StromTrooper banner

21 - 40 of 63 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
Guatemala at last

We got out of de las Cases very easily this morning. However, shortly after getting out of town Cisco needed to stop at a gas station. His clutch (Vee - hydraulic) was giving him problems. We bought some brake fluid, added same, bled system a few times and things got better. We rode the 100 miles to the border and it only took around and hour to enter Guatemala. Departing Mexico was easy once someone showed us the right line. Everyone at both borders was very helpful and kind.





Entering Guatemala we first got our tires sprayed with magic juice for only 12 Q's or around $1.75. Then we entered ourselves into the country at the immigration office. Then it was 50 feet down to the customs office were we entered the bikes. Much paperwork by the officials, stamps, computer entries, etc. and we were officially in.







The countryside was gorgeous. Unfortunately I didn't get many pictures.



Beautiful mountains, canyons, and a river. We were cruising along until Cisco came up alongside of me and said he was having clutch problems again. I didn't realize how bad it was until he tried to turn around and head back. Now he had zero clutch. He pushed the bike over to the side of the rode and we talked a bit. I headed back to town to find more brake fluid. We added same and bled the system but still no clutch. So we pushed started his bike in first gear and headed down hill. He stopped at a bicycle/moto repair shop. I then went ahead and found a bank (we obviously were going to need more Q's than we had) and also scoped out a hotel.

When I got back the mechanic had gotten the clutch to work a bit. He wouldn't not take a dime. We tried to force money on him but he was adamant about not taking a thing. What a great guy.

I had found a great hotel and that where we are at. We have been on the internet for hours and trying international phone calls to order the part. No luck so far. Cisco has the repair book for his bike and thinks he knows what part that needs to be replaced but so far no luck at contacting a supplier. He thinks he needs a piston seal for his clutch actuator mechanism.







We will see what tomorrow brings.

Adiós,
Don Diego

If all else fails we may try to ride the 48 miles to Huehuetenango. We hear there is a good mechanic there who can at least order the part he needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
Maybe some luck

I got up early this morning while Cisco sleeps in. Gorgeous morning in Guatemala listening to the birds and drinking my Guatemala coffee. I feel wonderful. I'm sure Cisco will not be on the high that I am when he gets up.

The good news is that there are 6 Suzuki motorcycle shops in Guatemala City. We had planned on bypassing the city as the reports are it's not worth it. We were instead going to go to Antigua which is a beautiful place. However, with the shops in the city that's where I am going to try to talk Cisco into heading.

It's 150 miles to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico where there is a Suzuki dealer and 180 further into Guatemala where we should also find dealers. Even better, according to the internet, there is a Suzuki shop in Huehuetenango which is only 45 miles further.

Cisco took the clutch actuator off the bike and cleaned things up. Who knows, maybe that fixed the problem. We haven't tested it yet. But I think (& I must admit I am not a mechanic) that carrying extra brake fluid we should be able to head south and find a shop that can make repairs or at least order the part he needs.

I would hate to head back across the border as the line entering Mexico from Guatemala was very long.

The one thing we noticed in our short ride through Guatemala is how the people are growing crops on the sides of mountains that look to have a slope of 45 degrees. It must be incredibly hard work but riding past it looks great. So far I've been impressed with the kindness of the people and the beauty of the country.

Adiós,
Don Diego
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
Luck Ran Out!

We left this morning heading for Huehuetenango hoping to get Cisco's clutch problem solved there.

Slight road block-



Refilling the clutch reservoir on the road-



We found a Suzuki dealer there but he called all over Guatemala for the part needed but had no luck. We called Tuxtla Gutierrez and also had no luck.



So Cisco had a tough decision to make. Keep heading south and keep refilling the clutch reservoir or turn around and head back to USA. We found the only decent hotel in Huehueteango and checked in. We surfed the net and made numerous phone calls trying to find the part. Language was a problem, calling out of the country was a problem, and the fact that almost all the motorcycles down here are small and the parts for a DL1000 don't seem to exist.

