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Old 10-14-2013, 08:52 PM   #46
V@lentino OP
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Thumb Guanajuato... El Callejon del Beso




Once upon a time, long, long time ago, in the city of Guanajuato lived a young man named Don Luis, he was a poor boy working at la mina. One evening during at the l fiesta he saw the beautiful Doña Carmen, the daughter of a successful local merchant. They danced the night away, and fell deeply in love. Alas her father forbade the relationship and promised to marry her to a rich Spanish businessman.


Stricken by sadness, Doña Carmen spent her days cloistered in her room on the second floor of her father’s house. This was a special house as it was built on the narrowest street of the city. One evening as she stepped on the balcony to gaze at the stars in the hope of chasing her sadness away, she heard the voice of her lover calling her from the balcony across the small street, “the callejon”.


At last they were reunited, Don Luis had a rented a room in the house across the narrow street and they could, when they both reached across exchange a tender kiss. That very same evening, as a token of his love and a promise to marry her, Don Luis gave Doña Carmen a single rose and vowed to make her father understand how much he loved his daughter.


It was at this very moment that the fathers, having heard the lovers speak, burst into his daughter’s room and unto the adjacent the balcony. He was furious and with uncontrolled fury, he took out his dagger and plunged it in his daughter heart. Helpless, Don Luis fell to his knees in anguished as he witnessed the rose fall from his dead lover’s hand on the steps of the tiny stairs below.


Later that night, overcome by sadness, the young miner cut his finger so that he could use his blood to write a final poem to his beloved. Shortly before the wee hours of the morning, the spirit of Doña Carmen came to visit Don Luis in his fitful sleep, vowing to love him for eternity, and to plead for her father’s life.


Haggard and in agony, the young miner wandered without purpose through the streets of Guanajuato, desperately looking for his lover. When night came, stricken with grief, he climbed to “El cerro de la Bufa” where in the dark of night he plunged to his death knowing that his soul would soon re-joined for eternity his beloved Doña Carmen.



-"Yikes! That's a tragic and creepy story says he."




Nothing so dramatic for Jackie and Valentino, simply a romantic "beso" en "El Callejon"











Sans paroles















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The Southern Episode
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:55 PM   #47
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Talking Meanwhile... in Mexico city

I still want to tell you guys about our last two stops; San Miguel de Allende and Morelia, but tonight we are downtown Mexico city, one of the world most populated city.

We took the Mex 15 from Morelia, "Libre" (non-toll road), and we linked several pueblos through some pretty amazing twisties highest point was 2748m. By the time we made it to Toluca, traffic was pretty tight.



Even the final stretch before entering the city on the 15 between Palo Alto (Granjas) and Lomas Altas made for some pretty intense piloting, steep and curvy canyons, with quickly changing inclines dotted with slow trucks on the right lane, and anxious locals lead foot on the left.

We missed our gate (Plaza de la Reforma) out of the periferico for our hotel behind the Cathedral, and by the time we had made our way back to the centre we were gridlock less than a km from Hotel Cathedral located on Donceles 95.




Coming from the south we could not make a right turn into the one way street, the bikes were getting hot and we threaded our way to a gated street guarded by fully clad crowd control & riot police unit. In the event that the planned protest that had taken over Plaza de la Constitucion turned sour.

The police let us park the bikes besides the gate and we let them cool down during "Jackie - Valentino & "Co.'s" 15 minutes of fame.

Yup it was a pretty crowded place.


All in a days work when you are inching your way to Tierra Del Fuego

Tomorrow we discover what else this busy place has to offer

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The Southern Episode
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:09 AM   #48
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I do not want to interrupt this great story too much.
Just wanna say I love the pics and stories.

Good to speak French in Mexico.

Have fun!
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:48 AM   #49
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Mexico


Parral, Durango, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Morelia, Mexico, Puebla, and Oaxaca.














So many UNESCO world heritage cities joined by hours of riding on perfect tarmac laid out among breathtaking scenery.







