North to South America on a Honda 250 (back home)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Joris van O, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Great stuff! More please.
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  2. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Jaja, you're doing it right amigo!
    Tequila shots help your confidence?
    A Chica cliffhanger...
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  3. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    We went to another place and somehow Gaby and I ended up next to each other and talked most of the evening (and maybe danced too, sort of.. as I can't dance). Late in the night, or early in the morning I kissed her goodnight and walked back to the hostel. She agreed to have lunch together on Monday and to show me around the city. I booked one extra night. Whoohoo :)
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    I used the Sunday to visit some of the places that were recommended to me. Starting with the Instituto Cultural Cabañas. Some fascinating huge murals from José Orozco. Never heard of the guy before but I was impressed.
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    More from the same guy in the Museo de las Artes UDG.
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    Lunch at Mercado Libertad, a massive indoor marked. Three stories high, countless little pathways and shops, it's hard to find an exit.
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    So many churches in Mexico.. All elaborately decorated. Must have cost a fortune back then. And probably still does, to maintain it all.
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    La Minerva, shame about the rain but I should've know by now that it is imminent in the afternoon.
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    More lunch, just over 2 dollars including an Agua fresca. Not the healthiest of options but very tasty.
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    Spend the afternoon reading on the balcony of the hostel. Always great to see people go their way invisible from above.
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    Monday came around and together we had a great day. We talked a lot, walked a lot and visited some cool places. One of those was a bookshop owned by an older American. Who had ridden his motorcycle down to Guadalajara many years ago and never left, oh the irony. Not only was Gaby really beautiful, funny, smart and a bit of a rebel. I learned that she is also very ambitious as a photographer and artist. In the afternoon she had to leave for French classes so we said goodbye I and went back to my hostel. Sometimes, not often, you come across someone that you really connect with. This was definitely the case now, as she made me doubt the whole trip.. I was already thinking of ways to extend my stay here, maybe do Spanish classes here instead of Guatemala or Colombia. Maybe find a job here, or volunteer in a hostel. Alright.. Calm down, you've only seen here twice now. Don't be a fool. We made plans to meet on Wednesday (so I booked another two nights).
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    In the evening I met up with Sparta and Sebastian for some beers, they had just arrived in Guadalajara. Of course I told them everything, they laughed. It was a great night, like catching up with old friends.
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    We also tried the vegan street food, hotdogs, hamburgers and tacos. I can't recommend them..
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    Tuesday I visited Chapala, I think this town has the largest population of Canadians and Americans in Mexico. Many retired people living here. Not surprising as you can live pretty well here for little money.
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    Sparta and Seb asked if I wanted to join them to the Lucha Libre show in the evening. I'm not a big fan of wrestling and probably wouldn't have gone alone if it wasn't for them asking me. And I have to say, it was brilliant! I enjoyed every minute of it. Of course the wrestling is a show, but the crowd makes the experience so much better. There was a band playing and whole groups shouting funny insulting things to each other, wrestlers included. The whole atmosphere was great!
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    We finished with a beer in a Karaoke gay bar, it was as bad as it sounds..
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    Guadalajara by night.
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  4. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

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    That's it! I'm getting a 250...had no idea they were such chick magnets..I mean, it must be the bike, right? :D
  5. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    On Wednesday we went out for lunch again. Afterwards Gaby suggested we visit one of Guadalajaras oldest cemeteries. Once there entry was only possible with a guided tour. But Gaby asked the security guard nicely and we were allowed in for a quick look around.
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    She wanted to try and draw a portrait of me, even though she had never made a portrait before. So we went to her place and she got out her pencils and started on a paper version of me. Somehow we ran out of time and she had to hurry for French classes again, through the pouring rain.
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    I realized that at one point in the near future I had to leave. I could spend another month (or more) in Guadalajara but I came here with a goal in mind. I'm riding to South America, to Ushuaia. I have to do this trip and can always come back afterwards. It was a hard decision, I didn't feel like leaving but it had to be done (and there was this Darien Gap crossing I booked). But first we had a portrait to finish! So Thursday we met again, this time in the park.
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    These are the graphics she normally creates, very different from a portrait.
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    After some more hours of talking and looking at each other very seriously, I was finished :) After a while French classes were calling again and it was time to say goodbye, this time it was for real. Which was very difficult! I'm not sure if we'll ever cross paths again, I hope we do. Because she made my time in Guadalajara unforgettable.
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    After saying goodbye in the afternoon I walked around some more, but it felt different, it was time to leave. I went to grab a beer at one of the bars where people come to just dance, and for one last time enjoyed watching them. That is one of the things I love about Mexico. In the afternoon they'll go to a bar to dance, not to get drunk or listen to loud music (like I'm used to) but just because they love dancing.
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    In the morning I reluctantly packed my bags, got on my bike, found a florist, bought a red rose, weaved it between the iron bars of her front door and got on my way to Guanajuato. Which is an awesome city, with all its beautiful buildings above ground and roads hidden under the surface.
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    Trying to find the route to a hostel, damn there are some narrow, steep alleys.
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    Nope.. Not this way.
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    Found a hostel in the centre and they had secure parking around the back. Only one catch, it was up this alley, with a streetlight right in the middle (and then through a door). But made it without to much hassle.
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  6. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Try parking your GS 1200 up that alley!
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  7. landyguy

    landyguy Adventurer

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    Hi Joris, haven't heard from you in a while. Where are you now?
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  8. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Another Chica???

