March 26, 2010 GMT
Carry On My Wayward Son

6 Jan 2010 Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico

tux hog.JPG

tux lynx.JPG

However sated you are with Mexican crooners, can I suggest you don't snap, get up from your table, find the one Doors CD among the 2000 Los Amigos Borrachos recordings, and put on nine songs in a row including fully 10 minutes of "The End"? Sure, life ain't a popularity contest, but being alone in a Mexican dive bar surrounded by increasingly disgruntled locals ain't all that either.
*prays for last chord of "Soul Kitchen"*

tux lizard.JPG


"Dust In The Wind" by Kansas is great, isn't it, and their hair "styles" in the video are beyond criticism if you've ever even looked at a drug cigarette; but the question that needs to be asked is this: when they finally split, and the singer released his first solo album, did he call it "I'm Not In Kansas Anymore"? Ha! Ha!

tux otter.JPG
Otter fight!

This afternoon's fitting of back tyre #3 - a Pirelli MT90 - onto Her Maj marks the emotional high-water mark of our visit to Tuxtla. We can leave tomorrow! And yet - what's the hurry, Fast Boy? It's really not an amazing town, but there's a half-decent bar, a very special eaterie (lamb-centred), an excellent internet place and a damn good zoo. Hotel San Carlos is all about value at $17, and on top of all that, everyone north of the 28th parallel appears to be freezing to death: here, I sometimes feel like putting my jumper on after sundown.

tux tapir.JPG

tux croc.JPG


12.1.10 Cordoba

mc church int.JPG

Holy Jesus, forgive me my sins. It has been 35 years since my last confession, and even then I lied about most of it in a failed attempt to make it a worthwhile 4 minutes. I did not, in fact, set fire to Mrs Colmar's shed, or indeed say the word "vagina" in front of my Auntie Beryl. I have, however, dawdled like a reefer-stunted dormouse in southern Mexico to such an extent that I must now miss out Acapulco and hammer the toll-roads to Mexico City and the north, in order to be only a month behind schedule for the US border. Will five Hail Marys do? Whaddya mean, ten? Split the diff?

mex church.JPG

Mexico is, it turns out, bloody gigantic, and to see all the highlights in three months would be impossible. Her Maj is gagging for a new chain, and Mexico City is, I'm told, our best bet. Once I've swallowed the notion that I'll have to skip dozens of good bits, and come back to Mexico in some hazy future (because it is an unbelievably fantastic country), it all falls into place. Today we wham up the toll road to Cordoba like a naked, Vaselined Cyril Smith on the Cresta Run. The tolls are - literally - a bitch. It'll cost you the same to take a Honda C90 as a Hummer.
Once again, Lonely Planet (or Made-Up Cack Written By Cold-Sore-Ridden Vegetarian Cock-Punchers Planet, as it's known by anyone who's ever tried to find a bar in any Latin American town on the basis of an LP recommendation) proves off-target, but I find one anyway.

mex modelo.JPG


Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at 01:28 AM GMT
Double Fantasy

18.1.10 Mexico City

mc tower.JPG

Excellent things about Mexico City:

1. 7-Eleven "Big Lunch" sandwiches. While "Small Lunch" would, in all fairness, sum up the defining attributes of these superbly fresh brown-bread starvation-attenuators more accurately, they are easily the least disappointing pre-packed sandwiches in Latin America. Six-and-a-half out of 10!

mc tilewall.JPG

2. The traffic. Yes, it's a bloody big city. So Effing What? Someone's done a brilliant job of managing the traffic flow, and there aren't that many nutters to deal with. Six hours riding round the city today - only nearly got killed twice. Ree-Zult.

mc street tph.JPG

Excellent things about Marlboro Lights:

1. Nothing. Except the great rhyming slang I've just made up - "I'm busting for a Marlboro".*

mc st signs.JPG



My dear old darling, who has now become (in my Corona-sluiced mind) an unholy cross between both of my grandmothers, Queen Victoria and Fatima Whitbread, has gone to the shop for a new chain and some other late Xmas presents. I miss her, sure, but the grinding noise from the twisted chain has got to stop. We'll both look back and laugh some day. Probably tomorrow, which is when I have to collect her.

mc museumrelection.JPG

Daytona Motos - authorized Honda dealer - is great, and Enrique speaks English. It's at 13, Fuente de las Pyramides. Ha! You'll never find it.