We are winding down this amazing historical tour of colonial Mexico. The Spanish conquistadors and their religious zealots left this grandiose heritage of religious architecture, and maze of quaint and cobbled streets, and other sumptuous Catholic artifacts. So much so that on numerous occasions you feel yourself transported into ancient Spain. Countless of the UNESCO accredited buildings we saw, had their foundations laid barely a few decades after Columbus landed in “La Española”. The Island now split between Domican Republic, and the ever-rebuilding Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, where 80% of the population lives on less than $2.00 per day, some 900 miles from the glitzy beaches of Miami.









I guess that brings us, me full circle. I spent some time in Haiti in the early 80’s, I was 16 going on 17, and it first opened my eyes to poverty, oppression, and exploitation. It was there amidst the last years of the Duvalier regime that I first witnessed, in Cité Soleil, kids running half naked in muddy alleyways bordered by gutters overflowing with raw sewage.

The rhetoric employed in the first sentence used in the CIA fact book to describe the economy of “La perle des Antilles” is laughable:

“Haiti is a free market economy that enjoys the advantages of low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for many of its exports”

I cannot help but smile at the use of the words “enjoy”, “free” (twice) and “low labor” in the same sentence.

I have been lucky to travel the world, India is deeply troubling, unsettling, its colors, odors, sounds, and humanity, it’s oppressive heat, and its beautiful dancing people. India teaches you to see beyond the poverty, beyond the ubiquitous slums, and find the humanity that bonds all of us, the ones that possess and the ones that do not.

Last year I complete a postgraduate degree in intercultural and international communication. An emphasis was placed on learning about “Development communication” or “Communication for development”, throughout the completion of the degree, among professors, students, and readings, I sought the answer to the same question again and again:

Is development without oppression and exploitation possible?

Think about it for a minute or ten. If you have an idea on the topic I would love to hear it…

Of course one needs to define development prior to even attempt to propose an answer to this age-old question.

If you are interested; read this, a noteworthy paper on the taxonomy of development written by Lynge Nielsen.

Or for something more interactive do this test; you might be surprised by your results:

What is my footprint

It had been many years since I last read Paulo Freire’s foundational work “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”,

Paulo Freire Wiki

So this summer, to understand more where I was heading I read Eduardo Gaeleano’s iconic book “Venas abiertas de America Latina”

You can find an open source English copy prefaced by Isabelle Allende here:

Open veins of Latin America

For anyone riding the length of the Americas, before you even think about picking up a copy of the latest Lonely Planet, map, or other guide type literature, I suggest you read Gaeleano, no matter how young or old, or how much you think you know.

Riding through the incredible landscape of central Mexico, a stranger in a strange land, I felt as I had so many times before. I think it is possible at any moment for any common woman or man to perform acts that will have a resounding positive and tangible impact on the life of another human being, or very small group of people. But before doing so, before any act of kindness, or other altruistic intention, your, mine our, task is to listen. Listen to someone’s needs and wants, listen to their complaints without other intention or judgment, simply by committing an act of self abstraction, by heeding and learning, then and only then may we attempt to make the world a better place.

Hopefully this will not be construed as misplaced intellectual vanity, for this humble dissertation is not meant to propose anything new, but merely to trigger a reflection.

Thank you valiant Parral, festive Durango, studious Zacatecas, romantic Guanajuato, colourful San Miguel de Allende, arrogant Morelia, surprising Puebla, stinky Mexico City, and untidy Oaxaca.
















On you roads all I did was leave traces of ductile rubber… Your cities and their shades touched my senses, and your people have touched my heart.











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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 10-21-2013, 01:53 PM   #50
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Interuption

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Man Bass View Post
I do not want to interrupt this great story too much.
Just wanna say I love the pics and stories.

Good to speak French in Mexico.

Have fun!
Interruptions are good, at least we know someone is watching
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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
Work is just the time you have to spend between rides.

