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Old 01-28-2008, 11:23 AM   #46
stickfigure OP
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Acapulco

Yuck.

I do not like Acapulco. It's dirty and smoggy and ugly. The traffic, while not as bad as Guadalajara, is somehow more menacing because the streets are narrower. I have yet to find something pleasant other than the cute little hotel I'm in, supposedly the oldest hotel in Acapulco. I feel reasonably certain that if I left my bike outside on the street, something bad would happen to it overnight.

The port is full of tourists that came in on cruise ships. The locals in stores and restaurants communicate with hand gestures, assuming off the bat that I won't understand spanish. A guy offered me "girls" as I walked through the zócalo.

I'm fleeing after one night. I thought maybe I would check out the cliff divers or a jai alai game, but I am not inspired.

The essence of Acapulco:


stickfigure screwed with this post 01-28-2008 at 02:17 PM
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:20 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexicho
Bringing back some old memories. Took a very similar trip about 6 years ago on my first bike (honda shadow 600) which I bought on ebay 3 months prior. learned how to ride in those 3 months and than took it down to Costa Rica.
I see you're looking for a cool hip place to learn Spanish. Guatajuato is a great place. Its a university town full of young people so the party seen is one of the best in Mexico. Barely any gringos so its pretty cheap. Also the town is absolutely stunning. Oaxaca is really cool but I think you'll get pretty bored. The ride from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido is a great one however so if you need to get your party on it'll give you a excuse to ride some seriously technical twisties. There are 2 routes and one is in real bad shape so make sure that you travel on the right one. I believe its the one that is more north.
Another option is to wait and take the course in Antigua, Guatemala. Place stunning, weather spring like year round, great english schools, dope party seen and close to a international airport. There are quite a bit of travelers going through but they are generally of the shoestring, international, adventure type.
If you have any questions about places down to Costa Rica shoot me an email. I've travelled extensively all over Mexico and Central America so I know the place very well. However, stumbling upon gems on your own is half the fun so i understand if you never write. I'm also running mototours through Mexico
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so if your spanish picks up maybe we can work together in the future.

Via con Dio amigo
Song
Thanks for the advice and the offer of help! It will be at least another two months before I leave Mexico, but I would love to PM you with some questions when the time comes.

I'm looking forward to the ride from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca, but I think I'm going to stay a few days in PE first. It's nice here! I've heard good things about Guatajuato, I will put it on my itinerary. From Oaxaca I'm headed north through the mountains for a little bit, but that might be a while.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:16 PM   #48
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Coastline

To respond to your "I doubt there is an inch of coastline in the US that you can get this experience from. Fifty years from now, probably not an inch in Baja either..."

Come on up to Washington State & we'll show you one of the last in the lower 48. There are only a few small towns on the entire Pacific coast of WA. And one of the worlds 10 best beaches. Only a short 1-2 mile walk from the nearest road. ;)
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:47 PM   #49
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Rock On Dude, you're an inspiration to me right now!
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:53 PM   #50
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dude. if you dont want calluses pull over every hundred miles and clap your hands very hard. get that blood flowing..
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:24 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackL
To respond to your "I doubt there is an inch of coastline in the US that you can get this experience from. Fifty years from now, probably not an inch in Baja either..."

Come on up to Washington State & we'll show you one of the last in the lower 48. There are only a few small towns on the entire Pacific coast of WA. And one of the worlds 10 best beaches. Only a short 1-2 mile walk from the nearest road. ;)
I love WA - I've spent a lot of time in Seattle thanks to two-and-a-half long distance relationships (long story). I've been up and down the Oregon coast a couple times, but only in a car

This summer I may join some friends on a ride to Alaska, so maybe I'll take you up on that offer!

Jeff
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:36 PM   #52
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jones'in for mexico

thanks for taking me along - I have been as far south as Michoacan (well, just to La Ticla, the suburban surfin' couple noted on their blog) and went down Baja to take the ferry. I'll say this:

BE THANKFUL YOU TOOK THE SHORT FERRY!!!

The long one, an overnight trip can be bad. We did not know they do not let you go back to your vehicle, so we couldn't get anything: sleeping bag, toothbrush, or even just a jacket! It gets cold on the Sea of Cortez after dark... and there really isn't any food; folks who knew brought their own.

I believe I have seen at least one of the dead resorts you photographed, but I can't recall the name of the bay it was on, um, Boca de Iguana?

Again, thanks for stirring up memories.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:39 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meat popsicle
BE THANKFUL YOU TOOK THE SHORT FERRY!!!

The long one, an overnight trip can be bad. We did not know they do not let you go back to your vehicle, so we couldn't get anything: sleeping bag, toothbrush, or even just a jacket! It gets cold on the Sea of Cortez after dark... and there really isn't any food; folks who knew brought their own.

