Tag Archives: ATM

Copan Ruinas, Tuesday, 13 November 2012, Day 133

Copan Ruinas Honduras Cool place

I sort of slept in but guess I have lost the knack. I must of being tired as I slept through the loud music coming from the disco next door it was cool to go to sleep with all the latest disco hits. I had a long relaxing breakfast and then I walked to the Ruins, which turned out, to be fantastic Mayan site so I spent most of the day taking loads of crap pictures and just taking in the sites. The place is pretty deserted so I pretty much have the place to myself which is cool. At about 3pm I find out there is another bit to this site about 2km away so I made tracks there as it was shutting at 4pm. Absolutely no one here at this part and here there was the ruins of the houses where as the main part was temples this was also cool but I had to move fast, which was a shame. Note to self-do more planning! I walked back to town so I have done a lot of walking today I then went to the ATM and on my way back to hotel bumped into Wendy a Dutch girl who was at the house I had stayed at in Antigua so we arranged to meet for dinner.

        

      

      

      

Pleasant evening at Viavia with Wendy, Paul the Canadian chap and another English girl called Becky.

Wendy was flying back to NL but I have arranged to meet her in Panama City in December gezellig  🙂

macaws flying around the ruins

      

Hey Tads you opened a place in Honduras

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Resistencia to Asuncion, Monday, 4 March 2013, Day 244

Asuncion Paraguay

Maybe a new country will lift my spirits as the last couple of days riding has certainly not helped but I already knew that this was going to be a dull couple of days up front so its exactly as I expected with some damp weather thrown in to add to the dullness. Today did not start at all well as in my expensive room (by my current standards) no bleeding hot water the hot water tap in the shower did not work so I had a cold one. I complained to the guy in reception about this and he says I can have a different room tonight. I am leaving you arse but he could not give a fig and they probably knew full well about the broken tap as its not something that goes of just like that assholes. Rant over I really am not a happy bunny at the moment I must try and rectify this somehow.

I adjusted my chain again as it was sloppy and I am guessing this chain is about shot to as after a days ride it needs adjusting and there not much adjustment left. It has done 5,000km and it is not an O-ring type so I am not surprised at the rapid chain wear, as it not designed for the job being asked of it. So I stop at a Yamaha dealer and yes they have an O ring chain that will be 1,200 ARS or if I pay in USD $160 or that should be $240 using the official rate not black market rate. I ask to see the chain and he shows me an EK 530 I say no I am looking for a 525 he pulls out a Yamaha own brand chain and I ask him how much for this he says same price. This is to expensive just for a chain and the fact that I did not really like the chap I said thanks but no thanks I will try and get one in Paraguay. I may regret this decision but I think if needed I can squeeze some more miles out of the old one but it’s a risky call.

Road to the border not much different from the last couple of days so that means another dull day.

Border crossing into Paraguay quite quick had a laugh with the Aduana on Paraguay side the guy filled in the forms very slowly by hand he had beautiful copper plate handwriting  and it was a joy to see. Chatting whilst this going on and then they start talking about money and suddenly Philly does not speak Spanish anymore and the guys think this hilarious and ask for 100 USD and I reply in Spanish Lunes este todas libre (Monday everything is free) and this amuses them and handshakes all round and another bribe avoided with humour.

Asuncion is only 30km from the border and I get there at about 6pm. Place seems awfully quite and it turns out today it is a public holiday. I find a place to stay they have no parking for Daisy but I can park her on the pavement in front of the hostel as there is a night watch man on all night and a police station just around the corner so she would be fine. So I checked in and then first thing I needed is some local currency so off to the Cashpoint I tried the first one and it says I have no founds I think it means no funds amusing how a corporation like a bank can have such bad English on something like a cash machine it does not look very professional. So the question who has no founds (funds) me or the bank as it a bank holiday weekend so it may be out of cash so I try another bank and I try a couple of times to get cash out then it dawns on me there maybe a possibility that I may not have any money in my current account as its been a while since I transferred some monies across and I have been spending quite liberally. Back to the hostel on the Internet to check my bank balance yep it is me current account totally empty oops. Transfer some money and then go for a walk around Asuncion for about an hour before trying yet another bank and hey presto funds have been found or is it founds have been fund according to the programmer of the Paraguayan cash machines 🙂

Got to love a capitol city that has pigs wandering round the national monuments 🙂

Downtown Ascunsion!

