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Day 332 – 5th November 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 5, 2009

Thursday – Choluteca, Honduras

I do not think I like Honduras

Well, breakfast here in Honduras was different, in fact that is a lie, because it was the same damm thing I had for dinner last night, hmm 😕

The strangest breakfast I have had so far, it was OK, but just weird to eat hot fried banana slices with eggs and two sorts of cheese. I did some bike maintenance after brekky while waiting for Richard to call. I found that the right hand side storage tube has a hole in it from the exhaust and it was very wet inside, so I dried everything out, I will need to find a fix for the hole. There is nothing much in here that cares about being wet, but my spare screws, bolts etc which were in ziplock plastic bags were soaked and rusted, figure that out!!! 😕 I dried everything out in the sun while it was out. I think most of the water ingress was during the week in Antigua because it was out in the rain all day and night.

I had forgotten about an equipment failure when I was in Belize the other week, so I will mention it now as it is annoying. My Kisan Chargeguard has broken again. This particular unit senses the battery voltage and displays it on an LCD display, it also shows the current drain from the battery and has two temperature readings, F and C. When the motor is off, it senses this and shuts the display off after about 6 minutes. Well, the problem is it is no longer sensing the battery voltage correctly, it reads zero volts all the time, so it is constantly shutting down.

I had tested the bike system and it is charging and the battery is fine, it is just this sensor. I had a spare shunt so I tried that, but the result was the same. I sent an email to Chad to see if Kisan can advise on a fix, but I think it is shagged. I am becoming disillusioned with Kisan, their equipment is supposed to be designed for a bike, but it is not waterproof and water constantly is under the display as condensation. I think I may have to try a different brand in the future, although their support has been excellent, but lets see what happens. But, in reality I would prefer a unit that worked rather than having to ship stuff back and forth.

Anyway, after mucking around for a while with no phone call, I got some directions for a shop that sells stickers and the post office and headed down to the local plaza on foot, it was only about half a km, so it gave me a chance to look around.

I managed to find a sticker of Honduras for my bike and had a great Chinese lunch before grabbing a cab to town. It was only 15 Lempira, which is about 75c, cheap!! The taxi driver found the central bank and post office after only asking 3 people, this is not a big town! I sent home all last month’s photos wrapped in more T-shirts, but they advised it may take up to 20 days and it cost a heap, $50! 😯 Never mind, no point carrying them around, they just take up space. I headed back on foot for a while and looked around, there was a small market area but no one hasseled me to sell me anything, which was unusual 🙂

Now, on the way down to the main road, guess what I passed? About 6 shops, all selling oils, car parts etc etc. In two of them they had bloody motorcycle oil, if I had know that the other day, I would not have put in car oil!! I thought about buying some and changing it out, but decided to post the question on the VSRI forum, and see what replies I get first. But, at least I know bike oil is available in Central America 🙂 I grabbed another cab back, the same price and checked for messages, but still no reply from the dude last night, maybe he is busy? So, I attached my new sticker instead and did some research on tomorrows crossing into Nicaragua and a round of the forums.

Around about 4pm I realised the liar from last night was not going to return like he promised so I resorted to beer 🙂 Just as I went to the bar, guess who should roll into town 🙂

Yep, V was back, so we had some beers and dinner in the bar, it was a lot quieter than last night. We both had laptops going, a good internet connection and we traded travel stories for the past few days since Antigua. V had entered Honduras by himself with no help whatsoever, and it had cost him $39, so it looked like it can be done cheaper and I had still been ripped by the dude at the border the other day, bastard 😦 So, with that and the bar tab rip off from last night(other people putting their drinks on my tab) and the police always on the lookout for money, I was getting pissed off with this country! 😦

Vincent looked at my photos of the two policemen and said these were the same ones who stopped him, but did not ask him about a triangle, they asked about a fire extinguisher, he spoke Dutch at them and they let him go without doing anything, so next time I will try the dumb ignorant Aussie thing, but maybe use my limited German to confuse them 🙂

We got kicked out at 10, but during that time we had done some research on boat transport across the Darien Gap. I had been in email contact with Sylvia and got some more info on another boat called the Golden Eagle, skippered by an Aussie 🙂 I was waiting on more info about how skilled in bike transport he was before committing any payment.

Some background info here is needed. The north and south Americas are actually one piece of land, but the road south stops in Panama and starts again in Columbia, so you either tie your bike to the deck of a sailboat or fly it across this section of land, read on:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Darién Gap is a large swath of undeveloped swampland and forest separating Panama (Central America) and Colombia (South America). It measures just over 160 km (99 mi) long and about 50 km (31 mi) wide. It is not possible to cross between South America and Central America by land without passing through the Darién Gap. Roadbuilding through this area is expensive, and the environmental toll is steep. Political consensus in favor of road construction has not emerged. There is no road connection through the Darién Gap connecting North/Central America with South America. It is therefore the missing link of the Pan-American Highway.
The geography of the Darién Gap on the Colombian side is dominated primarily by the river delta of the Atrato River, which creates a flat marshland at least 80 km (50 mi) wide, half of this being swampland.

Day – 0 miles and 0 km
Trip – 42,333 miles and 68,128 km



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10 Responses to “Day 332 – 5th November 09”

  1. ybg said

    Question Richard.

    Have you had trouble at all with you battery or charging system through out your RTW?

    If not toss then Kisan Chargeguard.

    I would rely more on the quality of Suzuki’s technology and not worry about it. Just one less distraction, to allow you to focus on the journey rather than something that won’t happen.

    Just a suggestion. By the way enjoy the fried plantain.


    • Hi m8

      I have never had an issue with the Suzuki system per se. BUT, I have added so many farkles, including AUX lights and the Gerbing heated gear etc that I NEED to monitor my battery level at all times when these items are in use. It is not a pretty shiny thing, it is a tool that is always needed, especially when I am in the high country of Peru and other parts in the Andes, where it is cold and the heated gear will be in use.

      If the system works and I am using too much power from the alternator that the battery starts to be discharged, I can then make the choice of switching a headlight off, or turn the heat down, whatever I consider the thing to do at the time.

      One final point is that my Charge Guard has always been there during my travels over the past two years, it is a DISTRACTION that it does not function correctly, because my eyes are always glancing over that screen, and now it is faulty. It is safer for me to replace it and have it working, so I may have to fork out for a new system, Kisan is probably not the one for me.

      Cheers TravellingStrom

      • Art Wallace said

        A piece of electrical tape over that Kisan display will cure the distraction, m8! ;o)

      • ybg said

        Well then I would get it fixed.

        Can we send you parts or make some calls on your behalf?


        • Hi m8, I am assuming you are talking about the ChargeGuard? If so, as I bought it from Chad at AdventureMotorstuff, I will at this stage leave any response about repairs etc to him.

          He is notoriously slow in email response, so if I have heard nothing by this coming Friday, I will follow a different path.

          Thanks for your offer and concern, I may need some help in this, so stay tuned 🙂

          Cheers TS

    • Dear!

      I wanted to share with you my experience in visiting a lovely place, just take a look

      Best Wishes, TravellingStrom

  2. Mum said

    Hi Rich,
    So, Vince paid $39, and you paid $50. I think the bloke who stood in line for you to make the border crossing easier and got $11 for it, earned that! — You got to read your book in the time it took…:-)

    • I am not unhappy about paying what I did, but I am unhappy that he still did rip me off. He lied about the fees involved. So, I would use him again, but only give him the $39 for the actual costs until he had finished, then give him the $10. I actually paid him overall $22+ because he pocketed some of the extra money.

      Cheers TS

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