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

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

  1. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    David, Stay in touch and let me know when you're in CA...let's try to connect. The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is an amazing road. I particularly like the ride from Cambria to Monterrey...IMO, on a clear, sunny day it has to be one of the most beautiful areas on the planet. It was my "go to" route when riding from CO to the MotoGP at Laguna Seca. And Route 50, The Loniest Road, another great choice! Hope to hear from you, Jim
  2. rockymountainoyster

    rockymountainoyster Been here awhile

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    I have driven it many times in various cars from vans to a very hot Camaro Z28 (glad I didn't end up in the PO) to riding from Carmel Valley to SLO on my bicycle. It is indeed one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. I have wanted to do it on a moto for more than 45 years so am going to try to make that happens this spring.
  3. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    I arrived home yesterday at 5 pm. I had 6 consecutive long days on the road, to bring me from Compeche on the Yucat√°n back to Yuba City, about 1 hour north of Sacramento. That's 3,000 miles...and my little DR cruised at 70 mph with no complaints. It's good to be home and see my honey...but I'm already thinking about shipping my DR to South America next winter...there must be something wrong with me, but I kind of like my state of mind! Thank you all for traveling with me.

    This was my first ride report. I found the discipline to be helpful in keeping me engaged with my surroundings and experiences...and I truly enjoyed reliving events and choosing pictures that would best tell my story. I'd like to encourage those, like me, that have never before done a ride report, to accept the challenge and write one on your next trip. I think you'll enjoy it!

    Ride safely, ride a lot...and I hope to someday meet you out there on the road!
  4. sgoetz628

    sgoetz628 Adventurer

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    Great ride report! Read it, then went back again and read some more, though I never did get why you decided to return when you did. With a no-plan kinda plan, those factors that influenced you while on the road would be good to know. If I just missed it and it's very clear, my apologies.

    But what I'd also like to know is, and I don't mean this in a critical way at all - didn't you miss not being able to truly speak to the locals, meanwhile you don't speak Spanish? I spent two weeks in Mexico City two years ago and spent three of those days exploring the mountains north and east by car. I really missed not being able to ask much more than where the bathroom is (though that can be damn important!).

    I ask you this because I'm planning to head south as early as next October, and one of the things holding me back is my lack of Spanish. I will probably take one or all of the Rosetta Stone courses, but I'm getting on in years (30-yr HS reunion coming up in Orinda next fall), was never very good at learning language, and don't know how much I'll be able to learn before heading out. So that's why your answer, as to how it was getting around and how much you think you might have missed out on is important to me.

    In any event, great ride report and thanks for sharing!
  5. StmbtDave

    StmbtDave AKA Invisible Dave

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    I've seen so many put off trips over the concern of not speaking the language. I know enough Spanish to find the bathroom, order a beer, and a few other basic phrases. I just returned from my first trip to Baja and there were only a few instances where I felt lost not being able to communicate. I carried a dictionary, a Lonely Planet phrase book, and an app on my phone called Jibbigo. Jibbigo translates both directions with either a spoken or typed input and it does it without a WiFi connection! It worked great :clap. I was even able to go into a pharmacia, tell the druggist what I needed, and have him explain the proper dosage on the cold meds, all using Jibbigo. Check it out :deal.

    Yes, being fluent in a language would be ideal but if you have the desire to travel, don't let the lack of speaking the language hold you back. Know some basic phrases and don't worry about verb tenses or proper genders. Jump in with both feet, just as Jim did.

    Dave
  6. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    I agree with Dave, but say the experience is 10x better if you knew Spanish.

    I will be learning A LOT more when I head back.

