Retired and Riding (Now in Mexico)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by danisOTR, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    9 photo limit so here are some more

    There are some from the first leg of our trip when we rode the bikes from VT to Houston in October. Some from us preparing to leave Texas. One was from December 17 when I rode our other two bike to our dealership for storage. It was snowing.

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    #41
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  2. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    Props to your wife for riding a big bike, especially for a smaller person, through the mud and rain. As you know, women who ride their own bike in the adventure touring world is not the norm. You are a lucky guy. Thanks for posting pics of you two and the bikes.
    #42
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  3. radmann10

    radmann10 Derf Supporter

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    Ok, there are the smiles. Enjoy the ride and the adventure. Thank you again for posting your RR!
    #43
  4. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Great report! Two huge thumbs up to you both for making your wanderlust dream a reality!! Inspirational! And thanks for sharing your adventure with us!
    #44
  5. Omar

    Omar Muddling thru Supporter

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    At long last smiling faces. How nice. Thanks.
    Like any adventure, you both are sure getting yours. But for goodness be safe.
    Do you guys have MedJet? Please consider it, if you don’t have it. I have had that on my travels.

    Thanks fir such descriptive posts. Enjoying it very much.
    #45
  6. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    Thanks Omar.

    We have World Nomad with repatriation coverage.

    Enjoy the cold and snow in VT. We are enjoying a spirited game of sequence while enjoying some Tequila. IMG_2216.jpg
    #46
  7. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    1/21/2020 Tuesday

    A very rainy day in our treehouse Eco Resort. It has not stopped raining since we arrived yesterday afternoon. What does one do in the jungle in the pouring rain?

    I spend a restless night reliving yesterday’s events which, could have been a lot worse. However, while I was lying awake most of the night how things could have been worse is what I did think about.

    Also I was thinking on how I could fix the broken mirror, reattach a LED light that had lost its’ bolt holding to the bracket during the last mile of yesterday’s ride in.

    I read to quiet my mind. I had to repeat this a few times. The rest I did get was good it just came in fits and spurts.

    This morning we laid in bed until 9 when we made our way down the path to the open pavilion for breakfast. We are the only guests. I wonder why. Maybe everyone else knows this is the rainy season.

    In any event the young lady who I guess is 13 is in the hut that acts as a kitchen getting things going to make us our breakfast. She speaks no English so the owner Henry is communicating through WhatsAp in English that she shows to us and we reply. Man, we should not have put off learning a little of Spanish.

    Mrs. OTR, using Google Translate to figure out how ask her name, which she was very happy to share with us. Maria and we worked out what we wanted for breakfast. There was a little back and forth for clarity but even then, things got lost in the translation.

    Maria went back to the kitchen to start our breakfast. Shortly she returned with two large plates of sliced fruit and Café.

    We started into that while we waited for the rest that she was busily cooking up. She returned around 10 minutes later with two large plates of fresh fried eggs, beans and tortillas in a spicy sauce. Again, way too much food.

    We ate our meal leisurely and asked for another cup of Café. There was no hurry as there wasn’t much we could do. It was too dangerous to go into the jungle with the rain and mud.

    After a bit we went back to the treehouse and busied ourselves on our devices. Oh yeah there is Wi-Fi. I used the time constructively inquiring about replacement mirror options. I also had subscribed to some Facebook groups that specialize in all thinks Mexico, epats, travel and Merida. I posted some inquiries about the upcoming stretch of road, language schools in Merida, places to stay in Merida, etc. I got some good responses that will come in handy. I place to store the bikes, a person who rides that offered to tour us around, language school options, etc.

    Our landlord showed up asking we wanted to do anything. We declined but had a long discussion on how we were going to get out tomorrow. He offered to follow me out to a paved part of the road with Mrs. OTR’s bike and bring me back to retrieve the GS. He also said he would accompany us to Catemaco and help me source parts to straighten the R out. He wanted to make sure we didn’t get taken advantage of. Nice guy.