The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode

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Old 10-21-2013, 02:19 PM   #51
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Valentino, I am very glad to read your writing and your thoughts on development/exploitation. Has long been a thought for me of the inequality resulting from exploitation of resources, human included. I appreciate the link to Galeano's book, has been on my reading list for a while. Is it possible for development to occur without impoverishing the country/population 'owning' the resources? Under capitalism, I don't think so. Capitalism seeks to concentrate wealth in as few hands as possible. And S. America has a long history of enriching the few at the cost to the many. That will be a hard ship to turn around, as any country with the political will to go against the system has been severely punished, Galeano's native Uruguay, Chile, Panama, and Ecuador come to mind.

Intently following along on your trip, enjoying your thoughts, photos, and wish I was there to have a conversation in person.

Saludos,

Martín
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:25 PM   #52
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Wink Google Map trick

Maybe this can be useful to others travelling along our route. We have found that the Garmin NA map set (with Mexico) did not work so well , when entering addresses, so we started to enter coordinates instead.

If you use Chrome, with the latest version of Google maps (Beta) you need to work a bit to find the coordinates.

So first enter the address in Google map. This is our hostal in Oaxaca

El Quijote Hostal Oaxaca
Francisco Javier Mina 509
Centro
68000 Oaxaca, Mexico

You will get this URL, copy/paste it in any text application

"https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!q=El+Quijote+Hostal+Oaxaca%2C+Francisco+J avier+Mina%2C+Centro%2C+Oaxaca%2C+OAX%2C+Mexico&data=!4m15!2m14!1m13!1s0x85c7226af65b2db5%3A0xd8d6 01126b3cb1a8!3m8!1m3!1d21530907!2d-95.677068!3d37.0625!3m2!1i1259!2i634!4f13.1!4m2!3d17.057994!4d-96.729905"

Then retype the numbers at the end of the “d” and the “!” and it will give you the Lat and Long in decimal

Like this: Lat 17.057994 and Long -96.729905

Copy/paste them back in Google maps with a coma in between: 17.057994, -96.729905 and the decimals will be changed into something you can actually enter in any GPS

+17°3'28.78", -96°43'47.66"

It also confirms that you did not make a mistake when copying the actual numbers.

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Old 10-21-2013, 04:43 PM   #53
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If you are interested in the politics, the state of Chiapas have some of the most oppressed indians in Mexico. All the land is owned by absent landowners. In 1994 the Zapatista's took over the town of San Cristobal De Las Casas lead by
rebel leader called Subcomandante Marcos who wore a ski mask all the time and smoked a pipe they supported by the Bishop of the area Samuel Ruiz Garcia who fought for the poor all his life, they battled the Mexican army and hid out in the jungles on the border, hidden by the Lacondon Indians for years. They claimed NAFTA was doing a lot for the North but in the South the indians didn't even have a plot of land to grow beans and had been ignored by the government.They wanted indigenous autonomy. The Bishop died in 2011 but he was nonimated for a Nobel prize. Try and get to San Cristobal De Las Casas it is a beautiful unusual little town with a great history. You can often see Lacondon Indians in town wearing a long white shifts. Later Subcomandante Marcos was unmasked as a University professor from Tampico called Rafael Guilen.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:56 PM   #54
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An AdventurePoser in Central Mexico

As we've ridden, the list of cities we've passed through is getting longer and longer...everything from Allende to Zacatecas, it gets hard to keep them straight....

AdventurePoser has seen amazing sights, eaten incredible foods and gotten sick in some of the most memorable places he will ever see!

The trick in Mexico is to slow down, relax, talk to the people, even if your Espanol is muy malo, and occasionally turn around and look at what you've already passed. It is amazing how your viewpoints about things change when you take the time to do what you do at train intersections...you know, "stop, look, and listen."

When you do so, the treasures of Mexico unfold in front of your eyes!

Enough of wordsmithing...here are a few pix you may enjoy. Of course Jackie and Valentino are also posting images, and in some cases may be nearly identical. We ARE traveling together, but AdventurePoser regrets any duplicates.

