My Woman Rides - and she’s taking me to Ushuaia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by hochaz, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. hochaz

    hochaz Arizona to Argentina with Eva - October 2018

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    And that brings us to today.
    Nearly three weeks, 2500 miles and eleven Mexican states (tomorrow Chiapas makes twelve) into our trip now.
    We hope you are enjoying the ride. Next email, if all continues to go well, will come to you from Guatemala.
    #41
  2. KURT LAIN

    KURT LAIN loco

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    As we say here in Argentina that have "good routes", enjoy the trip, hugs
    #42
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  3. Romero

    Romero At Cinépolis or OXXO

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    Glad you stopped in Morelia! Keep on riding! Great RR!
    #43
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  4. hochaz

    hochaz Arizona to Argentina with Eva - October 2018

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    AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM LA MESILLA AT MEXICO GUATEMALA BORDER. PLEASE PASS ON TO THOSE HEADED THIS WAY...
    The ride to the border was beautiful. About 2 miles from Mexican immigration there was the beginning of a line of trucks, collectivos, tuk tuks, motos. UTTER CHAOS. For those familiar with La MESILLA this is extremely unusual. Eva and I just weaved in and out, at times turning completely around, riding by multiple drivers indicating to turn around, the border is closed. 15 minutes later we left the last of the vehicles behind and slowly approached a mob of angry campesinos holding big sticks and waving at us to turn back. Eva and I were completely surrounded. We pleaded our case that we are just tourists. At first we thought it had to do with the immigrant caravan that just battled troops at another MX GUATE border. Almost immediately there were those who were making a case for us and those vehemently opposed. In the end, a woman made the decision and told everyone to let us pass. The seas parted and we were granted passage. She warned that there were 2 additional groups blocking the border. Sure enough, the next group was larger and angrier appearing and we were quickly enveloped by them. We never felt in fear of harm however. We described how the leader of the prior group decided we were ok. That didn’t work. . They asked us to shut down the motos. I asked one young man why this was happening. It turns out that the MX government promised them water and none was delivered for 5 days!!! A man with a walkie talkie showed up. He was speaking to Eva while I was showing the growing group of young men the NO TRUMP sticker and the Our Lady of Guadalupe sticker I had on my bike. I don’t think that swayed them...HAHAH. When I found out the issue was with lack of water I grabbed my bottle and held it up high, offering those around me a drink. All graciously declined. In the end we were there speaking with them for 30 minutes. We smiled and laughed and pleaded our case but never lost our cool. Ultimately word came to the man with the walkie talkie speaking with Eva. We could pass!!! Smiles and fist pumps all around. Needless to say that MX immigration and aduana were quiet as a ghost town. I COULDNT BELIEVE WE GOT THOUGH WHILE HUNDREDS OF VEHICLES WERE HELD UP.

    This is a situation in flux and could go away at any time. Honestly, we could just as easily have been turned back. The owner of the B&B in which we stayed just in Comitan knew nothing of this. To us it looked like two days of traffic build up.

    Kicking back in Huehuetenango right now, a couple of beers down, laughing about it all. Just an FYI. Happy riding all!!!!!
    #44
  5. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Good work staying cool and making it through OK. I guess it's why they call it an adventure
    #45
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  6. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    This is a completely brilliantly told story with scrumptious photography to boot.

    Gracias

    :beer
    #46
  7. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

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    #47
  8. SalsaRider

    SalsaRider Been here awhile

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    I’m right behind you, except on a different path. Because of the social unrest in Central America, I’ve decided to ship my bike from Galveston, TX to Cartagena, Colombia.

    I hope you make it through to Panama safely!

    1 November is when my ride will begin. And hopefully, in the last week of that month I’ll start riding south from Cartagena.

    Perhaps our paths will cross?

    Monte
    “SalsaRider” on the ADVrider.com site
    My ride: My Longest Dance with Salsa
    #48
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  9. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

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    Sub'ed

    Happy Travels!
    #49
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  10. rt1500

    rt1500 n00b

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    Really enjoying following your adventure!
    #50
  11. semi_driver

    semi_driver Adventurer

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    I’m in good reading so far!!
    #51
  12. Slick13

    Slick13 Wanderer

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    Thanks for posting your report and photos, it's looking like an entertaining ride. Nice work on upping the ante with that second tyre change.
    #52
  13. hochaz

    hochaz Arizona to Argentina with Eva - October 2018

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    Hello all. So sorry for the radio silence.

    Eva and I arrived 5 days ago at our wonderful hotel in Antigua, the Aurora Hotel. Once again, Antigua enchants. Eva and I were here 7 months ago for private Spanish lessons - thank god I did that or I’d have been dead in the water on this trip. We are spending three nights here - our first real good break in one month.

    We left Chiapas Mexico eight days ago. Chiapas, and especially San Cristobal de las Casas, is extraordinarily beautiful.
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    In San Cristobal we stayed at Hotel San Jose which was very nice-clean, good sized rooms, hot water, good WiFi and convenient location. Secure moto parking 2 blocks away.
    #53
  14. hochaz

