She's got this crazy idea- exploring the 3 America's solo, for better or for worse...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Hewby, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. dickosaurus

    dickosaurus Seasoned Noob

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    816
    Location:
    Lone Rabbit, Oklahoma
    We're enjoying your trip and your dialogue and thanks for taking the time to post it.
    Buen viaje, amiga
    #61
  2. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,338
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    You may be riding alone but you are not really alone Deb, So many people are pulling for you and rooting you on. There are lots of ADVers and others rabidly following you RR. I have great admiration for you and your audacious plan. And from getting to know you a bit from the time you spent here in Banamichi I have no doubt in your ability to succeed. So when you are in the 4h or 6th hour of riding sola, know that we are along for the ride.

    Abrazos
    #62
  3. huzar

    huzar Pastor of Muppets

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,285
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    :nod :thumb
    #63
  4. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home

    Thanks Tom, and thanks all. Your support makes a world of difference in the ups and downs of the adventure. And FYI plans changed and Guatemalan language school got changed for a school in Oaxaca. Just not traveling fast enough to fit it all in!
    #64
  5. BearII

    BearII No, it's not complicated

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    225
    Location:
    Here, there and everywhere
    I love this, it is so great to see someone experiencing the local culture and food instead of looking for the closest McDonalds!! Awesome! Great RR, loving every post. :freaky
    #65
  6. BearII

    BearII No, it's not complicated

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    225
    Location:
    Here, there and everywhere
    Wow, that was an amazing post. So nice to see a woman with enough confidence to appreciate chivalry. I admire your courage and bravery, not just in the face of a machete but every day on the road alone! You are an inspiration! :thumb
    #66
  7. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Thanks BearII. Been away a while as been off the bike... but more to follow soon.
    #67
  8. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    A month in the lovely Oaxaca has flown by. Three weeks of Spanish school and living in a home-stay, and one week of celebrating dia de los muertos with Marcin, Sara and Dan, and other wonderful friends. It was a time to consolidate and regroup from my trip so far, and at one point, after walking everywhere for weeks, I almost forgot what it was like to travel by bike.
    So a recap of the last 4 weeks in installments….

    Firstly an update on the bike....
    I had been having intermittent problems with the bike. The bike at times when riding at higher speeds seeming to drop into a false neutral, and while the engine was going the wheels were no longer being driven, no matter what gear I shifted into. But then the problem would disappear once I stopped and turned the bike on and off. At other times the rev meter would suddenly start flicking around, sitting for minutes in the red at 8, when I normally cruise at 4. The engine however was not seeming to be changing rev’s. But again the problem was intermittent. I admit, I wanted to ignore it. But I thought better of it...

    So I took the bike into BMW Oaxaca, initially worried that I would again hit misunderstanding, not knowing enough spanish to explain my strange problems however I found the service there fantastic. Adan, the 'asesor de servico' working tirelessly to ensure that they found what was wrong with my bike, and keeping me updated by email and phone. They checked over the bike fixing my small issues with dripping oil, and my fears of my gearbox problems, they also discovered the pulse generator was faulty.

    Thankfully Marcin/Huzar was also coming to visit me in Oaxaca, so the part I required was express shipped with him in 4 days rather than the quoted 4 weeks (or longer- BMW owners in Mexico city say 3 months is common) that it would take to get parts in Mexico. after receiving the parts in the morning, they fixed the bike by the end of the day, and she was shining and running smoothly again. :rayof
    #68
  9. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,128
    Location:
    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    Some nice pics there! Good eye!
    I've only skimmed your report ... couple things caught my eye.
    I 100% subscribe to the idea of using Taxi's to get through strange cities.
    I'm not a GPS guy ...and I know they help in town, but many times they are not accurate. Taxi's work for me ... but always BARGAIN hard on the rate before hand, don't pay in advance. If the driver gives you grief ... find another.

    After your language school I'm guessing you've learned a bit more about the culture and are beginning to understand what Machismo is really about. A Blond Gringa will always attract unwanted attention. I hope it doesn't put you off the trip. Remember Lois's (On The Loose) trick?
    Wedding ring? y .. "... me espera mi esposo." :D I met Lois here in San Francisco back in 2003. She had just married Austin. (or was about to?)

