Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Antigua - The Happenings

Ok, due to Pierre pressure (above) this is what has been happening .... 

Greetings readers, first off I am very happy to report that my ribs have finally stopped crunching thus I am on the mend, the difference in pain levels between crunching and not crunching is night and day and fair to say enthusiasm levels have increased with it.

So what has been happening? ... nothing extreme but still lots of cool stuff.

We had a Sabado Sushi at a local shop/cafe however the owner didn’t do much advertising so it was very quiet, coupled with that mum nature come to the party and doused Antigua down so this probably didn’t help.

Did this matter? ... hell no ... had HEEPS more Sushi for us, Gene and Neda joined us as well so we shouted them lunch just for fun, later afternoon the roof tarpaulin started ponding and the supporting (lack of) structure was groaning under the weight so we decided to vacate the “swipe “zone and the owner managed to empty the pond and avoid disaster.

Ellens sushi 

The shop owner Axle

Even with the weather still going well Gene and Neda had to go so they made these stunning rain coats outa rubbish bags....I think it will catch on. 

Some minor custom tailering  ... sorry for the photo quality but it is hard to make Gene look good 

Gene and Neda invited TMK and team Guaterider to have tea at Casa Ride DOT, Neda was doing a special dish from Croatia.

Samplings of red wine, local chocolates etc and it was a very enjoyable evening all round, Gene and I also swapped movies for the rainy days....somehow we all missed fud photos ...I think we were all to hungry and inspired by the great tucker put in front of us.

Gene and Ellen .... they look more normal than Ellen and I  ... h e y Neda  

Back to motorcycle stuff now, after all the brake work Maya was ready to race again, nice to see her in the courtyard playing with smaller kids. 

I finally got out on Maya for a short ride nearly 5 weeks after our crash, the night prior I checked the front tire pressure as we had a problem with a sticky valve ... pressure was 20 PSI ... bit low but enough for the short ride and around on the cobled streets here.

This my friends is what a really contented look looks like after 5 weeks off her, I slithered across the seat soas no to upset anything in the rib department and the feeling to sit back on the bike was ...actually hard to explain, a combo of  for joy and that funny little feeling blokes get when ya go a hot chick and things are warming upppppp 

Well, 6.30am I headed out to Maya ..... front tire TOTALLY flat .... argh fook so out with the pump, good exercise anyway with the hand pump, I could feel my ribs .... tire pumped and ready to race it was a short test the brakes ride and test my body ride, so I left Ellen and luggage at la casa and Maya and I went out.

The brakes worked perfectly with new blood in their veins and new pads on the back, I ended up pulling the front system as well as we had half a bottle of fluid, the front caliper bottom piston was slightly sticky but ok but well worth the service to have everything working how it should with proper adjustment.

I wasn’t very long away but I felt ok body wise, still saw but on the improve but no double backflips just yet, during the ride I noticed the steering was out of line to the left from our binning so I undid the top triples and straightened this up.

Now Mikes favourite bunny has been playing to the audience, spotted here the bunny was giving Ellen some patting lessons .... I think she past but he has a dodgy look on his face....not entirely sure about this tongue thing 

He also likes to dig .. who woulda thought eh?, note the second dodgy look on his face along the lines of piss off I am digging 

With variable weather here at the turn of seasons we get a mixed bag of weather but some days after the rains we are treated to spectacular view of what Antigua has to offer.

This from our roof top where I took the previous rain and clouds shot, Antigua is stunning.

Today on my ride I passed a ute ... at least I think it was ... the bloody thing was so bent the doors did not shut and the driver and passenger were holding them as closed as they could so I got ahead of and just HAD to take a pic ... I still can’t believe this POS is on the road.

Sunday was an early breakfast with Julio and Luisa, heading outa town there was a disgruntled local who was upset about trucks so he blocked the road COMPLETELY.

Me bein a gringnotunderstandingwhatisgoingon took some photos ... well it seemed he thought I was taking photos to report him and he got right grumpy at me (so I found out later) he took photos of us (hope my hair looked ok) and he duly cleared off soas not to get dobbed in to the feds ... classic didn’t know this until we were sitting down having breaky ... Julio, Luisa and Officer TMK .


So the place we rode to had great smoked sausages, breakfast was had and sausages were bought and home we went taking back roads and going to a church on the way home to wash our sins away ... unfortunately they didn’t have enough water or trees for me and having to give away money and booze didn't hit my spot.

The LEDs really set it off for me 

That afternoon was a celebration of fud and bebes for Gene and Nedas one year on the road....well done guys and nice to share the occasion with you.

No pics of that either  .. .starting to think we are all greedy buggas 

More to come ..... later.

Goodnight and luv to all 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Antigua Round Three - We Can’t Seem To Leave This Place

.....Julio says it is cheaper to buy a place here rather than just keeping coming back again and again

So after our wee get off life has been interesting considering we (me) are doing very little.

