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  #31  
Old 3 May 2011
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Keep it coming
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  #32  
Old 4 May 2011
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Im liking this threat alot. The daily updates keep commin' and I keep reading them. Looks like quite an adventure, and now Aus is approaching winter the sun deffinatly seems tempting.

Onwards good sir.
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  #33  
Old 6 May 2011
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Days 32-34, Mazatlan to Durango to Lagos de Merenos to Toluca

The last few days have been quite fast, but good! Tom and I are on a roll, heading south to Cuernavaca. Here are the last three days in a nutshell.



We left our gracious hosts, Jim and Cindy in Mazatlan on Tuesday morning. Jim led us out of town on his R1200GSA, and Tom and I were on our own, headed to or past Durango via Highway 40, aka the Devil’s Backbone.



A quote from the internet,
‘When the three-year project is done in 2012 it will create a 45-mile stretch of modern road between the Pacific Coast city of Mazatlan and the interior city of Durango. About 11 miles will be underground and with a total 95 bridges and tunnels”


The tallest bridge is meant to be taller than the Empire State Building. That should be pretty good!


As it is now, the road is really quite intense, with way to many Semi’s traversing the mountains, and speed demons in cars that hate being slowed by anyone. The curves in the roads are so intense that the semi drivers MUST cut into the opposing lane when taking many corners, and often times into blind corners. Ergo, as a motorcyclists it is very important to stay to the outside of your own lane during corners, as you never know what is coming around the next corner. Or course, this can mean hovering near a very near a cliffs edge, 1-2 feet from a guardrail, or riding a line isn’t preferred. None of which is much fun.



Only one time was there a close call for Tom or me. I came around a blind corner to find myself head on with a newer model Chevy Pickup traveling at high speed. The road formed and “S” and the driver had cut through the inner lane to drive straight through the curves, putting him DIRECTLY in my line of fire. Fortunately I was already far to the outside of my own lane. The driver slammed on his brakes (rear tires locked momentarily) and careened back into his lane. Had he NOT, it would have been a VERY close call. Fortunately, all is well, and there were no more close calls after that.



When we reached what we will refer to as the ‘Top’ of the backbone we stopped for some gorditas and a coke.



There happened to be another bike there, and henceforth we met Sergio E. Aviles, riding a newer model R1200GS. Sergio turned out to be the author, editor, photographer, owner, be all end all, etc of a travel magazine called “Coahuila”. HOME



He spoke great English, and was very informative about many different areas surround us, and inside Mexico as a whole. He was even kind enough to take our photo for us.



And here is the proclamation from the Mexican government.



And another photo I took of the scenery. We topped 7,000 feet at our highest, and had a great time.



Well, Sergio, Tom and I all left the food stand together, as it is safer to travel together and he was alone heading to Durango. Just as the three of us came into Durango, I ran out of gas. DAMN. The altitude burned a bit more gas than expected, and the last 50 miles were sans gas stations.



Tom pulled out one of our emergency 1lt bottles, dumped it in my tank, and we were off. Well, I was off, and promptly lost Tom! Alas, we took an exit and took different roads. Shit. Well, problem solved. Tom followed Sergio to his hotel, got on the internet, left me a message, I checked the internet, got his message, and found him. AND!


Charlie and Sarah were still in town, with plans to stay longer. Well, we stayed in the same cheap hotel, grabbed some food, passed out and woke up early! On the road again, yesterday, we rode from Durango to a town called Lagos de Mereno. On the way, we stopped for some chicken. It was Awesome!



We could keep a watch on our bikes, and enjoyed the awesome food, inside, away from the 90degree heat.



Later down the road, we stopped for tacos and we met this guy. With no name to go by, here is his photo. He spoke well about the rest of Mexico, Central and South America, and was fun to talk to. He didn’t like the way of life in the United States though, as it was too busy for him, and was proud of us for experiencing the world while we had a chance. You can always earn money later, and work for the rest of your life. Before we left, he suggested a cheap hotel down the road, and sooner than later, we headed off to find “La Reloj.”



So, in our search for the hotel, Tom was lucky enough to get a FLAT TIRE! Dammit!



Please keep in mind that this happened right before dusk at 6:45pm. Luckily we were right in front of a rural store, and were able to buy some cokes, some food, and other stuff as we fixed his tire. Check out the wonderful Trail Stand in use, sold by Steve in the Vendors section on Advrider.
Trail Stand - Enduro and Dual Sport Portable Jack Stand - ADVrider

First, set the stand.



Then, remove the tire.



Remove the STAPLE!



Then proceed to give it the middle finger.



Why do we give it the middle finger? Because after we patched the tube, and put it back in the tire, it was flat again. F&#%. What happened? We missed a VERY small hole. Remove tire, patch tube, reinsert, put back on bike. Flat again. F&@#!!! Pinch flat. Remove wheel again, buy a coke and candy at the store, send Alex to the hotel (after asking directions again), book room, come back, fix tire finally. Success! 2.5 hours in total. DAMMIT.



Tom enjoyed his time….HAHAHA. We’re both in it for the long term, so a flat for either of us is the same as if we experienced it ourselves. So after a team effort, Tom was quite ready for bed.



And here is our cheap accommodation. We regularly share a bed. Cheaper. More money for food this way.



Now that was yesterday.
Today, we rode from Lagos de Merenos to Toluca. It was uneventful, but the scenery was good. We got lost in one city and drove around its entirety for an hour (on accident) we took some toll roads, and hauled major ass.
A photo from the road.



Approaching 5pm, we encountered some rain! The first rain since Washington! It was actually pretty refreshing. We stopped to put on our waterproof jacket liners, but decided against the pants. WRONG decision. 30 minutes later it was a torrential downpour, we were soaked from the waist down, and were riding through a thunderstorm. It was insane. We couldn’t see for shit, and every truck on the road was kicking up a spray and slamming through puddles, washing our bikes in the washout. It was outrageous.



We had to ride about 40 minutes in the worst weather thus far until we made it to Toluca, where at first site we found a hotel for 250 pesos, which included a garage beneath every room,



A huge king sized bed, with a tv (that we don’t watch)



And a shower that nearly drowned me with its 10gpm water flow. It was saweet.



Well. It would turn out that the place we are staying at “Hotel Salou” is rather more of a meeting place, or rendezvous area for people and their “dates”. The ashtray had a condom in it, there is a menu for sex items like condoms, lube and toys, and the T.V. is full of porn channels. Tom and I have since turned off the t.v. , bought some food, ate it, and are now surfing the web. Tom will probably save the condom for future use, and we are now posting on our blogs.



ENJOY!


