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Retired and Riding (Sheltering in Place at Hotel Lakyum Palenque Mexico)

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

  1. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    650
    Location:
    Vermont
    We are in Celestun and will be for until the 14th. The. A few days later we will be in Palenque. Let me know your travel plans.
    Golden955 likes this.
  2. Mexicano

    Mexicano Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2018
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Mexico
    Great.. when I go up .. you may be coming down .. haha ... my email is jrtaurus21@gmail.com
  3. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Vermont
    3/4/2020 Wednesday

    Celestun

    On Monday evening a new couple arrived to stay in the room next to ours in our Airbnb. They are from Germany and in their 30’s. Verbena is a doctor of internal medicine. Tobby is in marketing. They are touring and he is working remotely.

    We chatted for a bit getting to know each other. They’ve visited NYC then flew to Cancun. They rented a car there and have been traveling west. They came to Celestun primarily to see the flamingos.

    Patti and I walked down the beach to a different restaurant from Monday. We split a plate of fish had a margarita and walked back to our place.

    We spend the balance of the evening sharing travel stories with our new neighbors. Soon it was time to turn in.

    Tuesday I was up at 7:00 and went outside to read in the shade. It was shaping up to be a hot day and I repositioned my chair a few time to stay in the shade as the sun climbed.

    Our neighbors and Patti were up around 8:30 and we kept to ourselves while we waited for our hostess to serve us breakfast.

    Shortly after 9:00 she appeared with hot cakes and sliced banana. There was honey and condensed milk to chose from to put on the hot cakes. She’s realized that we like our coffee and is now bringing us extra hot water so we can make ourselves more instant coffee when we want.

    Verbena and Tobby came over and sat with us while we all ate. They were going to set out to find a boat to take us to see the flamingos later in the day. But we found ourselves talking for an hour about ourselves and our plans. It is nice to meet like minded travelers.

    As I said it was going to be a hot day. Around 11:30 it was getting a little stifling under the canopy in the front of the Airbnb. Even though we are a short distance from the Gulf there is a small mangrove in front of us that blocks the breeze.

    We took a couple of “Coke” chairs down to the water and set ourselves up under the same thatch roof as the day before. We walked down to the water and I took my first swim in the Gulf since getting here. Cool but very refreshing.

    We spent the next few hours reading and enjoying the breeze. Occasionally I would walk down to the water and cool off.

    We headed back to the room finding out that we had a boat ride scheduled for three. I had a few minutes so I headed down to the center to get more ice, water and some beer. I got back just in time to leave to catch our boat.

    The tour was in an 8 person boat the fee was $300 pesos or $16 each for what turned out turned out to be a two hour ride.

    We set off south along the coast. It took around 20 minutes before we came to inlet that would lead us to the mangroves. Another 20 minutes brought us to a flock of flamingos. It wasn’t a huge flock but it was impressive.

    There were other tour boats around and as another one approached the flock took flight. It was quite the site. They flew and circles while a few returned most did not.
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    From there we continued further into the mangrove. As we skirted the edges our guide put the boat into a hard right turn and suddenly were were in a channel completely surrounded and overhead covered. He took us through slowly finally ending. Up at a dock which led to a very small biosphere.

    There was only one sign explaining the significance. It was about how fresh water was bubbling up and mixing with the salt water from the ocean. You could actually see the water rising up.

    There was no wildlife with the exception of one very big crocodile. He lay motionless across a narrow barrier of water just staring at us.
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    As we were returning to the boat I pointed to a large mud “nest” and asked our guide what it was. I had seen several as we boated through the mangrove. Termites! No wonder the houses are built from stone and concrete block.
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    We headed back the way we came and our guide pulled to a pier and invited us to take a “taxi” back to town as it would save us the 40 minute boat trip back. Both for us and him.

    We were all helped out by a small older man wearing glasses so thick we wondered if he could see. He was to be our driver. He pointed all 8 of us to one of the many makeshift vehicles that drive around Celestun. We were all incredulous that we were all going to fit in. Six in the back and two flanking the driver on a bench seat. Mind you this is at most a 150cc engine and a large metal frame now carrying 9 adults.
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    The gentleman fired the engine which made a racket and put it into gear and we were off at a surprising pace. We were all laughing at the absurdity and wondering when we might have to get off and either walk or push. But we continued to move forward with our driver shifting his body from side to side to move the handlebars in order to keep us on track.

