Tag Archives: Ferry

Granada to Balgue, Monday, 26 November 2012, Day 146

Loads of Volcanoes Vistas and I have no idea what the furry plant is answers on a postcard please

Back on the road again yet another short day I had planned to go to the Isle de Ometepe. My distances I am traveling these days are very short and this is for a couple of reasons. The heat, that there is a lot I want to see in Nicaragua and that I have heard that Costa Rica and Panama are expensive so I would rather spend more time here and then do a quick spurt through the other countries to catch my boat. I am in a sort of in a holding pattern keen on getting to South America and getting some serious miles under my belt but totally dependant on the boat so it looks like a few more short riding days for me for the next couple of weeks.

Nice run to San Jorge again pretty scenery cattle country and loads of volcanoes vistas. I pulled into the harbour usual chaos I had no idea how much the ferry was and what time it went but somehow managed to get on the next one which was leaving and it did not cost to much. Pretty rough considering this is a lake the wind was very strong whipping up the water so hard slog into the wind so made sure the bike was tied down securely. I nearly dropped the bike doing a U turn on the ferry the deck as it is sheet metal which has no grip but I  just managed to stay upright.

Ferry to Isla de Ometepe

First thing I did when hit the dry land was breakfast and then a lovely ride to Merida well that was the original plan.

Hit Rush hour leaving the habour

  

I got stopped by the cops who asked for all my papers and when I told them they where buried in my luggage they where then not to interested in seeing them but I had to pay 30 Cordoba’s (1 EUR) toll for the use of the road or a contribution as it is called here. The cop and the man with the clipboard pleasant enough so I coughed up and got a receipt but I am guessing I will be stopped again on my way back. I was heading to town called Merida and I had heard that for the last 10 km it was a dirt track but I was going to give it a crack anyways. So turned of onto the road and it was paved for a short while then it turned to crap. Huge boulders and no real track to follow so after 5 minutes I decide f**k this for a game of soldiers I managed to get the bike turned round and head back to the paved road into Balgue. The road was just too difficult for me and I had other options so I did not have to prove anything to anyone by continuing down that road. In Balgue I met some folks on the road and asked them about accommodation in the area and they pointed me to a coffee plantation about 1.5km up the hill. This was also dirt track but considerably more manageable than the road to Merida. So that is how I ended up Finca Magdalena a gorgeous run down old coffee plantation set in the side of one of the Ometepe volcanos with views over the bay to the other volcano.

Finca Magdalena Gorgeous old coffee plantation home for the next couple of nights

Lovely I have a little box with a bed in it and the views that are terrific so I presume the position chatting to the other inmates and watching the sun go down. Chicken soup for dinner and a reasonably early night as this is an early to bed early to rise type of place. I am glad that I was not able to do the road to Merida as it got me to this great little location

Advertisements

Balgue to San Juan Del Sur, Wednesday, 28 November 2012, Day 148

Wrong ferry wrong Quay wrong queue oops

maybe this one ?

Not going to far today either but it does involve another ferry crossing which I do enjoy. It had rained quite a lot during the night so I was worried about the dirt track down to the main road as this may have turned muddy and me and muddy roads are not a great combination. I Packed the bike and I am down the hill with only a few brown trouser moments then a nice run to the ferry which was leaving at 11am so I had loads of time. I waved to the cop and the toll collector who recognised me from last time and they waved me through and onto the harbour where I tried to buy a ticket or at least find out how much the trip back would be no joy very unclear I need to pay on the boat so I went to get some breakfast and a coffee. Then I  join a very empty queue for the boat only me but it turns out I am at the wrong quay so redirected to the right one and another boat which is chockablock oops and there is me trying to be there early to ensure a place. I am approached by a guy who wants 10 Córdoba’s for road maintenance I refuse as I paid 30 2 days ago so they refuse to let me on the ferry I pull forward so I am blocking the road so if I am not getting on then no one else is getting on. Matey boy with the clipboard comes back with some uniformed chap who informs me that this is a departure tax and I have to pay or will not be let of the Island. We are only talking about 30 cents here but I have principles and the receipt is identical to the one I have already except a different town name on it, so after a bit of clowning for the crowds (unamused sailors and lorry drivers) I cough up then matey boy does usual trick with the change i.e. not have any and they want me on the boat which is about to leave but I am waiting for me change and then I will go. So I finally get on the boat bike tied down calmer and less wind than the journey here.

Do not remember this one in my highway code book!

