Chillin with Santiago

Posted: March 1, 2011 in Nicaragua

After spending almost a week camping in Hermosa beach and partying at their annual music fest, I decided it was time to head inland. I called up Santiago and he invited me over to do some work on the bike. I also wanted to check out his farm, his really cool house (see below), and a one of a kind Moto Guzzi.

Here is Mr. Santiago. He used to be a mechanic in the US and decided that life was better and more calm in Nicaragua. He sure is right on that one!

KLR 650 Trip Nicaragua 46

He owns quite a few cool toys. The coolest of them all is probably this old (don’t remember the exact year), Moto Guzzi 1000. It’s a collector’s item that could be worth a lot in countries like the US… but he’s still fixing it up and riding it whenever possible.

KLR 650 Trip Nicaragua 58

KLR 650 Trip Nicaragua 49

KLR 650 Trip Nicaragua 50

And he owns this cool old school military car.

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Along with this awesome TJ

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And here is his home. He drove down a school bus and decided to change it into a house. Sold everything off of it and modified it into a nice 1 bedroom home with windows all around it. Best idea ever! It’s a really nice and cozy place.

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Santiago had a really good welding machine and some great experience in welding. He offered to help me out as the welds on my not so Happy Trail pannier holders that kept breaking. I had them welded about 4 or 5 times up to now in the past 4.5 months.

KLR 650 Trip Nicaragua 40

KLR 650 Trip Nicaragua 41

And the final result! He re-welded the old joints but also triangulated them. On top of it, he welded in on both sides a tough metal rod going through all 3 holders. Hey guys at Happy Trails, if you’re reading this, watch and learn! Your pannier holders are junk out of the factory! Get some real strength into them for the true travelers out there…

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KLR 650 Trip Nicaragua 44

KLR 650 Trip Nicaragua 45

Santiago, if you’re reading this, thanks again for everything buddy! For the amazing hospitality and for helping me out with the bike! I have since dropped the bike once and taken it through some of the worse roads possible and everything is holding up nice! You’re a life saver! Cheers bud!

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Comments
  1. alexandra says:

    What a nice guy! and super cool house. Santiago, if you’re reading this, props!

  2. Vlad says:

    Now I’m looking for a school bus.

  3. katia says:

    haha shipping from China? for free?

  4. santiago says:

    hey what fun to be part of your great adventure, an honor for sure, all you other adventurers, motorized or not, stop by, we love the company, keep the rubber side up(whenever possible)

    • pimptrix says:

      Hey Santiago! Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog! I’m guessing you’re hooked up to the net again? Those welds are really holding up buddy! I don’t know what I would have done with them cracking every few days?! I’ve taken some awful roads and dropped the bike a few times since your reinforcements and they hold strong! Thanks again buddy! 🙂 How’s everything on your side?

  5. Dazz Down Under says:

    Santiago and I rode through all Mexico and into Guatemala together back in early ’96. The weight of his panniers (discarded military ammo boxes, a much better use!) and the often sudden ‘topes’ (speedbumps) caused cracking and breakage in the old bike’s subframe. We limped in to a soldadura’s shop (welder) somewhere along Mexico’s central west coast (and most conveniently right next to the pub where I went inside to grab us a coupla coldies and ended up drinking with the local commandante and his three henchmen, who offered me cocaine) and the guy had a hand at repairing it. The welder humbly realised he didn’t have as much experience as Santiago, the torch was offered up and the welds were quickly made sturdy and the subframe repaired. Santiago continued on in to central America on that ageing R90/6 Beemer and if I recall correctly they never came apart for the remaining 12 weeks further that he rode. He arrived safely back in New Mexico (where we both lived at the time) after six months on the road and those welds had held! Here’s to roadside repairs and one traveller helping another on their respective journeys. Cheers!

    • pimptrix says:

      Santiago could make a living giving welding lessons to these people down south… and even back home! The reinforcements are still holding and I have dropped my bike I down’t know how many times. Meeting up with him was also one of the highlights on my trip up to now. 🙂

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