January 02, 2002 GMT
Central America

12/30 6 a.m. - shaved, brushed teeth, tended my bike - 80 degrees. No sign of dysentery or stomach disorders. Yesterday, we saw many sections of the shoulder where people spread their grain to dry and tended with a hoe.

Many beautiful cottage-looking abodes with many flowers, but they consisted of boards and sticks with a tin roof. Today, Frank and I came in off the road with blackened faces. What a scary sight in the mirror! At the Honduran border 11:50 a.m., snapped a picture of Frank being besieged by boys again (they try to get you to hire them to assist in paperwork).

Street in Honduras

3:00 - finally left border. The treatment at the border is insulting, especially El Salvador to Honduras. The officials have all these arbitrary charges, and constantly ‘pulling rank.’ We met Jim Donaldson from N. Carolina - he was very frustrated and angry at everyone including his 2 riding buddies. ‘Now I know why they say when you do a trip like this, buddies don’t speak to one another for a year or more’. Jim drove a R1000, bent his wheel on chuck holes, and was admiring our KLR’s; said next time he’s going to get a KLR.

12/31 Beautiful ride from hotel to border - really feeling great, no prostate problem, no sinus infection, sleeping well, getting along with Frank, sort of. Frank knows everything about these KLR’s - taking good care of us. We saw kids at the roadside holding up dead lizards for sale. Took picture of a bonita 10 year old girl -’ Lini ‘- selling apples, then of Frank refreshing @ roadside, then a village fruit market. First 30 miles of the road into Nicaragua was the worst I’ve seen since we left. Met 3 the guys from N. Carolina again (w/Jim D) not getting along, separating. We left at 8:10 am.

We really made headway today, but I am exhausted. 3 hours to get out of Honduras and into Nicaragua, We drove across and checked out, and into Costa Rica. Arrived about 9:30 p.m., washed clothes and listened to the fireworks and loud bands ‘playing’ in the New Year. I hurt my mouth on the 25th (side swipe), and it hasn’t gotten better ... gotten a lot worse. Doctoring it, hope I can get it taken care of so I can enjoy eating and other things. Really miss Kath. Talked to her briefly tonight, maybe try to call again tomorrow.

1/1/02 - Leon, Costa Rica A shoeshine waif approached me to solicit me. I said ‘no comprende’; ‘Boleo sus zapatuz’, he repeated himself, but a little slower. I said ‘no comprende’, he moved round in front of me, pointed to his eyes with 2 fingers, as if to say, ‘now pay attention’ and said ‘Senor, (I was sitting in a chair), he repeated the syllables very slowly; ‘bo-lay-o sus za-pot-os’. I burst out laughing, he smiled for a moment, but then shrugged his shoulders helplessly, and walked away, but not without giving me a parting shot of disgust over his shoulder.

We stopped in San Jose and did a successful update at the Internet Café, but leaving there was now my latest worst ride ever. It started bad because I went on reserve a mile out of town - then it started raining on the mountain, and the worst part, a thick fog... driving in low gear and picking our way was nerve-wracking, took about 2 hours of this when we came upon a quaint hotel, thank God! We were told gasalina is 70 K, about 40 miles, Oh Boy! We got really cold at the hotel, no heat, just thick blankets, To park our motos, there was an elevated carport with the owner’s car parked at the entrance with 3’ wide opening to get by without hitting a steel rail, it was raining, very precarious. After we negotiated this, the owner pulled his car in behind us so we couldn’t leave without paying.

Next a.m., we drove about 10 miles, my clutch broke, 5 seconds later, ran out of gas. Frank emptied contents of his gasoline cooker in my tank, replaced the clutch cable, and we were going again in 15 minutes. We went about 15 miles to the top of a mountain, ran out of gas again, I coasted over 7 miles down the mountain and rolled right into a Texaco station - WOW! Frank and I agree this a.m. ride was the most beautiful (100 mi to Panama); arrived here at 2:10 p.m. On the shoulder, saw an iguana entwined with a snake, neither of them moving.

1/3/02 It was markedly different conditions entering Costa Rica and more so Panama.

Roads were marked, there were ‘curve’ signs, very few pedestrians. Saw some Hwy State Patrol vehicles. Even saw a pickup pulling a ski boat. We saw skinny- tired road bikes instead of the scruffy mountain bikes. We stayed at a wonderful hotel last night (Galleria, in David, I think). The ride into Panama City was glorious, wide wonderfully marked roads, sparse traffic, we found a spectacular roadside lunch place. Took some pictures - waitress ‘Moctie’. As we entered Panama City, it down poured, complicating our effort to find our way to the Aero Puerto. We got soaked, but it was a warm rain. First place we tried said it will be $473 for both bikes, but not leave til Thursday, a week.

Second place, boss not here, back at 8:00 (it’s now 4:50). They have flights every day but tomorrow is booked. We will wait right here for boss & maybe dry out.

Posted by Dale Thornton at January 02, 2002 12:00 AM GMT

Looks beautiful. Glad you had such a great experience but am even happier that you are home. Love, Your Sister Loretta

Posted by: Loretta on March 15, 2002 12:52 AM GMT

Good Job ...Well done
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Posted by: Lussi-Furniture on November 3, 2003 10:59 AM GMT

Well done.

Posted by: Mila on August 16, 2004 01:15 PM GMT
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