I have cash so I can have some dinner and on the way back to the hostel I find an ice cream shop and it is a help your self ice cream shop. So you get a plastic glove and you help yourself to all the ice cream that you want and it is charged by weight. Brilliant I was like a kid let loose in a sweet shop I was asking the ladies what everything was and for most of the responses I had not a clue what they where telling me but I did not care as I was having a great time. I was quite constrained and the total price was quite exceptable and I did not require more founds from the cash machine.

Back to the hostel I could pay my bill now and then back to working on this. I would like to maybe stayed another day here but I am not sure if there was that much more to see than what I had already done and I was meeting up with Alex and Andrea in Iguazu my last chance to catch up with these guys before they head back home to Romania as there trip is nearly over.

Sleeping in a 20 person dorm which sounds horrendous but there only 4 of us in there so loads of space and very little disturbance so a good night kip was had.

Asuncion to Puerto Iguazu, Tuesday, 5 March 2013, Day 245

Makes you want one!

A hot shower this morning strange the cheaper the place sometimes the facilities are so much better not a bad breakfast either. Time to load Daisy and the street is completely different than yesterday when its was dead today it was chocker block with folks and Daisy is parked at a bus stop so surrounded by folks waiting for buses getting on and off busses that seemed to come every minute so basically Daisy was blocking a very busy thoroughfare Ooops.

So I packed her very quickly as she was in the way of everyone trying to get to work I did not fettle with the chain as there was no space and I hit the rush hour of a Capital city and it has been a while since I was in heavy traffic and it was quite chaotic. Looking for bikes shops as I head out of the city and I spot a Honda dealer and stop and enquire about chains. It amazes me how little the folks in these shop know about what they are selling a chain is a chain it does not matter what type of bike it goes on if you have the specs and I do it’s an O ring 525 chain with 118 links but the chap there is not sure as a Honda dealer that the chains they have would fit a Suzuki but he will investigate. He comes back some time later and tells me that a Honda Atlas has a 525 chain and 118 link really fascinating but do you have one. No!

I am not having a dig at these guys as they were trying so hard to help me they called some guys in town to see if they had one in stock and it was hard to get away as they where determined they where going to get me a chain so I appreciate the effort put in in it was entertaining but also very time consuming. One guy rang his mate who had V-strom and seemingly he got his spares from Amazon.com which is good to know! I finally managed to get away thanking my new friends for there effort and I head back to the road out of town and I try a couple more shops one will only work on bikes that he sells and an other had one but it only had 114 links but we could butcher another one for the 4 extra links not the solution I was looking for and surprisingly this last dialog all done in German! So I decide that Paraguay is not the place for chains lets wait till we get to Brazil and see if I can score one there. It’s about 12.30am and I still not left Asuncion and I still need to get Iguazu and a border crossing so I better hurry up.

still dullsville

It felt like I was driving through town for age’s loads of traffic and stopping and starting and when I did leave town it was never for very long before and you where passing through another town or village with speed humps chaotic traffic and traffic lights. I have been away in unpopulated areas for to long and I am not enjoying this much its dull and overcast and threatening to rain as well and it finally does so waterproofs out andI need to be very careful as the road are very muddy.

  

took very few photos today not really in the mood and scenery not that photogenic.

I finally reach Ciudad del Este and realize the route that Mr GPS is sending is via Brazil and there no way I want to go through Brazil and add another border crossing to my day as its already quite late. So I am certain that there has to be a way into Argentina without going via Brazil (does this sound familiar) I am stuck in rush hour traffic just before the border when I have this realisation so I turn right and I figure out that if I follow the river I should hit the border with Argentina soon why Mr GPS is not being cooperative I do not know why. I ask some Motorbike taxis and they send me to a place called tres fronteres which sound promising and I ask a police man and he says yes there is a border crossing but its closed but its down there. Well he was right it’s a ferry to Argentina and the last one is 16.30pm its 17.30pm I talk to the Army guys at the ferry about next border crossing into Argentina and that’s about 200km away as there are no bridges across the river till then. I am about 5km away from the Hotel where A & A are staying but have to go back 20km and then go in via Brazil and this I was not expecting. Sheepishly I follow the instruction of Mr GPS who was right this time and I really should do my homework on Border crossing I am expecting a lot more than there is in reality. Huge queues crossing the bridge into Brazil but its moving I nearly miss Paraguay immigration and Aduana as I cannot see them for the lorries but I know they are there so pull over and I am just past them. Check out easy peasy next stop Brazil. Tell the guys I am going straight through to Argentina so they say just do immigration for me and there is no need for a temporary import for the bike so that was easy as well. 20km ride through Brazil, which looks very civilised in comparison to Paraguay high tech traffic lights, which count down and up for every light change which is quite mesmerising.

