Retired and Riding (Temporarily on pause in Northern New York)

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

  1. Shin1ichi2002

    Shin1ichi2002 Been here awhile

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    I just wanted to chime in quickly. Have really enjoyed your trip so far! The pace, all the stories, pics, food and drinks,
    ; very nice . I also love that you and your wife are doing this together.
    It is a future retirement dream to do very similar. Been to Mexico many times, and love the country. ......

    but one day , on bike. Like you two.

    stay safe, keep writing, riding and enjoying.
    Thanks
    Johnny
    Beaumont Paco likes this.
  2. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    3/31/20 Tuesday

    Palenque

    Sunday we took a ride just to get out of the compound. The roads were all but deserted. We passed a health checkpoint on the way out of town but it was gone before we returned.

    It was recommended that we take a run up Route 307. As I wrote there was almost no one on the road. We passed a couple of sites that were locked up so we could not get inside.

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    We stopped at the grocery store mainly to get more pesos. I had gone on Saturday to do the same and we went again today. We have plenty of pesos to cover us for most anything now. Even buying airline tickets if need be.

    Sunday evening Patti had a virtual happy hour on Face Time with members from her family and our two daughters. For mostly non-techy people it worked out pretty well. We are going to use Zoom next time which will hopefully make it easier for everyone.

    I am still struggling with Pattis’ bike. As a last ditch effort I replaced the Hall Effect Sensor with a spare that I was carrying. It did not help. I have an active post in Gspot and have been getting great advice and technical help. But today I gave up and brought it to a bike mechanic. The same one the owner, Felipe, uses to work on his KTM.
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    In the mean time we’ve been hanging at the pool and living a normal life, cooking and doing laundry.
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    We have a new friend, Tai, who is Zhenias’ dog. They had been keeping him kenneled but we told her it was OK with us if she wanted to leave him out. He is a nice distraction.

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    During the day on Monday two Guardia Federale showed up at the hotel. Fortunately it was a social visit as one of them know Felipe. Then some prospective guests showed up but left before anyone was available to greet them. So we are still the lone guests.

    Monday evening we sat with Zhenia on her terrace which is just down from us. We spoke about family and our history. It was nice to interact with someone else rather than just speaking with each other. Hopefully more of that to come.
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    Here are some random pictures. I am not sure if I posted any of the Howler Monkeys. Also the Macaws are here several times a day. It is almost impossible not to take pictures of them.

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  3. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    4/1/2020. Wednesday

    Palenque

    No April Fools Jokes. Nothing to joke about.

    Good news is that the mechanic sent me a message last night that the bike was fixed. The injectors were clogged. I would have swapped them if I had a spare set. Something else for the spare parts list. Felipe dropped me off this morning. True to the mechanics word the bike is running as it should. $90 which is fine with me. At a BMW shop they would have swapped them and charged me more than $500. Tomorrow morning when it is still cool, I will put the bike back together. It takes a load off my mind knowing that if we need to dash, we can.

    Speaking of that Patti and I discuss our options every day. One thought is if we need to go we leave the bikes here and get a flight out of Villahermosa. It is 2 hours away. We could come back in the fall to get the bikes and continue our trip. We were originally thinking about going to Europe in October but we are not sure how things will be looking there then. For that matter we don’t know how things will be looking in Mexico then.

    Last night there was a terrific lightning storm. There is little light pollution so the lighting strikes were very vivid. They lit up the mountain sides that surround here.

    We took a video on our iPhone XS and went through frame by frame to get screen grabs.
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    Evenings are very quiet. We have been downloading Netflix movies and shows and watching them in our room. But generally we asleep well before 10. Again, surreal.


    I’ve been reading the Is Mexico Safe string. I read that Sinaloa was closing down restaurants and hotels as of Saturday. Officially they’ve already closed Hotel Lakyum to any more guests so I’m pretty sure we are good here. We are paying in cash two weeks ahead and include a decent tip for the staff.
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  4. jimdgreat1

    jimdgreat1 n00b

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    20200403_042915.jpg This was out last night I guess. Wanted you to know. Wish I was there. Stay safe.
  5. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    Thanks Jim


    We are aware. Thank you for the update and concern.
  6. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    4/3/2020 Friday

    Palenque

    Yesterday we had a great field trip to visit Felipes’ Palm Plantation. It is one of his multiple businesses.

