Showing posts from October, 2012

Central Chaco Lagoons...From a Bird's Eye Perspective.

I traveled south through an area known as the Central Chaco Lagoons.
Higher rainfall combined with improperly drained lowland soils lead to a somewhat swampy plain, sometimes known as Chaco Húmedo or Humid Chaco, with a more open savanna vegetation consisting of palm trees, quebracho trees and tropical high grass areas with a wealth of insects.
The area was rich with various types of birdlife. It was difficult to get close enough to the birds to take good photos. As soon as I stopped my motorcycle, the birds would fly to another location.
For serious bird watchers, in El Chaco, one can find Black-legged Seriema, Black-bodied Woodpecker, Chaco Owl, Quebracho Crested Tinamou, Crested Gallito and Spot-winged Falconet.
It looked like the surrounding environment was the perfect habitat for insects, reptiles and fish that could serve as a food source for all the birds. I just found it interesting how many different types of birds I saw within a short distance of riding.

Filadelphia and Loma Plata, Paraguay... Habla Alemán?

From El Chaco I rode south.  The dirt road eventually turned into an asphalt road.
In the town of Mariscal stopped and checked in with the Paraguayan Migration (Immigration) to get my passport stamped. No worries, it was a quick and easy process.  As I was exiting the town I passed by this sign. Being from Texas, I had to check this out.
I located the restaurant and decide to take a break for lunch.
On the inside, the restaurant had this sign. The image on the left is the logo of my alma mater... The University of Texas at Austin. The image on the right is a classic logo of the Marlboro Man.

I met the owners of the restaurant. It turns out the owners were not from Texas at all. It was a married couple, the man was German and the woman was Thai. I asked them how they came up with the name and theme for the restaurant. They said that they used to live in Filadelphia, a town down the road, and bought the restaurant from another family. They moved the restaurant to Mariscal because they …

Parque Nacional Teniente Agripino Enciso, Paraguay

After a night of roadside camping and the sun rising over my shoulder, I rode back down the dirt road retracing my tracks. I made it back to the main road. I found the intersection where I had turned... and the sign for Parque Agripino Encino. And, I even found the park.
It appears that the sign was placed to mark the turn into the park. However, the entrance was 80 meters straight and then to the right. I thought to myself... why would they place the sign right before the dirt road... it was a mystery to me. When I arrived at the park I asked the park ranger this very question. He said that a number of people make the same mistake and turn right at the road. I asked why they do not move the sign to the other side of the intersection... it would solve the problem. He just shrugged his shoulders.
Happy that I had finally reached the park and officially in El Chaco, I went for a walk around the area. What I discovered was that El Chaco does not have a lot of striking scenery like the A…

James Bond 007 Rides Honda CRF250R in Skyfall

James Bond 007 rides a Honda CRF250R motorcycle in the new action and adventure film Skyfall.
In the opening sequence Bond rides the motorcycle through the streets and on the rooftops of the city of Istanbul, Turkey. In typical 007 style the chase segment is fast and furious. The film supposedly used 25 of the Honda CRF250Rs in various configurations for the production of the scenes. The CRF250R is a dirt bike. The obvious modifications that the filmmakers made to the motorcycles for stylistic purposes for the film were to add headlights, taillights, signal lights, windscreens, hand guards and tank modifications. Honda does produce a dual sport version of the CRF250 which is called the Honda CRF250L.  Here are some images of the motorcycles used during the production of the film.
Here is a video with the original storyboard (scetchings) for the motorcycle segment.

Here is a video of the behind-the-scenes making of the motorcycle segment.
And finally, here is a video of the promotiona…

El Chaco, Paraguay... Lots to See in the Middle of Nowhere

From the town of Villamontes, Bolivia I traveled east along a dirt road. There was absolutely no traffic for miles and miles.
In the middle of nowhere I came across some motivational signs. Sigue Adelante (Keep moving forward) Another one.
Un Poco Mas (A little more)
Another one.
Llegaste! (You've arrived!) I was not exactly sure where I had arrived. There still was nothing around. At another place along the road I came across this tree. Someone had some paint and had some fun.
I continued on down the road to the border and finally arrived at the Bolivian immigration office.
It was a pretty small open air office. I was the only person crossing the border. Checking out of Bolivia was a snap... it took all of 2 minutes.
I rode a little further down the road to the integrated Bolivian/Paraguayan aduanas (customs) office. It was about 3pm and the office appeared deserted. I looked around a bit and found a travel trailer. I could see that someone was inside laying on a bed. I called t…