louisecoleen Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
Horseshoe Lake Westside Campground

BEAUTIFUL state park with camping, fishing, picnic and playground areas. The coordinates are for the entrance to the Westside camping area. It had upwards of 30ish campsites, and if that’s not enough, there is an Westside campground as well.

Campsites have electric and picnic tables, with water spigots spread out between sites. Sites are close together with some trees in between. There are some outhouses, but there is also a bathhouse that I assume is open during the summer. It has a huge propane tank, so probably nice hot showers if you need one.

Boat launch access in the middle of the campsites, with many other boat launch sites around the lake. Many spots to picnic with tables and grills spread out as well.

I imagine the place is hopping during the summer months, but we had the campground to ourselves. It sits on a road that is little used, so it was an absolutely peaceful night.

Verizon 2-3 bars LTE
T-mobile 1 hard-fought bar LTE

Accessible for any size rig, and also appropriate for tent or RTT. Would LOVE to check it out in the fall sometime. $20/night, $18/night for out of state visitors. Might be different during the high season.

Big Brutus

This is a museum dedicated to the mining history of Kansas, the centerpiece of which is a 16-story tall earth mover that weighs in at 11 million pounds!!! And yes, you can camp here! There are 10 sites that are appropriate for tent camping (a little wet this time of year) up to 30/50 amp hook-ups.

Easy in and out, and you get a cool view of Big Brutus all night. There is a whole museum here staffed by very nice people. If you are tent camping, they will leave showers/bathrooms open for you.

Tent camping $8
30 amp $20
50 amp $25

And this seems to include admission as well, though we got here late in the day and haven’t gone in yet.

If you’re in this area for the night, you’ve gotta stop. It’s cool!!!

Verizon—full LTE
T-mobile—2-3 bars LTE

BigBrutus.org

Saddle mountain BLM

We stopped at the Hot Springs and were told they’re only doing that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Also, I love what people consider hippy-dippy spots, and the two guys there creeped me out….

So, we motored out here. FANTASTIC!!! We are in a 30’ Class C with a 16’ enclosed trailer filled with four big ADV motorcycles. We had no problem getting out here, and that is in my friend’s 51’ of rig. We didn’t go all the way to the dropped pin, but stopped about half a mile short. Absolutely beautiful spot, and after a quick walk, we realized we could have gone farther.

My personal rig is a Tundra hauling a 22’ toy hauler, and if I had been in that, I would have gone all the way to the “end” of this road where there is a loop that goes up a hill. The top has two fire rings and it’s AMAZING!! If you have a slightly more nimble rig, or a stout passenger vehicle (I’m pretty sure my MINI Cooper could do it…slowly…) go all the way. It is fantastic.

The flies were plentiful, but seem to be babies at the moment. Sippy cups for adult beverages are recommended. Get here in time for the sunset. Simply stunning.

Sloway Campground

Beautiful spot with a little freeway noise. Sunday night in the high season had many open spots available. Pull-thru spots are plentiful—we are a 30’ class C with a 16’ trailer and could have pulled into any pull-thru very easily.

There are a couple of double sites and even a triple site if you are coming with or meeting friends.

Most spots on the river have a trail down to the water, and there is a day-use picnic spot with picnic tables, volleyball court, and a small boat put-in spot for rafts and kayaks. Each spot has a fire ring, and each campsite is given 5 pieces of firewood if they want it.

1-2 bars of Verizon or Sprint/T-Mobile coverage. Just enough to write this review
;-)

On this date—$15/night or $7.50 with an interagency pass.

Boulder Gulch Campground

This is a National Forest Service campground on the lake side of the road. There is also a second campground directly on the opposite side of the road. All campground camping is $30 night +$2 extra on holidays. Half price with national parks pass.

It has more than 100 sites—some in the trees, some in a more exposed area with a granite Boulder background.

We were here on a Wednesday night, so it was quiet as far as campers go. There is definitely road noise, but it quiets down at night. The sites are pretty close to each other, so you better like your neighbors. There was a fair amount of trash here, and I’m not sure if it’s from the campground or blown up from the lake.