    After 7 years in Latin America I've seen a few things. Mexico can be one of the most offensive in this regard. Such a terrible beauty.

    I worry about your bike. Some very strange symptoms ... lets hope none are fatal. Waiting for parts is lost time and money. If you end up stuck waiting, consider selling the bike off. It's worth a fortune down South, even broken. Or ... you could go to the Galapagos Islands ? .. or Antarctica ... or anyplace. More Spanish classes? :D Or, if in Buenos Aires, study Tango. :clap Suerte!
    #69
  10. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    While in Oaxaca I managed to not only develop my Spanish skills but worked hard trying to develop my knowledge of the local cuisine and cooking techniques. I managed to get a week of cooking workshop at school, took a day course with a local family where I was the only student, perused the local markets and restaurants frequently, and cooked occasionally with my home stay host. Marcin/Huzars arrival for a week also led to some brillant extended multi course meals in fabulous restaurants. Delicious!

    Mole- the easy way
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8098581652/" title="IMG_2524 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8476/8098581652_a90a070048.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_2524"></a>

    And the hard way! Gathering some of the 25 ingredients!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8114723796/" title="IMG_2755 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8046/8114723796_a1e1cc5168.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_2755"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8114731351/" title="IMG_2766 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8335/8114731351_ab147f006e.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_2766"></a>
    Grinding each one down....
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8114733035/" title="IMG_2772 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8466/8114733035_efee8aa24c.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_2772"></a>

    Then cooking for hours!

    Tamales are defiantly somethingI will make a habit of making at home. So many ways of making them, and filled with chicken mole they are sublime.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8168676694/" title="IMG_2627 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7132/8168676694_66488272ac_n.jpg" width="240" height="320" alt="IMG_2627"></a>

    Grinding the maize for Atole- a corn based drink that they often give to the sick. It's a lot easier to use a food processor trust me!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8098578245/" title="IMG_2548 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8467/8098578245_ce77e09d61.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_2548"></a>


    Making Aztec soup with epazote herb
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8114726003/" title="IMG_2913 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8186/8114726003_a82902828c.jpg" width="500" height="500" alt="IMG_2913"></a>

    Chapulines/grasshopper- that you could purchase from roving market vendors all over town! good as a snack, but better in warm tortillas with guacamole
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8098569046/" title="IMG_2360 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8335/8098569046_35ba004a8f.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_2360"></a>

    I spent ages watching the chocolate makers all over the town, where people would line up to haul away 3 kilo bags of freshly ground, warm chocolate.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8098568325/" title="IMG_2414 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8188/8098568325_63a75f5385.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="IMG_2414"></a>

    Blue corn tortillas with pumpkin flowers and yummy Oaxacan cheese at the market

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8114766820/" title="IMG_2908 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8474/8114766820_ba304c1762.jpg" width="500" height="500" alt="IMG_2908"></a>

    Duck tacos- exquisite!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8169548404/" title="duck tacos by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7107/8169548404_73894f9643.jpg" width="373" height="500" alt="duck tacos"></a>

    The food in Mexico is brilliant, and I could go on and on posting, but I dont want to make you jealous!
    #70
  11. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    The wedding ring I wear on my finger comes out with the first words, trust me! I have considered cutting and dying my hair, and wearing fake contact lenses to stop the intense staring in the eyes with the dreamy mutterings and wandering hands. But again, I am too stubbon to do this, its like giving in. But I have made it through 2 months of Mexico, so lets see how it goes further south.

