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Old 04-15-2013, 02:05 PM   #241
drifter dave
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Hey amigo,

Very proud of you for going against the norm and visiting Belize. Glad to see you made it all the way south, I missed that part, so between our 2 reports I think we have it covered :)

Happy to hear of other riders in the vicinity. If you want to see another cool town check out Sarteneja and stay with Natalie at Backpacker's Paradise (turn right at the group of signs on the way into town). Safe travels,

Dorian
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:27 PM   #242
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Hey amigo,

Very proud of you for going against the norm and visiting Belize...

...check out Sarteneja and stay with Natalie at Backpacker's Paradise (turn right at the group of signs on the way into town). Safe travels,

Dorian
Hey Dorian. Belize is pretty awesome. I don't know why people don't give it a chance. It's really small so gas prices don't matter that much Thanks for the recommendation. I heard about Sarteneja, but have already passed it by. Actually I'm in Mexico City already and making miles to get home. Work starts in exactly three weeks and I still have over... 5500 Kms to go (holy shit!! Just looked it up. I actually didn't realize it was that far...) Going to have to skip a bunch of stuff I was planning to see along the way
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:35 PM   #243
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There's always next time!!

How bout that Hummingbird highway heh? Has to be one of the best rides ever.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:27 AM   #244
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The scenery is still amazing and the weather looks like it's good... It sounds to me like your still having a great time while getting to experience lots of really cool countryside on a motorcycle. Thanks for sharing it!
Enjoy the warm weather for the next few weeks because it may still be cold when you get home. The weathers been a little crazy here, we've had snow the past two mornings. My front yard's covered right now and it looks more like February then April... I'm ready for Spring!
Ride safe and keep taking pictures if you can.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:43 AM   #245
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There's always next time!!

How bout that Hummingbird highway heh? Has to be one of the best rides ever.
There IS always next time! ...probably next year actually

The Hummingbird Highway is pretty sweet no doubt, but it pales in comparison to some of the roads in Mexico. Rt.175 that stretches from the Gulf (through Oaxaca) all the way to the Pacific is an excellent example. I rode it from Oaxaca to Port Angel on the way down, and from Tuxtepec to Oaxaca on the way north (sort of) and it is simply AMAZING if you like mountains, beautiful views and crazy curves! There are others, notably the roads around Cuetzalan and Zacatlan and Rt.200 along the Pacific.

Guatemala has some really great rides too. Seems like every country has so much to offer. Belize is not to be ignore!
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:47 AM   #246
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The scenery is still amazing and the weather looks like it's good... It sounds to me like your still having a great time...
Definitely Wander! I'm certainly not burned out by the riding, just not doing as much of the backpacker stuff anymore. The riding is still great and the scenery is mind blowing! I feel a certain level of trepidation when thinking of being back in Oregon (and Utah son after). Maybe some cold will be a nice change (for about a day ) but after that I'll miss how nice it is here. T-shirt weather so far...

Many more photos to come
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:48 AM   #247
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04/06/2013 - 04/07/2013 - Crooked Tree to Palenque



Woke up early to see a beautiful sunrise (camping really helps with that). It's time to start putting in some big mile days interspersed with some rest days. I headed north for the Mexican border and it didn't take too long to pass through the mostly flat and straight section of Belize to arrive at the crossing. The border crossing didn't take long at all as I never checked the bike out of Mexico when I went south. All I had to do was get my passport stamped and they didn't even charge me the tourist visa fee (so I'll probably have to pay it on exit). Belize did charge me $18.50 to leave the country, but that was the only border crossing expense.









North of the border the roads continued to be flat and straight. I decided I really didn't find riding through south-eastern Mexico stimulating. Originally I wanted to cut straight west through the south of the Yucatan, then north along the Gulf coast. What I noticed about this part of the country was: it's flat, the roads are straight, it's busy and it's expensive. Instead of following the coast I made a snap judgment to cut over to Palenque where I knew I could at least ride through some beautiful scenery and sleep on the cheap.









A whole lot of nothing...








Eventually the road began to wind through the hills (at least for a little while) and I breathed a sign of relief after the hours of uninteresting terrain. I ended up staying at El Janguar again and it was only 80 pesos this time around ($6.70). I spent the next day there just hanging out and enjoying the jungle, reading books and eating good food when I made a run into town for good coffee. It was nice to be back in Mexico. It really is an amazing country.