Final border immigration for me simple chat with Aduana and they say if I am only going into Puerto Iguazu and going directly back to Brazil no need to import the bike into Argentina. It sounds dodgy but its late and getting dark so accept this and head to the Hotel to meet up with A & A.

Rolled into Argentina just as it was getting dark.

I roll up to the Hotel just as its getting dark A & A are there and seem happy to see me 🙂 so shall I stay at this place or try and find a hostel as its quite expensive but I am knackered and I really do not like the creepy guy running the place but after some negotiations I get the price down to a more acceptable level by agreeing a 3 night deal and I have a huge room with a double bed and 3 single bed as well so have 4 beds to choose from to sleep into tonight nice.

A & A you have taught me well in the art of haggling for Hotel rooms 🙂

I am totally done in after my long day I just had and and so where A & A as they been out and about all day as well so we spent the evening just hanging in there room chatting and catching up and swapping tall stories no dinner only chocolate biscuits which was all I needed. A very pleasant evening I am going to miss you guys and it was nice that you where always in the vicinity so when I needed company or a pick me up a quick E-mail and a rendezvous was quickly sorted 🙂

Puerto Iguazu to Cascavel, Friday, 8 March 2013, Day 248

Modern Cathedrals  i am not sure about them yet!

  

I have no idea where I am going only that I want to get to Rio de Janeiro. I have found out very little information on this stretch of the trip there is nothing in the guides books and or on the forums that I can find so it is going to be a total surprise as I have no idea what the route will be like and I usually I do have a vague idea.

Border crossing very simple done so them many now that I am a pro. I had seen a Suzuki Motorcycle shop in Foz do Iguacu on my way through Brazil as my chain is totally knackered and I have very little confidence in it and I am expecting it to come loose and to take my foot of with it which is an uncomfortable feeling. Adjusted it again this morning not that it makes much difference. I also noticed the nut on the spindle was loose so does that mean that it had worked itself loose or had dick for brains (me) forgotten to tightened it last time he was fettling with it oops that could have been a disaster.

Half decent scenery at last and rolling hills yes 🙂

Suzuki Dealer does not have the chain I am looking for so off to the Honda Dealer nope they do not either so then to the Yamaha Dealer yes they have one but again bleeding expensive. Try another couple of shops again no cigar and I had tried 3 shops in Puerto Iguazu as well yesterday so not much luck on the chain front. It was a very hot day so 35 degrees plus so all I wanted to do was get riding to cool down slightly as I was a soggy mess and most of the day had already gone by the time I left Foz do Iguacu in the direction of Cascavel the state capital maybe I would have better luck there.

Hot sweaty day scenery pleasant much better than the last couple of day in Argentina but it does not take much to be better than that! I forgot to hit a cash machine in Foz or as it was to hot I thought I get to one later as I did not need any Brazilian Cash just yet. However about after 20km I see a tollbooth ahead no problems bikes are usually free no not today. Bugger plug ATM into my GPS and there’s one about 5km back down the road.

Try the first machine nope not working and all in Portuguese so I have to queue to ask somebody to help me on whether or not the machine accepts my card or am I just pressing the wrong buttons. It’s the first one so to the next bank HSBC first machine says no twice second machine also says no so I being helped by a lady from the bank who suggest a put on a lower value in great idea love but I will be still be charged the same fee for less money, I am hot sweaty and irritable and I comply and the machine dies completely in front of my eyes bugger. Nice lady directs me to the next bank for a small village in the middle of nowhere there sure are lots of banks and the machine at this one also says no but before that the guard also says no to me in entering the bank with my helmet on so you can guess at Phillys mood at this moment so I chat with yet another lady who directs me to yet another bank and yes finally we have a winner Phillys has some Real’s so I can pay the toll attendant to get to Cascavel where the continuing saga of the replacement chain can recommence. I had been chatting to a local bloke who had given me the name of the street with the bike dealers on it well I say chatting the mood I was in he was chatting I was giving him gruff retorts to his chattiness so my friend I do apologise for being in a foul mood us chubby English blokes are just not designed for this kind of heat and I had been un successfully being traipsing round banks and bike shops for what seemed like forever.

