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Old 09-16-2013, 03:22 AM   #121
Lano
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Shrine

Sorry, I've got to say it. The picture with the guy laying in front of the shrine is very disrespectful. Be very careful about that. In the right circumstances, it can cause you a world of grief.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:02 AM   #122
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Siguiendo el reporte

I follow his reports closely since my intention is to do something similar next year 2014

Count on this pilot for what nesecite when around my country Argentina

Cheers and good luck
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:20 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Lano View Post
Sorry, I've got to say it. The picture with the guy laying in front of the shrine is very disrespectful. Be very careful about that. In the right circumstances, it can cause you a world of grief.
I'm sorry you feel that way. No disrespect was intended. It's just a tired guy resting. I think the shrines are beautiful.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:50 AM   #124
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Just stumbled on to your ride report. Thanks for taking us along on your trip. Great pics. LOL No matter what you do, you're gonna have some different opinions . Just do your own thing and don't worry about it. Main thing is have fun. Wish I could be about 20 years younger and start traveling by bike all over again ;-)
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:42 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by kuntor View Post
I follow his reports closely since my intention is to do something similar next year 2014

Count on this pilot for what nesecite when around my country Argentina

Cheers and good luck
Gracias, I hope to be in Argentina late January or early February
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:49 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by achesley View Post
Just stumbled on to your ride report. Thanks for taking us along on your trip. Great pics. LOL No matter what you do, you're gonna have some different opinions . Just do your own thing and don't worry about it. Main thing is have fun. Wish I could be about 20 years younger and start traveling by bike all over again ;-)
Thanks for that. I am certainly having fun. I'm getting a huge dose of culture today in Oaxaca as it is Mexico's independence day and all the plazas are full of people celebrating. By the way I turned 50 this year, how old are you?
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:49 AM   #127
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I've used the shrines for shelter from the weather along with some locals doing the same thing. Nobody even mentioned that being taboo. Some are really interesting.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:21 AM   #128
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Day 22 of Mountain Roads & Raging Rivers

Day 22 Oaxaca to San Cristobal

Note: there is a video that accompanies this post but the internet connection is making it difficult. I will attempt to add the video in a later post.
Apologies for the lack of photos

I woke early again and went for a walk looking for some yogurt and a cheaper place to stay another night.. For the last two days I had been experiencing what my family calls the Flying Axe Handles. I didn’t feel sick but my belly was churning and not a pretty picture. Thank goodness I brought baby wipes (say no more). I ended up getting kind of lost but eventually found the hotel quite soaking wet.





My plan was to move to a hostel for another night while Martin and Troy moved on. I changed my mind after learning that the rains in the mountains were to be more intense over the next few days. If I was going to cross the Sierras it needed to be today. I informed the guys of my change of heart and off we went looking for the road to the coast.

Roadside repair



After a long stretch of traffic and topes the road opened up. One must keep a keen eye out for the speed bumps that are placed anywhere there is a bit of population. Generally there is a bump at the start of a village and one at the end but bigger towns have more. The DR handles them really well and they offer a good place to pass traffic that must slow right down to negotiate them.

Prior to entering the mountains we were stopped for a document check by police and sent on our way.

By the time the twisty road began rain was falling steadily. The highway started winding and climbing. Occasionally the road surface would be broken up and we dodged large holes filled with water. As the altitude increased we started seeing more and more small rocks on the road that were easy to avoid at our reduced speeds. The half way point of today’s trip was around a town called Sola de Vega. When we arrived there the road was blocked due to the river flowing down the town streets. It looked like the end of the coastal run so we had lunch to talk over a new plan. By the time lunch and hot coffee were finished the traffic had started moving and it looked like the day was not lost after all.



Heavy rain continued as we climbed and soon after leaving Sola de Vega another stoppage. This time a slide had felled a large tree that was blocking the road. Men from the dozens of blocked cars were attempting to clear it from the road and they succeeded with Troy and Martin’s help. Onward we ascended, navigating the windy road, dodging rock and mud slides on nearly every turn. There was a conspicuous absence of oncoming traffic that had me concerned about what lay ahead. It was obvious we had no business being on this road when we turned a corner to discover a huge boulder blocking the road. At more than halfway, we decided to push on around the massive barrier.

