The Adventures of LoneStar & The Iron Butterfly...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LoneStar, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. ShenandoahRider

    ShenandoahRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Near Harrisonburg, Virginia
    No one can ever replace your mom. I wish you well. God bless.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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  2. SpiritAtBay

    SpiritAtBay Been here awhile

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    Apr 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    210
    Someone said it earlier and I'd like to echo; thanks for including us in your lives, whether the occasion be joyful or not.

    Thoughts and prayers for you both and your mom.
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  3. woodsatyr

    woodsatyr Kitty Boy

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    Dec 11, 2007
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    G'ville
    Sending healing vibes.
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  4. njoytheride

    njoytheride NJOYN' THE JOURNEY Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
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    WESTERN AR
    Was just catching up on your post. So sorry to hear about your moms illness. Glad you made it back safely to be with her. Praying for God's peace and healing. Lost my mom last September. Sure do miss her.
    God always has a plan and a purpose.
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  5. 230Rocket

    230Rocket Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    NSW Australia to McKinney, Texas
    Just catching up as are all the others who have been following y'all along. I have nothing prophetic to write, just my thoughts of hope, strength and belief for you through this tough time. Ted Simon summed it up only too well when he realized "the interruptions are the Journey".

    Even before you do get back on the bike, the Journey will continue...

    Ride far
    Dean
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  6. Zapgarou

    Zapgarou Ripper Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
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    111
    Location:
    Abbeville
    I've really enjoyed following your journeys and the excellent photos and stories. Prayers for you and your Mom.
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  7. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
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    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Hey guys - things are stable here thankfully but still a bit in limbo

    As promised, here's an update from the remaining trip reports!
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  8. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Our previous 12 hour day left us a bit draggy in the morning, but we were up early and on the way to the historic center of Puebla to meet Hank's crew at their hotel. The downtown was deserted in the early hours, and a beautiful city it was.

    Our previous night's stay and entry into the town had been in a modern area replete with beautiful skyscrapers and businesses. Overall, the impression of the city was good with a sense that it was going somewhere rather than living in its past.

    We circled the old plaza and a few blocks away found the hotel. There was no parking and since we assumed they would be ready to leave, we parked on the sidewalk and went in. The crew had seen us through the restaurant window and were having breakfast. We met Frank and his wife, a couple from Germany on a 1200 Adventure and their son who was riding one of Hank's rental bikes, an 1150 Adventure. Another couple, Scott and Amy were on an F800GS and hailed from San Antonio. One additional rider, Larry from San Antonio, was there solo, his wife having started the trip on the bike but who'd flown home from Guatemala after an incident they'd experienced in Chiapas.

    As they finished breakfast, two police officers walked to our bikes on the sidewalk, intent on punishing us. We bolted outside and acted stupid, easy for me I might add, and they let us off from a ticket but stayed until we moved the bikes into a parking garage a bit further up the street.

    Eventually we got on the road north for Teotihuacan, the closest town to the huge pyramid complex begun by the Toltecs almost 2000 years ago, and later the Aztecs. It houses two of the largest pyramids in the world, the pyramid of the Sun being listed as the third largest in the world, and it's smaller partner, the Pyramid of the Moon.

    We'd been warned earnestly by locals the day before to be very careful in the Puebla traffic and it was obvious why our first evening. Probably the most aggressive *sshole drivers we've encountered, including NYC. Nowhere else in Mexico, or anywhere for that matter, have I had drivers literally try to push a motorcyclist off the road or out of the lane. It was very dangerous and I'm not sure where the aggression comes from but be prepared if you go.



    Luckily, we had no serious encounters as we wound our way out of the huge city and onto the tollway north. The tollway was a bit different than others in the fact that you took a ticket and paid the fees as you exit, a fact Hank had warned me about ahead of time and I was glad. You end up with a pocket full of tollway receipts at the end of the day, and it would've been easy to lose these if not warned, and have to pay the maximum toll. The tolls on this northern arc are not cheap.

    Speaking of the tollway, it was a beautiful and chilly ride in the early morning sunshine, the elevation being higher than expected and the rolling mountainous terrain a refreshing change from the typical tollway routes.

    After a couple of hours we exited for Teotihuacan, paid the toll to the smiling and incredulous attendant and shotgun toting guard who were fascinated by the woman on the big motorcycle.

