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Old 03-05-2009, 11:04 AM   #61
LaOutbackTrail
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How'd you get the dive equipment down there or did you rent?

A buddy of mine was down that way a few weeks ago, and had to wait a day or so before he could fly home...

Edit- your trip report is definately much more intersting that the Titty Bar Tour
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:56 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaOutbackTrail

How'd you get the dive equipment down there or did you rent?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricepilot

...nobody has asked me the "obvious question", and to the person who asks me the "obvious question", I am going to send them a copy of the DVD Into the Blue. Hint: it has to do with the logistics of motorcycling to Mexico and going diving.
AND WE HAVE OUR WINNER! Congratulations Scott!

Scott, PM me your snail mail address and I'll drop ship you a copy of Into the Blue directly from Amazon.com. Congratulations!

Oh, and to answer this question. I brought my mask. I was going to bring regulator and computer, and even at one point, fins and wetsuit. But in the end, the gear at the Maya Palms was excellent and inexpensive to rent. I think your own mask is essential, in that most divers end up finding a mask that fits them like a glove. And the underwater world is a visual world. If your mask even fogs up, you're not going to have a great dive, so taking care of the visuals while diving is a priority. I'm going to Curacao next Friday, and with flying I'll take all my gear, but on a moto trip, if you're going anywhere with any kind of dive operation, save the space on your bike for other things, like the 15 or so soccer balls I brought to the school in Coazacoalcos.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:39 PM   #63
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I'd really like to build up this idea of motorcycling and scuba. I know we have a bunch of motorcyclists who love to scuba dive on this board, so to tap the brain trust among us, I'm going to give away 5 more copies of Into the Blue before the end of this ride report!



All you have to do:

(1) Tell us about your best dive trip destination in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America, in 1 or 2 succinct paragraphs. Sorry, only these locations. Tell us what was so great about that place as a dive destination. It doesn't have to be strictly a motorcycle related trip. If you found it a great place to dive, we'll find a way to get there, even if we have to rent a bike when we get there, as in an island destination.

(2) Bonus: If you can recall, tell us about a specific dive site at that location that you have dived, and why was it so memorable.

(3) Post up your blurb right here in this ride report!!!!

If more than 5 people enter this contest, I'll put the names into a hat. All winners will have a copy of Jessica Alba's Into the Blue drop shipped to their home.

Your story may just be my or someone else's next dive destination! Help us uncover the hot spots!

Entered So Far:

Sideout, Post #69, For Cozumel/Riviera Maya & Dominican Republic
NMEXPAT, Post #90, For The Corn Islands, Nicaragua


tricepilot screwed with this post 03-06-2009 at 02:10 PM
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:08 PM   #64
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Just PM you these things then?
And for everyone's enjoyment here's a scuba pic:



Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot

(1) Tell us about your best dive trip destination in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America, in 1 or 2 succinct paragraphs. Sorry, only these locations. Tell us what was so great about that place as a dive destination. It doesn't have to be strictly a motorcycle related trip. If you found it a great place to dive, we'll find a way to get there, even if we have to rent a bike when we get there, as in an island destination.

(2) Bonus: If you can recall, tell us about a specific dive site at that location that you have dived, and why was it so memorable.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:16 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideout

Just PM you these things then?
Post up here!!!! PMs only for the address of the winners of the DVD!!!

Great Photo!
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:17 PM   #66
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This is such a good report! Glad I found it and thanks for posting it. Hope to get caught up tonight.

Thanks again TP!
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:57 PM   #67
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Vera-Cruise



I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that that's Steve Buscemi over there on the right, playing the drums. Ah, yes, I can read your mind. Then you thought, that must be Steve's brother staring at me from the middle of the photograph. What you should be thinking is, "how does that Tricepilot guy get to jam with the boyz on the zócalo in Veracruz. How does he do that?"



It was sweepers and down-hill all the way from Puebla to the coast, past the volocano Pico de Orizaba, through the tunnels, decending from the cool air at altitude to the dense, warm, moisture-laden stuff near Veracruz. I have always wanted to see both Puebla and Veracruz, to be able to link them together was a special treat. Puebla on market Sunday, Veracruz during her preparation for Carnival.

