touring to nicaragua - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 172 Old 06-03-2006, 01:32 PM
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touring to nicaragua

heading out in three weeks from los angeles to nicaragua. taking nine weeks for what looks like will be a ten thousand mile tour. toured extensively in mexico and bussed about guatemala for a couple of months but this will be my first time heading that far south. In two tours of mexico, down and around the yucatan, I was consistenly able to find pemex stations every 100 miles...and that was a welcome relief for a bike with the relatively short range of the 919. with flapper mod, the thing gets around 32 mpg in city. I'm counting on a similar availability through guatemala, honduras and nicaragua.
I'm in a quandry as to a replacement tire for the far end of the trip, try to obtain it locally (capital city) or carrying one on the rear atop my tailbag. last year i was forced to buy a tire in puerto vallarta and they had one in stock for my bike, a pirelli diablo, but it was three hundred dollars...and thats no including installation.
anyone have experience crossing borders in my stated areas of interest? also, interesting in what sort of federale/local p.d. inspections to expect.
maybe someone's done this trip and has some useful information? I'm new to the group and look forword to some stimulating dialogue about the 919. for example, what do you all think is the gas mileage drop is for modifying that flapper. if its significant, I would consider installing an external valve to regulate the air line to the flapper.

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post #2 of 172 Old 06-03-2006, 02:15 PM
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wow - what a trip that will be. I need a job like yours! Enjoy! Take pics please and report back.

Personally I'd take the tire with, just to feel better knowing I had it. A small spare fuel can would be on my list also.

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post #3 of 172 Old 06-03-2006, 05:05 PM
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Ditto what Jetblast said, gotta take it with you if you want to be sure and have it when you need it down there.

That should be an awesome trip, take lots of pics and keep us updated by posting as often as you can

Good luck!

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post #4 of 172 Old 06-04-2006, 04:03 AM
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Sounds like a great trip, are you heading out alone? The 919 should be more than up for this tour. Speaking of which, that 32 MPG sounds awful low unless it means that you are stuck in heavy traffic all the time. What sort of MPG do you get on the open road? Sorry, no experience with the flapper mod.

Welcome aboard...

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post #5 of 172 Old 06-04-2006, 07:11 AM
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i'm going solo on this trip, same as all other touring. works out best that way. My mileage number may be low, the light comes on around 120.

post #6 of 172 Old 06-04-2006, 09:41 AM
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what a lifetime experience! So cool you are doing this. Takes guts to go it alone too for that many miles in foreign countries. Have a blast!

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post #7 of 172 Old 06-05-2006, 08:29 AM
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Best wishes and prayers sent for a safe journey. I could only hope to escape for any length of time for uninhibited two-wheeled pleasure.

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post #8 of 172 Old 06-24-2006, 04:30 PM
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leaving tomorrow

so i'm headed out tomorrow and have decided not take a spare tire with me. instead i installed a mo-tech alu-rack which would serve for carrying a tire, but i can use the rack anyway since the bike's stock rear grab-rail had so few points for attachment of soft luggage or bungee cords or whatever. I found the loading requirements for an extra tire consists of a fifteen pound ring encircling the tail bag and sort of serving lower back support (but endurable for a short time), attached to the bike primarily at the ear rack. Instead of lugging it down there (where would granny and elly mae sit?) i've mounted a spanking new metzler roadtec tire and with anal attention to tire pressure i'm sure i can nurse it down to managua (say 4000 miles max), where a replacement is sure to be found, if not enroute.
the bikes got 42K miles on it and, barring unexpected developments on this trip, i expect to bring it back for valve adjustment/major tuneup service at about 50k in two months. My saddlebags, tail bag, and tank bag weigh in at about thirty five pounds. I weigh 180 lbs. I expect to get about thirty three miles per gallon on this stock five gallon tank (with air intake flapper mod)...my refueling intervals are pretty much every one hundred miles. throughout mexico i found this to be no problem, but i don't know about the next three central american countries. I suppose that rear rack could serve as a mouting base for a one gallon gas container. hmm..

post #9 of 172 Old 06-24-2006, 06:26 PM
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i have done the flapper mod (highly recommended, thanks ldh), and i get high 40s mpg in nyc traffic (48 last fill-up).... oh, and, i weigh 215 lbs. (keep it down in the peanut gallery back there. DAG).