    Another exit down, my GPS squawking to take, Hank swung off as well. It led us down the rough cobblestone road into the village of Teotihuacan itself, and not the pyramids as Garmin thought. A few questions answered and we were again on our way reversing out and racing back onto the highway.

    Suddenly Hank exited and the entire line of bikes began hitting brakes hard at the unexpected event. Kim and I being in the rear had to lock up and couldn't get stopped in time, swerving past and on up the shoulder. Kim was shaken and our only way back to the waiting group was down an embankment and through some rough stuff. The trucks were blasting past us and it was too dangerous to consider trying to push the bikes back up the roadway.

    It was too iffy for Kim, I felt, and ended up riding both bikes down through the muck and over to the crew. After a change of shorts were were on the road again and soon saw the pyramids rising to our left.





    The entrance was proof that either zombies do exist or some people live forever, as surely one of the 3 Stooges was running the place. The guy was more confused, discombobulated and utterly inefficient that I thought we'd never get through the gate. Seriously.





    Finally parked and off the bikes, I checked out Larry's 1150GS and his duct-taped windshield with its crack and golf ball sized hole...

    In our cryptic texting a week or so before, Hank had shared that their trip had been "interesting". They'd been racing south for Palenque on the tollway when Hank said he'd checked his rearview mirror to see where the other bikes were, at the same moment an 8" wide by 3' long deep pothole appeared in the concrete, running the direction of the bike. His front wheel didn't drop in, but his rear did, the impact locking up his bike and he came to a smoking, screeching halt on the tollway. Luckily a pickup truck behind him was able to stop and block the high speed cars.

    In a nutshell, the rear wheel had dropped perfectly into the pothole, the force of exit so strong it broke the TT shock shaft and popped the top shock mount off the frame. Subsequently, the shock jammed the rear tire and wheel, locking it up and destroying the tire. It was miraculous he didn't go down or get hit from behind.

    Larry's windshield was the result of a roadblock incident a day or two later in Chiapas. The group had gotten spread out a bit on the narrow back roads and around a corner, a road black had been set by black-masked EZLN members from a local village. Hank and the other couple with him made a fast maneuver and got past, the second couple doing a similar routine after being stopped, playing dumb and then tossing a $20 peso bill at them, then accelerating through a gap in the boards. Larry and wife were further behind and got stopped when they arrived. He said the guys were angry and shoving the bike and he around, so he tried to accelerate through a gap between the two spiked boards when a car distracted them momentarily. He didn't realize he was in second gear, the bike stumbled and one of the group fired a rock at him from a "rifle-like slingshot" hitting the windshield and punching a hole through as well as breaking it in half. As he tried to get away, he lost control and went into ditch, dropping the bike and bending his brake lever badly. It wasn't a good day for Larry and especially his wife, on her first trip out of the U.S.

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    With the story fresh in mind, we headed out into the main area of the pyramids, taking in the huge area, the scale hard to grasp. Across the way, the Pyramid of the Sun sat staring and calling our name. It looked like the way up was long and steep, and it was. The view from the top was great and we hung out there a while, before following Hank, Scott and Amy to the bottom and over to the Pyramid of the Moon.

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    In some areas, the original plaster and painting has been preserved intact. The great black and brown stone monuments are impressive as they are, but a glimpse into the past of the gleaming white pyramids, edged with bright colors and priests in colorful garb would be amazing to see.

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    The ever present vendors were there, selling obsidian daggers, jewelry and the growling sounds of jaguar whistles, intriguing to Kim for potential havoc when camping with others. We were up for scaring the hell out of folks with the growl, but sadly they were too big to carry in the cases. Damb.


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    The midday sun and heat were signs that Hank and the crew needed to get on the road for San Miguel, their destination for the night. We took a couple pics and said goodbye, heading back for Puebla on back roads to avoid the tolls and trucks.

    After a couple of hours and a few hundred topés, we decided to get back on the tollway since the day was fading a bit and we were getting hungry. Kim had mentioned the Krispy Kreme donuts we'd had the night before and our donut demons took complete possession, twisting the wrist for Puebla.





    There was a lot of truck traffic and a lot of high speed lane splitting at times. The main toll plazas nearing Puebla were absolutely choked with traffic and vendors, but often we were able to snake through the half-mile long lines in a matter of minutes.





