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Old 01-31-2008, 04:18 PM   #61
stickfigure OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggeo
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.
Yeah, it all makes sense now Part of the problem is that Bicimapas for Guadalajara doesn't recognize *any* street names, otherwise Patria would have registered a hit and the confusion would have evaporated.

Jeff
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:58 PM   #62
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Wow!

Jeff

Thanks for taking the time to post all your great pics and descriptions from your journey. Great inspiration for me to start learning Spanish so I can get down that way someday.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:56 PM   #63
OffRoadCruiser
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Thank you for including the maps.

I know that it is difficult to write these RRs.

Keep on posting, well worth the effort.


Carl
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:03 PM   #64
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PE hotel

Stayed in that same hotel. Great place and really cheap. BTW You'll love Chiapas and San Cristobal as well. Def check out Palenque while you're there.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:36 PM   #65
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Nice trip!

That plane is hardly ancient or derelict! That is an Antonov AN-2, a great plane, and they're everywhere in the former Soviet Union and China. The FAA won't certify them, so you won't see many in the US. The design may be old, but it is a lot like Ural or Enfield motorcycles, relatively new construction.

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Old 02-01-2008, 05:57 PM   #66
JackL
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Plane

That is a cool plane. I'd love to fly one.
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2007 KLR 650 aka the Green Max
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The Big Trip (aka Le Grande Tour), Year 1
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=585393

6 months in Europe on a Duc
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217104&highlight=jackl

JackLs Thailand/Cambodia Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ghlight=jackls

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Old 02-03-2008, 12:40 AM   #67
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Thanks for the encouragement! Traveling alone makes it pretty easy to write, although at some point I will need to start writing software instead (money and all that). I should be more stationary by then, maybe at that point my trip will be boring

Jeff
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:43 AM   #68
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Cue Paul Hogan: That's not a knife...

It was a coin toss but ultimately curiosity of parts anew (Oaxaca) won out over comfort in beachland paradise. Also, if I stayed in Puerto Escondido I would have had to buy more shirts; I only brought longsleeved baselayers for riding and they the temperature was *way* too hot.

Here is where my bike stayed at the Mayflower:



I ate breakfast at a random comedor, one of the ubiquitous places that squeeze fresh oranges and carrots into your glass for less than $2. While I'm eating an old guy with a peculiar bicycle-ish contraption walks up, exchanges some words with a woman behind the counter, and arranges this on the sidewalk:



I pulled my buck knife out of my kit and had it sharpened. 5 pesos.

I planned to do the trip to Oaxaca in two days. I've heard horrible things about MEX 131 (horrible things that sound great to me, like rough pavement and endless curves) so my home for the night was going to be a small village along the route. Since I was running low on pesos, I needed to find an ATM before I left. This was the 30th of January.

I have since learned that most Mexicanos get paid on the 15th and the 30th/31st of the month, furthermore Direct Deposit has apparently not yet been invented here. The banks were madhouses. There were big lines for the ATMs and most of them were out of cash. The last functioning ATM in Puerto Escondido would only dispense up to 1500 pesos in 50-peso bills, so I finally left the city with the equivalent of 30 five-dollar bills in my pocket.

Mexico will teach Jeff to Plan Ahead.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:18 PM   #69
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I am green with envy...

Wow Jeff, I am so impressed!!!

I have longed to do a tour of Europe, however I never seem to have enough money. After reading this fantastic tale and one from my friends Brian and Conchita I am convinced that south may be the answer to my travel bug.

I have a million questions for you which I will address in a PM, but for now I simply want to say what a wonderfully written report you have going and how I am simultaneously enjoying your journey, though I am still green with envy.

Here in Reno, the tempatures are currently freezing...the sun is shining but it isn't warm enough to melt the snow. Roadways are clear, but the temps keep my Bandit in the garage. Heated gear doesn't keep my face warm...

I am subbing in the school district, not nearly as interesting as your job and while home and surfing ADVrider, I am excited to read the next chapter of your journey.

I have your blog bookmarked as well.

Cheers mate and ride safely...don't know about 80mph on dirt....
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:36 PM   #70
kpie
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Wink Excellent Report!!!

I have the same exact bike and want to get the hell out of dodge (Salt Lake City) snow/ice and all. Looks like the trip of a lifetime. Wish I was there dude. Keep the posts coming man. How is the bike holding up so far, (motor,suspension, etc.)?
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:37 PM   #71
FlyNavy
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Excellent photos!!! What camera gear did you use?
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:05 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demenshea
Wow Jeff, I am so impressed!!!

I have longed to do a tour of Europe, however I never seem to have enough money. After reading this fantastic tale and one from my friends Brian and Conchita I am convinced that south may be the answer to my travel bug.

I have a million questions for you which I will address in a PM, but for now I simply want to say what a wonderfully written report you have going and how I am simultaneously enjoying your journey, though I am still green with envy.

Here in Reno, the tempatures are currently freezing...the sun is shining but it isn't warm enough to melt the snow. Roadways are clear, but the temps keep my Bandit in the garage. Heated gear doesn't keep my face warm...

