South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by JDowns, Oct 2, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,804
    Location:
    SoSoCal
    :lol3 You would be a tough/good on the job foreman Juanito.
    It does pass the 100' inspection and the last pics in that string offer the magic.

    I'm on pg. 112 of crashmaster's RR in SA and earlier he said if he had to choose another bike it would be a XR250.
    EDIT: a XR250 would do'er and a XR650 would need a top-end refresh 1/2 way through. Getting to old to quote. ;-)

    A VG update TY,

    OldPete
  2. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi Tripletreat,

    Yes, it is a magical place. Especially at sunset when I was there the views were really nice.

    I should probably shut up about stone masonry commentary for the rest of the trip and stick to riding fun roads and reporting back what I find.

    After going to Universal Studios tours it changed my outlook on movies seeing how they were made. I don't want to do the same for others appreciation of these ruins and historic sites. I think they tried to make something authentic to the spirit of what the grassy mounds of rocks had looked like. And that's all I'll say about that.

    Best,
    John Downs
  3. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi FKNBUM,

    Nice name! I'll check out el Ceibal. It's just down the road. I'm just reporting back the facts as I see them. Didn't mean to spoil Christmas. Sorry.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  4. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,150
    Hey Juanito!
    I am pretty sure Santa will survive but the Oaxacan tourism bureau will likely put a bounty on you. LOL!
    Nice summary and a very, very interesting perspective.
    If you get a chance (because, darn it, you missed it) take a look around La Cantona across the Puebla state line from Perote. Very little of it has been "restored" and I think you will find it very cool to visit. Easy camping in that area there, too.
    Your insight is important because 100 years from now, people will have no clue as to the re-build.
    I think you would also like Quiahuixtlan on the coast because it, like La Cantona, is still fairly virgin in the "rebuild" sense.
    I can also show you how locals here partially destroyed one pyramid and had there eyes on two more, for using the pyramid material to make bricks. The UNAM archeo types rescued the one pyramid and have made sure the other two will be kept as is.
  5. lm248

    lm248 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    56
    Please don't shut up about what you see,,,,
    One of the things I love about ADVrider is all of the different perspectives I get exposed to.
    Everyone looks at things through their own mindset,,,, yours happens to be masonry.
    And being cheep :lol3 :lol3
    I love seeing all of that "behind the scenes" stuff.
    It makes your RR different from everyone elses.
    Just like your visit to La Poza,
    I've read a lot od RR's about Mexico, but I've never heard about La Poza until I read about it in your report.
    Please continue,,,,
    Les
  6. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi Mike,

    I checked out pics of La Cantona and it looks authentic. Maybe check it out on the way back.

    It looks much like this work with lime based mortar which is the only old work I saw at Monte Alban. I hopped the fence and walked around the back of the far pyramid to see what it looked like before they started:

    [​IMG]

    I actually like looking at the original work too. I find it interesting to see what the boys were up to centuries ago.

    Its like antique motorcycles. I like the restored ones and I like the ones that are un-restored vintage relics with all the patina of the years.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,150
    Patina is highly under rated!
    A fact proven by one look at my bike LOL!
  8. SavannahCapt

    SavannahCapt Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    890
    Location:
    SE Georgia
    Your comments on masonry are part of the the attraction people have to your report. Makes it real. Thanks.
    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Stages of life include:
    1. You believe in Santa
    2. You don't believe in Santa
    3. You are Santa
    4. You look like Santa
  9. Sourjon

    Sourjon TAT'erd

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,051
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    +1 :thumb This your ride and I like to hear your take on it all. Don't cater to what you think we want to hear. Let your freak flag fly!

    John
  10. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Well I guess I can't help myself. I take pics of stuff that catches my eye. A lot of times that is masonry and construction materials and techniques that I find interesting.

    Went down to the main square at sunrise to watch the town wake up. Typical town square with a gazebo in the center:

    [​IMG]

    The two foot by three foot cement slabs in the circular platform were all poured in place probably mixed by hand and finished by different concrete guys. From the wear and age of the concrete I would say 80 to 100 years old so these guys are long gone by now. They all had different designs. This was my favorite guy. He used his trowel to slap in almost leafy designs into the freshly poured concrete after the cream rose to the top. Nice touch. His work stood out :

    [​IMG]

    On the lower terrace the 2x4 formwork was removed and river rock was embedded in mortar making nice designs with star patterns at the intersecting corners. This guy was doing varying four, five and six wide smaller pebble:

    [​IMG]

    I liked this guys work over on the other side of the plaza. Alternating 3x2:

    [​IMG]

    The further out they went the bigger the stones. Here Pablo was doing mundane three wide on the horizontals while his cousin Enrique with a little more artistic flair was doing 2x1 on the verticals.