    The late day doldrums were shattered by the sight of a dog running into traffic as we slowed for topes, being hit and rolled under a truck to the screams in my headset of Kim behind me. Incredibly the dog wasn't killed and ran like fire across the rest of the traffic to the other side.

    As has been typical of our travels, we arrived starving and located the Krispy Kreme, but adjacent was a Carl's Jr. Hamburger joint and apparently the Carl's Jr. Hamburger demon is stronger than his Krispy Kreme kin. The burger wasn't good, but it was good enough.

    It was good to see Hank and meet the other guys, even if just for a couple of hours. Life on the road is a bit like sailing the seas in a small boat, and it lifts your spirits to see compadrés.

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  9. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Oaxaca was roughly four hours south of Puebla, and our original place to have met up with Hank. We got an early start to minimize traffic in Puebla and soon were on the tollway in 60 degree temps.


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    Could'a slapped an 80 mph high five
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    The concrete ribbon led into high mountains, with Colorado-like views of massive peaks and valleys. The highway was really a great ride, but all things come to an end and as we approached Oaxaca, the heat intensified as we dropped down into the valley.





    The city was larger than I was expecting, but nice and we found the main plaza easily, circling a few times before snagging a spot directly on the square. After 5 hours on the road it felt good to find some shade and sit a bit. We watched a shoe shine guy a few feet away who seemed a bit perturbed at our presence, and we soon understood why. A couple came up, apparently friends and they all seemed interested in our spot on the bench. Best we could figure was that this was "their" bench at lunchtime. Stares and consternation continued, as well as words we couldn't pick up. They finally left.

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    We were discussing the dubious welcoming to Oaxaca when a couple of women with children stopped a few feet away and began staring as well. Fully expecting to be reprimanded as gringos, we were shocked when they broke into big smiles and indicated they would like to take pictures with us. The ladies sent the little girls over to stand by us, when Kim began saying "Moto!" and pointing back across the square.

    I'm sure they had no idea what she meant as they followed, until they saw the bikes and got excited. They took a bunch of cell phone pictures and gave us hugs when they left. What a nice surprise indeed!

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    We hung around the square and wandered into the church to escape the heat, Kim finally locating a place for the night on AirBNB.


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    Not sure why, but this church was very different in design from all the others we'd seen, having no general open area in the center, and a few small chapels off the sides.
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    As the day faded we found the home of our host, whose wife clambered aboard the back of my bike and pointed out turns through the neighborhood until we reached the rental property. Thank God she did as it lay at the end of a narrow private alley we'd never have found.

    She indicated leaving the bikes in the alley for safety and it was no problem, then left. Shortly after she disappeared, two neighbors appeared, a bit ruffled and pointing to the bikes, speaking aggressively. One, a native Indian women, was a bit fierce in her language and eyes, and the other man, who apparently ran a small welding shop whose entrance was on the alley, waved their arms and kept saying "no, no". The language barrier didn't help matters until I said "viaje" and "dos noches". They seemed to calm a bit and then I walked out showing them to ring the doorbell and then I walked back over and pushed my bike a couple of feet, trying to show we'd move the bikes anytime they wanted. They nodded and we smiled big, the mood lightening as they understood we were only temporary and happy to be unobtrusive.


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    Problem solved, we walked our gear to the second floor and relaxed for a while. As I lay on the couch, I heard the sound of a handsaw and a crash. Poking my head out the window, I saw a man on a ladder leaning against a lone, tall, fir tree, which grew through a hole in a tin roof, adjacent to the alley. It was the only tree for miles around and of course, he'd decided to cut it down the one and only time two expensive motorcycles were parked underneath it.

    I watched as he cut branch after branch until the roof, alley and our bikes were covered in the little cedar-like needles. He finally reached the point where his extremely tentative extension ladder would extend no more, still twenty feet or more of tree above him. He clambered down and began pushing branches off the roof, luckily none hitting near the bikes while an old lady swept needles in the alley below. A he prepared to move his ladder to the other side of the tree, a gentle rain began and as he climbed higher, it turned into a full on storm with lightning. He finally gave up and abandoned the attempt, much to my delight. The rain came down in torrents and sheets until late in the evening.

    The next day was spent exploring the area around the square, the fresh markets and endless vendor stalls. Oaxaca felt good, filled with art and culture, it was easy to understand why it is on the list of places to see when in Mexico.