    Around 5 minutes into the ride he pulls off to the side and kills the engine. I thought that we’d be walking the remaining quarter mile. But has seen some more flamingos in the water to our right and wanted to give us the opportunity to take some more pictures.
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    A few minutes later we were back riding into town. We were dropped off a block from the water. That was some experience.
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    It was 5:00 and with the restaurants all closing at 7:00 Patti and I thought it best to grab dinner then. Surprisingly Verbena and Tobby were going to leave town and head to their next venue. I think they needed to get back to WiFi so he could see what work was waiting for him. We exchanged contact info and hugged our goodbyes.

    Patti and I walked to the beach and sat down at the restaurant we had eaten at our first night in town. It wasn’t even 5:30 and they were already picking up the tables and chairs.

    I ordered a beer and Patti ordered a Chardonnay which she has been missing. We were informed what the catch of the day was and a particular preparation was recommended.

    Our beverages and some snacks arrived while we watched the activities of the other guests and “street” dogs that mingle in trying to catch a morsel of food here and there. The dogs are very well behaved. They don’t beg or touch you they just sit and look up longingly at you. I’m glad we don’t have a car otherwise it would be full by now.
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    Our meal arrived and we both ordered another drink. It was a bit spicy but not too much and was served with rice and small potatoes.

    After we finished we sat watching another spectacular sunset. I finally called for our bill. We knew this was a cash only place. The bill was 445 pesos. I had 450 so not enough to leave a tip. I found myself walking the third of a mile back to our room to get some more cash. Fifteen minutes later I was back and settled up.
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    We walked back along the beach taking in the evening sky. It is something to behold.

    We got back to our room and I decided to try to shower. Our room has no Wi-Fi or hot water. I expected that like most places we’ve stayed and seen there is a 100 gallon water tank on the roof that heats up during the day when the sun is hot. Not hear. It is not cold but neither is it warm. It makes for a quick shower.

    It was still relatively early so we set up at the table outside and played a few games of hand and foot, which is becoming our new favorite game.

    It was full on dark and we headed in to bed. At a little after 12:00 we were woken up to a racket of talking outside. Then our screen door was opened and the handle of our inside door was turned. I was out of been facing the door and Patti yelled NO and they retreated. Long story short our hostess seemed to be letting friends stay in the recently vacated room and they were mixed up as to which door it was. Still it made me a little unsettled and I slept fitfully.

    Attached Files:

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  4. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    650
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    Vermont
    3/6/2020 Friday

    Celestun

    Yesterday was pretty much just a beach day. But before we headed down I went in search of some beer and ice. I also found the Celestun sign.

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    We headed down to the beach around 11:30 with a cooler with some beers along with some snacks. It still amazes us that we have around a mile of beach front almost entirely to ourselves.

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    I cued up a podcast of Adventure Rider Radio Raw about Inherent Travel Dangers. It was a good one for us to listen to together as it prompted a lot of conversation between us. For the most part our perception of travel is in synch. The only place where we differed was about the rider needs to be responsible to remember that we as riders need to remember that we are not privileged and should be deferred to. We are targets to be taken advantage of or are invisible. I think that will make some difference going forward.

    We hung out at the beach until 4:30 when the wind started to pick up. It got going to around 40MPH. We debated going out to eat as the sand was blowing straight down the street.

    We decided to risk it and walked into town rather to one of the ones on the beach. It had been recommended by our hostess. It was 5:30 and the place was deserted. We have no idea how these places stay open. They are all either empty or almost empty.

    We ordered a couple of tequilas with mineral water while we decided. Our waiter, the only other person in the place was lackluster at best.

    He returned with our drinks and we ordered a couple of appetizers to split. Take a look at this shrimp cocktail. It was a medium. It was delicious. We also ordered a quesadilla which was also filled with shrimp. Cost was around $17 with tip.

    IMG_3048.jpg

    We finished and stopped by the store to pick up more beer and headed back to our room. The wind and sand were still blasting. Many of the roofs are metal and were clanging all night. Around 9:00 we started to hear drums. Not just one or two but a dozen or more. We couldn’t believe that anyone would be outside playing in this wind. From where we were we could not tell where the sound was coming from. Something to ask our hostess.

