The Adventure Begins... Tejas A La Tierra

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by troyfromtexas, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    The adventure begins with the simple idea to get out and visit some out of the way places, meet some interesting people and take in some new experiences. It's about moving forward in a non-conventional way. While my route may pass along many notable landmarks, my hope is that the journey will take me to places about which I have never dreamed.

    While the dream is to go around the world, the plan is to do it in segments. I'm naming this first segment "Tejas a la Tierra". Or in other words, Texas to Tierra del Fuego. My route may change based on which way the wind is blowing. Right now the plan is to start in Texas and head South... through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Then I'll take a boat to South America. I'll continue through Colombia, Ecuador (with an excursion to the Galapagos Islands), Peru, Bolivia, Chile (with a stop at Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost place on the continent), Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Venezuela, French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana. Then I'll head back home to Texas. If I can swing it, I'll try to stop by Antartica while I'm in the neighborhood.

    Along the way I plan to share some stories through this website in the form of commentaries, articles, audio podcasts, photos and short films/videos. Some of the stories will chronicle the journey and some will be about special topics . If you would like to join me on this adventure please subscribe to this website, my Facebook page and my YouTube channel.

    If there is a place that you think that I should absolutely visit, please let me know and I'll try to check it out. And, if you have family or friends that might be willing to host me for a few days, definitely drop me a note.

    You can read the highlights on this website or read the complete story by segments by country on my blog.
    Motorcycle Prep
    Texas
    Mexico
    Guatemala
    El Salvador
    Honduras
    Nicaragua
    Costa Rica
    Panama
    Crossing the Darien Gap
    Colombia
    Ecuador
    The Amazon
    The Galapagos Islands
    Peru
    Chile
    Argentina
    Antarctica
    Uruguay
    Bolivia
    Paraguay
    Brazil
    The Road Home

    Que te vaya bien!
    #1
  2. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    I call her Emi. She's a beauty and she's my girl.

    The bike that I will ride for "Tejas a la Tierra" is a specially modified Suzuki DR650SE. I selected the DR650 for its nice balance of street and dirt capabilties, reputation for reliability, abundant aftermarket parts, ability to haul gear, simple air/oil cooling mechanics and low profile styling.

    Being that the Suzuki DR650 is a Japanese motorcycle, I am going to call my bike Emi. In Japanese her name means beautiful blessing. You may hear me talk about her fondly as my girl.

    Below are some links to some of the modifications I've made.
    [​IMG]
    Modifications 1
    Modifications 1 observations
    Modifications 2
    Modifications 2 observations
    #2
  3. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    The day has finally arrived. The adventure begins for Tejas a la Tierra. I'm heading south from Austin, Texas to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. I've resigned from my job, sold many of my worldly possessions, cleaned out my house, modified my motorcycle, packed my bags and said my fair wells. I'm uncertain as to what exactly lies ahead. At this moment I'm feeling ready, but somewhat apprehensive. I've double checked my packing list. I sure that I've left something behind. Oh well, I'll just have to pick it up on the way. Or, better yet, just do without it. The planner in me wishes that I could take more. The free spirit in me wishes that I could take less. I had to cull a few items that I was planning to take - an extra pair of pants, some liner socks, some duplicates of tools. But overall I've been able to fit everything onto my bike. Most importantly I had a good night of sleep and I'm ready to go.

    Thanks for all the support and well wishes. This whole trip wouldn't be possible without the support of my family and all my friends that helped me get ready.

    The Adventure Begins...Now!
    #3
  4. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    I made it to McAllen, Texas today. The day started out a little bit hectic. I was finishing up my packing, cleaning and vacating my house, storing a few more items and looking around at motorcycle shops for a spare inner tube. I got it all done and set off at about 10:30am. It was later than I wanted to depart, but I think that fortunately I missed some traffic because of the late start. The ride was pretty uneventful. I left Austin taking hwy 183 south. I passed through Lockhart, Luling, Beeville, Sintun and a few random places. I reached McAllen at around 6pm. Cleaned up and ate dinner. I found a nice Country Inn Suite to stay at.

    I've repacked to make my gear fit a little better and easier to access. It's an art and not a science. I hope to do a video on packing once I get my system down. Now, it's a night of good rest. Tomorrow I cross the border into Mexico.
    #4
  5. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    My first stop in Mexico was a small fishing village along the eastern coast called La Pesca (The Fish). I chose the town because it seemed like it would be a calm and peaceful place. And, it was near the ocean. It didn't disappoint. The town centered around the one road which ran through it. Along the road there were a number of restaurants, hotels and shops. At the end if the road was the playa or beach.

    I had my first meal in Restaurante Costa Lora. It looked like a clean and bright restaurant in the center of town. I had a nice plate of shrimp with tomato sauce and frijoles. It was delicious. I ended up meeting and talking with the owner Marco Antonio. He gave me some great tips on things to do around the area. Namely, visit a turtle conservation project and a biosphere park called El Cielo (The Heaven).

    I camped on the beach under the stars for my first night in La Pesca, Mexico. It was magical. I woke up early, went for a swim in the ocean and tried a little fly fishing unsuccessfully. I dropped by the turtle project and the staff gave me a personal tour of the place.

    Afterwards, I tried unsuccessfully to use an ATM to get some Pesos. The attendant said that they only had a relationship with six banks. Oh well.

    Off to El Cielo.
    #5
  6. Catours

    Catours Guatemala Tourer

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    Guatemala
    hey Troy,

    Congrats on starting the big adventure, keep it up!

    If you make it to Antigua,Guatemala feel free to stop by Moto Cafe and share some stories with fellow motorcyclists, join us for a ride, or just have a cold beer!. Either way we look forward to hopefully meeting you.

