Fin and MechanicO: Last Boat To Cuba

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

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  1. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    i would put a Canadian flag somewhere.
    sanctions against Cubans receiving the covid vaccinations (amongst everything else), compliments of the USA.
    not meant to be political in nature - just suggesting a means to avoid potential altercations.
    apologies to Americans offended by my suggestion.
    #61
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  2. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    Continuing my way up the Yucatan I was heading towards Isla Aguada. However, I spot a tiny road on my GPS hugging the coast along some narrow land mases. Fantastic, a back way into Paraiso that looks fun.

    Great road going through some coastal villages. I even stopped to say I put my feet in the gulf

    PXL_20210309_170530575.jpg

    PXL_20210309_170318945.jpg

    PXL_20210309_174350684.jpg

    The road started getting more "forgotten" until I finally hit this

    Roadout.jpg

    Roads ends in a huge washout that looks to have been there for years. Thought of hitting the sand but on a fully loaded bike, no way. Even MechanicO gave me the OK to pass on this. He rarely passes up a challenge but even he knew that was a bad idea. I would have to now backtrack at least an hour+ to get to town. But in the corner of my right eye I spot a lady with her daughter in the mangroves near a rope tied between two trees. I thought it was odd to see this, what the heck would they be doing? Then I saw a little road going between the two trees with a rope on them. Ah ha, an alternate route. A detour. I roll of the road down into the mangroves and come to this..

    Toll1.jpg

    My first rope based toll! Excellent. The fee was 5 pesos. Deal! I ask if this will take me to Paraiso and the answer was Si. I pay my toll, and proceed with a smile on my face knowing I will make the destination and I paid my toll like a good travler.

    Weeeeell, as I found out, anyone with a rope and two trees can now ask for a toll. In a matter of maybe 2 miles I hit a total of 5 of these tolls. Here they are in order, #1 already above:

    Toll #2

    Toll2.jpg

    Toll #3

    Toll3.jpg

    Toll #4

    Toll4.jpg

    Toll #5

    Toll5.jpg

    At least they where consistent, all where 5 pesos. But I do think there was some double-dipping and they where getting me coming and going on their property. I think it was between #3 and #4, they where so close they could easily have carried on a conversation through the mangroves. I mean I should have just parked my bike, got off, paid both using my feet, and then gone. Save the gas.

    Near the end, I wanted to see if I could talk them down in price just for the practice. So when they said 5 pesos, I through up my hands and said "Demasiado! Demasiado caro! Un poco moto" in my most "I'm kidding" voice. Well this got a laugh at #4, but at #5, the girl on the right was NOT having this. Look at her expression. Ha, priceless! Then I though I heard her shout for "El Chapo" and I believe her dad came out. Lo siento. And handed over my 5 pesos.

    Mark my word, when I get home, a scathing letter will be written to the "Ministry of Rope Base Rural Tolls". I mean, I spent a full $1.20US that I believe was wrongly collected. And not one receipt to even prove it happened.

    OK, everyone was really nice and it was fun to talk to them and even have some good video. All in good fun.

    After that, easy roads to next stop where I meet another traveler.
    #62
  3. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    chilejack,

    Could not agree more. I sessioned hard on probably 10+ hours of AdventureRiderRadio pod casts on the drive down to TX. They are so well done and easy to listen to. Before you know it you have burned hours on the road.

    And actually, they inspired me to do something myself on this trip. My next post will show you what I did in the spirit of learning about people on ones travels. Coming up.
    #63
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  4. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

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    Gotta give these folks credit to come up with a plan for some income.
    I can only guess —- but I expect not enuff traffic that they’ll be buying a new pickup truck or motorcycle in the next few decades.
    Actually probably made that part of your trip much more memorable eh FinTec
    :rayof
    #64
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  5. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Outstanding update @FinTec and what a wonderful experience! Did you ask them about the improvements they were making to the road for future travelers...lol? I keed, I think that story exemplifies the wonders of traveling the local way. And better than paying the fees for the cuota.

    Great pics man, thanks for sharing. Look forward to your next update; knobby side down.
    #65
  6. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    Oh yea, I was having fun with it. Actually, the toll people did a great job of putting palm leaves on the really deep sandy spots. Made it MUCH easier on the big big bike. There actually was a good amount of traffic so I suspect they do pretty good as far as income. Win win for all.

    But I am still writing my letter ;)
    #66
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  7. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    Love it!
    :clap
    #67
  8. 8382

    8382 KLR'sKlX"sGSn'stuff

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    Good luck on this journey FinTec and MO. Following you both here and on You Tube. Currently in a dirty Covid lockdown in Newfoundland. Thanks for the story.
    Wish i was there instead of this freezing hell. I brought a crashed 658 back from the dead. Ride MechanicO, Ride.
    #68
  9. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    Kept on rolling up the gulf coast and taking pics of what ever caught my fancy.

