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Thread: inspired, exhausted, excited and in Mexico country Number 56

  1. #1

    inspired, exhausted, excited and in Mexico country Number 56

    Evening all...

    It's hard to believe that it's been almost 4-years for us on the road. Both the miles and time has flown. Scandinavia, Russia, 15 months in Africa, 18 months in South America a few weeks in Central America and now Mexico for Christmas. We're as excited about what lays ahead as we are exhausted.

    After a few exhaustive weeks riding through Central America we've just reached the Yacatun Peninsula in Mexico, where we'll meet Lisa's family for New year.

    After exploring Colombia and seeing what we could in Venezuela we hadn't realised how tense and on-gaurd we'd become until we reached Panama, where we could finally relax a little. Venezuela had been beautiful but a royal pain in the ass...here's a small exert from our dairy:

    19-11-2006 (into Venezuela)

    What a ‘fanny’ of a day.

    Yet again, the best laid plans drown in a puddle of shit and sweat. We’d planned to get an early start and had hoped to get to Maracaibo, a good way inside Venezuela, and so by 7:30am we’d loaded the bikes and were already saying adios to Riohacha. The decent tar was already helping our progress. We’d reckoned on about 45 minutes to the border, an hour for paperwork and money changing and then we’d crack on to Maracaibo. Guess what? It didn’t happen.

    Passports were stamped and carnets signed on the Colombian side. OK, Here we come, country 48! That was as far as we got. On the Venezuelan side we were already getting the ‘shifty eye’ from the officials who’d incorrectly assumed we were North Americans. The pissed-off passport guy grunted at me and with an arrogance born of officialdom waived me over to him, whilst he leant on the building wall. Mumbled Spanish was tossed at me, which translated to…you can’t come in the Aduana is closed on Sunday, go away and come back tomorrow. Asking for him to say this twice to ensure I’d heard correctly just pissed him off even more.

    20 minutes later and I’d not found a solution. Oh shit, this is ridiculous, we’d not read this little bit of info anywhere, not even the Colombians had bothered to mention it as we were being stamped out!

    By now the over-whelming heat and humidity were already getting to us and our sweat ridden riding suits were getting heavier.

    So here we are…in a small dodgy hotel, right at the border. We had to get our passports stamped back into Colombia and we will try again tomorrow. Lisa is so pissed off.


    20-11-2006

    Venezuela Country 48.

    AaaaaaaaaGGGGhhhhhhhh!!!!

    We figured after yesterday’s hic-cup with the ‘you can’t come into Venezuela ‘cause we’re closed’ problem, today we’d get a head start, well, we are already at the border. We figured we would at least get some good mileage under our belts. So with the alarm going off at 5:30am we were up and ready to go by 6:00am. Hey what could possibly go wrong?

    “Tienes una llave para la porta” (roughly tranlsates to...do you have the key to the gate), we ask the older lady at reception. A long concerned pause wasn’t the answer we were looking for. “No way…you got to be fucking kiddin’ me”, is what I was thinking. I didn’t dare say it, I knew if I blurted anything else I’d be hard pushed to stop myself before anything short of a mini tantrum.

    The whole circumstance was ridiculous. Apparently since last night the original key (used to lock the gates last night) became…broken…. and no-one has a second copy. A couple of guys working here suggested we could get a new key made. No matter how hard I tried they couldn’t get it into their heads that we’d need the old key in order to get a copy made. You can’t just get a key made. After 10 minutes I gave up trying to explain.

    A long story sideways…at 8:00am the day was already uncomfortably hot and humid, worst of all we were still locked in. I was having a hard time controlling my frustration. C’mon it’s not fucking rocket science…’close and lock gate at night, make sure you have the key in the morning for unlocking’.

    Someone eventually found a heavy duty saw and 30 minutes later we’d managed to cut through the locking mechanism and at last open the gates.

    To our astonishment the female owner was demanding immediate payment. We were busy trying to get our kit and bikes through the mud track to the front of this small hotel. We’d planned to come back in and pay once we were set. She was having a stressy hernia. I was saying a little prayer, “ dear lord who art in heaven…please make her head explode”?

