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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RexBuck, Jan 28, 2012.
Thanks Eakins, appreciate it.
Day 36 - Feb 21
Many of the buildings you see around Mexico have amazing colors. Oaxaca is no different - great variety of colors and textures. You've seen a few in my previous posts. Here are a few more:
Felicitaciones !!!!! Por tu viaje pasando por Tlapa de Comonfort en el estado de Guerrero, es una ruta poco transitada y muy interesante para mi, ojala tengas oportunidad posteriormente de ilustrarnos con tu ruta y con mas fotos de esa region , ya que no muchos viajeros se animan a pasar po ahi !!!!! espero un dia de estos pasar por ahi asi como tu lo has hecho y comentartelo, por lo pronto te felicito en especial por esa parte de tu viaje que te repito : NO CUALQUIERA PASA POR AHI !!!!!!!!
Emiliano gracias por los amables comentarios.
La ruta via Tlapa de Comonfort fui eligió solo porque fue diferente. Sería fácil para usted con tú DR650 o XR650. Es muy bonito pais. Lo siento es no mas fotos - me estaba divirtiendo mucho. Perdí mi GPS trac pero puedo hago una mapa de Google si quieres. Envias mi a PM.
Por favor, perdone mí mal español.
Gracias por tu español !!!!!!
Tengo ganas de pasar por donde tu pasaste ese dia, y tu recorrido me esta inspirando a hacerlo, gracias y seguire pendiente de tu RR !!!!!!!
Days 37-49 - Feb 22 - Mar 4
So, part of the idea when Mrs RexBuck came down was to essentially take a 2 week vacation.
So, we did. Back to Zipolite. Hotel el Alquemista at the west end of the beach. One of the nicer joints in Zipolite. We both really appreciated the tranquility and lack of crowds along the entire beach. Zipolite is a very laid back place and is great if you don't mind a little different crowd than you see in most of the tourist areas. We enjoyed it immensely.
The view from our cabaña
Hotel's restaurant/bar on the beach with one of the two Rotties the owner has there
Locals fishing off the rocks in front
Parked the bike in front of the Cabaña
Nakidity . . .
Pretty relaxed routine. Went for lots of walks down the beach Mrs RB did her runs on the beach. Main beach
One of the locals net fishing in the surf
Soccer game every evening for anyone who wants to join in
Lots of dogs on the beach. A Mexican Hairless
Usually breakfast and dinner in the town or on the beach. The restaurants in the town pretty well spill out on the street cars drive slow since a lot of the restaurant owners and shop owners bring their kids down to play in the street while they are doing dinner.
Surprising the number of restaraunts in this little place. Lot of French French (as opposed to Quebec French) in town so a few French oriented places with crepes and stuff (not my cup of tea). Bunch of Italian including Pizzas. And, of course lots of Mexican and some really good street food. We actually didnt get bored with the food great variety. Lady heading to the beach with her home baking to sell. Hmmmm, good!
Mrs RexBuck after breakfast at one of the beach restaurants
Visited the other three of the four little towns in this beach front group that is basically about a 25 km loop off of Hwy 200 to the beach. Puerto Angel to the east small beaches primarily devoted to fishermen. Apparently a lot of Canadians building houses there. Guess we just didn't spend enough time there - didn't see the attraction.
Mazunte and San Agustinillo were on the westerly end and both quite nice towns San Agustinillo had more accommodation available and a really nice beach while Mazunte seemed to have a lot of eating places, shops and the Turtle Museum. Both towns had a good vib.
Went to the turtle museum in Mazunte. Apparently Mexicans like to eat turtles and have over-fished them so, the gummit has set up a program to help increase their numbers by protecting them and their eggs. The museum is primarily to show the different species of land and sea turtles in Mexico and seems to do a small amount of hatching.
Some of the full grown marine turtles have spectacular patterns on their shells
Some newly hatched marine turtles who will eventually be tossed back in the ocean
Days 50-55 - Mar 5-8
Headed back over to Oaxaca to get Mrs RexBuck on her plane
Uneventful other than getting stopped in a long line of traffic by a roadblock by the local natives. Didn't really matter other than it was hot and it was almost Modello time. Finally about 3 truckloads of State Police showed up and resolved things.
Went to the huge Abastos Market in the morning. My God! What an over-stimulation of the senses. This thing literally goes on for blocks but you are under one roof the whole time. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of vendors selling everything from fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, shoes, clothes, hardware, housewares, restaurants and just strange things you wouldn't expect to find. One place I failed to get a pic of old blender bowls or whatever you call them. They had everything you could imagine, I think I saw some from the 60's.