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    A massive statue in a dedicated gallery - amazing piece in real life
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    Kim had a hankering for carnitas, and our hour-long search for some proved fruitless, save for looks of incredulousness when asked if there were any around. Each town seems to differ as to foods and Oaxaca was not a carnita town lol.


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    Eventually we found a food cart with some fantastic chopped beef that tasted awesome after starving in our search. The tip to their young teen daughter who served us brought a big smile, apparently a tip and acknowledgment rare to receive.

    Returning that evening from watching native Indian dances in the plaza in a gentle rain, the bikes sat covered in needles from the previous night. Kim repacked her cases for the next morning's leaving and we retired for the evening.


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    The morning came soon, bringing sunshine and cool temps with it. I guess "room with a view" can be fairly broad in its interpretation.

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    As we finished up loading and gearing up for the ride, the Indian woman came out of her house with a couple of children and her mother to watch as we backed the bikes out of the alley and onto the street. As I walked back over, she smiled very big at both of us, then gave us each a big, long hug. I think we were both in shock for a while, but were happy to know she no longer mistrusted us.


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    While we prepared to fire up the bikes and leave, her family and a couple other folks stood around to watch us ride off. Kim hit her start button to the deafening sound of silence. She played with switches, ignition and gears to no avail. Only a tiny click sound under the tank when the button was depressed. Great.

    The "bon voyage" crowd slowly dissipated as I peeled off gear and tried to figure what was up. We'd replaced an intermittent clutch switch previous to the trip, so I played with it, the kickstand switch, kill switch, etc. No luck. Whacking on the starter did nothing either. Once again I went through the same routine, this time wiggling the starter wiring as well. It fired up to our great relief. All I can figure is that in the torrential rain, water must have gotten into the contacts and had a day to corrode.

    We departed to the waves of no one and headed south for Puerto Escondido.












    On the map, Hwy 131 looked curvy as heck and we knew that meant a lot of fun. Google said it was about 160 miles and 6.5 hours, but we'd been told by Hank it took him almost 12 hours one time... sheesh.


    Some towns were loaded with these three wheelers, and some had none. We decided they would be the perfect car for living in a Mexican town :D



    With that in mind we went full force for the beach town, but the endless little villages, trucks and countless topes definitely were slow going. After a couple of hours we were tired of the routine and, luckily, the road forked up into the mountains. The temperature was a little cooler and the road so curvy you couldn't see much ahead. Bus after bus passed us from the other direction, indicating a serious tour destination lay ahead. The mountains were cool, but the terrain was much more dry and desert-like than other ranges we'd ridden through.

    Three to four hours of this :D




    And unfortunately for Kim, three to four hours of this...


    The going was slow and the GPS kept adding time to the route, telling me we should have taken the other fork. Changing preferences from "fastest" to "shortest" made no difference as the Garmin Mexico Map didn't even have this main road in existence.



    The heat and twisties finally took its toll and we stopped in some shade in a small village. Fresh squeezed orange juice, the sweetest I've had methinks, brought some relief as well as the refreshing smiles of the girl and her mother. I pointed up the road and said "Puerto Escondido?" She answered "Si, tres horas" with a smile and we were on our way. Damn that Garmin :D

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    The tight, twisty curves were a challenge as you never got a chance to relax, especially with the buses cutting across the lane. At one point my heart leapt as I heard Kim shout loudly in my headset, having gone wide in a turn just at the moment a truck was in the curve, having to run off the road on the opposite side. Thank God she was okay as it could have been very bad. Just a momentary lapse or sideways glance in all the hours of tight turns is all it takes. Staying focused for so long and in the heat is not easy.







    The heat became more oppressive as we dropped down, the terrain becoming more tropical, with palms and other plants appearing in the dry and dusty hills.





    We were dehydrated, despite trying to drink water on the road, when we finally spotted the ocean ahead. It was a relief after hours on the tiny broken blacktop, constantly watching for surface problems, busses and animals. The heat was not fun.

    Puerto Escondido was dry and dusty, a bit worn looking and sleepy, as we made our way for the Pacific, finally finding a road that led towards the water. We pulled up to an overlook cafe, before being swarmed by guys wanting to park the gringo's bikes. We circled down to a public beach entrance and back around to find a spot by the cafe overlooking the ocean.

    It was empty and exactly what was needed, little tables in the shade on a high point overlooking the crashing surf, the ocean breeze cool and comforting. We easily spent a couple of hours sitting and staring, ice cold Coronas rehydrating our bodies and relaxing sore muscles. It was heavenly.