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post #10 of 172 Old 06-25-2006, 09:38 AM
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Good luck, ride safe, and don't forget to bring plenty of water and a tire patch kit.

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post #11 of 172 Old 07-03-2006, 04:12 PM
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zihuatenajo

I´ve been on road every day for past seven days. took the pan american down to mazatlan and then headed inland towards Durango and had the most spectacular morning riding this set of twisties called ¨The devils backbond¨ referring to a stretch of mountainous road with some 60 miles of back to back turns, the only complication was rain on the last ten miles which required very cautious maneuvering to stay upright on road. I went through Guanajuato, two days ago and just arrived in zihuatenajo this afternoon. Looked like rain moving in over the highway in the distance so i´m lodging here for the night and anticipate an eary start en la manana...i´ve got ride through acapulco which has been a nightmare both other times i´ve done it. a huge sprawling mess of a city with very little street signage, that promises to be at least an hour to travel through...and there´s no perimetertype road, everyone heading south gets to enjoy the experience.
I had to buy gas from some guy today selling it by the roadside out of fifty gallon barrels. Hmmm..
bikes running well with some 1800 miles into the trip. tires holding up well, not using any oil. i brought a couple of filters for the inevitable oil changes. weather´s been varying from desert hot to chilling rain in the mountains. I expect to cross border into guatemala thursday, i´ll provide updates as internet access permits.

oh yeah, i couldnt log on to my original account so i opened a new one...this is it. hasta luego, kevin

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post #12 of 172 Old 07-03-2006, 04:41 PM
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Too cool. That Metzler Roadtec on the rear got me 4700 miles, 2000 of which were superslabbing it fully loaded two up. Barring any "debris" you should be able to get the same or better.
Enjoy yourself, be careful, and post some pics if you can. Let us know if we can help with anything like weather forecasts, or rescue missions from cheap bars, etc.

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post #13 of 172 Old 07-03-2006, 05:29 PM
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Awesome update, I am sure I am not the only Jealous one. Good luck on your continued journey

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post #14 of 172 Old 07-03-2006, 08:24 PM
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Zihuatenajo - like from the Shawshank Redemption?

Glad to hear your journey is progressing - stay safe and enjoy!

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post #15 of 172 Old 07-04-2006, 05:14 AM
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Hola Kevin- Thanks for the trip update. I have many questions to ask but now is not the best time for you to reply. Looking forward to your next trip summary; ride safe -
BTW: don't drink to local water!

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post #16 of 172 Old 07-04-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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Kevin, if you run into any bike trouble (or any other type pf trouble ) around El Salvador, let me know... I have a couple of friends there that can help you out

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post #17 of 172 Old 07-06-2006, 02:58 PM
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Well what a time its been over the last twenty four hours. I found my way relatively easily through acupulco...sort of. As i was leaving town(and town is really spread out) my electrical system died completely as I rode. So i pulled over and asked about a taller de motocicletas (motorcycle shop) and then paid a cab five dollars to rope my bike to his fender and pull me about two miles through town to a small cycle shop...it didn´t look promising. But the mechanico went to work with a multi-meter and diagnosed the battery as the problem.$90 and two hours later i was on my way with new battery (cost 75 dollars). But wait, there´s more...

But first be aware that mexico uses ¨topes´ (pronounced toe-pays) which are speed bumps of varying heights, to control speed through small pueblos, little communities that are little more than wide spots in the road. So basically a motorist can drive these twisty coastal roads however fast you want (bascially no speed enforcement down here) then all of a sudden there will be a set of speed bumps, not always marked. Some of those bumps are so high that they scrape the exhaust pipes under the bike.