    Learning to dance would help too..... :D
  7. rockymountainoyster

    rockymountainoyster Been here awhile

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    Sgoetz628... I am staring at my 50th High School Reunion so no excuses there. You will learn a language as quickly as you need to... learning to ask in a Farmacia where is the toothpaste or do you have viagra and condoms will come a lot later than adonde es el bano when you have to drop a deuce in the absolute worst way. You learn what you need to learn and you learn it quickly. The people don't care of you use the wrong voice or tense. Generally they see that you are trying and want to help you. Rosetta Stone is a step in the right direction. The next step is throwing your leg over the saddle (I have trouble with that too.) and pointing the wheels south. Just do it. Jim was remarkably good at getting by in Spanish and English. All of that other stuff is just excuses for absolutely justifiable fear of the unknown and swallowing the pack of lies about safety in Mexico. Yes, Mexico is dangerous, there are bad buys, there are bad drivers, there is sand on blind corners, there is diesel fuel all over the road in the mountains, there are intestinal bugs, flying bugs, sexual bugs.... what else. Oh yeah. Sunshine and freedom.
  8. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    I wasn't saying you needed to know, but I said things become way easier and your experience is much improved in my opinion.


    I've done it knowing no spanish. Learning what I could on the road. I could understand more then I could talk or hear. But overall, trying shows you are making an effort and Mexicans respond positively. They do want you there, and they do take priveleage in knowing you are discovering their country and culture.

    I found Guatemalan's a little less optimistic about my poor Spanish, but still very nice people.

    I will take lessons or do a serious stretch of self learning before my next trip. I want to interact with the locals more.
  9. rockymountainoyster

    rockymountainoyster Been here awhile

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    Amen! Shibby. The two weeks I did in language class in SMA last month were invaluable. Rosetta Stone is good, Pimsleur is good, going to Mexican restaurants and talking to the staff doesn't hurt either.
  10. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    You've received some great feedback on the speaking Spanish question. I can't add much, but will simply say that learning to speak a foreign language is a rewarding endeavor...just don't postpone your travels until you're fluent!

    And you didn't miss a thoughtful explanation of why I made my u-turn when I did. So, I'll try to explain what was going on in my head when I decided to return home. There were a number of factors...I didn't have a goal set that I was driven to reach...I had been on the road for 2 months (excluding my return to CA for parts)...the hot and humid weather was kicking my butt (I've lived in the cool mountain air for the past 5 yrs.), and yes, I missed Julie! So what eventually occurred is that there came a day when the balance of those things calling me home began to outweigh those things keeping me on the road. This is my best attempt to provide an explanation...if there are other factors, I'm not aware of them. I can also share that my desire to travel on a motorcycle is deep and strong...I'd like to be out there again right now! But I won't be able to sustain a relationship with someone I care deeply for if I don't try to balance the two, namely home and travel. And I know there isn't some magical formula...we all as individuals need to work out our own "stuff". My explanation may seem lame, but it is honest. I hope it helps!
  11. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    I too was wondering the reason, but didn't want to ask.

    I can understand that to some degree. On my trip I made a sudden turn around in Guatemala, but I was facing an unknown sickness that really played me out. I was also faced with a timeline of my dog sitter. Extensions were possible, but I'm not one to ask for that. Turning around opened the opportunity to spend 1 week in PV expense paid (parents, haha. I know...). I figured this was the holiday from a holiday to set me straight so I can be healthy and enjoy the return home.

    Sadly the turn around marks a point where you start thinking differently. Not sure I enjoyed it nearly as much because it wasn't about the exploration and seeing new things, it was "getting back". For my next trip I think I might just stop and fly home. Of course you'd need to be a place to sell the bike to do that.

    If options for you to return so quick were there, did you think about leaving your bike in storage, then flying down in a month or two to continue a ride back at a leisurely pace? You'd have 6 months on your vehicle permit.
  12. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Yes, the thought of leaving my bike was considered...from Cancun, to Belize City, to Antigua and even Panama City. My brother initially planted the thought of leaving my bike and flying back. It was appealing since it would confirm my return...it didn't answer the question of "when", but "if" was addressed. I didn't choose the option to leave my moto after doing the math...it was estimated to be $700 + to ride back (using cuotas) and nearly twice that to leave the bike (that included storage costs). And I also wanted to do some maintenance and upgrades to the bike. But I'm certain I will return next year...whether I ride back down through Mexico or ship my bike to S.A. is yet to be decided. But I'm confident I'll want to head to some warmer weather.