    About this time the rain had slowed, not stopped but slowed. I had to get the LED reattached and re secure the mirror to the R1100R. I made my way back up the goat path which was slick and slippery. Half way us I crossed paths with a woman heading down the hill in flip flops carrying an umbrella and a bag probably of supplies. Shooting off our path is another even steeper going down almost to the water where there stands another little cabin. There are not handrails no steps nothing but a muddy path. Amazing she could do this in flip flops. I was wearing heavy duty hiking shoes and was having a time of it. She is the dot in the middle of the picture.

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    I got back up the bikes and uncovered the front of the R and opened the pannier on the GS that holds my tools and parts. The light bracket had twisted 90 degrees and had slipped UP the fork, weird. I loosened the bolts holding the two sides of the clamp together and managed to get it close to where it had been before. I re-tightened the bolts. This took a couple of attempts as one of the bolts seemed to pulling thread out.

    Clamp secured I jury rigged the light with a huge zip tie that our friend Kevin had given us just before leaving Austin. I never thought I’d use them. I’ve already used 3 of the 4. Thanks Kevin.

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    I covered everything back up and took a short walk down the road to where the R had slipped off the road. Today I noted that another 15 feet up was a deeper ditch flanked by large rocks. That would have been a trip ender. Again something to be thankful for.

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    The area surrounding us is best described as mountainous. There are precipitous drops offs. There are all types of residences (again I speak loosely). I can not figure our how or why people build where they do. There is a place across from where the bikes are parked that had a handmade wooden ladder leading up to it.

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    After returning from my chores I went down to the pavilion and see if I could communicate with Maria. I found and as like most teenagers she was on her phone. Using Google translates conversation I inquired about school, which she is on break from, if she lived nearby, if she worked at the resort when she was off from school. She started to use an ap on her phone to compose her answers. I told her that we were enjoying ourselves even with the rain and that she was making it special for us. She broke out in a huge smile and thanked me.

    Around 4 we went down to the pavilion and set up Sequence a board game that we brought with us. We broke out some tequila and settled in for an hour or so before dinner was prepared.

    Dinner was simple and delicious. Breaded chicken breast, tomatoes and griddled banana’s.


    We made it back to the treehouse and settled in to watch a movie on Netflix. Amazing I the middle of the jungle in a treehouse and still connected!

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    #47
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  8. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    The treehouse lodging looks amazing, however, is it safe to assume you would not recommend it to anyone on a motorcycle based on the difficult access road? I mean it seems like a no-brainer, but thought I'd ask just to clarify.
    #48
  9. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    Easily accessible on a dual sport if you have a little skill and the right tires. The “R” with knobbies would have made it. But not the best tool. Plus Mrs.OTR doesn’t have a lot of experience in the mud. Without the rain it would have been very doable.
    #49
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  10. Ignis

    Ignis n00b

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    Loving your posts, Friends. An unforgettable adventure. Thank you for taking time to share it with us too! Love to you both. KingMe will be composing a tune for you! Cheers, Shelb.
    #50
  11. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    1/22/2020 Wednesday


    We left our Treehouse and the Eco Resort today. The rain had finally stopped and the sky was blue creating a great view of the lake. We made our way down to breakfast where Maria was busy in the kitchen. She brought a plate of fruit to work on while she finished preparing our hot dish.
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    Henry, our host came up after having spent the previous night sitting an overnight wake for a family member. He had told us that they do not cremate here. He said that the family members stay up all night sipping coffee and eating bread watching over the departed. He also explained that family members and friend take turns digging the grave. When one person tires someone else takes over.


    Henry had volunteered to help us get the bikes back down to a better section of road. He along with a friend and Mrs. OTR got in a pickup and I rode the R down the first. The road had dried some but it was still a little bit of a challenge. There was still mud, a water crossing, fresh gravel and so on. It took around 20 minutes for us to get to a safe place. I parked the R and Henry stayed with Mrs. OTS while his friend drove me back to retrieve the GS. 20 minutes back up the hill. I rode the GS back to the meeting spot. Both trips were challenging but without incident.
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    Henry had volunteered to go to us to Catemaco to help me source parts to do the repairs to the R bike. We followed Henry into town and we stopped at a hardware store to get the bolts and nuts that I needed. We needed to source a tube to mount the bolt to the broken mirror. No joy here. He then took me to his friend’s house telling me that his friend could fix anything.