So i´m doing a reasonable speed and i see a tope ahead and i slow way down to about five mph. As i approached i noticed that it was very high, probably enough to scrape the pipes or worse...so i approached at a sharp angle and the pipe not only scraped but hung the bike up so the rear wheel lost traction and the bike pitched over. Chinga! Several locals were nearyby but really didn´t look twice. I suspect that particular tope has provided the locals endless hours of amusement watching vehicles try to clear it. No damage, the bike fell on the handle bar end and the rear saddlebag...oh yeah, there was a good scrape on the side of the engine case. Thats four times the bikes been down in its life, and all were in mexico. I suppose i´ll just have to be more careful.

I am now in puerto escondido, a surfers mecca (i don´t surf, however) and i may stay over tomorrow if the weather looks threatening. I got into town and found a hotel (15 dollars) just before the rain began pouring down and its raining steadily now. Did i mention that i hate riding in the rain. I have what may have started out as a waterproof riding suit, but over the years it has lost its waterproof layer. Basically, i put on the pants and jacket and after a short time water seeps inside, top and bottom. However, its a ¨warm´type of wet, for what its worth.
hasta luego, kevin

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post #18 of 172 Old 07-06-2006, 03:16 PM
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thanks for the update Kevin, enjoy yourself and beware the topes!

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post #19 of 172 Old 07-06-2006, 04:11 PM
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As per tradition, you must post pics anytime the bike goes down.
Glad the electrics got sorted, and the scraping didn't turn into something worse. [You were trying to do an endo over it, weren't you?]. Keep riding, have fun, and water goes away, eventually.
The scariest part was probably the rope tug.

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post #20 of 172 Old 07-06-2006, 05:54 PM
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first try for photos

okay, if these work, i´ll post more
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File Type: jpg enroute mazatlan.jpg (612.3 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg kevin 010.jpg (537.3 KB, 147 views)

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post #21 of 172 Old 07-06-2006, 06:11 PM
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more photos

there is a way to post the photo with the message text but how do you do it. I´ll post these photos anyway in the meantime.
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File Type: jpg acapulco from the costera (coast highway.jpg (549.1 KB, 111 views)
File Type: jpg crossing mountians for duango.jpg (648.2 KB, 111 views)
File Type: jpg enroute durange.jpg (702.8 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg guanajuato.jpg (535.5 KB, 110 views)

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post #22 of 172 Old 07-06-2006, 06:19 PM
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Beautiful pics!! Glad you got your Elec prob sorted, and no serious damage.

Journey Safely!

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post #23 of 172 Old 07-07-2006, 06:03 AM
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Awrsome pics and keep them coming! Ride safe bud




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post #24 of 172 Old 07-07-2006, 06:10 AM
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Nice photos Kevin. You can continue to upload the pics. or host them with imageshack.
Ride safe.

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post #25 of 172 Old 07-07-2006, 06:18 AM
 
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Thx for the pics & update

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post #26 of 172 Old 07-07-2006, 06:21 AM
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Kevin,

Great pics. Like Mike said, if you have them hosted somewhere you can use the "insert image" button and paste the link there. Just put your text before or after that.
Keep on keeping on and have fun. Keep us up to date.

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post #27 of 172 Old 07-07-2006, 09:30 AM
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layover in pto escondido

im hanging out here for the day, lots of beach and sand and internet and brewed coffee available from several restaurants...most of the coffee drinking down here is instant nescafe. As an admitted caffeine addict, I take my coffee very seriously and cafe collado (brewed) merits several cups and the time to drink it.

