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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ADVegan, Nov 14, 2018.
San Cristobal de Las Casas had been a great stop, and we lucked it with a fantastic airbnb:
I don’t have anything brilliant to add but I hope your bike issues are fixed. Nothing like a sick bike to suck the fun out of a ride! Keep up the awesome updates.
Well, we set off at 10- got about a half hour down the road and the bike was at 217f and climbing. So frustrating! I decided we'd try to ride to Villahermosa anyway because I think there's a KTM shop there. If it's a radiator cap problem maybe they'd have one. an we set off down the road. I missed a turn and rode a long ways in the wrong direction and once we realized that, we just decided to turn around and go back to San Cristobal. I'll drop Rach at the Airbnb and head back to the shop to try to get this cooling issue sorted out. Errrg.
Been awhile since I've caught up here. A few good folks over in the Orange Crush forum think I might be making the overheating issues up, so I've decided to happily accept that as a possibility and ride on unconcerned. We haven't had any fuel pump warnings since the one before Oaxaca, which is good because the tracking for the filters I ordered shows them still somewhere in Oaxaca.
After our false start from San Cristobal, we spent another couple days there. I bled the cooling system one more time and then we rode the highway route to Villahermosa. Rachel came down with another bout of food poisoning that day, so we hiked up in town for two nights. Villahermosa is sometimes called "the city of two lies- at 300k people, it's not a village and it's not hermosa (beautiful). I tend to agree.
The next day we decided to try to "beat the heat" by leaving later for the ride across the peninsula. This has never worked for us, it's always hotter in the afternoon and we KNOW this. But it was good we waited around, because something felt off to me. We were forcing two longer days, plus I wanted to try to get to the ruins at Calakmul which are decently off track. With no obvious good lodging choices I knew I was pushing it with Rach just starting to feel better. She suggested we head up the coast to Ciudadld del Carmen, then Campeche and Merida before crossing to Tulum. Instantly I felt relieved so we knew it was the right choice.
After a one night stand and in CdC, we made it to Campeche and got a great hotel. We hung out for two days and relaxed and I was able to zoom out a little bit and not be too concerned about the bike and logistics and all that stuff. It's easy to get caught up in it.
We've found that when it's 90+ degrees we like a day off after a ride day so we did two nights in Merida as well. I liked Campeche more mainly because of its smaller size, but there are a ton of retiree expats in Merida so there might be more I'm missing.
Yesterday we rode across to Tulum, the road was as straight as can be, and I'm not missing the sheepskin pad I had that flew off. I didn't realize how big of a difference that was making in my comfort! We made it to Tulum and found our bungalow down by the beach. This place is super touristy, which we knew but I wasn't entirely prepared for the prices. Back to US prices and it was a shock! Luckily the place were staying is a nice little self contained bungalow down by the beach and it's not pricey. We debated staying in town for better accomodations but we're happy we're down at the beach amidst the $500/night yoga breathing and healing centers. There's so much Instagram influencing and antioxidant-rich foods going on here, I'm glad we didn't miss out!
The plan from here is to head to playa del carmen for Valentine's day to use a hotels.com credit we've been saving and then south to Bacalar. We've been hearing Bacalar is a "great secret" so we're excited for it. Then it'll be finally time to test out our border crossing skills again into Belize.
I'll add pictures and edit typos here in a bit!
Here are a couple photos from the last week, first, me taking down multiple popsicles. These have been great throughout Mexico .
Rachel looking up at the pyramid in Uxmal- very cool less populated than other ruins:
The coastal road up from Ciudadld del Carmen towards Campeche:
And with the bike issues possibly turning out to be my imagination, I guess I won't trade it for this guy we stopped at for lunch on the beach.. although we could use the space:
Glad to see you guys are moving along again and that the " overheating " might have been a phantom ailment . You can fix that with a piece of black electrical tape .
Cut off a neat square and stick it over the temperature readout onthe instruments
The more gauges one has the more " problems" one notices.
With Rachel's repeat bouts of TD it might be time to consider a less strict "vegan " diet
If you are vegetarians because of hoped for " healthier" food the bouts of TD shows you are not making the grade .
Cook it peel it or forget it .
The Belize border is dead easy as you probably know by now
My friends in Seattle say they had a massive snow storm, so good call on the Mexican moto vacation!
Sjoerd may be on to something. Fresh vegetables can be a problem for GI bugs, and doing strictly cooked stuff, or veg that you can peel, may avoid reinfection. OTOH, the recurrent nature of this ailment for Rachel may indicate a food or spice that she has some allergy to. I have the same effect from some Indian cooking. I don't know the spice, but quality restaurants, so the only thing I can figure is reaction to something in the dish. Hope it resolves 'cause dealing with GI issues can mess up your day.