So Cisco has decided he is going to head back home. He may find the part in Mexico or certainly when (and if) he gets back to the states. There is nothing I can do to help him so I'm heading SE on my own. We don't want to separate but nothing is gained by me following him back to the states.

I plan on heading for Antigua tomorrow morning. I've wanted to visit Antigua for awhile so I'm looking forward to the opportunity to do so. I should be in El Salvador by the next day. I guess I'll just take it a day at a time. It will be lonely without my amigo to rag on.

The countryside has been beautiful and the people as friendly and helpful as can be. The city of Huehuetenango is not a pretty sight. We drove around a bit and couldn't even find a plaza or church. I'm sure there must be a nice area but we just didn't find it.

Tomorrow morning we are going to ride together to get back onto Central America 1 where he will turn right heading back to Mexico and I will turn left to continue my trip.

Adios,
Don Diego
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
So sorry to read about Cisco's clutch problems. Whatever the outcome, know that a lot of us are riding with you in spirit, keeping you company.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
In Antigua

The road from Huehuetenango to Antigua was great. Two lanes each way for most of the ride. And the scenery was even better. Corn seems to be grown any place a person can stand. There very little flat land so cornfields dot the mountain sides.







The bike and I got a room at a funky little hotel just a couple of blocks from the church and square.





The town of Antigua is very old. It was ravaged by an earthquake in 177? and slowly rebuilt. It is a Unesco World Heritage Sight. It's a must see for anyone traveling through Guatemala.















The old cathedral



A plaque honoring L. Ron Hubbard in the square????????????????



Burger King??????????????



Something is happening with the internet. I'm sending now. tomorrow in El Salvador, weather permitting.

Adios,
Don Diego
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Nice pics of a beautiful country. Must have been a different sort of day traveling solo. Hope all is well with you and your bike.

L. Ronald Hubbard? Ha!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
Things may be changing

And Then We Were Gone - Page 2 - ADVrider

Read post #30. I read this tonight and it really put a scare into me. I don't want thugs in trucks chasing me through Honduras. I'm 69, speak very little Spanish, and don't feel like being hasseled by a bunch of thugs whose values are so much different than mine. I may just have to come up with an alternate plan.

I don't mind riding alone and putting up with the BS at the borders. But I can't handle a truck loaded with thugs intent on intimidating me and taking my money. I may just ride around Guatemala for awhile and then cruise back through Mexico. All that talk about drug cartels in Mexico doesn't scare me a bit. But for riders just a few weeks ahead of me of having that sort of trouble at the same border I would be crossing makes me think twice.

Damn - I really wanted to make it all the way to Panama. I've been there several times before on ships and boats. I love the canal and wanted to see it one more time. And Costa Rica is a great place also.

I guess I'll ride around Guatemala for a few days, maybe spend some time at Lake Atitlan and then kill time in Mexico. Probably head for Mazatlan and take the ferry over to Baja. I love riding Baja.

I knew beforehand that Honduras was a little sketchy but I didn't think it was that prevalent.

Yuck,
Don Diego
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
So Here's The New Plan

Well, I guess I'm getting old. I've decided that crossing Honduras isn't my cup of tea. The possibility of getting mugged or worse seems to be higher than I am willing to accept. If Cisco was still with me it would be a no brainer. We would do it. He's huge and between the 2 of us we could watch the bikes and handle the border crossing duties. But when I heard about the couple a few weeks ahead of us having all their problems I thought long and hard and figured it's not a fun trip if I have to worry so much about my security.

ith the roosters next door and the church bells just a block away waking me at around 0530 this morning (Sunday) I jumped on the computer and did some research on where to go and stay in Guatemala. I was hoping for a nice beach hotel but the beaches are not very attractive here (they are in El Salvador and Mexico) and I couldn't find a good hotel that seemed attractive to me.

