, Shorty for his long, years in the making, beard and moi, well my disturbed, mad face and reluctance to take off my motorbike jacket wherever we are gets people staring all the time. We get asked many questions about the bike and our travels.
One thing that caught my eye was a sign at the old city which said; We heal the sick we do not bring back the dead.

Ciudad vieja,panama.JPG Canal de Panama.JPG

Nos fuimos a la ciudad 22 kms en taxi, pagamos la carretera 1.25 y 1.40 llegamos a la oficina D.I.J y de entrada nos dijeron que los pase que nos dieron en la frontera estan mal que pusieron el numero de motor en el lugar del chasis, tenia razon, pero le quise dar 10 dol y haber sin nos arreglaba, culpa de la gente de ellos, se fue a consultar con otros, al rato vuelve y me pregunta por las motos, no la trajimos le dije , no, tienen que arreglar este documento en aduanas en tal direccion y traer las motos para revizarlas, lo insulte al negro, le dije que no queria ayudarnos y nos fuimos para la aduana a un par de kms mas adelante y una viejit nos arreglo todo en un ratito, de Ahi nos fuimos a Miraflores Lock en el canal para ver por 5 dol. las aguas qaue se anivelan las compuertas se abren y empezo a pasar un barco gigantesco, que paga mas de un millon de dol para el previlegio,
Seguimos para adelante por al lado del canal y al rato regresamos, pasamos carca del puente de la americas, fuimos al casco viejo, a la ciudad vieja o ruinas, sin comentario.
Trafico imponente, regresamos a la oficina de Girag que esta vez la encotramos, carretera 1.40....1.25 no habia caso necesitabamos ese documento de D.I.J pase por la aduana que esta a 100 metros pedi para hablar con el muchacho Ismael que me dio la lista de lo que necesitaba pero no menciono que teniamos que llevar las motos, se disculpo
el taxi nos llevo al hotel y eran la una le dije que te debo son 6 horas 60 dol le di dos mas de propina y despues le digo momentito es 5r horas, no me dice 6 y empezo a contar y una 6 horas no loco de 8 a 9 hay una hora no dos, se dio cuenta enseguida que lo habia agarrado robandonos, fidel se llama y le dije sos un jodedor como tu tocayo y lo deje.levantamos los cascos y nos fuimos para la ciudad 1.25....1.40 us fuimnos a la oficina ya el negro estaba muy amable dio un 180 grados, nos ayudo, revisaron toda la moto hasta el numero del motor que yo ni sabia donde estaba, el numero del chasis lo pinto y le uso un tape transparente y despues lo arranco y lo puso en el papel para verificar el numero, cerca de las dos de la tarde nos llevaron a enfrente a otra oficina, esperamos nos llamaron nos hicieron llenar un papel, una de las preguntas era que via se iban las motos por aire, avion pusimos en el formulario, a esperar afuera cerca de las cinco nos llaman que revisemos el documento si estavba bien, esta mal le digo pusieron maritimo
nos se disculpo nos hiceron esperar mas y cuando terminaron nos hicieron firmar, les dije de todos de coimeros y que le dewbia dar verguenza en hacer esperar a un turista ese tiempo y no disculparse por sus errores, quedaron de boca abierta y salimos con un portazo, shorty que es bien calmo paso mal, pero yo no puedo aguantar, salimos mas de las cinco y el trafico era imposible, nos llevo mas de una hora hacer 3 kms, pasamos por el hotel shorty se quedo sin gaslina y mientras sacaba de la angie yo hacia fotos copias de todos despues comimos en KFC, hice como 60 copias por 2.90, llegamos al hotel a las 7 mañana para aduana y girag, las calenturas y el calor me dejo sin energia.
llamamos la atencion en todos los lugares nos miran, hacen preguntas de las motos y nosotros o cuando vamos a comer Shorty con su barba de años y mois con mi cara de loco siempre de chaleco.
En panama viejo en un negocio habia un cartel. Curamos a los enfermos, no resucitamos a los muertos.

Posted by Hugo Albini at 10:21 PM GMT
DAY 26 - Chau to Central America - Hola, South


