Denver to Latin America for 3 months

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by WilderRider, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. FlowBee

    FlowBee Just me.

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    Thanks for the updates. Nice info about the hotels.

    Got more photos? Any observations from the road? Feel free to share. The rest of us are stuck in cubicles for now...
  2. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    A few more pics of Zihua.

    Playa La madera

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    And some Lady of the Sea
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  3. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Going back here is a view to the northwest in Uruapan.

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  4. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Sure I will share a few more thoughts. I don't have a full keyboard ( using a touchscreen) which is part of the reason the text is a bit skimpy.

    But I will pause here after two weeks to make a few general observations while I try and cool down in the shade. It should go without saying that these are about me and not universal.

    First, the hardest partis leaving. Missing my wife and kids is far and away the toughest part of traveling, especially for this length. I am not sure about other guys, but I genuinely enjoy spending a lot of time with my family and my wife is truly my best friend and I miss talking to her.

    Second, I think it is important to take breaks. That first week of traveling 8-10 hours a day got old. And that fatigue brought me down. Need to eat too.

    Having said that, it has taken me at least these two weeks to settle into a rhythm. That includes taking a day off after a couple days of riding. Also, I am only eating about one big meal each day. Which one depends on what is going on, but I otherwise snack.

    On the food front, I will try not and jinx it but no major stomach issues yet. I do try and drink a yogurt each day and I think that helps me a lot. They sell some tasty yoplait ones at the OXXO. My stomach was a little off a day in Guanajuato, but I think that was just 10 days of a different diet catching up with me. That and having four whole beers over only three hours the night before with John.

    I also have tried to experience local cuisine, but I am not making a big deal about that. Food is part of traveling, but a less important part to me.

    Now I am going to wonder back to the beach and enjoy the sounds of crashing waves. Us mountain folk do not get to hear that often.

    Finally, I will note that I seem to be averaging about 750 pesos a day so far. That includes about 200 for gas on riding days, but I tend to spend that walking around on off days. Another 200 pesos on food each day (100 on the real meal and another 100 on snacks/drinks). About 300 on lodging averaged and the other 50 on laundry/ misc.
  5. captkumu

    captkumu Adventurer

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    Great Ride Report....... I love your Picture's of Z-Town:clap I spend a lot of time there and have many friends there... It is a great example of a classic Mexican seaside town.....John
  6. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    View of the front of the hotel.

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    Here is the view from my lunch spot.

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  7. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Interesting day of riding. Almost ran over a turtle in the road. Saw some neat coastal road, and met my first overlander.

    Here is Joe from Tennessee.
    Holding origami Yoda.

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    He is riding a KLR and is heading back north after spending 4 months on the road. Most of those in Guatemala and Honduras. He had some excitement with a bus crash, but walked away.

    We were headed different directions, but I just happened to see him pulling off as I was going by. And I thought" that looks like an American.". Made that split second decision and pulled over. Nice chat for about 30 minutes.
  8. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    The view from that overlook.

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    The rest of the ride to Acapulco was a uneventful. Acapulco is pretty, but a little too crowded for me.

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  9. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Was a bit tricky finding a cheap enough place. The hostel I was aiming for was closed for the foreseeable future. ( Hostel K3). There are a ton of hotels, but I did not want to pay a lot. With a little help, just off the main cost era, I got a room, with AC!!! WiFi, fridge, private bath, TV, etc.

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    Secure parking for the bike too.

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  10. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Before I go on, I will note one HUGE problem with the hotel I stayed at in Acapulco. Hotel Vital Condesa. At about midnight a pool party started up and was LOUD. lasted until 4:00a.m. and even with earplugs it was impossible to sleep.

    Either way, I was done with Acapulco. Not my kind of town. Like Vegas at the beach. For some great, but that is not my scene. But I have been trying to get. Flavor for all types of Mexico and this is one. Also a huge city. Getting out was a CF this morning. Ended up paying $10 in tolls to be more direct. Probably worth it.

    Now I am in Puerto Escondido. Much more my pace. 45,000 people not 1,000,000. Even seems more relaxed than Zihuatenejo. Nice hostel with some secure parking, internet, private room, for 240 pesos. Down side is no ac again. But I will trade that for no pool parties.
    If you look hard you can see the ocean view.

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    Easy walk to the beach, though.
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  11. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Long ride today at a little over 400km. Was rolling by 8:30 and got to the hostel at 5:00. No lunch and only a couple of 15 minute breaks. A little longer than I have been wanting, but it made sense.

    I will briefly explain the one unexpected stop. Another political protest. Cars stopped at about 1:30 and I weaved to the front again. Unfortunately, this time they did not let me through. I got to the front just as they were stringing their sign and closing the road.

