Tricepilot's Oaxaca

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tricepilot, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. joenuclear

    joenuclear Ride to eat, eat to ride... all roads lead to pie!

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  2. M38A1

    M38A1 Type-A Introvert

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    #42
  3. sasper

    sasper Just call me Sper

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    Subscribed, and digging it. Are you currently on the ride? I'm heading down to Oaxaca next week and will be spending Christmas in San Cristobal.

    Hope to use some of the info in this thread to plan what I'll be seeing!
    #43
  4. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    #44
  5. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Repita, porfis...
    #45
  6. NMEXPAT

    NMEXPAT Been here awhile

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    mas rapido por favor!
    #46
  7. gasandasphalt

    gasandasphalt Been here awhile

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    And there is your spanish lesson for today,, tomorrow there will be a test..:rofl:rofl
    #47
  8. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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  9. Baja Ho

    Baja Ho Been here awhile

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    Have not been to Oaxaca yet, looking forward to your report. :lurk
    #49
  10. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    There have been seen some interesting proposed itineraries for Mexico trips over in Trip Planning this year. With wide eyes and perhaps an empty stomach, riders are throwing out their plans and asking for feedback, on some fairly if not definitely aggressive plans. "30 stops in 30 days", is a theme I saw once. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. I can understand the enthusiasm. Who wouldn't want to knock out the colonial cities, see both the Pacific, the Gulf, the Yucatan, take a ride on the Baja ferry, and all points in between. Sometimes a limited vacation schedule or time away from the family means there is about 10 days to do it all, so its full speed ahead. I've even done it. It's kind of like slamming beers, you get your Mexico buzz and there is a lot of content, but not a lot of flavor to savor, that whole fragrance of the roses thing. Short of renting a place for a month in a place like, say, Guanajuato, or becoming an expat in Ajijic (I'm ready), I've always wanted to pick a place and give it and what it had to offer a slower look. Park the bike even and not touch it. And the place to do that, for me, was going to be Oaxaca. Been thinking about it for a long, long time. Run in from San Antonio, absorb Oaxaca like a sponge, and then run north, preferably by a different route. And that's what I did.

    When I caught wind that two local San Antonio based groups were going to make the run to the Mexico BMW rally in San Cristóbal de Las Casas and the rally side trip to Palanque, I listened closely. One of the groups was going to the rally and then skirt into Guatemala. The other, to the rally and back home, but interestingly, via Oaxaca going and Oaxaca coming back. I leaned further forward. A recent trip I made having included both the rally cities, I had no major motivation to attend the rally and go back to ground freshly covered. But coming and going through Oaxaca, now that was interesting. On the one hand, run down and back with good buds, share laughs, see things from a different point of view, but also say ta ta when they left Oaxaca for the rally, spend my own time in Oaxaca doing what I wanted to do, on my own, in a place I've always wanted to experience. I had read so much about Oaxaca, poured through a stack of books almost knee high, and watched Rick Bayless on PBS's "Mexico, One Plate at a Time" fawn over it. I also waded through one website after another dedicated to places in and around Oaxaca, with more recommendations on where to stay, what to eat, what not to miss. I've scratched just the surface of many places in Mexico, this time I wanted to make at least a deeper groove. And that's what I did.

    The other guys in the posse made a pact with their wives/girfriends to fly into Oaxaca and meet them after our run down the eastern slope via the Gulf. The girls rented a car, and the guys would ride in close proximity from Oaxaca to San Cristóbal, enjoy the rally, then reverse the process back to Oaxaca. The girls would board their plane for the trip home, and the posse would ride north. Skipping the rally, I avoided two long days in the saddle and the days of the rally, and devoted all that to Oaxaca and her valleys. But Mexico being Mexico, there's hardly a place not worth stopping or a place that deserves less than a casual look, so running in and running out leaves lots of choices and the corresponding elimination of opportunites and a path one might rather have taken. No matter how we routed down or back, I knew I had a great opportunity to fully extinguish my Mexico low-level light so I wouldn't feel the need to return right away, and see absolutely everything there is to see of one of her most exotic, historic, and beautiful locales. I failed miserably at that.

    EXECUTION: THE ROUTING TO OAXACA

    McAllen/Reynosa to Ciudad Victoria

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    Ciudad Victoria to Tuxpam

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    Tuxpam to Veracruz

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    Veracruz to Oaxaca

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    OAXACA

    Three central valley routes of exploration

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    #50
  11. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    [​IMG]

    He came to look at the bikes, with his dad. It was the lunch stop leaving Reynosa. "He wants to sit on your bike, if that's ok?" said his padre. Hop on up there, little man. He's holding one of the tootsie pops everybody is handing out these days. I had three bags with me. Maybe in the past, after sharing smiles and greetings and well wishes, our bodies and our minds would move on to the task at hand: Knock off lunch and get moving again. But I kind of froze a little bit, watching this kid. I was wondering. Wondering what his Mexico would be like in 5 years, 10 years. What would become of everything that's happening to Mexico. Then I realized that he is what's happening to Mexico. He's a normal kid, and there's millions more like him. Then I looked around. Lots of cars with happy families, trucks going here and there loaded with cargo, people in the restaurant eating their pozole. The kid never knew what was cranking through my mind. He thought I was doing him a favor.