Pico de Orizaba






If you recall, there was some debate on what route to take - coastal or inland? The decision was hooked to two facts: We had to be in Coatzacoalcos the afternoon of Tuesday the 10th, to meet the child I sponsor, and we had to be in Mahahual on Thursday afternoon, the 12th, in preparation for diving the next day, Friday, and the weekend. Leaving McAllen/Reynosa the previous Friday, meant that we only had to guage our progress in Mexico, and pick and choose from the Lonely Planet and the Guia Roji. That was the extent of our planning. A book, a map, and serendipity. We are fabulously organized.


Seriously, the run from Puebla to Veracruz could have been made power-off. While it did flatten out towards the Veracruz, it was a down hill day only exceeded by San Cristobal - Tuxtla Gutierrez.




All over this town the city fathers were mad in preparation for Carnival. Which I believe is the largest celebration of such in Mexico, exceeded only by Rio de Janero and the like. The main boulevard was being lined with bleechers and parade reviewing stands. We would miss the madness by less than a week. Good, we thought, since we wanted to find a room in town at reasonable rates. My pal Big Jim recommended the Holiday Inn, which is a great place to stay in Veracruz, centrally located and very charming. Its a converted convent, with the pleasing roof lines, stone, courtyard, and ceramic tile feel. Definitely not your I-80 Grand Island Nebraska Holiday Inn.

Once again, we found our way into Veracruz using signs for "Centro", and we literally rode up to the front door (technically, into the perfect, interior parking area). Jim's suggestion to be on the lookout for the hotel right after coming down the bridge over the railroad tracks was spot-on. As it would be, Jim has like, 70+ trips to Mexico over the years.

Next this evening, a taxi ride to La Mera Madre, the best place for mariscos on the malecón in Veracruz...and the best single meal I have enjoyed anywhere in Mexico

A meal that gets a full five "Anthony Bordains"

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Old 03-05-2009, 03:50 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
Great Photo!
I am going to come clean on this one. It is my friend who's in the picture and not me. I took it though.
Still a good one. I have a couple of more underwater pictures of him fooling around.
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:52 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
Tell us about your best dive trip destination in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America, in 1 or 2 succinct paragraphs. Sorry, only these locations.

Post up your blurb right here in this ride report!!!!
The best dive trip destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America.

I would probably state the obvious but I would say that the Cozumel and Riviera Maya area holds the number one spot. This area offers a great variety of reef diving, drift diving and let’s not forget the cenotes. You have a lot of dive sites to choose from, different types of dives, and all kinds of dive shops. And Belize is virtually around the corner as well. So it all depends on how much time one has on hand to spend.
Personally I found the cenotes to be the most memorable and intriguing dives. One does not have to be a cave diver to dive the cenotes. Although having prior cave or cavern dives would help the overall experience. And of course if you are a full scale cave diver then hats off to you, jump in that hole and start exploring. Most of the cenote dive sites are located near Playa del Carmen.

Here are some pics from diving there:



Palancar reef



Palancar caves



medium size barracuda, Tormentos reef



entrance to a cenote, forgot the name.


My second best option would be Republica Dominicana. Republica Dominicana is a hidden gem for the cave divers. And your average Joe open water dives are not that bad either though not nearly as much marine life as you can see in or around the dive destination number 1. There are a couple of wrecks that I would recommend, especially the one called St.George in Bayahibe. It’s a 240 foot long freighter that sunk in 1998. The visibility is really good, obviously depending on a day. But the day I dove that wreck I could see the whole ship when I was descending to it.



Hoyo de La Molina cave entrance



Inside the cave, the water surface reflects the cave walls



Tranquility of cave diving is amazing, Hoyo de La Molina cave, Higuey, DR



This moray was probably 6 feet long and pretty menacing, Punta Cana, DR


Sorry I unsuccessfully tried to keep it concise.

Back to you, Tricepilot.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:05 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideout

The best dive trip destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America.

I would probably state the obvious but I would say that the Cozumel and Riviera Maya area holds the number one spot.

My second best option would be Republica Dominicana. Republica Dominicana is a hidden gem for the cave divers.
Excellent post, photographs, and suggestions!!! Just what we are looking for!!! I should automatically send you a copy of Into the Blue, but I have to see how many inputs I get. Loved the DR and cave diving suggestion. Just what we are looking for!!!