    And yes the bike....I am trying to stay positive... but it did a crazy flicking of the rev meter again since leaving Oaxaca, without the associated engine noises. A friend suggested a pice of paper firmly taped over it should do the trick!
    #71
  12. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    The best thing about my Spanish school, while larger than most so less one on one time, was the intercambio program. While I had spent many nights in the Zocalo talking to the locals that came up to me asking to practice their English. These were all men, and while the conversation all started with my &#8216;husband&#8217; is in the USA and coming to Oaxaca next week&#8217;. Sadly they all ended in &#8216;please don&#8217;t touch me and no you cannot kiss me&#8230;&#8217; While mostly harmless, it was again an ongoing drain on my want to continue to interact with the locals and practice my Spanish. The school however, organized for each student, a local English student to pair with to practice respective languages and learn more about each others culture.
    My intercambio, Annel gave me insight to the local women, showed me around Oaxaca and the surrounding neighborhoods and markets, took me home for dinner and we shared many evenings laughing. I also went to her school and spoke with the class, which was an eye opener to see the school conditions, and the angle the teaching took.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8168643755/" title="IMG_2673 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7112/8168643755_10eceee394.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_2673"></a>
    #72
  13. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Since being in Oaxaca I have seen on the road and met up with more bikers than ever before. I met up with Wildrider, and another rider who I had met at my school, Derek, who both gave me bike envy with their light bikes and tiny luggage (both only travelling central America and not set for camping) and we went out for some rustic carne asada in the market with some other friends from school.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79973473@N06/8098589856/" title="IMG_2565 by hewby2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8324/8098589856_b391b84ccb.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_2565"></a>
    My good friends Dan and Sara, introduced me briefly to Alicia from Spain who is seemingly on a whirlwind trip as she travels round the world with talks at BMW all over the place. That girl can cover some ground! With her at this point was “Don Solaris’ and ‘El Buffalo’ both interesting characters who had met Alicia on route.
    #73
  14. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,468
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    just found your RR... sure hope your bike problems are over with!!!
    #74
  15. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,338
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    Nice to see you back on the air, Señorita Hewby.
    #75
  16. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    I had some excitement at one point walking down the street in the late afternoon, after dropping off some friends at their house I checked my iphone for directions to the market. As I was looking down a man walked up to me with a red hoddy, pointing something at me and demanding my phone. I refused. He seemed a little nervous and at the end of the street I could see one of the major squares full of people. I looked again at his hand. He was holding a screwdriver. I grab it, strangely enough to check it was not a knife, and pushed it away from me. I knew that he would not kill me, and I needed that phone. I was not going to let it go without a fight. Thankfully people rounded the corner and he walked away, my phone still in my hand.

    I joke now with friends that he might have come off worse minus a screwdriver! But sadly for my story I did not gain a trophy, nor have a screwdriver to hand to the police to say find this man!

    Thankfully once again the universe was giving me a lesson with limited consequences. This was a good reminder to lift my guard, be more aware of my surroundings, and try harder to not show off my privilege so much wherever I was.

    I did hear genuine surprise from locals later of the nerve of the man for trying to steal the phone. They stated their was zero tolerance in Oaxaca for that type of behaviour and the police were known to shot a man in the back if he was caught red handed. I am also thankful that the event went the way that it did, without either of us being harmed, even though I was a little shaken.
    #76
  17. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,128
    Location:
    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    That's funny about colored contacts! :lol3 The more Spanish you learn the easier you can verbally castrate unwanted pursuers.

    I would not worry about the tach needle swinging wildly at all. As long as the engine is running OK, fuel MPG is OK and is not losing coolant or using or leaking oil ... well, then you are GOLDEN!

    Take care of your chain and sprockets. If you need help, let us know. Don't let your sprockets get too far worn, it destroys chain prematurely. A high quality X ring chain is only way to go. Cheap chain and sprockets will BITE YOU sooner than you'd imagine.

    Good luck! Love the Mole'.
    !que le via muy bien!
    !Adios, pues!
    #77
  18. operaflute

    operaflute Starving Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I was referred to your thread by another advrider, because I'm toying with the idea of riding from Tucson to Cabo over the holidays. I've done plenty of touring (and blogging!) by my female solo self, but haven't tackled Mexico and have been wondering how concerned I need to be about it.
    Anyway, good to see it can be done, sans Y chromosome!
    :clap
    #78
  19. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,807
    Location:
    Denver, CO

    Hey glad to see the updates again. That was a fun night out. Hope you are enjoying your next phase. I just finished another couple weeks of Spanish in Guatemala and will he'd out further south this weekend. Disfruta el viaje.
    #79
  20. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    currently on the road, but I call Tassie home
    Operaflute go for it, yes it can be challenging at times but well worth it. Learn Spanish is my only tip. Enjoy.
    #80