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Old 12-12-2013, 10:23 PM   #61
coolmom
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Wicked Nice to hear from you again

Have missed reading about your adventures...Please be careful....Sounds like you are finding lots to do and meeting lots of new friends in the process. Learning Spanish would probably be a really good idea....
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:11 AM   #62
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Mexico City Photos!

Mexico City thus far has been the highlight of my journey. I put together a quick video of some of my favorite shots during my two weeks there. See link below!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FkH6...ature=youtu.be
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:55 PM   #63
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Thoughts on the Largest City in Latin America

What is there to say about Mexico City? Lots actually. Rather than talking in detail about the museums and touristy things that you can read in a book, I will just briefly mention them before talking about my experience. So here goes, Polanco, Reforma, Zona Rosa, Zona Roma, La Condesa, Zocalo, Teotihuacan, Cuoyocan, Suomaya Museum, Chapultepec Park, Chapultepec Castle, Anthropology Museum, Frida Kahlo House, Diego Rivera Mural, Torre Latinoamericana Building, UNAM, Museum of Modern Art, Virgin de Guadalupe…I think that is all. Whew, that’s a lot. A fast two weeks that is for sure.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:59 PM   #64
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Jacks & John in Polanco

I started my stay with two friends of a friend in Polanco. For those unfamiliar with Mexico City, Polanco is far and away the high-end part of the city. Putting it in perspective, when I was in Guadalajara, some friends from the hostel asked me, “so where you staying in Mexico City? Polanco. Well, ladeefreckinda.” I was then asked if I was staying with some rich politician or something like that. The funny thing was I didn’t know what these people did for a living, so I couldn’t even answer the sarcasm thrown my way. Anyway, Jacks & John in Polanco are here for a position with Boeing, and it’s their last year. John just took a promotion so next year they will be in balmy Dubai. So, the first 5 days in Mexico City was spent with them in Polanco. We went out a couple nights and they showed me a couple places they frequent regularly. The waiters know them by name and aren’t afraid to give us a couple free drinks either. Polanco is very mellow and low-key. It is the quietest place I’ve been in Mexico City. No place in Mexico City is quiet, but relatively speaking, quiet. People strolling through this part of town generally have money. As you look around, you see all the well-known luxury brands like Porsche, BMW, and Louis Vuitton. I would say my time in Polanco was very relaxed. The nights we didn’t go out for dinner, we stayed in and I devoured everything Jacks made for dinner. By the way, I’m supposed to tell all you guys in ADV land that Jacks looks just like Eva Mendez.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:06 PM   #65
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La Condesa

From Polanco, I was on to a hostel in La Condesa. I was able to park my bike outside the hostel on the sidewalk and locked it up to a couple poles to avoid high parking costs. A gamble I know, but it worked out OK. Carrying hard cases, camping gear, and everything but a kitchen sink up 3 flights of stairs, I arrived in my room. First thing I notice, a gaping hole right in the center of the floor. Jeeez. I feel like Mexico City has enough hazards to make one giant lawsuit that would just continue indefinitely in the US. So, I’m talking with one of the guys staying in the room with me and he says, “hey, want to know what happened there?” pointing to the hole in the floor. “Yeah.” He proceeds to tell me that only two nights before my arrival, there was a guy staying in the room on the top bunk who proceeded to get obliterated drunk and rolled off the top bunk onto the floor in the middle of the night. Apparently, he was fine and just laughed it off as he slowly crawled back up to the top bunk…hole in the floor explained.

Remember Javey?? Javey was the guy I met in Tecate at the brewery. Well, we still stay in touch and he put me in contact with one of his good friends Jenyffer in Mexico City. Jenyffer and I met for pizza and a drink then made our way to another bar where we met some a couple random people sitting across from us at the table. We all ordered Mezcal (somewhat similar to Tequila with a stronger more smokey flavor) and had a good time sharing laughs and stories. It was late, so our next mission in life was to find food. We had some tacos and everyone got a good laugh at me trying to pronounce the menu. It isn’t easy sober and after Mezcal is increasingly difficult. A good night out.

The next night Jenyffer invited me out with her friends to have coffee and churros in the heart of Cuoyocan. It was interesting just trying to meet up. We planned to meet just outside the Mexico City metro stop. I can’t remember the last time I tried meeting up with someone without relying on some sort of technology…at least 8 years. It was weird as I sat outside the metro looking around to see if I could identify her (no cell, no text, no data, no land line, unfamiliar city). To my surprise, we found each other in the midst of the thousands of Mexico City natives trying to navigate their way to the next stop in their lives. So, in addition to the metro subway, there are also metro bus, and well, “short bus” options. We took the latter. A short bus is this little green bus that is run by private individuals. For a couple pesos, the short bus will take you where you want to go (or not). They advertise where the bus goes by either putting a small sign on the front of the bus or by having a guy yell out the destination repeatedly until you would rather pay the two pesos for him to stop yelling. The short bus comes equipped with stripper poles for you to hold on to. We made it to the center of Cuoyocan without issue and what a deal at 2 pesos. Glad I have locals helping me through…I would have never figured this out. So, we ate and drank. After two coffees, churros, some fried food, and beers, I was ready for bed. I paid for this in the morning and felt like crap the next day. I hadn’t been eating the best and what I just described was a bit excessive, my body told me it’s time for some nutrition.