    hochaz Arizona to Argentina with Eva - October 2018

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    From San Cristobal we had a short ride to Comitan where we stayed ar an AirB&B called the Cabaña with wonderful host Hugo. The best reason to stop in for a night at Comitan is to spend a half day at Chiflon Falls before crossing into Guatemala the following day. The falls are amazingly beautfiful. A stiff hike to the top of the falls can be rewarded with a swim afterwards..
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    Please see my prior report regarding our experience just before the Mexican Guatemala border. After an uneventful and unexciting stopover in Huehuetenango, we nearly made it all the way to Antigua without a problem. I had a GPS glitch about 20 miles prior to Antigua which, before I realized it, had us riding down some remote two track dirt road surrounded by corn plants. I finally got the hint when the two track turned into a goat path - we could go no further. Unfortunately Eva dropped her bike while trying to turn around in a heavily rutted section. No injuries but the carburetor flooded causing us to just stand around for around 20 minutes out in the middle of no where in full riding armor and reflective vests. We just smiled and said buenos tardes to every elderly villager who walked by. They didn’t look at us twice, just returned the greeting with a smile and kept walking. The children betrayed their curiosity however, riding by on their bicycles multiple times, each time looking and smiling a little more. We walked the bike out of the ruts and finally got it started again and got to Antigua.
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    #54
  15. hochaz

    hochaz Arizona to Argentina with Eva - October 2018

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    After finally checking into our hotel in Antigua, I rinsed off and changed and armed with a few addresses from mi amigo, Glenn Hamburger, a retired ICU nurse who makes Guatemala his home, I set out to find a motorcycle mechanic. I struck out at each place but was given directions to a small repair shop I did not know about. After flailing around with my meager Spanish for 20 minutes I finally convinced myself that this shop had what we needed. An oil change, the ability to order brake pads from Guatemala City and a welding machine/welder.

    The following day, Eva and I rode over to the mechanic. I bought the oil, brought our own oil filters (thank goodness), and convinced them to let me do my own oil change. I wanted to be sure I left with every nut and bolt I started with. They were pretty amused by the gringo lying on the dirty shop floor doing his own work. I was thrilled to be able to do it in peace. They welded a broken bracket on Eva’s bike at no charge. Vibrations from 2500 miles of, at times, rough Mexican roads is taking its toll on the bikes.
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    Moto Punto is the name of the shop. Really good people!!!

    Three days in Antigua and Eva and I were itching to hit the road again. We gave Chichicastenango a pass because the big Mercado for which Chichi is known was not on the days we would be there. We passed on Xela as well, a town I’ve heard very good things about. Lastly we passed on Lake Atitlan. For whatever reason we weren’t picking up on the backpacker hippy vibe as much as we would have in years passed and Atitlan is a magnet for that vibe. It is also extremely beautiful and has an abundance of Spanish schools. Not this time for us. Instead we rode in the direction of Copán Ruinas in Honduras. The border crossing into Honduras just outside of Copán Ruinas was fast and seamless. The checkout window for Guate is right next to the checkin window for Honduras - literally 10 feet apart in the same air conditioned building.


    Copán Ruinas is a wonderful cobblestoned, friendly town with good food and lodging. We stayed at Casa Doña Elena for two nights. Wonderful room with excellent views into Copán valley, great AC and WiFi and secure covered moto parking. Our favorite eats came out of Llama del Bosque.
    #55
  16. hochaz

    hochaz Arizona to Argentina with Eva - October 2018

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    We toured the ruins of Copán. This is a wonderful Mayan site. We hired a tour guide for the ruins. His name was Tony, 81, and he had been a guide there for 45 years. He had infinite knowledge of the site and of Mayan history in general. Less fortunately, he spoke quietly and not very clearly due to a stroke induced expressive aphasia - just our luck. Our ears and brains soon accommodated this and what he lacked in speech clarity he more than made up for in great stories and enthusiasm.
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    After an enlightening tour and just about topped off on Mayan history, Eva and I visited a Macaw sanctuary. The scarlet Macaw is the national bird of Honduras and was venerated by the Mayans. It has been virtually wiped out due to animal trafficking and the purpose of the sanctuary was to repopulate the Copán Valley with these wonderful birds through rescue and breeding. We were happy to support this effort by visiting the birds
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    The uneasy smile probably has to do with the much revered scarlet Macaw on my head just dropping a hot shit down my neck. I maintained my composure and thought fast - surely the Mayans would have considered this an extremely auspicious occurrence. Yeah, that’s it, it’s a good thing!!!


    Today we rode 6.5 hours through Honduras to a stopover town called Comayagua, tomorrow it’s on to Choluteca, another town in Honduras from where we will cross into Nicaragua.

    Honduras is a poor country but people are hard at work here, infrastructure in the form of improved roads and schools is seen everywhere. When we walked down the street to dinner tonight we surely caught many people’s attention - not many tourists come through here - but people mostly smiled and greeted us warmly. I will be drinking shade grown, small farm, Honduran coffee from now on at home. Not just because it will help Honduras, the 5th largest coffee producer in the world, but because it really is THAT DAMN GOOD!!!
    #56
  17. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    Great report! Thank you for making the time to do so. I know how long that can take, especially on a regular basis.

    You mentioned that you rode six and a half hours one day. Is that a pretty normal ride day for you? I’m planning my own trip for next year and all the details you are putting in are very helpful. And quite interesting. Copa Ruinas was already on my itinerary, and you just confirmed that for me.
    #57
  18. goosecreek

    goosecreek A day late and a dollar short. Supporter

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    Subscribed :-)
    #58
  19. kneeslider

    kneeslider Insufficient privileges!

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    Well done!
    #59
  20. hochaz

    hochaz Arizona to Argentina with Eva - October 2018

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    Sorry for not responding sooner. No, 6.5 hours is not typical for us. We prefer to ride between 3-5 hours, usually around 150-180 miles on days we ride. We ride consecutive days in places we don’t think will hold our interest. Always we try to be off bikes, checked in, washed up and eating something by 2pm. Usually walk the Centro at dusk and kicking it back in hotel by 8 or so. Guate, Honduras and Nicaragua all good and welcoming. We stayed out of Guate city, Tegucigalpa and Managua - why ask for that stress.
    #60
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