Yea, you're both right. We e been cutting back a lot on the fresh leafy greens unless we buy them and sanitize them.
The vegan thing started a few years ago as a lark. I was feeling pressure to buy a house because I had a big-boy job. But I didn't REALLY want a house so I started looking at catamarans in the Mediterranean instead. I floated the boat living idea to Rach and she humored me but said "you can't keep all the meat you eat on a catamaran." At this point I was more into weight lifting and I was eating more meat than anyone I knew- measured in pounds per day. I said "well, I always thought I could be a vegetarian someday, so maybe this would be the impetus." She was floored to hear me say that, but it had been lingering in the back of my mind for awhile. I knew I was actively ignorant of where it all came from. We decided to try it for a month, and we haven't looked back. One thing I didn't expect was the ethical side of things to become so strong.
So now, even if it's less convenient to find food I don't see myself being able to eat it. If the person I was three years ago could hear me now, he might want to fight me, life is funny. Before the trip I considered eating fish again to make things easier, but I had a psychedelic experience on a river bank and a fish swam up and requested I not eat them and that about settled that.
We left Tulum and rode up to Playa del Carmen for Valentine's day. Tulum was just so expensive it made it a little challenging for me to enjoy fully. And it just felt like everyone was trying so hard to make it look like they were having the perfect time in the perfect place. To be honest, the sargassum (seaweed type stuff) has gotten so bad you really can't enjoy the beach. I read an article that developers are panicking about that problem after all the building going on and I'd be lying if it didn't give me a little pleasure.
On the way into Playa del Carmen, we were stopped at a light and I tried to squeeze between a parked car and the car in front of me for a right turn and I clipped their mirror. I cursed and parked and walked back to them in traffic looking for damage, but the female driver waved me away like it was no big deal. (At least I'm pretty sure that's what she meant!)
Playa del Carmen is a super touristy area and we knew that going in, we just wanted to use our free hotel night somewhere that felt like a treat. The word "touristy" needs sub categories. Tulum is very touristy, but it's not at all the same thing as Play del Carmen/Cancun. Tulum is a 25yr old girl rolling around in the sand in a long sleeve sequin top while her friend kneels next to her with a big DSLR camera saying things like "ok move your leg up. A little more. Oh my God Sarah this is so good. You're goals. Like literally my goals." While Playa del Carmen is a cherry-red sunburn-having, permanently half drunk white guy with beer belly yelling about Margaritaville and saying "it's five o'clock somewhere" about 80 times a day. Both are touristy.
I had to park around the block from the hotel and in the morning I was pulling the bike around the front when a police siren went off in front of me and I got pulled over for not wearing a helmet. That was a ticket the officer said, and asked for my license. Well, that was in the hotel. That was another ticket. I pleaded that I had just come around the block, and apologized profusely. He didn't looked like he was going to budge so I hopped off the bike and said "I'll just push it to the front door" and he let me go. So first police encounter and first collision of the trip, and the Spanish lessons paid off in both cases!
Our next stop was back south past Tulum (quick stop back in T-town to get Rachel's hair color touched up. Yea, how ADV is that boys!? The most ADV thing about it is keeping my mouth shut and remembering how grateful I am she is along for the ride.) and down to Bacalar. We had only booked one night and there was a wedding in town so we got booted the second night. Night 2 we spent above a sushi restaurant that had hired a DJ who spun electronica until 1am. Night 3 we lucked out. We found a house on Lake Bacalar that normally rented for triple what they had it up for because it was only for one night. Who's going to rent a lake house for one night? Us!
It was amazing, had a dock with palapas, full kitchen etc etc. I'll try to upload the drone shot I took. This changed our whole Bacalar experience. We loved it. We found a vegan restaurant that was really good and wound up eating there 4 times. On the third, I was asking the waiter about the Yamaha FZ-09 parked in the hall. Specifically, where I could buy a seat cover like the one on it. He pointed to another guy who happened to own the restaurant and spoke great English. He said he had extra seat covers and he'd sell me one for what it cost him. That night we ate with him and his wife for meal 4, and talked about their experience in Bacalar and starting the restaurant and it felt like we'd made friends.