    Right here, right at this restaurant, four years earlier, I stopped for lunch. I saw a bunch of kids playing outside, skirting between the nearby Pemex and the restaurant. They came over to look at the bikes when we parked, but didn't say anything. I didn't think about them when I went inside. After lunch, they were still there. As we were gearing up to leave, the kids were close by and leaning over the bikes, asking questions and poking around. I suddenly felt a grab on my sleave. It was one of the smaller kids, holding a U.S. 20 dollar bill.

    "You dropped this", he said. I was floored.

    Then, as on this trip, this simple lunch stop has been magic for me.
    #51
  12. Kiko

    Kiko Long timer

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    Great ride report for all to read,

    Many come to Mexico for vacations, or maybe even live here for years, but only a select few are gifted with the experiences that Tricepilot writes about.

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    Works for me. .
    #52
  13. Gitana

    Gitana A work in progress

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    Yay! Another Tricepilot adventure in Mexico! Did you take soccer balls this time?
    #53
  14. Greenflyfarmer

    Greenflyfarmer I'm better now.

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    #54
  15. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    You know me well :rofl

    Soccer balls are priority cargo.

    As far as what I carried, it was minimalist. I mean, bare bones. For the entire two week excursion, I took 2 shirts. I would ride in an Under Armour black T all day, grimey as all get out, and just get into the shower with it and give it a good wash. I would take a hotel towel, lay it flat on the bed, and lay the wet T shirt on top, then roll the whole thing up. Then twist like the rubber band from those balsa wood airplanes we all used to play with when we were kids. Unrolled, the shirt would be slightly damp, but because its made with tech fabric, not cotton, it would dry quickly. I'd lay that shirt out, over a chair, and put on the other, identical, clean, T shirt, and go out and about.

    I pared my tool kit down to only the required sockets, which included sockets for screw drivers and allen keys etc., and the usual duct tape and zip tie formula everybody carries. A spare headlight bulb, which I used, which, in fact, I've used on every Mexico trip now that I think abou it. I did have a nice tire kit, centered on Safety Seal tire strings, which I consider the best of the best for tire issues. Google that, it'll be worth your time. A spare ring antenna for the GS, assorted miscellaneous small tools, not a whole lot. Best thing for Mexico in your tool kit is 4 tie-downs anyway, because you can always find a truck to take your bike somewhere, even if you have to leave it there and take a bus home or to an airport, and come back with your own pickup later.

    So, I say all this because I was happy to have room for a few extra soccer balls. For the uninitiated, please note that they're not inflated during transport. You buy them inflated, but just stick the sports needle in them and stand on top to make them flat as possible, then you can stack them like pancakes in your duffle. The cool thing is that once you hand them all out, your duffle serves as the container for all the neat artesanias you bought as souvenirs of your trip.

    That pic up there is just south of Tampico, along the coast. I was in a really good mood, because I didn't have to screw with the Tampico transitos, who are on a major campaign to mess with tourists. This was at a seafood restaurant at lunch time, and those kids were scouting out the bikes (in a good way), while we ate by the water.

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    The fun part is to hand the kids their obligatory tootsie pop, and then whip out the bike's tire pump and a sports needle, and one of the soccer balls. I keep the needle for the balls taped to the inside of the top to the left side aluminum box, with a spare in the parts bag. Nothing like having a ball, a pump, and no needle...don't ask me how I know.

    Anyway, pump up the ball with the electric pump, let the kids watch, but don't tell them before hand or ask them "do you want a soccer ball?". Of course they do, its a tesoro to them. You get them to the street, kick it around with them, get you and your riding buds involved with them, and then hand it out. The reason behind this, is during that little skirmish, you pick out some kid that looks like the leader, to take care of the ball after you leave, be its steward, so to speak.

    Then get the kids together, and always take a picture. El jefe del balón in the photo below is the kid in the red shirt.

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    #55
  16. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    The two elements of a happy kid, A and B

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    #56
  17. DocAxeYarYar

    DocAxeYarYar RideDualSport.com

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    Looking to be an excellent adventure and report. I like how you showed the route to Oaxaca with the map shots! We have a house down by Harlingen we rent out, so I could relate to that part of the border as an entry point to a Mexican adventure.

    Beautiful pictures, and thanks for taking us along!

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    #57
  18. ElReyDelSofa

    ElReyDelSofa Desubicado

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    Oh man, didn't know it was possible for you to get any cooler. Que impresionante.

    Suerte,

    Martín
    #58
  19. Jimmer

    Jimmer emboldened lurker

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    Yeah..... I remember that guy.
    #59
  20. shadman

    shadman Been here awhile

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    Travelling with Trice it's remarkable how he always gives more to a trip than he takes away from it. His good humor and endless wondering about the world captivates just about everyone riding with or being ridden by. I'm sure the Mexican kids ask each other, "How can a grown-up Gringo be so young inside?" Live and learn, kids. Just don't try to grow up so hard. The human spirit needs adventure, opportunity, and fun to thrive. Come to think of it, my "mexico" needle is just about on empty too. :D
    #60