Fin and MechanicO: Last Boat To Cuba

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by FinTec, Feb 27, 2021.

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  1. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Hell yeah!

    Hope you found muy bueno tacos (de pescado?) and you're able to get some shut eye tonight. Have a blast riding through Mexico, very envious - you have me seriously rethinking my life priorities...lol. Between following this and Jamie's report, I want to say F-IT and just go.

    Keep the knobby side down @FinTec, look forward to seeing the progress of your travels as you make your way to the Rat.
    #41
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  2. steved57

    steved57 Long timer Supporter

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    Hell yeah you go Fin - we'll be following along
    #42
  3. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    if you end up in General Bravo around Lunch time, this place is good.
    I always park by the delivery bikes, it leads to intersting coversations with them, fuel right down the road as you leave town also ( food and fuel on the left)

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    #43
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  4. Smidty

    Smidty Been here awhile

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    In :lurk
    #44
  5. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    Crossed the boarder this morning and all went well. About an hour and half getting the TVIP for MO but not an issue. I actually went to do online the week before and avoid this but you have to do online I think it was 10 days before your crossing. So I missed it by a few days. No biggy.

    Leaving the hotel in McAllen as early as I can manage

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    Riding was not not worth mentioning or really photographing. Flat and farm like. But did stop here for lunch. Love how they use a Captain America type dude but not sure what the yellow thing is going into his pants!

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    Ha, I was watching this guy back-up and was afraid he might dink MO. Just me being paranoid, nada.

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    This guy was eyeing me the entire time I was eating my ribs.

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    Now for the best part of the day. I was getting close to Tampico but wanted to pull over and have a drink of water. I stopped at a new Pemex being built under it sign to keep out of the sun. As I am chilling a dude walks out over towards me. Nuts, security to tell me to scram. Yes and no, he was security but just wanted to talk. His name is Jose and he is from Alamira. He spoke very little English but he spoke in such a clear and slow pace we could get by in Spanish. It so made my day, my first casual conversation with a local in their language! It was amazing and I felt so good about the had work in learning this. I learned he used to work in a Chinese restaurant in Houston when he was younger and wants to go back but needs a visa. Small talk but interesting.

    I am testing using a grease board to bring along with me to help me write stuff down, get people to make maps, and when I take pictures of people, I can remember where and when. We'll see how receptive people are to this! I call it my "Analog Communication Device".

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    Made it to my hotel in Tampico and parked MechanicO in their underground parking. Why I picked the place.

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    MO in his evening jacket. Keeps him nice and inconspicuous. This is new to me running with a cover but so far I dig it. And it packs down crazy small.

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    What I find intriguing about Mexico is they have a different version of "risk". Things are just a little more "watch your ass" and it keeps you on your toes. The stair case down to parking had an excellent railing on one side, but on the other side it looked like the wall was never finished and there was no railing and a huge drop-off down to the garage. Love it. Not picking on anyone, just notice these things. Maybe the engineer in me who can't help but want to "fix it", but does it need fix'n? Talk among yourselves....

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    Off script starting tomorrow. Hope to get near the beach at some point.
    #45
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  6. knight

    knight Long timer

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    I used a borrowed hatchet to change out my rear wheel bearings in a campsite up in Dawson City
    #46
  7. Tagman

    Tagman Been here awhile

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    #47
  8. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

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    Fin - its great to travel to other countries & notice things like missing handrails - it means your responsible for yourself.
    #48
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  9. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Oh man that bike will fit in just fine in Cuba.
    No doubt you'll find it's brother and cousin looking just about the same.

    @Jamie Z is on that same boat. Have fun!
    #49
  10. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    It gets more interesting the farther south go...even more inventive in Cuba.

    Mexico uses Napoleonic Code Law vs British Law in the US.

    Understand that and you'll understand you're responsible for yourself in Mexico... don't fall off the steps...if you do it's YOUR fault not ours.

