Heading south... hopefully all the way...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by jrzyguy, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    The moment the bike restarted was sweet! It allowed me to spend another month in Mexico. And on that note...I hate put a damper on things, but this boy is heading home tomorrow. I have more ride report to put up tonight, but tomorrow morning will bring the first of seven days that I'll be on the road, heading back to Yuba City, CA. That is, without any surprises. So, I'll look forward to seeing you in Telluride this summer, and wish you safe travels until then.
  2. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Just outside Tuxtla is the Cañón del Sumidero. It's impressive and worthwhile seeing...and a boat trip up the cañón to view it from the water would be even better! Maybe next time?
  3. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    I haven't tired of the Colonial architecture...it's a treat each and every time I see it!

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    I like the feeling even more at night. Especially with the moon in the background.

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    These marimba players are in the gazebo in the main plaza, Plaza 31 de Marzo.

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    I find it hard to pass up a good character when I see one!

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    The Mercado Municipal is a maze of vendors selling everything imaginable.

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    Anyone need a live hen or rooster?

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    Pollo?

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    While watching the activity in the mercado, I felt like I could have been in a number of different places of the world.

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    This surely isn't the meat counter in Whole Foods!
  4. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    We came across this church in the countryside.

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    Quite simple in comparison to the city cathedrals. What's with the take-off on Tibetan prayer flags?

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    We passed through some magnificent countryside on our way to Palenque.
  5. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Also on the road to Palenque is Aqua Azul. The beautiful waterfalls are a worthwhile detour.

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    This water shot is reminding me to mention that since leaving Oaxaca, the temperature and humidity have been oppressive. Sure wish I had my vented riding gear with me now.
  6. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    Great update! The green landscape had me drooling at work..

    Just wait for the heat... It'll get worse. When crossing over that "divide" and dropping down to Pelenque it does get very hot. The climate also changes. Gone are the clear cool days and in are the muggy, hot clear mornings and afternoon showers (downpours).

    I got SOAKED going into Pelenque. Heaviest rain I've been in before. Could barely see. I was so close I just pushed on. Good fun! Warm water.
  7. m_p_w

    m_p_w Unfunempolyed

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    Jim,

    I'll echo all the positive comments that have been posted to this ride repot. It's been awesome!

    I do have to say that you're a real jackass for heading north. ;-)

    The worst part about your u-turn is that I can no longer refer my friends and family to your ride report for details of what I've been up to. So much for posting vicariously...I guess I now do really need to start my own ride report.

    Safe travels home and post the pics from Palenque!

    All the best,

    Matt
  8. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Lonely Planet couldn't have been more accurate, " the soaring jungle-swathed temples of Palenque are a national treasure and one of the best examples of Maya architecture in Mexico."

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  9. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Matt, Thank you for the kind words...and especially for the photography lessons! Please post your address here when you get going on your report. I had a fabulous time traveling with you. It's one thing to take a trip with a friend, a known quantity so to speak, and to have a great time together. But it's more rare and fortunate for a rider to meet another on the road, strangers initially, and then to share quality experiences together. It was a blast and hopefully not the last!
  10. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Matt and I decided to explore different areas after Pelenque. Matt rode east, across the Yucatan to Belize, while I rode north on the Yucatan's west side. We planned to meet up in Belize, but that changed...

    As I rode north along the water toward Campeche, I found myself having familiar feelings about the beach and the water, but I couldn't place them. Finally, it occured to me that I was being reminded of the Florida Keys. Although the water was on one side only, the beach was similar as well as a few long bridges.

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  11. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    I have been waved through most road blocks, but from time to time I'm asked to stop. They have wanted to see either my license, my passport, or to look in my top duffel. The police have always been respectful and never looked for a bribe. Our conversations are limited, they don't speak English and I don't speak Spanish...perfect!

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    Today, I wasn't in a hurry (actually I'm never in a hurry) so I asked to take a picture of my new friend and me.

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    We were getting along so well, I asked him to sit on my bike for a picture!

