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Old 11-24-2012, 08:28 AM   #616
JDowns OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
Outstanding! Thanks for this update Juanito.

Did some quick reading about Calakmul and water is available at the entrance, probably bottled.
Stealth travel has advantages not to be discounted.

Best Regards,
OldPete
Hi OldPete,

They had bottled water for sale at the museum 40 kilometers from the end of the road but there was nothing out at the ruins.

Best,
Juanboy
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:30 AM   #617
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idahosam View Post
Morning, Oh, I mean buenos días Senior. Thoroughly enjoyed that exploratory side trip. Amazing what your finding off the beaten path.

Here's some good stuff to read if you have time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calakmul histrory about the fights between the city states.

I will reiterate, I think you are on the perfect machine for your adventure.
Hi Sam,

Thanks. Something to read while I wait for pictures to upload out here in Quintana Roo.

Muchas Gracias,
Juanito
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:29 AM   #618
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
Just curious if you did a lot or research on the history of the area, the people the land etc... Seems to me you have found, discovered or stumbled on a gem of a place that few see.
If you did read some info, I would be interested to know the names, I like to read history of cultures and places
Thanks again for all the reports, good reading..
Did I do research? In a word, no. Other than reading ride reports that you guys post and picking up ideas by osmosis. Mainly I just go down roads that look interesting and see what's out there. I enjoy exploring backroads that lead to who knows where.

I also benefit greatly from ideas you folks throw out there. Like swimming at Xel-ha or heading to Belize to check it out. I didn't plan on going to Belize. I was thinking of taking the back road through the jungle to Tikal. But Belize sounds like a good idea to me now.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:33 AM   #619
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The internet went down as I posted the first few pics from yesterday. It's up again and the rest will be coming shortly.

I've been out in rural Quintana Roo (keen-ta-na-RO) which doesn't rhyme with kangaroo as it turns out.

Yesterday I took off in the morning back in the state of Campeche. Turned down a dirt road to go see about finding Rio Bec ruins yesterday and finally found a turkey puffing himself up to tell me who's boss:



Too late for Thanksgiving so he'll live to see another year. The sign on the side of the road said 14 kilometers, visit with a guide. I thought to myself, "who needs a guide?":



It was a rutted jeep trail:



with this bridge that I thought I was going to die going across as I came down the hill and saw that the first couple feet had collapsed and the locals had piled up rocks to get across. It doesn't show up very well in this pic but it had me going there for a second, but the Sherpa bounced across just fine:



after a few more miles I came across this nice Mayan campesino who spoke some Spanish and he said it was 16 more kilometers and I probably needed a guide:



When the road split into three and turned into a maze it was obvious that it was time to turn around while I still knew how to get back. I don't think many touristas visit the ruinas at Rio Bec. And yes, you probably do need a guide as it turns out. I doubled back out to the main road :



I like the patina on this Mayan logging truck:



I feel better about my rear tire after checking out the dualies on this rig:




It had a newish battery and was dripping gear oil, so I think she's a runner. When I was growing up in Oregon I always wondered where log trucks went to die. Now I know. Quintana Roo. It seems the school buses I rode as a kid still mostly go to die in Guatemala though.

Finally made it out of Campeche:



The main road through Quintana Roo is mostly flat and straight. The clouds were more interesting than the main road:



Turned north towards Tulum and saw a sign for swimming that pointed to Xel--Ha. Since godad had suggested a couple days ago I go swimming in the magico waters out there I headed down to check it out. Really beautiful:



The two taxistas in the background drinking a cold pack of Dos Equis told me it was pronounced Shale-HA. So now I know. I didn't have my minimalist Speedo traje de baño (swim suit) so the closest I could get to a pic of me swimming in Xel-ha was this:





It was like bathwater. Very refreshing to cool ones heels on a hot afternoon. I'll be back on my way to Belize as soon as I get some swim trunks. I'm thinking viewing an old Nebraska contractor in a speedo might burn some people's retinas out, so perhaps something more modest is called for.

