The Adventure Begins... Tejas A La Tierra

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

  1. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    Buen Viaje Troy. I'm heading to Durango in a couple weeks. :freaky:ricky:jose
    #21
  2. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    First, let me say that I'm okay.

    Now, here's the story...

    It was Saturday morning. After spending a few wonderful days in Puebla I was planning to visit a small town about 20KM from Puebla called <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholula,_Puebla">Cholula</a>. I had made contact with a Peace Corps Volunteer named Jan that had agreed to be interviewed for my <a href="http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/08/peace-corps-stories-project.html?m=0">media project</a>.

    I packed up my things and headed out from the hotel. I had a map that would lead me to the site. I was traveling down the road following traffic. The bus in front of me suddenly decided to move from the right lane, the lane that we were in, to the left lane. I quickly found out why. In the middle of the road was a taxi at a complete stop. I tried to slow down then swerve to miss it. I was able to avoid a direct hit, but I clipped my lower leg on the bumper.

    The bike and I went down.

    Thankfully, the traffic behind me stopped.

    My first reaction... I was pissed. Why was this taxi stopped in the middle of the road. My second reaction... I humbled myself. I realized that I was in Mexico and needed to collect myself and assess the situation. I've lived in and traveled through many countries before. When doing so, I'm always aware that I'm just a visitor and must play by their rules/laws. I knew that I'd have some explaining to do. I quickly realized that I needed to move my bike and get off the road. Before this could even happened there were two traffic police officers on the spot. They told me not to move the bike, they wanted to take some pictures. And, they asked me if I was okay.

    Oh yeah, I think that the adrenaline was pumping through me. I hadn't even really stopped to make sure that I was okay. I walked to the side of the road and did a quick body check. Everything seemed to be okay, except that I had some scrapes on my leg and it felt a little numb. I could walk okay. I've always had a pretty high tolerance for pain though. I was riding ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time). A motorcycle acronym that means helmet, jacket, pants, boots and gloves all designed for motorcycle riding. All the gear held up and wasn't even scraped. After a few minutes and a complete body check I felt like I was okay to sort out the mess.

    The police had already taken their photos and had picked up Emi, my bike, and moved her to the sidewalk. The taxi driver was out of his car and had looked at the damage to his car. The police officer asked me for my drivers license and insurance. I had both. I provided him the <a href="http://www.aaa.com/PPInternational/IDP_IADP.html">International Driving Permit</a> that I had purchased from AAA in the states because it contains translations in Spanish. I provided him a copy of my Mexican insurance that I bought online from <a href="http://www.mexinsurance.com/">www.mexisurance.com</a> and underwritten by Qualitas. As soon as the officer realized that I had my paperwork in order he was quite helpful. He pointed to the Qualitas logo and said "no problema". I was thankful that I had purchased it and that it was from a reputable and known company. I'd heard that auto insurance was not required in Mexico, but if you do have an accident and you don't have it, you might spend some time in a Mexican jail for a few days.

    The police officer filled out some forms. I started talking to the taxi driver. He pointed out two spots that he felt I damaged. I wasn't going to admit to anything, but I was pretty sure that one of the spots was from a previous accident and not caused by me. Anyways, the officer said that we could all go to his office and work this out with the insurance. It would take about 45 minutes. My first thought was, I don't really want to go to a police office. My second thought was, I want to take care of this as soon as possible and get going. I overheard the taxi driver say something about "en effectivo" to the officer. "En effectivo" translates to "in cash". The officer turned to me and said that we could either go to his office or this could be handled "en effectivo". I said, "Cuanto seria (How much)?" The taxi driver said, "Quenientos Pesos (Five hundred pesos)." I did a quick calculation and 500 pesos is about 40 US dollars. I said, give me a minute and let me see. I didn't really need a minute. I knew that I wanted to settle this now and in cash. I walked away a little distance and searched through my wallet to find the cash. I returned and said, "esta bien (okay)".

    The police said okay, then we will not need all your paperwork. He gave it back to me. He did ask me to sign their report and write on the report that I agreed to pay the sum of 500 pesos for the damage that I caused. I signed. I handed over the money. And the taxi driver looked like he had just won the lottery.

    The police officers asked me where I was going. I told him. He said that he would show me the way. I was a little skeptical, but hey, I'm a law obeying non-citizen. He drove a little distance then pulled over to the side. He got out of this car and then gave me some directions. The last thing that he said was, "Bienvenidos a Mejico (Welcome to Mexico)". I actually found some humor in it and laughed to myself. Yes, welcome to Mexico... the adventure begins...for real, now.

