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Thread: How would you drive...

  1. #1
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default How would you drive...

    Slogging through a bunch of software qualification master check lists so had to take a 20 min mental break.. In that I scared up 3 Google map drives to Managua ...

    #1 The direct route

    This is through Houston and the Atlantic coast of Mexico onwards through Guatamala, ElSalvador and Honduras to Nica.

    It is put at 61 hours - Might add 2 or 3 days to see the Mississippi, Houston, Corpus Christi

    More than likely will never take this route because of the Lead Mosquito...

    #2 Over hill and over dale

    This is down to the AZ border and down the centre of Mexico - Never researched it so I have no idea on what would be its benefits or draw backs..

    It is put at 77 hours - Again might add 3 or 4 days for the Mississippi, Mexico City and what wver pops up.

    #3 The KWP trail.

    If I read his posts right this is the route that would be most pleasing for a first timer and the most likely to (In the words of Obi Wan) "avoid any Imperial entanglements"..

    It tags this in at 80 hours. See above - Might add more days as it is the pacific coast.

    All 3 seem to take the same path(s) after Chiapas Mx

    Time line would most likely be 2017 or 18 as we plan to only keep the current vehicle until then and then buy something more suited for such a trip, like a FJ cruiser or Dodge or Ford Diesel P/U ..

    For sure this would have to be 1 month trip to justify the drive there there and back. I typically drive 12 hours a day, would do that and longer in the US - Keep it in Daylight hours in Mx and the C-4.

    Would Park the truck at the compound for the entire stay (Assuming our lot is fenced and house started by this time) and then only take it out for the drive back. Assuming the foreign plates would make us too much of a target. Maybe even Flat bed a car or Cargo at the same time.


    I'm sure KWP will weigh in..

    Anyone else ever thought of driving down?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Slogging through a bunch of software qualification master check lists so had to take a 20 min mental break.. In that I scared up 3 Google map drives to Managua ...

    #1 The direct route

    This is through Houston and the Atlantic coast of Mexico onwards through Guatamala, ElSalvador and Honduras to Nica.

    It is put at 61 hours - Might add 2 or 3 days to see the Mississippi, Houston, Corpus Christi

    More than likely will never take this route because of the Lead Mosquito...

    #2 Over hill and over dale

    This is down to the AZ border and down the centre of Mexico - Never researched it so I have no idea on what would be its benefits or draw backs..

    It is put at 77 hours - Again might add 3 or 4 days for the Mississippi, Mexico City and what wver pops up.

    #3 The KWP trail.

    If I read his posts right this is the route that would be most pleasing for a first timer and the most likely to (In the words of Obi Wan) "avoid any Imperial entanglements"..

    It tags this in at 80 hours. See above - Might add more days as it is the pacific coast.

    All 3 seem to take the same path(s) after Chiapas Mx

    Time line would most likely be 2017 or 18 as we plan to only keep the current vehicle until then and then buy something more suited for such a trip, like a FJ cruiser or Dodge or Ford Diesel P/U ..

    For sure this would have to be 1 month trip to justify the drive there there and back. I typically drive 12 hours a day, would do that and longer in the US - Keep it in Daylight hours in Mx and the C-4.

    Would Park the truck at the compound for the entire stay (Assuming our lot is fenced and house started by this time) and then only take it out for the drive back. Assuming the foreign plates would make us too much of a target. Maybe even Flat bed a car or Cargo at the same time.


    I'm sure KWP will weigh in..

    Anyone else ever thought of driving down?

    If you go the Nogales to Mazatlan route, then inland to Tepic, around the top of Mex City, then from Pueblo to Oxaca, there are a couple of advantages:

    1. You are on toll roads unless you decide to get off. That's the problem with Mexico, there is so much to see. But, the toll roads are easy driving, you can go FAST, no worry about a local yokel hitting you up for that stop sign you didn't see (because he's been growing a big tree in front of it for several years).

    2. You enter Mexico through the "free zone". You can drive all the way to Guaymas without any documentation whatsoever. You're actually into Mexico 21 Km before you get you tourist card and car permit (if you're going beyo0nd Guymas). If you look like a tourist, you won't be bothered at all. You're headed to your winter house in San Carlos . .. . who knows you are going to Nicaragua (actually CR, but we'll get into that later).

