Doing Good Around the World - I - from Vancouver to Patagonia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by peergum, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    Days 92 – 95: The Diego Rivera Museums and Six Flags México
    Monday, October 23, was when Prash and Harneet returned home. I was sad, but happy that I got a week with my little brother that I was not expecting to have. After dinner and some delicious crêpes for dessert, courtesy of our favourite biker, the duo were on their way back to the land of rain, maple syrup, and beavers.

    After spending all of Tuesday working, we headed out to visit the Diego Rivera museums that we were unable to go to over the weekend due to time constraints. Our first stop was at the Mural Museum. The entrance was 30 pesos (~2 CAD) plus 5 pesos (~.33 CAD) for photography. The disappointing part was that only one mural was available for viewing as the other rooms were undergoing renovation.

    The mural available for viewing was Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central or Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park. It was created between 1946 and 1947 and is 51 ft × 15 ft in size. The mural features numerous characters from 400 years of Mexican history, gathered for a stroll through Alameda Park. There are colourful balloons and well-dressed people among darker elements such as a confrontation between an indigenous family and a police officer, a man getting shot, and La Catrina holding the hand of a ten-year-old Diego in the center and grinning at the viewer.

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    Diego Rivera’s Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central



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    Close-up of La Catrina in Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central



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    Day of the Dead Altar in the Diego Rivera Mural Museum



    Since it was just one mural we saw, we were done quickly and had time to go to the Studio Museums of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Juan O’Gorman. The entry fee was the same as the Mural Museum, except it was 30 pesos for photography here. The buildings house a collection of artifacts, tools, and personal belongings of the artists.

    Mexican painter and architect, Juan O’Gorman, who was also a personal friend of Diego Rivera’s, was in charge of the construction project of the buildings. Diego purchased the property and turned it into a home for himself and Frida, and both created many of their masterpieces here. Diego Rivera lived here until his death in 1957.

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    Day of the Dead Altar at the House Studio Museum of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo



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    La Catrina Made of Rice and Beans



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    Diego Rivera Studio



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    Frida Kahlo Studio



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    Terrace of the Frida Kahlo Studio



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    Juan O’Gorman Studio



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    Checking out Juan O’Gorman’s Entre la Filosofia



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    Museum Model



    After spending a large chunk of the day at the museums, we had a late lunch and headed home. The next day, Thursday, was a long and fun day at Six Flags – a large amusement park with numerous fun rides and heart attack-inducing roller coasters. This was our most expensive day out yet at 1,550 pesos (~103 CAD) per person for the entry. We went with the option that included the VIP pass and Festival of Terror.

    We were smart enough to start out with the Rio Salvaje ride that took us under a waterfall, resulting in us (mostly me) being soaked. Where we failed was in renting a locker and putting our sweaters there beforehand since those things take forever to dry. We went on two roller coasters together, and after seeing my life flash behind my tightly-shut eyes on the second one, the Medusa, I was done. Phil soldiered on and took on the Superman roller coaster before his coaster-quota was filled.

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    Why does getting soaked in real life never look as good as it does in movies?



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    Six Flags Plaza



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    La Catrina at Six Flags




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    Heart Attack Material



    The Festival of Terror started at 7:00 PM and kicked off with a parade of undead creatures. Our VIP passes were a godsent when going through the haunted houses in the evening because the lineups were incredibly long. We managed to get through all ten houses consisting of mummies, zombies, clowns, insects, experiments, slaughterhouse, rituals, coven, area 66, and Stranger Things with minimal wait times.

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    Getting Ready for the Festival of Terror



    After a late dinner of tacos at the park, we called it a night and headed home.
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  2. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

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    Hi, you were only 25 miles from my house! BTW, you will also see many Beetles in Acapulco.
  3. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    Damn! But we were on a day ride with some fellows from a biker club in Mexico City, so extending the trip was not really an option :)
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  4. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    Days 96 – 100: The Walking Dead in Mexico City
    We spent our entire Friday in our apartment, doing a bit of work and recovering from the long day we had the day before. On Saturday, we took a walk to the historic town center in the afternoon to see the Dia de Muertos parade. Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated throughout the country and focuses on the gathering of family and friends to honour their loved ones who have passed away.

    It is a three-day celebration that runs from October 31 to November 2. The first day is when the spirits of children are invited to visit, the second is when the adult spirits are invited, and the third day is when families go to the cemetery to decorate the tombs and graves of their loved ones. The parade is a fairly recent event that started in 2016 and was instigated by the James Bond movie Spectre.

    Many roads in the area were closed and the streets were crowded with families and lots of excited minions kids. Despite all the people on the streets, the vibe was a positive one and far from chaotic. The parade was fun and colourful, and lasted around two hours. We walked around the city afterwards and got some grub before heading home.

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    Aztec Float



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    Lots of Reapers



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    Float of Marigolds and Reapers



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    Marching Band



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    Lots of Sugar Skulls



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    More Sugar Skulls



    We stayed in on Sunday and went out on Monday to get the bike serviced and went to Via Sante Fe mall pick up a few things to make us look like zombies for Halloween. We also watched Happy Death Day while there because we love movies and time loops.