Carnicería selling just pork . . . see the faces on the counter?
Radishes and onions
Met up with inmate dougholck from Lodi, CA and his family. Enjoyed a great dinner with them and swapped some lies.
Hung around for an extra day after Mrs RB left and did a bunch of maintenance on the bike - everything is now tickity boo.
By the way, to give credit where due, TricePilot's Oaxaca ride report was a huge help in making the Oaxaca stay much more enjoyable. Including his recommendation of Hotel Maela, good place, good location, decent price and stored a whole pile of stuff for us when we went over to Zipolite. Kudos.
Back at you - today I forwarded your Zipo pics post to a friend as a recommendation
Buenas fotos Rexbucks !!!!!!!!
good job on the rr which route are you taking back north I am in PV at this time may be in Z-town- Ixtapa always a cold Modeo agui....John
I am in Sayulita and heading back north in a few days if your going anywhere nearby. Looks like you are having a great trip. Great job on the posting. I posted some of trip down from Phoenix if you want to have a look. Stay well. Jick
Here's a link. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=18230497#post18230497
Day 54 - Mar 9
As Willie said, Were on the road again. Had a great three week vacation with Mrs RexBuck, exploring Oaxaca and hanging out in Zipolite. Now, its time to get the ride going again.
What a great way to start out. Decided to head down to Palenque and San Cristobal and so headed north from Oaxaca on Hwy 175 to get towards the Gulf coast. What a great road! Its about 220 km from Oaxaca to Tuxtlapec and about 170km of that is spectacular twisted road, most of which has great pavement. Up and down is the game. Went up to 9000 feet then back down to 5000 then back up to 10,000 and hang around there for awhile kept thinking they would throw in a straight stretch . . . didn't happen. Mountains, valleys, hills on hills climb up into pine forests then down into jungle. What a hoot. If you are ever anywhere near here and have a motorcycle, this road is a must do.
Couple of mountain shots
Single axle dump trucks are used by the gazillions down here. Some (most) are pretty old and they have to use low low to creep up a hill. Came around a corner and here is a guy on a bicycle passing one of these up hill. Priceless.
Stopped at this lady's place for breakfast. Her son works in Canada. Her daughter was waiting for her ride to school. People down here seem to be so welcoming to strangers. Always curious.
Once I got rid of the elevation, the jungle picked up and the contrast to the high elevation pine forests was refreshing. Very lush . . . was waiting to come around a corner and see a boa constrictor and a jaguar fighting it out. Never happened, but would have been cool. I dont think the Jaguar would try it though doesn't have the cahones of the Honey Badger to take on nasty snakes.
Tuxtlapec's claim to fame seems to be a sugar refinery and this huge brewery
Corona is one of the brands produced by Grupo Modelo. Also produces Modelo, Pacifico, Victoria, Barrilito and a few other brands. The company has about 60% of the Mexican beer market. Of course, included in this is Negra Modelo making this spot like a shrine.
The first valleys were quite fertile and growing corn and a few other crops on a small scale. Once past Tuxtlapec, started to see sugar cane, a lot of orchards. Further south a lot of Piñas mixed in. Massive fields of piñas sometimes reminded me of corn fields in the Mid-West as far as you could see.
A small Pineapple field - this one actually continued over the far end of the field for about 1/2 mile.
Field of tied piñas to be harvested soon - I'm guessing they tie them up like this to protect them from birds or bugs or sun.
A little truck loaded with Piñas. When the big trucks go by loaded with Piñas that fresh pinapple smell hits you, hmmmm.
Roads south of Tuxtlapec were pretty flat and straight - massive amount of truck traffic avoiding the cuota. These truckers are crazy. Tons of doble semi remolque which is kind of like a B-Train only bigger. One of the dobles in front of me was trying to pass a propane truck on a blind hill . . . I decided to ride way back I wasn't sure how large the blast area would be. He finally gave up after having to dive back in a couple of times.
Arrived at Acayucan where I planned to stay the night. Good sized town judging by the number of banks and large stores. Stayed at the Hotel Arcos de Parque across the street from their town square. Just like the rest of Mexican towns, the town Parque was hoppin tonight. Had a play on must have been 4 or 500 people watching it, either sitting in plastic chairs they had set out or just hanging around. Something involving Cortez, a monk, a couple of the natives and some ghosts. Everybody was really getting into it.
Nice hotel recently refurbished great secure parking in the middle of the building ok wifi. Restaurant great - serve Negro Modello. They had a chef and Tacos al Pastor set up out front so I had 7 of them. Really good. Served them with some Piña on them. Hmmmm.
