Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. stuntheavy

    stuntheavy Been here awhile

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    Just read the whole thing! Amazing. Great job documenting it all, and thank you for sharing.:freaky

    Odd question, but how are you taking pictures from the bike, as you are going down the road? Do you happy to have any pictures (maybe cellphone picture) of your actual camera setup? I'm looking for ideas.
  2. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Ah yes, you are correct!

    I do have a picture of my setup. Though it's probably not the safest way to take riding shots... :D

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  3. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

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    Guachimontones looks just gobsmackingly beautiful. Keep up the good work :thumb
  4. 54KCM

    54KCM Polycylindrical

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    Schuylerville, NY
    Awesome RR - Photos, Narrative, your Attitudes, the People.:clap
    You've got it all going on. I hope that you're having as much of a blast as i think that you are.

    It's taken me days to get caught up - but not nearly as long as you've been out living the dream.

    Can't wait for more. :ear

    Travel well!

    54kcm
  5. Patrick46

    Patrick46 visionary

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    Oregon Coastline
    Here's Radioman's groovy picture taking rig...

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    he has his camera mounted on that bendable arm you see in the middle of the shot. (of course, he's holding the camera at this point taking the photo of his bike!)
    I'm not sure where he got this or if it's homemade...but I'm gonna build one for my own beast. (and I'll make it so I can use both my still camera and my video-cam.) :clap


    Carry on kids......whadda great RR!!!! :norton
  6. Pickup man

    Pickup man Been here awhile

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    People's Socialist Republic of Ontario, Toronto
    Been following you guys from the beginning and love the pics and humourous narration.
    I cant believe the hysteria of things I read up here about Mexico being dangerous especially
    if one steps off the resort, like Cancun. When in fact it appears the exact opposite, friendly,
    beautiful etc.. Keep it up you two as this is one of the best RRs going!
    Many thanks for taking us along.
  7. Edmundo Amado

    Edmundo Amado Andale, andale!!

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Mexico Tenochtitlan
    Hey guys, just came upon your ride report, read it from beginning to end! If you need any assistance in Mexico City I will help.

    Good luck
  8. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Update from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/65.html

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    After 10 restful days in Guadalajara, we laden our bikes with all our gear once again and set off to explore more of the state of Jalisco. A popular destination for Guadalajarans and others in the region is Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest fresh-water lake. It's only about an hour away and the weather is sunny and beautiful for the afternoon ride.

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    Riding through the cobblestone streets of Ajijic

    We're told to explore Ajijic, which is a very pretty town 5 minutes away from the lake. Our internal organs are given a bit of a shuffle as we bounced up and down over the cobblestone streets of the old city. The weather and scenery here is idyllic, however it seems that lot of Americans and Canadians have also caught onto this fact. There are over 20,000 gringos and Cangringos living in Ajijic and you can't turn a corner without that North American twang of English wafting through the air like a bad smell.

    To underscore the point, every other building in Ajijic seems to be a real estate agency...

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    Lunch at the funky Nuevo Posada Hotel

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    Giving our kidneys a break by walking the streets of Ajijic

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    Pretty side streets in Ajijic

    The ex-pat community here is fairly old, made up of American retirees, Canadian snowbirds and families who have brought their elderly parents here for the cheap cost of assisted living. We've noticed that ex-pats greatly change the landscape of the culture wherever they tend to coagulate, raising the prices of real estate and food, and creating a very non-Mexican bubble supported by their influx of foreign dollars.

    Ajijic is a beautiful town, but we wouldn't want to live here.

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    San Francisco Church just off the Malecon in Chapala

    About 5 minutes away is the town of Chapala, and the main draw here is the Malecon, from where you can watch the prettiest sunsets in Jalisco. We spent the entire afternoon people-watching, while tracking the movement of the sun as it fell from the clouds overhead to a more photogenic position just above the horizon over the waters of Lake Chapala.

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    Walking the pier on the Malecon in Chapala

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    Ice cream break! Neda really likes her skirt

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    The native whitefish population of Lake Chapala was decimated when they brought foreign Tilapia into the waters. Huh? What metaphor...?

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    Boats watch the sunset like angels on the beach

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    I see a little silhouette of a man...

