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Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Kedgi, Oct 7, 2012.
Unfortunately this happens everywhere, we don't realize what we have until we leave it - be safe.
Didn't realize you were that far down - congrats Coordinates:
I'm happy to see the ride is getting better. Did you know that the pyramids at Teotihuacan are only 320m from Chapulhuacan. Happy trails, wish I was along.
Just fantastic following you on this adv. There is nothing more one can do for himself than be brave enough to remove yourself from everything that is familiar and comfortable. That is when you really find out who you are. Hence, I think, my own passion for solo travel, be it paddling, backpacking or adv riding. Can't wait to do a big dog ride like this......coming soon to a continent near you.!
There are rewards to travelling by yourself. You make the decisions and are stuck with the consequences. I find it toughest when you're waiting, like I did for tires and wind, but when your riding it's awesome. You meet so many people.
I do miss home and the comforts there. I've lost about ten pounds since I left Angele's excellent cooking
I love being on the road though. Any day I can ride my bike down a road I've never been down before is an excellent day. And you can quote me on that.
I didn't know I was that close. Thanks for pointing that out. I had only really sort of thought of seeing Chichen Itza but I will look into that. Internet is so slow here Google maps wont load. I have paper maps though. I finally got maps to load and those ruins are just down Ruta 85 from me, just south of where I was planning on stopping for the night anyway. If figure, based on yesterday, 250kms is a long way on this road following buses and big trucks with jake brakes on.
Cool, Thanks again for the tip. I'm gonna check that out!
I must admit I was pretty lame planning any sight seeing. For me, just planning the ride was enough of a problem. I have a guide book but I haven't looked at it. I am really happy to just ride, but I would hate to ride right by something really cool and not know it was so close. Thanks
I made it to Pachuca today. I took a lot of pictures along the way. Cool in the mountains this morning. Awesome road. Twists and turns don't describe it. I was attacked at one point by about ten dogs at once, with a few pitbulls mixed it. Little bastards had an ambush set up in a 2nd gear turn. They came at me all at once from both sides. I faked I was going to kick them and they all lost a stride which was enough to keep them from running in front of me and knocking me down. Scary!
I rode from the mountains down into the Desert and the sun finally came out and it was warm It felt great! First time I've been warm since I hit Mexico. I started out again today, winter liner in my coat and heated grips on. I finished my evening to night wearing my down filled coat around Pachuca. Cool here tonight. It's a wonderful town. Carzy riding in here tonight in rush hour traffic. My GPS led me right to the Hotel Noriega as recommended in Sjoerd Bakker's book. Thanks again Sjoerd. Secure parking good room right by the town square, affordable. Nice old hotel with a helpful staff.
I have been having computer problems, had difficulty getting on line last night and again tonight and kept getting a stupid message that say connected with no internet access or connected with limited internet access which means no internet access. It happen last night and tonight which convinced me the problem was with my computer. I changed settings turned off Microsoft Essentials, played around for 2 and a half hours tonight what all that means is your not close enough to the router. The computer works fine in the lobby. That's where I am now at 11pm.
I wont write much more tonight but here are a lot of pictures.
Clean as a whistle
The view from the balcony
From my balcony again
Neighbour's place down below the hotel
This is where I had breakfast this morning
Breakfast, Cafe con leche and cookies and was it ever good!
Sorry, My computer problems have me a bit srewed up and some of these pictures should have been posted earlier, but my readers are all smart people, and I'm sure they will be able to follow along
Lunch in Ciudad Valle where I met Jesse who offer me his home before I rode some more and spent the night in the mountains
Less than $8 with the coke!
Jesse, in Ciudad Valle who was so generous
She was very nice and struggled to get me what I wanted in spite of my lack of Spanish
Ciudad Valle's beautiful Main Street
(Im listening to beautiful Mexican Trumpets outside the hotel as I post this. tonight....Awesome!
Enjoying this Dwight!
Ride safe and keep the great reports and pics coming.