Headed down the road thinking I would go to Mahahual and the Costa del Mayo (Mayan coast) but had another flat. Had to patch the tube on the side of the road and inflate it. These nice folks from the Bay Area turned around and came back to see if I was okay just as I was tightening the axle nut and finishing up. I didn't write down their names but I believe it was Ha and Suling or something similar. Very nice folks on their way south, so I'll probably run into them again.:



I decided to double back and find a decent tube. Everywhere I stopped said no hay. So kept going way back towards the next big town of Bacalar and see about getting some decent tubes. My patch job wasn't dry and I was too impatient so after a while it went flat and I coasted into a mechanic shop/house/restaurant on the side of the road. Had Joaqin re-patch the tube and his abuelo (grandfather) fixed me some dinner. It was dark by now and they said I could spend the night while the glue set up. Sounded like a good idea to me, so I set my tent up in their garage/living area between a car getting a brake job and the dining room table. Here was my casa at first light this morning:



Got out my computer last night and gave a slide show of the trip so far. They were mostly interested in southern Mexico where they recognized the areas of Chiapas and Campeche. Got in some great conversational Spanish with one brother David who spoke a little English from his time working Cancun as a bartender. You get better at Spanish if it is all you hear all day.

Slept like a bambino last night and this morning Gramps cooked me up a great breakfast and I headed back to Bacalar when things opened up.

Here the three brothers and Dad are this morning lifting a truck bed Mexican style back onto the truck they replaced the fuel pump on yesterday.



and a shot of the Nissan top end that Joachin removed yesterday. Needs work:



The brothers lift out the smaller engines with a pipe with a chain dangling down from the center. Here's a shot of the engine hoist in the front yard for the bigger engines:



Really nice family. I enjoyed my stay with them and it was very kind of them to take me in last night. I told them my name was John and they were calling me Juanito. The brothers all wanted to sign the gas tank when they saw all the names. ¿Porque no? So now I have the hermanos David, Juaqin y Eduardo so I didn't need to write their names down to remember.

Yesterday I spent 310 pesos or $24.80 on gas, food, patching.

I'm heading out to the Costa del Mayo again. Of course that's where I thought I was going yesterday. I saw some beautiful pictures from Loneriders report on his stay in Xcalak and I have to go see it for myself. Looks like a Corona beer commercial. Sort of the lost coast of Quintana Roo down by the Belize border. I'll report back what I find in case it looks interesting for your future travels.

More later.....

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:02 AM   #620
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I do this when cold patching bicycle tubes.
After or close to "good to go" I snugly clamp two quarters on either side of the patch with a pair of long nose vice-grips.
Then heat the quarter that is on the patch with a butane crack lighter to about 250f or less. Let cool and that sets the glue.
Cold patching on cool or cold days is a royal pita for me.

Mexico has got to have large copper coins.

Gotta shower and get going, so will return to this post with the FUBAR cyl. head. Yikes!
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:22 PM   #621
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Fantastico Señor Juan!!! My family is starting to complain about my obsession with your adventure!! :-). I have began looking into buying a 250, either from Honda or Kawasaki! Like many, I have always thought you needed a 650 or bigger cc bike to take on Old Mejico. You have made me a believer! I am really enjoying your exploration of La Costa Maya! I thank you for your effort and discipline in keeping your Ride Report up to date. It is so much more beneficial to read someone's experience as the ride happens, versus reading a book about the ride, months or years later! You have an excellent eye for photos! Your exploration is so worth a donation!! Thanks again for your efforts!

Oscar
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:58 PM   #622
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
I do this when cold patching bicycle tubes.
After or close to "good to go" I snugly clamp two quarters on either side of the patch with a pair of long nose vice-grips.
Then heat the quarter that is on the patch with a butane crack lighter to about 250f or less. Let cool and that sets the glue.
Cold patching on cool or cold days is a royal pita for me.

Mexico has got to have large copper coins.

Gotta shower and get going, so will return to this post with the FUBAR cyl. head. Yikes!
Hi OldPete,

Good to know. I'm a closet pyro and always have been intriqued by crack pipe lighters. I'll keep my eye out for one so I can learn me some redneck vulcanizing.

