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Old 12-06-2011, 12:44 AM   #1471
IceCreamSoldier
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So much good stuff..........and you've just hit your 2nd border crossing I really enjoyed your Mexican wrap-up. I'm going to extend an invitation to Sam to stop in at Casa IceCream on his way home. Very happy for you.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:06 AM   #1472
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Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
Thoughts about our ride through Mexico.
Thank you so much for this post! I liked it so much, it is really helpful.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:49 AM   #1473
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Thanks for the recap it was interesting to read your thoughts about Mexico.

Looking forward to the next part of this journey as your venture out alone.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:12 AM   #1474
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Don't forget to enjoy Guatemala's DORADA beer - nice and cold.
Great Country !!!
Enjoy it.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:38 AM   #1475
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I also have been following you and Sams travles, it has been a great ride so far. Your writing style and openess has me beliving that I know you and Sam personally and looking forward to our daily updates. The way you compared the US of 30+ years ago to the Mexico of today is interesting and has me longing for the " good old days" of before. Thank you for taking us with you on your travles, ride safe.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:53 AM   #1476
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...still great stuff, Mark. Thanks for taking the time to share. Luke and I want to meet up with you in Bolivia


Or was it South Africa??
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:44 AM   #1477
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Originally Posted by oregoncoast View Post
...still great stuff, Mark. Thanks for taking the time to share. Luke and I want to meet up with you in Bolivia


Or was it South Africa??
Better book a ticket soon. >Would be great to have you come on down.
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Ride of my Lifetime...... Thread started 5/11/2011 http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...0#post15950430
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:29 PM   #1478
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Originally Posted by IceCreamSoldier View Post
I'm going to extend an invitation to Sam to stop in at Casa IceCream on his way home. Very happy for you.
Thanks Paul. He would appreciate that!! Not sure his route back to Idaho (and neither does he!!).
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:19 PM   #1479
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"MEXICO"

Very well said. I have always felt like I was going back in time when I go to Mexico.
I also have to learn to slow down. Great story going, keep it up.



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Old 12-07-2011, 06:27 PM   #1480
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Had a couple more thoughts on Mexico. Life for many Mexicans is much more simple (not all the gadgets and stuff), but of course hard as well. They work hard to make a living.

As I continue the journey I will comment of the countries I visit as I see it. Even riding through Guatemala you see the people live a more basic life and poverty is almost half the population.

In the end we are all human being that have desire to be loved, family and life. Language and culture really do not change this. I see lots of smiles while riding these places. Warms my heart when I cannot imagine growing up and living in some of the conditions that I have seen.

I am in Lanquin, Guatemala tonight (to see Semuc Champey) as the rain pours down. Have a 6 mile gravel/ Mud road to see the sights then another 6 Miles of rough, muddy and steep road out..... could be interesting tomorrow
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:56 PM   #1481
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December 4th Leaving Mexico and riding into Belize

We stayed in Bacalar our last night in Mexico. Alan the owner is Canadian/mexican and has really been of great help. As I took a walk about town I saw my first other F800GS bikes. These two guys were from Mexico City and on a two week ride.



Sam with Alan before we took off.



Heading to the border of Belize was just half hour away. We were sticking with our plan. Good nights rest, stay fairly close to the border, get through early in the day. Happened to be a Sunday morning.



Stopped to check ourselves out of Mexico. I needed to just get stamped, Sam was coming back and the Immigration guy asked him for 200 Pesos, and handed him back his tourist visa so he could just return without doing any other paperwork.

[IMG][/IMG]

Then I needed to get my bike checked out of Mexico so that I could get my $400 deposit returned to me. Found the place to park, got my documents and started the process.



The customs woman came out to the bike and needed to take a picture on my Vin, and check it.



Then I asked her to take a photo with all the paperwork.



back to the office to process the paperwork, and get it into the computer .... All done in just a few minutes!



Sam waiting patiently on the No mans land between Mexico and Belize.



Over the bridge and into Belize where we will do the customs/Immigration thing all over again.



First we needed to purchase Insurance for Belize for $12 a day or $28 for a week.



This guy did our paperwork. His computer was down so he did it by hand.



Sam .... Paid in US and got some Belize dollars back. Since they were a British country...they still have the queen in the bills.



Then up to the disinfection station. Think it was 5 Belize (or 2 us). he did a cursory spray on my tires.



Then into Belize customs to get stamped and the bike imported.



Since I was only staying a couple days en route to Guatemala, the stamped me a "transito" and I was fairly fast. Sam made the mistake of saying he was going to stay 3-7 days. They just did not like this and after awhile, they gave him just 6 days You can legally stay 30 but you just need to say that is what you want.

After I came back out I was directed to a guy changing money. Changed all my leftover pesos to Belize dollars through the chain linked fence. The rate was fairly good, so it works. Note the wad of cash he has to change from....



Then with all the paperwork done, we passed through into Belize. took just about 1 1/4 hours...



we headed south down the road, until we really got hungry. Found a great roasted Chicken place.