    [​IMG]

    The guys with the drinking problem were out by the street using all the crap left over river rock:

    [​IMG]

    Across the street was the central mercado where I went for a cup of coffee. Inside were stalls with freshly baked bread and pastries.:

    [​IMG]

    Fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables:

    [​IMG]

    Here is blurry pic of the tortillaria with hot tortillas coming off the conveyor belt and being stacked as fast as they came out of the oven. These guys were really moving:

    [​IMG]


    I ordered a cafe con leche (coffee with milk) from some short indigenous ladies in the corner cooking up breakfast. They served me a soup bowl of hot milk and handed me a jar of Nescafe. It feels like I have traveled back in time into Old Mexico down here having passed the state line into Oaxaca. Rougher roads, muy macho topes (manly speed bumps) that even I downshift for, and Nescafe in the morning served by sweet old ladies under 5 feet tall.

    Its time to head for the coast. More later…..

    Adios amigos,
    Juanboy the lawnboy
  11. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,224
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA.
    Ruins? One word:

    PALENQUE
  12. Mr B

    Mr B Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    521
    Location:
    Merced, CA
    It is so refreshing to see some positive "press" on travels in Mexico. For too long the good hard working folks in Mexico have suffered from the impression the news media has given us of all the violence and troubles down south.

    Nice job, I just need to pack my bags and find a way to do the same!!!!

    Salute!!!!

    :1drink
  13. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Boy what a difference a day makes! I started out up in upcountry Oaxaca this morning and headed down Rte 175. If Mexico was a theme park, the last two thirds of 175 would be an A ride.

    A place to pull over and hang out in the shade before the road started climbing into the mountains. Nice:

    [​IMG]

    These guys across the street working on the upstairs addition didn't have a ladder tall enough so they welded together some square tubing into a four legged extension to wire the wooden ladder to so it would reach. Clever solution:

    [​IMG]

    This isn't the road I remember from the last time I rode it. The first part had been widened and repaved:

    [​IMG]

    But soon it was climbing into the hills and the tires were chattering around the corners of varying cracked asphalt. That's more like it:

    [​IMG]

    Finishing up clearing a landslide:

    [​IMG]

    The road was nothing but curves in the middle section. Winding along the mountain ridges with nice views out to the surrounding countryside:

    [​IMG]

    I liked this guy's budget wine and beer bottle stained glass gable end on his house:

    [​IMG]

    Stopped and talked to this shy Oaxacan guy named Antonio who was building a house on the hillside. He had been working for a month on it and already was ready to form up and pour the roof. The solid cement blocks cost 3 pesos each or about a quarter:

    [​IMG]

    He had just finished mixing and pouring the columns with 4- #3 rebar in the minor columns and 6 in the major center columns, and the concrete lintels that had the same. He hammered the smooth surfaces of the beams so the stucco will stick. Infilling with 4 inch wide cement bricks. He was doing a nice job. Just hope he tied the rebar together and there isn't an earthquake over about 6 or 7 on the richter scale:

    [​IMG]

    The road started missing the top layer in greater amounts further on. Perfect for a Sherpa but probably not a sport bike road:

    [​IMG]

    Came to a town and Tony was pulling into a restaurant on a new GS12 coming up the hill the other way. I thought he was an ADVrider pulling over to say hi so I pulled in next to him. Turns out he is a nice fun loving Oaxacan who was coming home from his vacation home down at the beach in Huatulco and loves this restaurant. Here's Tony:

    [​IMG]

    We went in and sat down. He knew what was good so did the ordering and we had a nice chat as he showed me pics of the moto trip he and his wife took to Morocco last year. He also went to the MOA rally in Missouri. His whole family rides. His son up in Texas has a R12RT. He showed me a pic on his iPhone. Nice looking kid. He wouldn't let me pay so I had him sign my tank. His signature has Latin flair. I like it. Really nice meeting Tony and he gave me his card. He owns two hotels in Oaxaca in case I come back through. Tony had to leave to get home since it was mid-afternoon, so we bid each other hasta luego and rode off our separate ways.