The aquaduct in Morelia is fabulous-especially so at night. Of course getting the shot meant nearly taking AdventurePoser's life in his own hands.. What he will do to provide you with some entertainment while you are supposed to be working!



At night, the churches are magical, aren't they?


The roads around Toluca and heading toward Mexico City are incredible. Steeply banked turns, fast sweepers, and little traffic... sort of.

A Close Encounter of the Bovine Kind:



It was a moooving experience to come around a corner and encounter these cattle. Of course they were hardly interested or impressed by our GSAs. We continued to hoof our way to Toluca, then Ciudad de Mexico.

Mexico City sits in a bowl atop a plateau at over 5K feet. To get there you climb endless rolling hills, tiny towns, and occasionally a great place to take a picture. This is not as easy as it might seem as there are no shoulders, so stopping can be a death defying experience. Fortunately for you, Adventureposer was able to shoot this pastoral scene.



Rene, (he would be the guy with the operating GPS), did a masterful job of guiding us into Mexico City. But, before we could find our hotel, we found ourselves on a jam-packed little street where we could scarcely move. Soon the bikes began overheating.

With the bikes groaning from the heat, red warning lights flickering, and oil warnings flashing, we pulled over in front of some government buildings where we were immediately engulfed in the crowd. One person was kind enough to get our picture.

Maybe they thought we were Charlie and Ewan? Wait, that couldn't happen because unlike them, we don't have a caravan of support vehicles following us...



Since we had several days in Mexico City we had time to do some exploring...
This is an overview shot of the ancient Aztecan ruins rumored to be the exact center of this ancient civilization. When Cortez came, he had the temples destroyed, and natural enemies, such as flooding, also took its toll. Who knows how many incredible artifacts are still buried underneath this and the adjacent blocks of businesses? We'll never know because most of it is now underneath the water level of the current modern city...

Your best bet is to tour the museum after visiting the ruins...

It was the job of "skull strippers" to literally peel the flesh off executed prisoners. The flesh was made into masks that could be worn in ceremonies. In the day of the Aztecs it was important to either win the battle or be killed outright. You did NOT want to be taken prisoner.



This was the Aztec's God of War. The skin has been peeled from his face, and his liver has been left exposed. Alrighty then.



Earlier, Rene had mentioned something about a book, "Opening the Veins of Latin America." This is the part about closing your veins in Latin America; if not your veins, at least your arteries! The street food is spectacular. All three of us are huge fans of the homemade potato chips. Lightly salted, and with lime or chile (or both) added, "betcha can't eat just one!"



In one of the many town squares, we found this beautiful building which houses the Museum of Architecture. Fabulous, isn't it?



There are great places to walk all around the central district of Mexico city. The Lovebirds give the promenade a sense of scale!



There is an amazing deeply rooted culture here, but Mexico is also on the move...



Our few days in Mexico City were soon to be up. Mexico City is a wondrous, graceful woman, blessed by time, art, and culture. Mexico City can also be a hard edged bitch. She is choked with traffic, smog, and huge transportation problems. Despite the governments efforts to control traffic and pollution, the City sports 23 million people who seem to be driving 100 million cars. Now, add the topography with its resultant inversion layer, and unrestricted industrial growth, and you have smog that equals Shanghai China. The government is trying, but AdventurePoser is afraid it could be a losing battle unless the government orders draconian steps to curb emissions...Put in a few words, the smog makes the quality of life here suck.

Heading out of Mexico City, we soon found ourselves climbing "out of the bowl" and into the high forests on the way to Puebla. A simple ride of a few kilometers, but the difference was night and day.



More jaw-dropping architecture..



Handheld at 1/15th of a second. A 1.4 aperture is grand...



The Marines were in town for an exhibition...widely considered to be the "point of the spear" in the narco wars, the Marines have a reputation for toughness and not being tainted by the DTOs.



AdventurePoser, and his alter ego, Steve, really enjoyed the streets of Puebla.









