Filling in the gaps in Mexico, now with more insanity!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by climberevan, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Roboter

    Roboter Vagabond

    Joined:
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    hey Evan! Thanks for posting the pics of me! Too bad we didnt have pics of our rigs together. Next month for sure... Yes it was certainly surreal seeing u and ur bike just a few days later after I read browsed ur report. Im In Germany at the moment, but will continue South into Central America in 3 weeks or so.
    I remember mentioning to you that I hadnt been on any dirt roads since the trip. Well Guatemala popped my dirt road cherry! over 100 miles of crazy 7 and 8% grade trails in the middle of the bush. You must try it! Im sure Mexico has some fun dirt roads, but thats all that exists in Guatemala!
    Anyhow, Ill email u before i continue my second leg of the trip.

    Machts Gut!
    #41
  2. erichthered

    erichthered Been here awhile

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    :lurk
    #42
  3. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Great report Evan!!!! What a trip!!!Those pics of Coba bring back some memories, I was there in '90 and we were the only white folks in the whole area, Looks like its pretty popular these days.

    Thanks for all the great pics!!!

    Tom
    #43
  4. climberevan

    climberevan planning the next journey

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    Isla Mujeres is a nice place, and has a really cool sculpture garden surrounding the little Maya ruin on the southernmost point. It's also the most easterly point in Mexico.

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    Right along the water below the cliff is a great path. It must have been pretty hard to get the concrete to cure with the waves crashing constantly....

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    Along the E coast of the island are some really nice modern-looking houses. The one behind this crazy heap is shaped like a conch shell. It never ceases to amaze me when i see things like this van in front of resort homes, but Mexico is crazy, no?

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    There's also an interesting shantytown looking place that apparently is a Zapatista-linked collective.

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    That night we had our best meal of the trip. It was at a restaurant famous for its fish, Casa Tikinixik. It was really fresh and flavourful, with some great spicing somewhat more reminiscent of Caribbean flavours.

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    Another nice sunset from the island:

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    Back on the road the next day i ran into the motorcycle club from Cancun. It's based out of a shop called Biker's Garage. They gave me some stickers, and we chatted a bit. It was nice to see some other actual motorcyclists, as while there are tons of bikes in Mexico, few people ride for pleasure.

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    Next time: Merida, then DIRT!
    #44
  5. climberevan

    climberevan planning the next journey

    Joined:
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    After about 8000 miles my Kenda k761s were finally too worn out even for my tastes, so i changed them. I had brought a pair with me, but in a foolish moment i left them beside the bike while i was in a hotel for a while and they disappeared. I blame myself, and it was a $120 mistake. i investigated buying some here, but it was going to be very expensive ($200+ minimum) and would probably take weeks. 17" tyres are especially hard to come by. note to self: re-lace the rear with an 18" rim before the next trip! Luckily Katherine was able to bring me some new tyres from the US, but all that was available was K270s, which are ok but not very good on pavement and not as durable.

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    I rode mostly good roads toward Merida, but i stayed off of the main highway, 180. This route took me through some really interesting small towns and beside lots of these little paths leading away from the road into the underbrush. I assume they were foot/bicycle paths to villages, as often the GPS showed villages a ways off of any roads.

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    Izamal is a neat little town near Merida. It has a great old cathedral as well as a HUGE convent that is bright mustard yellow, just like almost every building in town. I wanted to stay longer, but there wasn't anywhere cheap to stay, so i kept on toward Merida, where i knew there were hostels.

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    I stayed at the Hobo Hostel for about 4 nights. It was ok, but really huge and empty--not exactly a hostel-ish feel. They did let me park my bike inside and didn't seem to care that i cooked and hung my hammock from the posts.

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    Merida is famous as THE place to buy hammocks. My experience agrees with that--there are at least 3 large shops with huge selections of hammocks of all sizes and qualities. They are all made by hand, and can have over 200 pairs of strings at either end, each going to 8 or so in the center portion. I was somewhat surprised to find that even a really nice one in a large size (plenty big for sleeping, and commodious for 2 to lounge in) was only M$250. I bought one, and now sleep in it whenever possible--it's nice to be off of the ground and in the breeze.

    This is a loom:

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    Merida is a really artsy town, and was in the midst of its 2008 festival. There were free theatre, music, dance, and literary events every day for 2 weeks, and i went to a couple. I wanted to stay longer, but the road beckons!

    Markets have always been the most fun parts of cities for me, and Merida's did not disappoint. It used to be in one huge building, and then they built a new, 2 story one next door with the intent of moving into it. I guess there was enough demand, because now they're just using both. I wandered around for hours and kept discovering new areas.

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    Apparently if you have a little motor and a ballpoint pen, you can be a tattoo artist. I sat around and drank beers with these guys one day, and they tried to teach me a lot of slang, most of which i've forgotten. It was interesting to hang out with the local borrachos, though.

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    Random photo of cool not-available-in-the-US-vehicle:

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    Uxmal ruins:

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    I wondered when visiting all of the ruins where the good stuff is. It seems that most of the sculpture and whatnot there is pretty eroded, and i wondered how the archaeologists could learn anything about the society from that. Here is the answer: they took all of the intact pieces to museums. One of the two best is in Merida, and i spent a while there admiring the artifacts.

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    The street outside of the Museum is a huge boulevard with wide sidewalks. Every 50m or so on the sidewalk is a modern sculpture; this was my favourite:

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    Before leaving Merida, i wanted to get this crack in one of my boxes taken care of.