Tomorrow is Cuernavaca and our home for the next 7-10 days!



Onward!


--Alex
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  #34  
Old 9 May 2011
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Cuernavaca, March 6th-8th Days 35-37

Ahoy! We have arrived in Cuernavaca and have been here since Friday afternoon. It’s been great so far, and we’ve had a great time being shown around for the weekend by Tom’s friend Cyntia.
Here is where we left off!


We left Toluca early enough in the morning to get lost a few times, find the wrong road more than once, and then arrive in Cuernavaca at 1pm in the afternoon to meet with Tom’s friend from his college days, named Cintia. Meet Cintia!



On the way to Cuernavaca, Tom and I road through a national forest called “Lagunas de Zampoala”, 75% of the way through the national forest we were stopped for road construction. The entire road thus far had been winding, sinuous roads, dropping and climbing over forested hills, and dipping into hidden valleys that only suddenly appeared when we rode into them. As we came to a stop, we instantly began jabbering and blabbering about the BEST road we have ever ridden in our entire lives. It really was that good. Yes we are young, and have much to see/ride yet, but damn, it was awesome. We are going back next Friday or earlier to ride it again. It was that awesome. Even better, it reminded us of home, as it was a lush densely packed forest of deciduous and coniferous trees alike. It even smelled like my back yard. Awesome. (We were born and raised in Washington, aptly named The Evergreen State).

After we arrived in Cuernavaca, Cintia drove us to a family friends house, in a private, gated community, and we hashed out a price for 10 days, for one of his little rental houses (casita). The price we paid was commensurate for value, but over priced in consideration of cheap hostels or other things. However, we’ve got two beds, a kitchen too cook in, complete with a mini fridge, and a bathroom. When we’re lucky, we can even catch an internet signal inside the casita without having to go outside. We are paying 400pesos/night. Just under $40. Haha. We’re cheap bastards though, and talked him down from 500. We’re happy. Plus, we can leave our bikes in front of our rental unit, not worry about them, leave and come back to a clean place, and leave all of our crap everywhere without caring. Also the next 7 we are here will allow us to buy some things (rear innertube, new pelican case, etc) from the nearby Mexico City, and see many surrounding areas as well.

Check out Tom, cleaning his clothes in the sink.



We even have a dining table, and we use it twice a day for breakfast and dinner. Cheap!



The same day we arrived, and after we unpacked everything for our mini extended stay, Cintia drove us around the city and took us to a grocery store to load up on food. Soon after we had made it back to our new home, we unloaded the groceries, got dressed in some decent clothes (I have none) and Cintia took us out to the local hotspot , and we found ourselves at a Latin Salsa bar called Los Arcos. It was there that we learned what Salsa dancing really was, and it was awesome. Cintia coerced her friends into giving us dance lessons over the course of a song, and while I had no time to pay attention to anything other than my feet, I’m pretty sure Tom was having a good time too. Of course, it doesn’t help when we’re 6’2 and 6’6” and our dance instructors were 5’2” and 5’4” and half our weight. It was pretty funny to say the least.


We left Los Arcos, and headed to Carlos and Charlies for round two, and didn’t go to bed until 2am, watching the Latin men and women dance, and giving it our best shots trying to learn and not crushing their feet with ours.

Ok… Time to wake up! It’s Saturday morning! We’re going to EL ROLLO! What is that you ask? Only the biggest water park in all of Latin America, with rides that hardly imaginable in the US, and more then illegal in most other countries! Needless to say, we had a freaking blast.
On the way there we saw a giant billboard for the park, which happened to have Cintia’s sister plastered on the front. Meet Graciela.



The main attraction for Tom and I was the Rio (river). Basically, a major wave jet pump thingamajig pumps water in vast quantities over a raised lip, behind which are about 40-50 people, eagerly anticipating the ever increasing water flow. The water flow and pressure soon becomes too much and begins to sweep everyone and anyone, without discrimination, into the Rio (river), blasting us all down the drain pipe and into lazy river (that ISN’T lazy at ALL). As everyone is blasted down the river, arms and legs flailing, the strongest of the bunch still remains in the onslaught waiting for the final purge of water that is impossible to resist when it comes. And here in Mexico, when it rains, it pours, and the river flows like never before, and we’re all washed away, down into the river, only to swim out, run back, and return for rounds 2,3,4-50 etc. Awesome!


The biggest water tube drop ride had a LOOP in it. Alas neither Tom nor I could haul ass down it as I had metal grommets in our bathing suits, and he had a zippered pocket. Thanks guys, you’ll drown me in the wave pool, but won’t let me possible scratch myself with a grommet? Awesome.



After Tom and I were had taken a considerable ass whooping from the “go drown in a crazy river” ride, I found out that there was a 5 meter diving platform that had a 4.5 meter deep pool underneath it. Sweet. So, I climbed to the top…



Then I did a backflip, and had an audience of little kids from age 10-15. It was pretty fun. All I have is a 14mb video though, so you’ll have to use your imagination. It looked kinda like this though…. (Yes that really is me)



We snagged a group photo,



And grabbed a photo behind the waterfall of Tom



And Cintia



The night after the water park, we pretty much just cooked some food and fell asleep. Not enough energy to do much else. Except it was just tooo damn hot in our little casita, with no air conditioning, and no screen on the window. We couldn’t open the window for fear of the mosquitoes. Well, we thought the window was closed. Apparently it was not, as midway through the night, I looked like this…



It was a “mosqo” feeding frenzy and we were right in the middle of it, and it sucked. But we survived, and the next day, Sunday, we we’re out and about again.

Cintia picked us up in her car (2007 VW Jetta) and we headed out to a nearby puebla/town to check out a rather mildly sized archeological site. Her sister, Gabriela, was dancing in a traditional tribute ceremony that was taking place under the largest pyramid there. So, we had a good look, and got burned in the 90 degree heat while trying to find shade as we drank gallons of water. It was pretty intense.



All of the dancers were ornately dressed in traditional clothing, and it was quite the sight to behold, even if we were overheating.



After the dancing was finished, we met this guy, who we will politely refer to as Wolverine, as he was the epitome of a traditional Mayan warrior/dancer.



Cintia insisted on a photo of her sister and her between the “twin towers” as we were so honorable named by a man we met the first night we were out dancing.



Then, I took the best photo I have taken this entire trip. Meet Cintia’s sister, Graciela. The happily married, 25 year old, with a 2.5 year old child. For all you single guys out there, GOOD LUCK!



After the dancing, we headed off to Cintia’s house to meet up with others from the dancing, and were greeted by her Dad with some Mezcla, a traditional drink made solely from Cacti. Enjoy!