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    The Sun of King Midas touches the waters, turning them to an iridescent gold

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    Street vendor resting his arms

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    Walking the Malecon at sunset is a popular activity here

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    So cute! Stray dogs were running all over the beaches, playfully chasing each other. None of them looked like they wanted for food

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    We have about 300 more shots like this...

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    299 more.
  9. Vato Jinete

    Vato Jinete Feo del Norte

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
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    Location:
    Excelsior, MN via San Antonio, TX
    Hi,

    I have been following along since the beginning of your trip. Great photos and writing and thanks for the letting us
    travel with you.

    It dawned on me you are currently in the Jalisco know for Charreads. Ask around and take in a Charreada, it
    is unlike a north of the border rodeo.

    As a shameless plug you can check out my photos http://www.santiagotolman.com/Site/Welcome.html

    Buen Viaje

    Santiago
  10. Scootard

    Scootard Scraggle McSquarely

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    Trippin'
    Scaramouche Scaramouche can you do the fandango? Tango? Excellent pics......lovin' the RR. Go G&N :ricky :ricky
  11. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Very cool! And a lot safer than my "rig"! Wonder how shakey the arm gets on rough terrain?

    I think there are some dangerous parts of the country, but often the news reports smear the entire place with a pretty broad, sensationalistic brush. I remember in my old job, we had an annual corporate meeting in the US HQ. 2003 was the summer that North America had the SARS scare. All of the European employees refused to travel to Boston because they were afraid of catching SARS and dying, because the news stories over there were showing "all the horrific deaths in North America"...

    The reality was there were no SARS-related deaths in the US, and only 44 deaths in Toronto, which was the epicentre of the SARS scare in North America. Greater Toronto has a population of 6 million people...

    Edit: Just noticed you are from Toronto as well! During the Summer of SARS, we went to Canada's Wonderland. No lineups for the roller coasters and many times, they just told us to stay on and we rode them over and over again! :)
  12. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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  13. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    Gene, you wrote: "We've noticed that ex-pats greatly change the landscape of the culture wherever they tend to coagulate, raising the prices of real estate and food, and creating a very non-Mexican bubble supported by their influx of foreign dollars."

    It is very true and we are hypersensitive about this issue. Very few ex-pats here and we are 2 of 3 full time gringos. We try to fit in, we live in the center of town, not in an enclave or gated community go to weddings, quinceañeras and funerals with our Mexican neighbors and drink bootleg agave with them. And other than Thanksgiving dinners, we adapt to the local situation. Your observations on this and the rest are very dead on.

    I forgot to mention how much I like your use f the word coagulate. Kind of like a blood clot

    Saludos!
  14. PACK RAT

    PACK RAT Adventurer

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    SOUTHERN CA
    Finally caught up, cant wait for more, Im addicted!!! :lurk Thanks for sharing, it feels as if im on vacation until I stop reading and realize im still sitting at my desk at work...:lol3
  15. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    I think it's human nature to seek the familiar, and it's not exclusive to gringos. In Toronto, there are communities that form like Little Italy, Greektown, Chinatown and while they offer great ethnic diversity in terms of food, traditions and culture, there are immigrants that live there that don't speak a word of English and only mingle within their own communities.

    I had a friend from Italy come to visit and remark that the Italians who immigrated to Toronto a long time ago held onto the attitudes and beliefs of the period when they moved and resisted change as if it was a betrayal of their ethnic heritage. Meanwhile "the old country" continued to evolve and adapt to modern times, leaving the ex-pat an archaeological cultural specimen, preserved in time.
  16. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/66.html

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    While we were at Germania BMW in Guadalajara last week getting our bikes serviced, the service technicians gave us some great ideas on places to ride around. One of them told us that local bikers ride up a twisty road to Tapalpa for the weekends and hang out there. When we found out that Tapalpa was also a Pueblo Magico, well that sealed the deal!

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    Riding the cobblestone streets of Tapalpa

    Tapalpa is about a two-hour ride from Guadalajara. The road winds up the Tapalpa mountain range, and the temperature drops precipitously into single digits (C) as we reach the mountainside town early in the evening. Tapalpa is known for woodworking and a lot of the architecture features nice wood finishes to doorways and arches. We spent some time walking around the town square just outside the San Antonio Parish, the main church in Tapalpa.