    PXL_20210309_222753035.jpg

    My goal for the day was a town called Isla Aguada as iOverlander spotted a great camping area just outside of town that looked promising. As I was crossing the bridge into town a moto that was definitely not one of the many 100-150cc bikes that I have only seen so far in Mexico came up fast into my side mirror. And this rider had kitty cat ears on her helmet. A wave and we roll into the toll into town. I pull the standard "Irish" slow reach for my wallet and she graciously covers the toll tab. Works every time. I say "hey, I know where the best spot in town is, follow me". What the hell did I know.

    So this is Claire.

    PXL_20210310_144535213.jpg

    Claire has an incredible story to tell as I found out as we wandered into town and drummed up some dinner of large puffy things with meat in them.

    I need to interrupt myself and tell you about a goal I had for this trip. I have done my fair share of traveling and in every instance, there is one common denominator I enjoy the most, the people. Not only that, but they are the most interesting part to share. Let me give you a scenario: your friends come back from a trip and proceed to show you pictures. OK, pretty canyons, beautiful mountains, rivers, old churches and buildings with long history, and on and on and on. But when they show a picture of someone they met at this one place and he had this incredible reason for being there I want to know more! When I read these ride reports here and they briefly mentions some random person at a stop but then they don't even show a picture or give a name, what the F$%#! I want to know more. So back to my goal. I wanted to make sure if I met someone interesting I took the time to either get a picture with their name in it (thus the use of the white board) or even better, see if I can get a quick interview with them. Then years from now I can watch it and remember that person. And of course, also share it here.

    So with that, here is my very first interview with Claire at the "Freedom Shores" camp area in Isla Aguada. A few small kinks to work out but I think it works.



    Freedom Shores was a really nice place. I even adopted a temporary dog, Pepe, for the night.

    PXL_20210310_122729293.jpg

    PXL_20210310_125658948.jpg

    And I already screwed up, this is Thelma who owns and runs the joint. I forgot to have her hold the white board. Gaaa! She was a sweetheart and spoke perfect English. At 79 she was running around keeping the place in top form.

    PXL_20210310_150053006.jpg

    A few stops on the way to Cancun the next day. Planning to still make it by Friday.

    PXL_20210310_175333163.jpg

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    #69
  10. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Probably that road is all Ejido land really "private". They probably figured you would stop at some point and camp.
    #70
  11. Vark

    Vark Long timer

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    Bravo Claire!
    #71
  12. Graniteone

    Graniteone 3,2,1...Beer me! Supporter

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    Well done Fin!
    #72
  13. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    This is great!!! Thanks!!
    #73
  14. advrockrider

    advrockrider Long timer

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    Really like the interview and the format in which you do them. Very cool idea and she is an inspiration..
    #74
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  15. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    Did you notice the seat pad Claire had on her bike? These pads originally are designed for ATV seats, but are popular with moto owners too!
    I once had a bike which the seat was so very smooth which in turn provided no butt relief on hot day rides. I fashioned one of these pads to fit the seat, as it has surface channels to provide not only air flow but butt comfort too. The fabric texture provides a bit of friction so when taking a corner really fast and you have to shift ones' body weight to keep the lean angle from not being so extreme, there's no "butt/thigh slippage".
    #75
  16. Essbee

    Essbee Been here awhile

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    Loving this! Thanks, Fin.
    #76
  17. mpusms

    mpusms Been here awhile Supporter

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    Absolutely spot on regarding “the people” and outstanding interview short and sweet. Looking forward to seeing what the Cubans will have to say. Thanks for sharing.
    #77
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  18. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

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    Clarie was great! Good job Fin.

    Thanks for sharing - FYI my brother in Denvuh says 2' of snow this weekend & possible 6' in mountains - your gonna miss 1st tracks :rofl
    #78
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  19. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    What an awesome idea @FinTec! I thoroughly enjoyed the interview, Claire has quite the story - can't believe she made it all the way to Costa Rica and had to turn back because of the border closure.

    And damn man - you had two camera angles to mix together! No Mickeymouse stuff for you. Being a video nerd, I'm curious as to the lav mic you're using and what you used to record? I saw a GoPro mounted on your bike and assume that was the front camera, what did you use for side/distance shooting? Did you use audio from the GoPro? And seriously cool that you edited the video there - also curious on what you're using to edit (app and hardware).

    I'm really enjoying this man, knobby side down and keep the updates coming.
    #79
  20. Comrade Arturo

    Comrade Arturo Veterinario

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    Enjoyed the interview & Claire's attitude :thumb
    #80