Nothing much came from the drink, though along with it we were prompted to try 3 different kinds of fruit that neither of us had ever encountered in our lives. They were called Mame, Chico, and something else I can’t remember. They were all pretty good, but not as appetizing to us as they are to the accustomed pallet. However, it was a great experience.

After all the dance watching, sun burning, fruit eating, Mezcla drinking activity, we headed back to our casita for the night to eat our staple foods, potatoes, onions, some kind of meat (chorizo last night), and drink gallons of water. The past three days have been some of the busiest days of trip thus far, but have also been some of the most eventful.

In the next 7 days, Tom and I are going to buy a new rear tube, get my pelican case replaced, check out valves, buy new rear tires (Tom’s can wait, but I left home on a used set of Mefo Explorers, my rear tire is nearly toast, but my front is holding out strong), and due routine maintenance on the bikes. We’ve also got to get back into the mountains, to Lagunas de Zampoala.


We’ve got an adventure ahead of us yet!

Now, Tom and I have been traveling separately from Charlie and Sarah these past few days, but Tom and I received an update today from Sarah via Skype, so I thought I’d clue you all in.

After we left Durango, about five days ago, Charlie and Sarah went for a cruise into the mountains and stayed overnight with some friends that they had met from town the night or so before. They then returned to Durango. Sarah conquered her first dirt road experience handily, and Charlie ate it for breakfast with his 660 Tenere. The next day or so, they left together, headed for the coast. No normal roads this time however, as they took the advice of a fellow they met, and prepared with maps, took off into the mountains for a 500km ride through semi paved roads through the Sierra Madre Mountains.


Sarah was the first to give it toss in some excitement. As she told Tom and I over skype, here is what happened (keep in mind I wasn’t there).
Sarah was happily cruising along at about 30mph, on a dirt road when her front tire decided to dive into a good sized pothole full of finely ground dirt/dust. It promptly shoved both the bike and her to the right side (still rubber side down at this point). Of course, directly after the first pothole was a second one which promptly slammed her bike to the left side, laying it down in the dirt at about 30mph while Sarah kept going in a straight line, quickly finding herself on the ground, shoulder first. From what she says, her shoulder (not sure which one) hurts pretty good but is going to be ok, and Burro (her bike) is doing better than her with no notable damage.

Charlie had his turn the following day. This time however, he was going twice as fast, and on pavement. Sound familiar? It would though, that that day Charlie was just one unlucky son of a bitch. From what I understand, his front tire tube valve blew out, instantly deflating his tire and throwing him into a mondo tank slapper. Rather than bucking him off as could have happened, he got lucky and the bike went into a slide on a stretch of straight road. Apparently, Charlie held on for quite some time, but landed hard on one side, also damaging his shoulder (though not as bad as Sarah’s, I think), and hurting his right hand and wrist enough to make a handshake painful. El Dorado (Charlie’s bike) only came out slightly worse for the wear. His handle bar is bent to shit, and his tank nearly ground through the plastic, though it still holds fuel, and can be patched over for security.


Both Sarah and Charlie were wearing full gear. Sarah has mid length riding boots, Kevlar lined jeans (non padded), a First Gear mesh jacket and a Sparks helmet, and summer weight riding gloves. Charlie has Mid length boots, padded and armored riding pants and a jacket, a local brand of helmet (his Shoei Hornet DS was stolen nearly 4 weeks ago), and summer gloves. ATGATT baby!


It would seem, that about 6 weeks ago, Charlie had a new tube put into his front tire while still in L.A. However, during his first front flat tire, he realized that the tire wasn’t heavy duty (he asked/paid for one) and the valve stem was slightly rusted (old tube maybe?). Now, over a month and 4000 miles later, his valve stem blew out….. Hmmmm…

As it is now, everyone is up and running. Charlie and Sarah are on the coast, and Tom and I are happily hanging out in Cuernavaca. It’s been a good few days, and more are to come! Onward!!!



--Alex
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  #35  
Old 10 May 2011
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Really enjoying the updates fellas!
Making me very very jealous to say the least. Keep it up!
All the best from across the pond
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  #36  
Old 13 May 2011
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Really enjoying reading this thread as its so current!
Good to be getting the regular updates, looking forward to the next one
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  #37  
Old 13 May 2011
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May 9th-12th, Days 38-41

Ahhhh, Monday. Lots of people hate Mondays, but this Monday was a good day. And we did absolutely NOTHING at all. Monday was a day of rest, and stuffing face with the remainder of our food, and not a whole lot of much else. I only left the “casita” for a brief moment to run down to the Oxxo, buy some tortillas and eggs, and some other things, and that was it. Tom never left. We had no urge. And that was Monday.



Tuesday had a bit more in store for us. We were going to Mexico City, to find me a Pelican Case dealer, who would hopefully warranty my destroyed pelican case, or sell me a new one. We planned ahead, I studied the maps, and we were going to successfully navigate the largest city by area in the world. All the signs for Mexico City (also referred to as Distrito Federal, or D.F. “day-effay”) simply say, “Mexico”. And sure enough, though we were weaving in and out of traffic, reading street signs, and relying on my hand written map, we found our way to our destination! Success. Almost.



We were trying to find a store called “Submergibles y Acesorios,” and we found the right street, and turned off the right highway, after taking the right exit off the right freeway, from the right direction. BUT, the store did not exist. We even found a motorcycle shop on the way, and asked them about a place that sold Pelican Cases. We gave them a name. They had never heard of them, they didn’t even know what a Pelican Case was. Everybody that we asked thought that they were original equipment and wanted to send us to a Suzuki dealer. No, sorry, that’s not what we’re looking for.



So, we tried to find it again, and on the way, met a city resident riding a Honda Bro dual sport. Oh, I’ll take you there he said. I know a place. And so we followed him, by first doing an illegal u-turn, and then riding against a one way highway, on a shoulder, switching between the sidewalk, and any other space available. Ha. We had to. We were following the local. And where did he take us? Right back the first motorcycle shop that we had visited. Then he told me there was a store, that DEFNIITELY sold the boxes. Well, we’re here now, may as well try, and fail. Damn it.



What did we succeed in doing? Eating the best chorizo tacos as of yet, and finding a new rear tube that wasn’t being sold for an extortionate price. We’ll take it.

What did Wednesday have in store for us you ask? Not a lot. We’re tired. Maybe it’s because we’re living at around 6,000 feet. Maybe it’s the everyday 90+ degree heat. Maybe, it’s the sweatbox of a casita that we’re sleeping in, sweating all night until the morning. Who knows. But we did get off our asses and do a few things.