    Maybe you haven't seen this thread yet?

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/only-in-mexico.617372/
    #50
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  11. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yes, would be great to find MO's long lost Cuban brother. Perhaps a 50's era Harley with a replacement engine from a small Russian Lada. Perfect.

    Yep, JamieZ and I are keeping in touch. We are on parallel paths just at different points. Probably see him in Cancun. He did mention he just found a DID chain, so that is great news. The thought of needing a chain in Cuba is daunting.

    Finally made it to the Gulf. Made it a mini-goal for the day. Not the sunniest of days, but it will do.
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    Had lunch at the seaside place and of course out come the Gatos!

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    Another mini-goal was to camp tonight on the beach. Fan of iOverlander and it showed a nice place called Coco's just south of Veracruz. It was perfect. They cater to campers and day users. Only other person there was an over lander is a big Earth Roamer truck. Other then that, had the place to myself. $10 US dollars seemed a tad high for a dude on a moto with tent, but they had a bar. What do you do?

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    That night they left the lights on in the beach pavilion so I could make my dinner out of the crazy wind. The two camp dogs, Peaches and Lulu, of course came over to say howdy. I do wish I had room to carry some dog food. But these two guys where well fed and well behaved. For me, beef stew and Corona...the beer.

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    Ha, this guy startled the hell out of me. Saw something in the corner of my eye and looked down to see this guy "crab walking" his way over to me. As soon as I looked at him, he stopped moving. Look away, he moves. A game we played until he got bored and side scooted out the pavilion.

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    Breakfast the next morning.

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    Rained during the night and was VERY cloudy and windy in the morning. Made breakfast back in the pavilion and enjoyed listening the the waves while sipping coffee.

    But I made one vital tent mistake. I left the zipper undone thinking "ah, just having breakfast, back in a few". Well, as I am rolling up my bag and gear in the tent, I spot a huge spider inside on the ceiling. Must have crawled in while I was eating. So I pulled all my gear out and tried to dump him out with tent upside down. He said "F$%# you, I'm staying". Finally used my little grease board to flick him out. Done, right, no, this attack spider must have hit the ground in a sprint heading back towards my camp. There he was going for one of my gear bags. Flick him away even farther this time. I know, should have just squooshed him, but I don't want the bad juju's from doing that and this is his home really. I am just about done packing and there he is heading towards MO's front wheel. Son of a bitch, I flick him one last time, start MO and we skidaddle out of there. As I am driving down the road I had visions of that last scene in Road Warrior where the mohock bad guy pops over the hood of the truck when you least expect it scaring the crap out of you. So I did find myself looking around the bike as I am riding thinking "did he make it on board?" I hate freeloaders.
    #51
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  12. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    My travel plan is pretty straight forward at this point, follow the Gulf Coast to Cancun. But the day went into rain mode. I have to admit, to save space I really did not bring super duper rain gear. Just a water proof cover for my jacket. So had to take refuge in this old building overhang and join these two guys as we wait it out. Very friendly and of course I use my ever learning Spanish skills to try and tell them where I am going as that is usually what they want to know. In the end I end up drawing this on my Analog Communication Device.

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    Stop for lunch and, again, learned something new. I tried to gauge the size of meal to order from dollar amount. I saw a $10US chicken lunch and said "Si" to it. When it arrived it was like a lunch for 2-3 very hungry people. OK, don't order "grande pollo" next time.

    What interesting was it came on the stainless steel pedestal and was still sizzling even after 15+ minutes. I realize the pedestal was generating heat but I could not figure out how. Then I lifted it and there was actually charcoal coals inside it slowly grilling the chicken and veggies above. very neat.