    So, I did make it to Cholula. Emi seems to be fine, barely a scratch on her. Me, I'm a little banged up. I decided to take a few days to allow my leg to recover.
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    Day 1 in Cholula - found hotel, bought water, bought Dominos pizza, layed on couch with leg elevated. I contacted Jan the Peace Corps Volunteer and let her know that the interview probably wouldn't be happening right away.
    Day 2 in Cholula - ate day old leftover pizza, watched tv, caught up on blog, read ADVRider posts, sent emails, checked Facebook, layed on couch with leg elevated.
    Day 3 in Cholula - went outside of hotel, walked around plaza, ate a decent meal, layed on couch with leg elevated. Rescheduled appointment with Jan the Peace Corps Volunteer.
    Day 4 in Cholula - watched tv, watched YouTube, ate a good meal of pazole.
    Day 5 in Cholula - rest and recovery, writing post.

    After reflecting on this experience I've come to a few conclusions.
    1. God was watching out for me. Yes, I'm a believer. And, I believe that he saved me. The accident could have turned out much worse. I could have hit the car directly. I could have hit the street much harder. I could have been hit by the traffic behind me. I could have injured my leg much worse. I've had a number of people praying for me back home and I believe that prayer works. God is amazing. He has a plan for my life. For some reason, He kept me alive to live out that plan. If you're a none believer, that's fine. But if you knew the God that I know, you'd know that he is pretty awesome.

    2. I made a few judgement errors. I was in a bit of hurry to make an appointment, when I should have been taking my time. However, I wasn't speeding. I was navigating with a map, when I should have studied the map more thoroughly ahead of time to familiarize myself with the route. I had a space cushion, but could have created a larger cushion. What typically causes an accident is a series of events. I believe that these were the series of events that led up to the accident. Hopefully I've learned my lesson, I'll be mindful of these series of events and prevent them from happening again.
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    3. ATGATT! I ride with All The Gear All The Time protection designed for motorcycle riding. The <a href="http://www.gaerne.com/">Gaerne G Adventure boots</a> were the last item that I purchased before I left on my trip. I believe that they saved my leg from a much more serious injury. The <a href="http://www.olympiamotosports.com/home.htm">Olympia</a> jacket and pants held up well. They didn't even have any scrapes on them. Also, I'm using soft luggage on my bike, a <a href="http://www.giantloopmoto.com/">Giant Loop Great Basin Bag</a>. The bag made contact with the ground, but barely had a scrape. I think that it may have even prevented damage to Emi. Good stuff.

    4. The locals were great. The two police officers were very professional. First, they asked me if I was okay. They helped me move my bike. They helped facilitate the settlement. And they even provided me directions. I'm wondering if they will share those photos with me. I didn't take any. They'd be great to add to the blog. There was a bystander that stopped and asked if I needed a translator. There was a shop keeper that came out and made sure that the police were being helpful. I must say, that even the taxi driver was pretty understanding. Thanks, good people of Puebla, Mexico!

    5. Up until now, everything had gone smoothly. The boarder crossing was easy. The towns and sites were fantastic. The rides were amazing. The lodging was great. I'd been taking some chances with some food, but even that wasn't causing any problems. I've always told myself and others that trips that go according to plan are rarely memorable. When I've taken an organized trip like a cruise, I usually can't even remember what I did the week after it is over. No, adventure is unpredictable, sometimes dangerous, sometimes bad things happen... but it's always memorable... and worth it. You just have to work your way through it... and live to tell the tale.

    Now I'm taking a little time to relax, recover and reflect. My leg is better, but not totally healed. I do have health insurance so I may have my leg checked out if it isn't better in another day.

    I just wanted to let ya'll know that I'm okay... and that the adventure will continue.

    If you have any thoughts, post me a comment or send me an <a href="mailto:troyfromtexas@gmail.com">Email</a>.
    #22
  3. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    So IN!:clap
    #23
  4. Coots

    Coots That's what she said

    Joined:
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    Spokane, WA
    I am in on this adventure. Ride safe and keep us posted. Thanks:rofl
    #24
  5. Manolito

    Manolito Patagonia guide

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    The best luck for you.

    I'll be waiting for you near Ushuaia :thumb
    #25
  6. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Que Dios le bendiga, hermano!
    #26
  7. Old JB

    Old JB Adventurer

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    Excellent start to hopefully an epic adventure! :clap :clap
    #27
  8. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
    <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MF4xvblyQaA/TqGL2cXX6bI/AAAAAAAAAY4/x43WFPoPyTk/s1600/Oaxaca%2Bride.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em"><img border="0" height="180" width="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MF4xvblyQaA/TqGL2cXX6bI/AAAAAAAAAY4/x43WFPoPyTk/s320/Oaxaca%2Bride.jpg" /></a></div>
    From Puebla I decided to visit Oaxaca. There's an autopista (toll highway) that goes from city to city. Once I got on the autopista it was about 5 hours of smooth straight riding. The weather was cooperating as well. It was a beautiful day - sunny, cool, blue sky with light clouds. It was a perfect day to get back on my bike for a long ride.
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    The scenery didn't change much until about an hour before I reached Oaxaca.
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    I took a break to admire the scenery.
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    Some hills
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    Some winding roads.
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    A nice ride overall.