The main road in has a great site set into the boulders—dont camp here. I did. This seems to be a main thoroughfare for local traffic at all times of the day to blast through to the day use part of the lake that is accessible, then blast out. Stay up in the trees...more road noise, less local, weird, suspicious traffic. For what it’s worth, I felt safe here even with the suspicious in and out traffic—they just drive faster than anyone ever should in a campground. Keep an eye on your kids and pets.

The instructions say to find a spot and occupy it, and a “uniformed“ for a service officer will come by and take your payment. A woman came by to take my payment, but she was wearing super short “juicy“ shorts and a printed tank top. She did, however, have California government plates and she filled out the paperwork and gave us a slip to put on our site post.

There are a number of other options in the area. I have stayed directly on the shore of the lake in the national Rec area. If I come back this way, I’ll do that again and avoid this campground. It wasn’t terrible, but as I listen to the local Harley fire up it’s pipes before 8am to leave after being here 15 minutes this morning...it kinda sucks.

*I had my Tundra and 24’ toy hauler and it is TIGHT in here. My friends had their 28’ RV and it was super tight. I wouldn’t recommend anything over those sizes.

Toad Springs Campground

After reading previous reviews, I decided to skip this one since I was hauling my 22’ toy hauler with my Tundra. But, as I passed the road, it looked decent, so I pulled over and walked it first. It was no problem getting in and out—only 1/4 mile so just took it slowly. Beautifully clean campground. Sites are small, but nice—picnic tables and fire rings, but please no fires. NF so please pack out any garbage. Few bugs this time of year, loads of bunnies!

With my rig, I had two choices—drop the rig and park the truck, or park in the turnaround. It was late when we got in, so we parked in the turn around. Even with my big rig, there was plenty of room for anyone else who needed to use the turnaround. Friday night in October, so three other vehicles arrived late in the evening and set up camp. One was a Prius with two girls, so I figure most cars/trucks could make this, with the exception of really large RVs. This would be a great place to camp off the motorcycle, too—the road that continues past looked like it would be fun to explore.

power cycles inc

this place is awesome! and he can fix anything--he can read error codes on BMWs and do the work too. originally from Argentina, and his shop is super great. machined a part for my husband's bike that was lost in cargo transit. highly recommended!

Rio Express

You must come here!!! So delicious!!! The coxinha are amazing and the maracuya cheesecake is wonderful too.

the owners are very kind, warm people who met each other in school in the U.S. They like to hear stories of travel and are soooooo nice!!!

Marques de Villa de Leyva

vineyard and winery. two options for tour and tasting. the "valor" option gets you a guided tour and two tastings (red, 2oz. each) with cherries and chocolate for 22,000 pesos. we did this, but if you've been to a winery/vineyard before and know how wine is produced, skip it and go straight to the bodega. for the same price, you can get 2 full glasses of wine and sit in the courtyard enjoying the day. the second tour/tasting option involves more tastings and more food. sorry, don't remember the price. winemaking is new to Colombia, relatively speaking--the tour guide was very knowledgeable about the winery, and wine science. tour was completely in Spanish. they also sell cheeses and meats in the bodega, and vineyard is in a beautiful setting.

Hotel Palaguas

hotel with a pool--it was 99.5F when we rolled in! matrimonial for 80,000 but we negotiated to 70,000. good wi-fi, nice rooms, very clean, exceptionally friendly staff. there is also a YMCA office here and they do swim classes. a little more than we usually spend, but it was well worth it. really good food nearby, or they have a restaurant.

Cervecería Hisca

new brewery--been open only one week. they haven't gotten the permit to serve their beer yet, but they are producing. right now they are pouring selections from 2 nearby breweries and serve some things to munch on. please come here and try their beers when they're ready. its a comfortable little place with super nice staff, and they play great music.

No-Name Hospedaje (Mi Barquito)

This is actually the hospedaje part of Mi Barquito Restaurants y Hospedaje. we got a room for 25,000. we ate at the restaurant, and the food was good. we had trucha ajillo, and when we went to pay she said the plates were 28,000 each. we knew the menu said 23,000 so we told her. she grabbed a menu, looked at it, and tried to say it's price was on the same line as a different dish. that tactic may have worked before with others, but it pissed me off, and I stood my ground. she looked at me for a few seconds trying to decide if I would give in. when I didn't she rewrote the bill. kinda strange, but once it was done, it was fine.

parking is right in front, so that's where we left the bikes. she offered to let us put the bikes on the porch, but also said it is very tranquilo there.