Here is a pic of the courtyard. Of importance to note is, behind the white pickup was my room. The pool is on the other side of my room. There is an alley way next to my room connecting the courtyard to the pool.
They had put me in this room on the ground floor with a window to the pool. Bunch of kids playing in the pool but they should be done by the time I want to go to sleep. As the night is wearing on, a few guys are setting up a bunch of decorations and stuff. Looked they were getting ready for a wedding maybe tomorrow. Anyhow, Im dog tired and around 10 I hit the hay.
Well, about a half hour later I thought the f%&king bomb had been dropped on us. Some awful dance music started up so insanely loud that was shaking the window. Doesn't take a lot to get RexBuck grumpy but they were working on it. Wander up to the office and ask if theres a party going on? Yes. Didn't know how to say in Spanish well why the f%&k did you give me the room in the middle of the party? They quickly volunteered another room higher up and on the other side of the courtyard apparently these are the quietest rooms in the joint. OK, mutter mutter.
Moved all my crap up there and settled in to the dull roar of bad music at high volume but, at a distance. Dozed off again. Jesus Christ! This f%*king drummer started up, super amplified. Remember, parking for all the vehicles is in the courtyard which is on the other side of the building from the pool and the parking lot is pretty well full. This was so loud it actually set off at least 5 or 6 of the car alarms in the courtyard. My God! It was louder than the crap music was when I was in the other room.
So, this frickin drummer had amazing stamina would go a good half hour straight then they would crank up the tunes (bleh) in between. It was getting a bit old (or, guess I am) but by 12 I wander back down to the office (notice a lady with her suitcase heading out) and ask how long this is supposed to go on for. Tells me for two more hours. I respond with a resounding F%&K! which I dont think he understood, but got the idea. Go watch some more TV, then after awhile, they actually turned the volume down from 97 to 92 . . . and I dozed off.
Now, just to add here, the drummer was actually pretty good but not at sound levels that could be used to demolish old buildings. And, I really like Mexican music all types of it but, this was worse than rap. Jesus! The music had no redeeming value whatsoever, and I think the young folks that were there were just acting like they liked it . . . I cant see a human being finding that amorphous combination of irritating sounds to somehow be enjoyable. Blah blah blah old guy. (just paraphrasing my sons-in-law when they read that.)
Thanks captkumu. I'm heading up east of Mexico so won't be back your way. I've spent a fair amount of time in Z-What and Ixtapa - great places to hang out. Thanks for the invite though - maybe another time.
Hey BJ, good to see you got underway. I'm just starting to work my way up north so quite a ways from you. Will catch up with you later.
Thanks for the link - I've had spotty internet for a few days so have not been able to check up at ADV. Looks like you started out with a roar.
Enjoying your report! I'm here in Lazaro cardenas at Emiliano's. I guess I will eventually leave.
That's the part of retirement I'm still getting used to - landing at a place and staying until the mood moves me to leave . . . or until the beer runs out whichever comes first.
Day 55 - Mar 9
Farted around in the morning for awhile and got out of Dodge around 10 - knew I only had 400 km of flat and straight.
And, it was. Was working my way down the Libres through the regular Mexican towns like I usually do. I dont know if I was still grumpy or what but I was getting real tired of the circus on these roads. Since the Libres are really straight (like the Cuotas) there are tons of trucks trying to avoid the tolls everything from little 8 foot flatdecks to doble semi remolques.
As I mentioned before, many of them are crazy. But, there are so many. I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhogs Day. Just keep repeating the same thing over and over. You work your ass off getting around a group trucks and then catch up to another. And, no, you cant just hang back and be patient because each truck goes over each tope at a crawl, easing each axle over and some of these have 9 or 10 axles and, there could be half dozen of these rigs in front of you in addition to buses, taxis and cars, all of which dont want to damage their suspension.
So, you do what we are intended to do and as this conglomeration is stopped to go over a tope or a series of up to 8 topes, have a look at the oncoming lane which of course has the same scenario going on the other direction, stand up and give er. If some oncoming traffic appears, you can either dart in or, in the Mexican way, everybody makes room for you and you just carry on.
Eventually got tired of this gong show, wasn't really seeing any of the towns, just fighting traffic. And, it was all sooo flat and straight and flat and straight . . . . I think elevation varied from about 5' to 50' all day. Reluctantly got on the cuota for about 2/3 of the day. Think it cost me about 60 pesos in total which was a cheap toll day. By the way, apparently the government has passed a new law allowing motos to pay half price on Cuotas but it hasn't made its way down to the toll booths yet.