While walking around town in the late afternoon, we stopped here for cold drink...within minutes a huge storm with thunder, lightning, sheets of frog strangling rain, and hail slammed into town. The roof is covered with fiberglass. The din was incredible...for a few minutes it was nearly impossible to talk over the storm.



On the way to Oaxaca, where we currently are staying...



My friends, posing on the way...





Holy Moley! Oxaca is the town for mole (mol-ay), a rich sauce comprised of dark chocolate and about a million other spices...Here, I'm getting ready to devour a plate of chicken mole.



Kids getting ready for a church service...



Young Oaxacan!



In the evening, much of the zocalo is bathed in purple light.



At the meat market a shopper checks out the choices available today. Go with the asada....go with the asada...



Oaxaca is the chocolate capital...and here is where the magical recipes begin!



It's hard to believe in a few days, I will have been on the road for a month. Rene and Lili even longer. So far, it's been great-a few small challenges, just enough to stretch me a bit and to leave me with some great learning. Tomorrow we'll depart for the coast.

Fortunately, Hurricane Randolph is heading north, and we are going south. The forecast is for rain the first couple of days, but after that it'll be drying out. For us, a minor inconvenience, but the flooding and damage north of us looks consequential. AdventurePoser is mindful of those affected, especially the poor who must deal with lack of electricity, sewage, and flooded homes. AdventurePoser's biggest problem may be getting wet on the way to the beach front condo.

Buen Viaje!
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:29 PM   #55
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There is very little time left for cynicism

Quote:
Originally Posted by pceire32 View Post
If you are interested in the politics, the state of Chiapas have some of the most oppressed indians in Mexico. All the land is owned by absent landowners. In 1994 the Zapatista's took over the town of San Cristobal De Las Casas lead by
rebel leader called Subcomandante Marcos who wore a ski mask all the time and smoked a pipe they supported by the Bishop of the area Samuel Ruiz Garcia who fought for the poor all his life, they battled the Mexican army and hid out in the jungles on the border, hidden by the Lacondon Indians for years. They claimed NAFTA was doing a lot for the North but in the South the indians didn't even have a plot of land to grow beans and had been ignored by the government.They wanted indigenous autonomy. The Bishop died in 2011 but he was nonimated for a Nobel prize. Try and get to San Cristobal De Las Casas it is a beautiful unusual little town with a great history. You can often see Lacondon Indians in town wearing a long white shifts. Later Subcomandante Marcos was unmasked as a University professor from Tampico called Rafael Guilen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElReyDelSofa View Post
Valentino, I am very glad to read your writing and your thoughts on development/exploitation. Has long been a thought for me of the inequality resulting from exploitation of resources, human included. I appreciate the link to Galeano's book, has been on my reading list for a while. Is it possible for development to occur without impoverishing the country/population 'owning' the resources? Under capitalism, I don't think so. Capitalism seeks to concentrate wealth in as few hands as possible. And S. America has a long history of enriching the few at the cost to the many. That will be a hard ship to turn around, as any country with the political will to go against the system has been severely punished, Galeano's native Uruguay, Chile, Panama, and Ecuador come to mind.

Intently following along on your trip, enjoying your thoughts, photos, and wish I was there to have a conversation in person.
Thanks for chiming in Gents, I appreciate the company and the words, in my daily life I believe I do the right thing, and I often try not to be cynical, but as many others who try, I mostly fail.


“The Nobodies

Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream of escaping
poverty: that one magical day good luck will suddenly rain down on
them---will rain down in buckets. But good luck doesn't rain down
yesterday, today, tomorrow, or ever. Good luck doesn't even fall in a
fine drizzle, no matter how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their
left hand is tickling, or if they begin the new day with their right
foot, or start the new year with a change of brooms.

The nobodies: nobody's children, owners of nothing. The nobodies: the
no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits, dying through life,
screwed every which way.