Hit Cascavel temperature was creeping into the 40’s first stop Honda Dealer nope no chain then to the Yamaha Dealer a complete Asshole telling me that I have a 520 chain on my bike not a 525 and he insists on dragging me and his mates out into the heat to prove he is right. Oh what a surprise it’s a 525 I know you twat as that what I put on last time and I have been telling you for the last 10 minutes then he starts going on about 520 being the same as 525 no they are not and anyhow he states you cannot get 525 in Brazil or the whole of South America. I could have battered the guy he was so full of himself instead I just left saying I would just continue with this one thank you very much at which he suggested pulling a couple links out of this one to add some life. Thanks but no thanks mate that is just asking for trouble.

I found the Suzuki dealer and joys of joy they have one with 120 links but they can easily take 2 out of a new chain no problem It  was not cheap but I had gotten to the point of not caring and asked if they could fit it there and then.

Some TLC for Daisy well sort of!

Yep no problem, I have said it before but it is probably not wise to hang around and watch when someone else is working on your beloved bike well today was no different I have not cringed so much at the mechanical apathy shown whilst working on Daisy since the last time someone did some work on her that I watched!

We had a look at the front sprocket, which was toast, and they had a new one so added that to things to change this was when the first problem started the mechanic could not get the nut holding the front sprocket loose so huge torque wrench with extension for additional mechanical advantage was called for and she would still not shift so next we call the big fella with muscles and see if he can get it loose nope no joy either, so the mechanic disappears of on his bike and comes back 10 minutes later with air gun. This fails as the air gun is not powerful enough either to the loosen nut so it is back to Torque wrench with an even longer bar extension and then there is a huge crack as she is finally loosened. I think there is a macho thing going on with mechanics on how tight they can do up nuts as this is not the first time I have struggled with loosening nuts on Daisy there are specs for tightening nuts and bolts but these are mostly ignored and tightened till they cannot be tightened no more!

  

So that was the front sprocket changed and now on with the new chain. In theory you have a tool that spreads the soft rivets on an O-ring chain they did not have that tool just a hammer a wooden block and a chisel and then just hit the bugger using the back sprocket as the vice! Oh and no protection of the O-ring to ensure that they do not get squished the teeth of the back sprockets will ensure that they will be okay. I was cringing whilst all this was going like I said should be somewhere else and just see the finished product, as ignorance is bliss.

All this took quite a while so after settling the bill I went to look for hotel one recommended by the blokes at Suzuki to expensive but they pointed me to a cheaper one down the road. Quite expensive by my standards but as I have no idea of prices yet in Brazil I went for it as I was hot sweaty and tired. I went for a walk and for some dinner and back to the room working on this again 🙂

I had made very little inroads towards Rio de Janeiro with all the faffing looking for a bank and even longer looking for a chain that was more expensive than others I had declined in the last couple of days oops but Daisy is sorted and touch wood I only need to keep her filled up with fuel for the rest of the trip as the consumables are all up to date and fresh (sort off :-))

Montevideo to Colonia Del Sacramento, Saturday, 6 April 2013 to Sunday, 7 April 2013, Day 277 to Day 278

Today is my last reasonable long trip on Daisy on this side of the world. I am quite sad about this. A short run of 180km to Colonia Del Sacramento, unfortunately for the final run it is pretty dull. I was looking forward to Colonia as usual it is one of those places that had been hyped up in all the tourist blurb so lets just say it is nice enough place but nothing like its billing I should be used to that by now but it does irritate me a little bit. I found a new hostel that had parking and then I went for a wander on what seems to be the never-ending search of a cash point that gave out US dollars no joy so found a place with a reasonable rate to exchange my cumulated UYE to USD so I am slowly building up the cash I need in Buenos Aires for shipping Daisy.

I spent the rest of the day walking round the town which was pretty small but pretty enough, nice sunset and then headed for a shopping mall on the outskirts of town hoping they would have a food court for some cheap and nice food for my dinner but turned out to be tiny and just a supermarket so I brought a slice of meat pie and a bottle of pop so that is dinner sorted and back to the hostel

No breakfast at this hostel so I had a sleep in and out and about looking for somewhere nice to have breakfast and again I am looking for cashpoints that work and that dispense USD. I had a an omelette on a nice little terrace near the harbour and spent the rest of the day just wandering around town which has old classic cars just parked up on the street all over the place which I thought was a great idea as I do like me classic cars and there are certainly a lot floating around in Uruguay maybe these are folks actual cars!

 

                                                                          

      

  

For dinner I had Chivito AKA Chacarero or what I have been calling them in this blog a Lomito sandwich for dinner after watching another nice sunset and then back to the hostel to chill.

 

      

Colonia Del Sacramento to Buenos Aires, Monday, 8 April 2013, Day 279

Long way down!