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    Taking a little time to interact with people I meet brightens everyone's day :) Good thing he didn't take off with my bike...I'd have had a tough time catching him in that taxi in the background!
  12. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Topes, or speed bumps, are an everyday obstacle we must deal with. I've found it best to try to be positive toward them...they're a real pain in the ass! So in an effort to be positive, I'll explain how I cross them when there is traffic ahead. Since most motorcycle travelers are on dual sports with longer travel in the suspension, we can take the topes at higher speeds. On approach, trucks and cars must nearly come to a stop...so I swing into the oncoming lane, get up on the pegs and there you have it, a passing opportunity! Everybody's happy!

    Now is a good time to tell you about my most colorful tope crossing. One afternoon, this tope was hiding in the shadow of a tree...actually, I was daydreaming! When I finally saw it, I was coming in way to hot. I was on the brakes in a flash, but in my exuberance I locked up the rear and began fishtailing, barely under control. It was then that it got funny...there was a man standing at the pavement's edge about 20' beyond the tope. When he heard and saw me in my state of wildness, he quickly started backpeddling away from the road. I knew he was thinking that being taken out by a gringo on a moto was the last thing he was worrying about seconds before. I was off the brakes and up on the peg just in time...and I will admit that I caught a bit of air before landing. If I were to give myself a gymnastic score, it would be a "9"!

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  13. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    Haha..

    Awesome.

    Those long sweeping topes were jumps for me, the real bumpy ones I took pitty on my suspension compared to quite a few KLR riders I met (AND THEY have suspension issues...), but most of them I also used as passing opportunities.

    Everybody thinks Mexicans are crazy drivers, but that's because (as you mentioned earlier) they haven't been in traffic with them. What they do works, and works very well. I could go through cities faster then I could ever imagine in a N.A city. Pass cars on highways with ease, and let cars faster than me (which most were) with ease.

    I cruised at 90-95 KM/hr on the highway because of my gearing and I barely slowed anybody down. I'd pull over and they would go by on the highways, sometiems as you mentioned, 4 vehicles across.

    Come speed bumps I'd bomb right by again, but once on the highway I just pulled over again and they'd go right on by without having to get off speed control. Loved it!

    I'll fully admit coming back into the states I felt very restricted... =(
  14. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    When Matt W and I were evaluating the differences between Mexican and U.S. traffic habits, he had the best description...he said that Mexican traffic rules are purely optional! And I think that's fitting! If you feel like proceeding through a red light after stopping, you go ahead. If you feel like passing on the left or the right or up the center, you go ahead. The curious lane usage still gets me chuckling when I see a vehicle riding half on the shoulder and half in the lane...I realize that it's to give a passing vehicle more room, but it's still curious to me. I must say that because there are more moto's on Mexican roads, car and truck drivers are generally more aware and more respectful of us. I feel safer knowing that. And as you pointed out, although traffic patterns at times appear very confusing, it works and works well!
  15. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Compeche is approximately half way up the Yucatan on the west coast. The malecón is picturesque, just skip it during the midday heat.

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    The malecon and waterfront, looking south.

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    The lighting is well planned, showing off the architecture better in the evening.

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    Closing the street to cars and creating pedestrian walkways makes it friendlier to explore the neighborhood.

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    The evening temperature was just right, after a humid day in the low 90's. The outside tables are the perfect setting for drinks or dinner.

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    I enjoyed sitting in the plaza to do some people watching.

    Compeche is my final stop. Tomorrow I'll begin my ride back to CA. I started this trip without structure, not knowing exactly where I was going or when I'd return. A first for me...and I enjoyed the freedom that came with this approach. I can't explain why, but it just feels like it's time to go home now...and so I will!
  16. Woods Rider

    Woods Rider X-Crazed Racing Fool

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    Great RR!

    Now I have Mexico and points south on my bucket list!:freaky
  17. Hevy Kevy

    Hevy Kevy ADDRider

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  18. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Thanks! And we can ride there from our driveways...a big plus!
  19. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    I appreciate the support!
  20. rockymountainoyster

    rockymountainoyster Been here awhile

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    Jim,

    I will miss connecting with you later this month somewhere in Mexico. Have a safe trip riding back North. I will try to catch you as I head from SoCal to the Bay Area in early May. I want to ride the coast hwy. through Big Sur, spend a few days in Marin and then head to Colorado on Route 50. I want to see that MultiStrada! I have enjoyed your report and pix and am drooling to see some of those spots when I get back to Mexico.

    Safe journey.

    David