    3. If you are taking an old Ford F250, you don't have to worry about parts and service in Mexico. There are a ton of them in Mexico.

    4. If you are taking a Ford F250 (or something similar), WHY NOT TOW A TRAVEL TRAILER ??? Now you really look like a tourist. You can pick up an old travel trailer cheap, and LOAD THAT PUPPY UP! The key here is, you want to look and quack like a tourist. If you stay on the toll roads, the trailer does not become a problem until Guatemala. At that point you just take it slow. It's still not a problem crossing borders, you're a tourist.

    5. Buy the trailer cheap, >>>> let the deal come to you,, take your time "loading" it (PM me for loading details), and when you're ready, hook it up and go.

  3. #3
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    5. Buy the trailer cheap, >>>> let the deal come to you,, take your time "loading" it (PM me for loading details), and when you're ready, hook it up and go.
    TT come up cheap in the camp ground we stay in from time to time as ppl move out. The park encourages people to clear out if their TT is more than 20yrs old, so finding a cheap one in no real problem.

    There could be issue in crossing into the Good O'l US of A, but I bet you if kept reasonable there would little if no issue.

    F250's are run into the ground up here - Same with Cummin's in the Dodge. It is hard to find a good one up here for a reasonable price. But when they do they go fast.

    Few ppl buy them as casual vehicle and are typically only used as _real_ work horses. But a lot are to be found good condition in the US and imported back up here you can get a good deal.

    As a strong believer of walk before run, I bet our first trip will be with just a loaded bed or back of the truck .
    Last edited by bill_bly_ca; 01-20-2015 at 01:37 PM.
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  4. #4

    Default Re: How would you drive...

    That is a long blue line. Looks scenic tho. Taking the direct route in Mexico along the gulf could be like a mini-vacation.

    Would be great to drive down some day on a touring motorcycle. Would have to go during the dry season to get to the east side. Supposedly the RAAS road is completed now.

    Unless you had a trip like DSB's that one time. Is he still in RAAN?

  5. #5

    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by kwah2249 View Post
    That is a long blue line. Looks scenic tho. Taking the direct route in Mexico along the gulf could be like a mini-vacation.

    Would be great to drive down some day on a touring motorcycle. Would have to go during the dry season to get to the east side. Supposedly the RAAS road is completed now.

    Unless you had a trip like DSB's that one time. Is he still in RAAN?

    I have a 2007 Harley Fatboy in pristine condition, less than 2K original miles on it.
    I was going to take it to Cuba and spend three months touring the island.
    That's not going to happen now.

    Make me an offer!


    There are a lot of Harleys in Costa Rica,, rarely see one in Nicaragua.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by kwah2249 View Post

    Unless you had a trip like DSB's that one time. Is he still in RAAN?

    He is - But apparently it is for sale - he has disclosed it being for sale publicly on FB for reasons that are alluded to as private.

    Maria is done work in 2 yrs so then she will have the Vay - Cay time for such a trip down such a long blue line.. ..
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  7. #7
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    , rarely see one in Nicaragua.
    There must be a large either import hurdle or road tax for over 125cc's I think I have only once or twice seen a bike bigger than 125 cc's with a Nica plate..

    Lots of foreign plated bikes pass through Masaya though..
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  8. #8
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: How would you drive...

    To me it sounds tedious and potentially dangerous. But what do I know.

  9. #9
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: How would you drive...

    It`s been many many moons since I drove from L.A. to Belize, but even then Mexico`s bigger cities were the pits to drive in. I`d go the toll road and make selective side trips to smell the roses. D.F. is great, but not by car.
    My original plan for living here was to make a leisurely trip to the US by bus every year, stopping to see the things in the other countries I wanted to see. Reality intervened when I found the cost was more than flying and family and property here made it difficult to justify the time away. Alleged crime in these countries was not a part of the decision, if you are going to Los angeles it doesn`t really matter.

    If you are looking for a big truck that hasn`t been worked to death, try around a boat marina or around boaters. Many need the land yatch to pull the boat, but only do so infrequently, the rest of the time the truck is a driveway ornament..

  10. #10
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    To me it sounds tedious and potentially dangerous. But what do I know.

    I want to drive the route from Tuk(tuyaaqtuuqt) to at least Panama, if not to the tip of Chile, before I expire - Chilo said she wants no part of such a trip - This trip might warm her up to the idea.

