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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dwj - Donnie, May 22, 2014.
I was not fast enough to get Ana while she was taking a bite of the cake.
But I got Sammy.
then they cut the cake and we eat!
Good shots Donnie.
This day was certainly a bit different! Very few photos, so I guess you will have to take my word for what went on. We left Solola at 9:00, the GPS said 145 miles to the house, it was actually closer to 225, but that was the least of the problems.
Within 30 minutes we came upon a a protest with the main intersection in the small town being shut down. I went to the front of the line, but it was made very clear that they would not be letting us cross! The banners indicated they wanted better health care, more ambulances and low electricity bills among other things. Most of these folks were Mayan, not many Latinos in the group.
A fellow told us about a way to bypass this intersection and a fellow that was turning around said he would show us the turn off that we had passed a couple miles up the road. We got to the new intersection and it was also closed! Again, it was made very clear that we could not cross. But, again a fellow starts talking about another bypass. An older fellow on a 125 moto said he was going that way and that he would lead us. So off we went! At this point, we had lost maybe 45 minutes.
We parted ways in a larger sized town and we were on our way! Until we got to another road closing! There I did a u-turn and started looking for a bypass, I was getting experience, right? We passed a lady on a moped that motioned for us to follow here. A lot of dirt on this path! Then it got very steep and had a 90 degree turn on very loose dirt. The woman got off her moped and ran along the side of it as she went up the hill. It was clear, she had done this many times! I won't say no one could have made that corner and went up that hill on my moto, but I couldn't. I might could have done it beside the moto, but I would have to stand on the down hill side which made the moto way to tall! The route to use, would not have permitted clearance by a tree for the saddlebag on the left side. In the end, another fellow came along and after taking both saddlebags and the truck of the moto, I made it up the hill with three folks pushing, Ana and two guys. The woman was long gone, but one of the guys lead us to a bypass and we were off again!
Until we came to another road block! We sat for a while and I looked at alternative routes in the GPS and found one that might work. No, that road was closed also. After talking to the police and being told all of the roads were closed, two of them lead us to a Love Hotel. BTW, all of the restaurants and just about everything else in these towns was closed. The only thing we could get at the hotel was Ramen Noodles, so that is what we ate. My thought up to this point was, no problem, we will stay the night and leave in the morning. No, that could not happen we were told. This Protest was to cover three days from six in the morning till six at night. So our options were to leave in the dark at six in the afternoon on Wednesday, leave in the dark at three or four in the morning Thursday morning and make it to the border before the roads were closed again. Or, wait three days till Saturday morning and leave in the daylight!
I chose to leave in the dark at six in the afternoon. This route which is from Guatemala City to the Talisman/Tapachula border tops out at 9,800 feet and is very mountainous and curvy. Clouds were my main concern just after the curves. I cleaned the head light, the axillary spot lights and the tail light on the moto before leaving the hotel. BTW, I'm not sure how long it had been since I cleaned the lights, but compared to several days ago when I had to ride a bit at night, my lights were much better!
At 5:58 we were off! After about 30 minutes we began to run into a lot of traffic jams. They had left a number of the one foot diameter rocks used in the protest in the road here and there. About 30 miles from the border we started encountering some huge boulders in the road. Much larger than the protesters could have moved! I saw a few that would be close to five foot tall. Can you imagine that rolling down and hitting you? A while back there was one or more earth quakes in the area. Maybe it loosened up the terrain and recent rains or something that day caused the debris in the road. There was also some small trees that had been brought down with the boulders. Besides the rocks and boulders in the road, there were many along side of the road and appeared to have rolled down before. I have used this route a number of times and as recent as earlier this year. These boulders were not along side the road at that time.
I came around one corner and my side of the road was under eight feet of debris! Thankfully no one was in the other lane so it was not a big deal. There were many land slides and the road was closed down to one lane with a huge line because a large tree and fell across the road. It had been sawed into allowing single lane traffic.
I don't know the exact mileage from when we left in the dark till we got to the border, but I would guesstimate close to 75 miles. It took two and a half hours and we never got off the moto. Border crossing was very quick and then it was on to Tapachula for Quesadillas. At this point, it was 9:30 and we were less than 50 miles from home with a good road. So we went for it!