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    As I like to do, I stop to have some water and found this great vista point looking over this huge inland lake called Lago Catemaco. This gentleman looked to "run" the overlook and kept it super clean and sold some food and drinks. he sees my Colorado plates and immediately starts asking questions I can only understand about 12% of. Crazy nice and kept wanting to give me chocolate no charge. Found out Miguel used to work in New York City but now the town below us, La Victoria is his home. That card around his neck was some sort of ID badge for a job he had in New York. A badge of honor for him and worthy of being around his neck.

    He did have a donation basket for the overlook of $1 peso I was more than happy contribute. But he had an ingenious security method for all the change. The coins went down a pipe down the small cliff into a basket. If anyone wanted to take the money they had to risk life and limb to go get it. Not sure how he retrieved it at end of day, but I am sure he had a method.

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    Was going to camp again but when you get rained on and you are wet and it is end of the day, you just are not in the mood. Found a hotel in town ahead of Agua Dulce. But decided to take back way into town. Round a corner and come to this bridge made of steel pipes filled with concrete, parallel to the road! And to boot, they where wet from rain. I am not going to be able to stop in time but scrub as much speed as can and roll onto the bridge of greased steel death tubes. All I could think was "MechanicO, I'll steer in-between two pipes and you keep us upright!". Popped out the other side upright. I little waggle of the rear end but upright. Stopped, took a breath, and learned to drop my speed for the unknown.

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    And if I get lost, I just need to go here!

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    #52
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  13. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

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    Buena suerte. I like your style.
    #53
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  14. duggram

    duggram Sunrise Bahia de LA Supporter

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    I should have known to look for a RR. This is great. Best of luck.
    #54
  15. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    What a great ride report ! That airbox looks really special...nobody will forget that bike. I am enjoying the well written and photographed report very much. I have been to Cuba twice but am looking forward to seeing it from your angle.
    #55
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  16. wobbly one

    wobbly one Been here awhile

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    OUTSTANDING Mr. Fin! I had no idea that a trip to a communist country on the last voyage of a 118 year old boat with a prototype cycle on a salvage title during a pandemic would have such an appeal to me. I can see myself checking this report multiple times a day to see what the heck is going on. I wish you the absolute best of times.
    #56
  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    #57
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  18. PukaWai

    PukaWai Long timer

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    Damn, the suckfest just keeps continuing! I missed the RTWPaul post and didn't know about the end of the Stahlratte era. I was signed up for a sailing to Cuba 3 years ago, and shortly before I was ready to head south on my way to Yucatan when I get an e-mail from Capt. Ludwig that he was canceling the sailing as I was the only one who signed up. Cuba went through my mind several times while wallowing in Covid blues after canceling an epic 2019 Europe ride, and of course the thought never went beyond my mind. :(

    What a fantastic opportunity you landed to get a spot on the last sailing of the Stahlratte to Cuba! I'll be following your ride report but it'll be hard as I never thought highly of living vicariously. Hope MO doesn't decide to be contrary - but while many riders think of their bikes as female, you think of yours as a he so you should be OK.
    But if not, I promise not to indulge in "Schadenfreude" - you can ask the Captain what that German word means :lol3
    #58
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  19. chilejack

    chilejack Viajero Viejo

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    [QUOTE="
    I'll see if it is worth reporting anything while on the road next few days. Just a lot of Colorado and then even more Texas sitting in a truck listening to polka music or podcasts on early 15th century knitting history and techniques.[/QUOTE]

    I highly recommend AdventureRiderRadio podcasts. 7 years of weekly podcasts available and going strong!
    #59
  20. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    :lol2 :lol2 :lol2

    Have wanted to quote this and a couple of others; appreciate your sense of wit and writing style - fantastic! Had a hard laugh about the crab walking through your dining area whilst stopping every time you made eye contact.

    Really like your usage of the white board - that's awesome man and what a great way to help with the language gap. Cool story about Miguel working in NY and moving back to La Victoria; what a great interaction with one of the locals you've met along the way.

    Look forward to the next update @FinTec, knobby side down and safe travels as you make your way to Cancun.
    #60