The trek to the coast was ended upon reaching San Cristobal. The mighty river had a thing or two to say about it. The massive rainfall had diverted the river’s path into the town taking out a few houses and power poles. The road too was gone and under several meters of water. It was too late to turn around. There was no way that we could have back-tracked in the dark. Martin found beers to help us think and he asked the store’s owner if we could stay the night under his covered porch. So that was it, we cooked camp food and set up sleeping bags. There were about six others joining us in the kind store owner’s shelter. It was a long night for me. A few drunks wandered through our “campsite” and had us on edge but they eventually dispersed. In addition I also was contending with my stomach condition but there were no bathrooms available all night (I’ll spare you the details).

Troy in the decision making process



Locals waiting in line



Digs for the night



Bike storage



Going for a walk to check the river





Local knowledge indicated the road would be out a long time so the plan was return to Oaxaca tomorrow.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:05 PM   #129
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Day 23 Return to Oaxaca

Day 23 September 15
San Cristobal to Oaxaca


It’s not a typo, we turned around and rode back to Oaxaca.

After being awakened by numerous roosters we took a stroll down to the river to see what, if anything had changed.







The water level was substantially lower but still much too high to be passable. In fact most of the road was gone and the bridge still submerged. It would be days before repairs would allow for safe passage.



It was a beautiful ride and all of the major hazards had been modified enough to safely pass. One more stop by the police for an inspection and we were almost back where we started. After the past few days we decided it would be good to relax a bit and stay in Oaxaca for a while.












We headed back to Oaxaca and the hostel I had scoped out the previous day.












Troy and Martin went out with a few hostel guests they met to celebrate Mexican Independence and I went to bed early.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #130
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Day 24 Independence Day in Oaxaca

Day 24 September 16
Oaxaca


The bed was not exactly comfy but I had a private room and space to spread out my stuff. Loud sounds of trumpets and snare drums woke me. The music seemed to be everywhere and was accompanied by the rhythmic stomping of boots marching on the pavement. I grabbed my camera and set out to find the source. Many of the streets were blocked off. Large groups of uniformed men and women stood queued on side streets, waiting to form into the parade. There were fire fighters dressed in yellow slickers, the Navy all in white, every branch of the police, nurses, school kids, you name it they were there. Each branch of the military had their own band and as they waited for the parade to move they played. The sounds of brass and drums filled the streets. I have never seen more Humvees in one place. There seemed to be hundreds of them rolling down the street two by two, each with a soldier standing at a roof mounted grenade launcher.







I found a cafe for breakfast and sat listening to the sounds of the city celebrating.
After eating I returned to the hostel to find a few locals getting an early start on the festivities. It was only 10 am but they were well on their way. They were having fun but it was too much for me to sit and listen to so I grabbed my camera and set out again. Every Mexican town has great plazas and Oaxaca has a fine example. It was filled with people enjoying a day off. Balloon and cotton candy vendors walked about. They were doing great business as evidenced by children everywhere enjoying the day. It was wonderful and I would have missed it if not for the flooded river yesterday.

















I was ready to move on however. While the guys wanted to stay another day, I felt I needed to be on my own again. I am so glad I met Troy and Martin. Both being Spanish teachers, they have lived in Latin American countries and studied the culture. If not for them I would not have tried at least half a dozen foods, and would have missed Tequila and Queretaro. They were able to get information about the roads and the flood that I would not have understood. I am grateful for them allowing the old guy to tag along. We will meet again on this trip for certain.
I decided to head for the beach tomorrow because Martin had learned that one of the highways was open again.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:02 PM   #131
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That looks more like a happy face, to me!
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:06 PM   #132
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That looks more like a happy face, to me!
If you could see me now...my face is plenty happy
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:11 PM   #133
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LOL! I was trying to find my reply but see it is at the very end and NOT on the post page. I AM a noob. DOH!
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:18 PM   #134
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PS: I love the shrine photo. Shrines are there to give guidance and hope and to protect all including weary travelers. Perfect to me!

HoneyB63 screwed with this post 09-18-2013 at 03:38 PM
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:56 AM   #135
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can I ask what GPS and or GPS locator device you use? thanks
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