    I arrived in Oaxaca and decided to stay at the Hotel Alcala in the center of town.

    Over the next few days I explored the city and some of the surrounding area. Here are some of the stories.

    <a href="http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/10/oaxaca-tour-of-city.html">Oaxaca City Tour</a>
    <a href="http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/10/oaxaca-and-artesania.html">Oaxaca and Artesania</a>
    <a href="http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/10/oaxaca-and-san-bartolo-coyotepec-barro.html">San Bartolo Coyotepec and Barro Negro</a>
    #28
  9. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    I have not been that way. I hope your trip is a good one. I trust that you'll be sharing a ride report.
    #29
  10. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    Manolito, if you have any suggestions for riding or traveling in Argentina feel free to send them my way by PM or post. Thanks, Troy
    #30
  11. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    Here's a short 3 minute video documenting my motorcycle ride from the interior of Mexico, Oaxaca, to the Pacific coast, Puerto Escondido. It was beautiful day that was mostly sunny and a few clouds. It seemed like I traveled through a number of ecological zones such as highlands, pine forrest, cloud forrest, desert, jungle and coastal plains. Hopefully it provides a feel for the journey.
    Crossing the Sierra Madre Mountains to the Pacific Coast.

    More stories at the links below.
    Puerto Escondido and Fishing
    A Ride Along the Pacific Coast
    [​IMG]
    #31
  12. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    On my first day in San Cristobal de Las Casas, I came across this.

    I honestly didn't know what to think or say or do. But I thought that some of you guys that are into fashion might have some critiques.
    #32
  13. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    OK, no one really took the bait. Here's the full image. Still, I don't know what to think.
    #33
  14. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Troy, it's the "J Lo" butt thing...took the same shots of similar mannequinns in Loreto last spring...:rofl

    Cheers, and ride safe.

    Steve
    #34
  15. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    I'm not really sure what to make of San Cristobal de Las Casas. It's a town nestled in the highlands of Chiapas.
    Here is the full story... San Cristobal de Las Casas

    [​IMG]

    And while staying in San Cristobal I decided that I would check out some ruins in an area called Palenque. The site was about 5 hours away. I didn't really feel like riding there, so I did the more typical tourist thing and booked a day tour.

    [​IMG]

    And was able to check out a few sites along the way.
    Here is the full story...Palenque Day Trip

    [​IMG]

    And there's always stories about the people you meet along the way.
    Here are some of my impressions on...Travelers
    #35
  16. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    After one month on the road and it appears I've traveled about 3000 miles along this route. This line looks pretty straight, but believe me there have been a thousand twists and turns along the way. Sometimes it seems like it was only yesterday when I started, but there have been some long days too. I've had some amazing rides and some that I'd rather not have endured. I think that my little accident slowed me down for a week, but I'm almost fully recovered now. What lies ahead...Guatemala.
    #36
  17. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Troy, looks like you're off to a great start. I will be leaving on a similar ride, but from Chicago, in a about two weeks, and am enjoying your posts and pics. Have fun and be safe.
    #37
  18. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    Thanks for following. I've been moving pretty slow, but might pick up the pace through Guate, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. If you catch up to me let me know and we can meet for a drink.
    #38
  19. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    On November 1 in the cloud covered mountain town of Todos Santos Cuchumatan, Guatemala there is a horse race to celebrate Dia de Todos los Santos (All Saints Day).

    Here's a link to the story with photos and a video
    #39
  20. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    I was in the town of Panajachel and staying at a hotel called Hotel El Sol.

    Emi was looking pretty haggard from traveling 4000 miles over asphalt, gravel, dirt and through rain. I thought for this 4000 mile anniversary that I'd treat her to a little tender loving care.
    [​IMG]
    Across from the hotel was a moto taller (moto service shop) called Multiservicios Dany. The manager's name was Elesao. Nice guy. He offered me a package maintenance deal for a cleaning, oil change, air filter cleaning, chain and sprocket lube. The total cost was about $45. I felt like it was a time saver and bargain for me. They did a great job and Emi came out sparkling.

    The second thing to which I wanted to treat Emi was a shorter pata (kickstand) which would result in a lower lean and more stability. Down the street from Multiservicios Dany was a metal taller called Adulam Soldaduras. I spoke with one of the fabricators named Isaac. He said that he could do the work.
    [​IMG]
    Now Emi is all cleaned up with a new shoe and ready to hit the road.

    For the full story visit this link on Motorcycle Maintenance
    #40