    Finally time to find a place for the night, the owner overheard our discussions and offered an apartment above the cafe, but it was too expensive. We finally located a cheap hotel and attempted to crash for the night. There was no water pressure in the rooms, but we were assured someone was coming to fix it.

    We wandered back to the beach at dusk, passing loads of wet tourists boarding busses for the very long ride back to Oaxaca. All I can say is I was damn happy not to be riding for 8 hours in one of those wet, smelly busses :O. We walked in the surf of the small bay, watching the fishing boats on the blue-green waters and a few remaining tourists bobbing on the surf. It had been hot and muggy all day, but the cool breeze off the water was refreshing. Well after dark, we made our way back to the hotel room to crash. Indeed the water was back on, but an army of ants had decided to occupy the beds in the room, so I took a Power bar and crumbled it up outside the window in the hopes it would draw them away. I'm not sure if it did, but we both fell asleep and have no idea if the ants crawled over us that night or not.

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  10. asphaltsurfer1

    asphaltsurfer1 CatManDew

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    540
    Location:
    By the pool
    LOL. I love the ant bait approach. Glad you two made it back safe.
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  11. Redracer675

    Redracer675 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    Hey Joseph! Amy & I were sorry to hear about your mom. We had lunch with Hank after getting back from our trip and he let us know you had to cancel your journey for the time being. Life happens and family is important. It was great meeting you and Kim down in Puebla and Teotihuacan. Really have enjoyed your trip report. We are talking about heading to Alaska next summer. If you need any riding partners for trips down south get in touch! Take care.
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  12. SpiritAtBay

    SpiritAtBay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    210
    Great to read an update of the journey. The encounter your friends had at the roadblock near Chiapas had to have been pretty hair raising.

    Healing thoughts for you and yours.
    LoneStar likes this.
  13. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Hey Scott! Really enjoyed getting to hang out with you two and look forward to seeing you again! Let's travel together sometime :D
  14. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Thanks Spirit! We hit one roadblock and one takeover of the tollway booths but luckily no animosity :O
  15. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
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    We hit the beach early, finding a spot to watch the fishing boats and a few tourists in the water of the bay, followed by swimming and trying to avoid the chunks of jagged lava rock on the seabed as we were tossed about by the waves.

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    We'd decided a better place to stay was in order, despite the intimate friendship developed with our little ant friends the night before, and packed the bikes for a short ride further down the beach to Zicatela.

    It was hot as heck, but our hosts, a Brit girl and her Brazilian boyfriend, introduced us to the rooftop terrace of our house for the evening, it's cool beach breeze and thundering booms of the Pacific surf a block away providing the perfect feel and backdrop for a siesta in the hammocks.

    It was fun watching the huge explosions of foaming white water from massive waves hitting the shore, flying high above the rooftops across the street. The spectacle drew us out in the late afternoon heat for a walk on the beach and for spells of watching the surfers near the point break.

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    The afternoon ebbed away into sunset, the waves a mesmerizing and endless wonder, hypnotic in their effect. The sweltering heat of the evening drew us up to the rooftop, and an unusually breeze-free night of tossing and turning in the heat.


    The next day brought early morning beach combing, with a breakfast of crepes from a local vendor walking the sands, and then a ride back to the original beach we'd first experienced, where the waves of the bay were a bit easier to tolerate for swimming.


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    The little streets were alive with scooters and surfboards, the funniest combo being a girl who carried her long board cross ways in the foot bed of her scooter. Couldn't help but wonder what it would look like if she tagged a car bumper on the narrow streets.

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    That afternoon I managed to locate what was likely the only XXL T-shirt in existence in Mexico, at one of the gringo merched shops in the tourist section of town. Forget spare parts for the bike, I had to bring extra clothes in Yeti size, cuz the likelihood of finding a stitch of clothes in my size in Central or South America would be harder than locating a final drive bearing for a GS :D


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    Our next destination was Chiapas, cooler temperatures, and the magical town of San Cristobal de Las Casas. Unfortunately it lay 9 hours away, not including gas stops, topes, traffic and a twisty road, which would translate into an 11 or 12 hour day in the heat.

    We said goodbye to our hosts after juggling the bikes out the tight entry gate and front step of the garden, getting on the road early, but going was slow and too soon the heat was in full bloom. Away from the open beach and sheltered by vegetation, the breeze was non-existent and in full gear it wasn't long before we were feeling it.