Chatting to a Quebecker French girl who is travelling with a tour group of 16 people and she hates it and she does not like anyone in the group and or the tosser of the tour lead. Made me giggle as I have very similar views on group travel this is not my cup of tea especially if you get lumbered with a group of dickheads. Quite glad I am travelling on my own when you hear tales like this. The bloke comes around for the tickets and I do not have one and I ask him how much expecting another random figure and huge debate as I am certainly was not going to pay more than on the way here. Well it was another totally random number half the price of the journey on the way here! Go figure.

I got of the ferry slowly and cautionary as I did not want to end up on me arse like I nearly did last time and a short run to San Juan Del Sur. On the Pacific Coast again seaside town I did a tour of the town looking for somewhere to stay. Lots of places, but none that looked like they had a place for parking.

Chubby hot chap looking for a bed for the night

Finally find a place called Ola Italian run by an Italian Chap so another language to throw into the mix. A 4 bed dorm all to myself cheap enough and crisp white sheets and fluffy crisp white towels so I was sold and they had Wi-Fi but this turned out to be crap, slow and intermittent. I went for a long walk along the beach so from one end of the bay and back to the other dull and overcast but still pretty warm.

It is supposed to be a surf beach but not much evidence of that and when I got to the far end of the beach it started to rain so sheltered under a tree then in a café where I got chatting to a Canadian Couple who recommended a Chicken Place down the road for dinner.

It had stopped raining so back to the hostels where I spent some time cleaning up my computer as I have 120GB of memory but this is nearly full so freeing up some space by moving stuff to memory sticks and deleting loads of duplicate photos I have so hopefully that should keep me going for while.

I headed out again to the chicken place and the Canadian couple where there along with a German girl so I joined them but they had already eaten and the Canadian couple headed of as they where leaving very early the next day so that left me with the German girl called Katje (well I think it was that was her name as you all know how good I am at names and at this point I would like to apologise to anyone who’s name I have forgotten and or I have got wrong as its awfully wrong and rude of me so if anyone has any tricks for remembering names please let me know as I would really like to get them right but I am either not listening when I am  told the name or it goes in one ear and out the other) I spent a short but pleasant meal with Katje and walked her back to her hotel then back to the hostel fighting with the Internet which was not cooperating and I do need some info on the border crossing. It took ages got enough info but other things I needed to do would just have to wait.

Turned out quite a late night in the end beddy byes 4 beds to choose from all with clean crisp white sheets.

I had accident with my toilet bag the shampoo had leaked everywhere so I cleaned that  and then trimmed me beard which was getting a bit wild and had a shower and crawled into bed for a good night sleep.

Punta Arenas to Cerro Sombrero, Saturday, 2 February 2013, Day 214

Another victim of the Wind!

So todays mission was to source a new power cable for my computer so I pack the bike and head to the Zona Franca. It is dull and overcast and threatening to rain and it is not that warm but it is only about 7km to the tax free zone. I fail miserably on getting a cable and the people I am dealing with are all miserable and unhelpful but I do get a lead (no pun intended) of an electrical shop back in town so I head back there and in town the people were friendly and helpful they did not have a cable but they pointed me in the direction of someone who maybe able to help so off I went to the next shop again nice bloke does not have one but he will ring a friend and he maybe able to help you. Friend says come on over and he can see what he can do so I had been going from pillar to post and was not that optimistic but it turned out friend had a half an old apple cable and it was the half we needed so after doing some final checks on the old one he asks me can we cut the old cable and splice in the new 2nd hand adaptor I say in for a penny in for a pound in Spanish of course and we cut the old cable and splice in the new old connector shrink wrap it all and hey presto its fixed and that will be 30USD. A bit expensive but a new one would have cost me 80USD so I am happy to pay the man and happier still I had power for my PC as I realise how important it is to me on this trip.

So it’s about 1pm so the next question is should I stay in Punta Arenas another night or should I head to Tierra del Fuego I am not sure if it was wise as I had no idea how long it was to get there and if I would be able to find any affordable accommodation when I needed it but I thought bugger I am nearly there so I must keep moving South.

Hit the road and it was cold damp overcast and the wind was getting up but other than that nice ride only difficult when you stopped so very few photos.

Half way there I passed Alex and Andrea who was heading to Punta Arenas for a new tyre so we pulled over for a quick chat but not for long as it was just to difficult due to the wind I will see them in a couple of days in Ushuaia.