    Safe riding!

    Chris and Dave from CATours
    #6
  7. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    Hi Chris, I certainly plan to stop by Moto Cafe when I'm in Antigua. I'm familiar with the city. I spent a few years in Guate as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I'm looking forward to seeing the country in a different manner.
    #7
  8. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zYkZQFb1xoSccirAWkjygg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-VRS7YhZjn60/TojGV4puRGI/AAAAAAAAAKA/tJ5hOyzfRx0/s144/7.jpg" height="108" width="144" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/106354877473563930919/MyBlogPhotos?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">My Blog Photos</a></td></tr></table>
    After two days of riding east I arrived in the town of Papantla. The town is known for hosting visitors that wish to visit the ruins of El Tajin.

    El Tajin in Totonac is lighting, thunder or hurricane. I didn't want to see any of those, just the ruins. To see photos and more of the story visit...

    The Adventure Begins: El Tajin
    #8
  9. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    #9
  10. Bato

    Bato Been here awhile

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    TEJAS
    Subscribed! :clap:clap
    #10
  11. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    :freaky
    #11
  12. WeazyBuddha

    WeazyBuddha Carbon-Based Humanoid

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    Go Troy go! :ricky
    #12
  13. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    Hey Tricepilot,

    Don't know if you realized this, but I was sitting in on the talk that you gave about traveling in Mexico at the Around The Bend rally this past February. I took a lot of what you said to heart. Hey look... I'm here... and loving it.

    Troy
    #13
  14. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Location:
    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    Tubes
    Hope you managed to find a Tube ... or three! :D You will need them ... and finding quality ones in Mexico is not that easy.

    Would love to hear about your Prep on your DR650 ... but I can't deal with Blogs.

    How long to you plan to be on the road? :ear

    ATM's
    Good idea to have at least two ATM cards with No int. exchange fees.

    Love to see some pics. Much easier than a reverse Blog with adds and other non essentials. ADV is best for all of it, IMO.
    Good luck - ride safe!
    #14
  15. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    I'm carrying one front and one rear tube and a patch kit. Also, a manual bicycle pump and an electric pump.

    I plan to be on the road 9 to 12 months. If I can make a living on the road, the adventure will continue.

    Got two sets of cards. My principle cards from Capital One reimburse the charges.

    I'm still figuring out how to best keep people informed. If you subscribe to my blog you'll get the full story. I'm trying to keep 3 communities up to date (ADVRider, HUBB and TWTforums), but I don't want to spend all my time on the internet. I like reporting in, but I like living it better. Bringing in all the content to the 3 communities and updating my blog is just too much. Hopefully I'll find a good middle ground.

    Thanks for all the tips and well wishes.

    Troy
    #15
  16. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    I landed in Xalapa, sometimes spelled Jalapa, and was pleasantly surprised. I found a place to stay called Hostel de las Niebla (Hostel of the Clouds). It was a youth hostel, but open to all. It was right in the center of town, clean and well run. It reminded me of some of the hostels in Germany. The manager let me park Emi in the garage at night. During the day I found a nice spot next to the Cathedral to park. For more...

    http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/10/xalapa.html
    #16
  17. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    I traveled to Puebla after spending a few days in Xalapa. This is what the sky looked like when I arrived. The photo is unedited.
    [​IMG]

    The ride to Puebla was straight, then mountainous, then foggy, then rainy. I don't like to ride in the rain, much less fog, so I took a break at a roadside stand and ate a jamon y queso pastre (ham and cheese pastry) that under normal circumstances I wouldn't touch. I asked the seƱorita to nuke it in a microwave in the hope that it would kill any bacteria. I said a little prayer putting God to the test that he would protect me and my stomach from all that was bad. He seemed to be protecting me from my own foolishness. I rode on and on... then the weather cleared up. It ended up being a beautiful sunny day and about 80 degrees. As I neared the city my spirits were lifted by the sun and my clothes had been blown dry by the warm air.

    Puebla is definitely not off the beaten path, but it is significant to the founding of Mexico and has some amazing historical sites and architecture. I thought that I should check it out.

    I arrived into Puebla at about 6pm and pulled up to one of the first hotels that I could find that appeared to have a parking garage. The hotel was only about two blocks from the zocolo (central plaza) and main shopping area.

    I really didn't do much during the first night other than walk around the plaza and have a big naranjada (orangeade) and a cemeta (Mexican hamburger).

    I went back to the hotel, watched a little Mexican tv and fell asleep.

    Over the following days I did the following...

    Arrival http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/10/puebla.html
    City Tour http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/10/puebla-tour-of-city.html
    Detailed Look http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/10/puebla-detailed-look.html
    History Lesson http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/10/pueblaa-detailed-look-at-history.html
    Senoritas http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/10/senoritas-of-puebla.html

    I'm sure some of you guys will skip straight to the post about the senoritas, but I hope you look at the other stuff too. :D
    #17
  18. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan There, that's it

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    :thumb
    #18
  19. MotoLara

    MotoLara ADV rider wannabe

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    Good stuff Troy! :D

    Good luck with keeping up with your blog + ADVrider + HUBB + TWT + Facebook + Twitter ... IMO (humble opinion) you should stick to 2 or 3 max... to enjoy your 'free time' in this journey and not having to sit in front of a computer for hrs and hrs. I speak from experience :lol3

    Cheers and have a blast!
    Alberto.
    #19
  20. superdutyGS

    superdutyGS lone rider

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    home is N.E. Missouri
    I am subscribed as well. A year on the trip...you are my hero. Amazing.
    #20