I rode out of the mountains into the Desert
Saw some Mexican road hazards along the way. (Didn't have time to snap a picture of the dogs that attacked me but these guys stood still)
This church seemed to be almost in the middle of nowhere
Lots of epic views like this
Stopped for a coke here. I don't like Coke all that much, I mean I like it but I wouldn't drink so many at home, but it's easy to order
Road miles and miles of road like this
Arrived in the desert after crossing the mountains
Met these two nice girls at the OXXO in Atocan, Charlene, on the right wanted to know about my bike, my trip, and spoke excellent English, I'm sorry but I never got her friends name. What a pleasant unexpected encounter after a long ride! I get so used to not being able to talk to anyone, It's great when I can
Tonight I'm in beautiful Old Town Pachuca in a wonderful old hotel for 300 pesos or about 22 bucks
The lobby at Hotel Noriega
I saw a hummingbird in the Atrium
A look around town
Supper at KFC, what a screw up trying to order a Big Crunch but I got it and it was good. They bore with me.
Proof that mine's not the biggest bike in town
New Bikes all 200 cc and under
I went to the market
Police bikes are Honda Harley knock offs
The cops were great, when i told them what i was doing here, they thought I was nuts! ( I think, we had a language thing going) The officer in the helmet couldn't believe he understood me correctly so he asked his buddy who spoke better English and he confirmed what I said.Canada to Argentina on my moto alone. They looked at each other in wide eyed amazement!
Now you're up to date and I'm off to bed it's 12:30 and tommorrow is another day
Stay tuned and thanks for reading
Got things a bit out of sequence with these posts. Had some words with my computer, It won't happen again
Simply amazing Dwight. You make us all feel we are right there with you. Thanks, keep it up, and safe travels.
I want to start this ride report off tonight with a bit of bad news. My Dad who's 91 was struck by a car yesterday while he was walking in a crosswalk near his home in Saint John , NB He and I have not been close for a long while but he's still my Dad. If you're religious say a prayer for him, or keep your fingers crossed. It doesn't look good. The driver was blinded by the sun, and was issued a ticket for failure to yield.
This is not the place to dwell on my personal life but I felt I should let you all know what's going on as readers of this long report. I know you're thinking of him.
On to today's update
I started off today with a nice breakfast in a good restaurant in Pachuca. Last night while I was working on my ride report I met Dan, a biologist from Alaska who is a seasoned Latin American traveler. He was staying in the Noriega too. We went to breakfast together and it was great. It was like I got a lesson in some basic Spanish. Being Canadian we were taught French in school so unlike most Americans i can't even count to ten in Spanish. I haven't a clue. Dan explained some of the items on the menu and we went over things like the custom that a Mexican waiter will not bring your bill until you ask for it. It is just the way it's done anything else would be impolite. Using Dan's lesson I actually went into a restaurant tonight and ordered a decent dinner. Too bad but I left my camera in the room this morning I never got dan's picture but he'll be following along on advrider.
After breakfast, I headed for Teotichuan to see the Piramides as the Spanish call then, thanks to my friend Mark's pointing out I was close. It's a hell of a ride into the place. Not Mexico's best neighborhood, extremely busy traffic, a tope every hundred feet or so for about 30 miles and I still couldn't pas there was so much traffic in both directions. My sadistic GPS took me ten miles or so out of the way, I asked directions a couple times. I'm learning that even if you don't understand everything they say you usually can watch the hands and get the gist of the general direction you want to go.
I didged a bullet on the way in. I was following a little car, a real tiny econobox like they don't even sell in North America. I was close, traffic was very slow. When we crossed a bridge, he swerved hard left revealing a missing piece of concrete runnin 8" wide and 8 feet long lengthwise in my direction of travel.:eek1
I'm sure the car could have straddled it and only swerved to warm me. Effen lucky!
Any way I made it, It was 102 pesos to get in. Not sure why 102 but 102.
Some detail of the stonework
I spent about an hour there, I was glad I saw them I can tick that off the bucket list, and was on my way. I worked out a route to get me away from Mexico City and blasted off, well tried to. Horrendous traffic for miles and miles and miles. Still not sure why there were such tremendous back ups but I ended up doing some dirt biking, blasting past stuck traffic over huge whoop-de-doos in the gravel where there was a shoulder. That broke up the cold afternoon, this makes 5 days straight I've been riding in Mexico with a winter liner in my coat and my heated grips on 2 out of 4 settings.
