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Old 12-17-2011, 03:26 AM   #151
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howler monkeys

The topes are smaller in Chiapas state. I pass through many small towns on the road to Palenque. They are filled with little topes , and it seems that everyone that live s in each little town is on the road socializing or walking somewhere. It really is odd to have so many people on the road. The problem comes in that it’s getting late and I want to ride as many miles as I can before it is totally dark. It seems a little surreal as I rush through each little town, at 70mph, with all the people in the road. I’m sure they don’t see that very often. I think I scared a few of them.
I ride about 30 minutes in the dark to get to my campground in Palenque. The ‘howler’ monkeys make a much different sound that I thought it would be. It sounds like some sort of heavy breathing monster from a jungle horror film.. really weird…
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:29 AM   #152
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palenque

A really great zona archaeologica….. I thought I might not be impressed because I have already been to Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan, but not so, this place is equally as awesome in it’s own way.
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:30 AM   #153
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more palenque

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Old 12-17-2011, 03:31 AM   #154
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even more palenque....

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Old 12-17-2011, 03:34 AM   #155
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alluding cops...mexico style....

As I head out of Palenque, I pass a city police car that has slowed down to drive through a bumpy area where the pavement is gone. The policeman turns on his sirens, and blasts his police horn and turns on his lights. He pulls up to me at the next light and blasts his horn again. I just wave at him and ride away. He follows for a moment, as I cut through traffic and leave him behind.
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:47 AM   #156
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a moment of 'yeah whatever' followed by sheer terror...

I head north out of Palenque to catch the east/west highway to Chetumal. I come across a huge line of trucks going my direction all stopped and waiting for something. Ahead I can see a helicopter doing circles overhead. I ride around about half of the trucks, and then stop to ask what is going on. With had gestures, I ask if there is a wreck , and they answer no, and that I could go on with the moto. I get to the front of the line, and find the road blocked by some big pieces of wood, and there is a crowd of hundreds of people blocking the road beyond that. I ask the group manning the makeshift road block if I can go on to chetumal. At first they say no, and that it will be two hours before I can go. Then they change their mind and say yes, I can go through. They move the wood out of the way, and off I go slowly picking my way through a gravel area that doesn’t have as many people on it. I can see a huge line up of trucks on the highway toward Chetumal. Just then, someone from the crowd yells, ‘stop’. I stop to ask if the way to Chetumal is open. At first, I think he is trying to stop me from going somewhere dangerous. Then I realize he is the dangerous one. He starts yelling at me to go back to where I came from and that the road is closed. The crowd that is blocking the road, starts to walk with mr. yeller toward me. Just then I notice that some of them are carrying big club-like sticks and other things. There are hundreds of them….most of them looking at me, and many walking toward me…. HOLY F#CKING SH!T! I don't want to be a mexican version of Reginald Denny from the LA riots..I’m in the middle of some sort of angry mob in mexico that is blocking the highway. I can see a clear path out of the mob toward a street heading into town. Oh blessed overloaded KLR, don’t fail me now!!! Off I go as fast as the KLR will carry me away from the mob. Once, clear of the crowd, I can see a police vehicle. I head straight for them. I get off bike and pull out my map to find the quickest way to get away from the road blocking mob. While I am talking to the police, someone stops and asks if I need directions around the mob. I ask the policeman if it’s safe, and of course, he says yes. Anyway, I follow the good samaritan and he guides me on the back roads around the mob and back to the highway to Chetumal. Another example of a situation where a very nice Mexican person saw that I needed help, and didn't hesitate to help me. There is at least ten miles of trucks backed up on the highway from chetumal toward Palenque/villehermosa. Later,at a toll booth, the attendant asks if I had ridden through the riot/mob. He looks amazed when with hand gestures and limited Spanish, I tell him that I passed through the mob. Even an angry, rioting mob is not going to keep me from Argentina……
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:58 AM   #157
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police and military checkpoint

I've passed through dozens of police and military checkpoints. I have heard some travelers complain about them. I like them. It's usually where stop to eat or get a drink of water. Nobody hassles you trying to sell you something at the checkpoints. I don't get stopped at any of them until I am along the border with guatemala. Then, I get stopped at every one of them. They must be really bored there.... I just say "no intiendo" (i don't understand) over and over, and they give up and let me go. I just ignore them when they point at my bags like they want to see inside of them.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:02 AM   #158
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school age kids working

I've seen a few school age kids working. I've seen them as baggers at the grocery stores, and a some of them selling souvenirs at tourist destinations. I'd guess I'll see more of that the farther south I go into central america.
I guess it works though, I ended up buying a bunch of them from her, and gave her more pesos than she asked for.....
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:10 AM   #159
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Riding Italian style.