Margaret Thatcher is dead said the immigration officer with a huge grin on his face and a huge smile no Buenos Dias or any other courtesies or pleasantries that you usually get when going through customs. As soon as he knew I was British all he wanted to talk about was the fact that the iron lady had past away and what excellent news that was. This may be a good thing for the Anglo Argentinian relationship and maybe a lot of the anti British sentiment may be reduced because of this event but I personally took no pleasure on the gloating and the joy that this gentlemen had on the demise of a former prime minister (human being) or the subsequent outpouring of ding dong the witch is dead which was to fill the social media for the coming weeks as I personally have an admiration for Maggie and what she achieved this was never popular or a cool position to have not that I agreed with everything that she did as like us all she made loads of mistakes as well but least you knew what her position was on an issue and I am old fashion you may not agree with everybody’s point of view that may differs from your own but you should respect it.

Due to this historic event my entrance back into Argentina was easy and straight forward but that could also be due to the fact that this was the 5th time I was coming into Argentina so I knew the process pretty well by now.

Left the hostel at about 9am with yet another run at the cashpoint and then to the money exchange to maximise the amount of cash dollars I had which I would need to pay for Daisy getting home then I headed to the docks to catch the boat to Buenos Aires. Had some empanadas for breakfast whilst waiting to be boarded and then onto the boat. Easy and pleasant journey I met up with an Israeli biker Doron http://doronsvoyage.wordpress.com who was also heading for Dakarmotos http://www.dakarmotos.com

I arrived back at Dakarmotos at about 1pm as I had been there before so it was like coming home or it was nice to be back in familiar places with friendly folk who I already knew. Daisy needed to be at the airport the following morning so first order of business was getting the paperwork started and the first payment of USD 100 for Sandra’s Broker fee so then of to the photocopy shop for the relevant copies and filling in of the paperwork and a trip to the local supermarket to get some dinner in and I spent the rest of the evening sorting my kit out and prepping Daisy for her big trip back to the Netherlands. Dumping loads which I do find difficult as a hoarder and a tight arse but my sleeping bag I have had for 20 years so I guess that is due for replacement and my tent which still had some miles in it but was looking a bit tired and needed some TLC so it is not worth lugging this kit back to NL only to chuck this kit away there maybe someone can make use of this here. Whilst going through my stuff I still could bring myself to chuck certain t-shirt and bits of kit away even though threadbare and minging I get very attached to stuff. One of my panniers had been leaking so some of the kit had got a nice bit of mould on it so that was slightly easier to part with. Other bits and pieces I had carried for 65,000km and I had never used or worn so those extra hiking boots had a grand trip of the Americas without ever seeing daylight I most confess I do carry to much kit but would I change anything well probably not as I would rather have to much and not use it than to little and find I need it and if there room in the panniers well its gets filled.

Did a dry run of striping down Daisy ready to be transported on the plane so that is taking the mirrors; front screen and GPS mount of. I am glad I did this as I could not get the screen of because way back in June 2012 in Canada it had come loose so Philly being the mechanical genius with his tool kit of duct tape, zip ties and Loctite had made sure that the screen would never ever come loose again and had gone to town on the 4 screws holding the screen on and there was no way these where coming loose so in the end I had to break the screen to get it off. It was already cracked in two places where I had over tightened the screws. So anyone in the Netherlands who has got a spare screen for Daisy as she looks rather naked without it can you please contact me 🙂

  

Fortunately that evening Javier was there so had some muscles to break the screen and to concur that it was the only way that screen was coming of without taking the whole front end to pieces and it was already buggered as mentioned earlier and it was also 12 pm at night and I was heading to airport at 9am the next morning.

The reason Javier was there was that we where expecting an American couple  Suma and Hoa http://whyweroam.wordpress.com who had crashed there bike 2 days earlier at Rada Tilly way down South In Argentina and straight after the crash had put the bike on a back of lorry and had been traveling North since then still covered in blood and dirt from the crash. They arrived at about midnight Hoa had a mashed foot and Suma one hand in bandage (turned out later to be broken) and the bike a huge GS BMW on the back of huge truck and the only way to get it of the back of the truck was with good old fashion muscle power. Javier called a mate of his Carlos and there was me and the driver of the lorry and Doron who kept insisting that it was impossible to get the bike of the lorry with just us and Javier telling him to shut the f**k up as this was not the first time he done this 🙂 Well we did manage to get the bike off the lorry but I also I had my doubts, as did my poor back.

            

It turned out to be a long day and late night after we sorted out Suma and Hoa we changed their bandages fed them and got them settled in There is never a dull moment at Dakarmotos 🙂