    The new road from Tuk to Inuvik should be done by 2018... It is an extension of the Dempster Hwy to the Arctic ocean.
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  11. #11

    Default Re: How would you drive...

    When my wife and I moved here, we drove down from Houston. We hit Brownsville in the middle of the night and slept in the car until daylight, crossed into Matamoros and headed south along the carribean and pulled into Tampico just as it was getting dusk. picked a random cheap looking hostel and crashed for the night. Stayed right along the coast from the morning until dusk again when we pulled in to Coatzacoalcos...and once again found a random cheap hostel next to a restaurant. The next morning we set out and headed south and crossed Mexico to the pacific side, and stayed with a friend in Tapachula for a couple of days on the border. From there we hit the border early in the morning and stayed along the pacific border through retalhuleu and into El Salvador. The wait was kind of long at the border, so by the time we got through the border it was evening and getting dark, but we had friends to stay with in San Salvador so we drove a couple hours into the dark and stayed in San Salvador. Headed out not quite as early as we would have liked, and hit the Honduras border at Goascoran, and had an experience i wouldnt wish on my worst enemies....no i take that back, i would wish it on my worst enemies. Needless to say they were trying to say the paperwork from El Salvador was wrong and we have to pay a lot of money to fix it, we went back to the el salvador side and they said it was correct, that its just something Honduras does, etc. back and forth and back and forth. We werent gonna pay them a "tip" so we waited them out. It started at $350 to get in, and after 8 hours of waiting we finally paid the normal price of 26 bucks. By the time we made it through it was about getting dark, but we didnt want to extend the trip another day, so we drove through the dark in Honduras, and got to the Nicaragua border in Somotillo about 2 minutes before closing. The Honduras side tried to hold my passport ransom for 30 bucks for the "helpers", but i was able to snag it back and hightail out of there. The Nicaragua side was just about closing up, so it took 10 seconds, and the guy never even looked up at us. We made it to Chinandega to stay with some other friends around 11pm.
    5 days of driving, plus a couple of days taken hanging out with friends. Mostly day driving until the end.

    We did it in a 7 year old Ford Escape, and our dog.

    Id totally make the drive again, it was beautiful and great.
    I definitely would NOT bring a vehicle down and import it again. worst, most expensive idea ever. (we paid a ridiculous amount to import our car.....then it was wrecked by an idiot driver texting and driving and the insurance company said the paperwork the aduana did was wrong, the aduana said the police did their part wrong, the police said they didnt care either way cause its not their problem thats my problem now, and finally the insurance company told us, youre americans, just buy another. didnt get a penny for it.)

  12. #12

    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    There must be a large either import hurdle or road tax for over 125cc's I think I have only once or twice seen a bike bigger than 125 cc's with a Nica plate..

    Lots of foreign plated bikes pass through Masaya though..
    i have a 200 and a 250 that i bought in nicaragua. tons of 200s here in managua. but a rare sight to see something in the 600+

  13. #13

    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by vinyljunkie77003 View Post
    When my wife and I moved here, we drove down from Houston. We hit Brownsville in the middle of the night and slept in the car until daylight, crossed into Matamoros and headed south along the carribean and pulled into Tampico just as it was getting dusk. picked a random cheap looking hostel and crashed for the night. Stayed right along the coast from the morning until dusk again when we pulled in to Coatzacoalcos...and once again found a random cheap hostel next to a restaurant. The next morning we set out and headed south and crossed Mexico to the pacific side, and stayed with a friend in Tapachula for a couple of days on the border. From there we hit the border early in the morning and stayed along the pacific border through retalhuleu and into El Salvador. The wait was kind of long at the border, so by the time we got through the border it was evening and getting dark, but we had friends to stay with in San Salvador so we drove a couple hours into the dark and stayed in San Salvador. Headed out not quite as early as we would have liked, and hit the Honduras border at Goascoran, and had an experience i wouldnt wish on my worst enemies....no i take that back, i would wish it on my worst enemies. Needless to say they were trying to say the paperwork from El Salvador was wrong and we have to pay a lot of money to fix it, we went back to the el salvador side and they said it was correct, that its just something Honduras does, etc. back and forth and back and forth. We werent gonna pay them a "tip" so we waited them out. It started at $350 to get in, and after 8 hours of waiting we finally paid the normal price of 26 bucks. By the time we made it through it was about getting dark, but we didnt want to extend the trip another day, so we drove through the dark in Honduras, and got to the Nicaragua border in Somotillo about 2 minutes before closing. The Honduras side tried to hold my passport ransom for 30 bucks for the "helpers", but i was able to snag it back and hightail out of there. The Nicaragua side was just about closing up, so it took 10 seconds, and the guy never even looked up at us. We made it to Chinandega to stay with some other friends around 11pm.
    5 days of driving, plus a couple of days taken hanging out with friends. Mostly day driving until the end.

