Gender feminism sends me to south america

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by kramnamhoh, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. kramnamhoh

    kramnamhoh Been here awhile

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    Went to Paricutin volcano, or at least I tried to at first. I stopped at the Pemex station to get fuel and get directions to Paritcutin. The fuel transfer engineer says “si” and points toward a small town. While I’m leaving a man waves at me and yells “Paricutin”. I give him the thumbs up and keep on going. I ride the mile or so into town on really rough cobblestone roads, and slow down to look for the way to the visitor center. Almost immediately I hear hooves on the rocks next to me. WTF? The guy from the gas station is on a horse riding next to me.!! I didn’t exactly go slow to get here. He must of rode all out to catch up to me. I stop to find out what he wants. Turns out he wants to guide me on his horse to the volcano. I tell him no thanks, that I’ll just ride there, and off I go. I wander around the town for awhile in a maze of dead end one way streets, and end up back at the town square. It’s a tourist destination, right? How about a sign or two? Anyway, the horse guy is at the town square, so I pay him to guide me through the maze to the visitor center.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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  2. kramnamhoh

    kramnamhoh Been here awhile

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    The “visitor center” is actually a closed restaurant on a hill overlooking the valley with the Paricutin cinder cone, the lava flows and the remnants of the church. I can see that the church that I want to see is on the edge of the lava flow next to a road and some houses. I ask a different guide if I can ride the moto through the roads to the church (with extensive help of Jibbigo Spanish-english translator on my ipod). He looks at the moto and me skeptically and says “si” We negotiate a price by writing different numbers on my map. Eventually we get to about $3 to guide me out there on the bike, and about $3 for him to watch the moto while I walk to the church. So off we go. We are on a hill, remember? The way down the hill is a mix between a four wheel drive road and a mule trail. It takes all the dirt biking skill I have and then some luck to keep the overloaded KLR upright going down the hill. I realize about half way down that it’s going to be impossible to ride back up this. Oh well, I made it this far, and I’ll worry about how to get out later. Church first, tow truck later. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Once in the valley, the roads turn to soft volcanic ash/sand. I’m getting a great workout trying to keep the front end from washing out, and keeping the KLR moving forward. Come on ME880 cruiser tire, dig into that sand with your wimpy rain grooves. <o:p></o:p>

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  3. kramnamhoh

    kramnamhoh Been here awhile

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    It’s a fairly long winding route out through the valley to the church. The horse trots and kicks up a cloud of dust for me to follow in, while the KLR gets really hot hauling itself through the deep sand and rocks. I get the feeling of being very alone riding out here. I have a guide that I’ve paid all of $3 to watch over me. I’m on KLR that barely can make it, so I can’t run away from anyone. I block that thought from my mind, and keep plugging forward.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Finally we get to the church area. The road goes to within a 100 meters of the church. There is a taco stand there and covered parking. I’m off to the church, while my guide watches my stuff (I hope!!).<o:p></o:p>
    The church remnants and alter remnants are impressive. The lava flow buried the town, but these two parts of the church remain. <o:p></o:p>

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  4. kramnamhoh

    kramnamhoh Been here awhile

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    I see a small car there. I know that car didn’t come in the way that I did. So, there must be a different way out. Yeah!! Another guide that speaks better English gives me directions on the easier road out. It was such a relief to find pavement.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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  5. kramnamhoh

    kramnamhoh Been here awhile

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    I come across the first part of a small town where there is a bunch of tires and concrete laying in the road blocking one lane (imagine that!! Crap in the road is common here in Mexico.) A little further there is a gate across the road (looks like a railroad crossing gate), with normal citizens manning the gate. Weird, I expected some sort of government official at the gate. There are sandbags and concrete rubble and tires all around blocking things to one lane. They wave me through and off I go into the small town. In downtown, there is an abandoned, junk yard looking truck blocking my lane. The other side of the road has more concrete and junk yard looking stuff blocking it in places too. There is some sort of sign hanging on the abandoned truck. WTF??? This is not good at all. I am way off the tourist path,on a mountain backroad, in the area where the drugs come in from Colombia, in a town that has a gate on the outside of town, and junkyard remnants blocking the road. I’m not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling here. I stop to quickly take a photo, all the while thinking I need to get the f#ck out of here. I look around while taking the photo and all people there have stopped what they are doing and are looking at me. All of a sudden, I am really regretting taking the back roads through the mountains. I sooo want to be back on the tourist path right now. C’mon, overloaded KLR, don’t fail me now. It’s time to go….fast. On the way out of town, there is another gate with sandbags, rubble and it’s all blocked down to one lane. Adios, scary little back woods mexico town,….<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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  6. kramnamhoh