First thing I did that morning was check out my exhaust pipe. Tom had realized one day that my exhaust pipe was leaking at the point where it connects to the frame near the mid pipe.



During the first week of our travels, Tom’s and my motorcycle had been burning nearly exactly the same amount of fuel. Within 3/10 of a liter. After my crash, however, there was a slight difference in my motorcycle, and though with no discernable amount of power loss, I was burning more fuel. I chalked it up to the increased altitude that we were soon after dealing with, and an incorrect fuel mixture. I was wrong. Furthermore, at altitude my bike was bucking slightly under slight acceleration, and prolonged open throttle.



So, I detached the pipe and cleaned it in the sink,



Then I borrowed Tom’s motorcycle, strapped my muffler to the top of one of his panniers,



And took off in the search of a welder. Which I found quite easily right down the road. Well, the shop I found was for transmissions, but he had a huge mig welder in the corner of the open shop bay door. I pulled in, asked him how much it would cost to weld it (80 pesos), agreed to the price and took off in the name of returning with my wallet that I had forgotten. Skip forward 10 minutes, and I return to within 50 feet of the shop, just to have Tom’s clutch cable (a non OEM replacement, after his original one broke) snap at the lever. DAMN.



So I paid the man, strapped the repaired muffler to his pannier,



And proceeded to open Tom’s other pannier, reach in, grab his tool bag, find the SECOND replacement cable we had bought and stashed for this reason, and in 15 minutes, I was finished replacing his broken clutch cable. (Thankfully it didn’t happen on the fly in Mexico City the day before!) Best success of the week!


I returned, reattached my newly repaired muffler, adjusted my fuel mixture screw, started up the bike, and pleasantly found my bike to be running like it did when I left. Prompt throttle response, no more starvation at altitude, no problems with anything at all. Success!!!


This all happened before midday, and when I returned, Tom had other things on his mind. So, he looked up a local Suzuki Motorcycle dealership, and we made our way there to get some things, and order some others. Tom needed an OEM clutch cable, we needed spare spark plugs, and I need a new rear tire. Well we found the first two, but the last thing (the tire) was outrageously priced, and can wait (I’m not paying $220USD of a Bridgestone Trail Wing. Not going to happen.



So we bought the stuff ($75 for Tom’s new clutch cable that he will have to go pick up tomorrow or Saturday), went grocery shopping, and then headed back to the casita. Day over.



Today! Thursday, has been an easy day. Plans? Check our valves, lube our chains, clean our air filters (K&N), and head to the Centro tonight.



First thing first, check ADVrider for advice on checking the valves. Read many pages, then proceed.



Second step: Check the valves .



Valves were within the specs. Awesome. We had no reason to believe otherwise, but it’s nice to know things are going as planned.
We spent another hour or so, cleaning our air filters (in the sink with soap and water), lubing our chains, and for me, replacing my front sprocket, not out of necessity, but in exchange for a 15 tooth front sprocket rather than a 14 tooth front. We’ve been running a LOT of highway miles, and a 15 tooth will be more efficient. I have a second DR650 at home with a 15 tooth front sprocket on it, and really liked the performance. If we run into some tough stuff, I still have my original 14tooth and a replacement new one for future use. No problem.



And now. We head for the town centro!



But alas, we didn’t do a whole hell of a lot. We parked on in the round-about,



And walked around a bit through the markets. Well that was entertaining. At least we saw this apron…



Then we got a call from Cintia. “You guys want to go to a movie?” Um, yea sure. When? “Like 8:30-9pm. I’m coming now” Ok. Sounds good.



So we went to the theater, paid less than $6 for a movie ticket, and saw “Fast 5,” the latest in line of The Fast and The Furious Movies. It was all in English, and we loved it. Combine that with lots of fast cars, guns, and a hot chick on a motorcycle, and we were set.


Today, Friday, Tom's old college Spanish professor, Luis, arrives from Washington State with a gaggle of giggling college students eager to learn Spanish in a foreign country. We're going to go say hello, it should be a good time!


--Alex
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  #38  
Old 18 May 2011
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May 13th-18th Days 42-47

Ahoy!!!

The last time you heard from me, Tom and I were sitting in a movie theater, watching Fast 5, enjoying the English language at its best! Since then, we have had a very eventful (at least by our standards) past 6 days, and have been as productive as we have ever been. We are still in Cuernavaca, and have been here since Friday, May 6th.

We are most definitely leaving this city tomorrow, which will mark the end of our second week here in Cuernavaca. With some rest days in the middle of action packed days, these two weeks have been awesome, and we’re glad that we stayed as long as we have. As for now though, we are itching to get south, and have Guatemala/Honduras on our minds.
Here is where we left off!

The day after the movie, Friday, had us waking up late, and mulling around, but eventually, as the evening came one, it had us headed towards the Centro, with plans to meet Cintia and her friends at Los Arcos, the favorite hotspot for cheap , live music, and salsa dancing. (They sell mini s here, 225ml, as compared to a standard 325/355mm. 4 of them for 30pesos. 900mm for less than $3.) Well, believe it or not, Tom and I were on time and arrived at 9pm, just to find that the tables were completely full, and without a reservation, we wouldn’t be entering the seating area. Not to mention, we didn’t see Cintia or her friends anywhere. Well, we might as well sit and wait right? Right.

So we sat, and we waited. And while we waited, we met some nice young people. Well, rather, two distinctly tall, light haired, fair skinned white boys drew some attention from the local student population who, while we sat and waited, unabashedly walked directly in front of us and simply took a picture. When the first picture didn’t turn out, of course, they took a second.
Well, that wasn’t good enough. So they asked us for a photo, and we obliged. Simply put one giant on either side of the local 5’4” student, and “SNAP” photo taken. Next! And another please! No problem. What else do we have to do while waiting?

So, while we’re being stared at I thought it would be prudent to scan the crowd for some friendly faces. The seating area to Los Arcos is under cover, but outdoors. So a stroll around the perimeter lends itself well to people watching. So I watched some people a few times, and after my third or so pass, on my way back to my retaining wall bench seat next to Tom, a girl and a guy came out of the bar, bee lining it to Tom. “Would you like to come in and sit at our table?” they asked. Tom and I debated. It was 9:30, the other people were 30 minutes late. We’re on vacation. We don’t need to wait. “Well, yes, that sounds great. Thank you very much. I’m Tom, this is Alex.”

