Day 292 – Ciudad Bolivar to Piritu, Venezuela

Day 292 – Ciudad Bolivar to Piritu, Venezuela       06/09/11       Mileage: 201

Had I known I would be hit by a truck later today, I would have elected to just stay in bed. But, lacking that foreknowledge, Ian and I wandered out for breakfast at a street vender stand we found around the corner from the hotel. The vender ended up being a real nice guy, and being from Guyana he spoke English as well. We chatted for a bit while Ian and woofed down 2 hotdogs and some bad bubblegum flavor soda…not exactly the breakfast of champions, but it will do.

Once packed we split for the road to Caracas. The riding was hot and boring but we were making good time.

Getting low on fuel we stopped for gas, had some lunch and lingered in the restaurants A/C for a while. It’s at this point that my day went pear shaped. The highway was a 4 lane dived highway (2 lanes in either direction) with u-turns crossing the dividing median. We had stopped on the east bound side, but had to cross the highway to continue on the westbound side to Caracas. There was no entrance ramp per say, just a paved section connecting the service road and the highway. I was in front and as I pulled close to the highway I looked to my left and saw a truck in the right lane and another truck a little farther back in the left lane, so I turned onto the highway and accelerated toward the u-turn in the median. Having crossed both lanes I was slowing down and just about to turn onto the center median when the truck in the left lane slammed into me from behind. The bike went down on the right side along with me and luckily we both tumbled off onto the median clear of the path of the skidding truck. Ouch, that’s gonna leave a mark…and leave several marks it did. Fortunately though, none of them were that serious, except for my severely bruised ego. You see, the difficult thing to admit is that I was at fault. I put myself in front of that speeding truck, not the other way around…so ultimately I have no one to blame but myself. Was the truck speeding…pretty clearly it was, but that is moot and nothing new for Venezuelan roads.

The good news is that I got up and walked away…and miraculously the KLR was able to ride away. My armored Aerostitch Darien jacket and pants paid for themselves many times over.

The KLR took a pretty good beating to the rear factory cargo rack, the side cases and rack and the right side engine guard, but she will live to fight another day. For now though, Ian and I decided to stay put in Piritu so I can get my shit together and tend to the bike. After filling out some paperwork at the town highway patrol office, we got a room and then set out to try and get my side cases beat back into shape.

We found a repair shop /metal shop a few blocks away and the guys there set about making my side cases into boxes again.

The guys did such a good job on the side cases, I went and bought a case of beer to say thanks which started things down a slippery slope….and in fact after several more cases of beer it turned into a party of sorts!

This guy really though I would trade my Arai XD3 for the salad bowl and shoe lace he calls a helmet. Given todays incident, I think I’ll stick with my Arai….but thanks!  lol

In the middle of this a barber showed up and gave a few guys haircuts…including Ian…you just can’t make this shit up.

 

I nearly bought the farm a few hours ago, now I’m half drunk off my ass partying with a bunch of Venezuelan metal shop guys getting haircuts. Life is weird..and good…

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18 Responses to Day 292 – Ciudad Bolivar to Piritu, Venezuela

  1. Uli says:

    Hehe, Lenny, your storys are getting more and more crazy…
    glad that nothing realy bad happened with you on that crash!
    take care!
    Uli

  2. Carla says:

    Happy to read about all your adventures and even happier to see you in one piece. Enjoy

  3. Deborah says:

    quite possibly the best story yet…

    oh…and the reason I couldn’t post the before and after red coat photos must be that the best was yet to come! that coat must be preserved!

    • Lenny says:

      I always say, the worse it get the better the story it will make on the blog. When everything goes right, it’s a boring read…but when the shit hits the fan, that’s when it gets interesting!

  4. steve says:

    I’ve been very entertained by your blog and have been following it since you meet with Derick and Colin on the side of the road. I work with Derick’s father and had been following their blog. I’m glad you are safe, you got off very lucky, check on Derick and Colins blog, they lost one of their fellow riders in their journey http://southandback.blogspot.com/

    • Lenny says:

      Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you are enjoying the blog! You are all too right, I was very lucky for sure. I did actually hear through the adventure rider grapevine about Derick and Colins friend…..I’m really sorry to hear about his death. The truth is though, adventure motorcycling is a high risk endeavor, there is just no two ways about it. When you decide to undertake a trip like this, you intrinsically acknowledge and accept those risks. You do what you can to mitigate them, but it’s impossible to be vigilant 100% of the time. I know it is of little consolation to his friends and family, but at least he died living life and not sitting on the sidelines watching it pass by.

      Thanks again for checking in!

      -Lenny

  5. Johnny O says:

    Lenny! I don’t know what’s worse! Gettin’ hit by a truck or slipped a roofie by the guy in the wig!?!? At least you didn’t remember the roofie!

  6. Rebecca says:

    Are you sure you were only HALF drunk off your ass? Ha! Cases of beer to thank guys for fixing your side cases or cases of beer to celebrate your life . . . either way, looks like a good party and I’m SO GLAD you were there for it!!!

  7. Arlene says:

    Thank God you are okay. I keep saying there is a guardian angel on your shoulder.

    Dad and I just got home after spending the day down on Long Beach Island sitting under an umbrella and enjoying watching the ocean and chilling out. Now I need to go back to the ocean to calm down. Glad you had warned me that you had an accident but you were okay. You have been very, very lucky. This is why I worry and pray a lot for you and the other people on the road. When you got hit in AC it wasn’t your fault either but luck was with you and I hope and pray it is always with you.

    Lenny, looking forward to talking to you tomorrow from Barbara and Murray’s and cannot wait to see you Tuesday. With all our love, Mom and Dad

  8. Nancy says:

    It ‘s not like YOU to F up like that! Time to come home 🙂 Glad you came out of that unscathed….after party shots are priceless…

    • Lenny says:

      Hi Nanc! Well, I am on my way home for sure! The bike and I ar in Miami now….so I’ll be home pretty soon! Can’t wait to catch up you and the gang!

  9. I’m forwarding this post to the makers of your side boxes. Happy Trails will be pleased to know they took a beating and held up! Be safe!

    • Lenny says:

      I was meaning to do that myself….they really took a beating for sure, both by the truck and the metal shop guys! 🙂 The Happy-Trail rack rack will need to be replaced as it’s all bent to hell, but it will get me home, as will the Teton boxes. They make great stuff, and I will be buying another set!

  10. LOL ! legendary ! you really got me laughing out loud with this post.

    I’ve been following your blog very closely because I’m doing a very similar trip next year with my mighty KLR 2008 as well.

    I would be greatly honored to have the opportunity to ask you thousands of questions once you come back. I will pay the beer for sure (and looking at your average liter consumption it won’t be cheap hehe).

    Anyway I’m in Montreal and will contact you again. Until then stay safe 🙂

  11. Pingback: Trail-Dust » Blog Archive » From Deadhorse Down

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