    kramnamhoh Been here awhile

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    I get lost in Morelia. Most Mexican towns have the highway dump you off into town, with signs that direct you to “centro”, but absolutely no signs that tell you how to continue on your way. My GPS is worthless here, so it’s navigate by general direction. I usually know what direction I generally need to go to leave town, so when I get to the Centro, I just leave the square heading east, north, south, whatever, following the road that seems to have the most traffic. Only problem with Morelia,is that it is a big city and there are many roads heading north, with a lot of traffic. There are some signs, but none for towns that I recognize the name. Eventually, after heading north wards from Centro, I find a sign for a town name that I recognize, and off I go.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    It gets dark about 50 miles out of San Miguel de Allende, my destination for the night. My headlight is better, but still doesn’t shine on the road in front of me. I irritate cars by following them closely on the way into SMA. At one point, the highway turns into a gravel detour with quite a lot of traffic. I can only barely see the lights of the car in front of me and whole lot of dust. I hope there is nothing big in the road because I will never see it.<o:p></o:p>
    I made it to SMA after an hour or so of riding in the dark. I make my way to the Centro square, where I finally relax. Some very nice people see my Washington plate on my bike and come up to talk with me. They are from the Seattle area. I ask them if they know their way around SMA. Yes!! They have a tourist map. They look for the road name that I need for me since I can barely see (because my eyes are so blurry from all the dust and smoke and wind). They even go into a shop close to the square to get the directions all sorted out for me. It is such a relief to get to my friend’s house. I manage to ram the KLR over the two large steps up into the court yard of her house. I go from dusty, scary, lost, riding in the dark to a safe, beautiful home where she has a wonderful dinner waiting for me. It’s such a relief, I feel like I could cry. After dinner, we wonder around San Miguel de Allende. It’s such a beautiful town. I will definitely have to come back here again some day. <o:p></o:p>

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  7. kramnamhoh

    kramnamhoh Been here awhile

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    damn...i take great photos when I copy them off the internet!!

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  8. tex_downey

    tex_downey Been here awhile

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    Aug 9, 2008
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    Location:
    LA for now.
    GET OUT THE GUNS. :gun1

    TIME FOR A LITTLE ONCE APON A TIME IN MEXICO.

    :lol3

    JK, THAT IS A COOL PIC THOUGH. IM SURE THERE NICE PEOPLE BUT IT ONLY TAKES A FEW BAD ONES TO RUIN THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
  9. DelHess

    DelHess Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    241
    Sometimes reading about it is better than being there yourself. this is 1 of those times. Still I am jealous.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
  10. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

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    Oddometer:
    10,376
    Location:
    India Wharf
    Pancho was a bandit boy,
    Horse as fast as polished steel.
    Wore his guns outside his pants,
    For all the honest world to feel.

    Pancho met his match you know;
    On the deserts down in old Mexico...
    Nobody heard his final words.
    And that's the way it goes...

    All the Federales say,
    We could have had him any old day.
    We only let him slip away...
    Out of kindness I suppose.

    :strum
  11. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    1,206
    Location:
    Arizona--Land of the free and heavly armed
    Do you mean Hoyt Axton from New Manford Oklahoma ? If so he also wrote-- Me & You & a Dog named Boo ---
    Snow Blind Friend ---&--- God Damn The Pusher Man--- He also played the part of Loni Anderson's Ol' Boy Friend on theTV series --WKRP Cincinnati---- That Hoyt Axton?

    Hijack over ----BACK To Mexico-----
  12. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,376
    Location:
    India Wharf
    Pancho and Lefty by Townes Van Zandt 1971; performed by Merle and Willie 1983.

    Boys tell how Pancho fell...
    And Lefty's livin' in cheap hotel.
    The desert's quiet and Cleveland's cold.
    So the story ends we're told.

    Pancho needs your prayers it's true,
    But save a few for Lefty too.
    He only did what he had to do.
    And now he's growin' old.

    A few grey Federales say
    We could have had him any day
    We only let him go so long
    Out of kindness I suppose...