We set off this morning to customs arrived at the office and it was unbelievable but they actually sent us to another customs office further back. I saw a police officer there and told him that he had checked our papers he could have told us the exact office we needed to be at. We go to the supposedly, correct office at tell the bloke in there that we were sent her and he tells us he has no idea what for it was not the correct place. I exploded, couldn't take it anymore and told him that we had been sent here, there and everywhere for the past 2 days. All you have to do is stamp and sign all these documents, without hesitation he began. Shorty suggested we get the passports done too, so we did. We thanked him and left to the next place where we were okayed and passed thru. Now we were back at Girag, and the manager that was there yesterday was not there today, instead there was a lady. The manager had suggested we keep the bike there for a few days while we visited cartagenta and medellin and reunite in bogota. So now the lady was asking for all the papers needed and in addition our plane tickets to bogota. I mentioned that it was not asked of us yesterday, she said well that we needed it. I said well what if i do that return and the next person asks me for another document will i ever be able to get out of here, we argued a bit more i mentioned she says one thing the manager says another, she made us wait about an hour and then were asked to empty the petrol put of the bike. We paid $US551.50 (1.50 for the photocopy of 100 dollar bills that need to be signed by the payee). We didn't disconnect the battery, put the mirrors inwards, attached the helmets to the seats and loaded the side storage with stuff. I gave a security guard there some of my belongings (tent and inflatable matress) i had not used and was just making for heavy baggage. Finally, we put the bikes in the warehouse and we went to the international airport of Tecumen. At Copa Airlines we got two tickets, executive class was all there was available, $US300 each ready for take off at 3:10pm. In a way shorty and i are glad to leave Central America a place of heavy bribery. I must acknowledge that there are many friendly people as well, particularly Zully, who without her help things could have been worse. Besides when i called her and said i was the old dude in the motorbike from this morning she remarked that the only thing old around here was the wind.
When we got on the plane we were seated in tourist class then a little while later we were called on the loudspeaker to be seated in business, where we had some food and wine on a 55 minute flight. We took a cab to our hotel for 10.000 pesos ($US5). Hotel El Viajero had only two rooms left a single, which i took for 45.000 CoP ($US25) and Shorty took the double for 80.000 Colombian Pesos ($US43), we took a stroll on the boardwalk and everything was looking great, we felt gooood!
From the air i saw the Islands of San Blas, i had wished to spend some days there having the ferry carry Angelina and i to the place, luckily it didn't happen that way as i hear (from Zully) apparently the sailboat cannot get to the island, as portobello has no port, so they put the bike onto a dinghy, no thanks!
Por fin Cartagena.JPG Cartegena de indias.JPG Atardecer en Carte.JPG


Salimnos a las ocho con todos los papeles a la aduana, de no creer, nos mandaron a otra aduana mas atras, regresamos a la primera garrita, le dije al milico nos pedistes el pasaporte y un monton de datos, nos podias haber dicho que teniamos que venir a esta aduana, entro en la oficina, le dije que nos habian mandado aqui, y el tipo me dice no yo no se nada tiene que ir mas adelante, ahi explote, le digo amigo nos tienen de aqui para alla desde ayer, estos papeles usted los tiene que poner un sello y firmar y empezo a sellar todo los documentos que le dimos y shorty me dice vamos a darle los pasaporte tambien y se los dimos y mas sellos, agradecimos y nos fuimos a la otra aduana que nos señalaron sigan sigan esta todo bien, fuimos a girag no estaba el encargado del dia anterior que nos dijo que podiamos dejar la moto por un par de dias y despues la mandaba cuando nosotros estemos cerce de Bogota, ya que queriamos conocer Cartagena y medillin
esperamos y llego una mujer con actitud diciendome que teniamos que haber comprado el pasaje a bogota y despues venir, y le digo y si hacemos eso y llegamos aqui y tu nos dice ahora necesitas este otro papel, y no podemos llegar a tiempo, discutimos por un rato le digo usted me dice una cosa y ayer el otro encargado me dice lo opuesto, esperamos como una hora nos pidieron que sacaramos la gasolina, le sacamos un poquito y ta pagamos 551.50 que le sacaron fotocopias de los 100 dols bill y me lhicieron firmar la copia,la bateria no la desconectamos y pusimos los espejos para adentro, las metimos en el galpon, le di a un negro guardia me carpa y el colchon inflable, atamos los cascos en el asiento de atras y los costados llenos de cosas, con el bolso de la moto y mi vieja mochila tomamos un taxi para el aeropuerto internacional Tecumen fuimos a Copa Airlines y sacamos dos pasajes en ejecutivos que era lo unico que habia por 300 dol cada uno, los dos contentos de salir de este continente de coimeros, tranquilos esperando nuestro vuelo a las 3.10.
Tengo que aclarar que encontramos mucha gente simpatica y honesta una pena es la minoria, Zully la tarde uqe la llame por el bote, le dije hola soy el viejo en moto de hoy de mañana, usted es un señor me dice viejo es el viento.
Al fianl nos pusieron en clase turistica pero comoda, al ratito por los altavoces mi nombre y el de shorty , nos ofrecieron ejecutivas, alli fuimos y al ratito nos trajeron comida y vinito por un vuelo de 55 minutos, la azafata pura sonrisa y agradeciendo que volaramos con ellos, nos tomamos un taxi por 10.000 al hotel El Viajero mi cuarto 45.000 el de shorty con aire y doble por 80.000 lo unico que le quedaba, salimos a caminar un rato por la costa y todo de entrada nos cayo bien. Desde el aire vi las islas San Blas que iba a pasar un par de dias en el velero pero con o que me dijo Zully que ponian las motos en un dinghy y despues como diez hombres la ponen en el velero ya que en Portobello no hay puerto, no gracias,

Posted by Hugo Albini at 10:24 PM GMT
February 25, 2008 GMT
DAY 27 - SOUTH AMERICA - SUN 24th FEB - Cartagena, Colombia