It actually wasnt all that bad - pretty, marshy country. Very lush. Lots of birds. Still haven't come across the Jaguar and Boa Constrictor duking it out. Went through quite a few fairly good sized towns. Seems to be lots going on down here. Villahermosa is a pretty good size with lots of Distribution Centers for many of the large retailers WalMart, Soriano, and others. These are frickin huge operations - it is obvious people are buying stuff here. Trucks delivering stuff to these warehouses were lined up down the highway waiting to get a place to unload.
Not many pics today - pretty neat bridge over one of the big rivers
Pulled into Palanque and went looking for Maya Bell as recommended by Johnnydarock. It is actually in the Palanque Park. Funky place. Found out where all the dreadlocked hipsters go when they tire of Zipolite. Liked the feel of the place so, will probably spend tomorrow touring the ruins and stay another night then off to San Cristobal.
The restaurant/bar - has some pretty decent live music on the weekends
Cool little Cabaña out at the edge of the jungle.
Day 56 - Mar 11
Well that was a night. Learned what howler monkeys sound like . . . at about 3 in the morning. I thought that a Jaguar was taking on the boa constrictor right outside my window sounded like a lion bragging about a kill combined with a dog barking and wild pig making whatever sound they make. Then a bunch others jumped in. Buggers aren't called howlers for nothing.
Here is a quick video of what they sound like. I figured this one was about 150 yards away. Using my little GoPro with it's crappy microphone - consider they were actually about 5 times louder than this.
Headed out to the Palanque ruins site this morning. Of course was inundated with offers to guide me around but, decided to just pay my entrance fee and wander around. This is a massive site, only about 5% has been discovered or recovered while 95% is still in the clutches of the jungle.
I spent about 3 hours wandering around the various temples, climbing 100s if not 1000s of stairs. And, these arent little stairs, most are about 2x our normal stairs gave me a great workout. Ill tell you, those Mayans must have been a pretty tough breed. Their descendants I've seen around arent big people I'd say the men are 5'to 5'6" and the women shorter. It must have been a sight seeing all those stumpy legs pounding up those stairs.
Heading out of the park and I run into this guy Julio who had been bugging me earlier to give a guided tour of the ruins and jungle. I'm kind of feeling I wanted a bit more but the only problem was he only spoke Spanish. No problema. Had him do a brief jungle tour for me and we got on just fine. It was well worth it.
At first he gives me a brief history of the place. The Mayans populated this area from about 100AD to 900AD at which time they left no reason known why they left. However, archaeologists believe a lot of the Palanque population moved to the then, young city of Chitzén Itzá out in the Yucatan.
There are somewhere around 25 structures developed and another 1500+ still under the jungle. Since the Mayans of this era used a lot of plaster like material to hold the stones together, that substance has largely deteriorated over time so, many of the temples and pueblos are in lousy shape. I would suspect that to be able to reconstruct some of these, they would almost have to be largely disassembled and re-grouted when assembled again.
Julio was pretty interesting in the knowledge he had of the various plants and trees and how they were used by the Mayans. Here he is and the bark of the vine in front of this tree smells like cloves and the Mayans used it to control tooth aches by chewing on it. Sounds an awful lot like my Grandmothers remedy of chewing on cloves to cure a tooth ache.
Baby tarantulas. Apparently they hatch this time of year and live in these leaves until they grow to the big hairy monsters we all know and love by the summer.
Termite nest. He poked a hole in it and you can see them in there. The Mayans like to eat them.
Wood from this tree used to make instruments like drums and stringed instruments had a great resonance.
This red barked tree was called something like Arbol Macho. Said the Yucatan Mayans called it Arbol Touristas . . . its the color of touristas on the beach
A lot of plants used for medicines, food and the odd haluciginan.
Guy has his own secret piece of ancient pottery hidden under a rock. Makes a big deal of making sure nobody is around before he uncovers it and shows it to me.
One of the temples still under the jungle.
A tunnel into one of the undeveloped temples.
Finally saw some Howler Monkeys. These things are about the size of a cat. Amazing how much sound these little guys can make.
Two trees intertwined.
Great report. The pics are wonderful.
Great pictures and loving your write up on your adventure. Thanks for posting it up.
Great report -- very much enjoying your writing and photos. Thanks for taking the time to share both.
It's quite amazing to realize that people are people wherever one goes. I've found that given the chance, most people want to talk and help and learn and understand.