I believe I have seen at least one of the dead resorts you photographed, but I can't recall the name of the bay it was on, um, Boca de Iguana?
The short ferry had its downside too - dumped me in a nasty part of town at 10pm. Plus the ride to Mazatlán was boring boring boring. I would have rather stayed overnight on the ferry! I was warned that I wouldn't be able to get anything from the vehicle under way. That sucks about being stuck on the boat without stuff! I hear stories of people having to leave their pets in the car for the whole trip

Google maps doesn't show me the names of the bays and my maps are all packed up, but I'll look them up when I get a chance. I got to walk around in the one near San Blas, that was pretty neat. It's been standing like that for decades, what's the chance it's going to fall on little old me, right?
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:38 PM   #54
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Hey
I logged on intially to be jealous of my friend's trip to South America and now I'm loving your trip description. I lived 6 years in Chiapas, Mexico and there is not a day that goes by that I don't fantasize about a trip like this! As for Spanish schools, Guanajuato is great ( I taught English there) but San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas is even better... Gto is very spanish colonial and SCLC is indigneous.... interesting contrasts. Anyway, thanks for your report. I look forward to more.
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:12 PM   #55
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Puerto Escondido



It's as if all the juice that makes a city attractive to me was squeezed out of Acapulco and poured on Puerto Escondido.

Puerto Escondido is cute. The beaches and air are sparkly clean. There are no megahotels. The "main tourist strip" is a little cobblestone road that runs parallel to the beach (closed to vehicle traffic at 6pm) and more than half the tourists are Mexican. The non-Mexican tourists come from all over but they seem to be mostly backpackers and surfers.



Puerto Escondido has a great hostel, the Mayflower. It's the tall white building in the center of this picture. I have a room on the top (4th) floor with a king bed and a private bathroom for 250 pesos per night. Best of all, WiFi reaches everywhere.



Here's my new "office":


Turning around, this what's inside the room. Yes, that's a baby grand piano. My room is just around the corner to the left. This floor is so nice that one of the backpackers (actually a guy studying for the Minnesota bar) has started sleeping on the couch!


Joe requested more pictures of food. Here's a lunch I had at one of the nicest restaurants in town. Giant prawns stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, and bbq'd. Fresh coconut, beer, cantaloupe. Not pictured: a small side of guacamole and glass of fresh orange juice already consumed. All together, 250 pesos (about $23US). I eat a lot of street food (yum!) but every couple days I like to splurge, and splurging really delivers in Mexico.


Oh, here was the view from my table:


I've been here three nights and I'm debating staying here for another week. There is a language school here, but they're pretty booked and the soonest I could start classes would be Saturday. And while I love this hostel, it's filled with 20-something surfers that speak fluent English. I've had hangovers two days in a row and will no longer attempt to keep up with the "kids".

Random pic of me:

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Old 01-29-2008, 08:24 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marluna
Hey
I logged on intially to be jealous of my friend's trip to South America and now I'm loving your trip description. I lived 6 years in Chiapas, Mexico and there is not a day that goes by that I don't fantasize about a trip like this! As for Spanish schools, Guanajuato is great ( I taught English there) but San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas is even better... Gto is very spanish colonial and SCLC is indigneous.... interesting contrasts. Anyway, thanks for your report. I look forward to more.
I may just have to do a week or two of study in each place

I need to be in the vicinity of Mexico City early March, so I'm hesitant to go too far south now (there well be plenty of time for that later). Plus somehow I want to take a week's "vacation" to SF mid-Feb for my birthday. Maybe Guanajuato is the right answer... or maybe it is a good place to hang out in March because in April a friend is planning to ride down to meet me for the Journey South. Eh, one day at a time I guess
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:56 PM   #57
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Random Puerto Escondido Stories

A couple random pictures from Puerto Escondido.

Late last night (1am?) I was walking back from a club along the beach. I stumbled across two Mexican gentlemen trying to wrestle with some plastic chairs that had been parked a little bit too close to the surf. Of course I jumped in to help, but not before taking a picture!





After about 20 minutes of carrying heavy wet-sand filled chairs around, we were victorious!



They offered me beer but by then yo necesité dormir.

The next day I found all these strange egg-like jelly sacs *all* over the beach. Anyone know what they are?





Oh, and here's a Mexican interpretation of the Rat Bike. Some parts obviously came from a scooter:

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Old 01-29-2008, 10:47 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhoriman
[Snip]

The next day I found all these strange egg-like jelly sacs *all* over the beach. Anyone know what they are?




[Snip]
Those are jellyfish. I'm not sure what causes them to get caught out on hightide, but they're just trapped in shallow water when the water ebbs back out. I've seen this many times on the Mediterranean coast in Israel
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:52 AM   #59
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Great report, thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:51 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhoriman
I came to Guadalajara seeking the KTM dealer. Like any good quest, I had was a cryptic direction obtained by sacrificing a virgin chicken on their website: "Av. Patria Pte No. 2128 int. A. Colonia Colomos Patria" WTF?!? The GPS refused to help me so I had to ask directions from two guys who kept going on about golondrinas. Eventually I figured out that the actual address is Patria #2128, but I still have no idea what the other words mean.
the int. means interseccion, you don't have to know spanish to know what that means. the A is Avenida. in costa rica the addresses are given in meters from some church, street corner or other landmark, 300 metros de la iglesia santa teresita, and so on.
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