    We arrived at his friend’s house and through Henry I explained what needed to happen. His friend looked and noodled trying to figure out what he needed to do to do the repair. He figured it out and we went back to his “shop”. Not to get into detail he spent almost two hours fabricating, welding, drilling and so on. We went back to the bike and fitted it up. Perfect! As asked how much, he said what equated to $2.50. What? I gave him the equivalent of $10. I was also looking at a windscreen brace that had broken. We took it apart and he took it back to his shop and went back to work. 45 minutes later and a couple of trial fits he was done. “Do I owe you anymore?” No. I gave him a pair of sunglasses I have been carrying around in my tank bag, which I was happy to be rid of.

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    We left his shop and took the 4-minute ride to the hotel. This was the first time we’ve been noticed. Everyone was watching us as we rode through town and pulled up in front of the hotel. It was odd. But we are riding the largest bikes people around here have seen.


    We parked in front of the hotel and I went in to check in. We unloaded the bikes into the lobby. Our room was up a short flight of stairs and few doors down from the lobby. Parking was on the street just behind the hotel and was gated. I moved the bikes and covered them up.


    Back to the room where we had a few beers from the lobby. We enjoyed scrubbing off the jungle before we went to eat. We asked the young lady at the desk the best option and she directed us to a restaurant by the water.


    We walked out the front door and looked to the right and saw the local cathedral. It was different from others that we have seen. It was white stucco with blue highlights. As we approached the church, we heard loud music coming from the inside. When we walked to the front of the church music was blaring and people we dancing in front of the sacristy. Also, there were men on scaffolding re-painting the ceiling. Beautiful!


    We then walked the block and a half to the restaurant. There was no one there. We got a table by up by the water. Our waiter spoke no English but he did understand margarita. He then sent the owner over. He spoke English and helped the waiter take our order. He spent the time waiting for our entrees speaking with us about the town, the restaurant, things to do. He was the third-generation owner of the restaurant. The history was very interesting.

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    Our entrees arrived our host excused himself. We spent time eating and Mrs. OTR took time to take pictures of sunset and the lake.



    We finished dinner and on the way out spoke some more to the owner. He told us about a couple of tours we should take. Unfortunately, we will be moving on in the morning. We have arranged a stay in Campeche Saturday. With our self-imposed 4-5-hour travel limit per travel day we need the two days to make it there.
    #51
  12. Omar

    Omar Muddling thru Supporter

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    My hat off to you guys. You are really doing ADVENTURE riding. I am so glad Mrs OTR was not hurt in the get off. She is one tough lady to go thru all the challenging rides and look so happy. Pictures really tell a whole lot of the story too: challenging terrain, environment of woods, rain etc. How about the bugs? Did you run into any?

    Where do you go now? You are almost to the southern limit of Mexico. Only Tabasco left. Interesting that you could get the repairs done in the middle of no where. There is always a guy who has the skill somewhere, key is finding one.

    Wonderful write-ups. Thanks. Loving reading it. My best to you both. Ride safe.
    #52
  13. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    We are in Campeche now. Write ups are done for the last few days. I just need to curate the photos before I post.

    We are in Campeche for a few days. Then into Yucatán. Probably a few days on the beach before going to Mérida.

    Still no solid plans.
    #53
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  14. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    1/23/2020. Thursday


    Today we left Catemaco. We jumped back on Mex 180 heading towards to Villahermosa. The first several miles were beautiful as we climbed back out of the lake basin. The surrounding hills were lush. The road was in good condition and there were nice curves. As normal we occasionally got stuck behind slower moving traffic and were forced to follow behind until a reasonable passing spot opened up.
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    After 45 minutes we were back to the type of road conditions we have be accustomed to. There were potholes, several miles of scarified surfaces. All of Mex 180 that is the “Libre” road runs through a town or village every few miles. All of the towns as well of intersections are bookended by Topes. They generally come in three’s although there is no rule, nor is there a rhyme or reason. Some are higher than others and our skid plates drag. Others are wider and flatter. These seem to be the newer ones. They still slow you down, but they aren’t quite as violent to go over. The smart move is to lay back behind other traffic so they “find” the topes fist. You don’t want to find yourself hitting a tope at speed. It could really ruin your day.