So getting up late and not feeling the best, I spend the day slowly walking around the Virgin de Guadalupe and proceeding to happily pay 3 pesos every couple hours for the toilet. Later that day, I get back to the hostel to find that there are now three girls and me staying in the room. All three girls are from Norway but oddly enough only two of them knew each other. We talk for a bit and they invite me to have dinner and a drink with them. Two of the girls are well-traveled and we have fun sharing our traveling stories together. The other girl is into electronic music, so we end up talking quite a bit about that. Turns out they all ended up in my room because the guy in their first room was a bit odd and loud, so they asked to be moved. We had a good time and the pair told me they were off to Oaxaca in the morning while the other was headed back to Norway…or come to think of it, maybe I was just odd and loud.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:09 PM   #66
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The Road to Teotihuacan is Long…and Fraught with Policia

So the night before, we were all joking because I was the only motorcyclist they knew that hadn’t been pulled over in Mexico. I was feeling pretty good about it and lavishing in it a bit. Maybe I’m just a special one I tell myself. Then reality sets in. No more than 2 minutes after leaving my hostel in the morning, I’m immediately pulled over by a motorcycle cop. Shit…should have knocked on wood. He proceeds to tell me that I was riding my motorcycle in a bus lane (it probably was, but it sure as hell wasn’t marked). He tells me “infraccion” and rattles off some number in pesos that I don’t even catch. I tell him hablo ingles. He proceeds to tell me the same thing only loudly and more slowly (I think we do this in the US too when people who speak other languages don’t understand us the first time haha). I keep telling him hablo ingles and tell him I’m on the way to Teotihuacan. He looks at my GPS then tells me again infraccion. I tell him escribe formal. I want a ticket if he is going to give me a ticket. He again tells me in some other way that he wants me to pay him there. I just stare at him and he stares at me…there is this awkward silence for about 30 seconds as we have a staring contest. Then, he finally gives and says VOY! I take off on my bike without paying anything. Whew, must have played that hand right. On to Teotihuacan.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:16 PM   #67
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First Attempt at the Zocalo

Morning comes and I’m packing all my things to move on to the next hostel. The hostel is located in the Zocalo. I get everything packed up and set up on the bike. All checked out, ready to go. I leave La Condesa, which is about 6 miles from the Zocalo. It takes me 2 hours to get to my hostel (this is with lane splitting on a motorcycle.) There are parts of Mexico City that make Los Angeles freeways look like a leisurely Sunday drive through the park. Also, the streets really make no sense. Without my GPS, I would have been terribly lost. There are so many pointed intersections, unguided intersections, two-ways that turn into one-ways, lack of signage, incorrect signage, it is so confusing. I’m sitting in traffic trying to get over to the right lane and a car proceeds to inch forward letting me know it isn’t happening. I’m already half-committed so I just keep trying to squeeze through given that I really need to turn or it could be a 30 minute ordeal if I miss it. The car is now close enough that I slightly lean the bike over to keep inching and realize my hard bags are touching the front bumper of the car. Ugh. I get through that mess to arrive on a street flooded with people. Recent legislation was passed to increase the metro from 3 pesos to 5 pesos and the people are up in arms protesting about it. Who can blame them? It was terribly communicated, done in haste, and was high in terms of percentage increase at one time. Anyway, the people are picketing and pissed. I’m in the middle of it just trying to get to my hostel. The sidewalks are more than full so the people have now flooded into the street. I’m sitting in traffic as people swarm around me and my motorcycle like water flowing around a solid object. I can’t wait to be out of here. I get within two blocks of my hostel and a police officer turns me away telling me to go through the other avenue. Grrr. Another 30 minutes and I make it to the other avenue. This avenue is even farther from the hostel than the first one. Worst thing is a different officer there tells me to go back to the one I started at. C’mon. 20 more minutes and I’m lane splitting like a rabid cheetah to get to the first place again. Finally there and I plead with the officer to let me through. No go, he tells me the same thing. Dammit. I make the executive decision to write-off my deposit at the hostel and go back to the La Condesa hostel to recheck in. So, that was a half a day to load everything, ride to the Zocalo, ride around the Zocalo frustrated, ride back to the same hostel I started, then bring everything back up stairs to recheck in. I’ve realized I’m having more patience though. Travelers much wiser than me told me once that if I get one thing done per day in Mexico, you are doing well. They are right. I take it in stride, have a beer, and relax. I’ll take the metro to the Zocalo tomorrow.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:28 PM   #68
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Luche Libre! Or not

One of my now good friends, Kip, who I used to work with put me in touch with one of his old business contacts in Mexico City. Her name is Rosa. Rosa and I met for lunch near the Zocalo and had a good time chatting. Rosa invited me to her sister Gaby’s birthday party at her place later that night. I made it to the party late, but I made it. I ended up talking with a girl from Germany named Nicole that is now living in Mexico City. Her and I got along well and she was telling me all these places I need to check out in Mexico before Guatemala. She then invited me to stay in her spare bedroom near Roma. Settling up at the hostel, I was on my way to my last stay location in Mexico City.

