February 21, 2006 GMT
Oaxaca / Puebla

From the hot and sunny beaches of the Mexican pacific coast I rode into the green coastal moutains towards Oaxaca, the capital of the state of the same name. The road almost exclusively consisted of curves, so I had to alternate between enjoying the landscape and enjoying the road. The cool mountain climate was very pleasing after the oppressive heat on the coast.

Oaxaca is a beautiful colonial city with a strong atmosphere of culture and history. It has loads of curches, fine colonial buildings and loads of tourists and those who want their money. It also has a famous archeological site, the Monte Alban, from where you have a magnificent 360 degree round view of the city and the barren valley surrounding it. The other major tourist destination outside Oaxaca is the tree with the worlds biggest trunk in Tule.

Since the last three days in Huatulco had slightly overstrained my budget, I decided to stay the two nights in a (single room in a) hostel. That's the kind of hygenic aventure I can live without. Rather "rustic" if you know what I mean. Well, you get what you pay for.

My next destination was Puebla. I started in Oaxaca at 8 in the morning and did some 500 m when during an ascent suddenly the oil warning lamp started glowing. SHOCK!!! I switched off the engine immediately, standing in the middle of the busy road. When this light glows, the engine is very close to exitus - since it means that the oil level is far below minimum. So with the engine switched off, I could not go forth since it was a too steep hill, I couldn't go back, since it was a narrow one-way road. I asked a mexican passer-by to help me pushing the bike into the next side road - of course he helped without heasitating. Immediately when I had parked the bike, another young mexican passer-by, who was walking his dog, asked me if I had any problems. I explained it, he hurried home and one or two minutes later returned with his BMW F650GS and a virgin new 1-Liter bottle of engine oil, which he gave to me and of course did not want any money for it. Great people.

I still was wondering how this lack of oil had been possible. I had just checked it, hadn't I? Mmmh, when was that? Huatulco? - No. San Cristobal? Palenque? Merida? Ooops, I'm afraid I had last checked the oil just after arrival in Cancun - and never ever after. OK, after 3000 km in the Mexican heat, a loss of 3/4 liter lies within the allowed range. So it was just another stroke of genius by Winne the manic mechanic. ;-)

One of the things I like most about Mexico, is the VW Beetles (the original old ones), which you find everywhere. Actually every 2nd car in Mexico seems to be a Beetle or the old VW Bus. Every time I see one of them, I get excited. But also the huge ancient american Chevrolet and Cadillac coupés are lovely. Well, that's really a lot of excitement over here!!

Driving through central Mexico (around Mexico City) is no fun. This is the most densely populated part of the nation - and you spend 95% of your time behind some slow bus or truck. So the only means you have to more or less avoid this is to take a toll road (which also significantly enhances your life expectancy). But these are usually very expensive and (what really pisses me off) you do have to pay the same for a motorcycle as for a car or pickup truck. Grrrr. In South America you usually pay nothing at all. Only in Chile you have to pay but that's usually half of what a car driver pays. So my little protest is to be reeeaaallllyyy slow at the pay stations. Sorry for the guys behind me...

I took the toll road to Puebla. Contrary to what is indicated in the Mexican Guia Roji Map - and unlike European or most South American toll roads - it turned out to be a single carriageway. But it was good asphalt with some nice scenic views of the barren mountain landscape. I made a short stopover in Tehuacán, a smallish city with a pleasant Zócalo, where I had my 2nd breakfast. An hour later I arrived in Puebla and was surprised how beautiful it was. Actually one of the most beautiful hispanic city centers I have seen to date. I found a really nice hotel with bike parking , breakfast and use of washing machine included. When the concierge stated the price, I moaned that it exeeded my budget but I would accept it. Bad negociation tactics. However the girl immediately offered me a 17% discount. My charming charisma again.

In Puebla I spent a day with sigthseeing and eating, including a short visit to the famous Amparo indigenous arts museum - which once again showed me why I hate museums: I am so awfully uncultural, I was just bored stiff.

Posted by Winne Lichtblau at February 21, 2006 03:56 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

amazon

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!