    As I said we were passing towns every few miles. Along with the topes you have the people standing at the topes trying to sell to drivers passing by. Some ingenious people create their own topes. Some use thick rope others use tire treads that have come off tractor trailers.

    Some other hazards are taxis, buses and pedestrians. They all think they have the right of way. We’ve heard the expression, “he who hesitates waits”. This adage is in full force in all Mexican cities, towns and villages.

    Around 90 minutes in to our ride the road flattened out we went into ranch/farmland. The road rather than being hilly with curves went straight.

    I believe it was the Coatzacoalcos river we crossed on a bridge with a very steep approach. We were probably around 100 feet above the river. As I was looking to my right, I realized there was no guard rail. There was nothing at all keeping you from going off the side. Since then we’ve noticed that the guardrails in most of the bridges are not high at all.

    Mid ride we crossed the Rio Tonala which is the river that separates the State of Veracruz from the State of Tabasco.

    Going through the larger city of Cardenas I finally learned my lesson and did not follow Sygic which wanted me to go through the center of town. This time I followed the road signs and stayed on 180. This please both of us and saved several minutes and fried nerves.



    Twenty miles to Villahermosa we pulled into a gas station. We had to swap the GPS for my iPhone because Sygic could not rectify the address I tried repeatedly to enter. On the iPhone I can click on the address in the reservation confirmation and Google Maps takes over. We were only 17 minutes out. Also, we had selected a hotel right off Mex 180.


    I followed the directions and 17 minutes we were exiting the highway and were on surface roads running parallel to 180. Within moments Google Maps said we were there. We were not. I re-selected the address and nothing changed. I took the iPhone out of its’ mount and flagged down a man getting into his car. I showed him the phone with the address and he pointed up the road.


    We got going again and soon saw the sign for the hotel. We pulled off the road into the lot. There was a gate across the entrance which we went around and pulled up to the spot right by the door. Score! Plus, it is was under a camera.


    A quick check in and we started the gear haul to the room. As this was going to be just a stopover I selected a hotel with easy access to the highway. It was very modern, almost new. It was called the City Express Junior. Apparently, a new chain along the lines of a Holiday Inn.


    I went next door to the OXXO and grabbed some beer. Got some ice from the hotel and made a makeshift cooler with the trashcan in the room.


    We had dinner at a place adjoining the hotel and called it a night.
    #54
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  15. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    1/24/2020 Friday


    Villahermosa to Ciuadad del Carmen


    We got out of Villahermosa with no drama. We were able to jump back onto Mex 180 within yards of exiting the hotel.


    Shortly after leaving the city the land turned to more like delta land. It was low lying. Part was farmland, part was ranch land. Along the way there were small stream and rivers running alongside the road. I noted people selling large turtles they had caught. I can only assume that they were for eating.


    We arrived at Ciuadad del Carmen, know to the locals I was to find out as Carmen. It was a few turns off of Mex 180. The roads were narrow with brightly painted old buildings on either side. Out hotel was a block off the Malecon. We pulled up to the front of the hotel and there was no parking. We edged our bikes into a cross walk and I went in to try to figure out where to park.
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    Well there is no parking! Also, the one block street that the hotel sits on you are not allowed to park motorcycles. The clerk really had no idea where we could park.


    Around this time Mrs. OTR (Patti) is calling me over the headset telling me someone that was parked behind us is trying to get out and that the bikes had to be moved forward for him to do that. I went back out and we pushed the bikes forward. Now of course the whole time the guy was honking his horn. With him gone I thought we’d have a place to put the bikes at least until we checked in. Well that didn’t happen as someone immediately took the spot at the same time gesturing that motorcycles could not park there. I had noted that there was a motorcycle parking only area across the avenue in front of us but it was clogged up with smaller bikes parked willy nilly and there was no place for us to squeeze in.