    Today we woke up and headed to the beach for a walk. We were shocked to see how much the contour of the beach had changed overnight. There was a minor dune where yesterday it was flat. There was an 18” drop from the loose to the packed sand. Also offshore you could see where the eroded sand had been deposited.

    We decided to take the GS out and give ourselves a tour of the area. I had been show. Where the entrance to the protected area was.

    While I was waiting I took the GS around the block. I took a left and jammed on the brakes because there was a rope across the road around 2 feet off the ground. On one end of the rope was a horse. He stared at me and whinnied and then ambled back across the road so I could pass. Who knew.

    We headed off towards the wetlands passing through where all the fishing boats are pulled up on the shore. The road was very rough with continuous potholes.

    IMG_3060.jpg

    Within a half mile of the entrance we came across a few flamingos right off shore.

    IMG_3055.jpg IMG_3054.jpg IMG_3052.jpg

    We went around two miles down the road where it turned to loose and six inch deep sand. Time to turn around. Not going to do that 2 up.

    On the way out Patti asked me to stop to take a picture of some interesting cactuses.

    IMG_3059.jpg

    We went back to town and explored around seeing if there was anything else of interest. We headed north on the road that parallels the beach. Around a half mile north of the village there are a few pretty sizable houses only outdone by the height of their wall and thickness of their gates. Sorry no pictures they are on the camera and I can’t get them to my phone.

    We finished our touring and stopped at a store for ice, water and snack. Soon we were back to the Airbnb.

    Our whole time here I’ve been concerned about the bikes. They were outside the fence. They were cabled together and covered. But everyone that went by stared. Every night when the dog barked or heard something out of the ordinary I would get up and peer out the window to make sure no one was tampering with the bikes. They would be a huge prize around here. They’d probably make a bus out of them.

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    When we returned I took it upon myself to ride through the gate and park inside. Our hosts son moved some planters aside so I could get the GS where I wanted it. Our hostess came out and she said it was perfectly OK for us to put and leave the bikes inside. We are the only guest so no one would be inconvenienced.
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    Now that’s a recipe for a good nights sleep.

    Our hostess also gifted us with a mini fridge. That will come in handy. I’m pretty sure she wants us to stay. Now if we could only get hot water and Wi-Fi.

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  5. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    Jan 18, 2010
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    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Great ride report. I've enjoyed reading it and all the best in your travels.
  6. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    650
    Location:
    Vermont
    What is supposed to be an Airbnb has seemed to turned into a home stay. On Sunday our hostess Lidia offered to prepare ceviche for us. Remember this is a fishing village so it is inexpensive and they have friends that keep them supplied.

    They like to do dinner early here so we were called to eat around 2 PM. Lidia presented us with ceviche Cameron and ceviche Carocol. She also had steamed Cameron and grilled Carocol.

    They had a few friends over that had set themselves up at another table. We insisted that we all sit together. There was too much food for just Patti and I.

    I told Patti that she might want to stick to the Cameron. I did not think she’d enjoy the Carocol. She had not figured out it was snails. She was a good sport and tried it but definitely preferred the shrimp.

    I asked our host Armin to get some beer. He shot off on his scooter and was back quickly with a case of Dos Equis. Funny thing the bottles are just under 6 oz so they go down fast and the case empties almost as fast. Not sure if there was three or four runs for beer that day.

    We all were doing our best to communicate with each other. We were the only English speakers but we were included. I am able to pick up enough to have a rough ideas of what is being said. When that fails Lidia, Patti or I use google translate to bridge the gap.

    As the afternoon transitioned to evening more people arrived. Lidia’s aunts, sisters and cousins filtered in and we moved from around the table more into the yard where there was more room. I’m sure beer runs were still going on.

    One of her cousins spoke very good English and he wanted to practice so he came and sat next to me. Don had just completed veterinary college. He was starting his job search. Apparently it is difficult to find positions here. We had a long talk. He told me his parents own a place further north in Celestun. A little more exclusive. His father is a semi-retired physician. They also have a place in Merida where he attended college.