The total wait time for the day was somewhere in the range of nine hours. I don't know if the folks had justification for what they were doing, so I won't express an opinion one way or another. I do however have an opinion as to the timing of the protest. These people seemed to be very organized and taking shifts keeping the road closed. I suppose that they did not want to be inconvenienced by keeping it closed at night. I further assume they wanted to be nice and warm in their houses. For this reason it was 12 hours per day for three days. My problem is that they put Ana and I in to a situation that we were forced to ride in very unfavorable conditions! BTW, the low temp was 48, but luckily there was very little fog/clouds. I rode at a safe pace, but things can still come up without notice!
I guess our last day of this trip was far from being boring!
Oh the adventures you get into Senior Donnie!
Thanks for the protest play by play.
They have been doing that on and off up here too!
We're all hoping Ana will keep Donnie out of trouble down there.
So he'll be around to help raise all them kids, that is.
Donnie & Ana, thabks for a great ride report. joey
I will share one of my Mexican experiences. I went up to the house the other day and picked up the rice I bought from Ana's nephew about six or eight months ago. It had been spread out on a tarp four times for a day at a time in the sun to dry and only needed to be run through the mill to remove the shief covering or what ever you call it that the rice is encapsuled by.
BTW, the sack of unmilled rice weighted approximately 200 pounds and I carried it out of the house and strapped it across the back seat of the moto. It felt like it weighed 400 pounds on that road back to town! The following Saturday, which was last Saturday, we got up at 5:00AM to try to make it to the front of the line for milling. Again I had to carry that 200 pound sack of rice almost 200 feet past the cars parked at the apartment complex. It is barely enough room for me to pass by the cars! And then the final 100 feet or so once we arrived at the milling place, which is only located four blocks from the apartment. We ended up being behind 75% of the folks getting rice milled that day and waited four hours for our turn. No matter what you are doing in Mexico, it will involve waiting! It always does!
Any way, our sack of unmilled rice turned into 38 kilos of edible rice, so we now have about 84 pound of rice to eat. We actually about 80 pounds, Ana has already give some of it away. This rice will probably last us close to a year. I could actually buy rice at the local supermarket for as cheap as I have paid for this rice, but, this is rice grown on Ana's father's ranch by her relatives. I think it taste better!
I bought two more sacks of "new" rice from Ana's brother yesterday. Those two sacks will total about 45 kilos of rice after milling according to her father. So we be set for another year of rice. BTW, before milling, I ask Ana's father how much rice there would be after milling. He told me 37 kilos. It was actually 38. He is 83 and has been doing this all of his life. He don't need no stinking scales!
i love the story about the rice! yep, i'll do the same, soaking in the local culture. yeah, it taste better and good for the soul.
belated happy b-day to ana.
I left Escuintla Nov 30 and rode 1,654 miles to my daughter's house in three days. I am visiting with her family in Dallas, TX. Madison is steadily growing! I will be here four full days and then leave Dec 7, for the three day, 1,654 mile ride back to Escuintla. Sorry, no photos or commentary, this type ride is just about making miles and getting to the destination.
Ana and I will head to Panama the first of the year or before.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of y'all!
I returned to Escuintla yesterday, I was gone ten days and traveled six days for 3,351 miles. We will leave for Panama in a few weeks!
I use the Wifi in my apartment from across the street magnified by a device I purchased for about $25 US. If you travel with your computer like I do and like to surf the net at your hotel, you have without doubt stayed in many hotel that advertize wifi, but the signal you receive in your room is too weak to even hook up or to get any where if you do hook up. GUESS WHAT??? :huh This $25 dollar unit works wonders in these situations! I even used it in a hotel in the US where the connection was not strong enough to get on. The unit is easily carried in my computer bag.
Here is the unit I have: http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/d...el=TL-WN8200ND
I'll be back in Costa Rica next week to pickup my moto and prepare for the South American leg of my journey.
I'll be leaving mid January so look me up if you get to CR before then.
Saludos , Dan
Do you have a Blog going? RR? What are your plans?
I helped harvest Chocolate for the first time today.
After they climb up in the tree and cut of the fruit that is ready for harvest, they make a circular cut about mid ways of the fruit. You then separate the two halfs and dig the nugget things out of each side. We almost filled a five gallon bucket with the fruit that had been taken out of the shell. After it is dried, it will be sold by the kilo. I am told a five gallon bucket will bring about 400 pesos or $30 US.
How long would it take one person to fill a 5 gal. bucket?
My part was digging the fruit our with my fingers and it probably took less than an hour to do four and a half gallons.
You need to get on the road again. You are going to start growing roots if you don't.
You visited Tracey and did not update her vision problems? Here's hoping she fully recovered,