mc mural.JPG

The Chinese buffet situation in MC is outta control. Three UK pounds will buy you a pork-rib-ridden lunch of physiologically inadvisable vastness. You'll need -
a) a serious lie-down in a quiet hotel no more than 200 yards away;
b) adequate medical insurance to cover the inevitable episode of ventricular tachycardia, despite the excellent broccoli;
c) three quid.
I've spent, in the past, 30 quid on food I wouldn't give to a terminally ill pigeon in Gerrard Street (Chinatown, London, TV's England). MC has restored my faith in Chinese food in a way that, I suspect, a visit to China wouldn't. (I've eaten duck's feet and they're rubbish).

mc fount.JPG


Current thinking re. MC runs as follows: If you hire a taxi, the driver will shoot you in the face, steal your wallet, and dump your claret-smeared torso on the nearest acre of waste ground. If you live long enough to report it to the police, they will a) laugh, b) kill you, and c) rob your corpse. Having been in MC for just over a week, that line of reasoning appears to be all shit. Buenos Aires, Mexico City, La Paz - that's the correct order, capital-city-wise. Don't agree? Tee-Ess, pal!

Women weren't allowed into the superbly ornate Opera Bar on Av. 5 de Mayo until the 1970's, and - do you know what? - thank heavens they are now! At the very least, they brighten the old place up with their gaily-coloured frocks and glamorous cosmetics; and who doesn't enjoy the sound of their musical, tinkling laughter?

I'm from England, so I'm sorry if this is old news to you - we still have cheese rationing, and a banana on the sideboard is sure to raise an eyebrow - but OH EM EFF GEE - the Burger Dog! I'd heard stories, of course, but... wow! I mean, it's a burger, in the shape of a hot dog - or a hot dog made out of burger meat... either way *slurp* it's brilliant.

I seem also to have gone Mad For The Doughnuts as well. What with all that and the Chinese buffets, I suppose I should've got my rear shock reconditioned at Daytona Motos; also I guess I should book two seats for the flight home from Vancouver. I can't see myself suddenly craving celery and walnut bake when I get to Texas.

boot knacked.JPG

So. You've ridden 19,000 miles from Buenos Aires, via TDF, up the Andes and through Central America to Mexico City. Your boots are on their last legs (ahem), and, because we live in a throwaway society, you're hoping they last until you get to Texas, where people have heard of Size 11 (UK) feet and you can buy some more. Wait. Stop being a doofus. Look at them! It's just the soles, isn't it? Go and get them fixed up at one of MC's many fine cobbling boutiques, for 20 quid. That's another 20,000 miles right there! One British Pence per 10 miles!


This week, in between eating doughnuts, I've got me boots resoled and bought Her Maj a new chain, a new back tyre, new spark plugs, new coolant, new oil and a new oil filter. And she got washed. Everything is now so fresh and shiny. It's just like starting over.

*stuffs lumps of bog paper up nose, dials work*
Brr Brrr! Brr Brrrr!
-I can't come in today, I've got Swine Flu.
=No you haven't, I've just been to Mexico City in January and nobody had it there, and it's The Home Of Swine Flu, at Swine Flu Time.
-Wine Flu?
=That was funny for 8 seconds in August last year.
-Pine Flu? From going up a mountain?
=No. Shut up.
-Swig Flu?
=That's the same as Wine Flu, but with lager as the active ingredient. Consider yourself sacked.

There are a couple of homeless blokes that hang around outside the Opera Bar. One is the fourth member of ZZ Top that you'd be happy to invite to Auntie Beryl's Xmas Party; you'd look to him for advice on the issues of the day, and you'd be confident he wasn't going to indecently assault your cousins. The other one elicits a gasp, mainly due to his carpet-wig: it's a black Vera Duckworth, while the beard is white. They're both good lads. You're spending $2.50 a beer and going outside every 40 minutes for a smoke - why not give 'em 10 pesos every time. Old beggars - good. Child beggars - go to school!

*note for American readers/educationally subnormal English people: Marlboro Light = shite.

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at 02:44 AM GMT

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

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!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"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!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

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).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

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

contest pic

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!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

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, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

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.

Susan and Grant Johnson 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.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

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 ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

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!