Thank you RC90 for the offer of assistance from friends in el-salvador. I may go into el slavador depending on practical complexities of border crossing. Currently i intend to cross guatamelan border Sunday, then head for the honduran frontera later in the week, then into nicaragua....I´ll hang out a few weeks in honduras-nicaragua, probably take some spanish language courses and i hope to get into some salsa and merengue dance classes. i´ve been taking salsa lessons for three months prior to departure so that I could dance some salsa to start with.
Dancing is my primary hobby throughout the year, except for summer when its vacation time (I teach high school math). I have been lessoning in west coast swing for several years and entered my first competitions earlier this year. but swing isn´t going to be applicable down here.

Jetblast, you asked about zihuataunejo in shawshank...yep that´s it. That movie put this town on the map for nosotros in estados unidos.

Honda Jim, is the customary photos of the bike going down supposed to be taken while bike is the postion it landed, or is does it just need to be photo of the damage after the fact? My bike really never gets washed even at home and it has about a 2500 miles of local soil coating exterior. I will send a photo later.
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File Type: jpg streets of guanato.jpg (481.6 KB, 85 views)
File Type: jpg spare tire ain´t going to work.jpg (480.2 KB, 93 views)

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post #28 of 172 Old 07-07-2006, 09:39 AM
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Keep sharing! This is definitely the most entertaining and interesting thread on the forum at the moment. Post lots of pictures and ride safe.

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post #29 of 172 Old 07-07-2006, 10:26 AM
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Kevin,

C'mon! Math teachers/salsa dancers should know these things. Bike must be in prone position as it landed.

You also must furnish pics of any of your dance partners (as long as they are female).

Since you are a teacher, I will give you an E for effort on trying to mount that spare.

HJ

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post #30 of 172 Old 07-07-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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Mucho Niceo! Keep the updates coming. I'm jealous!

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post #31 of 172 Old 07-09-2006, 07:20 PM
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I just started following this thread. All I can say is you are one very lucky guy (all of us only wish we had this much time off). That's so awesome that your doing the trip on a 919 ( I have an '05 919). Look forward to hearing more updates and seeing additional pics.

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post #32 of 172 Old 07-10-2006, 05:32 PM
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santa lucio cosamalguapa

crossed guatemalan this morning, lots of confusion in the process and a multitiude of urchins offerring to escort you through the process for ¨tips only¨ I ended up going to another border crossing at Talisman, which was about 13 miles north, but the process went fairly smoothly...but all in all, its a hassle to cross the international borders, and no matter how i plan it, i´m going to have to go through el salvador to get to honduras and nicaragua, there is only one way one land entry point directly from guatemala to honduras and its a long way out of the way. anyway, i made about 200 miles into guatemala and late this afternoon, a policia pointed at me out of all the traffic on the two lane road and indicated i should pull over. the younger of the two scrutinized my travel documents, looking disagreeable in the process, but his partner was an older more relaxed sort and started a conversation about how many days it took to get here and how fast is the fastest time possible if you just rode for all day every day...i ventured an 11 day guess, and i was on my way again. Never had any contact by policia in mexico, interesting. I think i have today and tomorrow to traverse the rest of this country, and will cross into el salvador on thursday morning.
Road kill two days ago, a big fat lizard darted under my tires and fortunately it only felt like rolling over a tennis ball...i suppose he could have exploded in a viscous slime causing the rear tire to loose traction.
When i toured the yucatan, crabs were the local roadkill specialty...kinda funny seeing em skidaddling across road in that sideways fashion.
Bikes running well, rear tires holding up, i´ve just got to get used to getting up and on the road earlier since it rains pretty much every afternoon by 3 p.m.

that´s the news, hasta luego kevin
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Copia de 7$room II.jpg (498.4 KB, 103 views)
File Type: jpg Copia de the 7dollar room.jpg (509.8 KB, 88 views)
File Type: jpg Copia de dog by sign is playing dead.jpg (525.9 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg school girls in market place.jpg (537.4 KB, 101 views)
File Type: jpg mountains of chiapis...note yellow nylon tow rope, now std equipment.jpg (590.2 KB, 123 views)

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post #33 of 172 Old 07-10-2006, 06:13 PM
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Wow, that last shot is Awesome. 7$ room is pretty interesting too. Another excellent update, I get more jealous with each one, what an adventure

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post #34 of 172 Old 07-10-2006, 06:28 PM
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I dont think I could sleep in there! Just looking at it makes me think someone has probably been murdered in there.... and I could be next!

