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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by danisOTR, Jan 13, 2020.
I agree. Relax and wait it out in paradise.
So we are sitting tight for now. We’ve seen the ruins. We’ve gone to a wildlife preserve. No pictures because of no bandwidth.
We have a part coming in on Tuesday for the “R” so will wait things out until the.
We are 20+ hours from the nearest border so 3-4 hard days ride. Then we still would have to figure out where to go from there.
We are going to ride around today to check out the city and see what resources are available. The Chedreau grocery stores was fully stocked on Tuesday.
enjoy the ride.......love Mexico
I am inclined to agree with RedDog . Is your USA- bought out of country health insurance still being honoured , or have the insurers decided that their risk of loosing money is now greater and therefor cancelled coverage , just like in the case for Canadian based snow birds ?
If your insurance remains valid then it woud make no sense to panic and bolt for the border . That might actually expose you to a greater risk of doing something silly in your haste in traffic and getting injured - and with NO insurance . Stay calm and play it safe for now . Don't be like the livestock during a barn fire when they head back into a burning barn in the belief that the formerly familiar place is still a safe shelter .
If your insurance has been nullified then it is a different story , you might have to consider putting the bikes into storage and flying home , then fly back later after the storm has passed to retrieve the bikes .
We need to renew our world nomad coverage then end of the month. I’ll get on line with them when I can get Wi-Fi.
As of yesterday we are the only guests at Casa Lakyum. The staff is still working but it is evident that there are fewer people working. The owners still have not returned from Oaxaca. So we still don’t know what kind of deal we can work out. There is still no Wi-Fi and I cannot get onto the World Nomad Website to see about extending our coverage.
On Friday I believe we went to Aluxes Ecoparque. The place was all but empty of guests. We were 2 of 6. They deal with a lot of rescues and rehabs. We saw Jaguars, a Panther, Spider Monkeys, Parrots and dozens of other animals: birds, reptiles and mammals. I will post appropriate pictures as bandwidth allows.
Saturday I put Patti’s bike back together. No leaks but there still seems to be a problem with the fuel pressure. I am hoping Filipes’ friend can source a fuel pump for me. I’d be happy to turn the whole project over to him if necessary although I know I can do it all with the right parts.
We spent the balance of the day by the pool, alone. We have a corner which is in the shade all day. There are a couple of lounge chairs and a table with 4 chairs. We were able to play “Hand and Foot” and completed a full round.
I pulled our Bluetooth speaker out for the first time and set that up rather than listening through the phones.
In the evening we ordered a Pepperoni Pizza. Not bad.
Sunday we decided to ride out Route 199 that leads to Ocosingo. There are a couple of water features that are highlighted to see. We are two up as Patti’s bike is still down. (Funny Play on words).
The first one is Cascada de Misol-Ha. Funny thing that three of the sites we’ve gone to so far require two entrance fees. One to go down the road and the second to enter the park itself.
The Cascada is tall waterfall, around 100 feet (?). There is a path carved into the rock that you follow and walk behind the falls. There are several lesser falls that come out directly from the rock.
At the end of the walkway there is a cave that you can be led through. We opted out as there were too many people about and we serious about practicing our social distancing.
We stayed for 45 minutes which was plenty of time. I think we spent $7 total for both admissions. Plus we grabbed a water and pineapple juice to rehydrate. That was another $2.
We decided to continue up 199. I had heard that it was recently repaved. It was. It is the curviest road we’ve been on since leaving Papantla for Xalapa. We tooled along at a modest pace. Passing cars and trucks and being passed by few.
All the villages have topes. Some a few and some numerous. There does not seem to be a rhyme or reason to it. It is not density based. As with all other small towns we’ve travelled through many of the topes are flanked by locals selling goods of all sorts.
The road gained and lost elevation throughout our ride. Palenque is at 250’ and we were over 1000’.
As I said we mostly passed but in one instance we were passed by two SUV’s in quick succession. Within a few moments we rounded a curve to see the first SUV stopped in the middle of the road buying fruit from some young children. This group was very industrious. Rather than depending on the topes they strung a rope across the road with flags attached causing traffic to stop.
As we approached they attempted to raise the rope again. Even though they already had one captive they were attempting to get another. I yelled “no gracious” and waved my left arm until the dropped the rope.
We had read about and heard about Cascadas de Agua Azul. It ended up being around and hour further up 199 from the site we had left. The road headed down through a series of nice twisties.
At the bottom we paid our two admission and were waved into a parking area by a group that was doing “Watch and Wash”. They watch your vehicle and for an extra fee they wash it. We cabled our stuff to the bike and were given assurances by one of the guys that he would keep an eye on our bike.
The lot lead through innumerable vendors that line the pathway that follows the cascades up. This appears to be a huge tourist area. However, it was not very busy. Shopkeepers kept calling out to us letting us know what they had. People with restaurants tried to push menus at us. Many of the stalls were empty especially as you move further up the path. There must be a pecking order or declining cost for rental space the further you get up the path.