And so the beginning of our next 5 days was started! We met Eva, and Pamela, and Sandra, and Olympia, and Linda, and Daniel, and another 2 guys, and 3 more girls, and another guy after that. And then Cintia showed up. And then her friends showed up. But they were late to the party. We had new friends now. And they were cool. And so it began! That night ended at a separate smaller bar, with less intense music, where we could chat, and talk, and have a great time, and make plans to see people at different times, and invite Daniel, and his sister Olympia, and there friend Pamela back to our Casita. They obliged, and 15 minutes later, we were there! Well, Tom and I were all there, so was Daniel, Pamela was on track, but Olympia. Well, Olympia was tired…





Hahaha. Tom and I pulled out our sleeping pads, and pillows and made our beds on the floor and our friends slept the night away on our beds. It was great fun, and the next day, Saturday, was born.


Saturday got to an early start. We had people to me
et! Tom’s university, Gonzaga, was rolling into town with 7 study abroad students eager to see the sights! We intended to intercept them at their school here in Cuernavaca, called University International, or UNINTER. We we’re wildly successful, found them at their school at about 12pm, instantly had new cronies, and made plans to meet up with them again at 5pm at the Cathedral.

Somehow, we got a hold of Daniel from the night before, and he told his sister Olympia, and pretty soon, we were a famous group of white people, roaming the streets, Tom and I in the lead, showing these kids (minus our two local friends) what they needed to see within the direct vicinity of the center. Then, we showed them the two for one bars. Two s, for the price of one of course. Until, between the 10 of us, we ordered 12 s and 24 showed up. Shit. Two for one….

And then… We were back at Los Arcos!!

And then the students left us, they had an early morning excursion planned for the next day, and WE didn’t.

So we went to bed too. Excellent.

Now, Sunday, had more in store for us. It turns out that both Daniel, and his sister Olympia really like motorcycles, and of course, Tom and I both have a motorcycle. So we should probably take them somewhere on our motorcycles. The town of choice you ask? Tepotzotlan. Home of a mountain with a pyramid. Sweeeet.

So, we met Daniel and Olympia near the center of town, they hopped on the back of our bike. Olympia with Tom, Daniel on mine, and we took off. 30 minutes later, we were parked, and our way on a HOT Sunday afternoon, looking down the main street of Tepotzotlan.





The walk through town was nice and easy. Lot of little vendors, and food stalls, and trinkets, and flat easy pavement. Until of course, we reached the base of the mountain. And we started climbing.





Of course, we like exercise, and the climb is totally worth it. But damn, it was 90+ degrees, and closing in on 90% humidity. We we’re sweating, and that was all there was too it.

A little higher up, and we get to take a break. Meet Daniel and Olympia!





Daniel is 18, Olympia is 22. Daniel speaks Spanish, English, French, German, and Portuguese. Olympia speaks Spanish, English, French, and German.

Daniel is an English teacher at a local school, and Olympia is a lab assistant at another one. Well educated people, which we were glad to have met!

Even at 7,000 ft, Graffiti reigns king.





And of course, this is where we started, way down there in the city.





Face shot of yours truly.





And for just for kicks, an awesome, multi colored Mexican bug.





After the hike, we were all tired, and hungry, and still sweating. So we found a cheap place to eat and settled in. The food was good, we were all happy, and there wasn’t much to complain about. Except, having not exercised in about 5 months, my legs were tired from the climbing. I’m getting soft!





After lunch, we made our way to the Sunday street market/vendors row. Tom and I don’t have room for much on our bikes, and we don’t have need for more crap either, but we enjoy having a look around. It’s part of what this is all about.





After looking around, we had a lay in the grass in the courtyard of the Cathedral. Here’s a shot from the grass. I couldn’t get the whole thing in. Neat little (by local comparison) church.





And so ended our day in Tepotzotlan! We took Daniel and Olympia back to where we picked them up, and headed back to our Casita. Tom and I had paid 10 days in advance for our lodging, and Sunday night was the last day. We liked our little sweat lodge, but it was too damn hot, had too many mosquitoes, and was overpriced.We would be moving out the next day. So we got to our packing when, Cintia and her friends arrived to say goodbye to us.

They thought we were leaving town. And originally, we had planned to do just that. But we had some things to catch up on, and well, we weren’t leaving just yet.





You might wonder why half of the photos of Tom and I and other people involve at least one of us without a shirt. Well, it’s averages well above 85 degrees here during the day, and our little Casita had us swimming in our own sweat. So, enjoy.


The next morning, Monday the 16th, had us packed and ready to go. We were moving, and at the advice of Daniel, our new local friend, had a place in mind that would be SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper.





Priced at 43 pesos each per night rather than 200, tom and I would each have our own room. Ha. Saving $15 a night, upgrading to single rooms, and only giving up a kitchen… Easy decision.

Meet Sergio! The son of the owner’s wife!





What you see of the room is basically what we have. A bed, desk, and private bathroom. Perfect!

The rest of Monday was put to use doing useful things. Having moved, we didn’t really know what part of the city we were in. Well, we had a good idea, but we threw Daniel on the back of my bike and used him like a personal tour guide. He was more than happy to come along, as his days are free with no job, and no school to tie him down.

First stop was Potenza Motors, the local Suzuki dealership that had Tom’s clutch cable. Having ordered it sometime last week, Tom was waiting for it to arrive, and arrive it did. For the first time in about 30 days, Tom finally had a legitimate OEM Suzuki clutch cable. Never mind that it cost nearly $70…





I had other plans. I needed a box to replace my top case, as I had plans to replace my destroyed right side pannier with my current top case. Having failed to find a pelican case dealer, I decided instead to move my pelican top case to the right pannier location, and buy a new BIGGER box for the top. And here you have it! My new fiberglass, 40cm x 40cm x 35cm top case.





Soon thereafter, it was back to our new location to work on our bikes. Did I mention it has a garage that they are letting us use?





Tom set about replacing his clutch cable alone. What better time to practice motorcycle mechanics then when you have no other choice.





I went about drilling some holes in the bottom of my new fiberglass top case. Utilizing the tools at hand.





I’m pretty damn satisfied with the job done. Buck knife, and flat head screw driver where the tools of my trade that day. The bottom of the fiberglass box has a ½” piece of fiberboard running between the layers of fiberglass to give it strength and rigidity. I was happy to learn this, as it means it will be more durable in the long run, but it doesn’t mean it was any easier to drill!





I removed the rails from my top case quick release set up, and set about installing them on the bottom of my new top case. Well, the top case has a thicker bottom then the top case, and that means I need new bolts, and with new bolts, probably new buts, and because I’m so lucky, the Ferreteria across the street (hardware store) will only have them in 11mm, the one wrench/socket I didn’t bring. So I‘ll have to use an adjustable wrench, because my cheap ass won’t spend $5.50usd on a 11mm socket. Oh, and because the new bolts are longer, and the heads are larger, they’ll have to be inserted into the box/rails from the other direction, requiring washers, and, and, and, and….