    People started to leave after 8 and everything finished off around 9. My only regret for the day is that I didn’t take any pictures of the food.

    Monday we had been invited to go to Lidia’s aunts house. Her husband was the physician. Unfortunately that plan fell through but Lidia made up for it by grilling pork on an outside wood fire. (Again no pictures). She made a salsa along with a very spicy chili sauce. She served it with corn tortillas. More beer was sent for, a few times over.

    Again we were joined by friends. We sat around the table and learned that they all have nicknames for each other. Then we went around and picked the super heroes we would want to be. One of their friends which is particularly heavy picked up the moniker of “Kung Fo Panda”. That got a lot of laughs. Somewhere during the evening Patti volunteered me to make pasta with meatballs the next day. I did not realize what a challenge that was to be.

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    Tuesday was the day for these folks to experience our favorite comfort food. Having been through many of the stores I knew it was going to be a challenge getting everything I needed.

    Armin offered to ride me around town to gather what I needed. Poor bike.

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    First stop was the meet store where I was able to get lean ground beef. Fresh and cheap. Next to the first grocery store. Pasta, check. Pre-made pasta sauce, nope. Italian seasoning, nope. I settled on tomato pure and what I thought was tomato paste.

    Of to the next store. Total strike out.

    Fresh vegetable store. Score on onion, peppers, garlic and a bonus of oregano.

    Bread? Armin asked if I wanted sliced bread from Bimbo which is the big bread a snack company here. Think wonder bread. Nope, off to a bread store where we scored some nice stick bread for garlic bread. One more stop for butter and we were back to the casa.

    I was introduced to Lidia’s kitchen. No oven so meatballs were changed to meat sauce. I don’t fry my meatballs.

    Two burner countertop stove. Good fry pan. The pot for pasta had to be borrowed from some friend or relative.

    I asked Lidia and Armin if they could find wine for Patti as she was craving some Chardonnay. Off they went with cash to buy wine,beer and Ice.

    I started my prep slicing and dicing the vegetables. I sautéed them and placed them in a larger pot. Then I browned the ground beef. Into the larger pot. Purée was added. Unfortunately what I thought was tomato paste was just a smaller carton of purée. I seasoned as best I could hoping that extra garlic and a healthy dose of oregano would make up for the lack of other spices.
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    Lidia and Armin returned and had scored some wine for Patti. Happy wife.

    Lidia was not used to having anyone work in her kitchen. She was watching me like a hawk. She said to Patti something about a recipe. Patti told her I was just making it up as I went, which was true.

    We got the water on the other burner while the sauce simmered and got thicker. A few moments later a small fire erupted from the gas line leading to the stove. I guess it had a leak. I blew out the flame and blocked the hose from the burner with a plate and continued on.

    Patti worked on the garlic bread as the water came up to a boil. I forgot to mention that I was cooking for 8. So the rest of the guest were starting to arrive and the beer stated to be drank.

    Fortunately Lidia and a colander so I could strain the pasta after it was done. We all gathered up dinner and moved outside where we gathered around the table. Oops no Coke. Another quick run and that problem was solved.

    Everyone dug in with gusto. I must have guessed well on the portions. There was just a little bit of pasta and sauce left along with some content faces.

    As we sat around the table we were asked what food we had tried and liked so far while we were in the Yucatán. We both said that we enjoyed soupa de limon. We Lidia made up her mind that she was going to prepare that for us on Wednesday. She did and it was the best we have had since getting to the Yucatán.

    The balance of the time over the last few days have been sitting at the beach listening to music, watching sunsets and playing cards. We’ve commented to each other we feel like we are on vacation. We both want to get moving again.
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    We’ve still not heard of our parts for the brake lines have arrived. They’ve shown in transit from Mexico City since the 2nd.

    We’ll leave Celestun on Saturday and head back to Merida. We’ll spend a couple of more days there. If our parts don’t show up by Monday we’ll decide what we should do.

    In the meantime we’ve been following all the news and trying to decide if we should just stay in Mexico through the end of our Visa to take advantage of the strong dollar down here. Maybe by June the panic will have subsided.