    In 2003 he invested in ~ 500 acres of ranch land just outside of Palenque. Initially is was done as a short-term strategy to resell in the near future for housing. Instead his interest was piqued in raising palm trees for their fruit which is turned into Palm Oil.

    He explained to us that the government was giving incentives for farming so this aided in his plan. Over the next few years they planted the entire acreage with palm trees. It was done very purposefully with row upon row reaching our as far as we could see. There are service roads throughout to aid in the collection of the fruit.
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    An interesting side note about the roads. During his planting a new airport was being built in Palenque. At one point there was a work stoppage due to a lack of payment. Felipe negotiated with the company and bought 300 dump truck loads of gravel that were just not getting used. So, another win win for the economy.
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    Felipe explained that if the area was still a ranch it only would require 3 people to work it. As a plantation it requires 20 or so workers so he had stimulated the economy by creating jobs. Many of the workers live on or very near the property.


    He has worked out an arrangement where the workers are paid on how much they produce. There is a chart with their names where they tally their efforts. Also, there is another chart that shows the various areas of the plantation. They are harvested in rotation. So, there is always an area being harvested and other’s waiting for their fruit to grow back.

    He explained to us the controversy of other countries burning down rain forests to start planting palms. In his case the land was already grassy ranch land and he did not have to destroy anything. Recently the have changed to all organic farming as well. They are using the residue of the palm harvest, dead vegetation from the hotel, cast offs from the grocery store and waste from the palm oil production plant to use as fertilizer. They also do not use pesticides. This is very progressive in a country such as Mexico.

    He walked us in to the plantation until we found a couple of workers trimming and harvesting. They use a special sickle shaped knife on long pole. These were developed in Malaysia and they actually import them. The men gave us a demonstration on how they removed the berried which break off in large clumps that weigh around 20 pounds.
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    The fruit is picked up and placed into a large cart. There is a mule that they use to pull the smaller carts back to the area where they consolidate the harvest.
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    A little girl on the property that Patti became enamored with.

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    The Palm Oil plant is a short distance away. As it is so close, he has negotiated free transport. Also, the plant delivers the waste product that is used for fertilizer at the same time.


    As we were walking, we asked about his time in China. We had heard from Zhenia that he had spent a year there. Something that you would not have expected. He said that a friend told him he should go. At that point he had finished university and was working as a manager in his fathers’ auto garage. He ended up going to China spending six months learning Chinese and another traveling learning about business. This is where he developed an interest in bamboo. That is another of his businesses here.


    On our way back to the hotel we stopped by his garage. I had noticed it on our way into town two weeks earlier. It was the first professional looking operation I had seen since entering Mexico. Very modern, spotlessly clean, all the employees in smart uniforms. They have all the latest equipment to balance and align tires. He also has a huge inventory of tires. They had just completed a section to work on heavy trucks to include alignments.

    In the back of the building they had built a play structure out used tires. Kind of a jungle gym. Again, giving back to the community.

    We returned to the hotel early in the afternoon. The temperature here had been hovering in the mid to upper 90’s during the day and the humidity is 80+ percent. There is little air movement. So the best thing to do is get into the pool and stay there which is exactly what I did.

    Zhenia has kept someone in the kitchen from 7-3. She cooks for us, Felipe and Zhenia and cooks a mid-morning meal for the house staff. Around 2 she came and asked if we wanted her to cook anything else for us. We had bought plenty of groceries and were planning on cooking for ourselves. I ended up asking if should prepare some pork chops with peppers and onions for us. I later spoke with Zhenia to make sure it was OK and that we would be willing to pay to for her labor.

    At 3 Patti had a Zoom happy hour with her three college roommates. So, for three hours, yes three hours I heard them yak. But she was very happy to have the interaction. They are probably going to get together weekly while we are all under house arrest.