I am subbing in the school district, not nearly as interesting as your job and while home and surfing ADVrider, I am excited to read the next chapter of your journey.

I have your blog bookmarked as well.

Cheers mate and ride safely...don't know about 80mph on dirt....
Thanks! I can't say enough good things about riding through Mexico, and I hear it only gets cheaper, warmer, and greener on the way south. You should totally do it

I agree, as much fun as it would be to ride Europe, the exchange rate + the cost of shipping a bike would make a similar trip 10X as expensive. Someday.

I caught up with Tom&Heidi's report a couple days ago and I'm halfway through Brian&Conchita's now. It's funny to read other people's impressions of the same places I've visited and get a heads up on some of the places ahead. Too bad our timing didn't work out, I would have loved to meet up with some other long-term riders on the road!

Jeff
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:26 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpie
I have the same exact bike and want to get the hell out of dodge (Salt Lake City) snow/ice and all. Looks like the trip of a lifetime. Wish I was there dude. Keep the posts coming man. How is the bike holding up so far, (motor,suspension, etc.)?
Do it!

I'm planning to write about the current state of the bike soon. The upshot is that it's doing well but shows some signs of stress; a few bolts have vibrated out and some trivial metal parts have actually broken off. The rear shock needs more preload (it did before too, but now it's more noticable). The motor hasn't so much as hiccuped.

Despite all that, I'd say (so far) you have a great tool for the job Just avoid the superhighways. Riding on dirt has been great, but I have to admit that when I'm on pavement (90% of the time so far) I find myself wishing the bike would grow a second cylinder. This feeling may change when the roads get worse south of Mexico, though.

Jeff
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:51 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyNavy
Excellent photos!!! What camera gear did you use?
Just a point-and-shoot Olympus 790SW. I bought it just before the trip 'cause it's waterproof and reasonably shock-resistant. Plus it has a special silicon condom around it to give it extra protection - I keep this thing in my pocket at all times and I've dropped it more than once

I also have a Fujifilm F31fd as a backup. It sits in my tankbag more or less permanently attached to the shim of my tripod, so I've only used it a couple times for (rare) tripod shots. It takes way better pictures in lowlight (the ccd is amazingly noise-free at high ISO levels) but I don't think it would survive a drunken night in a bar, so it stays home.

I'm still figuring out how to use these things so thanks!

Jeff
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:30 PM   #75
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Sola de Vega



The road from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca is damn near The Perfect Motorcycle Road, at least for an adrenaline junkie like me. Almost immediately it starts climbing into mountains and throwing the bike into an endless series of back-to-back twists that just beg for speed and high lean angles. Speaking of which, I finally found what part of my bike scrapes the ground first (unlike all the other bikes I've owned, it's not the footpegs!):



Bay Area riders may understand when I say that MEX 131 is like the mountainous stretch of highway 175 west of Clear Lake, only without the shoulder or guardrails or close proximity to hospitals, oh, and with countless potholes and farm animals sprawled across the road:



Lest you think your humble narrator has a death wish or a deep-seated loathing for livestock and pedestrians, I must point out that visibility through most of the turns was fair-to-excellent and there was no loose gravel on the road whatsoever. I approached the blind turns with caution but everything else was fair game. The bike spent very little time upright. It was heaven.

Daylight came to an end near the town of Sola de Vega, so my ride did too. It's a ranch town about 100km south of Oaxaca known mainly for... actually, nothing. I'm pretty certain that this post will be the top Google hit for "sola de vega" as soon as it gets indexed (a picture I uploaded to flickr yesterday is already at #4). Sola de Vega has two dingy hotels catering to people passing through. Here's my lackluster 125 peso lodging:



However, the water was scalding hot and seemed endless. I took a shower and a quick nap; the ~4 hour ride was fun but exhausting. Some undetermined amount of time later I was awakened by the distant sounds of poorly-tuned band music and some guy on a PA that sounded like a monster truck rally announcer ("Domingo! Domingo! Domingo!"). I asked around and discovered that the town's big annual festival was in progress and there is a rodeo about 10 minutes walk away.

I'll confess that despite all my travel in the southwest, I've never seen a rodeo. However, I've seen a bullfight in Mexico City so I'm familiar with the hispanic penchant for bovine torture. What I found was... actually kind of disappointing. Most of the bulls were uninspired and several just gave up after a few kicks. Only a couple managed to throw the riders, although I did notice that all the riders seemed to limp away (go toros!). Oh well, what do I want from small-town entertainment? At least the flautas were good.



At the end of the rodeo a guy came out with a little paper-maché toro and some fireworks and chased a couple kids around the ring. They need to see how it's done properly in Tultepec!

Sola de Vega:


Tultepec (from 2003):




BTW, anyone interested in crazy adventure should PM me about Tultepec. The festival is on March 8th about 30 miles north of Mexico City. It's officially the Most Dangerous Thing I Have Ever Done and this year I'm meeting over a dozen friends there.

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