    Of course we don’t know if Trump will close the Mexican border too. So possible plans need to be discussed and decisions made. We aren’t panicking. We are trying to be pragmatic.
    knight, NSFW, Drybones and 6 others like this.
  7. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    338
    Location:
    Scottsbluff, NE
    As US citizens, I would think the border would not be closed to you. but your right about the panic, its getting real interesting around here right now as cases are popping up out of nowhere. I think your in as good of spot as can be for now, hell, Im jealous!! if need be, jump over to belize, check out, then renew your permits for another 180 days and wait it out.
    Cal likes this.
  8. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    Jan 4, 2014
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    680
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    San Jose, CA
    Stop and reflect on your language progress - what would this have looked like in the first week of your trip!

    Your report is making me miss Mexico! We are in Buenos Aires now, and will be ending the trip and flying ourselves and motos back to the USA shortly(so far no travel restrictions due to COVID-19).
  9. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    650
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    Vermont
    Jim,

    We’ve been following along and reading your posts with admiration. We might head into the Bay Area if we leave Mexico May. If you’re around we’d love
    To swap stories! Although you have us beat hands down.
    JimsBeemer likes this.
  10. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
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    San Jose, CA
    We would love that! Stay in touch.
  11. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
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    Vermont
    We moved on today from Celestun. We were undecided until this morning but we needed to get going.

    Good bye to our hostess and host. They were very sad to see us go. Lidia was crying when we left.

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    Last night they celebrated Pattis’ birthday which fall on St Patricks day.

    Lots of fish and people along with 2 cakes as there were others celebrating birthdays as well.

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    It appears it is traditional for the person celebrating their birthday to just bite into the cake.

    Tonight we are in Escarcega. Tomorrow we will move onto Palenque.

    On our way through one of the check points we were stopped for the first time. They wanted to see if we had been experiencing any virus symptoms. They took our temperatures and let us go.

    The checkpoint going into the Yucatán was something else. Everyone was being stopped. Masks were being handed out. The traffic was backed up quite a ways.
    knight, Beaumont Paco, Smidty and 6 others like this.
  12. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    Do you have a “hunker down” destination in mind?
  13. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
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    Maybe Puerto Escondido? But right now we are back on plan for Palenque, San Cristóbal then Oaxaca. We’ll keep up with the news and decide the end of this month if we have to shelter in place. Pretty sure there will be bargains showing up on AirBnb
    JimsBeemer and Davidprej like this.
  14. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    Feb 20, 2007
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    Burbank CA
    haha, i glanced on the last page of this RR and now, I'm hooked and backtracking to page 1. thanks for putting this on the board, really a very interesting and great reading.
  15. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
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    We arrived in Palenque yesterday morning. We are staying at Casa Lykum which caters to MC travelers. No bandwidth so no pictures.

    I’m trying find a place to work on the R. I need to get into the tank to replace the fuel filter.

    We’ll take in the local ruins today then go into town to get cash and supplies.

    More when I can get on Wi-Fi.
    Davidprej likes this.
  16. Grynch

    Grynch Long timer

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    Jan 29, 2014
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    Thanks for posting, we did not know that at checkpoints they are taking temperature.
  17. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    Yesterday we also had our passports and vehicle information checked for the first time crossing into Chiapas.

    I also talked to one of the owners here and they are fine with me working on the “R” and told me if I needed oil and such they have that as well.

    Nice place! But still no Wi-Fi.

    image-2020-03-18-08:07:22-320.jpg
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  18. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd '14 BMW R1200 GS Adv Supporter

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    Jun 1, 2014
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    Spearfish, SD
    Isolate in Place!
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  19. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    We might. They are offering us a long stay rate. The place is 25% capacity.

    Going to be tough on the service industries everywhere. 80+% of the population are probably in that here.
    RedDogAlberta, Smidty and Kiwi Canuck like this.
  20. ricksax

    ricksax Adventurer

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    Jul 23, 2013
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    13
    Ya know, you might be in the best place in the world to wait this out. Sunshine. Out of a big city. Affordable cost of living. Warm hosts. I have certainly enjoyed your posts, and I wish my wife and I were down there with you. Oaxaca is a marvelous place, with Monte Alban and Mitla to see, and real mescal in black crockery bottles with ground worms, something that is a bit different than normal tequila. Not sure if I would ever venture into Mexico City from past experience.
    RedDogAlberta likes this.