The northern road out of the border was not much to look at.



This town water tower where they can pump purified water to and it will give the twon drinking water.



We road through a bit of rain on the way but it felt good. We ended up going through Belmopan the capital and then south on the Hummingbird hwy which was great ride through the mountains, then down to the coastlands.

The last few miles into Hopkins (a beach town) was rough dirt road.



and we ended up here at the "drumming center". Simple Carribean style cabanas. one block from the beach.



It was warm, so the first order was a old Belize beer



Jabar who owns the place joined us.



After we unpacked, we walked down a block to the beach, and to find the Driftwood Pizza Shack which is run by a Canadian Woman Denise and her Irish guy, Ollie. (Alan from Balacar told us to go there!!).







Not a bad view



Since this was our last night together, as I decided to go ahead and move onto Guatemala..... Needed to make sure Sam had a drink with an umbrella in it.



Wahooo..... Has been a great ride to this point. We have gone through the trails and tribulations of traveling 4,000 + miles through Mexico together and tomorrow we will be starting new chapters of the ride on our own.



Typical Beach houses along this beach.



Lots more to tell as we had a great night reminiscing about the past 7 weeks of travel and all the experiences we had. It is always bitter sweet as you part ways. Moving onto different directions and experiences. but our plans have been different from the beginning..... so this is part of the journey.

.
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Chapter 3 of my life...... with Faith, Hope and Courage!

Ride of my Lifetime...... Thread started 5/11/2011 http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...0#post15950430

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Old 12-08-2011, 02:57 PM   #1482
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Belize

Short Post on Belize, Since I just rode down to Hopkins and then headed for the border of Guatemala the next day.



It rained heavy the night..... so everything was wet. But I packed up in the Morning and Sam and I had breakfast.



I tried the "fry Jack" which was tasty.



Was thinking I was done with " Topes" when I left Mexico.... But No. In Belize they call them Bumps.



It was weird being in Belize and having people speak English instead of the last couple months of Spanish. But it was British so most people speak english.

Shook hands with Sam, wishing him safe and interesting travels.....



Then I was off!



got to the border around noon, ready for my third border crossing. Each one is different and you need to figure out where to go to Check yourself out of the current country, then get the bike checked out..... then over the border into the new country and check yourself and your bike in. Being rested, calm, and focused is important. As it has been hot and humid so far.





Walked into Belize Customs, they signed me out and I needed to pay 30 Belize ($15 USD) as a departure tax. Then the bike was stamped out. Then over to Guatemala.

First I get sent to have my bike sprayed down. Had to pay 12 Quetzales



Then to another building to check myself into the country. Fortunately this was all in one spot. Snapped thsi photo and my flash went off. They guy gave me a bad look, but I told him I was just taking a photo of the sign.



Oh, this was the wash down for vehicles coming into Guatemala. The directed me to ride down the sideway to the Manual station or I would go through the wash



Had to get copies of my driver license, title, registration, passport etc. So i walk to the copy shop and got them done, but when I got back I realized that I had copies in my folder for everything he needed ..... filled out the forms and then he told me his computer was down it would be 30-45 minutes.... So I waited by my bike. but in about 15 minutes he waved me back, and got my paperwork down.

Paperwork done. I am on my way with my official sticker.



over a secondary bridge since the main was was under serious construction. Just a short 65 KM to E Remake which is the town on the way to Tikal.



There was reportedly bad section of road that got very muddy with a steep uphill climb. Turns out there was a couple two miles stretches of rough road, that would be muddy but it was dry. The steep hill was paved..... It was a quick ride down to my hotel.



Got to my Hotel and relaxed. It was $32 USD but had air conditioning and really nice people running this. I was going to be up at 5Am to catch a bus up to Tikal to see the ruins so it was worth it!




Had a great dinner of grilled fish (complete fish), Not sure what kind as it is a local fish, but it was tasty.

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Old 12-08-2011, 02:58 PM   #1483
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December 6th Tikal Ruins in Guatemala

Got Up at 5am to catch the early morning tour before most people arrive as well as the heat.

When seeing tourist sites.... the costs go up. Just a fact but they are certainly worth doing. Had to pay another $150 Quetzales at the park entrance. ($2.42 USD) + I paid for a tour from my Hotel about the same. But I am here and am looking forward to seeing them.



As we drove into the park there were great road signs along the way. Made you smile.



Spotted this little guy on our start into the park.



Our Guide, Boris (he is a local guide) giving us the plan for the next 4 hours....



We start by heading on a walk into some of the smaller ruins.



This majestic archaeological gem comprises 222 square miles of jungle all around the ceremonial center.

Then a bit of a jungle walk around to some of the temples.



We get to the first Temple that we will see. Lots of fog still all around, hard to get good photos.





To one side he points out the stairs..... He says it's closed to go up..........