    After leaving the restaurant the road got a bit rough at the top in the pine forests of the upper elevations of the mountains:

    [​IMG]

    there were beautiful wildflowers growing all along the side of the road. I have no idea what these are but they're pretty"

    [​IMG]

    It was chilly up there. Maybe in the 50s. Soon the road started dropping down, down, down towards the coast on a roller coaster ride for the next 60 miles. I rounded a corner and there was a Oaxacan town parade with a band blocking the road as they marched through town:

    [​IMG]

    So I took a break and rested in the shade until they marched up to a church on a side road. A few miles further I came around a corner and saw a guy on the side of the road broken down so I doubled back to see if I could be of help and met Renaldo:

    [​IMG]

    Nice guy whose parents lived in the marching band town. He had come down from Alabama where he works in building maintenance which is the current euphemism for janitor. Nothing wrong with that. His muffler had fallen off and skittered into the bushes and his front header was loose as the dickens. No surprise parts were shaking off on this road. After we found the muffler Renaldo hailed a collectivo van going up the hill and gave the muffler to the van driver to take to his folks house:

    [​IMG]

    So I put my stuff back that i unloaded from the duffle to get at a hose clamp big enough to hold it on. Got out my tools and tightened up his pipe and he was good to go loudly back up the hill. I didn't get a picture of his Freddy Kruger face mask he wore for cold protection or his iron cross helmet. Pretty scary looking for such a sweet Oaxacan dude to be wearing.

    Soon the road was twisting through the lower canyons on a newly paved 10 mile section:

    [​IMG]

    Then it dropped through the coastal puffy clouds that were rising up the mountain and streaming over the road. Pretty cool:

    [​IMG]

    and down into the tropical coastal jungle where the road improved:

    [​IMG]

    Stopped at a hotel up from Puerto Angel (ann-hell) and this guy drove up. Looks like I'll be able to check out rta. 175 from Google streetview in the near future:

    [​IMG]

    So I am in Puerto Angel at a Seebrr cafe typing this up. It's dark out and the prices around here are inflated. No longer a sleepy little surf village. I'm heading up the hill to the small mountain town where a room is 130 pesos. Ten bucks I can handle tonight. Its three times as much down here 8 miles at the beach.

    Adios amigos,
    Juanito
  14. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi Mr. B,

    The road is calling. All you need to do is find some time, scrape together some money and twist your right wrist.

    Best,
    John Downs
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Okay SeƱor Tucker,

    I'll give Palenque a shot. Never been there.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  16. Mr B

    Mr B Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    521
    Location:
    Merced, CA
    So true!
    You know about30 years ago me a a friend packed up our bicycles and headed west from Charlotte NC, 8 short weeks later we downed a bottle of Dry Creek Zinfandel in the middle of the Golgen Gate Bridge!! I sure miss those days, so know I just need to figure out how to tell the wife what I want (need) to do without be handed divorce papers!
    But I will never forget those days in 1982 peddling to new lands and sights!
    Ride safe !

    :1drink
  17. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,306
    Location:
    round the world
  18. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Sounds like a good idea to me. Don't know about only 6 weeks from now though. I still haven't made it out of Mexico. But if I'm within a few hundred miles and in South America I'll swing by for sure just to say hi.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  19. QuestForADV

    QuestForADV BanCampLeader

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,023
    Location:
    Southeast of Disorder!
    John,

    Loving the RR. I drove that road from Oxacaca to Puerto Angel back in 85 in my old Nissan truck. It was a thrill to say the least.

    We loved Puerto Angel and the area, spent a week San Agustnillo but that was before it was built like it is now.

    Enjoy the ride!
  20. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi QuestForADV,

    Glad to have you along for the ride. Puerto Angel isn't so bad if you didn't come here long ago and know what it used to be.

    Actually the nice kid at the Cybercafe talked his Mom into giving me a room on the second floor balcony overlooking the beach for 300 pesos. When you ride hard all day its easy to start spending money like a drunken sailor on these rides. Guatemala is way cheaper than Mexico so I'll head that way tomorrow with a few stopovers to photograph the women of Palenque and whatever else comes my way.

    Stay tuned tomorrow for sunrise pics of the Puerto Angel/Shawshank Redemption boats on the white sandy beach through the palm trees so you can have a hit of nostalgia to start your day.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.