Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Personal thoughts and a BIG Thank you!

As the sun is setting on the first leg of our trip (Central America) and we are getting ready to move on South America, I want to take a moment to thank Kevin for having invited me to share this trip of a lifetime with him and for having confidence in my riding abilities. He continues to amaze me with his patience, his strength, and his generosity and I am having a blast as his partner and sidekick!
Gracias Big!!!

Official drink of the BIG Trip.

Kevin thought he was dreaming when he saw his first BIG Cola in Mexico (Kevin's motto: "Think BIG, Be BIG") and by the time we got to Costa Rica he could no longer contain his desire to be photographed with a BIG Cola billboard and to drink as much of the stuff as he could.

Arts and crafts on the road and no pot of gold yet...

I made Kevin a palm grasshopper (the white-water-rafting guide taught me), and we saw a full rainbow one day in Costa Rica.

Volcano Arenal in Costa Rica

Wow, what a sight this volcano and it's surrounding lake are. Getting to this place has been one of my favorite rides so far. We stayed at a cute cabin with a view of the volcano and even got to see this live volvano spewing lava our last night there, is was pretty cool and amazing.

Motley Crew from around the world.

This is picture of Kevin and myself along with our new "soulmate" Tim James Morgan and our new "kiwi" friends Josh Forde and Jonathan Bogacki. We ran into all these guys (and two Canadians going the other way) at the border between Costa Rica and Panama. We all rode into Panama together and had a fun lunch talking motorcycles, relationships and hos much one of the kiwis (can't remember which one, oops) looks like Nicolas Cage in Raising Arizona! I want to mention that as we were ridding into Panama, we were in great biker formation and I happenned to be in the middle with one guy on a BMW and one guy on a KLR both in front of me and behind me, so I kinda felt like the princess with her escort of handsome men...not to shabby!

Ahhhh, what a difference a nice bed makes!

So, Kevin and I were able to contain the killer bees and survived our first night at our gorgeous borrowed home in Boquete, Panama. We woke up this morning fully rested and restored from a fantastic night's sleep on a supremely soft mattress with deliciously soft pillows. We spent about an hour and a half giving our motorcycles much needed baths, especially after the manny rivers we crossed on the way to and from Bahia Drake in Costa Rica; we also washed all our ridding gear and all our clothes. Then we lazied around the house looking out at the rainstorm from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room. Wow, this is the way to live!
I'm very happy to say that the aforementioned ride to and from Bahia Drake did wonders for my ridding confidence in terms of getting rid of the demons I had been carrying since my one bad fall and subsequent numerous falls trying to get up the mountains on the way to Miraflores in Nicaragua. It seems very appropriate that my demons should disappear right around the same time that the bruise on my thigh is hardly visible any more.
We've been on the road 35 days now and it is really amazing for me to sit down and really take stock in all the adventures we have already had, fantastic places we've been, and all the great people we have already met. At this pace, it seems to me that by the end of this trip, we will have lived a kind of "second life" all it's own.
So, once again, in the interest of sharing more than stories and helping everyone really appreciate what we've been up to, I will share some more pictures from our travels. First, this is the little slice of heaven where we are staying.
Also, I want to give a shout-out to my "mamita" and my brothers, I love you guys and I miss you, and once again warmly thank Pepe and Maria Eugenia for letting us crash at their place.

Knock, knock

Who's there?

Costa rica.

Costa Rica Who?


We are in Boquette, Panama at our friends Pepe and Ma eugenia house. It is a gorgeous house bought from a developer that was going under.

However the house has one minor problem, it is infested with killer bees.

Yes, those same killer bees we were terrified of when we were younger, along with Sasquatch, UFO's, and (he Loch Ness Monster.

Pepe warned us not to sleep upstairs as the bees are in the eaves. He also warned that motorcycle engines get them riled up. Talk about not looking a gift horse in the mouth!

There are dead birds strewn on the deck, apparently the handiwork of the new unwelcome guests according to our new friend Lucchini, the local looking after the property.

The house has a 30 foot wall of glass looking over the valley, but when we came home tonight and turned on the lights I felt a bit like being in the movie The Birds. Some bees starting plinking against the glass, trying to get in, and a couple did get in and were ominously buzzing about. I think Clara and I will make emergency evacuation plans tonight before we goto bed, where we may discuss birds and bees further!!!

We had a great day today, waking up 30 feet from the surf of Bahia Drake (drake bay) in our tent. At 7 am it was about 90 percent humidity as we headed 40 miles up dirt roads, through six rivers (clara took 6 of them!) to get back to the highway to Panama.

And who was there? None other than our motorcycle soulmate Tim Morgan who had reconnected with his 2 kiwis he met in Mexico, and two Canadiens on GS1200,s coming back from south america after a six month tour. They gave some very helpful information, before heading back to the great white north. Tim, the two kiwi's josh and john on KLR 650's, clara and I spent a couple hours going through customs and then made a rarely seen convoy of ragged bikers through Panama.

Ah, the sights and smells of motorcyclists on the road in third world countries. Good thing George Bush hasn't seen us or he might invade Panama like his dad did to "keep americans safe"!

But, so far so well, and Clara is doing great now that we lowered the tire pressure in the bikes in the dirt!
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