I routinely pass cars even when there is oncoming traffic. Things that would cause you to lose your license are the norm in Mexico. I love it.....
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:27 AM   #160
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Santa mexico style

They have a different idea for Santa at Walmart in Mexico. Santa with a skin tight dress on.... I like it....maybe they can start doing that in Walmarts in the USA....
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:32 AM   #161
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chetumal

My camp in Chetumal, Mexico. It was great right up to the point where it started raining, and I hadn't put on the rain fly....So, at 4am, I'm out in the rain and wind putting it on...good times....
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:14 PM   #162
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Chap, this is a fecking great read! Really enjoying it. Keep writin'.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:11 AM   #163
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belize border crossing attempt number 1

My second border crossing. I’m a little nervous, since I knew what to expect with Mexico, but am not sure what I will find as I go through Central America. I stop at Mexican immigration, to get my passport checked. I meet a young Canadian couple, that is backpacking across mexico and central America. They are amazed I would ride a motorcycle across mexico. they ask a lot of questions about whether or not I was hassled by police. I’m amazed they would walk/ride busses all that way. I get back to the bike and it’s hard to get it off the kickstand….ok, whatever, off I go aduanas (customs)….I make it about 20 feet and realize I have a flat tire!! I’m right in the middle of the border chaos and it’s completely flat!!! I see a small concrete wall that I can lean the bike up on with an area out of the sidewalk that I could change the tube if needed.
I hook up the pump to see how fast the leak is. I’m loving this 12v slime air pump. I look over the tire for nails, etc and find a little piece of wire sticking out. I dig it out with needle nose pliers, and think about whether or not slime is going to be my friend or not. I know that slime plugged my entire valve stem back in northern Nevada…surely it can plug this sub- 1mm hole. Anyway, tire full..for now, and off to find aduanas to get my Mexican vehicle import $400 back. I ask at least 5 different people where to do that and they point me in different directions with a bunch of Spanish that I don’t understand. After about 30 minutes of that, I start to think I’ll just do this on the way back from Miami to Arizona. I’ll cross over and get my $$ back then. So, off to Belize immigration I go.
My first impressions of Belize are not good. It looks more dirty and run down than the worst of what I saw in Mexico. At the parking lot for immigration…I decide to go back to mexico and find the place where I get the import fee back. I don’t want to be stuck bringing the bike back from South America. There is still the thought of leaving the KLR there somehow…..
So, back I go. After creating quite the stir from riding around the line, and bypassing the checkpoint. I’m on the mission of finding the banjarecito where I get my $$$ back. So, I ask one person, who points me to another, and then to another, and then another, until I finally end up at the walk in bag check point. I decide to get a little forceful with them. I cut to the front of the line, and just stand in the way, blocking the line. The guy tries to work around me, as I keep showing my import documents. He points the direction I’m supposed to go, but I won’t budge. Finally, he takes me to the window that I’m supposed to be at and….
they are closed!! They have been closed for 30 minutes!!... I’ve been at the border area screwing around for at least 90 minutes by this time.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:12 AM   #164
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,

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Old 12-20-2011, 04:18 AM   #165
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retreat!!!

I wanted some shrimp at this beach front restaurant back in chetumal anyway…so off I go!!
Back to my most favorite walmart ever (inside joke) for some cash, then to the camaron restaurant and back to camp!!

At the campground, they are having some sort of party for young kids. Funny thing is the background music they are using is from Benny Benassi. Uhhhh…not the best kid songs. . Maybe that is why latin women are so sexy. They listen to stuff like this as kids!?!?!?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DELmI0W8y64&feature=BFa&list=PLF54E9DCBEB8FB3CF&lf=plpp_play_all
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5bYDhZBFLA&feature=BFa&list=PLD7AB838DB0A757B2&lf=plpp_play_all
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