    As I was looking up the avenue for an answer, I noted a Jeep with Nevada plates coming down the road towards us. The driver and I noticed me as I walked into the street. He rolled down his window and stated “you’re a long way from home”. We shook hands as traffic backed up and figured out how to get around him. He introduced himself as Jim and asked if he knew of a safe place for us to park. “I have a building just down the street. You can park next to it. My Jeep will be parked in front of it.” Awesome.


    We unloaded the bikes where they were and I rode the GS down the road to meet up with our savior Jim. Four blocks down I found his Jeep sitting out front of a building being rehabbed. He told me that he was turning into a brew pub. More on that later. He asked how long we needed to park and when I said overnight, he offered to let us park the bikes inside the building as leaving on the road would be risking. There was a small plaza out front that I rode up on did a circle and rode in the front door of the building. One down. I walked back and retrieved the R and repeated the process. We were so lucky to have run into Jim. He was to be helpful to us in other ways over the next 20 hours.


    With the bikes locked behind a closed door and covered I made my way back to the hotel. Patti had finished checking us in and had moved our gear from the lobby to our room. Of course, I did not know which room it was. A text to and from solved that and I found we were on the second floor overlooking the plaza and Malecon with a small balcony for sitting.


    The next order of business was to get some ice, tequila, mineral water and limes. Order of importance is up to you own interpretation. I went to the desk and asked if they had ice. The clerk brought me a cooler. I asked again if they had ice. I used Google translate and after some back and forth I figured out they didn’t have I but I could use the cooler to buy some.


    The next quest was finding a grocery store or an OXXO that had everything we needed. Even using Google maps with “grocery stores near me” I could not find anything. I found and OXXO and they didn’t have anything we needed. I went into was war purported to be a grocery store. It was but only handled packaged products. So that was a bust. I walked around for around 30 minutes looking and using Google maps before I finally gave up and went back to the room.


    We relaxed for a few minutes and did some more Google searching. Google now was pointing down the Malecon towards a large building. We set up walking in that direction. Unfortunately, that was not the building but we could see what looked to be a grocery store a block to our right. We were right.


    We walked in to be greeted by a guard who was stationed right by liquor. In fact, all the liquor and anti-theft tags affixed to the necks of the bottle.


    We selected a bottle and went through the store gathering up our other needs. We ended up getting some sliced American cheese. It was that our gouda. There is no Sharp Cheddar here. A package of pepperoni and some crackers to accompany the cheese were selected. Limes and mineral water came off the shelves and we headed to the register. The clerk attempted to remove the security device from the bottle. Nope. He moved to another register to try the tool there. Nope. Another register. Nope. Call a supervisor. They didn’t have any luck. Take it to the security guard. He tries some side cutters on the wire around the neck. Too tight to get the blade under the wire. Finally, someone had the bright idea to get another bottle. Success! Out we go back to our hotel. We retrieved our hotel supplied cooler and up the room.


    We mixed ourselves a cocktail or two while we relaxed. Not knowing the culture we refrained from bringing roadie cups with us when we went for a walk on the Malecon.
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    Jim told me the next morning that the Malecon was only five years old. He pointed out that there were no power or telephone cables overhead. He said his brother in law made that happen. There is a running path that runs along the shore. It has two sides which are painted different colors based in the direction you are going. We saw a number of people taking advantage and running. More so than we’ve seen since getting into Mexico. Also, there are pieces of exercise equipment along the path. Very nice set up.

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    The Malecon looks onto a natural harbor that leads out into the Gulf of Mexico. To get from the mainland to Carmen you have to cross a long causeway that was only put in in the late 80’s.

    There are no businesses or vendors along the waterfront so it is free to enjoy without interruption. This is a nice change.

    We walked up and down stopping and enjoying the views. It was peaceful.

    We headed back to our hotel as it got darker. We decided to just stay in a feast on American Cheese, Pepperoni and crackers, accompanied by significant amount of tequila. We sat on the balcony as it got darker and the town grew quieter happy to have the day over.

    Some of the below are our observations and others courtesy of Jim.