Huge queue for the ferry but I drive straight to the front of this as allegedly that is what we motorcyclist are allowed to do and I parked in front of huge truck out the wind so that Daisy would not get blown over as it was still blowing a gale. A bit of a wait for the ferry and I had to stay with Daisy for the whole trip as well as it was a bit rough and she was not tied down so I was worried she may topple over.

Jumped the queue sheltering from the wind

Ferry to Tierra del Fuego finally!

In the final stretch now it’s about 5pm ish there is 30km left of tarmac before the road turns to dirt for the next 130km and there is a small town where I am hoping there is fuel and somewhere to stay.

Fuel no problem and I see a sign for a hostel down a dirt road so I follow this and there I meet Jose working on his car outside a wooden building that looks like workers quarters and that is the hostel and it is workers quarters with communal bathroom and rest area and its empty and cheap so lucky me has landed on my feet I have a room to myself well practically the whole hostel to myself with a dodgy heater which will probably asphyxiate me during the night but at least I will die warm.

Guessing that this little place is linked to oil industry!

So after settling in I go for an explore of this one horse town which is a service town I think for the local oil development in the area and it is deserted but it has a certain charm. I am looking for food I find a supermarket but no café or restaurant but I have been told there is one. I walk into a works Mess Restaurant but it is not open for the public but they give me directions to a café which I still cannot find even though a nice chap took me practically to the door so ask again at the Supermarket and the nice lady takes me to a door which is the entrance to the café you could not tell this from the outside. It is the local social club and it is deserted except for a young girl watching a Harry Potter film in Spanish. They are open and I have a great feed and use up the last of my Chilean money and have just enough left for my room and my breakfast in the morning.

Back to the hostel when I realise I have left my glasses at the café so it is back out into town again and then sitting in the common area working this on my own as the place is deserted. Later went out and had chat with Jose who was still working on his car I saw an otter and I must say my Spanish is getting a little better day by day but I only have the vocabulary for a simple dialog but its much better than when I first started.

Hit the sack in my toasty room ready for the final push over 130km of dirt road and then 280km tarmac to Ushuaia I will be there tomorrow night finally Goal achieved  🙂

View from room not bad!

Cerro Sombrero to Puerto Santa Cruz, Saturday, 9 February 2013, Day 221

Leaving Tierra del Fuego heading North

First thing I did was fettle with Daisy chain as it was seriously slack except for that tight spot so I am not sure what to do run it tight or slack as its well buggered either way but do not want to loose a chain for doing the wrong thing so I sort of adjusted and it was still making horrible noises that I will have to live with till I can source a new chain probably in Buenos Aires so that’s about 2,500km away so I will have to keep an eye on this. Tyres a pretty finished as well so Daisy is dirty and in desperate need of some TLC which may be a long time coming.

I had breakfast and then hit the road tarmac oh what bliss 40km to the ferry and road straight to the front of the queue again where there was 4 Germans on BMW rentals so I chatted with them while waiting for the ferry. Not long wait and we where soon boarded. This time found out you had to pay in a little office, which I had missed last time, as I had to stay with Daisy and I could have done the same this time as no one was checking whether or not you paid but my conscience got the better of me and I did get a free trip on the way out here. Another short run wind getting up but on my back and side so not much bother to the border which was a combined one this time so exit Chile enter Argentina exit Daisy Aduana Chile enter Argentina Daisy Aduana not much queues in the way of queues so I was through quite quick Phillip spelt with 1 l should be 2 ll they claim it is not important lets see when I try and ship the bike out of here but I cannot be bothered to make to much of a fuss as I have pointed it out they say its fine so done deal.

Put my head down and headed for Puerto Santa Cruz and the free camping. Wind was strong but in the right direction so not to much bother with it today.

What do you mean you cannot read my numberplate its as clear as mud 🙂

Got to the campsite and it was rather busy this time and bugger it was no longer free blokes at the gate collecting money. Oh well it is a holiday weekend I guess we where lucky last time. Same spot and then I head to the beachfront with the plan of using the Wi-Fi and eating as the same restaurant as we ate at last time. There was a mini festival going on so I decided to wander around that first and when I eventually tried the restaurant but it was closed so plan B BBQ sausage sandwich at one of the stalls and an ice cream so that is dinner sorted walked around the few stalls at the festival and watch a few turns on the stage and did the tour of the town (2 streets) and then headed back to the tent to work on this.

Twirly dresses again 🙂 Bloke at the front likes it to.

    

Always someone who wants to spoil the fun evening officer 🙂