    This is such a great RR! That duet started rolling around in my head. I haven't thought of it in decades. I couldn't resist. Sorry for the hijack. Looking forward to more.
  13. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,204
    Enjoying your story. KLRs seemed to be made for trips of this nature.
  14. Mazaev

    Mazaev Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    233
    Location:
    The rotten apple.
    This is one of the things that's really doing it for me on my trip. The contrasts between feelings are enormous, but sometimes all it take is some guy on the side of the road throwing a thumbs up your way and it's as if everything changes.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  15. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,669
    Location:
    Currently - Canada
    Hey Mark!

    Good riding with you! We had quite the adventure even on our little ride!

    Wondering where you made it today? I'm crashing at the hostel in Oaxaca. $125. Had the room to myself till two Sweeds showed up. Seem to be pretty cool guys so it's all good.

    Trying to upload photo's. Check my ride report in the upcoming days for pictures! I can send you any pics you want.
  16. kramnamhoh

    kramnamhoh Been here awhile

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    yep....they are good bikes for the money. I want a little more power (more on that later), stiffer suspension and much better brakes. I could live without the first two, but the brakes really suck for my riding style and for all of the crap that I am carrying,.

    After riding with Shibby for several days and seeing his xr650 motor away from me and soak up topes much better than the KLR, I have decided that my next adventure bike will be a KTM 690 adventure (even if I have to build it myself if KTM won't do it for me). I really want to ride wheelies over the topes!!
  17. NIXHD

    NIXHD n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Prescott Valley, AZ
    Mark, Barb and I have been following your trip. Wish I were there on the 01, or 05 GS that I sold. Heavy but strong as an ox; with good fuel mileage to boot. Glad you're finding the tortilla and PB a nice emergency meal. I really don't know if I could put up with the BS that you are encountering in Mexico. I can't wait until they fully inhabit our country, given what an excellent job they've done with their's.

    Well, keep your head down and get some brakes for that buzzard. Good luck, we're pulling for you.


    B&B
    Address: Civilization!
    PS Have a Modelo Negra for me.
  18. kramnamhoh

    kramnamhoh Been here awhile

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    Francine and I are having a wonderful breakfast at a restaurant, and are reviewing my plan for the next few days. I tell her that next on the agenda is Teotihuacan (the pyramids north of Mexico City.) I ask her if she has ever been, she says “no”, I said “then let’s go!!” We make a plan for checking on a driver, renting a car or possibly riding two up on the KLR to there and back. The car rental works out to be over $200 with a high liability for any damage and the car/driver place never opens. We decide to go track down a helmet and a plan starts to come together. I ask her if she is sure, and she says she is adventurous and ready for it. OK!!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    The next morning before sunup we bundle up and are off for the 300+kilometer trip to Tula and Teotihuacan. The morning is foggy and cold, and we whiz along at about as fast as the KLR will go, which surprisingly is almost 100mph down a steep hill. I ride the way we need to in order to get there on time, and to keep moving forward in the traffic. We pass cars by riding down the center line of the road, we pass on the right refuse lane a few times, and we keep moving forward. Francine is the perfect passenger. She doesn’t try to steer the bike out of corners, complain about my method of cutting through traffic, or about the distance/time on bike.<o:p></o:p>
    We make it to Tula in really good time. We get a pile of souvenirs, and Francine shows me how it’s done when haggling for a better price. Then off to Teotihuacan we go. We walk the avenue of the dead, climb the pyramid of the moon, and the pyramid of the sun. On the pyramid of the sun, I run up the stairs to the top, and am really winded. The whole time I am thinking about my idea of climbing Mt Chimbarazo in Ecuador (the farthest point from the center of the earth, and therefore really the highest mountain). Anyway, I get someone to take my photo with the other pyramid in the background. Some Japanese girls notice that I flex my tricep for the photo, and start giggling about the whole thing. Next thing you know, they want to take photos with me, and of course I flex my tricep again….<o:p></o:p>
    We take a different route back. The lady at the toll booth says take a right before the bridge. That doesn’t seem right to me, so I go straight over the bridge and proceed to take us into the northern edge of mexico city rush hour traffic, which is not pretty. I luckily see a sign on the other side of the freeway for the town we need, and after multiple stops for directions and a couple of loops on and off the freeway, we are back in business, and flying back to San Miguel de Allende hoping to make it before dark.<o:p></o:p>

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  19. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    :clap Great adventure that you have had in the last couple of years.
  20. kramnamhoh

    kramnamhoh Been here awhile

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    400 miles 2 up on a KLR 650..on mexican freeways and mexican traffic with a crazy driver...what a way to break into motorcycle riding!! And she had fun!! Some people are just born adventurous.!!

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