    Carmen is an oil town. On the Gulf side there are large construction area where they either build or work on off shore oil derricks. There were ocean going cranes in the harbor. The next day when we were closer to the ocean, we could see some derricks just off shore. Several of the big oil companies and exploration companies and everything they bring with them are present in force.

    Jim’s father-in-law is very well established in Carmen. As Jim put it, he is very vertically integrated. He owns hotels, the country club, a diesel distribution business and countless other ventures. From the sounds of it many family members are involved in various parts of the enterprises.

    Carmen looks like it is trying to become a tourist town. The waterfront work leads one to think that. There are several blocks of vacant or underutilized building. Jim’s father in law owns several buildings. They are entirely gutting and rehabbing the one for the brew pub. This type a rehab will go a long way to bring in more tourist.

    Attached Files:

    #55
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  16. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    1/25/2020 Saturday


    Ciuada del Carmen to Campeche


    We headed out for breakfast around 9 and walked back down the Malecon to an open are restaurant for breakfast. As we were waiting to order I crossed the street to where the bikes were parked inside the brew pub. I checked with the workers to make sure that retrieving the bikes around 10:30 would work. Yup, no problem.


    Patti ordered hot cakes just to have a break from a spicy Mexican breakfast. I ordered an omelet with chorizo. Something I am finding myself do quite often.


    We ate leisurely and walked the waterfront back to the hotel. We started our packing and organizing. That done I walked back down to get the first bike. I was getting the R out and Jim showed up. We spoke at length some of the info I shared in the previous post. He offered any assistance we needed. They have relatives in Merida that could help us out if needed. Just before I left his wife Gabby showed up. We were introduced and spoke for a few minutes. I excused myself to get back to the hotel.


    I brought the R back to the hotel and parked in out front and headed back for the GS. As I was walking I heard the familiar note of 1200GS’s coming my way. Just then around a dozen start riding by me. I waved with my helmet and received a wave back. I noticed that they turned back around and headed back my way on the street bordering the Malecon.


    I retrieved the GS, said my thanks again to Jim and jumped the curb back onto the road and headed back towards where I saw the GS’s going. They had gone back around and were parking their bikes in front of the “Carmen” sign for a Photo Op.


    I stopped and was greeted by a rider from Spain. He called over the ride leader Carlos. Apparently, it was a tour with people from several countries. They were on their last days and were heading to Mexico City which was their final destination. I believe they had started in Cancun. I’ll post more details when I look up the information from their website.


    I asked Carlos how long they would be there taking pictures and told him I would try to come back after loading up. Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out.


    I got back to the hotel and Patti had gotten some fans. The woman owner of the hotel and the clerk were impressed and insisted on taking picture with us before we left. We took photos with their and our phones and we finally headed out of town.
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    Of course, this was an adventure with me following the GPS and not listening to Patti. It took us around 15 minutes and too many turns before we got out of town and onto Mex 180.


    Carmen is a long skinny town as the island in this area is exactly that long and skinny. It took another 30 minutes before Carmen was behind us and we started following the Gulf Coast up towards Campeche.


    We were treated to views of the ocean most of the three-hour ride. The roadway seldom veered more than 100 yards from the water. There were miles of virgin beach with no development what so ever.
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    Occasionally there were thatched roofed structures. It looked like individual water front camps. Many were for sale. Many did not appear to have infrastructure. Then every several miles there would be a substantial house. Some still looked used and other vacant and vandalized. There were no apparent villages or towns around any of these. So, you’d have to make sure you brought in all your supplies.
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    We only passed through one major town in the three-hour trip, Champoton. Vendors were on the sides of the road selling shrimp and fresh fish. Fortunately, we made it through quickly and not long after joined up with the toll road bringing us to Campeche.


    We arrived at the outskirts of Campeche just before 3. I dialed in the exact address to Hotel Lopez which is inside the walled part of the city. Originally the GPS indicated another 15 minutes but fortunately it was wrong and we arrived in 7.


