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Discussion in 'Americas' started by JBlackston, Jan 29, 2017.
Sounds like quite an adventure!
S'more photos I dug up:
JBlackston. I don't recall where this was taken.
The view of Teotihuacan from atop the Pyramid of the Sun.
The original Basilica de Guadalupe. So much beautiful architecture down there.
Also, the trip was incredible and some of you guys, on here were real jerks about the trip.. but those of you who were supportive, thanks so much!
Also, we pulled a couple 800 mile days. I'm not sure where, but someone suggested our max daily distance couldn't have exceeded 2-300 miles.
At the pace the roads in Mexico allowed, Guatemala is totally feasible in the allotted time-frame.
Can't wait until the next adventure!
Oh, and sorry for taking so so so long to post anything. I legitimately thought this thread was taken down, for all the dramatic comments.
Glad you guys got out there!
I learned some of those same lessons, however with less dramatic consequences. lol
When it gets hot you gotta squeeze those gas cans and reseal so they don't explode.
It has been clearly stated that Trip Planning is not the basement and we aren't going to tolerate any basement like BS here. We have been moving some improper posts and doing some reply bans for individuals that act improperly. Looks like we are going to have to do some site bans for those that choose not to heed this warning.
Buckle up for one extremely long post.
The chronicle of our trip goes as follows:
Midnight 5/18/2017 (the night before departure)
We stood outside of work freaking out that we're actually about to do this and the day has finally come.
After we got home, we were supposed to go immediately to sleep so we'd be ready for our 5am departure.
*5am* neither of us have slept because of our nerves, nor have we even left our houses to meet up.
*6am* I start trying to figure out how the hell im going to strap everything safely and efficiently onto my TU250X for this epic trip. This takes me an hour. I then receive a phone call from westygw asking me to meet him at the car dealership down the road.
*7:15am* as i get close i see all kinds of gear skewed across the road with westygw standing in the middle of it. Its his gear. Tent, gas can, tarp etc. Im laughing.
*8am* weve managed to salvage 80% of his gear. The tent was a loss. And so we actually begin our trip.
*Fort Smith(our first stop for gas) pic1*
Still feeling spry although we still havent slept. Hopeful and nervous.
- Driving though Fort Smith in and of itself is a beautiful ride, even being so close to home. The thick forests through the mountains look like something in a movie.
*Somewhere in Oklahoma, late morning*
Our eyes are too heavy to keep open, and certainly not safe to drive in this state. We pull off in a town called McSomethingorother into a really, really old carwash. And then... I slept sitting up against a pillar in a car wash stall for 45 minutes. Westygw was really nice about it.
Chugged a red bull and set out again.
*Still in damn Oklahoma, later that afternoon*
Westy and I are coming down off a large hill and we spot an extremely large, barren, dirt scape ahead of us. Westy thinks its some sort of salt flat or farming prep. I didnt know what to think. We see a sign that says "Eufaula", and as were driving through the middle of this flat, we realize: Its not a flat, its actually the ugliest f***ing lake we'd ever seen. The water was exactly the color and opaqueness of clay dirt. Its also the largest Ive seen to date, apart from lake michigan. Impressive.
*7ish pm, Dallas TX*
The city is hot, the buildings are tall (some, extremely beautiful) and the population is at a near stand still. We're both nervous our tiny air cooled engines are going to over heat in this hours long, 5mph traffic. It was a struggle but we gtfo. After nightfall we encountered only slightly faster moving traffic through all of texas because there was construction every 5mi or less untill San Antonio. (Side note: the lights on the TX construction vehicles are completely absurd. Overly bright red blue and white strobes that were blinding against the contrast of the night)
*San Antonio TX, late into the night/morning*
Its like, 3:30am or close to and we're both unfathomably tired. We both decide its not safe for us to drive anymore, i find a Motel 6 who agreed to let us sleep in passed check out and we put down for the night.
*San Antonio TX, 11:30am*
We over slept. By a lot.
We're franticly packing our stuff on the bikes. I had Westy get the tools out and fix my blinkers (we accidently switched the wires while relocating them a few nights before, i.e. right blinker was on the left of the bike lol). Problem solved in a jiff and we're off for the border at Loredo by 12 noon
*12:15pm noon, still in San Antonio*
My legs and knees are burning from the day and nights ride before (sick knee injuries in '07 and again in '11) . I know, i was being an actual pansy. I didnt care and was forcing westy to put up with my shit. Again, he was nice about it.
We stopped at the local Lowe's, which was conveniently situated immediately nextdoor to an Academy Sports. I picked out pvc pipe(it was cheap and i was on a budget), zip ties, and a pvc pipe cutter while westy picked out a new tent next door.
We cut the length of pipe i wanted and cinched it to my forks, sitting on top of my front fender, with the zip ties. 3 on each side. It looked unsafe and janky as hell, but i now had a place to prop my feet for a few minutes at a time to stretch the ol' knobs.
And then we left San Antonio... For real this time.
*Loredo TX, Midnight*
We're in the Walmart. Im looking for a Go-Pro knock off since i didnt bring a cam. I found one for $29. Hellofa deal Id say. I also purchased a an outdoor chair seat cushion for $5 to tie under my sheep skin. My ass was killing me for real, and we still had days to go. Westy wanted to camp in the Wally parking lot (its free and to be honest, I really should have fucking listened that night).
It was our last night in the US and i wanted to sleep in a bed. My hips felt like they were splitting in two (at this point, this was the longest i'd consecutively been on a bike. I know what youre thinking: aaaammmateur. Yah. Looking back, Im thinking that too. Why didnt I better prepare my body better for this? We had it planned 6 months in advance. Shit).