Here is the finished product.





That was a multi-day effort. And brings us to Tuesday! And with Tuesday, come new tires!!!





We snagged out personal city tour guide, Daniel, and went in search of new Llantas (tires). And eventually, after visiting two Yamaha dealers, and a hole in the wall, the hole in the wall had two tires that we could use, two Pirelli MT60 dual sport tires. The tires were priced nearly at US prices, and we paid $150 each for the rear tire. We didn’t want to, and would have preferred much cheaper tires, because we’re cheap, but it didn’t work out that way.
What we now have are two tires, in two different sizes. One is a 130/80/17, and the other is a 140/80/17. I am currently running a 130/80/17 Mefo Explorer as my rear tire, and it is pretty much toast. There is about 1mm or less of remaining tread in the center of the tire.





Tom has a 4.6/17 Chinese made Shinko tire that still has some (not much) life left. He’s probably got about 2.5-3.5 mm of tread left





Tom’s tires were brand new when we left. Mine were used. I’m only slightly hesitant about the fact that we bought a 140/80/17 tire, but I’m pretty confident that it will fit, even if it is a BITCH to put on. That will come later. The only thing I really have any concern about is the life of our new, expensive, rear tires. Most report a life span of about 3k-3.5k miles. What we really wanted was 5k+. That likely won’t happen. So, somewhere south of here (likely Panama City) we’ll be buying new tires. I’ll probably go big and buy some Mefo Explorers if I can find them, and hopefully not worry about them until we reach Buenos Aires. Of course, all of that can wait until then.


After buying tires, it was sushi time. I have no photos of the sushi, but it was AWESOME. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday is 2 for 1 day at the local Sushi place in the Gallerias (mall). So Daniel, Olympia, Pamela, Susie, Sandra, her friend, Tom and I, all sat down and packed away Sushi for basically free. We all ate as much as we wanted, had a drink of some sort, and still didn’t pay more than $9 each. I haven’t been as satisfied with a meal thus far. And being that everyone ordered 2 plates, and it was 3 guys and 5 girls, there were plenty of leftovers from the girls’ plates that I simply couldn’t let go to waste. And so I consumed large, obsessive quantities of raw fish, white rice, and various dipping sauces. It was lovely.


After sushi time, it was time for relaxation. Everyone went home except Daniel and Olympia who came back to our new establishment. Tom and Olympia hung out while Daniel and I played cards. I taught him War. And he whooped my ass. Then I taught him cribbage. And I won.





Now, it is Wednesday, the 18th, and I have spent the morning typing away. Soon, I will have lunch for 20 pesos. Later, a new rear tire will go on my bike, my right side pannier case will be properly installed, and the newest edition to my ride report will go online. Tom and I will go out for drinks with his old university Spanish teacher, than we will pack all of our things, and get ready to ride out of here tomorrow. Cuernavaca has been good, but we have the itch now. Likely, we’ll head east to Veracruz, and head along the Caribbean coastline to the Yucatan Peninsula, headed south invariably until Guatemala or Belize gets in our way. We’ve got miles to churn, and we’re getting pretty excited about it!


Until next time! Thanks for following along so far, being patient when we are busy, and for keeping us in check!


Onward!

--Alex
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  #39  
Old 22 May 2011
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Hello everyone!

We arrived in Oaxaca the day before yesterday, stayed two nights, and let this morning. Now were hanging out in an internet cafe.

Updates to come in the next couple of days.

Everything is kicking ass, and we´ve had a great couple of days of riding. The roads hae been excellent, and the terrain even better.

I hope to be able to upload a few photos by mid week, and write the next ride report chapter as well.

I hope all is well on the home front!

-Alex
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  #40  
Old 24 May 2011
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May 19th-23rd, Days 48-52

Hello everyone!



We’re on the attack now, and chewing through some miles since leaving Cuernavaca on Friday afternoon. That’s right. Last thing I said was, “We’re out of here Thursday!” Well that didn’t happen.
Wednesday night had me trying to replace my used, beaten and battered rear tire with a brand new one bought the day before in town. Well that went poorly. Very poorly. Tom had a date with his old Gonzaga University Spanish professor at Los Arcos at around 9m, and I intended to go with him. That didn’t happen either. Instead, I tore the shit out of my rear inner tube, (which was brand new beforehand) pinched it several times, patched it just as many, and wasn’t successful the entire night.



But, just as Tom was about to go gallivanting around, our new local friends Olympia and Daniel came by to see what was up. Tom was on his way out, but Daniel and Olympia stuck around to keep me company as I tore into my tire. And F’ed it up multiple times in a row, and stressed and even possibly tore the muscles in my right rib cage that have been sore ever since my accident over 40 days ago. Well done Alex.



Here I am, checking for some flats as Olympia stands watch and Daniel took some photos.



How kind of them to laugh with me as I failed repeatedly. Daniel was a giant help as well though, and held tire irons, and jumped on my tire for me. It was great. Then Olympia wanted a parting shot of the motorcycle along with me. To reduce the chance of me greasing up all of my clothes at some point or another, I work on my bike in my bathing suit. Hence the photo.



After the 6th or 7th attempt at installing a tube that stayed full of air, I gave up for the night, left a note on Tom’s rooms door telling him we wouldn’t be leaving early in the morning, and went to bed, after taking a shower.



Before going to bed, I said goodbye to our friends. Here they are for the last time, brother and sister.



Daniel and I,



Olympia and I,



They left, and I went to bed. Then Tom blew into the room! “Wake up man!” said Tom. “Yea? What’s up dude?” Said Alex. “Dude. We’re not leaving tomorrow.” said Tom. “Yea man, I know that. I left you a note saying that. You see my note? No? OK. What’s up?”


And that is how I found out that Tom got stood up by his old G.U. Professor, and met Oscar, the retired veterinarian that used to work on Pigs, who switched to Cats and Dogs, works from home, rides a 2007 R1200RT, and wanted us to meet the president of the Cuernavaca chapter BMW Club.



Hmm… Yes, that sounds like a good plan.



And so we did, the next morning at 9am in front of his gated community. He was 25 minutes late. We didn’t care. I rode there, 2 up on Tom’s bike because my tire was still trashed. I hopped in Oscars car, and Tom followed along. I told him I had a flat tire, he went back to our place, I picked up my tire, and we dropped it off at a Llanteria, (tire shop). They fix all of the BMW clubs tires, don’t worry, it’ll be fixed when you get back. AWESOME.