Cheers,
Juan
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:02 PM   #623
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Originally Posted by Roaddawg View Post


Fantastico Señor Juan!!! My family is starting to complain about my obsession with your adventure!! :-). I have began looking into buying a 250, either from Honda or Kawasaki! Like many, I have always thought you needed a 650 or bigger cc bike to take on Old Mejico. You have made me a believer! I am really enjoying your exploration of La Costa Maya! I thank you for your effort and discipline in keeping your Ride Report up to date. It is so much more beneficial to read someone's experience as the ride happens, versus reading a book about the ride, months or years later! You have an excellent eye for photos! Your exploration is so worth a donation!! Thanks again for your efforts!

Oscar
Hi Oscar,

Appreciate the thought. Roaddawg will look good on the gas tank right under the tres hermanos mechanicos that signed this morning. Glad to have you as a sponsor and along for the ride.

A 250 will get the job done. A bigger bike is fine too. Ride what you got is my motto. I was glad to have a 250 dirtbike today though. Pictures of mudpits loading now. More stories from the roads less traveled coming shortly.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:38 PM   #624
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Headed out to the Costa del Maya and actually made it this time. The road cuts out towards the Carribean on a long straight 30-40 mile road through the wetlands. Not many people on this road:



Finally made it out to the lighthouse at the coast in Mahahual;



The main road north to Tulum runs inland, so this was my first real view of the Carribean this trip:



Nice. Headed south through Mahahual down the coast road:



It is pretty rough with sand and potholes. Looks like it used to be paved. After a few miles of pounding down this road I doubled back and took the paved road south that runs inland through the marshes south towards Xcalak (Ish-ka-lack). Finally reached the little fishing village by the sea. Here the Sherpa is taking it all in:



There was a rough two track south of town so I headed down to see how close to Belize I could get:



I wouldn't want to come down this road in the rainy season. Even now there was plenty of mud and ruts. I kept telling myself if there was somewhere that looked too intense I should turn around. But you know how it is. Like the frog who slowly gets boiled without jumping out of the pan as the temperature is slowly turned up, the road kept getting slowly more gnarly. I came to this section and got off and walked down the way and said, "okay just this one last mudhole:



The Sherpa covered in Xcalak:



it got worse shortly thereafter and I turned around. I could hear fishing boats pounding the waves just 100 yards or so off in the distance through the bushes, but couldn't see the ocean.

Turned down a side road but it ended here with a gate and propriedad privada sign so I turned around:



came back to town and there is an upstairs restaurant run by a nice Spanish couple with a nice view and wifi:



So I am uploading pics slowly before continuing on towards Tulum. More later….

Saludos,
Juanito
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JDowns screwed with this post 11-25-2012 at 12:56 AM
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:14 PM   #625
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Well John, there is not much more I can say about this R/R that has not already been said. The best I can say is MEGA DITTO'S.....I am truly impressed.... I am formally from NE and pass thru from time to time, next time I am going to be there I will give you a heads-up and perhaps I can buy you a dinner and a few 'cool-ones....Bill.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:55 PM   #626
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Hi John,
I Don't know if you are looking for ideas for stops or just want to wing it on your own but in case its the former, here's a few:

Belize Zoo. It's really funky and unlike any other zoo.

Tikal of course. Touristy but awesome. Also, if you have time you can arrange a guided trip to El Peru (from Flores / Tikal) which is awesome. (You definitely need a guide, only accessible by launcha, 30 kilometers up the San Pedro river in the Peten!) it's all in thick jungle, scarlet macaws, keel billed toucans, jaguars

Augua caliente Rio Dulce. Howler monkeys on the Rio!

Esquipulas (magnificent)

Good job on the report and you have a great attitude. Thanks for taking us along!
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:06 AM   #627
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I am camped tonight on the beach in Xcalak (ish-ka-lack rhymes with kicked back) at:

N 18º 16.047'
W 87º 50.135'

According to the GPS I am 3 feet below sea level and 8 miles out in the Carribean, so I think Señorita Garmeen doesn't get out this way often.

Also took a waypoint a mile from the end of where I rode down towards the Belize border at:

N 18º 14.733'
W 87º 50.369'

I didn't think to take a reading when I was out at the turn-around mud pit.