Enter the contest!!! See post #63!!!
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:30 PM   #71
cyborg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot

[/U][/B][/COLOR]
Do you have an underwater ADV sticker picture yet?
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:37 PM   #72
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Thank you kindly.
One of my best friends is a cave dive instructor who also happens to live in DR. So if you ever decide to go there and would like to dive with him feel free to PM me for info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
Excellent post, photographs, and suggestions!!! Just what we are looking for!!! I should automatically send you a copy of Into the Blue, but I have to see how many inputs I get. Loved the DR and cave diving suggestion. Just what we are looking for!!!

Enter the contest!!! See post #63!!!
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:47 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyborg

Do you have an underwater ADV sticker picture yet?


Better:


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Old 03-05-2009, 06:14 PM   #74
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A Great Holiday Inn

This is the Holiday Inn I remember:



But never again will I look into the Lonely Planet and see a recommendation for a Holiday Inn in Mexico. They're not the same as what I'm used to in the states.



This Holiday Inn, located only 2 blocks from the zócalo, was very reasonable priced. In fact, it was only mid-range of what we paid for hotels on this 14 day run. And we hated spending anything over 70 bucks, although we did it when it made sense.

The hotel occupies the space of a former convent. All the rooms are huge and have wood-beamed ceilings, and that must-have on a motorcycle trip: endless HOT WATER!!!

Arches, greenery, domes, location, price. I can't recommend any place in Veracruz more than this. Although I expect Dan or Gustavo to pipe in with a presidential palace for $5 per night here soon.
















This place was as easy to find and Big Jim said it would be. Just follow the signs to Centro, and when you are over the railroad bridge, it will be on the right hand side just when you come off the bridge. Nice, enclosed parking and just two floors of rooms. The hotel has a restaurant which we enjoyed for coffee and breakfast, but we took a cab out for dinner. No way were we going to spend the evening in the hotel restaurant - we're in Veracruz!! Time to hail a taxista and get to where the good food is!!! Have I mentioned I like using taxis in Mexico!!!



If you come to Veracruz, you must memorize this phrase "Langosta a la plancha" And if you can remember it, the restaurant "La Mera Madre" It isn't close to the Holiday Inn, but it is worth every peso and the short (maybe 15 minutes) taxi ride along the malecón to get there.

I will shortly prove my point.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:55 PM   #75
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Veracruz' La Mera Madre: The Big Splurge

Tacos? Give me a dozen. My usual is pescado empanizado, which you can get in any restaurant in Mexico, even if its not on the menu. If you make tacos at home, you need to start making pescado empanizado. Totally different, but just as easy. We looked for a place in the Lonely Planet for dinner, and we asked around. I almost insisted that dinner be at a seafood place - we're in Veracruz thank you very much. It is always tempting, and easier, to walk to the zócalo, but if you add the taxi factor, your options expand manyfold.

There was a small consensus among those I could find to talk to in the hotel - La Mera Madre. There were other seafood options, but I got the signal from a guy who seemed to know what he was talking about. I didn't know for sure about Subcomandante or Sterett, but I knew, for me, this was the meal I was going to fire the cannons, let the bulls out of the ring, let my eyes do the ordering. I'll scrimp and save and eat cardboard the rest of the trip. Let's see what Veracruz can dish up on the malecón, Mr. Bourdain.



Sterett admonishes you to pay attention to the theme-of-the-day:







Bienvenidos a La Mera Madre. Table for three?
























Extremely reasonably priced. And we're a bunch of ciclistas who ate McDonalds the day before in Puebla. When I asked the waiter to bring grilled lobster, I had no idea the size of the thing. I'm a New England guy, I've been to Red's in Maine and Newicks' in New Hamshire. This baby was killer. Fold in the malecón in Veracruz and a motorcycle trip in Mexico, and this takes the all-time seafood cake for me.

And we still had the evening on the zócalo and all the music and atmosphere, and evening light for photos, to capture. We may have been early for Carnival, but I can't imagine having any more of a good time than was had that day. To say goodbye to Puebla and hello to Veracruz, that's one heck of a good day on a motorcycle.
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