Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Returning home, crazy drivers, more...

I think I've seen it all! Central America in 3 months! ... after a week surfstop in El Salvador I think it's time to return back home for the summer in Germany!

Latest highlights:

Insane crazy Central American drivers. In the last weeks I got passed by huge flatbed trucks or full buses as I was traveling already at 130 km/h. No, not on freeways, on country roads(!). Drivers passing everywhere, so I don't get a higher pulse anymore coming out of a turn and seeing a bus overtaking a car just a few meters in front of me in my entire lane. I think riding the "chicken bus" is more dangerous than on your own bike. I've seen 2 (scratch that: 3!) different accidents of huge semi trucks. This truck driver had just to much luck, just a scratch on his arm. He blamed it on his total failing brakes. Yeah, right!

A local in front of the court room at Palacio Municipal built in 1536 as Gracias in Honduras was the Central American capital for a short time before it moved later to Antigua, Guatemala.

San Salvador: I found a new way exploring a Central American capital: Just try to find a spare part for your bike! Probably a dozen dealers in the Bay Area carry standard items such as a KLR sprocket. In Salvador I chased from 2 official Kawasaki dealers to another 10 different stores across town until in a hidden corner an old lady got one out of a dusty drawer. yay!

El Salvador border: Odometer: 5610 miles, riding time: 119 hours
La Libertad: Odometer: 5750 miles, riding time: 124 hours
Mexican border returning: 6200 miles, riding time: 140 hours

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Honduras: Scuba diving in the Caribbean, strange signs

Spent 4 days on an Caribbean island, I now have a PADI open water diving certification. Today dolphins swam and jumped less than 10 feet next to the boat on the way to the dive site. Water here has more than 30 degrees celsius, you dive in a gigantic bathtub. Did 6 dives in colorful and crystal clear water, one dive sites had a view up to 30 to 50 meters.

You can rent a "Motorcicle" here! I also drove by a Kawosaky shop in Mexico a few weeks ago, unfortunately I didn't take a shot of the big sign.

I just love this street sign! What do you think it's for? Park and drink? Attention, drunk drivers? Drink and drive zone, minimum booze level required? ;)

Honduras Border: Odometer: 5020 miles, riding time: 108 hours
La Ceiba: Odometer: 5264 miles, riding time: 113 hours

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pirates, hot waterfall, landslide, end of the world

Now I know where Hollywood got the idea of pirate castles from. This was built around 1640 to keep the pirates out, but they took over at some point. It's well kept, looks definitely like made for a pirate movie.

Went to a hot spring: A gorgeous waterfall, seriously hotter as my shower back home. A cool river merges at exactly at
that spot, so you are sitting in cool water, whilst your upper body gets boiled. Little mini Piranha like fish are nagging on your skin when you don't move. Also I went for a nice 1 hour boat ride towards the Caribbean coast on Rio Dulce.

I found the end of the world: Semuc Champey. Only a real bad deadend dirt road leads to here. Fantastic views, a natural limestone bridge above a cool river, multicolored pools to swim and a hike up the hill with an amazing sunset view. Here is the best cave I've ever seen in my life, walked and swam about 1 1/2 hour into it with a candle in one hand. Bats, natural slides, rocks to jump off and it's allowed to touch everything.

Check this little landslide: The entire mountain came down, buried the road and a temporary path was built. Crazy dangerous ride. I'm glad I did some dirt bike training back home, this ride was a challenge with all the weight on the bike. Today I did a 4 hour dirt only ride.

Off to Honduras.

Semuc Champey: Odometer: 4750 miles, riding time: 99 hours
El Estor, hot springs: Odometer: 4830 miles, riding time: 103 hours
Rio Dulce/Livingston: Odometer: 4870 miles, riding time: 104 hours