Then we met the club, and they told us, SCREW Veracruz, go to Oaxaca, the roads better ,the city is better, and everything else is better. Go there. Well there you go again. Change of plans anyone? Normal.



So he dropped us off at the Llanteria, and we said our goodbyes, he was a nice guy, friendly, and a fellow biker. Thanks for everything Oscar.



Back at the Llanteria, they told me both of my rear tubes were F’ed. Buy a new one, they will only fail sooner than later. Really? Dammit. Just put my tube in, I’ll deal with it later. They didn’t, and so, I did myself, later that day.



On our way home, Eva said hi. We had met her days before, and we happened to pass her on the street. She likes motorcycles, so Tom gave her a ride back to our place as I walked the short few blocks. Tom took the long way. When they arrived, I snagged a photo.



Eva liked Tom’s Indiana Jones hat, but he wouldn’t give it up. Good man!



Finally, we ended our day, my tube made its way back into my new tire, and we were ready to go. We stopped at an Oxxo on the way out, and bought some gas as well. (Only to find that about 2 gallons of gas evaporated from my tank over the past 10 days, DAMMIT.)



Then, we headed straight for Oaxaca. And it was incredible. For the first 40 miles. Until my rear tire went flat. Dammit! (It was a legitimate new flat though, complete with a new whole). I pulled the tube, inserted a brand new one that Tom had with him, and we were out of there soon after. The temp was climbing, and 90+ degree temps were on the horizon. And then it was incredible again. We rode 280 miles of stunning roads, up and down mountains, through vegetated forests, and across rambling valleys. We cruised through some of the best roads we had seen yet, all the way to Oaxaca, (Wha-Haw-kuh) where the heavens opened up and proceeded to pour a deluge of rain on us like none we had seen yet. I had a hostel in mind, named Pochon. Tom couldn’t have cared much less. He got sick last time it rained like this, and I knew he didn’t want to get sick again. I told him to sit in a bar. I’d find the hostel. It took me 30 more minutes, we were both soaked to the bone, but I found it. And it was good. And we even parked our bikes inside. Sweet deal.





We lived on the top floor for a couple of nights. Mosquito free, and cool enough that we weren’t sweating all night. It was the best sleep we have had in the past 2 weeks. Easily.



We didn’t stick around very long, but the next day we made some use out of our dual sports, and hit the first dirt roads that we’ve seen yet. We chatted about at the breakfast table, and heard about Hierva el Agua. Fresh water springs that come out of the mountain. You can swim in them, and it’s 90+ degrees outside. Game on!


What’s that? Tom the actor from England, and Cici the fashion designer from China want to come? Awesome. Tom has dibs on all female passengers. And of course, being the faithful wingman, I gave Tom (the actor) a ride. And we were off.



The first 20 miles were paved highway, until we reached Mitla, then we followed the signs, right up a mountain, up a dirt road, down the other side, and into a gated compound that we paid 20 pesos to enter. Easy. Tom (the actor) paid my fee, and Sisi bought us s at the first shed that we saw. Excellent.



And this is where we were/what it looked like. Say hello Sisi!



Then, we went to bed, woke up, ate the free hostel breakfast, and got the hell out of there.



This is what the roads looked like as we headed south. Even with 250+ miles on the radar, we didn’t mind the 40-50mph pace as we cruised through the mountains on our way South/West.



Tom had a pose by the road sign, overlooking the mountains.



Then I had my turn. Say cheese!



I forgot to mention, a few days before, I mounted a camera mount to my left handle bar to snag some photos on the fly. Here’s a good one of Tom.



And another. I mounted Tom’s camera, as his is waterproof and dust proof. It wasn’t exactly straight. So I took pictures on left hand turns to even it out. Here we go uphill!



We stopped at an Oxxo, and saw the local bus. A Nissan King cab with seats in the back of the truck bed.



It was hot, and over 95 degrees by this time. It was just about noon, and we didn’t feel like riding much further. Call us whiners, wimps, or whatever, but we have all the time in the world. So we stopped at the next town 15 miles away, and a 150 miles from where we started that morning.



Courtyard parking and room with air conditioning for 200 pesos. Deal. Now let’s find some internet, check our bills ( I only have one, a $10/mo cell phone bill for holding my phone on standby), check out bank accounts… We’re still doing ok (on budget as planned) and face book stalk all of our friends.
Say hello to hotel parrot!



He had a home in a cage, but spent the days in the trees. He was one year old. Tom took a fancy to him. His parents have a bird (Kermit) that is 25 yr/old. He’ll likely inherit him!

Now we’re at today, Monday April 23rd, and we’re currently in Tuxtla Gutierrez, chillaxing in a room with two beds and a high powered ceiling fan. We stopped early again today, after battling 95+ degree temps, and a gut cramp that has me feeling like hell. Those 8 mini gorditas I ate last night for 20 pesos must have kicked in. Or maybe it’s the lettuce I’ve had in a few meals recently. Dammit.

On the way here, we posed again,



Damn we’re good looking guys.



And a close up of yours truly, for the parental units at home.



After arriving, I sat on my ass for a few hours then made my way around the block to buy a couple of new rear tubes. One for Tom to replace the one he had given me two days ago, and another for myself. Then I found a 3 prong to 2 prong outlet adapter so I can charge my computer everywhere we go as many outlets have no ground plug. Then, I drank lots of water. Ate some food, went to the bathroom way to many times (damn stomach bug) and called my girlfriend who’s face I haven’t seen in 10 days. Skype does wonders.


As for now, we plan to get up early (maybe) and get the hell out of dodge, headed north to Ciudad del Carmen, on the Caribbean. 432 kilometeres, (270ish miles) and a reported 5.5 hours. Let’s see if we can make it!!!


Onward!!


--Alex
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  #41  
Old 24 May 2011
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Well done gentlemen. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip. Please keep the reports coming.
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Old 25 May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigalsmith101 View Post
Now we’re at today, Monday April 23rd, and we’re currently in Tuxtla Gutierrez, chillaxing in a room with two beds and a high powered ceiling fan. --Alex
I think the heat is getting to you Alex, it's May!
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Old 26 May 2011
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A great read. Looking forward to the next instalment!
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Old 30 May 2011
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Word of the day, Plecostomus

It’s been a few days, but the last time you heard from me, I was in Tuxtla Gutierrez, headed northeast to Ciudad del Carmen.
And here we go again!


We got out of town pretty early in the morning, (by our standards, so like 7:30am or something like that) and were on the road shortly thereafter, with not much on our plates for the day besides riding a long ass ways, we hit the road straight away. Fast forward an hour or so, we’re riding through up into the mountains, crossing over a plateau, and thankfully blessing the cooler temps at several thousand feet elevation. Only 80 degrees? Wow, this is so nice. Let’s take a break over there!