We sat down and had a little "closing ceremony" Rachel had made up for Mexico. We remembered different parts and wrote down some memories we'd have otherwise forgotten. In the end we both agreed that Bacalar was the spot we would choose if we were going to live in Mexico and set up a hotel or vacation rental. It feels like it's post-discovery, pre-development. The water is a brilliant turquoise, there aren't enough hotels for the visitors that are starting to flock, and the opposite side of the lake is swampy and unlikely to be developed so the view is always going to be pristine. Part of me hopes nobody ruins it, the other part of me wants to build a hotel and therefore ruin it. It was the "you should have seen this place 15yrs ago" of Sayulita, but this time we actually were there at the right time.
We rode to the border with Belize, and after it Baja experience I was determined to take my time and do it slowly and right. We got to the first immigration point to check out of Mexico, and we handed over our passports and tourists cards. Then she asked me for the printed receipt for the tourist cards. Goddamn these tourists cards! I tried to show her the electronic receipt on my phone and that wasn't gonna cut it, we had to pay for them again $25 each. So these cards that are simple and cost $25/person, ended up costing us about $500 when you include the fight up to Tijuana to get them stamped.
I am now firmly in the "do as little as possible online" camp. Do research, but don't pay or anything. You don't end up saving any time anyway and it's better just to do it in person so they can help you with whatever step comes next.
The crossing itself was super easy. It was made much easier by everyone speaking English, but that was also disorienting after 3 months in Mexico. I said "gracias" to several people, and we made it way through. It was about 90F and I was thankful we made it there just before a busload of tourists.
We stopped 30min down the road in Corozal at a vegan retreat center set up by a Canadian woman. We stayed two nights and ate well and just relished not moving our stuff every day. I talked her into trading us a free third night for photographs of the place, and have now installed myself as VP of sales in Rachel's photography business.
We looked into going to the Cayes (islands) but it would mean leaving the bike overnight in Belize City and that didn't seem advisable. Instead we rode this morning down to the San Ignacio area almost to the border with Guatemala. We plan to stay here a few days and then ride towards Tikal where some friends happen to be sightseeing.
I'm tired of fighting Tapatalk about photos, so I have to add them in separate posts below.
I forgot to mention, we also sold the guitar in Bacalar!
Rachel doesn't know about the ADV salute, so this might be directed at me. (Note the sargassum behind her- that's a minimum amount. Most places it was knee deep) Tulum
We staged this picture, but who cares? Bacalar
I also forgot to mention on the way out I dropped the bike kind of in between two cars as I backed up and turned it. It was the most awkward lift back up, because I also had to grab the clutch and push forward during the lift. I couldn't get much gear off because of the cars. No damage done, but I sweat liter before hitting the road.
The vegan retreat in Belize had a bunch of coconuts, dogs and a pig. And a lot of hippy vibes. I went along with everything including a full moon ceremony. I finally got lost when the host read the grounds of my cacao drink and told me she saw " a hunchback old man pulling a cat, like the cats trying to get away. Wait, there is a child on his back." And then looked at me expectantly and asked what that might mean to me. So I found out where my woo-woo line is.. at least for now.
Thats the funniest thing I've read in a ride report ever. I think the fish was being a little out of line on the whole food chain thing, and maybe took advantage of your altered state... LOL
Some people will do anything to add adventure to their journey...like eating leafy green vegetables in Mexico.
Hahah we're having fun now!!
Today we rode up to a fantastic waterfall- the highest in Central America I'm told. The road up was about an hour of decently fun off-roading which was Rachel's first adventure into that arena. She did very well, I was proud.
We swam in the waterfall for a few hours and jumped off some rocks, maybe 25ft or so. It was a blast.
I'm going to try to do something crazy and see if I can embed a couple videos below, one will be Bacalar and one will be the waterfall. Which one is which should be self evident.
These pictures weren't from the high jump. that was up by the falls. I swear.
Sorry about the music on these. The stock drone app has some royalty free selections none of which are likely to win "best original score".
I'm going to try to get the drone out more often. I crashed my first drone into the Spokane river after having it for all of about a week, so I've been a sissy about flying this one. I'm also going to get my videography stuff (we shoot weddings on the side (side of what, Josh?)) at the end of March. Hopefully I'll be able to include some more videos.
I just bought a Mavic Pro 2....and crashed it on flight #3.... so feel your pain.
Any field transportation tips? I was thinking of lining tank bag with some egg shell foam. Any tricks?
I generally don't enjoy RR videos. Your short drone clips are very interesting.
Looks like your having a blast, I can tell you that your missing absolutely nothing in Eastern Wa. Less allot of snow, sometimes low into the teens at night and FREEZING cold wind.
Thanks! Definitely still learning the equipment, but I've learned shorter clips are almost always better when it comes to video.