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Old 01-08-2008, 02:36 PM   #61
jp4evr
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Amazing...

not just your ability to avoid heavy twisting of the throttle, but I'd probably be spending about $2000 just in beer
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:48 PM   #62
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I'm also locked on to this one. I know exactly what you mean by the replies make the ride report so special. They do take a lot of time don't they? Still.. there's nothing more rewarding after you get home then reliving the entire experience over and knowing what you're writing will benefit peoples hearts and minds when they read it as well. Keep up the good work and I can't wait for the next installment!
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:03 PM   #63
Jamie Z OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIVID1
I wish I could travel/sleep this cheap
You can, you can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp4evr
not just your ability to avoid heavy twisting of the throttle, but I'd probably be spending about $2000 just in beer
Who says I wasn't?

Regarding the throttle, I drug my pegs (and luggage and skid plate) several times on this ride. Lots of opportunities for that. At the same time, the consequences of a screw-up loom large. Not only the inconvenience and pain of a crash, but my Mexican insurance would not have covered the loss of my bike.

As for beer, you're right. On $25/day, beer can be considered a luxury. Also, because I was camping most of the time, it necessarily meant that beer wasn't immediately available to me in the evenings. If I wanted a beer in the evening, it meant I'd have to plan ahead and buy it before nightfall (which I did on several occasions). In other cases when I stayed in a ho(s)tel--I got a room more often than I'm letting on--I occasionally did grab a beer or two over dinner.

If you watch carefully, you'll see a few well-placed empties scattered throughout the pics.

What is it they say? I get high on life.

Jamie
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:09 PM   #64
PirateT7
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bravo!
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:09 PM   #65
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Next day, Tequila and the Jose Cuervo factory.



There were free 100-proof samples.







I buzzed into Guadalajara hoping to find a Central American Lonely Planet. I only spent a short time in the city walking through several bookstores, but couldn't find what I was looking for. I dejectedly headed south to Laguna de Chapala, the largest natural lake in Mexico.





I stopped in the city of Chapala, where I asked a local bar owner if I could camp out back. She agreed, and while I ate my dinner she and the waitress got drunk.





My plan the next day was to circle the lake. My map shows roads all the way around. Yeah, right.











I can't pass up a fruit stand. Spent about 30 minutes chatting with this guy. He was planning to come to the US to work and learn English. He practiced his words with me, saying things like pineapple and coconut.



Nothing like a tire change while you get your mouth worked on.



And finally, Herbie.

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Jamie Z screwed with this post 01-09-2008 at 01:48 PM
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:59 PM   #66
larryboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z
And finally, Herbie.


Ocho!!!
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:39 PM   #67
okbob51
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Great report Jamie....while camping didn't you ever worry about the banditos?
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:26 PM   #68
KawDlr
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I would love to ride throughout South America to Venezuela where I would just disappear, but I have this innate ability to speak only English. Although I have traveled over much of Europe, and was able to get by, I feel that the farther South you go the less English will work for you. I base this assumption on the fact that many Mexicans that have immigrated to our area, legal or otherwise, speak little or no English.

My question for you is, do you speak and understand Spanish fluently?
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:46 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okbob51
Great report Jamie....while camping didn't you ever worry about the banditos?
Thanks. I think you watch too many movies.

Really, I feel much safer camping than I do staying in some shabby hotel room. Mexico is such a rural country that pretty much wherever I stayed in my tent, I never even saw anybody. When I did see people, their most common reaction was to wave or give thumbs up along with a hoot.

I purposely own a dark green tent, and I sought out places which I knew would be low visibility. But for the most part, I didn't worry about it.

I've traveled and camped in many places all over the world. Had some things stolen from a hotel room in Colombia, and some stuff stolen in Missouri when I left it unattended for a few minutes. The only shady characters I've ever come across have all been in the US, but even then I wasn't worried about my safety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KawDlr
My question for you is, do you speak and understand Spanish fluently?
I'm embarrassed to admit that even after six semesters of college Spanish, one month of immersion classes in Costa Rica, and several months of solo travel in Latin America, my Spanish is still awful. My grammar is pretty good, and I can even speak in past and future tenses... but my vocabulary is terrible, and for the life of me I can't understand people when they talk to me unless they speak almost one word at a time. I guess I just don't have the brain for new languages.

Of course, my speaking (and listening) skills improved quite a bit during my time in Mexico. But meeting other travelers was humbling. I met other people who had never studied Spanish, and could speak almost as well as I could just from their time in the country. When I spent time with Rolando and Alberto (earlier in my trip report), who both speak fluent English, they both assumed my Spanish skills were merely what I'd picked up on the way. They were both a little shocked to learn that I hold a minor in Spanish.

If you don't speak Spanish, don't worry. Most travelers I met didn't speak it when they came, either. It's a good idea, of course, to get some books, or tapes, or take a short class, but speaking Spanish is not a requirement. You'll meet lots of people who are learning English and want to practice with you.

Jamie
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:18 PM   #70
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Keep up now. We're not even half-way through.

My goal was to visit Nevado de Colima. There is a national park, and my Lonely Planet says you can camp there for free. Found the park.



Up, up, up...



Oops. My first drop. My front tire was stuck in the soft sand and big rocks, but when I tried to stop, the bike slid backward down the hill. My only option was to "lay it down." No harm done.



Signed in at the ranger station.



Great roads.



Up to the top, at over 4000 meters, my motorcycle and all-time altitude record.





This guy (and several others) was studying the active Volcan de Fuego nearby.



I never did find that campground, so I just picked out a place to set up my tent. Cold night.



The next day, I went back up to the top and hiked to the summit. I forgot my camera... Long story.

Then I had to go back down. Anyone who has navigated steep gravel will tell you it's much harder coming down.







Jamie
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:54 PM   #71
Eyes Shut
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Jamie Z: Great report! I love your attitude about travel.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:36 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z
Keep up now. We're not even half-way through.
We're keeping up, I assure you. Just keep posting.

And THANKS.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:34 AM   #73
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Heading for the abandoned village of La Yerba Buena, I stayed on the small roads. Where my map showed a road going through to the highway, I came upon this.



But wait. What's this to the right? Is that a path of some sort?



It definitely goes someplace.



What's a little water crossing?



Now I'll make it, for sure.



I'm blocked again.



I stopped and asked a nearby resident if this road didn't go through to the highway. She said, "Yes, there is a trail." I asked her to show me, and she pointed.



Even on my wily Wee, I'm not sure I could make it. Oh well.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:20 AM   #74
Timba
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I am enjoying your report tremendously!

Excellent photography, and the narrative flows just right as well.

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Old 01-13-2008, 11:38 AM   #75
dwj - Donnie
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Great Report!

Looks like you had a ball! I've got to do that someday! I worked there over five years but never traveled to the interior.
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