Far be it from me to snivel but what the fuck happened to global warming?
I used Sjoerd Bakker's great book on Economical Hotels in Mexico (you can find it to buy here on ADVrider) I am staying in the Hotel Luis Alberto in Apizoca. His book is excellent. Hotels here don't put up big signs like they do in NA and can be tough to find, especially ones that are cheap and have secure parking for the trusty KLR. This room is about the same as last night's room, I'm working in the Lobby again but have free internet and it costs 220 peso's with private bath and TV @ 12.5 peso's to the dollar, it's really cheap!
Here's the place.
The "armed guard here consists of an older gent with a nightstick. Much safer feeling the farther south I get.
I checked in walked around shot a few pictures
Found this great little restaurant
Went in, and like I say, encouraged by Dan's lesson ordered this great meal
It sure hit the spot!
After supper I walked some more. This is a large town with a lot of shops and markets etc to look at, and I shot a few more pictures. Didn't need my down filled got tonight just a sweater but it was still cool. If you were going out after dark a down filled coat would be nice
Or how about some pork?
Lots of fresh produce
Orange tires are all the rage! Not really, but when I saw them from across the street......turns out it's electrical conduit
The locals were enjoying meals at streetside stalls, I looked but couldn't identify what it was they were eating, it looked like a bit of everything
When's the last time you saw a hardware store selling a brand new horse drawn plow?
And finally, I had to admire the work that must have went into these dresses and I got in shit for taking the picture. The girl that owned the store came out scolding me in Spanish. She must have thought I was her competitor's spy. I pointed at my camera and said "For Canada, touista" and that seemed to calm her down, she smiled then and went back in the shop. Her work was amazing.
It's fun walking around looking at stuff you never see at home. They rolled up the carpets at 6 here tonight and I headed back to the hotel to send this update.
Headed tomorrow in the general direction of Oxaca......stay tuned
Still following along from Texas! Thoughts headed your way or your Dad!!
Dad's hanging in there. Not in good shape was thrown several feet and landed face first on a granite curb. has a broken hip to boot. I hate to see anyone get injured but when you've made it to 91 in good health to have something like that happen is a sin.
My Dad has always been a very religious man and he is in God's hands I'm sure.
Thanks for your concern, and that goes to all you readers.
What a day I had today! I left Apizoca early, like shortly after 8am, It was 9 degrees C Kinda chilly.
As soon as I left town, I saw a snow capped peak.
I had a basic plan for where I was going. i didn't realize I would go much closer to this mountain and this volcano
My plan included passing through Puebla, MX. I had never even heard of it before. What a surprise when I got there. It would appear to be about the size of Vancouver, BC, pretty freakin huge, when you have no real idea where you're going but South. I followed anything on my GPS that was highlighted that looked like it might pass through the city, southbound. Thank God it was a Sunday morning and traffic was light.
I had seen the Rout 150 I was on split, and it said Mexico and some other place i'd never heard of or seen on the map so I just went into the city. I did not want to go to Mexico City and 150 seemed to go east/ West so I went straight. Was i ever surprised to see this huge city in about a mile or so after that fateful decision!
I made it through. The only real problem was I was waiting with a bunch of cars at a light. Mexican drivers only wait so long for a red light. If it seems to take too long, they go through it.:huh
That's what happened. When the traffic started to move I followed. Then I heard a bunch of horns blowing and swerved around cross traffic at the intersection only to find out I was following the "impatients" through a red light:eek1
I made it through town after about an hour or so and some back tracking and I stopped for a break at this OXXO
I bought a grapefruit juice and some cookies for my breakfast and i was proud of myself for completing the entire transaction in Spanish
Then the cashier says to me. "Hey buddy where you from" in perfect English. Turns out he had lived in Chicago ten years ago. His name's Jesus, What a nice guy! We had a great chat and I left there really refereshed after my Puebla experience.
There is a huge upscale building there that looks like a motel, Jesus told me the develpoer is having problems getting a permit to be a hotel because he built it, at what must be considerable cost in front of a gas station
Here's the building
I'm not sure how the Mexican system works but you would think permitting would have indentified that problem before buddy sank millions into a building!