    On the evening of All Hallows’ Eve, we put on our zombie faces and hit the town. It was surprising how few people were in costumes because all the Halloween decorations in malls and businesses leading up to the day would have one believe that it was widely-celebrated. Nonetheless, we scared a few people and got a few laughs at their expense. Not that we’re sadists or anything

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    Happy Halloween!



    While having some beer and burritos at a local pub, it started to rain heavily so we called it a night afterwards.
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  5. tcalberta

    tcalberta Adventurer

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    awesome faces!
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  6. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    Days 101 & 102: Dia de Muertos in San Andrés Mixquic
    After another day indoors on Wednesday, we decided to visit San Andrés Mixquic, a small community that’s an hour and a half from Mexico City, on Thursday. It was the last day of Dia de Muertos and the town is known for its celebrations of the holiday, which consist of ritual and cultural events that last through the three days of the holiday. The events draw numerous Mexican and international visitors as it is the place to be for those who want to witness a traditional celebration of Dia de Muertos.

    We reached our destination while it was still morning and were amazed at the lively atmosphere. The town itself is nothing spectacular and not something that would be of interest to visitors at any other time of the year. That day; however, the streets were buzzing with people and decorated with flowers and sugar skull motifs. There was also a stage set up in the main plaza where there was music and dance performances. We went to the Parroquia de San Andrés Apóstol where we witnessed numerous people decorating the graves of their deceased loved ones with flowers and so much care.

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    Graves at the Parroquia de San Andrés Apóstol



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    Decorating a Grave



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    Lots of Marigolds



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    Marigold Crosses on the Streets



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    Skulls and Roses in the Church Courtyard



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    Courtyard of the Parroquia de San Andrés Apóstol



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    Aztec Dance Performance



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    Vibrant Market



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    Marigolds for Sale



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    Lunch Time!



    Much of our day was spent walking around the town and witnessing people celebrate the holiday. We didn’t stay very long and left after a delicious lunch of barbecued dead animals and fries from one of the market stalls. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of the Popocatépetl volcano on the way back, but it was too cloudy so home it was.
  7. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

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    If you like the Day of the Dead things, be sure to go see the animated movie Coco. It is a Walt Disney movie and it is based in Mexico and the Day of the Dead. It is really good! I called my daughter in Texas as soon as we return home to tell her to take my granddaughter to see it. The one we saw was in Spanish, but there are English ones as well. Some of the movies here can be seen in English, maybe that one as well.
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  8. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Our manager and her family made the 200 miles round trip to Hermosillo to see it. They were moved.
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  9. chaos616

    chaos616 Sasquatch

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    Hey guys,

    Are you still in Mexico City, well be there in two days if you are, we spent the holiday in Oaxaca but are doing some back tracking.

    Cheers,
  10. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    Yes, we saw the trailer, seems to be fun. In the ToWatch list ;)
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  11. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    Unfortunately, we extended our stay one week for some pending affairs, and are supposed to leave tomorrow...
  12. chaos616

    chaos616 Sasquatch

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    No worries maybe we'll catch you guys down the road. We'll keep following you here. Do you know anything about the hoy no circula thing. It's for driving in Mexico state but we heard motos are exempt maybe?
  13. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    We're in Puebla today and tomorrow. Then maybe a stop in Tehuacan, and then Oxaca.

    I heard about those restrictions but I think they only apply to cars... We rode several times in the city (a bit challenging sometimes) and never got stopped for that so either we were lucky or we were good riding a bike...

    Sent from my crappy Android using Tapatalk
  14. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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  15. chaos616

    chaos616 Sasquatch

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    That looks like a plan for sure. Oaxaca was cool, but it was also a needed stop for us after 3 weeks on the road without stopping. Tehuacan was ok, nice little town square. We've gone through twice now but may take the northern route through this next time. Our goal is to get to Cancun by December 4th or 5th some time. Hopefully we can catch up on the road somewhere along the way!

    Cheers,

    Ehren and Brittany
  16. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    That would be nice. We have no particular schedule, but probably Merida or Cancun around the same dates as you sounds like a plan. Lots to see on the way though... we're in no rush, I do remote work on the road so it pays for the trip - as long as nothing bad happens with us or the bike and we don't overspend in expensive hosting...
  17. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    Days 103 – 111: Our Last Week in Mexico City and Journey to Puebla
    Our initial plan of staying in Mexico City for six weeks got extended by another week because we love this city so much and there was some work to be done. Work is exactly what we did for the whole week with just a dinner in a neighbourhood restaurant and a little trip to the mall as the only interruptions. I know, we’re so wild and exciting, it’s a wonder anyone is able to keep up with us

    On Saturday, November 11, we loaded the bike with all our worldly belongings, said good-bye to Mexico City, and headed off towards Puebla. We took the route that would take us close to Popocatépetl because we wanted to catch a glimpse of the volcano on our way. It was a chilly ride up to the viewpoint and a bit of a let-down since it was only partially visible and mostly covered by clouds. We did experience a random mini tornado in the middle of the parking lot that lasted only long enough to blow sand in our faces.