    We took the coastal road south through Mazunte, home of the Sea Turtle Refuge and a cool area with amazing beaches and stylish little homes. A run through the little uber-Euro-hippie surf town of Zipolite was interesting, a much cheaper and edgier version of Mazunte. By the time we hit Puerto Angel, we needed a rest from the heat.


    Puerto Angel





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    At an overlook with a bit of shade, we took a break, Kim unfortunately knocking her phone off the ledge and down a very steep stone embankment. I was amazed she was able to cat-crawl down and back up, but the phone screen was toast.

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    Back on the bikes and on the road, the temps were right at 100º with high humidity. Progress was slow. Kim's heat tolerance is much less than mine, and I knew she was getting drained. We set Salinas Cruz as our goal for the evening, arriving late in the day to try and find a place for the night.

    Salinas was an industrial town, home of a major refinery for Pemex, and quite congested. The heat had won the day and after finding a host for the night, we got substantially lost in the maze of streets. Between the GPS, Google and texting the host, we were finally told to ask people where "The Hawaiian" was, as apparently it was well known by everyone in town. Our host was to be waiting for us there.

    After working our way out of a dense neighborhood with steep streets and finding a main avenue, Kim asked a guy on the street and sure enough, he pointed and indicated turns with hand motions. We reversed and sure enough, found "The Hawaiian", which turned out to be a strip joint. Interesting.

    Our host was there and waved us to follow, eventually winding up through alleyways we would NEVER have found. Our host was from Iberia, having married his wife who was from Salinas Cruz.



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    Despite the heat and their little dog who liked to bite the crap out of us, we enjoyed our limited communication. I asked if he had ever been to the U.S., to which he responded with a resounding "NO", as an influential instructor in his life who was adamantly communist had convinced him it was the garden of evil and greed.

    About that time, my stomach began serious rumblings, as did Kim's, and the realization we were being inhabited once again by little bacterial bastards was a dread thought. I began feeling really bad, and the heat wasn't helping. I downed the last of my Pepto Bismol tablets and tried to lay down but couldn't due to nausea. I tried in another spot and eventually made it to the hammock on the porch, where I finally passed out from sheer exhaustion a couple hours later. Kim fared a bit better, downing the last of our Treda tablets and finally sleeping in the heat wrapped in water soaked towels.

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    The next morning was dismal due to our stomachs and we figured it must have been the crepes we'd eaten. It was good to get out of Salinas Cruz and moving towards the highlands where we hoped to find cooler temperatures.

    An hour in, while still in lower elevations, we came upon what appeared to be a major wreck ahead on the highway. There were parked semis with trailers, taxis and other vehicles, as well as people milling around.

    I kept thinking this must be a really bad wreck, and worked my way up through the parked vehicles and around debris on the road. At any moment I expected to see a horrendous scene. Kim said she was staying behind until I found out what was happening and whether we could get through. At about that same moment, I saw a large stack of stones in the roadway, which seemed a bit random and odd. As I approached and began the swing around, an older, rough looking dude came out from under a semi trailer carrying a big ass machete and began waving at me to stop. In the confusion of the whole situation, it took me a moment to gather that it was a road block, by what I assume were local farmers or someone.

    As I rolled to a stop and the rather fierce looking guy walked over, waving his arms, I saw about 15 men, heavily darkened from the sun and appearing indigenous, standing and sitting in the shade, each with machetes. I wasn't sure exactly what he wanted, but to my surprise he walked up and waved at me to go on through. I didn't argue, but took off between big trucks and began to tell Kim to hurry up and come on. As she responded, I rolled past other random stacks of brush and rubble into a second group of machete carrying men. I hoped they realized I'd been let through by the main man, but didn't bother to stop and find out.

    Somewhere behind me, it was a relief to hear Kim's voice as she rolled through without being stopped. It was a bit surreal, as on the opposite side there was a stream of people with suitcases and luggage passing me. I realized the road block was stopping the busses coming south, and the passengers were unloading and walking the 1/3 mile or more through the roadblock with their belongings to catch taxis and rides for the trip to Salinas Cruz. I knew that road blocks were not uncommon in the state of Chiapas, and mistakenly guessed somehow we'd already crossed the border.