Highlight of my day is lunchtime and tea time, we have also been doing two hours each day Spanish so this is good and take my mind off my ribs but I find it uncomfortable sitting so I move around a lot.

Maya was safely delivered by Gene and Neda who are normally seen riding the GS’s. Nedas bike needed servicing in Guatemala City so Gene cadged a ride with Julio who kindly offered a seat while Neda followed behind on her bike.

Dropping her bike at the dealership they both piled onto Maya, this worked out well for them as Gene does not have a passenger seat on his GS and it worked well for us to get Maya back in our possession, a HUGE thanks to Victor for looking after her.

Something happened to Maya in Guatemala City and the rear brake decided it did not want to leave town and started making smoke signals which is a bumma, seems that moisture from humidity in the brake fluid was the culprit so new pads, new oil and a good clean out and we will be up and running ... not that I can use the bike anyway.

HUGE thanks to Gene and Julio, really appreciate the team effort to get her back here and I promise not to post any pictures of Gene on the KTM ... other than these ones. 

Concentrated look

I was the guide boy .... dunno what I could have done if Gene let her go 

Squeezed through the entrance

All the way to the back courtyard

So at our place we are staying I am relaxing and resting, every morning we go for a walk to get circulation going which is great, a walk to the market or town centre, the market is a cool place where you can buy anything .. except a camera tripod.

Ellens training coming into full flight here

A reminder and pisstake on Cuba ... very appropriate 

This place is CHOCA with fruit and veges, prices ranges dramatically depending on the day and who is serving you, some see whites fellas and go ca-ching and others are asking their usual prices.


Every afternoon the clouds gather and have a scrap, mum nature lets us know she is in control with thunder and lightning served up in generous proportions, in New Zealand this is rare, in Guatemala this is everyday in the rainy season.

From the "sun" deck

See the layers here, just stunning

A couple of minute up here is as good a world class movie with swirls and changing clouds and Huey taking photos of earth

There have been many parades and celebrations, Guatemalans love blowing shit up and everyday there are huge booms which makes one jump if you are not ready for them.

This was a dance on the street, check out their masks

In house here we have a big rabbit who is a real friendly bugger and loves to try and trip you up, who needs a watch dog with a daunting face like this.

He is whiter than me!! 

Last Saturday evening we got an email from Phil and Jane on the Ultimate Ride, they were in Antigua for two nights so we caught up with them which was so cool.

Given they only had two nights we organized a dinner at a restaurant called “Por Que No”, which translates to “Why Not” on the Sunday evening.

It was quite the gathering with Gene and Neda, Phil and Jane, Ellen and I and Julio (unfortunately Luiosa was in Guatemala City with work) 

We are not sure why but Nedas meal came our first, so with no guilt we said get into it and don't wait for us ..... well she did ....and it smelt great


The team, from the left, Jane and bro Phil, me, Gene, Neda, Ellen and Julio

Gene recklessly graffiting the hat 

We showed them “the hat” that started a two page war on our ride report against Voodoodaddy who was offended, it was agreed unanimously he was a dick, obviously the mods thought so too as he is permabanned. 

So in good spirits Team Phil and Jane as well as team lightcycle - Gene and Neda signed the other hat ... now there are scrawlings from three dodgy adventure bikers there is no other real estate left in there to graffiti in.

Look inside and you will see the sigs

Good times guys and a great catchup ... may the slow race continue, Gene and Neda no more cheating going around the block to Cuba and back again 

Also in my time to think about life for a while I got to thinking about facts and figures, at the end of my ribs saga in say 2.5 weeks time which will be 6 weeks we have had 18 weeks off the road to failures.

We lost 6 weeks out of the first six months to the DR 650s casing fups by Suzuki and we lost 6 weeks to Ellens crash and regroup and now 6 weeks to my ribs.

In a very strange sorta way we are very lucky considering a lot of people don’t actually have 18 weeks to travel let lone have 18 weeks to recover and get over fails with motorcycle and bodies.

So at 400 days now on the road we have had around 126 days off...without sick pay , so more than a quarter of the time, this is something we had not factored into our trip so our best plan was to have no plan which has worked out well.

Where is this going? .. buggered if I know but I was just thinking about it so I guess anyone considering a RTW trip just think a little more about possible illness or crashes, don’t base your trip around it but place it in the back of your mind.

The consequences of this is we are obviously miles behind where we thought we were going to be, theoretically we should be down in South America around Peru or so, at this point we have not made it half way and we are dead set into the rainy season which or course has other bonuses and trials.

That concludes what has been happening to date, next update when something exciting happens although life has still been great despite me single handedly keeping the Guatemalan medical profession from going into recession. 

Luv to all.