    We were able to pull in right across the street from the entrance in space reserved for check in and check out. I also noted that there was inside parking behind a locked gate. This would be the first night in 3 weeks that the bikes did not need to be completely unpacked and covered.
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    We checked in and were assigned a ported, Miguel. He guided us into the garage, helped us unpack the bikes and bring our gear back to our room. He spoke very good English. After explaining what we needed to know I inquired about where to get ice and mineral water. I’m sure everyone is seeing a theme by now. He told me there was a store nearby and he’d be happy to go there for use. I should have taken him up on it because it ended up taking me 30 minutes to go out and come back and out again, finally realizing I had walked right by the local OXXO.


    We had gotten out of our riding gear, mixed a drink and headed down to the pool. It was in the high 80’s and it was time to cool off while enjoying our celebratory drinks.


    Hotel Lopez is a very neat place. It has a center courtyard that is open to the sky. It is only 3 floors but has inner rooms facing the courtyard and outer rooms that must overlook the city and the Gulf. It is 3 blocks from the gulf and 3 blocks from the square where all the activity is.
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    We went out for dinner at 7. Two blocks down we took a left and the entire street for two blocks was just tables for all the restaurants that sit on each side. Staff were on the side showing you their menu, encouraging you to sit in their area. I found this off putting. Pic in the daylight.


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    We had already noticed but it was amplified at this time that we were not the only non-Mexicans any more. In fact, there are mostly tourists here. Our hotel is full of people from Europe and a few from the US. It is strange how within a few short miles things change so much.
    #56
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  17. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    Interesting looking bikes from the last couple of days.

    Some people with small displacement bikes try to make them look like large cc bikes.

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    #57
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  18. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Location:
    Vermont
    1/26/2020 Sunday

    Campeche

    This was the first of our 3 full days here in Campeche. Campeche was one of our original destinations when we first started planning this trip, so it was nice to finally be here.

    As I wrote yesterday, Campeche is filled with tourist from all over the world. The historic location is inside walls. We climbed and walked atop the bastions. The views outside from the section we were overlooked the Malecon with views out into the Gulf of Mexico. Looking inward you note the straight streets with almost universally tall buildings.

    The city is also known for the bright paint on the buildings. Each full block contains several buildings that are attached to on another. Nothing separates them but a slight change in the façade and the colors they are painted. Many have brightly painted doors and trim.
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    The streets are all stone pavers. The sidewalks are very narrow and sometimes very tall. Many times, you find yourself stepping into storefronts to let others pass or donw onto the street so you can pass.
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    As I noted the streets are straight and are numbered not named. Even numbered streets run in one direction and the odd numbered streets run perpendicular to them. They are almost all one way and toggle back and forth with every other street running in a opposite direction. This is helpful as they are all very narrow and barely accommodate parking on one side.

    Unlike other cities we have been to so far in Mexico traffic is very civil. There is not endless taxi’s and beeping horn. Pedestrians have the right away, not the right to get hit when stepping into the crosswalk. Here drivers stop not see how close they can get to you. It is overall a lot calmer.

    We walked up to the square which is a few blocks away. There was a band playing and as typical there were vendors set up selling food, trinkets, clothing, etc. One thing missing here was the shoe shine carts. In every other square we have been there have been sometimes a dozen or more. We did see some later. Maybe because we are in a tourist area and most everyone is wearing sneakers or sandals there isn’t as much as a need. Funny side note while we were in Villahermosa Patti was looking out the hotel window down onto a gas station. She noted one of the gas station attendants having her shoe shined while she was working. (Update they come out on Monday)

    Speaking of shoes something else we noticed is the perveance of shoe stores. There seems to be one every block or two. They all seem to carry the same types of shoes and they don’t seem to be very expensive. Also it is interesting to see some of the logo’s trying to look like Nike’s and so forth but not exactly like them.

    We walked several blocks and were at the walls about to climb up and were directed by a docent to pay an admission fee. This also gained us admission into a small museum in the base of the wall. I contained small sections of ruins brought in from archeological sites in the area. There was also a display of a burial mask that was all in jade and clothing that was decorated with smaller pieces of jade.

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    We left the museum and climbed up to the balustrades. We were on the top of a corner section which was wide with narrower walls stretching in both directions. Half way along each stretch of wall stood a niche where archers could position themselves and shoot through narrow niches.