I think I would opt for a nicer place to sleep... but thats just me...

Can you carry a sidearm on such a trip or would the policia not like that sort of thing?

I LOVE Tig Bitties!
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post #35 of 172 Old 07-10-2006, 06:28 PM
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Keep it up. We're here, unfortunately, and wish we were there. (at least I do). Post pics of older women.
What are you paying for gas per litre/gallon/jug?
How's the mileage?

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post #36 of 172 Old 07-10-2006, 08:31 PM
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Outstanding trip. I thought I was adventuresome when I rode my FZ1 cross country. I'd love to do this sort of trip. Keep it coming!

Jeremy

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Thanks Kevin!

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post #38 of 172 Old 07-12-2006, 01:28 PM
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Just think of the memoirs you can write after this trip. I can only pray for all of those variables to fall into place at one time. Good stuff, and keep us updated on your progress.

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post #39 of 172 Old 07-12-2006, 01:59 PM
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rustic hostel

Yesterday i crossed the el salvador border and traversed half the country, spending the night in a san miguel motel ($20) last night and lodged in a $5 hostel room for tonight...that budget price includes a manually filled toilet, your pour water from bucket into the bowl until it flushes. also it includes a bathing stall with a huge bucket of agua and two empty pails, good thing its not cold here. photo of wc attached.
crossing the border into el salvador i was meandering about the complex of buildings housing migracion-customs, trying to hookup the right sequence of windows to get a vehicle permit (always the most difficult part of crossing borders), and ran into an american guy who live in laguna hills which is nearby where i live in fullerton (so cal). it was great to just speak english for a change, not have to think through everything i want to say...anyway, its a small world.
I´ve seen alot of policia parked and standing by the side of this major highway through the country, but i`ve had no more contact with them.
as part of yesterday´s ride, i took this secondary road to the intercontinental highway for 12 miles. it was mostly dirt and partly cobblestoned but it just shook the heck out of me and the bike. i was pretty much lost at the 10 mile point but just kept asking people for the direction to san miguel and finally came out on the highway as dark was falling, i made it some 15 miles to the edge of the san miguel took the $20 room...what a relief. on the map im using that secondary road is represented by the smallest map line used over that 22 km distance. by the way, el salvador uses the same currency as the u.s., dollars.
Today i rode some 100 miles toward the north to a picturesque (relatively) town called perquin. that hostel situation is no problem for me, i can adjust my lifestyle for a short time, or a long one also i suppose.
along the roadside was a guy holding up these two lizard-like things called garrobo, which are sold to eat. The garrobos are alive, but bound feet to feet. check out this guys tattoos, looks like he was in a gang or a jail. im attaching a photo.

I´ll probably leave for honduras the day after tomorrow, hasta luego, kevin
Attached Images
File Type: jpg furthest east chiapas--border guate.jpg (521.1 KB, 115 views)
File Type: jpg garrobo viven para vende--to eat.jpg (581.5 KB, 110 views)
File Type: jpg guate elsalvador border.jpg (461.0 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg two volcanoes guatemala.jpg (545.6 KB, 89 views)
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kevin is offline  
post #40 of 172 Old 07-12-2006, 02:04 PM
Tirone
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: fullerton
Posts: 45
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honda jim, gas in mexico cost about $2.80 but here and in guatemala its about $3.20 per gallon and they do sell it by the gallon here whereas in mexico it was always in liters. My gas mileage has been about 35 mpg, higher when i´m slowing down on these winding moutain roads. today i got 147 miles before the light came on for the first time. being from southern california, that was about the same price we were paying for gas.

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