    The evening was also very still and humidity high. We sat by the pool enjoying cocktails while we continued to get to know our hosts. The water was so still that the pool was a perfect mirror.
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  7. btrrtlwtr

    btrrtlwtr Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Mr AND Mrs OTR not quite the way you prob figured your retirement would go but looks like its working out not too badly. thanks for the great rr photos and narration. was good learning about the palm plantation.best wishes to you and good luck inthese trying times
    dano619 and Davidprej like this.
  8. Omar

    Omar Muddling thru Supporter

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    Bob and Patti,
    I have been absent from here for a while and took time to catch up. More power to you. What a wonderful experience and great way to spend part of your retirement.

    No question, you are in one of the better places to spend your time till it all this crap passes. As our President keeps reminding us, “It will soon blow over”. Though New York is getting hammered, Manhattan mostly. Rohde Island, Conn, have already put restrictions on people entering the state from New York. Vermont has advisories for those entering coming in to self isolate themselves for 14 days.

    You guys enjoy, stay well, ride safe, and make the most of great hospitality you are experiencing. Isn’t travel to new places great? People all over the world are kind and helpful, seems like Mexico even more so.

    Warm weather is threatening to come back. Some of the younger folks (Richard, Wily, Jeff, et al) have already taken a few rides. No breakfast rides though.

    Envy you all. Enjoy and be safe.
    Vrode likes this.
  9. Omar

    Omar Muddling thru Supporter

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    I forgot to mention. Your photographic record adds immeasurably to the descriptions and greatly enhances our perception (understanding) of what you are experiencing. Really great.
    Thanks a lot.
    Keep up the good work.
  10. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I'd go for El Jimador blanco.
    Is always a solid taste for the $.
    Down south I would just source some local mezcal anyway.
  11. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    If the injectors were clogged then what does the fuel pump pickup filter look?
    Or is there another filter?
  12. Grynch

    Grynch Long timer

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    Great post!
  13. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    New pump filter and sock. The old ones looks OK but I didn’t cut open the filter
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  14. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    4/4/2020 Saturday

    Palenque

    Friday was a down day. The temperature continues to rise along with the humidity. We stayed in most of the day in the AC in our room.

    In the afternoon we went up to the kitchen to make a stove top version of chicken parmesan.
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    This morning Zhenia told us that Australian showed up looking for a room. When she told him they were closed due to the quarantine he actually asked if she believed that it was real! Thankfully she turned him away.

    I spent a couple of hours this morning putting Pattis’ bike back together. I also organized our spare parts and tools and got both the bikes squared away.

    I have a decent size collection of various items, clothes, shoes and other odds and ends to ship home. I’d like to add some more to the box to reduce the weight and volume.

    As we have been at Hotel Lakyum for almost 3 weeks we are almost completely unpacked. It is amazing to see how much stuff we are actually carrying.
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  15. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    4/6/2020 Monday

    Palenque

    Everyone remember the movie Groundhog Day? Well that is what it is starting to feel like here. I am sure many of you reading this are feeling the same.
    Screen Shot 2020-04-06 at 11.49.05 AM.png
    Last night we Face-timed Pattis’ sister and brother-in-law who live outside Albany, NY. We were reminded that they are in lockdown too. The difference is that we are in a tropical location, can be outside all day and have a pool.

    Intellectually I know we are in a good place compared to many. We are safe, have plenty of food and hosts that take care of us. We really don’t HAVE to do anything.

    We feel grateful that we have the technology available to us to speak to our kids, family and friends. Our youngest daughter is in the daycare field and her place is closed down for the indefinite future. Our son does cell phone sales which is supposedly essential so he is still working. Our oldest daughter is working as a para-educator and they are doing distance learning now so she is also still working. She is also working on her masters in clinical psychology and there has been some impact to her classes.

    My dad is 94 and is as he calls it is “under house arrest” at an assisted living location in Massachusetts. Fortunately, the administrator of this particular facility was very prescient and locked the place down weeks before any others did and before any mandates came out. So far there have been no cases where he is.

    My fathers is one of the oldest residents at the facility. We like to call him the mayor. He is fortunate to still have all his faculties intact and is quite active. He has always sung in church and also as part of a Barbershop quartet and chorus.