El Rancho De Mi Viejo

all as said before. but, when we originally asked about a room she said 40,000 for a matrimonial or 35,000 for double. when we looked surprised and my husband said something about 25,000, she asked if we saw the place on iOverlander. we said yes, and she said 25,000 for us. so maybe mention iOverlander when you get there. also, if you're there in the rainy season like us, you might want a blanket and not all the rooms had one--just ask. they are very nice! oh, and our room had a fan which was great for drying out our gloves and such from the long ride in the rain.

Huasi Quñi

really lovely family run hostal. we found it on booking for $22/night for a matrimonial with bathroom, breakfast included. breakfast was bread, cheese, jam, eggs, fresh fruit, fresh juice, and coffee. secure parking, though with some size restriction--not a problem for motos up to SUV. there is a fully furnished kitchen you can use, and a covered terrace with sofas and chairs to relax on. we thought this was a really great value for this area. easy walking distance to everything in the city. highly recommended!

Hostal Girón

nice little hostel in town, close to restaurants, stores, and plaza. off the main highway, so quiet at night. all rooms with shared bathroom. $7/person. wi-fi, tv with cable, suicide shower that actually got hot. they allowed us to park our two big motos inside--could easily fit more. gotta go up a curb to get in. nice young couple runs it.

Immigration / Customs Ecuador

This was a super fast and easy border crossing--Ecuador into Peru--in November. No copies were needed.

Crossing from Peru into Ecuador today took about 3 hours total. Easy out of Peru once officials came back from lunch (they went early...)

Ecuador immigration was fast and easy, but Aduana took more than 2 hours for our 2 bikes because they do everything with WhatsApp. After it was all done, we needed 1 copy of passport/drivers license/moto paperwork/immigration paper front and back. we got it all on one piece of paper each.

hostal noche buena

it is now 50 soles for a matrimonial. very nice, clean place. water is hot in the morning--by afternoon it cools considerably. there was plenty of room for our 2 giant motorbikes, but we needed to shuffle them in the evening for the restaurant workers. we figured it would be easiest to go eat dinner there, so we'd be there when needed. now, we're staying at least another night because we are both sick from dinner.

stay at the hospital--DON'T EAT AT THE RESTAURANT.

Hostel Edwards

great place. same comments as below. we stayed two nights and they offered laundry service 5soles/load.

Hotel Nancy

we wound up here after a bad experience at another hotel in town. this place seemed mostly clean. the hot water, though low pressure, was hot. unfortunately, we had a bad experience here too. in the morning, my husband left the room to get breakfast. there was a hotel staff girl coming out of the room next door as he left. about two minutes later, she very quietly let herself into our room and was RRALLY surprised to see me in there. she apologized and quickly opened the door and let herself out.

so...I'm really over this town. if you're here, try the "pricey" place in town listed. maybe you get honesty if you pay for it.

Casa Vieja Hotel

I was super tired, but we decided to push to here from La Union after reading what a great place this is. Sadly, no part of this place was good. The matrimonial was still 30 soles--we hauled our gear up to the 4th floor and dumped it off, then went right back down to take the bikes to the cochera. There was no one there. so we returned to the hotel, and found our key didn't work. After my husband went up and down the 4 flights of stairs twice with the still wrong key, I slid the window open (because it didn't lock) and went into the room. As I looked more closely, the room was filthy. The bedcovers had been "straightened" but the sheets had clearly been slept in, the bathroom garbage had not actually been emptied *eeewwww* and there were used bars of soap in the dirty sink and on the edge of the shower. The floor was filthy. While I was trying to decide if this was just the acceptable cleanliness, the young girl came back and tried all the keys without success. She said she had another room, and showed us one that had a dirty towel and a t-shirt on the floor in the bathroom.

I told her we would not be staying, and as we hauled everything down the stairs to re-pack the bikes, I was Pissed. I've never found a place that was so bad that I left. It seemed that neither of the owners were there...perhaps this was just an off day. That said, we came to Hotel Nancy. we have a nice clean room, towels, toilet paper, toilet seat. 35 soles and I can walk down to my bike anytime I need to.