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    Disapproving look at my parking job?

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    I thought this nice old lady said she'd watch our bikes while we walked around town. Neda says to me, "Wow, your Spanish really sucks, cause she just threw a bunch of swear words at you...

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    Birds fly (Whisper to a scream)

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    Statue outside the church heralds the sunset

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    We ordered tamale de acerga (swiss chard), typical for this region

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    Bells and crosses dot the skyline

    Shortly after sunset, we watched as a crowd of people started lining the streets outside the church. Then a huge processions of dancers, musicians and paraders made a giant circle around the town square. This lasted a whole hour and I was sorry that I didn't have my camera on-hand to take pictures. The waitress at our restaurant told us not to worry, this would happen every night - it was a 9-day festival honouring the Virgen de Guadalupe, and pilgrims from all over slowly make their way to Tapalpa. This fiesta happens every night for 9 days!

    Felipe, our Spanish teacher in La Paz, told us that Mexicans *LOVE* their festivals and parties. There seem to be more national holidays than working days, which affects productivity somewhat...

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    There were several marching bands with brass instruments and also these musicians with fiddles

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    Then the Aztecs came out, managed to get them still for a picture

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    A flurry of feathers and headdresses as everyone lined up to go into church after the parade

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    Fireworks shot up at the end of the parade and kept on going well into the early morning

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    Walking back from the fiesta

    The back streets of Tapalpa are quiet. Most of the residents and pilgirims are still at the plaza outside the church celebrating. Our walk back to our casa is punctuated by the pop of fireworks amidst the distant sounds of a marching band playing well into the night. We love being here in Mexico!

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    As recommended to me, I had Tacos de Tripita (fried tripe). New favorite taco!!!

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    There is music everywhere in Mexico. One of the things I *LOVE* about this place!

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    And of course, lots of shopping for Neda

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    Not an original idea. I saw little kids doing this last night. Hmm... maybe I shouldn't have admitted to that...

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    Visitors are not allowed up here, but we sweet-talked our way up the church tower. By sweet-talk, I mean begged. And we also gave a donation to the church as well...

    There was an old radio program I used to listen to when I was a kid. It was a late-night program and I wasn't supposed to be up that late, so I would be under the covers in bed with my old transistor radio. I can't recall the name, but it was a Twilight Zone-like show. One of the episodes had the main character climb up a tower, and since he was afraid of enclosed spaces, he counted the steps till he reached the top, to occupy his mind. When he descended, he again counted steps down but to his horror, the number kept on increasing past the number of steps he climbed up!

    Every time I climb stairs, I remember that radio program...

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    I *SO* wanted to ring the bells and yell out to Tapalpa, "DINNERTIME!!!!" Perhaps that's why they don't let people up here...

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    Inside of San Antonio Parish Church

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    View of the town square from the church tower

    We haven't been getting a lot of exercise ever since arriving in Mexico. And on top of that, we've been eating really badly as well. So Neda found a great place to hike around, just outside of Tapalpa. Las Piedrotas are a set of huge boulders sitting in an empty field. Nobody knows how they got there since there doesn't seem to be any mountains immediately in the area, the field is just bounded by forests. It's speculated that aliens moved them. Really hard-working aliens that don't fiesta 200 days out of the year...

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    Jumping is exercise, right?

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    Climbing Las Piedrotas

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    Unrealistic expectations
  17. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    I'm glad you guys are taking your time going through Mexico and that you're sharing your experiences with us. I've sometimes found that rides southwards that have as a goal reaching the southern tip of S.A. tend to zoom through Mexico in order to get to the "real" exotic stuff, but you guys are showing that there is plenty to see there. Maybe that's because you do not have a fixed goal, or timetable, so you can just take one day at a time? Cool.
  18. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Yes, that's it exactly. We're having so much fun interacting with people along the way and seeing them influence where we go and what we see!
  19. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Now THAT really IS a Dream Trip! I'm a little jealous but mega-inspired! Thanks tons, again....and again.
  20. drsogr

    drsogr Lost again..

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
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    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    I have enjoyed reading about your adventures since your departure. The mexican food looks amazing...happy trails. Keep excercising, keep eating....and keep taking great pictures!