    By the time I fired up the helmet cam we were pretty much past the road block


    As I waited for Kim to catch up, the conversation proved interesting as we eventually rode into some mountainous terrain. The temperature dropped precipitously, and we couldn't be happier! About that time we hit the real border for Chiapas, and I was left wondering what the previous road block had been about. No matter, the cool air and eventual light rain showers were a blessed relief for a while in the mountains.


    [​IMG]







    Mexico Traffic Moments - can you count the potential incidents in about 20 seconds?



    The cool was not to last, as we soon dropped back into the valley for Tuxtla Gutierrez, a sweltering, stop and go traffic nightmare. With the temperature reading 106º, we struggled in traffic for an hour or more. By the time we finally broke out and into the mountains again for San Cristobal, we were spent.

    Rolling into San Cristobal, I heard Kim weakly say she needed to stop. Luckily, there was an OXXO convenience store where we could pull in. She barely made it off the bike and into the air-conditioned store, where she laid down on the cold tile floor for a long time. The heat, combined with our intestinal issues had hammered us. After about 30 minutes she was able to get back up, having almost blacked out. Two ice cold Arizona Iced Teas and a bag of peanut M&M's brought us both back to life somewhat.



    I found a hotel online and we made our way through the town and past the square, the streets lined with native Indian women in traditional dress carrying wares for sale.




    [​IMG]






    [​IMG]







    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]



    Miraculously, the hotel had a room. The heat and stomach issues had wiped us out and I got Kim upstairs, then got both bikes off the street and into the garage. By the time I got to the room, she was passed out. I fell asleep on the bed fully dressed at 6:30 and didn't wake up until 9:30 the next morning.

    [​IMG]

    The 7 hours of ride time in heat, topped off with an hour of 106º temperature, direct sun and engine heat in stop-n-go, combined with a new batch of stomach bugs kicked our butts.
  16. Ken0312

    Ken0312 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    McKinney, Texas
    Thanks for taking the time and providing us these updates. I'm not sure I could have handled all that heat and stomach issues. You and Kim are tough and resilient. Be safe.
  17. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Gracias Ken - wish I could say we was tough but sniveling was rampant :D Kim amazed me at her toughness and durability...

    We managed to time our arrival in the region to coincide with a monster heat wave across much of Mexico - we constantly were told the heat was much worse than usual which didn't make us feel better lol

    Fighting 2 episodes of stomach crap in as many weeks made the heat seem unbearable. I think we nailed the 2nd round down to the beach crepes. We were starving after swimming and when the guy came along, he was selling either crepes with Nutella or crepes with cheese and spinach. I wisely chose the Nutella and Kim got the spinach version. Unthinkingly, I ate the last bit of hers when offered and we un's figure it was the spinach... one is never sure though. One of our hosts told us that not only is the water suspect, but some foods and apparently there's just stuff "in the air" she said.

    So, if you go, don't drink water, don't eat, and hold your breath the entire time you're in Mexico

    BTW, I highly recommend the "diarrhea diet" for rapid weight loss. I'm going to be releasing an infomercial soon called the "Derrière Diet" in which for just $99, I'll ship you a single serving meal packet and a guarantee to lose 20 lbs in one week or it's free!
    arghhh, roadcapDen, Davidprej and 6 others like this.
  18. Ken0312

    Ken0312 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    McKinney, Texas
    I travel for my job and I have also experienced that same weight loss program. It was not a lot fun and I wasn't traveling on a motorcycle. You have a great product idea, I can help with distribution here in the States while you're away. BTW, your short video clips that you include in your posts are really great, it helps me to better visualize what you're experiencing. I hope one day I'll be able to do what you're doing.
    Davidprej likes this.
  19. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    LOL deal! I'll send you a product sample shortly

    :lol3
    ChicoProf and Davidprej like this.
  20. asphaltsurfer1

    asphaltsurfer1 CatManDew

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    540
    Location:
    By the pool
    Joesph
    I used to work for a guy years ago that traveled to Mexico City and was convinced he'd contracted some permanent airborne parasitic illness that would flare up from time to time. I always though he was a hypochondriac but maybe he was right. I don't think I'd worry about it though LOL. He was a bit odd.

    You and Kim lived on the edge bravely doing things and trying things most of us just talk about doing. Great narrative and great supporting photos and video. Do you plan to continue your travels south at some point or should I be afraid to visit Walmart in the Dallas area? LOL