Hostel de la Linda

we stayed here 3 nights and loved it! the owners are so sweet, and we got to meet some other travelers too. it is very close to the historic center, the teleferico, all the museums and ALL the moto shops (if you need that kind of thing. which I did) it is also easy walking to any kind of store if you're in part of your trip where you needed to re-stock. secure parking. highly recommended!

Patio de Las Empanadas

Actually called Los Patios de Empanadas, this place is great. you can order empanadas to go at an outside window (most also offer tamales, humitos, locro) or you can walk in where women with menus try to convince you to sit at their restaurant's tables. my husband and I stood, staring at each other and I made him decide. I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong in your choice. we sat and ate at one place, and ordered to go from another, just to spread the love.

Domingo Molina Wineyard

this was a really lovely stop. we were on our motorbikes as it is 6 kms from town, out a very easy to drive dirt road. tasting happens while sitting outside, under pergola, enjoying the view of the whole valley. we shared a tasting, and the price of it was applied to the bottles we bought to enjoy after we parked our motos for the night! 😁 Highly recommend this lovely place with beautiful wines.

Bodega El Transito

price is now 50 pesos/person but still applied to a bottle if you purchase it. the wines were quite nice and we bought a bottle of their red blend.

La Casa De Las Empanadas

Delicious! empanadas are 16p each or 12 for 160. there is a promo listed on a page in the menu for 12 empanadas and 3/4 liter of torrontes wine. we had that, and it was probably enough, but the empanadas were so good we ordered a few more and more wine. it took some time, as they are all fresh made, but you can spend it sipping wine and reading what people have written all over the walls. we loved this place!

Camping, Las Mil Hojas in the Valle Grande

an update: this morning at about 5, the couple camping closest to us left after starting and idling their engine for ten minutes. they left behind a campground full of diesel fumes and an enormous pile of garbage. at about 8, a large truck, a backhoe, and a crew of 4 men came in to clean up everyone's garbage. with the large truck (left idling next to our tent for 15 minutes...), the backhoe, the rakes and shovels, the amount of noise was ridiculous. they've been at it for over an hour now and the place is somewhat clean.

so...maybe come here Tuesday-Friday nights. it might be clean then.

Camping, Las Mil Hojas in the Valle Grande

typical free campground in Argentina. no amenities, lots of garbage everywhere. the far right corner beach appears to be where people go to the toilet, and there are lots of plastic bottles and Styrofoam cups swirling in the water.

it is very sad to see how people do not take care of their natural spaces. the river, the canyon, and the trees are so beautiful here, but the campground itself is a mess. sad.

also typical of municipal campgrounds--bright lights come on when it gets dark and stay on all night. so annoying.

mt. lava wildcamp

We loved this place! it was a nice break in the day after riding the motos on the ripio. we were able to get them easily back to the spot between the lava walls. we hiked around the back of the rock hill and into the amazing lava field. when we walked through the lava field, we saw an animal that had long ears like a rabbit, but a long bushy tail--if you're quiet, you may see it high up on the sandstone hill.

it was SO QUIET here! there were approximately 1 billion stars out at night--beautiful! thank you for this perfect spot!

Camping Municipal Las Isla, Junin

It is open now. Its a nice spot for a night. 150 ARP p/pn. some sites have electricity at the site and water (looks like they're slowly working on the rest) and there is a nice spot behind the old bathrooms labeled "Lavadero" to do your washing up. There is even hot water there. The hot showers were awesome--you have to turn the hot tap on and watch it for a minute or two. eventually it gets very hot and you add cold--it never gets cold like a lot of the camp showers I've had recently! A little noise from the town in the evening, but it seems to quiet down.

Camping Willy

Stayed here before catching free ferry to Chaitén in the morning. Didn't need to worry about waking up on time, because ferry comes in close to campground and sounds like a gigantic helicopter. The price is now 4000clp. No one was there when we arrived in the afternoon, so we let ourselves in. A woman came around 7pm to collect payment. There are fire pits, sinks for washing dishes, and bathrooms with 2 toilets, 2 showers, and a sink. There was some warmish water when my husband showered, and only freezing cold water when I wanted to. A man had just finished showering in the women's shower though, and he had hot water...

I would recommend one of the wild camps posted here first--they're free and apparently great. We went here because it said there were hot showers. Disappointing.


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