Came back to town and had some Gaspacho at the nice balcony restaurant with the ocean front view and he closed at 3:30 so was sitting at a table outside and writing another ride report post below the restaurant in Xcalak when a nice fellow came up and noticed my Nebraska license plate. Turns out Robert grew up in Iowa and has been married to a Mexican woman and living down here for a few decades. He's my age. He is still sort of married but his wife and kids are living in Chetumal down the way and he lives on the beach and fishes for lobster. Invited me down to camp near his little hangout on the beach. Sort of a Robinson Crusoe sort of fellow living a simple life on the beach. Some would call him homeless, but he has a good life down here.

So I am spending a nice moonlit night on the beach. Very peaceful out here. Silent except for the waves hitting the reef offshore.

Robert tells me that the road I was on just goes to a military post at the end not far from where I turned around. Robert offered to take me out lobster fishing as we were sitting around talking and eating lobster antennae. It turns out that there is a lot of meat in the antennae and his method of cracking them with his teeth and spitting out the shells seemed to work just fine when I tried it.

I could see spending a long time here. I'll probably head towards Tulum tomorrow though. But it's nice to know there are places in the world still left like Xcalak where you can seek refuge if life is getting you down. It's a bit out of the way and a long ride out here. You might like it though. I know I sure do.

Robert goes to bed at like 8 so I did too. I can only sleep so long so it is the wee hours of the morning and I walked back up the beach and am sitting at a picnic table under the stars on the beach catching some free wifi typing this up under the stars. Nothing else better to do until sunrise.

I spent 457 pesos or $36.56 on food, gas, internet, rear tube, patches and a hand pump yesterday.

I'll post pics of sunrise on the beach and a nice free camping spot when the sun rises in a few hours. Along with pics of my new buddy Robert and his hammock by the sea. Pretty interesting character.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:13 AM   #628
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Originally Posted by gasandasphalt View Post
Well John, there is not much more I can say about this R/R that has not already been said. The best I can say is MEGA DITTO'S.....I am truly impressed.... I am formally from NE and pass thru from time to time, next time I am going to be there I will give you a heads-up and perhaps I can buy you a dinner and a few 'cool-ones....Bill.
Hi gasandasphalt,

You are welcome at my house in Bassett anytime. Look forward to meeting you.

One of my relatives did a geneology search and it turns out my Grandpa's family lived right near the Czech border for a few hundred years before emigrating to the U.S. So I am almost a bad Czech.

No need to buy me dinner. Sitting around and BSing with a fellow ADVrider is payment enough.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:24 AM   #629
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grind View Post
Hi John,
I Don't know if you are looking for ideas for stops or just want to wing it on your own but in case its the former, here's a few:

Belize Zoo. It's really funky and unlike any other zoo.

Tikal of course. Touristy but awesome. Also, if you have time you can arrange a guided trip to El Peru (from Tikal) which is awesome. (You definitely need a guide, only accessible by launcha, 30 kilometers up the San Pedro river in the Peten!) it's all in thick jungle, scarlet macaws, keel billed toucans, jaguars

Augua caliente Rio Dulce. Howler monkeys on the Rio!

Esquipulas (magnificent)

Good job on the report and you have a great attitude. Thanks for taking us along!
Hi grind,

I am all in on ideas from fellow riders. Some of the cool places I have been I just stumbled on like that radical hot water cave in a canyon way back up in central Mexico. But a lot of the good ideas have come from fellow ADVriders.

Heck, I wouldn't be in Xcalak if I hadn't read about it on a post from Lonerider. You look at a map and see this place out in the middle of nowhere and if you were jamming to South America you would think twice before taking a 100 plus mile detour.

And now thanks to you I'll be checking out the Belize Zoo, Equipales, El Peru, and Agua Caliente Rio Dulce. That last one sounds good. Hot water in the sweet river has a nice ring to it.

Muchas gracias,
Juanito
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:32 AM   #630
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It is difficult not to post in your RR Juanito.

There is something more than serendipity happening here me thinks.
Post #548 and the Mayan mask...

Best Regards,
OldPete
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