The falls themselves are beautiful. The aqua color is quite vivid and water crystal clear. There are several natural swimming holes along the way. A couple of young boys were doing jumps from elevation into a smallish pool of water.
The further up we walk the fewer and fewer tourist there were. We eventually found ourselves at what appeared to be where the locals hang out and swim.
Here a 5 year old girl came up to use dripping wet from swimming and asked for change. We gave here the equivalent of .75cents. Next thing we knew we had others chasing us down. Lesson learned. Less per child, more happy children.
We turned around and retraced our step. We found a swimming spot that was empty and Patti slipped in for a short cooling off.
We got back down to the main vendor area and found someone that had some novelty ice cream bars. We each selected on and bought another bottle of ice-cold water.
We found our way back to the bike. I tipped the guy and we suited up for our ride out.
Remembering the curves we came in on I was excited to whip it up a little on the way back up to 199. I had Patti hang on and we were off. It was the most fun I’ve had riding in a while. There were tight curves along with some reducing radius ones. We were definitely scrubbing the outsides of the tires.
We were back on 199 pretty quickly. I decided we would keep up the spirited pace on the way back. We laid it on hard except for when we approached villages where we slowed for the topes. I was getting good at judging the height and sharpness of the topes and was able to move at good clip. I also took advantage of the tope pass getting around slower moving vehicles.
We scrapped the pegs negotiating some of the curves. We made some quick passes in between curves taking advantage of the weight and horsepower difference. On the few straight aways I whipped it up to 80 getting past everything in front of us. Needless to say, no one passed up on the way back.
It was interesting to see that instead of collectovio vans they use Nissan Pickup trucks. They have a frame around the back covered with a tarp with seats over the wheel wells. There were dozens running back and forth. Many were full.
When we got back into Palenque we went to Chedreau, the grocery store. I’ve been stocking up on pesos as a hedge and because of the excellent exchange rate.
We went through the store and picked up our supplies. I picked up an electric coil and a medium size pot. It allows us to make our own coffee now rather than waiting to have breakfast. It will save us a few dollars a day as well.
We had found a chardonnay that Patti particularly enjoyed so we bought a few bottles of that and upgraded our tequila as the one we bought earlier was not very good.
Errands complete it was back to the Casa. After unpacking we changed into our suits and went down to the pool. I jumped in with my shirt and had on. We sat there for a couple of hours and finally returned to our room after sunset.
We had bought a roasted chicken when we were at the store. We cracked it open and I took the meat of the bone. We put out some chips and salsa and had the largest protein meal in a long time.
I was able log into World Nomad today and extended our coverage until the end of May. Hopefully that will be long enough.
Glad to see you can get insurance .
Now you can relax while you stay away from crowds and practice your Spanish .Don't let it get rusty and mess up "gracias " while being gracious . Spelling does matter and attention there can lead to better understanding and care in pronunciation , even with names .
che -dra - wie
CHEDRAUI also runs a set of stores with the logo SUPER CHE which name has totally nothing to do with the bearded buddy of Fidel .
They are holding their own in competing with WalMart
Now for some long promised pictures. I will send up a few posts today from pictures from over the last couple of weeks.
One of our final sunsets in Celestun
Some of the ingenious work converting motorcycles.
Flamingos in flights
Eco Parque Aluxes. I put ore from here up as soon as I get the photos from Pattis' phone
Macaws The one in flight is not mine but wanted everyone to see how majestic they are. Three flew over our head and landed high up in a fruit tree so the pictures we have are not great.
Cascada de Misol-Ha
Casadas de Agua Azul
Entrance to our current "home"
Since we've been here we've been hearing but not seeing the howler monkeys at various times during the day. Usually early morning and evening but sometimes overnight. Yesterday afternoon the one staff person on duty yelled down to us at the pool "Monkey...Monkey". There were a few right out the front door. One moved to the side and I followed him. They treated us to a aria of hooting and howling for quite a while. I'm not sure I'd want to get much closer than I did.
So a quick recap about what is going on with us. We've decided to stay at Hotel Lakyum for the time being. Zhnia has made it a very easy decision with a very favorable rate. We can use the laundry facilities and the kitchen after hours. They also brought us a mini fridge. Also yesterday the Wi-Fi was restored. However it does not work well in our room. I am typing this on the balcony by the front desk that overlooks the pool. Yeah, cry me a river. We'll be able to facetime family and friends now.
As had asked if there were other grocery stores around as we've only been to the Chedreui. Zhnia said that was the safest but she can arrange for delivery which we may start taking advantage of especially if they deliver tequila!
I offered to make my favorite spaghetti and meatballs one evening this week. Last night I cooked dinner for ourselves for the first time since leaving Merida. Simple fare with just chicken breast sautéd with peppers, onions and garlic.
As I wrote above we were able to renew our World Nomad insurance. I extended until the end of May. Hopefully that is late enough.