Who are not, but could be.
Who don't speak languages, but dialects.
Who don't have religions, but superstitions.
Who don't create art, but handicrafts.
Who don't have culture, but folklore.
Who are not human beings, but human resources.
Who do not have faces, but arms.
Who do not have names, but numbers.
Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the police
blotter of the local paper.
The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them.”

Eduardo Galeano
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The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #56
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Zipolite



Just like Amsterdam said Alexandra smiling as she rearranged the flowers on the table of our beachfront condo in the sleepy little village of Zipolite.

-"You might notice a certain familiar smell in the air, and don’t be too alarmed if your neighbour comes knocking wanting to borrow a cup of sugar, wearing just a towel around their neck"



From Oaxaca we took the 175, and covered the 260 km or so of twisties in about 6 hours. We had been forewarned that the hurricanes had recently washed out the road on a few places and they had not completely repaired the damage.














- Be conscious of “ojos” large pothole, said Emilio the kind owner of hostal El Quijote as he waived us goodbye.

Some of the sections were indeed pretty torn up, but it looked worst then it really was.




The great news was no trucks or buses, and even little car traffic. Indeed the hurricanes have done a number on the sinuous road that joins Oaxaca and the pacific coast, but all and all it was a great ride through beautiful mountain valleys and high passes.




Slowly the vegetation changed from pines to palms, we maintained good speed and landed in Zipolite just in time for cocktail hour. Indeed Zipolite is a relaxed place; The routine was implacable, and difficult to follow. The orders of the day required a significant decision making process. Since I am a process kind of guy; I did well for the next few days…



Swim in the pool? Go trashing in the wave?



Some breakfast,


Go back swimming,



Isn’t it about time for that first cold cerveza of the day?



-“Okaye” orale… otro taco the res por favor, pero con un poco mas de salsa picante.



-"No Taco for you Meeester, it's you time to cook tonight", says Jackie

-"Ok d'you got it babe, here comes the camarones, complimentary sunset included"


Ok, ok, it was not all fun and games. We also engaged in all the activities in “ing” like sleeping, tanning, walking, s---ing, f---ing... there was also some eating, and a bit of planning and routing.



There was also live football everynight



We followed Byron for a while




He took us here




And showed us this




And eventually this happened




Not everybody was working as hard as we were






Finally some well deserve R&R



There also was a fair amount of soul searching accomplished, and Adventureposeur, aka Steve, aka “& Co”. Decided that these past few weeks had been enough adventure, and opted to point his bike North and make his way back home, safe viaje Steve, thanks for the friendship and company, see you state-side.



… No problem for Jackie and Valentino, or for the readers of this here adventure, we’ll have plenty more to report in the coming months.

Tomorrow we leave for Chiapas and head to Palenque, and the Guatemalan border…


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FEAR ===> False Expectation About Reality. GSA08
Work is just the time you have to spend between rides.

The motorcycle chronicles of Jackie & Valentino
The Southern Episode
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:28 AM   #57
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"There also was a fair amount of soul searching accomplished, and Adventureposeur, aka Steve, aka “& Co”. Decided that these past few weeks had been enough adventure, and opted to point his bike North and make his way back home, safe viaje Steve, thanks for the friendship and company, see you state-side."


Are you for real????
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:00 PM   #58
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Then they were two

Quote:
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Are you for real????
Truth be told
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:15 PM   #59
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Thumb Chiapas

Along the coast till Salina Cruz, it was hot and very humid. We then darted to La Ventosa, which undoubtedly got its name; from the slight draft we experienced riding through the immense wind farm.


Here is more on this project if interested, it is carried by Électricité de France (EDF).

La Ventosa project








The picture does not do it justice, but I can’t remember Mojave being this windy. It was perfect practice for Ruta 40.

We entered Chiapas via a picturesque mountain pass, and immediately appreciated the cool fresh air.




Tomorrow we head for lunch in San Cristobal de Las Casas and dinner in Palenque
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:02 AM   #60
salcar
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Location: Nicaragua or Mexico or ?
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Great RR

Thank you for the email and hopefully we get to meet in Nicaragua!
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