    The room had been 30,000 pesos colombianos and our food another 10,000 each. OK, so I know I only ride motorbikes but even I can figure that out to be 50,000. The cheeky tart was now billing us 63,000? Where the hell had that come from? To add insult to injury she was demanded another 7,000 for the repair to the gate. Lisa was loosing her rag. And in Spanish explaining forcefully that the gate issue hadn’t been our fault and it had already held us up by over two hours. The owner was digging her heels in and demanded we pay. “It is only 7,000 pesos this is nothing for you”, she snapped in rapid Spanish. That was it I’d had enough. I took out 52,000, which I had to hand and threw it on the table. You want it so bad you can soddin-well pick it up. The money wasn’t even the real issue, to be taken for a complete mug and being treated like an idiot had just got to me.

    Suited up we rode the 20 metres to the military checkpoint and the small dirty passport office. With our passports stamped we could finally get into Venezuela. We’d already had the OK from one of the military guards to ride on… there’d be no search.

    Helmets on, jacket and gloves set to go and Autocoms hooked up and working. We dropped into first gear and began to roll. The loud shriek whistle and the yelling to our left had got our attention. We stopped immediatley.

    4 pissed off green clad gun waiving military guards were letting their feelings known. I’d already resigned myself to them. There was absolutely no point whatsoever in even beginning to explain we were leaving because we’d been cleared by other guards. I knew what was coming next…they wanted ‘EVERYTHING’ off the bikes and were going to search every orifice. An hour later and we were still trying to put stuff back together.

    With the bikes loaded we cursed under our sweat ridden lips and rode on. It was a short 7 km ride to the Aduana, where we just needed our Carnets stamped. (Venezuela does accept the carnet and we still have one to use).

    We were developing a theme for the day…’nothing is going to be easy’. The young girl in the aduana office seemed totally bemused by the carnet. She’d already pushed 4 typed white documents in my direction. This wasn’t going to be quick. 3 hours later and Lisa and I had taken turns in trying to sort out whatever it was that needed sorting. I’d made 6 separate trips to the small cabin two blocks down in order to get photocopies of various pieces of paper. Each time I’d return to find out they needed something else copied. Yep, each time I wondered….”why can’t you just tell me what you want copied so I can make one trip and get the job done”. Nope, things just don’t work that way here.

    We finally had everything in order; Venezuela was at last letting us in. Nope! The guards who’d been watching us sweat our asses off wanted some fun of their own. Oh goody…it’s search time again. Everything was coming off the bikes again. I wanted to ask…WHY? Rumbling through my head was, “we’ve just been searched 7 km up the road. What do you think? A private stealth chopper landed near by handed us a few kilos of quality H and we’ve cunningly incorporated the drugs into our cunningly inconspicuous disguise as over-land bike riding sodding astronauts. Oh no, wait you’re looking for the 80 fee paying illegal immigrants we’ve stuffed into our roll-bags.?

    40 minutes after they’d started they’d become bored. We were waived on…at last.

    The Venezuelan country side was opening up. Long fields partially flooded swept off to our left and nutters in ancient over-sized old American gas guzzlers slowly eased their way past us, most too close for comfort.

    We were heading for Maracaribo which sits at the base of the Golfo de Venezuela.we weren’t going to get much further. Apart from the time issue the heat was really getting to us; our suits were soaked in perspiration. Maracaribo was only 42 miles off…it took us a while as we had three more police stops and two more searches. This is the first time in South America we’ve experienced this, sure we’ve been stopped frequently but after the pretence of paperwork is discarded, you soon realise that the cops or officials are just keen to talk and check out the bikes. Venezuela is going to be different. That said it’s worth mentioning that almost everyone (car drivers) was asked to show the content of their trunks and were subjected to some kind of rudimentary search.

    We’ll see what happens tomorrow?


    If you'd like to read more then just click here: http://www.2ridetheworld.com and then browse to the diary section.

    Here's just a few of photos from South and Central America





















    hope you enjoyed the photos, you can see more at http://www.2ridetheworld.com

    Have a great Christmas
    From Simon & Lisa T
    Ride Far, Ride Safe...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    4 years!...



    Jees time flies!

    Have a safe Crimbo guys, im sure Wivvaliscombe (Trippy help me on the spelling plse!) hasn't changed much!

    Bilks.

  3. #3
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    Top stuff as always!

    Hope you have a good Christmas and New Year to come!!!

    Ride safe, Margus

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