I told Jesus I was headed toward Oaxaca and he asked if I was taking the toll road or the free road. Free of course. he said It's about a 6 hour drive. He was right. I rode long and hard and I'm still 175 kms away. The toll road is considerably shorter. I had a great ride though. The first part was through sugar cane fields, with miles of topes (speed bumps) and really hard to make time, then I came out into desert and finally the heat turned on. Itwas the first warm day I've had in mexico on this trip and it was awesome. Rte 190 across the desert has good pavement for the most part and lots of fast sweeping curves and sharp hairpins and beautiful views across to mountains as far as you can see, Mexico is a stunning country. Boundless beauty as far as the eye can see in so many places!
Like I said I got a lot closer to the Volcano
You could see steam coming out the top. Really cool!
In the end I never made it to Oaxaca today. I realized I wouldn't make it (It was 575 kms on some pretty wicked roads) and stopped for a Coke at this little place.
I checked my map and figured I would just go to Huajuacan and I took a nice break in the shade. I almost wish i hadn't a little mutt dog came along to see if I had something for him, sadly I didn't. He was skin and bones. I couldn't bear to take his picture to show you, but his eyes are burned in my head. He was almost falling every other step. He was close to death. what a shame and he's one of millions down here, you see them everywhere you go.
Mexico is a stunningly beautiful country. Untold miles of unbelievable scenery, but with that there are some pretty sad sights. Extreme poverty in cases.
Where i am tonight is a good example of a pretty basic little Mexican town. No one has a lot but they all seem to really live a happy life. They are in the square with families in the evening, every one is out for a walk, there is music everywhere and dancing. We North Americans are pretty stuffy in comparison. But like I say this town is basic, poor in fact and then I walk out of the Hotel and see an MV Augusta helicopter fly overhead, one of the most expensive helicopters money can buy. Just my take on the country, you can't ride here for several days and not have some opinions about the place.
I got here and went to supper
This is it. It was good and enchilada with lettuce, onions, radish, cottage cheese and mole sauce and it was really tasty. I struggled through the ordering and was proud of myself. She asked if I wanted more than one enchilada and I said no, I ordered a beer and I got it and then another and the entire bill came to 50 pesos or about $3.50. Wow. I gave here a 200 peso note and she brought back a 100 and a 50. I wanted to leave a tip but i didn't want the tip to be the price of the meal so I tried to ask her to break the 50. Could not make myself understood, so i had 2 1$US bills in my pocket and I started to leave them on the table....Then she got it!!! and changed my bill. It all worked out.
I wish I knew some Spanish. I manage but some things are frustrating. I can get a room now, no problem and get one with a TV and a private bath. There are always some English shows on TV and I even watch some Spanish TV. They have so many American shows it's not funny but it is fun to watch Homer Simpson speak Spanish.
To carry on with the language thing. I checked in tonight, I asked about internet and the key to log on the word for key sounds like Clavay. I understood the woman to say it was the telphone number (which is what last night's hotel used) She even pointed to it onmy door. That's not the key! I thought I was having computer problems again. Connected but with limited access is the messge I got for two and a half hours as I tried time and again to reset values on my computer to no avail and the problems I had looked exactly the same as yesterday and the day before. I moved to the lobby, no luck, I walked around and looked for and found the router, I stood under it. No luck "Connected but with limited access" was the mesage i got and that means no internet. ( remind me to take a ride to Seattle and kick Bills gate's ass.
I got messages that said "possible key mismatch" I tried various combinations of the telphone number, with spaces, without spaces, with the 1 without the 1 no luck. I went to the desk. The lady that runs the place was out for a minute, Iasked her Mom to confirm the clavay, She couldn't remember. I went back and disabled my Microsoft essentials STILL NO LUCK and I wanted to talk to home because Angele is driving to NH tomorrow and I wanted to find out about my Dad. (Not to mention I wanted to do my ride report) Then I went back to the front desk, the lady was back. I said "No Hable Internet" Then and only then does she give me the real key!!!! No sure what happened or what I missed, but after a two and a half Hour wait to get online, now it works fine from my room. Gotta learn some Spanish!
Here are a couple better pictures of the volcano
Jesus told me it's name but it's a multi syllable Aztec sounding name I would know if I heard again, but don't remember