Nicole and I ended up going out near her place having some good Mexican food and making our way to a bar serving Mezcal. Turns out Nicole knew a friend there along with the owner of the place. The place is cool. It was the owner’s old house, the place he grew up then converted into a bar. The owner and I chatted a bit. He proceeded to point out where his old bedroom was, the walls that were taken out, and some of the details in the décor. It is really a cool spot. I hadn’t fully appreciated what we had walked into until he and I started talking.

The following night, Rosa’s sister, Gaby , decided she would join Nicole and I in the Zocalo. We walked around checking out all the different festivities that were happening during the holidays. Much of the action was geared toward younger kids, so we moved along to a place where we could grab some drinks and a little food. We all talked about big plans for the following day. Talk of leaving town to see some nature and go to this beautiful spot Nicole knows about and getting back around 5 for Luche Libre (Mexican Wrestling). But then, we decide the night is too young and we should head off to the next place. We arrive at this really cool spot in Roma playing 80s music. You know, the good 80s like The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order, and sorts. There is a DJ upstairs decked out in black with contacts that make him look like he is part of the cast of True Blood. Downstairs there is a band but I guess we didn’t give that much attention…we are ready to dance and party! The crowd is very goth draped in black with lipstick, makeup, and boots that put my Alpinestars to shame. It reminds me a lot of the 80s nights at Masquerade back in Atlanta. We head back upstairs and proceed to dance until close. Nicole is exhausted and not feeling the best, so she decides to grab a taxi home while Gaby and I look for the next party at 3:30. We find it about four blocks away but the cover is high. We decide no and head over to the OXXO to grab a couple beers and talk in the park for a bit instead. After having a few really good laughs, we are both having a great time. Then, policia. Crap, not again. The motorcycle cop pulls up and tells us we can’t have a beer in the park. Another infraccion. I manage a few Spanish words like basura (trash) telling the officer it is no big deal we can toss the beer, but it isn’t that easy. Thankfully, Gaby jumps in and helps the situation. At the end of the day, it costs us something like 70 pesos for him to leave us alone. Oh well, could be worse…much worse. We make our way back to Nicole’s safe and sound well after sun up. Given this night, there will be no nature walks or Luche tomorrow…just R&R. But, if I could do it over, I wouldn't change any of it. The most memorable night of my trip so far.

My last day in Mexico City was spent with Gaby eating the best Asian food I have had in Mexico (one can only eat so many tacos). There have been several times I have questioned myself on this trip in terms of whether I should continue on, but meeting people like Gaby make me realize I’ve made the right decision to travel. We exchanged a couple small gifts and agreed we would meet again sometime soon…maybe Antigua. We’ll see.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:33 PM   #69
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Parting Thoughts on DF

So, long story short, if you haven’t been to Mexico City, GO! Love it or hate it…riding the transit, driving the streets, meeting the people, getting a feel for the different parts of the city, this is truly a remarkable place. To be a part of this city that is in and of itself a living, breathing, pulsating thing is something incredible. You won’t know what to expect, you will be pleasantly surprised, and you will undoubtedly be dismayed at some point. One thing is certain, I have unforgettable memories of this place, and more importantly, the people in it. It isn’t everyday you get to experience a city in the process of evolving from third world to first. DF has been the focal point of my trip thus far and is a place I have every intention of returning to again.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:29 PM   #70
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Doing it right...

This is really an interesting report! It is cool to hear about the people you meet and how they seem to know each other. It is supposed to get to -20F back home tonight and I am jealous of your trip and the warm weather. Best of luck on your ride!
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:38 PM   #71
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Cody I love reading about your trip! keep up the details and the stories of everyone you meet! Your story really gives me the urge to make it abroad, stay safe bro!

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Old 12-30-2013, 08:52 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Jimdamit View Post
This is really an interesting report! It is cool to hear about the people you meet and how they seem to know each other. It is supposed to get to -20F back home tonight and I am jealous of your trip and the warm weather. Best of luck on your ride!
Eeekk! -20! I don't miss that at all plus my last 7 years were spent in the south so my blood turned thin quickly.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:56 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by efman View Post
Cody I love reading about your trip! keep up the details and the stories of everyone you meet! Your story really gives me the urge to make it abroad, stay safe bro!

efman, aka max and jesses roomate!
Really Max & Jesse's roommate! Cool. You are rooming with two of my favorite people in Georgia. Glad you are enjoying the RR :)
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:27 AM   #74
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So How is your Spanish coming? After the one month total immersion course?
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:53 PM   #75
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Awesome catching up on the ride report Cody!! Hope you are starting to catch on to the Spanish a bit more easily. At least you're getting the hang of how things work down there.

We're so incredibly jealous of your adventure, but are loving keeping up with it! The people you are meeting and the experiences you are having are just amazing.

Enjoy the ride, dude, and keep the updates coming!!

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