    He's also on FB and IG.
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  9. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    I'm still alive :D Last night I was freezing my butt off on the Acatenango volcano in Guatemala. Awesome awesome experience, seeing the magma from the Fuego volcano flying high up in the air. Woke up at 4am to walk the last part to the top to see the sun rise.

    Haha, it's been a bit quiet on that front lately :lol3
  10. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Funny I hiked the volcano Santa Maria during a full moon from 11 pm to 5 am with a guide. He asked me if I wanted a gora ,head scarf ,toque because it would be cold after midnight once we gained elevation.
    I said no I am Canadian and used to the cold......big mistake haha
  11. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Awesome that you went up there, it's about the same height I guess. Must have been a though hike, going up there in complete darkness. I wasn't a big fan of hiking in the dark.

    I thought the same about the temperature though.. How bad can it be. It went well below 0 c at night as there was frost and ice on the ground. Glad I went with a tour and not on my own.
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  12. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    It was a tour company called adrenalina viajes from Xela and was billed as the full moon hike, the idea was to watch the sunrise from the top and see the lava flow from another distant volcano, it still ranks up there with some of my better hikes!
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  13. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Guanajuato is such a great little city. I think one of my favorite places in Mexico. The streets are very narrow and steep, lined with colorful houses. Or the streets are underground, which is a maze and cool to walk through as you never really know where you're gonna end up once you surface. I was just a week to early for the Cervantino festival but had a great time nevertheless.

    As always, after checking in a walk to orientate myself (and grab a beer on one of the many small balconies overhanging the streets).
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    In the evening I stumbled upon a huge group of people that followed what looked like a band dressed up as Conquistadores. I was intrigued so started following this group. I later learned that these groups are called Callejoneades and that this is a daily occurrence. They walk around and tell a story, while singing, cracking jokes and entertaining the crowd. I didn't get all of it because of limited Spanish but it was still fun!
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    Local biker gang, lowered bikes are a big thing there.
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    I was pretty tired and wanted to go to bed early, but after walking some more I heared some live music coming from one of the bars. Just one beer then. I actually only had one beer, just before I left a couple of people from another table asked if I wanted to join them. No, sorry I'm really tired and I was just about to leave. I stood on the doorstep of the bar, pondering if I should go left or right and somehow got talking with a girl named Alejandra. We talked for a while, she was studying in Guanajuato and I was just this güero passing through. Still feeling tired, I asked her if she wanted to get a drink somewhere, just to make the talking a bit easier. Alejandra was keen for a cerveza and knew a nice rooftop bar. Of course she then knew another bar, and another.. And it got a bit late. I noticed she was not only keen on cervezas though, she left little doubt about what she wanted. I however, was enjoying the beers and her company but wasn't really looking for another romance as I had just left Guadalajara. I 'got away' by telling her that we could meet the next day because I was really tired now. I woke up in the morning and did actually plan to meet up with her. But it just didn't feel right so I send her a message that I enjoyed the evening but we should leave it at that. Never heard from her again strangely..
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    So now I had a full day to entertain myself. Not to hard in this town. The University looks like it's straight from a Harry Potter set. Great view from atop the stairs.
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    Another thing to visit (or not) is the mummie museum. In the past the bodies were buried above ground in sarcophagi, that caused them to dry out and stay well preserved. Made me feel slightly uncomfortable.
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    There's many steep alleys and stairs in Guanajuato. Got a good workout walking between all the sights.
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    In the past the mining industry was big. Nowadays the Mina el Nopal mine that I visited is used for research and training by the university, and for tourism. We didn't go down with the elevator unfortunately, that would have been even better.
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    Back outside I heared loud music close by. Couldn't help but go and see where it was coming from. Walked into a courtyard and entered this hall. They were practicing a show for the Cervantino festival the next week. No one minded me being there so I watched for a while, always nice to stumble upon these things.
  14. MYUMPH

    MYUMPH 'Ol Timer Supporter

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    Joris-I believe years from now you are gonna look back at this epic trip you are on and have one of two regrets. (A) you will regret not banging all these hot young chicks trying to give you some, or (B) you will regret lying to all us old farts here on this forum that you didn't bang them all!
  15. BCBackRoads

    BCBackRoads Travels with Gumby

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    Hi Joris. I stumbled onto your RR a couple of days ago and I'm all caught up. I really like your style, both traveling and reporting. Keep enjoying your self and keep us posted when you can. I'll be following along.

    Cheers, Wayne
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  16. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

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    I took a package tour where the Diablo highway was the feature. It was better than promised and worth the price of the trip. It was my first experience in non tourist Mexico and I really enjoyed the people we met. Great trip and just the month with your brother would have been enough for most people. E4E0B73F-4299-49EB-9D44-7F4D5B5E1CE8.jpeg
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  17. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Hahaha :imaposer I think you might be right with option A.

    Thanks Wayne! Good to hear you're liking it, and I'll do my best to get up to date.

    That road is something isn't it! Didn't know they ran tours there but that's a nice way of doing it if you have limited time. Some great riding in the area and Durango is nice too. And like you said, little tourism there, far less than say Yucatán.

    You are right, I've been blessed being able to do this trip. I said many times to myself that if I had to end it after the first month in Canada it still would have been worth it. And that month together with my brother was just as awesome. My grandmother actually thought I would fly home with him (sorry, not yet). We've talked about a trip to Asia together, so let's see what the future holds.
  18. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

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    Riders of the Sierra Madre run a variety of tours from Ajijic south of Guadalajara. My favourite city was Zapatecas south of Durango.
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  19. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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  20. Dave7

    Dave7 Adventurer

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    Epic journey so far. How did you stay away from the drug cartel-ish areas of Mexico?
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