    We did it in a 7 year old Ford Escape, and our dog.

    Id totally make the drive again, it was beautiful and great.
    I definitely would NOT bring a vehicle down and import it again. worst, most expensive idea ever. (we paid a ridiculous amount to import our car.....then it was wrecked by an idiot driver texting and driving and the insurance company said the paperwork the aduana did was wrong, the aduana said the police did their part wrong, the police said they didnt care either way cause its not their problem thats my problem now, and finally the insurance company told us, youre americans, just buy another. didnt get a penny for it.)


    Honduras is the most corrupt of the lot now, all the other borders are problem free. It comes and goes a bit, the aduana people work two weeks on, two off, so if you get bad ones . . .

    I got screwed a bit the last trip up at the crossing at Espino. Nicas were great, Honduras charged me $5 more for my car permit, and insisted on a $25 car inspection fee.
    You have to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them. That was the only "bribe" I paid the whole trip (going north).

    Cars are expensive to import.
    I brought down a 1992 Ford F250 diesel 4WD and paid right at $1K for taxes and customs agent. Verify your engine and chassis number yourself. They got mine wrong, had to redo the paperwork.
    The mechanical inspection guy caught it.

    I still enjoy the trip, always kill some time in Mexico, there is always something new to see. I like Tapachula a lot too (check out Las Morenitas the next time you go through Tapachula).

  14. #14
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by vinyljunkie77003 View Post
    I definitely would NOT bring a vehicle down and import it again. worst, most expensive idea ever. (we paid a ridiculous amount to import our car.....then it was wrecked by an idiot driver texting and driving and the insurance company said the paperwork the aduana did was wrong, the aduana said the police did their part wrong, the police said they didnt care either way cause its not their problem thats my problem now, and finally the insurance company told us, youre americans, just buy another. didnt get a penny for it.)
    Yep Not bringing one down to stay - Just for back and forth - If we end up doing the 90 days twice a year it may work - May not - Drive away sounds much more plausible option.

    If I have not mentioned before - Drive away is where snow birds pay to have their vehicle driven down for the winter - They pay 3ish hundred to the driver plus expenses. Most are FLA - Phoenix and New Mexico.

    But that again is 6 yrs 8 days away (not counting)
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  15. #15

    Default Re: How would you drive...

    wait people do that? How do i get that job? i love driving, and would gladly drive peoples cars around for a few hundred bucks plus expenses.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    I have a 2007 Harley Fatboy in pristine condition, less than 2K original miles on it. Make me an offer!
    Nice ride, but by the time it made it to the DAC it would be far from pristine condition.

    I'll check FB for sale info. Sorry to hear he is selling, hope all is well.

    Tuk sounds like an interesting place to visit, but only in high summer for me. And I did not know the tundra ice hills were called pingos until now.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How would you drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by kwah2249 View Post
    Nice ride, but by the time it made it to the DAC it would be far from pristine condition.

    I'll check FB for sale info. Sorry to hear he is selling, hope all is well.

    Tuk sounds like an interesting place to visit, but only in high summer for me. And I did not know the tundra ice hills were called pingos until now.


    I love the Harley, but the way things are now, I take it out of storage once a year, buy a new battery for it, drive it around a bit, and put it back in storage.
    I had it out yesterday for a couple of hours. No helmet law in Arizona.

    With its clearance even the "good" Nica roads would tear it up. The thought of driving it all the way south is amazing..... - if I were 30 years younger.

    And the thing is, you really don't get the "pristine, low mileage" part out of it when you sell it. The year still drives the price.
    I'm only asking $10K but I would like to see it go to a good home.

    It's a 2006, I was mistaken about the year. Actual mileage is 1671

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