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Old 12-12-2010, 05:35 PM   #76
TCSVN
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Great stuff, Trice!
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:15 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
By the way, if you're on Mx 180 near Monte Gordo and Casitas, skip the Mocambo, is my recommendation. The brightly colored entrance is alluring, but the food is just so-so, and I'm sure there are better stops along this absolutely beautiful coastline. Why more expats don't live in this area north of Veracruz, I have no idea.
Haven't been back to Monte Gordo since August of 1980. There was nothing there back then but a nationally known Brujo. Well, and our American expat friends.

My, how things can change in just a few short decades.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:27 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by SchizzMan View Post
Haven't been back to Monte Gordo since August of 1980. There was nothing there back then but a nationally known Brujo. Well, and our American expat friends.

My, how things can change in just a few short decades.
you're now making me think of Maria Sabina flight attendant from OAXACA
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:01 PM   #79
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you're now making me think of Maria Sabina flight attendant from OAXACA
"Flight attendant"??

Yes, I suppose so, in a way.

Like Carlos Castañeda was a writer of travel blogs, maybe?
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:59 AM   #80
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tricepilot = the best Mexico ride reports on ADV.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:11 PM   #81
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Tampico Tango

Wastin' away again in Mor-dida-ville

They're searching for a gringo at fault

Some people claim that they're good at this game

But I know, the cops will empty their vault



Crossing the Tampico Puente, I managed to grab my Canon Digital Elph and get Jim just as he's about to crest the bridge. Tampico is a nice enough town in its own right. Recently, the Mexico BMW rally was held there, and back in 1948, the zócalo scenes from Treasure of the Sierra Madre with Humphrey Bogart were filmed there. Lately, however, a different kind of gold rush is happening in that city - the pursuit of gringo gold.

I can't tell you how many ride reports I've studied this year alone that tell the story of some kind of shake down attempt by the Tampico Transitos (traffic cops), or their facsimile. Now, I don't mean to start a raging discussion of Mexico and mordidas (bribes - the words means "little bites"), because this horse has been and is being beat to its leathery finale back in Trip Planning and Regional Forums - Latin America. So if you'd like to add a testimony here in the RR that you yourself have indeed experienced a shakedown in Tampico, that's great, otherwise, an extended discussion of mordidas in general (and how to avoid paying them) would be better served in the other suggested threads.

Back before we vectored towards the coast, I had warned Jim and the others that we were sure to run into the transitos here, and I think I even made a bet on it. I also predicted that Tampico was probably the only place in Mexico where I'd expect to find such hassel, and I was right. I just wasn't exactly sure where in the city they would pop up, or out, of their posture and attempt to flag us over for the "discussion". Bingo43 and Pdedse stayed at Casa Tricepilot over the summer on their way back from Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, and their story of being squeezed in the gap down there is recounted in their ride report. And as I've said, I've read quite a lot of others this year alone that also speak to Tampico as a particular "hot spot".

One of the "traffic codes" being waved in gringo faces is the widely unknown "failure to keep right" code. Apparently, motorcycles are required to stay in the right-hand lane unless passing. Most moto tourists don't know this, and their only defense to being pulled over is entering the city below the speed limit and maintaining it, if possible. Most end up riding with the flow of traffic. However, as you will note in the maps provided, when entering Tampico there is a sweeper to the right that most do not take, and to avoid it, you have to move over into the left hand lanes. It is there that the transitos may jump, and tried on our pass through the city. This is not to say that this is the only place this will happen (if it happens), and others have had the bite in various places.

There were at least four transitos holding ticket books at this location that I spotted, and two of them stepped out from the side of the road and attemped the "wave over". However, the flow of traffic has pulsed faster just a bit, so there was a decent flow at speed. Also, this was a Sunday morning, when there was much less traffic than a business day, and I'm positive that the transitos usual count on stop-and-go traffic to step boldly up to a bike. I knew instantly what they were up to, but even rolling at a decent clip, I'm sure someone who wasn't expecting it might see the official looking uniform and pull over. As it was, being prepared, I feigned being greeted and just waved back animatedly.

I mention all of this so that the prospective rider of the Gulf side can prepare mentally for this situation and be aware if their travels take them through this city. Yes, I'm aware of this happening elsewhere in Mexico, and have been pulled over myself, but I've not heard of the frequency of it happening in one specific spot as I have here.

Without getting into all of the "No Fumar Español" tips that abound in the aforementioned threads, I'll condense my advice as this:

Always be exceedingly polite

Don't pay a bribe out of fear, you're doing yourself a disservice and not making it any more fun for riders coming behind you later

Don't carry a lot of visible cash

Be patient and wait it out. Put on your best Napoleon Dynamite expression

Expect to be told that you:

Committed a grave offense

Will have to go to the police station

Can take care of the fine right there, etc. etc.

Tampico is the hot spot right now - don't give in!


Location of the Tampico Puente in the photo:



Location of the Tampico Transitos on this particular Sunday:



Merging into the left lanes for the express route through town:



Bingo43 awaiting his discussion with a Tampico Transito (pdedse photo)

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Old 12-14-2010, 05:57 PM   #82
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Drumline Veracruz

Veracruz has some of the best street theater anywhere.

Here for your enjoyment is a little theater-in-the-round. These boys were playing this (whatever one calls music written for drums only) over, and over, and over, and I mean over, again. If you let it, it does indeed get a little mesmerizing. I tried capturing it from outside the circle, with still pics, but it really didn't do them justice. So I turned on the video feature of the Canon Elph, and just sat down in the middle to capture a little 360° action.

Keep an eye out for the dancing chica

.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:35 PM   #83
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Excellent! Thanks for the detailed maps. I need to go pay those cops a visit for sure on my way back and see how good they are.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:08 PM   #84
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I need to go pay those cops a visit for sure on my way back and see how good they are.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:15 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
Veracruz has some of the best street theater anywhere.

Here for your enjoyment is a little theater-in-the-round. These boys were playing this (whatever one calls music written for drums only) over, and over, and over, and I mean over, again. If you let it, it does indeed get a little mesmerizing. I tried capturing it from outside the circle, with still pics, but it really didn't do them justice. So I turned on the video feature of the Canon Elph, and just sat down in the middle to capture a little 360° action.

Keep an eye out for the dancing chica

.
"Cadence"
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:26 AM   #86
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Hi!



Donnie
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:12 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
Bingo43 awaiting his discussion with a Tampico Transito (pdedse photo)

One of the hilights of the trip...my only regret is that in the above foto I didn't quite get the look on Jeff's face in his mirror...
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:44 AM   #88
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One of the hilights of the trip...my only regret is that in the above foto I didn't quite get the look on Jeff's face in his mirror...

But, he looks like he is ready for battle. I miss the Mexican cops. The cops down here in Chile are no fun at all, very polite, professional, all business, all the time and they dont even want a mordida. Boring.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:37 AM   #89
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You went through Tampico?
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:05 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by PolloAsado View Post


You went through Tampico?
Si, señor. That's the gist of post #83

tricepilot screwed with this post 12-16-2010 at 01:37 PM
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