Up in the mountains, yet still diving deeper into the tropics, the scenery is diverse. Rolling hill sides, coniferous and deciduous trees, vines, tall grasses, and the views like you see above dominated the landscape.



The beginning of our daily journey started on roads like this one,



But as we rolled on, we began to drop in altitude as well, and as we sank deeper into the Yucatan peninsula, the temps kept soaring, soon we were riding through 102 degree temps, but doing ok. And sooner than later, we hit the coast!



We paid a significant toll of $65 pesos, and were soon thereafter rolling over a 3 mile bridge, skimming the water, headed into Ciudad del Carmen.



Ciudad del Carmen didn’t hold much in store for us that night, though we found a cheapish hotel with room to park our bikes off the street, air conditioning, and a quiet atmosphere, soon after ging some water and finding some food, we went to bed. We were headed to Chetumal the next day.

If you picture the Yucatan peninsula like a rectangle, laid on its longer side, and tilted to the left (upward) at 45 degrees, you have a general idea of what the Yucatan kind of looks like. Ciudad del Carmen is on the upper long side, and about 2/3 of the way down. We intended to head across this convoluted triangle, and hit the opposite coast in one day. And we did. But not before…



Tom was plagued by a flat tire. The leak must have been very small, as it got flatter on the ride out of town. We pulled over at a disused bus stop, got into the shad a bit, pulled out the equipment and took care of business. Carefully calculated steps and 40 minutes later we had an epic 1st round victory.
I took photos as Tom worked.



And grunted, and sweated and even maybe swore.



But in the end, we had 4 hands on that damn tire, three tire irons at works, and dust, grime, and grease everywhere. No pinch flats for us please.

That night placed us in Chetumal, a border city close to Belize, it doesn’t have much for the adventure seeking, motorcycle riding, people seeking guys that we are. So, after staying at a nice hostal, meeting a couple of Kiwis, and drinking a and eating some food, we hit the road the next morning after breakfast for the 3 hour, flat as a pancake, hot as hell ride north to Tulum. We were advised to get to Tulum and stay at the Weary Traveler Hostal by our Aussie “mates” Eddy and Lizzy. We weren’t to be disappointed. Walk in, pay the lady, find your room, and meet one of the other 40-60 travelers sitting down for s. Excellent.



Get a closer view of the people, eat 7 peso tacos next door, drink 3 liters (3/4 gallon) of water, and go to bed in your air conditioned room sometime in the early morning. Thank you ma’am, may I have another?



Yes you may both have another, and another, and another. We’ve been here 3 night and tonight will be our fourth. We’ve spent time with some neighbor Seattlites named Zach and Amber, the French girl Alin (Al-een) the German guys, Christian, Phillip, and Dominique, the Coloradans two up on a Suzuki V-Strom named Ty and Jill, a couple French Canadians, Justine and Florlande (Flo), and too many more to count.

We went snorkeling out the beach near a shallow reef and saw some turtles (ooooooh, aaaaaaah)



Tom’s got a handy little point and shoot camera. It’s not top of the line, but it’s packs a wallop at 10mega pixels, and the damn thing is waterproof. I snag photos on the run with my Canon G11, but when we hit the beach, cruise the town, or just ram around doing things, his camera is pretty damn useful. Plus, we can put it on a handle bar mount and it’s enclosed lens won’t get wind blasted. I wish I had one.

The palm trees were swaying in the breeze, and we were enjoying the water.



Zach, Amber, Alin, and I posed for a shot. Please ignore my now classic Mexican hair style.



Tom on the beach.



The next day had us changing out oil, and doing a whole lot of nothing else for most of the day. We got a five liter jug of oil, split it between our bikes, changed the filters and the oil at about the 6,000 mile marker, and were grateful for the use of the motor supply stores side yard/bucket for our oil changing place of choice. Minus the 95+ degree temps of course. My sump plug is still a hassle after grinding it down to a 5/8ths socket, but it worked again.



That night brought us into a Brazillian Bikini party down the short strip of a main street, at a bar called 317. It was NOT a bikini party, but the 4 girls that wore bikinis under their skirts or dresses got free drinks that night. They just had to take off all their clothes each time. And every yelled the obligatory cheer.


So our French Canadian friends, and a couple German girls had free booze as we tossed darts, ate extremely spicy French fries, played some pool on a slanted table, and stayed up until the weary hours of the morning talking about everything and anything besides religion and politics.

The next day, TODAY, May 29, 2011 found us snorkeling again, but this time in the Cenote’s of Dos Ojos. “A cenote is a sinkhole with exposed rocky edges containing groundwater” and these particular ones were formed 5 million years ago when meteors struck the earth, the biggest of which created the Yucatan Peninsula itself. And they are AWESOME.

Check out the mangrove trees hovering around the entrance. Meet Phillip from Germany, he says hello.



5 of us went. Tom and I, and the three Germans, Chris, Phillip, and Dominick. We snagged a better deal on the entrance fee and talked them down from 400 pesos to 300 pesos each. Snorkel gear included, transportation in and out, and a guide to tell us things that we could tell for ourselves. The pictures we worth the money, and swimming in a cave with 3 German guys was fun as hell.



From left to right, Tom, Chris, Dominick, Alex, and Phillip



The cave hung down to near the water level, and at times we were watching our heads as we surfaced from dives.



Looking out from the depths, we were glad we paid the money to get in and see some good stuff.



Where else to you get to see these kinds of things right? Small fish were everywhere, think 1”-4” and we saw a Plecostomus as well (think Aquarium wall cleaning fish).

This is the kind of stuff we were doing. Relaxing near a pool. What’s up Chris.



Tom and I are like fish in the water. 6 meters (20 feet) under water? Cake walk.



These guys were scuba’ing, so I followed along for a little while.



And Tom took off the other way.



Today was the best day I’ve had here in Tulum, and the most fun that I’ve had in a while. I know Tom had been enjoying his time here as well. Half of the time we’re hanging out with the same people, the other half of the time, we invite the other person, but just relax on our own. After nearly 1200 miles in only 6 days of riding we needed this break, and it was all we could have asked for. We’re recharged now however, and tomorrow we will be in Belize. We’ve been nearly 55 days in Mexico, and from what we know, it’s one of the most expensive countries on our way south. We’re not burning holes in our pockets, but we’re not being budget friendly either. It’s time to move on!

Onward!

--Alex
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Old 30 May 2011
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Fabulous trip report and fantastic that you are on no agenda and just take the days as they come at you - Just keep the reports coming !
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