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    Popocatépetl… with its head in the clouds



    From the viewpoint, we only had the option of taking an unpaved road down or we would have to go back and take a different road, losing over an hour in the process. So our favourite biker got some practice navigating in dirt, sand, and gravel while I got some practice in being a piñada with the top case beating on my back all the way. Phil insists that we were on that unpaved road for 15-20 minutes, but I’m quite sure it was closer to 100 years. I’ve mentioned this before and I’m going do it again – Mexico has excellent roads, except the ones at tourist attractions and I don’t understand why.

    We had booked a private room in Puebla through Airbnb for around 30 CAD and we reached our accommodation in the afternoon. We got fed and rested because we had big plans to visit Cholula and the historic city center of Puebla on the following day.
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  18. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    Day 112: Puebla City and Mole Poblano
    Late Sunday morning, we headed out for a big day of exploring. Our first stop was Tlachihualtepetl, the Great Pyramid of Cholula. It is the largest pyramid known to exist today with a total volume estimated at over 4.45 million cubic metres (yes, it is larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, which is about 2.5 million cubic metres). The pyramid was constructed in four stages, starting in the 3rd century BC through to the 9th century AD, and was dedicated to the Aztec god of wind and learning, Quetzalcoatl. The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios church that was built in the 16th century sits on top of the pyramid.

    Unfortunately, the church was closed due to damages caused by the earthquake that hit the region in September. The pyramid; however, was accessible so we got to go through the labyrinth of tunnels. Don’t worry, we didn’t get lost because visitors were allowed to go in only one direction and only through the open passages. I just used the word “labyrinth” for dramatic effect. The tunnels were designed for small people and definitely not for the claustrophobic. If you are claustrophobic, never go in a place like that with Phil because when you’re in the middle of it with people in front and behind you, and no end in sight, he likes to talk about earthquakes and power outages

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    We made it! No earthquakes, no power outages, no panicked-humans stampede.



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    Tlachihualtepetl



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    Popocatépetl



    After exiting the tunnels of the pyramid and finally getting a nice view of the Popocatépetl volcano, we went to the center of Puebla City to have some lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon there. Puebla looks like the younger sibling of Guanajuato with its colourful buildings and relaxed vibe. We were not expecting much and were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful and vibrant it is. Some of the buildings in the city were closed because of earthquake damages, including the Biblioteca Palafoxiana, while some were held up with scaffolding, but the city seems to be on the road to recovery from the disaster.

    Phil tried the mole poblano, which originated in Puebla. The sauce is typically made with fruits, chili peppers, nut and spices like black pepper, cinnamon and cumin. It is an acquired taste, but worth trying if you’re in Puebla so you can tell all your friends that you had a mole poblano in Puebla

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    Puebla City Center



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    Puebla Streets



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    Tea Time!



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    Templo de Santo Domingo



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    Mole Poblano



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    Scaffolding on a Building



    [​IMG]Street of Art and Artists



    We spent the later part of our afternoon in what was my favourite part of the city – the Barrio del Artista, which is a neighbourhood that is full of local artists and art stores. We didn’t buy anything, because motorcycle, but we did take the time to appreciate and admire the local talent before heading back.
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  19. peergum

    peergum Been here awhile

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    Day 113: Puebla to Orizaba
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    On the morning of Monday, November 13, after breakfast with our host, we were on our way to our next stop, Orizaba. The ride was a short one at just over two hours and because the day was nice, we got to see the Citlaltépetl or Pico de Orizaba on the way. It is the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest In North America. It also happens to be home to the largest glacier in Mexico and is one of the only three volcanoes that continue to support glaciers in Mexico. The volcano is currently dormant and has not erupted since the 19th century so no barbecued Phil and Sapna today

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    Citlaltépetl



    We arrived in the city around the early afternoon, giving us some time to explore after unloading the bike at our Airbnb rental that cost us around 466 pesos (~31.52 CAD). Orizaba is a beautiful and fairly small colonial city that is just big enough to have a Starbucks with a population of just over 100,000. We had a late lunch at McDonald’s (don’t judge – you would also favour McDonald’s after too many tacos) and then explored the city center on foot for a few hours.

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    City Center Plaza



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    Catedral de San Miguel Arcangel



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    Catedral de San Miguel Arcangel



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    City Street



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    Traffic in the City



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    Commercial Street



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    Pedestrian Street



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    I just wanted to take an artsy picture



    We picked up some beer and a frozen pizza at a local grocery store and headed back to our apartment while it was still light outside. What we hadn’t realized beforehand was that our apartment didn’t have an oven so stove top cooking it was. How did our dinner turn out that evening? Well, let’s just say we will ALWAYS check for an oven before buying a frozen pizza in future. At least the place has a nice terrace with a large hammock that Phil did not waste any time in turning into his office

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    Hard at Work
  20. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

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    If you are still in Orizaba go to the Zoo that is spread out along the river that passes through the city.