We drove around until looking for a motel. Westy suggested the near by Fiesta Inn over our china comms. We pulled up to an extremely seedy, run down dirt parking lot with leaning chain link fences and stray cats darting about. Westy says "We shouldnt stay here, this isnt the one". I insist "uuuhhh yes it is. Youre just not used to the ghetto but i grew up in it. We're fine" like he's stupid (I meant it at the time but... It was the Siesta Motel. Not the Fiesta he'd suggested over our fuzzy comm unit. Ill never forget that mistake).
The 90something year old man sleeping on the bench in the middle of the dirt patch was actually the parking lot security guard. He woke up and told us we could park our bikes in the fenced in porch of out motel room. I really appreciated that. It had a tiny metal outdoor table and 2 chairs for tea or coffee. I liked that too.
The motel smelled like mold and stale cigarettes. Im a smoker but damn.
Westy started spreading his tarp over his bed. I told him he was being extra dramatic, and that again, we were fine.
We slept, him on his tarp and me on top of the motel comforter and under my sleeping bag, and left at 8am for prep.
We both had pep in our step, we were stoked. We were gonna cross the border.
*10:30ish am, Loredo*
After 40 minutes of looking, we found the UPS store to make copies of all our documents. While there, we spotted a young man also requesting copies of documents and wearing and adv riding styles jacket, pants, and boots.
I flipped out.
I was so excited to see another adv rider, which id never seen before and only read about in forums and watched on youtube. I ran outside to look at his bike and confirmed. An older model bmw adventure bike. We got our copies and i approached him outside.
His name was Thomas, he quit his job to travel the world and he was riding solo. He was crossing at tree same time as us and having to round about the same place.
I checked with westy, and invited him to join us across the border. He accepted.
*2:30ish pm, US/Mex border*
All 3 of us finding our independent banks, obtaining cash, deciding a place to exchange it for pesos, calling my mom and convincing her to pay my phone bill (i forgot to and drained my account of cash and didnt have time to go back change some pesos back into USD, make a deposit, and pay the bill), buckle down and water tight everything for a small rain that day, took a while.
Yes, we were a tad unprepared to cross. No, I dont care what you think of it. It happened. All things considered for 1st timers, it could have been worse.
Crossing the border was easy.
Like too easy... I thought.
Mid day and no line. Didnt have to show our passports. In fact, we hit the border zone and drove right through. The machine gun armed guards waived at us as we passed through. Whole thing took 5 minutes. I was raving over the comms to Westy "we did it wrong, we're illegal! I really think we're illegals! Oh god!" (Id never been to Mexico before, save for one time when i was 6 while we lived in San Diego. My mother and her best friend Kim took me with them to Tijuana for the afternoon. I threw a fit for my mother to pay $5 to sit on a zebra there. It was a black and white painted burro. It stained my favorite jeans. I loved it and would do it again.)
During this time, we lost Thomas at the crossing. Both of us were frantic, driving around the chaotic "free zone" but also deciding whether or not to just leave since we'd only just met hours ago(we also entertained the idea that we'd scared him away and that he did it on purpose).
He texted and we met up with him at the impossible to find(especially with google maps) Banjercito.
We spent a long while standing in lines with our paper work and $400 refundable deposit sweating and confused (no a/c in the whole building and one giant box fan, turns out our spanish was highly insufficient. We got help from the locals).
Pic 2 is of us after words in the parking lot :)
*9:30pm Saltillo, Mex*
We'd read in many forums, including threads here, that we shouldnt ride at night as a cardinal rule. We blew that off and paid for it. We figured it was because of ransom ropes or dangerous locals etc... No.
Im talking no speed limit enforced, front and rear light mods ive never seen before, dangerously and highly aggressive defensive/offensive drivers going 80mph (not kph. Mph) with no head lights. If youre reading this and you havent been yet please note: THEY. WILL. HIT. YOU. If not just for being in front of them, then for nothing at all. (We were driving with the flow of traffic, not under, not over, no annoying mistakes or foreigner driving, this is just true)
After a while of looking, we found a hotel that thomas suggested, the actual Fiesta. This was the lushest place id ever been in. Westy says it was the same as the Holiday, but i assure you, it was not.
Alas, i was put off by the price and insisted we find a cheaper place (thomas stayed). And we did. An hour across town. We were met by the older gentleman that owned the place. Westy tried communicating that we needed a room. He held his hand up in the air; his forefinger and thumb sticking out(like an L), the other 3 fingers tucked in and moved it in an aggressive, upward flicking motion. Over and over again. With disheveled silver hair and an open mouthed frown. Implying that we should get the fuck out... So we did. And headed back to the lush Fiesta.
We got a room. Brought our stuff up. And i finally had to pee.
I dropped my drawers, exhausted, and waited for my first pee of the day. (Completely dehydrated by the AR, OK, TX, MEX heat, yes this was my first go of the day. Even at 3 liters of water). Mind you, this is our first rest in Mex after westy suggested we camp at the walmart and i bullied him into the ghetto. This was also the first time id actually stopped since leaving the Siesta.
I felt my legs itching and burning. Bad.
I thought "what the hell?". I looked down to see swollen and flaming red(almost purple) bug bites covering my legs, larger then quarters. It was so bad. Flamming hot and rock hard.
"WHAT THE FUUUCCCKKK!!!"
I showed westy and he winced in disgust.
I called my mom (at this time my phone still worked). She told me they were bed bugs. (Still messed up about it to this day with the scars to prove) pic 3 is t.m.i. but it also... Happened.
I told you I should have fucking listened at the Walmart.... You should have listened too. Fuck the Siesta Motel in Laredo.
With that I say goodnight. Ill finish our chronicle tomorrow night. I gotta go to bed.
Bed Bugs and getting run off the road. That's an adventure!