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    I found a guy who could weld aluminium. He charged me M$200 for the work, which was highway robbery, but i didn't want to spend hours scouring the city for another guy with a TIG welder.

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    Leaving Merida and heading south i ran into the first closed Pemex of the trip. I had sort of been counting on it, and didn't want to deviate from my route to get back to the highway. Therefore i ran out of gas. I did the tip-over trick, which along with some coasting got me this close to the next station:

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    I felt pretty lucky after that, so i decided to see where this road went. On Bicimapas it is shown as a "Sendero" and appears to go for about 100k before meeting another paved road. Yeah!

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    #45
  6. PirateT7

    PirateT7 Back on Two Wheels

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    ditto, bravo!
    #46
  7. Sundance

    Sundance Adventurer

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    Great ride report, super duper! You remind me of a guy I went to collage with, UW geology?
    #47
  8. Bill the Duck

    Bill the Duck Unwitting Accomplice

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    Excellent adventure! :thumb
    #48
  9. mel brooks

    mel brooks Dirt Chick

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    Upstate SC
    Absolutely one of the best ride reports ever!

    Thanks for this look at Mexico!
    #49
  10. KMA

    KMA KicksMyAss on BDS

    Joined:
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    Thailand
    Hey Evan- I met you in Bend at Sharis Restaurant. We were heading out on a ride and you were heading South. When I met you I thought "this guy is gonna go places" and look at you now! You da' man and I am diggin your TR, keep it up bro!:norton
    #50
  11. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

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    Awaiting more :lurk
    #51
  12. climberevan

    climberevan planning the next journey

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Carson Valley, NV
    The dirt road on the last post leads south and then curves east. It goes through some villages, and but generally stays in the middle of nowhere. I was having a lot of fun finally riding some dirt--it even had some whoops to jump! The KLR seems to like catching air as long as the landing isn't too harsh.

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    The path became smaller and smaller, and i had to ask people how to continue a few times since it seemed like i surely couldn't be on the right road. This is where some flexibility comes into play--i was often 200m away from the line of the road on Bicimapas, but as long as i more-or-less was going in the right direction, i just kept at it. Having a nearly full gas tank and knowing i can go almost 500k on a full one helps with the confidence as well.

    And you think road construction takes a while in your country! Three years for this ditch....

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    Across the street from the ditch i had this decent mole:

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    I am always amazed at what i find out in the middle of nowhere. This was an abandoned building that has been taken over by trees. It was in front of a large farm/hacienda that was pretty well kept.

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    These people, despite being 50k from the nearest pavement, had a lawn:

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    More little tiny roads:

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    I rolled into this little town, Plan de la Noria, and asked if i could hang my hammock in the central park palapa. Nobody cared, so i did just that. I did have to entertain the local kids for hours that night and the next morning.

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    Their primary toys seemed to be tops and marbles. They wound strings around the tops and then flung them out, making them spin really fast. This kid was the most skilled:

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    In the morning the KLR was absolutely drenched in dew. It didn't want to start, so i pulled out the spark plug and let the engine sit in the sun for a while to warm up and dry out. After about 2 hours of futzing i finally got her started, and was back on my way. The roads out of there were also interesting.

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    One 10k dead end took me to this crazy place:

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    This region of Mexico has lakes, a nice change after the monotony of Yucatan.

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    I stopped for a break after finally reaching the pavement. This little palm-roofed restaurant was also the local computer lab.

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    Next: more turquoise blue waters, but fresh this time, and some Texans!
    #52
  13. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

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    I didnt want to, but i think I will be getting the bicimaps for my GPS... thanks dude.. thanks a lot...

    :thumb



    :lurk


    Keep up the good ride! Have fun and be careful!
    Vaya con Dios, amigo.
    #53
  14. j2x

    j2x Canyon-carving convert

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    How safe did you feel sleeping outside and navigating the urban areas by yourself?

    I really want to take an adventure there like you, but my wife is horrified by the idea of my motorcycle being stolen and me being beat up and left for dead, or worse.

    Any resources you can recommend that might help alleviate this preconception?

    great story and pix, by the way!
    #54
  15. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Paging Gustavo, Gaspipe, Lone Rider etc. to the white Fear-Of-Riding-In-Mexico courtesy phone...

    Bob :jose
    #55
  16. Hootowl

    Hootowl Long timer

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    Evan;
    Thanks for reminding me of my trip to the Yucatan 5 years ago. I've been to several of the same places. I'm heading down in February (Baja this time) and thanks for taking the time and doing the work to put up the ride report.

    Richard


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    #56
  17. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    mmm great trip report!! so super pics!! are you coming this way (Baja)???

    Keep it up!!
    #57
  18. karmatourer

    karmatourer STD free

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    but nice adverb nonetheless!:lol3

    #58
  19. karmatourer

    karmatourer STD free

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    but you have to be the first person ever to describe Chichen Itza as a "tourist trap".That is hilarious.I guess if you consider the most visited ruins a tourist trap due to the number of visitors,then OK.I have visited that site 3 times and never tire of it.The smaller ruins are impressive also and that's what appeals to me about the Yucatan peninsula.
    I'm moving to Merida in April and own a lot in Celestun,which is not another tourust trap.
    Keep up the ride report which makes me wish April was tomorrow.:rayof
    #59
  20. karmatourer

    karmatourer STD free

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    :rofl



    #60