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Old 04-26-2013, 10:05 AM   #248
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Hope you are having a safe ride home. Also, thank you for the time and effort you have put into this report, I've enjoyed it very much. Thanks again.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:17 PM   #249
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Hope you are having a safe ride home. Also, thank you for the time and effort you have put into this report, I've enjoyed it very much. Thanks again.
Thanks fourthree. I'm still planning on finishing up. Just have been putting in a lot of high mile days. Now back and repacking to move again

But I *will* finish up this report and do a summary of miles and maps and finances and all that...
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:45 PM   #250
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Glad you are doing well, hope you are still enjoying the ride home on some of the high mileage days. Safe journey home.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:29 AM   #251
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It's been great. Looking forward to your summation and your thoughts on your next trip.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:04 AM   #252
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What a trip! Shame to see it over. Its not a bad time of year to be back in OR tho...
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:58 AM   #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0theories View Post
Thanks fourthree. I'm still planning on finishing up. Just have been putting in a lot of high mile days. Now back and repacking to move again

But I *will* finish up this report and do a summary of miles and maps and finances and all that...
I'm glad to see you made it through those high mileage days on your return to the NW. I've enjoyed reading your ride report and all the amazing scenery! Thanks for sharing it.

Best of luck on your next adventure (move)... I hope you have a great summer season!
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:29 PM   #254
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04/08/2013 - 04/09/2013 - Palenque to Oaxaca

Well, it's been a while but I finally got enough internet bandwidth to upload a few hundred photos so it's time to continue... Where was I?

I left Palenque in the morning and headed north. Once out of the hills it was flat again and I rode straight west for a while, aiming for the coast. When I reached the Gulf (or close to it), I decided to take a random road, zigzagging to the south then the northwest in the hopes of seeing some interesting terrain. It was uneventful, but I think I would have enjoyed riding along the coast less, so it was all good.





Straight and flat...








I thought maybe I would spend the night in San Juan Bautista (near Tuxtapec) because I've read good things about it, but when I got close I wasn't ready to stop yet so I headed south on perhaps my favorite road in all of Mexico: MEX 175, which twists and turns it's way through the mountains, cutting the country in half north to south passing through Oaxaca. I already rode it south from Oaxaca to the Coast and was blown away. From the Gulf to Oaxaca was just as amazing! I wasn't really planning on going back to Oaxaca, but the twisties were too enticing to pass up and the city is great. There were still a couple of things I've yet to do there.












I made it a ways south, but it was getting dark. After searching for a nice campsite with no luck, I ended up staying at Hotel Valle Real in the small town of Valle Nacional, an up and coming adventure town, surrounded by mountains and a river running through it, with a National Park to the north. This day was one of my most expensive stays at $25 for the room and one of my longest rides (on this trip) at 703 Kms.











In the morning I stupidly decided not to get gas (a problem I continue to work on), then decided to take a detour up some nicely paved hair-pin turns into the mountains. I figured I'd ride a ways then be forced to return to the village, THEN I would gas up and continue down to Oaxaca on the 175. The plan was executed to the letter except the getting gas part. This would bite me in the ass/present a great opportunity later in the day.

Hotel Valle Real




Camino Peligroso








After cruising around unnamed side roads to the north of the village through the mountains, I got back on the 175 and continued on my way. The 175 did not disappoint! Narrow, twisty, blind curves up mountains and down valleys were only rarely interrupted by tiny villages as the KLR rolled me smoothly through the forest (she sure corners well!). Occasionally I had to slow down for large trucks or buses that were barely making the turns, blocking “both lanes” (yeah, like there were lanes) as they tried to get around the sharp corners. By this time I was well versed in passing on blind corners (a necessary skill in Mexico and south if you want to ride at a decent speed), so it wasn't a problem.



Slow bus












Eventually I made it to the summit of a set of mountains where I realized that I was just about out of gas. I went into a restaurant and asked where the nearest gas was (thank you several weeks of Spanish lessons) only to be told it was “hours” away in either direction. Bummer. Luckily it was all down hill for a while so I coasted (and sweated) for a ways. I stopped to ask again and was told there is a village down a side road that would have some gas. The side road, just a few miles further, led to a small town 8 miles off my path. If there was no gas there it would be a one way trip...







Newly paved side road to gas village.




Luckily after inquiring with many people in the village and going through the usual “getting directions from a local” fiasco, I managed to find an indistinct house where an older lady sold me gas out of her shed in the back. To my surprise it was barely more expensive than the stations and it saved my bacon. An added bonus was that the village was really beautiful, perched on a cliff edge overlooking a valley. Another hidden gem soon to be an eco-tourism destination.





Back on the main road I had an exhilarating ride the rest of the way to Oaxaca where I tried to find the hostel where Randy stayed when we were last here. Over the last couple of months I met several people who stayed at that hostel and knew my name through him. Plus he told me it was great and owned by bikers. Unfortunately I couldn't find it (well, it wasn't too bad) as I returned to the hostel I stayed at previously to find it was almost completely full, and all the occupants were lovely women... and they were friendly.



Oaxaca (again).


Best coffee shop in town.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:23 AM   #255
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Great to see you back to update the rest of the ride.
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