We cannot help but be somewhat concerned about what may end up happening in Mexico with the uncertain response of the President of Mexico. I want to be prepared for a run to the border if need be. But I am still working on getting Pattis' bike squared away. I'm not sure of the exact cause of it being starved for fuel. It has a new fuel pump and filter. I've posted on Gspot and am getting good advice and need to work through the problem. I am only speculating that it is the injectors but need to eliminate other possibilities first.
Meanwhile we are spending our days by the pool reading and listening to music and podcasts. We are also getting up and walking before the heat of the day.
This little guys lives out front of our room. He is a sereque, a local rodent. Cute and pretty brave.
Some pictures from Zona Arqueologica. The place was busy with tour busses full of people from all over. Some sneezing. We kept our distance and used hand sanitizer.
Pictures from around the grounds here at Hotel Lakyum
More pictures from Eco Parque Aluxes
Great pics! There are worse places to be stuck I guess. Hope this works its way thru the world over the next 2 months. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy!
Are you working remote or have to go in.? I’ve heard snow on and off in VT. Bike out yet?
We are all in an interesting situation here. I am also stuck in Mexico, with dreams of someday making it south to Patagonia, ticking a box on my bucket list. All the borders south (and north) are closed. Some of the borders are not scheduled to open until 31 May; DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION...
The Sec of Health in Mexico (lives in CDMX and comes on live television every morning, with the President, between the hours of 7-9am) basically says that Mexico is one month behind the rest of the world (in CDMX; if you are out on the Yucatan, maybe another 1-2 weeks??). He says that he expects this epidemic to last until September-October; with the peak being in August. They have broken it down into three phases: 1) wait and see, but start preparing. 2) hide in your home, the transmission is starting. All government is closed. All public spaces are closed. All schools are closed 3) … hahaha.... do I need to explain this one? Just look at South Korea, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, or the US (and imagine this in Mexico). He said just this morning that phase three was going to happen; just a matter of time.
… I say prepare for the worst, but hope for the best... I have spoken with friends over the net about what to do here. The question is, where are you going to go that is any better? If you go back to the states you are headed directly into the eye of a storm. Traveling exposes you, you need gas and food and that means other people... NOLA is exploding with cases and they expect it to spread rapidly to Houston, TX; you can't really tell who has been infected. This is the USs' 4th largest City. Both of these are directly on I-10, a major travel route across the southern US. The fastest way back to the US for you is to head out to Vera Cruz and then north to Matamoros/Brownsville, TX. You will probably use a section of I-10. On the East coast of MX, the cops can be a PITA. You will have to pay them off, or look really poor, or be a good talker (yeah, that means Spanish)...
In phase 3, they will have a bunch of closed roads to stop transmission. You will be harassed and put in a situation where you could contract the virus. Everything will be shut down.
I am 'holed-up'. I have everything I need. It took about 2 weeks to get everything on my checklist. I have a bunch of little projects and a list of songs to learn on the guitar. I bought a bunch of books to read in Spanish. I also have the best internet and TV connection that I've had in a while. The bike has never run better, and I have several more projects for my bike as well.
I can't tell we are on phase 2 right now. Last night there were kids playing in the street; everything looks normal. It is hard to keep distance from these people; they don't get it yet.
Stay safe and informed. I wish you very good luck.
We are in the state of Chiapas so out of the Yucatan. A lot of items that used to on the shelves in the Farmacia are now behind the counter and they are reticent to hand them out.
Sit tight and have our food delivered.
Anyone directly supporting the production line is deemed essential, so yes, I'm still going in (but still part time. Fully retired in May). We got what I believe to be our last snow storm last monday....about 5-6 inches. Most of it melted and the roads were fine. Some time this week the snowblower will get put away and the bikes will be out. Still waiting for the roads to clean up a bit.
In a state with minimal traffic, there's even less now. Not that I mind.
I think it's best to time your return. When US is getting it under control and it's out of control in Mexico.
I like your attitude, I have a friend at my Sonora casa, perfect spot for self quarantine now, but the virus will eventually hit and then it's time to return.
That’s what we are thinking. Here for 4-6 weeks and then get to the border FAST.
I lived in the Mt. Mansfield area for two years. I was just there in November; so many memories. What a beautiful place... To get back there you would be exposing yourself to a lot of public spaces.
Chiapas has like 4 infections, one of the least.
The coffee (and the food) is so good in Chiapas. Make friends, learn the language, have fun. What a great story!
One last thought: It took China 4 months to get the virus 'under control'. When did the infections really start in the US? The beginning of March maybe? NY is the most infected state as of this moment.
The US is so big and the mentality of the people is so 'free will'... it's a tough call. People are traveling out of infected areas (cities) to uninfected places, bringing CoVid-19 with them. China is a communist country with strict controls over it's people.
Maybe it will take a year to get everything back on track...
The first (phase 2) closures in MX are supposed to be from 23 March to 19 April; just to put it out there.