With mixed reactions about Mexico we have a combination of love and hate.
Firstly we didn’t like it not understanding enough Spanish which is our fault, we have been doing Spanish but nowhere near enough as we planned a month in Guatemala which is essential for the rest of our trip to get into the local scene rather than just skim it from the top.
We got by no problem and to be honest once we were grounded within a week or so and understood more about Mexico we both really enjoyed it with the only limitation of not understanding more talking with locals.
Moto wise Mexico was a big torment for us with Ellens crash, again not Mexicos fault but we had difficulties experienced with an accident, add to that in a foreign country with foreign language, something you don’t really think about until it happens then you rely heavily on the very people who are trying to help.
You trust the tow truck driver to do well by you in your time of need ...NO WAY, I knew they would try and bump the price but they blatantly quadrupled the price and tried to steal our cookset so I went absolutely ballistic at them as they were kicking a man when he is down which is just week minded and seriously wrong in any country .... welcome to the real world.
We won in the end, I would not back down and threatened Policia so they suddenly found our stuff and charged us less (noting we still paid heavily)
Prior to that "heading south" Jim on ADV rider helped us out with bringing our chains and sprockets in as they were late leaving the dock in the US, so thanks Jim for that we really appreciate that and SR, Airhead Wrangler you guys and all good buggas!!
Highlights for us were the silver lining of Ellens crash Lo De Marcos, Nobert ... you rock. Isy and Rob, Alesandro and Mable and as well as George and Carol you guys all made life a treasure for us when we hit the ground after Ellens crash.
Our new Canadian family, we are coming to Canada to see you guys further down the track as we feel indebted to you for the help and warmth you gave us.
Copper Canyon, huge and neat place, loved it along with all the very dangerous roads that banditos were going to kill us on .... more likely to be run over by a truck.
The Mexican people, how can you explain to someone who listens to the American news that is full of shit that Mexican are very warm, friendly, welcoming, helpful, friendly, open, friendly, nice, friendly, except tow truck drivers ... you get the picture.
The two majors pissoffs for me with Mexico is the people don’t get a shit about rubbish and it is everywhere, just like in China in the tops of the mountains there is crap everywhere and there are signs on the side of the road saying “NO TIRE BASSURA” which means “NO THROWING RUBBISH”
We have followed cars, trucks and even the Policia Federalia just hurtling rubbish out of their window and it is a crying shame, the second for me is barking dogs, all day, all night, every dog and more so the little ones that are really short with something to prove but yet the owners do nothing, this is really frustrating when you pay for a hotel room and the dog barks all night right outside your window stopping any hope of sleep.
At Palenque I ended up hoping up out of bed about 3 am and yelling at the dog that was just barking at nothing into thin air and it shut up for about 2 minutes then started again, so I went down and woke up the owner who was disgruntled to be woken but his house room was way around the other side .... i.e. away from where the dog was barking.
With the dog still barking its head off at me I swung run and booted it in the chops and yelled at the owner .... things finally went quiet... needless to say at breakfast he was not entirely friendly.
I will add at this point I am a dog lover having had dogs all my life but their comes a point where frustration overwhelms acceptability even in “their country” through lack of sleep one can get pushed over the edge.
Cost wise, Mexico hasn’t really worked out any cheaper than the USA due to the fact we camped 90% of the time in America and Canada and in Mexico camping is not a great idea nor is it very accessible unless you are in the know so our accommodation costs basically doubled from what we were used to but I qualify that by saying our level of accommodation went up not having to put the tent up so it is all relative.
We found some camping places, they wanted $100 pesos each and a hotel room with toilet and shower, lockup etc was $250 so a no brainer realistically.
All in all I have enjoyed Mexico and it has its own beauty and more so in the south than the north in my opinion but don’t take my word for it, highlight for me being San Cristobal and the low definitely Ellens crash.
The Heart Speaks
With Ellen dropping her bike at Yoquivo and hurting her ankle it made things difficult, then when she dropped her bike on the devils spine reinjuring that same injury I was pretty unhappy, while she was looking for sympathy I was telling her off as it was making my life and her life much harder to the point of me not enjoying the trip (echoes of Denali Highway here)
Then her final unexplained crash heading towards Lo De Marcos was extremely hard, first reaction was to get her right and second was to say that is it!!! no more riding as I cannot spend my hard earned RTW trip riding my mirrors anymore as I had had enough, the trip isn't all about me but when "me" is not even enjoying it WTF is the point in carrying on with it?.
A weeks shakedown at Lo De Marcos, buying Maya with our “just in case” bucket, insurance backing out on us, Ellen unable to walk or ride her bike back to the US it all got on top of me, on the way back to the USA in the back of the ute we had an epic scrap at which I wanted to go my own way .... completely.
It would be fair to say stress levels had exceeded safe limits and I was not happy at all.
Ellen had booked a week away with Lihong (her sister who lives in Montreal) and to be honest it was what we needed, had she not gone and with the anger and frustration that had built up it would have had serious consequences for us.
Fast forward slightly, we were pissed around with the trucking company and Maya arrived two days prior Christmas, this was meant to be a joyful time however I cried, when I put the key in and started her she rattled badly and I was gutted, ringing the previous owner right there on the spot he said “it is the nature of the beast” WTF ...lier.
I seriously had had enough and to be straight up I was ready to chuck it in and go home, I said fuck this!!! if this is RTW travel it is not for me.
From the strength and support from Bevan and Clare in Phoenix and the Phoenix KTM community and especially Spencer we persevered.
We were ripped off and many of you will have read about the whole drama, still to this day Alfred Lamarre the lying fuckwit (which is french for lying fuckwit) ((Sorry Pierre
))from Portland Maine still has not responded to any calls, emails or pm.
He has now been permabanned by ADV Rider for his arseholism and not even responding to ADV Rider to try and give his side of why?
Alfred Lamarre of Portland Maine, YOU WILL DIE with this on your conscience, the world is not a big place and your time will come.
With a few issues still to deal to we are nearly there I hope.
Now riding two up was not in the plan either and I would have to say it is a lot more work for me, I am not a big dude and certainly not that strong so it has meant that I am getting a little more tired, coupled with not doing the exercise like in NZ it means I will have to shape up a bit more and get stronger.
I am now writing this from Habana in Cuba, with Wifi harder to find than hens teeth it has given us some reflection time to look back and assess what has happened, the luck and goodwill that has come our way post bad accidents and bad dealings.
Sometimes when the shit hits the fan so hard that it stops it is hard to make good calls while your head is not working properly so any help and support you get becomes a silver lining .... my advice to RTW travelers is take it at the time to spread the load with the view to reciprocating to others when they need it (as we had already done in NZ and will do on our return), I guess it is like “paying it forward” and don’t wait to help someone else before you need help.
Also, I would like to make a mention for Al Jesse http://www.jesseluggage.com/
for supplying and fitting luggage to Maya and going the extra mile with the strengthened subframe etc, the panniers and top box are second to none and this has made our travels with this far easier, thanks Al your blood is worth bottling.
The Dymond family of Mexico are Diamonds, Garry and Ivonne hosting us in Mexico City, warm, welcoming and great people and their daughter Leslie in Playa Del Carmen looking after Maya while we were tormenting Cubans and having us stay, you guys truly made a huge effort which is seriously appreciated so WHEN you come to New Zealand our Casa is your Casa.