    Before the outbreak he would set up his laptop and using You Tube do karaoke while other residents would dance. He also went down to the memory care unit regularly and put on a show for them. He’s commented about how singing brings those patients out of themselves. Now they are having him set up in a large meeting area and bring in other residents placing them 10 feet apart so they can continue to have some entertainment. A boon for their spirits and his.

    I never remember my father being at all political or outspoken. However below is a post he did on Facebook. Please take no offense if you are of a different political leaning.

    “I happened to watch the broadcast of the ceremony as our President signed the Corona Virus rescue bill on TV today. I applaud the much needed action after so much controversy in Congress. What disturbed me was the Sycophants surrounding him and they each preceded their remarks with a shameful hind licking but dutiful salutation to him before proceeding. He sat there with an almost " Benito Mussolini" face in satisfaction.

    As a veteran of WW11 I am just disgusted with the antics of our leaders during this critical time. I just had to get this off my chest while I'm still alive !!”


    He has made a couple of subsequent posts, similar in tone. I guess he is making up for years being less vocal. He also quips about watching for the FBI to come and take him away.

    Here is a picture of him with his friend Deb after she dropped off some masks she made for him.
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    I’ve woken up a couple of days recently with vertigo to the point that it has taken me a couple of hours to get out of bed. Well a little research reminded me that too little water and too much tequila leads to dehydration which can cause vertigo. So yesterday no tequila and plenty of water and this morning no vertigo. I love self-diagnosis. So I guess I need to do less self medicating!
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    We saw our first toucan today. It was in flight so no pictures yet. We can hear it near bye so hopefully we will be able to add another trophy to our ornithology book.

    The temperature here is hovering around 100 daily. We are told it will go higher in May. Although uncomfortable it is not terribly oppressive. Nothing a dip in the pool can’t solve. So, I guess if we are going to continue Groundhog Day, this is the place to do it.
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  16. advrockrider

    advrockrider Long timer

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    Loving your report, I would rather be where you are then California where I am. Keep a good attitude and find some busy work to pass the time. I'm sure the owner has some projects she would love help with? With the humidity that high you should start the day with half a liter of water each morning and keep it flowing between cocktails, don't stop drinking just add more water. Stay safe and enjoy your wonderful adventure!
  17. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    Lovin your report......In regards to the elderly and your Dad (I'm in that group) .....I look at it like this.......we can say whatever we want, we earned it!! Thanks for takin us along!!
  18. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer Supporter

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    Hey Bob,

    I love the picture of your Dad.
    He sounds like a character!
    I feel like he does. I'm pretty ashamed of our "leadership". My Dad was also a WWII vet and I'm sorta glad that he isn't alive to witness just what is happening with everything. He'd be SICK about it all. Enough about that. But thanks for sharing.

    I think that you guys are in a great situation down there so far.
    Seems that you lucked out.
    I'm surprised that Zhenia didn't rent to the Aussie?
    There are a lot of parts of the US that are in a real pickle right now.
    Be glad that you're not currently in one of them.

    So I was curious ............... are you guys practicing your Spanish every day? :ear :lol3
    You're hunkered down in a spot now where it would be such an advantage learning with Zhenia's assistance.
    I used to make flash cards with phrases on them. That helped me a lot. And I found it is really important to get your ear "tuned to hearing Spanish" so you learn to understand responses.
    If you have a chance to chat with young children in Spanish, I found that they're much easier to understand.

    And I also learned to ask questions in a way where I could get an answer that I could understand easier.
    i.e. Don't ask "where is xxxxxx?"
    Instead ask "is xxxxxx this direction?"
    Then you are more apt to get a "yes" or a "no" answer.
    It's a fun process learning a new language once you surrender to it.

    Continued safe travels and THANK YOU! for taking us along and keeping your RR current and informative.
    RD
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  19. jimdgreat1

    jimdgreat1 n00b

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    Just amazing content. Thanks! I now must see this place someday.
  20. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    They put a chain up today to keep look e loos out. People were showing up daily looking for rooms. The owner even gave us permission to tell anyone that shows up that they are closed.

    IMG_3504.jpg


    When all this crap is behind us any rider that makes it to Palenque should stay here. I can’t compliment the owners Zhenia and Felipe enough. Adjustments.jpg
    image-2020-03-27-17:07:35-229.jpg
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