    The walls abruptly end on each side. They were probably removed at some point to accommodate modernization as the city grew and the threat of a battle diminished. However the wall continues around the entire area but just in sections.

    We enjoyed a walked beyond the square where most of the tourist gather. Within two blocks things change and we are again in an area primarily of local citizens. Church had just let out and families were patronizing the stores and street vendors.

    We broke out to a main avenue which surrounds the “Old Town” and walked back towards we saw another section of the Wall. Soon we were walking in the shade of the wall and the sound of traffic was again muffled. We were again in another corner of the Wall where there was a ramp to walk up and another small museum of sorts.

    Adjacent to this was a bar with the required split swinging doors leading in. The doors obstructed our view of inside but you could tell by the sounds that it was a busy place. Not knowing what we would find inside we pushed though to find “the place” that both the locals and the tourist go to.
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    We found some seats at the bar where there were two TV’s handing with soccer on. Everything was scarred and rough looking having seen decades of constant use. For our NY friends following this think the Monopole.
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    We explained to the bartender what we wanted, Jose Cuervo, Agua Mineral, Limo and Hielo. He nailed it. Shortly after receiving our drinks the bartender started presenting us with Tapa’s. No charge for these as long as you continue drinking. The more you drink the more Tapa’s show up.

    While we were sitting an order of fresh pork rinds were delivered. They were in large sections that the bartender broke into smaller sections. We were each given a small piece to try. Not bad. Then he made us a plate with freshly chopped salsa on top. Even better. Along with the rinds there was a section of freshly cooked pork delivered. Again, we were given a taste. It was also delicious. But only a taste this time not a full serving.
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    Behind the bar it was a constant beehive of activity. The bartenders were slinging drinks, preparing sauces to go on appetizers with fresh peppers and all sorts of concoctions. At one point one of the guys took a huge bucket of limes and began slicing them in half. They filled a serving tray before he was done. He then grabbed a industrial size squeezer and began squeezing them into a bucket. More fresh lime juice for our drinks.
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    We finally had our fill and told our bartender no more please. We cashed out pretty cheaply for the amount of food and number of good drinks. We’ll be back.
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    We went back to the hotel and changed to swim clothes and headed to the pool. I brought the computer along so I could continue on this report and curate some more pictures.

    We struck up a conversation with some Americans from Washington State. We swapped stories and information. They had an interesting background having lived in Guam for 20 years working as attorneys.

    Evening was approaching and we went back to our room. I worked at posting more pictures and rested up before going back out.

    Around 7 we headed back out. We first walked through the “dining” street but kept on going until we got to the Malecon. It was in the high 70’s and muggy but with a nice breeze off the Gulf. This, again is a beautiful area to walk. It was very active with not only tourist but also local families out for a stroll a snack and to enjoy the cool breeze. We took the obligatory Campeche Sign Picture and took some of other families so they could all be in theirs.
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    There is a seating area facing what appears to be a water display that is backed by the Gulf. There were plenty of people seated, snacking and talking. I’m not sure if there was a water show planned but we continued on.

    One block back is what appears to be a brand-new park with play areas for children water features and arched walkways that went through and around. There were children playing on various equipment. As we experienced in all the places we’ve stayed families are outside as a unit enjoying themselves even late on a Sunday evening. No noses in devices. No phone calls being made. It is a nice change over what we’ve become accustomed to in the States.
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    Back at the dining street we took a table by a standard restaurant that serves a variety of food. We ordered a bottle of wine and a pizza and settled in for a leisurely meal. All the tables around us were full. Everyone enjoying being outside dining with a breeze coming up from the Gulf through an arch in the wall at the base of the street. We slowly ate our pizza, finished our bottle and ordered a couple of more glasses watching the world walk past us.
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    Attached Files:

    #58
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  19. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,490
    Location:
    Calgary
    Good report and a nice looking pizza!
    #59
  20. steved57

    steved57 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    East Texas
    Great report / writing and pictures. Thank you for taking the time to share your adventures with all of us on adv. And KUDOS to Mrs OTR on riding that big heavy loaded bike where you guys have been - Again Thanks and I'm subscribed - In
    #60