    Again I downplayed my Spanish and went with the hapless foreigner routine. This also brings out the other English speakers who can be a little more sympathetic. Anyway, I took off my helmet to look like I was acquiescing and acknowledging their control. After a a couple of minutes, I made a bunch of gestures about being so hot. They kept telling me it would be 2 hours.

    Well I asked if I could just walk the bike to the shade on the other side of the barriers. They seemed sympathetic. They wanted me to move to some shade on this side, but I kept saying that was uphill. Eventually they agreed if I did not leave.

    I walked it over staying on the bike, but leaving my helmet off. I then tried to position myself in the way. I figured I would keep moving in small increments until I was far enough not to be noticed. It actually worked better than expected. After just a few more minutes, the cars trying to turn around kept wanting me to move. Another" organizer" just told me to drive out of there. I did not need to be asked twice. Got my helmet on quickly and got away. Only a 10 minute delay rather than 2 hours.
  12. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    good job man!
  13. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    It is raining here so I thought I would post a few more pics of Puerto Escondido from this morning. First rain since Zacatecas.

    Not a huge or crowded city.

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    Has a surfer/hippie vibe. That seems to be because it is a great surfing beach. If it was in southern California I am sure it would be wall-to-wall people.

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    Pretty beach too.
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    Weird hand sculpture.

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  14. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Left Puerto Escondido this morning. Again I would recommend the Hostel Montecassino. A nice enough place and really affordable.

    But on to the fun stuff. I took carreterra 131 north out PE and almost immediately it turned into one of the most fun roads I have ridden on the bike. Curves,curves, curves. In all honesty, there was not more than 150 meters of straight road for 200kms. And the fun kind too. Back and forth.

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    Nice scenery.
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    The added benefit was it climbed up in elevation and was a lot more comfortable.

    Another valley over and the flora changed to drier stuff.
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    The Only thing was the road condition was often terrible and you had to dodge enormous potholes. I thought it added to the fun. Same with the gravel portions. The road conditions also meant not a lot of trucks, etc.

    Not good for making time. I did not get to Oaxaca until 4:30 and took a while to find a room. The hostel I tried was packed with only shared rooms. And parking was blocks away. I found a decent place with parking, internet, bath, etc. For 350 pesos. About 2 blocks from the zocalo.
  15. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Oaxaca

    I have thought about visiting this city ever since I read Under the Jaguar Sun by Italo Calvin. When I was a self absorbed English Lit major in college, I would say it was my favorite book. Either way, it introduced me to the city, and 20 years later, here I am.

    A few pics, but it has been overcast since I got here. I was told that is unusual and it is normally pretty sunny.

    All from the zocalo.

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  16. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    In other interesting news, I have decided to do a week of an immersion program to try and take my Spanish to the next level. I met with one of the organizers this morning and talked for about 20 minutes. I start class on Monday, 5 hours a day. 3 hours a break and then 2 more.

    I also will do a homestay with a local family. I will move in there on Saturday. Should be an interesting adventure and really help my Spanish. They said they have a place to park the motorcycle.
  17. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    On the motorcycle side, I will mention that I passed 3,000 miles for the trip when riding into Oaxaca. Almost 5,000km. Bike is still running well.

    But that does start me thinking about changing the oil soon. I put full synthetic in it before I left and it seems to be OK yet, but I was planning on changing it in another 500 miles or so. That might be Guatemala.

    I might post this over in the DR650 Thread, but does anyone know the best oil to buy here? And any better/ easier / cheaper to do it in Mexico and just be a little early? If so, I might do that. And any thoughts on logistics?
  18. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    A little more walking around today.

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    Wondering around the Mercado de Artesianas is fun for all the senses.

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    Just about everything in there. Saw the dried grasshoppers but have not mustered the courage to eat any. On the other hand, the chocolate covered churros are good.

    The weather is also a lot more comfortable. Would prefer it a little sunnier, but very comfortable. It is at almost the same altitude as Denver too.
  19. FlowBee

    FlowBee Just me.

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    A "which oil" question on the DR650 thread? Really? :lol3 What are you - CIA?

    It seems they gravitate into 3 camps: Rotella T 15/40, Mobil1 15-50, and "whatever you can find around 10W40".

    Given that you're south of the border it could narrow your choices. The DR engine is pretty forgiving, but it does have a small sump (~2 qt) and the oil does double duty. IMO I'd change it for whatever decent quality 10/40-ish you can find but plan to change it every 3K miles or sooner. Since you're traveling I'd change the oil filter every other oil change. ymmv.
  20. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Yeah, I wanted to avoid an "oil post" in the DR650 thread, which is why I thought I would start here.

    And I do know what oil I would use if I was home, but I am not sure about the selection here or in Guatemala. Obviously, I want something in 10w40 that will work with the wet clutch of the DR650. Plus any suggestions about logistics are appreciated.