Five days in the pollution filled capital city was enough for us, our main reason for visiting the city was to get our bikes de-registered and see some of the major sights. That done, we chose Thursday to leave, as it was one of the days we could both ride within the city limits. Because of the pollution problems, motorists are restricted as to the days they can use their vehicles. For example on Mondays, people whose number plates end in the number 5 or 6 are not allowed to drive. Again we started as soon as it got light and headed for the Perifico. Maniac taxi drivers, were replaced as soon as we hit the suburbs by maniac VW combi van drivers, all racing to beat each other to the next pick up point, disregarding any other traffic that happened to be in the way.
We found our way reasonably well, managed to avoid all the toll roads and were soon heading towards Oaxaca. Our original plan had been to take 2 days to drive the 500km’s but the road was good and by 3pm we only had 150km to go. We decided to go for it, little did we know that the next 100kms would take us through the mountains on a narrow winding road. Dusk was approaching and we still had a way to go, as we descended towards the city we found ourselves driving in the dark, breaking the first rule of motorcycle travelling. We had 30kms ahead of us, there was a reasonable amount of traffic and the road was ok, but it was still a nerve wracking experience. With the help of a traffic cop, who wasn’t too busy handing out parking tickets, we found some accommodation. We had to put the bikes in a parking lot across the road, not ideal, but we were too late to keep on looking for a better option.
After a couple of days in Oaxaca, we had found ourselves a better hostel, called Luz de Luna on Av Juarez 101, where we could park the bikes inside in the courtyard. Who should also turn up looking for a room, no other than Merv and Ruth. We met up for dinner and caught up on each others travelling tales.
On a Sunday afternoon, we rode up to Monte Alban, one of the most impressive ruins in Mexico, situated on a hilltop above the city. Sundays are a great day for visiting the ruins and museums in Mexico as entrance is free and consequently they are full of Mexicans instead of busloads of Europeans. The crowds are mostly tired out by 4pm and on their way home, so we had the place almost to ourselves as we watched the sun set over the site – magical.
Our next destination was Tuxtla Gutierrez and again we travelled with Merv and Ruth. The Canyon del Sumidero was the reason to stop here, Arno and I rode up a wonderful windy road to the rim of the canyon to look at the view, while Merv &Ruth took the boat ride through. We met up afterwards for lunch, then headed up into the mountains to San Cristobal de las Casas. The road was made for motorbikes, however it was also busy with lots of other traffic, most of it slow. We occasionally had nothing in front of us, but there would soon be a queue of traffic following a bus or van filled to bursting point, crawling up the hill at 30kmh. As we climbed, it also got rather chilly and we were glad to reach the town and stand in the last rays of warming sun.
Found a hostel with a garage big enough for 3 bikes and settled in. There was lots to see and do in the town, the most interesting of which was a ride up to the Tzotzil village of San Juan Chamula. After looking at the famous church, filled with candles and the chanting of villagers, we walked through the plaza, where lots of ladies were sat on blankets on the ground offering their wares for sale, mostly fruit and veggies. The bikes were causing the usual interest especially amongst the kids. They were unbelieving when we said they could sit on the BMW, it took a while, but a couple of braver ones eventually climbed on and had a great time “riding” wherever their imaginations took them.
The road leaving San Cristobal was not quite as spectacular but a lot faster, except for the topes. The darn things were everywhere, even in the middle of the countryside, not a building in sight and there they would be, lying in wait for the unsuspecting. We were on the way to Palenque and stopped at Agua Azul for a break and to see the waterfalls there. We met 2 Canadians on their way to Ecuador, they had ridden down from Quebec in 2 weeks and wanted to be in S. America before Christmas. Had a quick chat before they zoomed off, a schedule to keep to!! I’m glad that we are not racing along, it is wonderful to be able to stay in place more than a few hours and if we like somewhere we just stay another day or so. We won’t get to Panama for Christmas, but hope to meet up with some of those riders along the way.
HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!
"The calendar is magnificent!"
"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"
We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!
Next HU Events
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Germany Autumn: Oct 23-26
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12, 2015
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!
Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!