So next on my list was Lake Atitlan. This is a huge lake formed by the caldera of an ancient volcano. Here's what I found:

Hotel Paradise Inn, Panajachel, Guatemala

So that's the plan. Probably stay a day or two depending on how I like the place. Then I'll head south to CA2 and cross back into Mexico. I haven't looked at what route I'll take up Mexico but am thinking about heading for Mazatlan. I would catch the ferry there and cross over to La Paz, Baja California. I love Baja and it's a no brainer getting home from there as there is only 1 road going north.

There's a nice coffee house right next door to my hotel in Antigua that serves a buffet breakfast in the patio. Very nice. That's where I'm writing this note.

I have to admit I'm very disappointed in not going further south. Years ago I probably would have said Fug It and just kept going but I guess I'm getting a little soft in my "middle" age.

Adios,
Don Diego
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
More Antigua

Just got a message from Cisco. He's in Vera Cruz, just 300 miles from the border. He's an Iron Butt kind of a rider. Just keeps adding brake fluid and riding like a bat out of hell.

Took a bunch for pics this afternoon. They are all up on photobucket:

Pictures by kapenagary - Photobucket

Here's some:









Parking for motorcycles?



The obligiatory food shot



The Mayans







I'm heading for Lake Atitlan tomorrow. It's just a short ride through some beautiful country.

Adios,
Don Diego
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Good to know Chico is ok. As well as the fact that you're enjoying yourself in spite of the absence of your riding partner. Some people - perhaps myself included - would have folded and headed back north rather than go on to explore unknown territory alone. That aside, deciding to not to tempt fate by traveling thru Honduras sounds a very wise move.

As usual, great photos. Looking forward to seeing Lake Atitlan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
Thanks

It's good to know that people are reading my ride reports. I enjoying doing them but it's nice to know they are appreciated. I enjoy reading other's ride reports also.

Thanks again,
Gary AKA Don Diego
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
Panajachel

It was really good to get back in the saddle again. The ride was only 2 hours but it beautiful twisty roads the Guatemala highlands. I wish it was longer but I finally had to turn off on the rough road down to Lake Atitlan. Got some good views of the lake from a higher altitude.







There's Panajachel.



I couldn't find the hotel I had scoped out on the internet and found an even better one. Plus inside parking for the bike.







Here's some roaming around pics.









Guess what outboards ALL the boats have. Suzuki !!







Food shot.



I saw the afternoon thunderstorm coming across the lake and headed back to the hotel just ahead of the rain.

Going to tour the nature preserve tomorrow and try the zip line.

Adiós,
Don Diego
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
So good to end the day by checking out your travelogue. Wish I was there!
Have you thought at all about El Salvador, or do you feel this is as far as you're going to go?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Excellent photos! Glad to hear you're staying safe while traveling alone. Also really glad to hear your riding buddy is doing well. Felt bad reading about his mechanical issues.

I enjoy reading riding reports and I'll be sure to return the favor once I start riding my Wee out of town.

Be safe and have fun!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #38
So good to end the day by checking out your travelogue. Wish I was there!
Have you thought at all about El Salvador, or do you feel this is as far as you're going to go?
When I made the decision that Honduras was a no go for me I thought long and hard about El Salvador. I had mapped out hotels in San Salvador and San Miguel (a Comfort Inn no less). However, neither my copy of Lonely Planet for Central America or the internet gave me any good reasons for heading in that direction. And I wouldn't do it just to say I was there or to get a decal for my Jesse's. Plus I was, and still am, in love with the highlands of western Guatemala. So rather than hassle with 2 border crossings (into El Salvador and back into Guatemala) I decided to just enjoy Guatemala and spend more time in Mexico.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
It's good to know that people are reading my ride reports. I enjoying doing them but it's nice to know they are appreciated. I enjoy reading other's ride reports also.

Thanks again,
Gary AKA Don Diego
Don Diego... Por Favor... do not stop the ride reports... they are wonderful... and the pictures are great... I am very jealous :mrgreen: of you... People like you take us along with the reports... until we can do it ourselves.

Thanks again...
 
21 - 40 of 63 Posts
Top