I had a coffee and we went for a short walk around, everything so pleasant. We returned and Omar the taxi driver was already there waiting. We went to the bus terminal and bought 16:30 tickets to Medellin for 800000 each. From there we went to a convent up the hill, Castle of San Felipe de Barajas, Boca grande, Walled City, the house of Garcia Marquez, the church where Pablo Montoya was married. The city is modern and then all the huts belonging to the poor opposite the coast.
I really liked Cartagena, at midday Omar left us at the bus terminal, we gave him 100000 and we went to the internet, no one had written, while we await to depart. The airport is closer to the city than the bus terminal. We departed on time 12 hours and a Silvestre Stallone movie with Wesley Snipes, bad movie later we arrived. There were many soldiers on the road, although the air con was high and I got a little cold i was able to sleep all night.
When we were at Cartagena, we saw an man without legs on top of a trolley pushing his way along with his hands. I glanced over at Shorty and he at me, we didn't say anything but were thinking the same thing, we make such a fuss when immigration and customs delay our journey or when coffee is served cold or the hotel doesn't supply hot water, we forget to appreciate despite being in a fortunate position.


1 - Outside the house of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2 - City views from the hilltops
3 - Fruit seller
4 - The Fort
5 - Walled city
6 - View from hotel

Enfrente  la casa Garcia Marquez.JPG la ciudad desde el cerro.JPG Vista desde el hotel.JPG
En el fuerte.JPG ciudad  amurrallada.JPG Vista desde el hotel.JPG


Me tome un café y salimos a caminar por un rato por los alrededores, todo un placer, regresamos al enseguida y ya nos estaba esperando Omar el taxi metrista, fuimos a la Terminal de bus compre los pasajes para las 16.30 a Medellín 800.000 cada uno, de ahí nos fuimos al convento en el cerro, Castillo San Felipe De Barajas,Bocagrande, centro amurallado, casa de García Marquez, iglesia donde se caso Pablo Montoya. La ciudad moderna y los ranchos o favelas, un pobrerío con el hermoso Caribe enfrente.
Me gustó mucho Cartagena de Indias o Cartagena La Heroica, nos dejo de mediodía Omar en la Terminal y aquí estamos esperando, fuimos al Internet y nadie me escribió. El aeropuerto esta cerquita, queda más lejos del centro la Terminal de buses.
Le dimos 100.000 a Omar, Salimos a 16.30 12 horas de viaje con una película de Silvestre Stallone y el negro Wesley Snipes mas mala. Muchos militares en la carretera, con el aire acondicionado muy fuerte pase un poco de frió durante la noche pero dormí casi todo el viaje.
Cuando estábamos recorriendo Cartagena vimos un tipo sin piernas arriba de un carrito con trapos en las manos empujándose, nos miramos con Shorty y no dijimos nada pero estábamos pensando lo mismo, que uno hace un drama porque te demoran los tramites en la aduana o el café te lo sirven un poco frió o no hay agua caliente en el hotel sin apreciar lo afortunado que somos

Posted by Hugo Albini at 03:02 AM GMT
DAY 28 - Medellin


We are now in Medellin or Metrallin as some call it (metralladora in spanish=machine gun), we arrived at night and the city lights made for an awesome view. The city is also known as the city of eternal spring. A coffee is 650 pesos to use the toilet it's 850 pesos.
I already purchased the bus tickets for Bogota, $50000 pesos, departing at 22 hours and the trip will take 9 hours.

Shorty and i took the metro (a return ticket is 2500 pesos + to leave the bags at the bus terminal, 3000 pesos) and got off in the city at the statue plaza "plaza de las estatuas". At the plaza we caught a 9 am bus tour, since it was just the two of us, other than the guide and the driver, i requested the guide not say anything unless we asked a question, all in vain though as they both proceeded to relate the history of the city through stereo speakers.
We visited several spots, for example the 'cerro' which has magnificent views of the city. After midday we were dropped back off in the city where we just hung around, had lunch, and caught up on emails. I put the photos on a dvd and now i am waiting for the bus to Bogota.

DSC_0777.JPG DSC_0781.JPG

DSC_0802.JPG DSC_0796.JPG
In this last photo, behind me, is the airport where Carlos Gardel died from the plane crash.

SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH: Dia 28……………………Lunes 25

Estamos en Medillin o metrallin como lo llaman, entramos oscuro con todas las luces en la ciudad se veía impresionante, (La ciudad de primavera Eterna) un café 650.00 pesos para ir al baño 850.00. Ya compre los pasajes para esta noche a Bogota 50.000.00 para las 22 horas y lleva 9 horas.
Nos tomamos el metro por ida y vuelta por 2.500.00 dejamos los bolsos por 3.000.00 cada uno por 24 horas y llegamos al medio de la ciudad a la plaza de las estatuas. Esperamos un tour a las 9 (Info de la Terminal). Eramos solo nosotros dos mas el chaufer y la guia que le pedi que no dijera nada, solo si le preguntabamos, no sirvio de nada los dos, a estereo, toda la historia que en 1800….y esto y lo otro, visitamos varios lugares, fuimos a un cerro con vistas espectaculares de la ciudad, después de mediodia nos dejaron en el centro y vagamos un poco, comimos, Internet, hice un dvd con las fotos y aquí estamos esperando el bus para Bogota

Posted by Hugo Albini at 11:15 PM GMT

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