But then he says..... Hey it's early ..... you can go up if you want, I'll wait down here





The group of tourist from all over the world...... headed right up.





Not much to view from the top as the fog was thick. Boris told us it would certainly clear by the time we got to the main temples.



But a long way up. I think he said 187 feet up. Yea, no rails or safety stuff here!



Back down and more jungle want. Big giant ant hills.



They are biters as our guide showed us.



Next Temple .....



From the top you get a bit of perspectives as to the height...



More archeology happening.





Symbol for Rain god.



Bright red spot is a wood pecker.



Climbed another temple... still a bit foggy but we can now see the biggest Temples that we will be headed to.



Some serious stairs to hike up to the top of this one.



On to the main square. Getting a glimpse of Temple V.





It is huge.... cannot climb it though...





Yup I was here.....



The ruins go on and on.







And tons of photos don't capture it.





By 1PM I am tired out. Catch my bus back to the hotel to relax. Met up with Cheyenne and His lovely wife Nohmie from LA.



We decided to go into the town of Flores find a bank, and have dinner. Kelsie who is the owners daughter who helps run the place decided to go with us! She takes us to a friends Restaurant.



Food was great. Had a good evening talking about life and travel! Thanks Cheyenne,Nohmie and Kelsie!







Another great day seeing an amazing set of ruins. And then topping it off with meeting some interesting new people!!

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Old 12-08-2011, 02:59 PM   #1484
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December 7th Semuc Champey, Guatemala

Here is the owner, Wife and Daughter (Kelsie) of La Casa Don de David. really great people that have been running hotel here for many years. Would definitely recommend a stay with them if you are going to Tikal.



Switched countries and Guatemala uses Gallons again. More Math



Guess I am not through with speed bumps. Now they call them Tumulos.and many are not marked



So strange to now see various gas station signs as in Mexico it is State run Pemex.



Bridge was washed out on the way to Coban. No real signage to tell me to go down aways and take the dirt road to cross this river.



Then the main road ends..... Ferry needed to cross. No cost just need a ferry instead of a bridge.



The shuttles offloading people to the ferry, and merchants selling stuff while you wait.



Yea. My bike looks huge compared to the local guys.



Oh and one part of the offramp is missing....



People also take these long boats up to see some local ruins.



As I continued south along the flat lands, I saw many Stuffed "Diablos" around. Today is some kind of "burn the Devil" festival but noone could tell me more.



If you need more reminders as to not ride at night....



or



Pretty Typical homes in this area...



Starting to reach the mountain area near Coban....



Pigs in the road....



Then I reached a spot where they were doing road construction..... No one knew how long. One guy said two hours another said 15 minutes. It was about 30 minute wait.



It was raining in Coban and I almost stopped with my delay at the construction. But Coban was not a real welcoming place, so I road one past my 3PM stopping point. The views winding out to Lanquin were fantastic.





Then the turn off to Lanquin turned to rough road/gravel. for 11 KM. down into the valley.



Fortunately there was a hotel just before town. So i stopped before it got dark.



Just after I got my gear off the bike and the cover on it started to dump rain..... and I was glad that I had stopped. Had dinner and was told they would be having a "burning of the Diablo" in town at 6PM.....So I walked the 1/4 mile to check it out.



Then this guy moved him into the street and they started the fireworks...



Up he went in flames, with fireworks shooting out of him.



The streets were crowded with locals and a few tourists.



Was up early to go check out Semuc Champey. It had poured rain all night long and it was a muddy/steep/rocky road to the park. I opted to catch a ride up to see it to save myself any issues. Glad I did.

it was a cool 6 mile ride into the park and I got there before 9am.



it was winding road with a couple spots that had cement for traction.



got to the park at the very end of this road, and had to pay 50 Quetzales to get in.



I hiked in to the highest viewing point. very steep and rugged trail to the top. Sam you would not have like this one







but the views were amazing. And I was the only one in the park at this point.





It is a unique geology, that the water enters above.



Then underground for the entire length of these teal colored pools... and comes out raging down below.



This was a very interesting place. You can swim in the pools and explore some caves around the edges.







In the rain forest.....











Then back out....









Headed back out.



Truck in front of us got stuck for awhile....



Very cool area to come to. But remote.



and why did the chicken cross the road? To almost get run over....



even out here some have satellites.



Back to town, ready to pack up and ride to Antigua.



Road the 6 miles of muddy/steep/gravel road to the main road.



Some parts were very slick with all the rain.





Then through some small villages on Market day. Have video of this :)



It started to rain again. But you can see the locals head filling the pick ups to get where they need to go.



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Chapter 3 of my life...... with Faith, Hope and Courage!

Ride of my Lifetime...... Thread started 5/11/2011 http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...0#post15950430

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Old 12-08-2011, 03:10 PM   #1485
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Mark,

As much I enjoy reading your reports, your main mission is to travel and enjoy the ride. So, don't worry about us poor little worker-ants behind the computer... as long as you get to it one day

Ride on!
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